State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Enhancing Climate Forecasts in Bangladesh

bangladesh workshop on climate forecasting
Bazlur Rashid (left) and other scientists from Bangladesh Meteorological Department at the November 2017 workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo: Elisabeth Gawthrop/IRI

A series of three recent training workshops has improved the forecasting capabilities of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), while also helping to deepen the relationship between BMD and Bangladesh’s Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). The activities pave the way for new climate information products developed especially for DAE’s needs, and ultimately to help the farmers it serves. In a country where nearly 90 percent of rural households rely on agriculture for at least part of their income, improvements in agricultural practices based on climate information could improve the livelihoods for many in Bangladesh.

Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) hosted and helped to lead one of the training sessions. The workshops included training in climate science concepts and verifying and calibrating forecasts. They also introduced tools for improving the efficiency and quality of forecasting. In the extended March training, for example, BMD scientists learned to use a new, automated version of the Climate Predictability Tool, developed by IRI’s Simon Mason.

These activities are being supported by IRI’s Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow (ACToday) project, which is funded by Columbia World Projects.

To learn more about the workshops and how IRI is helping out in Bangladesh, click here.

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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