What is ClimateWatch?

Climate change is affecting rainfall and temperature patterns which impacts plants, animals and humans on a local and global level.

To better understand, predict and minimize the effects of climate change on humans and ecosystems, scientists must study the life cycle changes of plants and animals, such as the time of year when plants start flowering or when animals start breeding.

To reach meaningful conclusions, multiple observations are needed of different species across a large geographic area, a task that is not practical for scientists to undertake alone. The United Nations has identified such large-scale data gathering as a high priority and there are currently few data sets in Asia Pacific compared to other regions such as Europe and North America.

In response, Earthwatch developed the ClimateWatch programme with university and government partners in Australia in 2009.

Development of ClimateWatch

With support from a strong independent Science Advisory Panel, including senior climate change biologists and contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ClimateWatch aims to mobilize the general public to observe and monitor key indicator species in their local areas and input the data into a central database which can be used by academia, research institutes and governmental agencies as well as NGOs.

The Science Advisory Panel in Hong Kong & China includes:

Prof Chen Xiao-qiu (Peking University, ISB Phenology Commission)
Dr Andy Donnelly (Earthwatch Institute)
Prof Gunter Fischer (Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden)
Dr Melissa Hart (ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, The University of New South Wales)
Dr Kequan Pei (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Dr Ng Sai Chit

Not only is ClimateWatch important for scientists and decision makers but it also encourages people to interact with nature on their doorsteps and get involved with local issues.

Global Programme Partners:

How ClimateWatch works?

  1. ClimateWatch Science Advisory Panel confirms scientific methodology and selects indicative species for public to observe
  2. Earthwatch develops ClimateWatch trails where indicative species can be observed and monitored
  3. Participants join our programs at ClimateWatch trails to get to know various indicative species and how they are affected by climate change
  4. Participants record observations on the ClimateWatch mobile website
    - access to online resources like interactive trail maps and field guides
    - submit observations by answering a few simple multiple choice questions on species behavior
  5. Data will be shared with scientists and academics for analysis. In the long term, research results will be peer-reviewed and published, contributing to policy and decision-making around climate change and conservation management.

Join us, become a Citizen Scientist!

Citizen Science refers to the participation of citizens in scientific research. With collective effort, scientific researches will be made more powerful.

The engagement in scientific researches should not be the privileges of scientists or experts alone. Instead of sophisticated scientific minds and skills, willingness to protect the earth, attention to details and a passion for science are all it takes to take part in ClimateWatch in Hong Kong to record the data of tree growths and help scientific researchers to accomplish something they cannot do simply by themselves. Let’s be a citizen scientist and experience the subtle but magical changes of the nature.

ClimateWatch Tours

ClimateWatch is inviting your participations in supporting scientific works in Asia for global scientific researches. The series of “TREE HUNT” are led by trained guides. Participants can record growth of trees and appearance rate of insects and birds, and submit the data to our mobile website through smart phones. The data collected will be used for global scientific researches and climate change analyses, which can contribute in developing better environmental policies and to sustainable developments.

Explore ClimateWatch Trails on your own

It is totally free of charge to take part in the ClimateWatch Programme. To submit your data records, you can simply register online, choose the species of your observation
and follow the instructions stated.

You can visit our specially-designed ClimateWatch Trails. By using your smart phone, signature species along the trail can be easily searched and read. To enjoy an outdoor educational experience, you can identify different species with our species guide. Whether you are on your way to school or work, or hiking, you can be involved in Citizen Science researches with the introduction of our new mobile website!

Register as a ClimateWatcher

You can use your smart phone to collect ClimateWatch data via our mobile website. Register your own ClimateWatch account to record your data, details as follow:

1 Open

2 Click the ‘Register Now’ button under ‘Login’

3 Enter your email, password, and code ‘public’, then click ‘sign up’ button

4 You can now login your account using your email address and password


(available in Chinese only)


Supported Organizations: