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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change


SimCLIM is a flexible software package that links data and models in order to simulate the impacts of climatic variations and change, including extreme climatic events, on sectors such as agriculture, health, coasts or water resources. SimCLIM is a user-friendly “open-framework” system that can be customized and maintained by users. It contains tools for importing and analyzing both spatial (monthly, seasonal) and time-series (hourly, daily or monthly) data.

For generating scenarios of future climate and sea-level changes, SimCLIM uses a “pattern scaling” method that involves the use of spatial data from complex atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (or AOGCMs) together with projections of global-mean climate changes. Standard tools presently include: degree-day model; domestic water tank model; extreme event analyzer; coastal erosion model; and data browser. Specific versions of SimCLIM are also available that interface with DHI hydrologic models and with ICASA crop models (DSSAT).

Appropriate Use SimCLIM can be used to: describe baseline climates; examine current climate variability and extremes; generate climate and sea-level change scenarios; assess present and future climatic risks; assess present and future adaptation measures; conduct sensitivity analyses; examine sectoral impacts; examine uncertainties; facilitate integrated impact assessments.
Scope SimCLIM contains a custom-built GIS and can thus be applied spatially to any geographic area and spatial resolution, from global to local. It also contains site-specific tools for examining time-series climate data and driving site-specific impact models.
Key Output Spatial and site-specific scenarios of climate and sea-level changes (including changes in the risks of extreme events) and their sector impacts. Formats include spatial images, time-series projections, and graphical and tabular output.
Key Input AOGCM and observed climate data are provided with SimCLIM for global and regional scenario generation, as well as some daily and monthly station data. Depending on user requirements, additional data for national and local situations can be included in the package. Other spatial and time-series data can be imported into the system by the user.
Ease of Use Very user-friendly software. User and technical manuals are provided.
Training Required For the basic functions, little training is required for users familiar with climate science. Training is advisable for users with limited background in climate change or for those who wish to gain experience with the full functionality of the system.
Training Available Training sessions are held regularly depending on the demand. A training version of the model, called TrainCLIM, is also available and has been used extensively for purposes of training in climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessment.
Computer Requirements Computer access
Documentation The users and technical manuals can be obtained from CLIMsystems Ltd by request:

Used extensively in New Zealand (where it is called CLIMPACTS), Australia and North America, as well as in various Pacific Island Countries. A recent example was an application for studies conducted for the Asian Development Bank, 2005:

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

CLIM systems Ltd

P.O. Box 638, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand; e-mail:; website:

Cost Individual and site licenses available, at low-to-medium cost depending on user category.

Warrick, R.A. and G. Cox. 2007. New developments of SimCLIM software tools for risk-based assessments of climate change impacts and adaptation in the water resource sector. In M. Heinonen (ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Climate and Water. Helsinki, Finland, 3-6 September 2007. SYKE, Helsinki, p. 518-524.

Warrick, R.A. In press. From CLIMPACTS to SimCLIM: the Development of an Integrated Model for Assessing Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability. In C.G. Knight and J. Jaeger (eds.), Integrated Regional Assessment: Challenges and Case Studies, Cambridge University Press, UK.

Warrick, R.A., W. Ye, P. Kouwenhoven, J.E. Hay and C. Cheatham. 2005. New Developments of the SimCLIM Model for Simulating Adaptation to Risks Arising from Climate Variability and Change. In Zerger, A. and Argent, R.M. (eds.) MODSIM 2005. International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, December 2005, pp. 170-176.

Warrick, R.A. 2006. Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in the Pacific: Recent Breakthroughs in Concept and Practice. In Chapman, R., Boston, J. and Schwass, M. (eds.) Confronting Climate Change: Critical Issues for New Zealand. Wellington: Victoria University Press.

Warrick, R.A. 2007. SimCLIM: Recent Developments of an Integrated Model for Multi-scale, Risk-based Assessments of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. Proceedings of the 2007 ANZSEE Conference on Re-inventing Sustainability: A Climate for Change, held 3-6 July 2007, Noosaville, Queensland, Australia,