The modelling fund is an idea that was repeatedly raised and consistently supported at our workshops around the developing world. From Brazil to Bangladesh, participants said that they wanted local scientists to research the local impacts of SRM, while noting the absence of funding for such research.
The design for the DMF (previously called the DECIMALS fund) was shaped by climate experts from across the Global South and some of the world’s leading SRM scientists. The fund is administered by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), which distributes more than $1M in research grants every year to support science across the developing world.
The DMF launch in April 2018 was accompanied by a Comment in Nature. A group of eminent Southern scholars and NGO leaders – all organisers of Degrees workshops in their respective countries – called for developing countries to play a leading role in SRM research and discussion.
The 2018 call for proposals
The first call returned 77 DMF applications from 30 different developing countries. Following independent scientific review, eight grants were awarded to teams from Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, and South Africa. This group includes BRICS, SIDS and LDCs and represents most developing regions of the world.
The teams typically work with data generated by large climate model runs such as the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) or the NCAR Geoengineering Large Ensemble (GLENS). Grants of up to USD 70k have been supporting the researchers as they explore the climate impacts that matter most locally, from droughts to extreme temperatures to precipitation changes.
In 2021, six of these teams were awarded continuation grants, and three new teams were awarded initial grants in Bangladesh, Kenya, and the Philippines.
The 2023 expansion
In 2023, the Degrees Initiative announced a doubling of SRM research in the Global South with 15 new teams awarded in Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa (x2), Thailand, and Uganda.
To date, over 150 researchers in 21 developing countries have contributed to projects, making the DMF the world’s largest SRM research programme in terms of scientist numbers.
The Degrees Modelling Fund aims to go beyond research. Its wider goals include capacity-building, community-building, and expanding the conversation around SRM. DMF research teams will receive financial support to attend conferences, to collaborate with each other and with SRM modelling experts, and to discuss the findings of their research with local communities.
Experts from around the world provided a huge amount of advice and guidance about the design of the Degrees Modelling Fund. In particular, we would like to thank the participants of a planning workshop for the DMF, held in the margins of the Global Forum in Berlin in October 2017:
- Prof. Paulo Artaxo (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
- Dr Peter Irvine (Harvard University, USA)
- Prof. Asfawossen Kassaye (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
- Prof. Ben Kravitz (University of Indiana, USA)
- Prof. Felino Lansigan (University of the Philippines Los Baños)
- Dr Douglas MacMartin (Cornell University, USA)
- Prof. Saroj Kanta Mishra (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India)
- Dr Christopher Oludhe (University of Nairobi, Kenya)
- Prof. Alan Robock (Rutgers University, USA)
- Dr Fahad Saeed (Climate Analytics, Germany)
- Prof. Michael Taylor (University of the West Indies, Jamaica)
- Dr Simone Tilmes (National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA).
as well as Prof Govindasamy Bala (IISc, Bangalore) and Rodel Lasco (University of the Philippines, Los Baños). Their support and advice were invaluable. Responsibility for the final design of the Fund—and any shortcomings—are our responsibility alone.