Mapping the landscape of Climate Services: a network approach

16:15 Tuesday 28 May


Room S16


Francesca Larosa (Italy) 1; Jaroslav Mysiak (Italy) 1

1 - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC)

Research has proved climate services are useful in supporting decision-making in agriculture, urban planning, health and tourism among others. In recent years, a growing number of initiatives at both European and international level have stimulated the creation of a vibrant community: World Climate Conference-3 (2009), the Climate Services Partnership (2011), the first International Conference on Climate Services (2011), the establishment of the Global Framework of Climate Services (2012), the launch of the European Roadmap for Climate Services (2015), the creation of the Climate Services for Resilient Development Partnership (2017). Given these efforts, it is now legitimate to assess how networks of researchers and institutions operate and to tackle the efficiency of the existing system. Existing literature typically employs a case study approach and often lacks a quantitative, global perspective. However, previous works have highlighted a widespread confusion on best practices, definitions and methods, proving the need for a systematisation of efforts in this emerging field.

The purpose of this study is to map the landscape of climate innovation, by identifying the structural properties of the research on climate services in Europe and abroad. We use a bibliometric sample of 330 published records downloaded from Scopus database and we undercover who the main actors, institutions and countries are. We then investigate the structural properties of the network in which agents operate, performing a Social Network Analysis. We use a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of 35 centrality measures to understand the contribution of different dimensions to the network. Finally, we analyse the content of the abstracts, detecting where the most pressing issues are and how interests have changed overtime. Our work contributes to existing literature on climate services by providing a comprehensive quali-quantitative framework. Furthermore, it offers a dynamic assessment of the state of the art of climate innovation. Exploring how research networks operate and where poles of innovation are fills an existing knowledge gap and opens the debate around the efficiency of the system in place.

Results prove climate services are shifting from mitigation to adaptation and multidisciplinary topics, moving towards a user-centered perspective. At network level, three clusters are describing the network: Met Offices and English-speaking countries are dominating the market. At author level, the network is split in three clusters, mainly described by distance and neighborhood-based centrality measures. The research environment is relatively mature, but characterised by very few top performers capable of connecting the network.