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No. 4: December 2016

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Dear 
Welcome to the final Future Climate for Africa newsletter for 2016. In this edition you will find information on:
  • The FCFA Africa's Climate Report 2016;
  • Our engagement at the COP22 in Marrakech;
  • HyCRISTAL's field visit to communities in Kisumu, Kenya; and
  • Recent publications by FCFA-affilliated researchers.
We are particularly excited about the recent launch of the FCFA digibook "Africa’s Climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information". It offers a collection of fact sheets covering climate trends for several African sub-regions and countries, alongside overviews of the current state of scientific knowledge and ‘burning scientific questions’ that are currently shaping the climate science research agenda. Please share the report within your networks. We welcome your feedback on the publication.

Should you have any questions on FCFA work we invite you to get in touch with the coordinator of the research consortium working in your region or country, or FCFA's coordination unit, via our website.

The FCFA Africa Climate Report 2016 is here!


In November, the FCFA team were excited to launch the report Africa’s Climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information. The report is designed as a guide for scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners on the continent. The research in this report, written by leading experts in their fields, presents an overview of climate trends across central, eastern, western, and southern Africa, and is distilled into a series of factsheets that are tailored for specific sub-regions and countries. Some of these capture the current state of knowledge, while others explore the "burning scientific questions” that still need to be answered. The report consists of 15 factsheets that are grouped into three sections:
    •    Regional Overviews focus on regionally relevant questions for east, west, central and southern Africa.
    •    Burning Questions focus on the key issues relating to the ability of the current science to accurately provide climate change projections and communicate future climate change in Africa.
    •    Country Factsheets provide information on the climate and the possible impacts for Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal, and Zambia. They also consider how climate information is used in Tanzania and Malawi, and how accessible the information is to the communities that need it.
While readers may find the full set of contributions in this collected volume, each factsheet is also designed to be read and used separately in each of the targeted countries and regions (readers may download individual factsheets on the digibook.)

Please do share the link to our digibook with your networks.

COP22 delegates hear how African climate information is improving


Delegates to COP22 in Marrakech heard about new frontiers in climate science for Africa in a side event co-convened by FCFA partners SouthSouthNorth and the Met Office (UK). Until now, information about Africa’s climate just hasn’t been good enough and needs a ‘step change’ to be truly valuable to African decision-makers, said Dr Richard Jones of the Met Office. CARE International, the World Bank, and the Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) joined the panel to share their experiences on improving climate information services for specific African contexts. read the full blog here.

FCFA Research Consortia Annual Meetings

 
The FCFA consortium working in east Africa, HyCRISTAL, held their second annual meeting in Kisumu, Kenya from 28 Noveber to 2 December. The annual meeting included a field visit to Obunga, an informal settlement in Kisumu, providing FCFA researchers with an opportunity to to engage with local communities facing climate variability and change. HyCRISTAL will continue working with community leaders from Obunga for the duration of the programme. FCFA Research Fellow, Dr Zablone Owiti, has written a blog on the field trip.

Members of the HyCRISTAL Consortium at the annual event in Kisumu, Kenya 

The FCFA consortia working in southern and central Africa, UMFULA and FRACTAL, also held their annual meetings in Cape Town from 2 - 4 November. You can read the news features of the respective meetings here and here.​

IMPALA and AMMA-2050 will be holding their annual meetings early in 2017:
  • IMPALA will be holding their Annual Meeting in Leeds, the United Kingdom from 19 - 20 January 2017
  • AMMA-2050 will be holding their Annual Meeting in Dakar, Senegal from 6 - 9 February 2017.
 

Publications from FCFA researchers


A new study by UMFULA researchers reviews different adaptation problems for which robust decision making (RDM) can be useful, and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. It reveals that in developing countries, data issues, a lack of examples of use, limited applicability under surprise events and resources constraints are major limiting factors for application of RDM. The study goes on to suggest entry points for RDM and its potential for wide application. (Bhave et al. 2016).

IMPALA have been looking at the range of uncertainty in crop production impact assessments (crop models, climate models, initial conditions etc.) and the methods for processing the uncertainties.  Their study confirms that GCMs scenarios present the greater source of uncertainty and that improved crop model set-up and processing of data is important in order to reduce associated uncertainty and bias. (Gummadi et al. 2016). 

A new study published by the scientists at UMFULA assesses GCM representation of rainfall in the data scarce Congo basin. It shows that there are large differences in model simulations of rainfall, and that commonly used model outputs are unlikely to represent possible rainfall states in the region. The study suggests the strong relationship between rainfall and moisture flux can provide a better option for understanding rainfall climatology in the Congo basin in the absence of observations. (Creese and Washington, 2016). 

FRACTAL have investigated the variation of moisture over Nigeria between 1951 and 2014. The study shows that the bulk of the country (more than 70%) is in areas where water supply is below evaporative demand. Moisture has been declining in almost all landscapes in Nigeria, with about half of the land area shifting towards aridity. Insights from this study can help policymakers to develop strategies for water resources management. (Oguntunde et al. 2016). 

This overview paper by IMPALA presents the Global Monsoons Model Inter-comparison Project (GMMIP), its motivations, and the questions it seeks to answer.  Using CMIP6 protocols, GMMIP will seek to improve our understanding of the fundamental physics of changes in the global and regional monsoons over the past century and a half and improve monsoons prediction and projection in this current century. (Zhou et al., 2016). 
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