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Press release: Water resources model shows how climate change poses risks to future water availability in Malawi

Declan Conway, Estelle Rouhaud, Beth Mackay, Ajay Bhave

The UMFULA (Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications) research group, that is part of the programme Future Climate for Africa, have been investigating how future climate change will affect water resources in Malawi. The UMFULA research team has developed a water…

Brief: Designing a process for assessing climate resilience in Tanzania’s Rufiji River basin

Declan Conway, Robel Geressu, Julien Harou, Japhet J. Kashaigili, Laetitia Pettinotti, and Christian Siderius

This brief introduces the concept of climate information and reasons for its use in major decisions about water, energy and agriculture, including new infrastructure investments. It outlines the innovative approach taken in the Rufiji River basin in Tanzania by the…

Brief: Projecting future water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin

Ajay G. Bhave, Lauren Bulcock, Suraje Dessai, Declan Conway, Graham Jewitt, Andy J. Dougill, Seshagiri Rao Kolusu and David Mkwambisi

Malawi is highly dependent on water from Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin (Figure 1). Over 90% of Malawi’s electricity depends on outflows from the lake into the Shire River which feed three existing hydropower plants – Tedzani, Nkula…

Mechanisms behind early winter rainfall variability in the southwestern Cape, South Africa

Precious T. Mahlalela and Ross C. Blamey

The southwest region of South Africa is the only part of southern Africa that predominantly receives its total annual rainfall during the austral winter months (April–September). In 2015–2017, this part of the country experienced extreme dry conditions which led to…

Climate change in the Congo Basin: processes related to wetting in the December–February dry season

Amy Creese, Richard Washington, and Richard Jones

The Congo Basin is one of three key areas of tropical convection and contains the planet’s second largest rainforest. Understanding how global warming might change its climate is crucial, particularly during the dry seasons, when rainfall amounts currently bring the…

Learning from South Africa's recent summer rainfall droughts: How might we think differently about response?

Emma R. M. Archer

The 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 summer rainfall seasons in South Africa, as well as in the Southern African Development Community region more widely, are generally agreed to be the most severe droughts on record since those of the early 1980s and…

Climate change in the Congo Basin: processes related to wetting in the December–February dry season

Amy Creese, Richard Washington, and Richard Jones

The Congo Basin is one of three key areas of tropical convection and contains the planet’s second largest rainforest. Understanding how global warming might change its climate is crucial, particularly during the dry seasons, when rainfall amounts currently bring the…

Controls on the Diversity in Climate Model Projections of Early Summer Drying over Southern Africa

Callum Munday and Richard Washington

Ninety-five percent of climate models contributing to phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) project early summer [October–December (OND)] rainfall declines over subtropical southern Africa by the end of the century, under all emissions forcing pathways. The intermodel…

The Plausibility of September–November Congo Basin Rainfall Change in Coupled Climate Models

Amy Creese, Richard Washington, and Callum Munday

As one of three global hot spots of tropical convection, potential future changes to the Congo Basin climate system will have regional and tropics ‐wide implications. However, the latest generation of climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 disagree on the sign…

The ‘Day Zero’ Cape Town drought and the poleward migration of moisture corridors

Pedro M. Sousa , Ross C. Blamey , Chris J.C. Reason, Alexandre M. Ramos, and Ricardo M. Trigo

Since 2015 the greater Cape Town area (∼3.7 million people) has been experiencing the worst drought of the last century. The combined effect of this prolonged dry period with an ever-growing demand for water culminated in the widely publicized ‘Day…