Central Asia Initiative

Central Asia faces significant challenges in addressing widespread land degradation, increasing pressure on transboundary water resources, and a more extreme climate. While the region’s general warming trend is well documented, there remains significant uncertainty and knowledge gaps with respect to how future climate change will affect water resources, conservation, agriculture, human health, and infrastructure.

With the Caspian Sea being the largest inland body of water in the world and with the presence of high mountain regions, Central Asia presents a unique environment to study the effects of land-atmosphere interactions on weather and climate and how these affect water resources.

The Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) project of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) is collaborating with (START) (SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training) to advance climate change science and scientific capacities in Central Asia. The proposed collaboration seeks to:

  • Better understand the regional implications of large-scale climate change.
  • Improve understanding of land-atmosphere interactions that determine weather and climate.
  • Link these exchange processes to improved understanding of potential climate change impacts on water availability and its implications for food production, hydropower, industry, disaster risk management, and environmental protection.

In establishing this initiative, we prioritize the engagement of early- and mid-career scientists and relevant experts from the region in shaping the nature and scope of knowledge needs, setting agendas for research and related capacity development, and strengthening the potential for evidence-informed action. One of the first tasks in undertaking this initiative is to better understand the state of climate change knowledge in the region and to identify important gaps in regional understanding of key aspects of climate change. To initiate this process, we conducted a survey among colleagues working in this area. More information and the results of this survey can be found here.

If you would like more information about the Central Asia Initiative or are interested in participating, send a message to gewex@gewex.org