The 32nd annual conference of the South African Society of Atmospheric scientists met recently in Cape Town – FCFA’s Nkulumo Zinyengere tracked the big debates. Cape Town played host to the 32nd annual conference of the South African Society of Atmospheric scientists (SASAS) which saw the participation of FCFA researchers. SASAS is one of the oldest running annual conferences in Africa that presents an outstanding opportunity for climate scientists in South Africa, Africa and beyond to engage and present their latest Africa-focused climate research. More importantly, SASAS has provided a primary platform for young and early career climate scientists in South Africa and the wider African region, making it a leading platform for discovering and nurturing young talent in the climate science field in Africa. This year’s event was hosted by the Climate System Analysis Group in Cape Town South Africa, and was attended by FCFA-affiliated researchers from FRACTAL, UMFULA and IMPALA Key messages and issues The two-day event provided an eclectic mix of discussions on climate modelling, impact modelling, climate change adaptation and climate services. This year’s conference had a strong slant toward the delivery of climate information to the “next user”. Some of the primary messages from the conference included:
- Climate models need to be improved to provide better future climate projections.
- Data issues are a major hurdle for carrying out decision relevant climate science in Africa.
- Uncertainty in climate change projections is an import issue which needs to be rigorously interrogated.
- Understanding climate change impacts and informing adaptation demands integrated assessments that go beyond sectoral silos.
- Climate scientists and climate information providers need to be cognisant of ethical issues in service provision.
- Climate change is a cross-cutting issue that demands not only that research be interdisciplinary but also transdisciplinary to ensure that socio-economic and socio-political issues are fully understood and considered. Therefore, engagement with all actors should be considered at all stages of climate change related research.