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[Dataset] Further-downscaled GCM by CIAT at

FYI, in addition to the FutureClim, here is another downscaled GCM data collection (up to 30 arc-second, a.k.a., 1 km), being developed by Julian Ramirez ( and Andy Jarvis ( at CIAT.


Downscaled GCM Data Portal

From the website:

The datasets contained in this website are part of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) climate change downscaled data, developed in the Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA) program. The data have been originally downloaded from the IPCC data portal and re-processed using an spline interpolation algorithm of the anomalies and the current distribution of climates from the WorldClim database developed by Hijmans et al. (2005). All GCMs presented here come from the fourth and third IPCC Assessment Reports, but in further updates of the webpage, only models from the 4AR will be kept.

We assume that the geographies of changes in climates don’t vary too much at regional scales and that the relationships between the different variables will remain basically the same in the future. The surfaces provided here are thus generated using an empirical downscaling approach instead of re-modeling the climate patterns using an RCM (Regional Climate Model).

The downscaling process we follow is mainly the following: (1) calculation of anomalies (if they’re not provided directly by IPCC) by simply subtracting each variable’s future values with the baseline (both provided by IPCC), (2) interpolation of anomalies to a 30 arc-seconds resolution (approx. 1km) and (3) addition of the interpolated anomalies to the current distribution of climates in WorldClim, for temperature we make an absolute sum, but for precipitation (as there are differences between the GCM baseline and our WorldClim baseline), we use the relative difference.

All the datasets are available to direct-download from the site:


[Dataset] Spatially-downscaled climate projection data published at

FYI: Spatially-downscaled climate projection datasets by Peter Jones (Waen Associates/CIAT), Philip Thornton (ILRI), and Jens Heinke (PIK) are now available to download at The datasets currently include 5 arc-minute (a.k.a., 10 km) resolution, global coverage of three core variables (i.e., monthly rainfall, tmin, and tmax) and two derived variables (solar radiation and rainy days) for biophysical modeling applications, for four GCM’s (CNRM-CM3, CSIRO-Mk3.0, ECHam5, and MIROC 3.2), three emission scenarios (A1B, A2, B1) for two time slices (2030 and 2050).

By the way, please be aware that the consequences of misusing or misinterpreting climate projection data can be potentially very… harmful. If you have any question, please contact the authors. Even if you don’t have any question, we strongly encourage you to consult with the authors on the correct use and interpretation of the data and results in your research.

Happy Easter!
Jawoo (on behalf of HarvestChoice/IFPRI/CSI)


Characteristically Generated Monthly Climate Data using Downscaled Climate Model Data from the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment

Peter G Jones ( | Waen Associates, Wales
Philip K Thornton ( | International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Jens Heinke ( | Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)


This dataset was generated by a generalized downscaling (5 arc-minute) and data generation method that takes the outputs of a General Circulation Model and allows the stochastic generation of daily weather data that are to some extent characteristic of future climatologies. Such data can then be used to drive any impacts model that requires daily (or otherwise aggregated) weather data. A subset of the climate models and scenario runs carried out for 2007’s Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for two time slices (2030 and 2050) was used in this process.


These downscaled climate data are NOT predictions of what the future climate will be like in any place. They are projections of possible future climate, and should be treated with considerable caution. There is a great deal of variability between different climate models, between different greenhouse gas emission scenarios, and between different downscaling methods. It is not possible to infer anything meaningful from one climate model and one scenario: that is merely one replicate from the future (essentially unknown) probability distribution of future climates at any one place. Users should note that these data represent possible future climatologies in different places; the data say nothing about how climate variability may change in the future, and cannot be used to infer anything meaningful about this. If you are AT ALL unsure as to how these data can be used and how they cannot be used, please contact one of the authors.



[Congratulations] CIAT: ESRI’s Mashup Challenge Winner!

ESRI’s Mashup Challenge Winners

Press Release:
Official Site:


Ernesto Giron, GIS senior analyst for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia, won fourth prize and $2,500 with Drought Timing for Agronomic Screening, an international, interactive soil map that indicates soil type and quality in a specified area and its agricultural capabilities with respect to climate change and potential drought conditions.

View application
YouTube Video

[AAGW2010] Getting Closer. Please book flights!


Thanks to the energies of the organizing committee (see below) I’m happy to confirm significant progress on the arrangements for the Africa Agriculture GIS Week that doubles as our annual CSI meeting. I attach both the announcement of the conference as well as a call for presentations for the open interactive sessions of the conference, and urge you to visit the conference website at (and thanks to the Francesca and Enrica for setting this up).  We’re also delighted to note that EIS/GIS Africa have become partners in this effort.

As primary sponsors of the event we will retain the CSI and AGCommons sessions, so both the CGIAR centre-specific presentations and the QuickWin presentations are included in the program. Proposals for presentations at the open sessions are welcome from all, including CG centres and partners, but the first priority will be to attract the interest and engagement of young African students and professionals as well as other traditional CSI partners from UN organizations.

