Southern Africa is one of the few land-based regions in the world for which climate models are in agreement that rainfall will decline as the planet warms. This projected rainfall decline is strongest in the southern hemisphere spring, and manifests as a delay in the onset of the summer rainy season. However, this drying occurs in the context of a poorly understood climate, and so scientists don’t really understand why the models all display such clear agreement. Recent work by UMFULA has aimed to produce a better understanding of the weather systems that form the building blocks of the southern African climate system, in order to address this issue.
Welcome to the June 2020 edition of the Future Climate for Africa newsletter showcasing the recent highlights and work of FCFA.
Several dams and hydro-power schemes are being considered for development in Tanzania’s Rufiji River Basin. A new online tool will allow decision makers to consider competing water interests across the entire basin, which will identify infrastructure opportunities or inform operational policies relating to these developments.
Tea is the second-most consumed drink on Earth, after water. But in many places like Kenya and Malawi, Africa’s top tea-producing countries, climate change threatens tea production. Listen to the story from researcher Neha Mittal on the Yale Climate Connections Podcast.
Listening to the scientists – what can the climate change community learn from the relationship between science and policy in the Covid-19 crisis?
The Covid-19 crisis has put a spotlight on the global health science community. Rapid requests for scientific evidence about the virus have spread and health scientists have become more publicly prominent. Advisory councils have been set up (such as in France and South Africa) and renowned scientists have directly advised governments (such as in the UK and Kenya).
The insurance industry does not have large market penetration in sub-Saharan Africa. But this sector is in the business of quantifying risk, drawing on historical records to develop catastrophe models, which it uses to design insurance products.
Welcome to the March 2020 edition of the Future Climate for Africa newsletter showcasing the recent highlights and work of FCFA.
Last year, a computer modelling process showed that the presence of Madagascar reduces the amount of rain that falls across parts of southern Africa, compared with how much rain would fall if the island were not there. Now a new analysis of the way that Madagascar influences the flow of air over the ocean - and therefore the formation of clouds, and rainfall - is going to help climate scientists make more accurate forecasts of the likely changes in future rainfall patterns across the region.
Climate researchers from Africa and the UK discuss African climate model evaluation at LaunchPAD workshop
From 24 - 28 February LaunchPAD held its first workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, which brought together climate researchers from the University of Oxford, University of Yaounde I, University of Nairobi, University of Cape Town, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the Met Office.
Rapid development in parts of central and southern Africa is occurring within a context of high exposure and vulnerability to climate change but with relatively low capacity for adaptation. Major infrastructural investments with 5–40 year lifetimes are being planned and implemented in the region – many without being informed by climate information. Ensuring this infrastructure is viable in a changing climate is essential, yet decision-makers face significant challenges in assessing how climate change affects investment decisions. An international research project led by the Grantham Research Institute at LSE has been working over the past four years to address critical knowledge gaps in the understanding of central and southern Africa’s climate and to effectively communicate climate information to decision-makers – crucial for enabling climate-resilient development in this highly vulnerable region.