CCAFS Climate Analogues tool

Scientific evidence gathered in the last couple of decades suggests that climate conditions are changing rapidly and that this trend will likely continue and even accelerate. Some regions may benefit from more favorable climate conditions to production (the few winners), while others (the larger group of losers) will face increased climate change-related biotic and abiotic stresses. Where conditions improve, the traditional farming systems will be challenged to exploit the additional production potential, and where conditions deteriorate, accelerated adaptation (including transformational and systemic) will be vital, as centuries-old coping mechanisms used by farmers may become insufficient or obsolete for that specific area.

The analogues approach is a novel way of supporting modeled policy recommendations with on-the-ground empirical testing. Analogues refer to sites or years that have conditions with statistical similarity, primarily in terms of current or future climate, but they can also include additional factors such as soils, crops, and socio-economic characteristics. This helps link top-down global models (e.g. crop-climate or socio-economic models) with targeted field trials, on-farm information or visits and traditional knowledge.

In essence, the approach locates a site whose climate today is similar to the given future of a place of interest (e.g. where can we find today the future climate of Nairobi, Kenya?), or vice-versa (e.g. where can we find in 2030 the climate that we currently find in Nairobi?). Additionally, it can also identify ""homologue"" sites –sites that share similar conditions either today or in the future.

Summary of uses: • Locating a site with a similar climate today to the given future of the place of interest, or vice versa • On-the-ground empirical assessment of adaptation options in climatically similar locations to support policy recommendations and scaling out • Assessment of suitable areas for crops or crop varieties to facilitate knowledge and/or germplasm exchange • Support farmers exchanges

Data and Resources




Data Types

AgroVoc Tags


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Additional Information

Field Value
Contributing organisations International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Contact person Julian Ramirez-Villegas
Alternate contact Osana Bonilla-Findj
Developer Johannes Signe
Language R
Year 2011.0
Last update 2012.0
Person responsible for updates Johannes Signer
Source code
Participatory approach / method to address complexity
Target audience
When in the project cycle is the tool useful
Contribution to gender research
Spatial scale
Levels of organizations taken into account
Source of data
Expected output of tool
Type of assessment
Tool manual/User guide
Citation Ramírez-Villegas J, Lau C, Köhler A-K, Signer J, Jarvis A, Arnell N, Osborne T, Hooker J. 2011. Climate analogues: finding tomorrow’s agriculture today. Working Paper no. 12. Cali, Colombia: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Available online at: