In order to develop and mainstream a ‘bottom-up’ approach to regional climate risk, My Climate Risk is working with a number of institutions and universities around the world to form a ‘mycorrhizal network’ of hubs (communities of practice), that will share knowledge and resources to work towards My Climate Risk’s goals, and support an ecosystem of more informal activities aligned with My Climate Risk. There are currently eight regional hubs that are in the planning phase to spin up in 2022:

Hub host institution Focal Point
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (Melbourne, Australia) Sugata Narsey
Ateneo de Manila University (Manila, Philippines) C. Kendra Gotangco Gonzales
Himalayan University Consortium (Kathmandu, Nepal) Chi Huyen Truong (Shachi)
Climate Futures, Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) (Bergen, Norway) Erik Kolstad
National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Anna Sörensson
University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa) Chris Jack
University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada)
Julienne Stroeve
Jennifer Lukovich
Walker Institute, University of Reading (Reading, UK) Ros Cornforth

MCR Hub Map

The network of hubs is expected to help WCRP to bridge climate information and society by grappling with the complexity of local situations while maintaining the methods of analysis simple enough to be interpretable and open to interrogation. In addition, the use of more straightforward methodologies that build trust and transparency facilitates the co-production and co-ownership with the end-users of the climate information. The ultimate goal of My Climate Risk is to empower local communities to make sense of their own situation. More details of My Climate Risk philosophy can be found in Rodrigues and Shepherd (2022).

Below, Regina Rodrigues and Ted Shepherd (My Climate Risk Chairs) respond to some of the questions that they have recieved about the hubs. 

What activities can we expect from the hubs?

The regional hubs are conceived as a locally-based alternative to the traditional WCRP structure of panels and high-level working groups. They are expected to help catalyze a variety of activities following the spirit of My Climate Risk, such as webinars, workshops, training schools, inter-disciplinary research teams, etc., in order to build communities of practice, and to do so mainly from their own resources. They are also expected to share their experiences through web pages, contribution to newsletters, and participation in the My Climate Risk annual General Assemblies. Importantly, the hubs are not expected to coordinate all MCR-relevant activity within their region. Rather, they are available as a potential contact point, and source of support, for those who need it. Perhaps the word ‘hub’ is misleading and they can be seen more as ‘outposts’ of My Climate Risk.

Why were these institutions chosen?

 We had an explicit aim of ensuring global representation, and a balance between Global North and Global South. Several of the hubs arose from the WCRP Climate Research Forums, which exposed the wider climate science community in a particular region to the suite of WCRP activities, including My Climate Risk. Others arose from direct inquiry or from discussions as the MCR leadership team explored potential partnerships during the initial phase of the activity, where we identified groups that already shared the spirit of My Climate Risk. We seek to add more hubs in parts of the world where the international expertise and coordination that WCRP can provide is helpful for building and empowering the local climate science community interested in climate risk at the decision scale. However, we also need to learn to walk before we can run! 

Can anyone propose a new hub?

We expect the typical regional hub to be quite a small group of researchers, albeit working within a larger institution (normally a university), and to be actively engaged in capacity building so that we can help train the next generation of scientists working in this space. To make things work, there has to be a strong pull in both directions, i.e. the regional hub has to need My Climate Risk. A conscious decision was made during the initial scoping of My Climate Risk not to reach into the domain of climate services, which already has many well-established bodies operating in this space. Our goal is rather to help build the scientific foundation for climate services in places where there is a need for this, and we have a particular priority to do this in the Global South. Thus, we also want to avoid an imbalance between Global North and Global South in the establishment of our hubs.