With regard to support for CSI representatives we believe we have sufficient funding in hand to cover all in country costs (transfers, accommodation, meals, conference logistical support ). We will continue to seek additional support but as things stand you will need to cover your own travel costs.

You will note from the agenda that there is a CSI Business meeting planned for the morning of 8th June. Please send me any items you would like included in the agenda for that meeting. One item will be the Atlas we discussed at the last meeting for which I’ve secured some modest funding (follow up email).

This promises to be a very exciting week, and a significant step towards creating and energizing a vibrant GIS community committed to helping transform agriculture in Africa. Please make sure you’re part of the action!



AAGW Organizing Committee: Sives Govender, Jubal Harpster, Glenn Hyman, Laban MacOpiyo, Francesca Pelloni, Enrica Porcari, Pierre Sibiry Traore, Stanley Wood

AAGW Announcement.doc
Download this file

Invitation to participantsAAGW.doc
Download this file

2010 Africa Agriculture GIS Week – Emerging Options and Issues

Dear Colleagues,

This is a brief follow-up to the earlier (in January – already!) email about our next CSI/AGCommons sponsored meeting, the 2010 Africa Agriculture GIS Week (AAGW). Most importantly, the date and location have been set!

  • Location: Nairobi, Kenya (exact venue not still under negotiation, likely ILRI or ICRAF. Yes, we too are disappointed we didn’t make Bamako. Let’s get the funding to do that next time!)
  • Dates: 8-13 June 2010 (MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR NOW!)
  • Draft Schedule
    • Day 1 (8 June, Tue): Business meetings for CSI and AGCommons (independently and jointly) (perhaps half day special mini-symposia)
    • Day 2,3 (Wed, Thu): Presentation sessions (Centers, AGCommons, external contributions from the region)
    • Day 4 (Fri): Training (topics TBA, but including ArcGIS Server)
    • Day 5 (Sat): Africa WhereCamp 2.0 (details TBA)
    • Day 6 (Sun): BarCamp (details TBA)
    • Content Committee: Glenn, Sibiry, Laban, Enrica, Laban, Jubal & Stan (overall program and set themes for contributed sessions)

Details, including venue and budget support, are still being finalized – we’ll keep you posted. Any and all ideas for program, logistics, recreation.. gratefully received.

Again, self-sponsorship for all or part of your participation should be your goal, but we will do all we can to top up where essential for Centre CSI reps.

Many thanks to Francesca, Ria and Laban who have started shouldering the logistical burden, soon to be helped by a contact at our chosen venue.

Stan (& Enrica)

PS. The World Cup starts on June 11th and I will be pre-selling 2010 World Cup Champions (England) tee-shirts. Order now to avoid disappointment.

“Smart Investments in Sustainable Food Production: Revisiting Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems”

Wow, congratulations!! ūüėÄ

Smart Investments in Sustainable Food Production: Revisiting Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems

Science. 2010; 327:822-825.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

M. Herrero,1,* P. K. Thornton,1 A. M. Notenbaert,1 S. Wood,2 S. Msangi,2 H. A. Freeman,3 D. Bossio,4J. Dixon,5 M. Peters,6 J. van de Steeg,1 J. Lynam,7 P. Parthasarathy Rao,8 S. Macmillan,1 B. Gerard,9J. McDermott,1 C. Seré,1 M. Rosegrant2
Farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems produce about half of the world’s food. In small holdings around the world, livestock are reared mostly on grass, browse, and nonfood biomassfrom maize, millet, rice, and sorghum crops and in their turn supply manure and traction for future crops. Animals act as insurance against hard times and supply farmers with a source of regular income from sales of milk, eggs, and other products. Thus, faced with population growth and climate change, small-holder farmers should be the first target for policies to intensifyproduction by carefully managed inputs of fertilizer, water, and feed to minimize waste and environmental impact, supported by improved access to markets, new varieties, and technologies.

1 International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Post Office Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya.
2 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2033 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA.
3 International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Group, Washington, DC 20433, USA.
4 International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka.
5 Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
6 Centro Internacional de Agricultural Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia.
7 Independent consultant, Nairobi, Kenya.
8 International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India.
9 CGIAR System-wide Livestock Programme, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Winter Storm Warning – reminder re IFPRI weather closing policy

Photo by kimberlyfaye

So, I have this theory that IFPRI (HQ in Washington, DC) is the only CGIAR center hit by snow storms every winter. True/false?

Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 5:13 PM
Subject: Winter Storm Warning – reminder re IFPRI weather closing policy
Importance: High

As you’ve probably have heard, the DC metropolitan area is currently under a Winter Storm Warning. The current weather forecasts for tomorrow predict a severe snow storm for this area (possibly 18-24 inches) beginning late in the morning and continuing into Saturday.

If you feel that coming into the office will entail a serious hardship consider choosing to take a vacation day (or work from home if you have approval from supervisor based on programmatic type of work to do so).

