Developing the ClimGen climate scenario generator for commercial application.

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Environmental Sciences


Future climate change will impact global business and public services and awareness and analysis of these possible changes allows organisations and companies to prepare, adapt and maintain market competition. Recent advances in climate science have enabled the provision of future climate information in terms of the daily character of future weather. Substantial quantities of climate information are available as a result of international research programmes (e.g. the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project, CMIP5, for IPCC), although to many users, direct access to this data - especially in a way that adequately represents the full range of possible climate changes - is not feasible due to the specialist skills set required to obtain and process the raw data into a useable product. Existing efforts, on behalf of the user community in the UK, to redress this user-to-science gap have typically limited focus to the future climate of the UK and also been based on only a subset of scenarios.

UEA staff have developed a software tool (ClimGen) which enables users to quickly generate global climate scenarios, encompassing the full range of known uncertainties. This development has been achieved over the past 16 years through the support of numerous funders - including NERC. The software provides climate scenarios at each grid cell by combining the simulated change with observed climate. Currently, the scenarios are provided on a monthly time-scale for the future. This enables useful impact work, but we know that knowledge of the daily values of the climate fields (as well as mean monthly values) will greatly expand the utility of the software's output to the user community - for example by knowing the likely number of days where a temperature threshold is exceeded. We have already developed the software to provide plausible daily sequences of rain for each grid cell (important for water resource impacts and flood risk assessments) and would now like to incorporate the same capability for temperature and humidity, both of which are key variables for impact analyses in agriculture, health, water and energy sectors. Our Innovation Internship proposal seeks to embed a research scientist (who is also a ClimGen developer) within a weather-services company, Weatherquest Ltd, with a well-established route to market, to learn more about client needs within this field and to make modifications to the software to enhance commercial application. Weatherquest have a mature portfolio of existing clients in terms of weather services and knowledge of these existing user needs provides an excellent natural platform from which to explore deeper business interactions on longer climate (or decadal) timescales. A focus of the internship will be mutual training and knowledge exchange of the science techniques and processes (in respect of the Intern to the host) and the details of emerging user requirements (in respect of the host to the Intern).


10 25 50
Description We have completed the added functionality to the ClimGen pattern scaler as outlined in our proposal. The software can now produce daily temperature data for a subset of global climate models and thus is more applicable to impact studies within the private sector than the preceding version. We devised R and FORTRAN modules to run the anlysis for the necessary parameters to implement this new functionality and produced a new, licensable version of the software.
Exploitation Route We can now expand the functionality of the new ClimGen version to include more GCMs, but, in the meantime can produce demonstrative output for third parties, as is currently underway.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Environment

Description Ongoing: specific development of research tool to help meet industry commerce weather & climate needs.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Environment
Impact Types Economic

Title Daily temperature sampling module 
Description Extension to ClimGen climate scenario generator: a ForTran module to produce daily temperature values (globally) has been written. The module operates when supplied with IPCC climate model parameters. The parameters themselves are currently being calculated as a separate work item under the same award. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Daily temperature will be available 
Description Bi-lateral investigation of commercial crop seed production viability under future climate change scenarios 
Organisation KWS UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A collaboration is now underway using the new ClimGen version supported by NE/N012569/1 to investigate climate extremes and their impacts upon a major agritech company 'KWS' who operate seed production facilities in southern and central Europe.
Collaborator Contribution Provisin of crop seed climate sensitivities; provision of crop seed production locations. In confidence
Impact The experiments are still underway. Completion of the experiments will provide KWS with a demonstrator of new climate probabilities for crop seed perishment under extreme maximum temperatures. The project is a demonstrator only. If KWS wish to proceed with a full analysis, the UEA and KWS will agree appropriate license terms for the use of the new version of the ClimGen software.
Start Year 2016
Title ClimGen climate scenario generator 
Description As a result of several rounds of developments - including support from NE/N012569/1 - the climate scenario generator 'ClimGen' has now been registered with UEA as a commercially licensable product. Under the terms of the agreement, the ClimGen software may continue to be freely deployed for research purposes, but use whereby a commercial revenue is gained must be accompanied by a license agreement between UEA and the user. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The product is contributing to innovative climate information delivery for an external company. Licensing terms have been agreed between UEA and the company and we will be pleased to launch the associated product in the very near future.
Description ClimGen Briefing to WeatherQuest Ltd Staff 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Breifing to WeatherQuest staff on pattern-scaling climate prediction technique. The technique is being developed into commercial application to extend weather commerce services into the climate regime.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016