Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS)

Submitted by Julia Barrott | published 9th Sep 2020 | last updated 22nd Mar 2021
An overview of the Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) and its main online products
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Summary

The Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) is a dedicated multi-disciplinary team with expertise across a broad range of climate-related disciplines, who’s mission is to provide Canadians with the climate information and support they need to support consider climate change in their decisions The CCCS leads a collaborative federal approach to provide climate services by working with provinces, territories, and other climate services providers across the country. Established through the PCF, under the Adaptation and Climate Resilience pillar to “improve access to authoritative, foundational climate science and information”, it targets a variety of stakeholders and decision-makers to ensure that climate change considerations are incorporated into all long-term planning and resilience building (PCF).

The CCCS helps Canadians understand, and become more resilient to climate change by:

  • delivering climate services driven by user needs
  • providing access to climate information
  • building local capacity
  • offering training and support

The key services and activities of the CCCS include:

  • Providing guidance  on the use of climate information through the Climate Services Support Desk and training sessions
  • Engaging with users to understand needs
  • Co-developing readily usable products with experts and users
  • Increasing awareness and access to climate data, tools and services  in a manner and form that is understandable and useful to the audience

The latter is mainly facilitated through 2 online products:

  1. The CCCS Website, hosted by the Government of Canada. It includes the following:
    1. A library of climate resources (>300 resources)
    2. Intro to climate information concepts
    3. Access point to the Climate Services Support Desk
    4. Access to climate datasets and a continuum of climate data portals to meet the varied needs of users
  2. ClimateData.ca, maintained by the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM), CCCS, HabitatSeven, PCIC, PCC, and Ouranos. It includes the following:
    1. High resolution climate datasets
    2. Customized analysis tools
    3. Access to observed climate normals and daily data download
    4. Sector modules and case studies (health and more sectors to come)

Launch date: October 2018.

Update status: Summer 2020.

Funding: The Canadian Center for Climate Services provides funds for these platforms. It has not changed since launch.

Team: Many committees have been established to oversee and develop the various components of the platforms: Data working group; products working group; sectorial module working groups; project management working group; outreach working group; agreement advisory group; and training sub-group. Developers and operators are regularly involved to address IT enhancements reflecting direction from the above committees.
This results in having, at a minimum, 30 people involved.  

Main functions:                  

  • Providing quantitative data for adaptation decision-making
  • Providing decision-support tools for adaptation decision-making
  • Providing a support (e.g. help desk) service

Intended audiences:

  • National-level decision makers / national government
  • City and regional-level decision-makers / local government
  • Communities / general public
  • Teachers / educators
  • Private sector / businesses
  • Research community
  • Civil society (NGO / charities)

Focus sectors for the platform:

  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Transport
  • Buildings

Why the platform was established

The CCCS was established to help Canadians increase their resilience to climate change. It aims to do this by improving understanding of how the climate is changing and by helping Canadians discover how these changes may affect them and the things that are important to them. Additionally, the CCCS provides guidance and resources to help use this knowledge for making climate-smart decisions when planning for the future.

Connecting Canadians with Climate Information

CCCS and ClimateData.ca connect Canadians with knowledge and services in various ways. These include:

  • ClimateData.ca
    • The Learning Zone enables Canadians to learn more about the science behind climate data, choose and access Canadian climate data, and download pre-made materials for your own training sessions.
    • The Analysis Tool, developed as a result of user involvement and to provide more user flexibility, enables Canadians to build their own climate datasets, including the ability to select grid cell(s), set thresholds for a variety of climate indices, and make choices about the number of climate models, RCPs and percentiles.
    • The Sectorial Modules on Health and Agriculture, developed with sectorial users and experts, enable Canadians to explore sector-relevant climate impacts and the associated data within ClimateData.ca. (Modules on buildings and transportation modules will be launched in 2021.)
  • CCCS: the Support Desk Access point enables Canadians to connect with a Climate Services Support Desk Officer with expertise in climate information to get support.

This presentation by Valerie Cote explains how the Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) is supporting Canadians to understand and adapt to climate change. The presentation shows how the CCCS platforms act as a bridge between climate data and users and how they help translate information and knowledge to make it actionable.