Preparing for climate change
Crops are very sensitive to small variations in climate. Phenological data (e.g. flowering, breeding) are a useful proxy for detecting climate change. Local people are uniquely placed to observe the change in phenology. However, current observations of phenological phenomena in Spain are isolated and disconnected. Therefore, the Spanish citizen observatory RitmeNatura.cat will be the place where phenological data, in particular those collected by citizens, will be stored and made accessible in real time, with the aim of influencing decision making.
The data will be linked and compared with meteorological data from the Meteorological Service of Catalonia and with satellite observations. Understanding the impacts of climate change on local phenological phenomena will help improve local policies and practices, and as such, will increase agricultural productivity, decrease fire risks and save (irrigation) water.
The vision of RitmeNatura.cat is to be a digital place that allows citizens, managers, scientists and politicians to access and share phenological information. This place will improve communication among stakeholders and will be sustainable in time.
A news item on the citizen observatory (in Spanish) can be accessed here.