IRAP Newsletter April 2016

Ongoing Efforts
  • CLR household survey efforts are ongoing. The CLR team currently have conducted interviews with 354 farmers within 18 communities (some of these communities are not finished), with 3 more communities to visit. 26 key informant interviews have been completed; transcriptions are ongoing.
  • The CLR/Caribbean team is currently developing an engagement plan to tailor and disseminate climate information to farmers. A stakeholder meeting is tentatively planned for summer 2016.
  • The Caribbean team working on advancing fire risk / fire warning operations has recently developed a user friendly Excel spreadsheet that automates the station based Keech-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) calculation on a daily basis. Inputs include daily rainfall, daily max. temperature, and the average annual accumulated rainfall for each station. Teddy Allen conducted a skype call with the Meteorological Service of Jamaica (MSJ) on Mar 30, 2016 to detail thespreadsheet’s computations and to solicit feedback on how to tailor the index to better meet the needs of a subtropical Caribbean island. As a result of the call, the team is exploring ways to include fuel loading (combustible ground coverage) into the index to produce a modified KBDI. MSJ is seeking funding options to include Dr. Michael Taylor (UWI-Mona Physics) and others from UWI to integrate burn/fire data into the testing of the KBDI and to potentially integrate remotely sensed land cover to account for fuel loading. If funding is available, the KBDI and a possible modified KBDI would be tested in two pilot locations in Jamaica: 1) St. Elizabeth (agriculture applications) and 2) The Blue Mountains (BM coffee farmer applications). There is interest from the CIMH to scale up this work with to include the greater Caribbean. The team remains actively engaged in the development process as well as continues to be key partners in the dissemination process.
  • Lisa Goddard had an extended call with Lisa Vaughan and Meredith Muth of NOAA CPO on Apr 6 2016 regarding the CSRD effort taking shape for Bangladesh, and how that can connect to IRAP. Lisa will follow up with IRAP team members who are connected to the Bangladesh work. 
  • Erica Allis worked with IRI staff members and Jim Buizer in a Phase 1 proposal submission to NASA ROSES SERVIR Applied Sciences Team. The proposal ‘Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) in Bangladesh with the SERVIR Himalaya Hub’. The proposal would implement the ENACTS methodology to improve the availability, access and use of climate information in the fisheries sector. It would enable BMD to provide enhanced services by overcoming the challenges of data quality, availability and access, thereby fostering stakeholder engagement and use. ENACTS would improve data availability by combining quality-controlled station observations in Bangladesh with satellite estimates for rainfall (Climate Hazards group InfraRed Precipitation with Station dataset [CHIRPS]), and reanalysis products (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications [MERRA]) for temperature. The new spatially and temporally complete ENACTS data products created would allow for characterization of climate risks at a local scale, and potentially offer a low-cost, high impact opportunity to support applications and research. The new climate datasets would enhance the quality of climate forecasts, analysis, and IRAP team members would tailor the climate services for select ghers used in rice and fish culture in Bangladesh.  The proposal was invited to Phase 2 full proposal which is due end of April 2016.
  • A draft of the results from the CLR focus group discussions (FGD) has been completed; CLR team members are reviewing it and providing input.
  • The next CariCOF will be held in Roseau, Dominica, beginning May 25-27 2016 for 3 days of training and followed by the stakeholders meeting May 30-31 2016.