Resampled SRTM by Andy Jarvis

In case you haven’t noticed, our lovely friend Andy Jarvis ( posted a new SRTM dataset last October, called the “Resampled SRTM (250m, 500m, and 1km)” (I’ll spare the detailed background of the dataset for Andy).

Since the new dataset quickly became so popular and overwhelmed the already-so-slow CSI webserver, we had to move the data to a new location, the HarvestChoice Box (at If you’re interested in, or if you were thinking of resampling SRTM yourself, get it at Let me know if you experience any download problem.


So, what’s up with the CSI website?

Ah, good question. It’s a long and winding story (I want to save the details for my presentation at the upcoming meeting). In short, we will move into a new environment relatively soon, with the courtesy of AGCommons. The current platform at CGNet doesn’t really support what we need.. The choice of CMS will likely to be Joomla, instead of Drupal (another story). I’ll give a short demonstration/training on this at the meeting.

In the mean time (and possibly even after the migration process), the CSI’s sub-websites are still functioning at where they are:

The meeting websites are already setup outside at the Google Apps:

And, don’t forget that we have a new mailing list at the Google Groups:

Anyhow, all the server complications shouldn’t stop us blogging here – so hope you all enjoy this new space. Let’s get mingle here!


New blog site!

Hi there, welcome! CSI has a group blog here. Well, sounds familiar? Because, it’s not the first one we have – but hope this one works better. It’s very simple to use – just email your “blog” to; we will take care of the rest. Really. ūüôā   Enjoy!

CGIAR-CSI Global PET/ Aridity Geospatial Datasets Available Online

Originally posted by Robert Zomer (ICIMOD):

Dear Colleagues…

We are happy to let you know that we have added more geospatial climate datasets to the CGIAR-CSI GeoPortal:

  1. CGIAR-CSI GLOBAL-PET and GLOBAL-ARIDITY GeoSpatial Database The Global Potential Evapo-Transpiration (Global-PET) and Global Aridity Index (Global-Aridity) datasets provide high-resolution global raster climate data related to evapo-transpiration processes and rainfall deficit for potential vegetative growth. These datasets are based on modeling and analyses by Antonio Trabucco (currently at the Forest, Ecology and Management Research Group, K.U. Leuven), with the support of theInternational Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and are provided online by the CGIAR-CSI Consortium for Spatial Information with the support of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The Global-PET and Global-Aridity datasets are provided for non-commercial use in standard ARC/INFO Grid format, at 30 arc seconds (~ 1km at equator), to support studies contributing to sustainable development, biodiversity and environmental conservation, poverty alleviation, and adaption to climate change globally, and in particular in developing countries.
  2. The CRU TS 2.1 Climate Database: Reformatted for GIS Spatial Analysis This database is now back on-line and available for download (was unavailable for awhile due to server crash)
  3. The CDM-AR Forest Definition On-Line Analysis Tool: Now back on line, and functioning (was unavailable for awhile due to server crash) Many thanks to Antonio Trabucco, Sadir Mohammed, Andy Jarvis (and me, who spent my weekend on this!!!)

Best regards,
Robert (

Google SMS in Uganda


Today, Google Africa announced their launch of Google SMS in Uganda, which provides  a bundle of mobile services that allow users to access content on a range of topics, including traditional services such as sports scores and local news and also health and agriculture tips.

We are also launching Google Trader, a SMS-based “marketplace” application that helps buyers and sellers find each other, enabling greater access to markets and trade, especially for those who are most excluded today. With these services, we hope to help alleviate some of the information and access to markets barriers for the poor, especially those in rural areas. So, when farmers in Iganga want to sell their maize, they can list their crop on Google Trader and a miller in another trading center can find and contact them to buy their goods.

And, they also stated that (listen up, market price modeling team!):

We hope these services will help a variety of organizations already doing impressive work to reach a broader audience and those with the greatest need, in new and innovative ways, through the mobile phone. This is the first of many exciting, collaborative efforts we will be working on to support access to information in Uganda and more broadly, across Africa. So to everyone who participated in this effort, we say Webale Nyo!

Continue read at:
Official Google Africa Blog: Google SMS to serve needs of poor in Uganda

PDF as a spatial data delivery format

As CJ briefly showcased at the CSI Nairobi meeting, ArcGIS can export layered maps into a nicely packaged PDF file that users can turn on and off different layers to overlay multiple spatial information.

Sure it’s not enough for us to do any analysis on it, but can be a really handy vehicle to deliver seriously layered spatial information to public. Since, hey, not everyone we interact with has to have a GIS software (or bandwidth-intensive web mapping apps), but everyone seems to have PDF reader.¬† Besides, you know, it’s so much better to send a one PDF with 10 maps than 10 map files (in whatever format). I also found a nice showcase place at


I played this a little bit recently, and I soon realized the conversion process is, well, not a single-button process (why no one is surprised?).. I think (surely!) a lot of careful designing stage should be established to take a full advantage of this technique.

So, I wondered if anyone else has experience with it. Are you currently using it? Would you recommend it? Any good (or bad) experience? Would it be useful to collectively create some type of layout guideline or template to help facilitate data delivery process?