June 2019
Welcome to the June 2019 edition of the Future Climate for Africa newsletter.
If you want to find out more about FCFA, watch our 2 minute introductory video and page through our brochure in English, French or Portuguese. Want to keep up to date with FCFA news and share your ideas with us? Follow FCFA on Twitter: @future_climate
News in Brief

Meaningful exchanges between decision-makers and researchers on East African Climate at the HyCRISTAL annual meeting

From the 21st to 22nd May 2019 HyCRISTAL hosted its research into policy meeting in Kampala, Uganda. The two-day meeting provided a platform for exchanges to take place between climate scientists, climate researchers and decision-makers on the topic of climate change in East Africa drawing from the extensive research that has been undertaken by HyCRISTAL. Read more here.

African Climate Risks Conference Registrations
FCFA are excited to announce that conference registration and grant applications officially open for the African Climate Risk Conference (ACRC) in July 2019. The ACRC will offer a prime opportunity to promote the uptake of new data, tools and knowledge; brokering new research collaborations and more targeted donor support.

AMMA-2050 presents their ground-breaking findings on climate change in West Africa to key stakeholders in Senegal at final annual meeting
The AMMA-2050 research group met for their final annual meeting in Senegal from 10 - 14 June attended by researchers from West Africa, the UK, and France. It provided an opportunity to discuss, share and think about the research from the individual streams of work and to solidify the key messages of AMMA-2050 as a whole. Read more on the outcomes of the meeting here.

CP4-Africa climate model shows enhanced future changes in wet and dry extremes over Africa
A new paper by the IMPALA researchers presents the results from climate change experiments with a convection-permitting (4.5 km grid-spacing) model for the first time over an Africa-wide domain (CP4-A). The model realistically captures hourly rainfall characteristics, unlike coarser resolution models, and shows future increases in dry spell length during the wet season over western and central Africa. This research was recently featured in the Guardian - read the article here.

FCFA will be hosting Africa's first-ever Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change in Africa

FCFA is partnering with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network to host the first Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change in Africa. The aim of the event is to boost the quality and accessibility of information on climate change on the world’s largest online encyclopaedia. The edit-a-thon will bring together approximately 30 researchers, as well as veteran Wikipedia editors, to update and add content related to climate change in Africa. The three-day event will be held from 6 August – 8 August 2019 at the SouthSouthNorth office in Cape Town, South Africa.

Collaboration as the key learning: how we did it in UMFULA

At the end of UMFULA’s penultimate year, the team gathered to assess the work accomplished so far and, as part of this, reflected on how they worked and what they could learn to inform the remaining time of the project. This blog explores the outcomes of this reflection, and how FCFA facilitated collaboration in UMFULA.

Featured Publications

Adaptive Introgression: An Untapped Evolutionary Mechanism for Crop Adaptation

A new paper by AMMA-2050 reviews studies of adaptive introgression in crop species, presenting methodological approaches and challenges to detecting it. Looking particularly at the potential for this evolutionary mechanism for the adaptation of crops, this study argues that screening the wild introgression already existing in the cultivated gene pool may be an effective strategy for uncovering wild diversity relevant for crop adaptation to current environmental changes and for informing new breeding directions.

Infographics and briefs: Possible futures for urban and rural East Africa under a changing climate

These HyCRISTAL urban infographic and rural infographic shows three possibilities for what the climate in East Africa might be like in 2050. The three climate futures have been selected to demonstrate a range of plausible futures and the resulting impacts. In addition, download the briefs of possible futures for rural and urban East Africa under a changing climate.

CDKN guide offers practical advice on communicating climate change
The guide is full of tips for communicating climate change effectively, drawn from CDKN’s experience in South Asia and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. It has been written by practitioners for practitioners to enhance the impact of climate change and development work. Download it here.

FCFA blogs

Flooding forecasting gives Africa's first pre-emptive disaster response support

Cyclone Idai provided international disaster risk advisers and humanitarian aid organisations a rare opportunity to test a flood forecasting method that allowed response teams to pre-empt which areas would be worst hit by flooding and deploy relief operations ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Kenneth, which made landfall less than a month after the devastation of Cyclone Idai. Read more here.

OPINION: Devastating floods over Malawi - An experience to learn from
The following blog written by UMFULA researcher Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema provides insights on the floods that devastated Malawi earlier this year, and the lessons that should be embraced by policy makers in the future.

Lusaka's water security needs integrated planning and governance
Lusaka is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities, and urban densification and economic growth will call for more strategic planning of its water supply and infrastructure. The Zambian capital has enough water supply for the foreseeable future, however the growing demand for this resource from city users, the hydro-power scheme on the river which supplies Lusaka’s electricity, and the sugarcane industry upriver of the city, will call for greater cooperation between the city and various government departments that are responsible for these different sectors. Read more here.

Finding unlikely connections: when soil meets sky in atmospheric science
Dr Conni Klein, an atmospheric scientist from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, connected with her AMMA 2050 colleague Dr Bamba Adama, a meteorologist and climate scientist at the Université Félix Houphouët Boigny in Abidjan, to understand how soil type affects cloud formation and changes in monsoon rainfall patterns in West Africa. Read the blog here.

'Hamster wheel' of short term planning hampers Malawi's climate response
In this blog, Dr Katharine Vincent, researcher in the UMFULA project, argues that Malawi is caught in a pattern of short-term planning and response, when it comes to flooding events like Cyclone Idai. Vincent and colleagues are hoping to address the short-term nature of disaster response by supporting the Malawian government in using five to 40 year climate information in medium-term planning.

Digital dashboard brings early-warning tool for disease outbreaks in Maputo

When the Mozambican capital of Maputo gets hit by heavy storms, some parts of the city experience flash floods, leading to stagnant water and outbreaks of diseases like malaria or cholera. FRACTAL researchers have been instrumental in designing a new digital tool that will help the municipality better anticipate where the disease hotspots will be, and where those are in relation to the best medical treatment centres. Read the blog here.

Beira: rebuild or relocate after mega-cyclone Idai?
Professor Genito Maure from the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, in this blog, explains that residents of the Mozambican city of Beira may not have had enough agency to respond adequately to storm warnings issued by the state meteorological services ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Idai this month, because they may not have had anything to compare a storm of this magnitude to.

'Big data' to help plan for climate shocks in East Africa
This blog looks into a tool being developed to analyse large data sets in a way that will help the end-users understand how projected climate variability may affect small scale farming communities where rising temperatures and increasingly unpredictable rainfall patterns could threaten families’ livelihoods in future.

How drought or flooding knock small businesses in African cities
By looking at different case studies linked to the 2015/16 El Nino weather event, researchers found that a lack of access to loan facilities and finance is one of the biggest hurdles to small city-based businesses adapting to climate extremes in the region. Read more here.

Creating a two-way dialogue for improved advocacy and communication

As part of the HyCRISTAL project, farmers in Uganda are being trained to produce video stories that engage communities and farmers in investigating their own contexts, whilst linking them up with the key people in decision-making positions for more targeted advocacy messaging and vertical communication. Read more here.

Upcoming Events

London Climate Action Week, 1-8 July, London, United Kingdom

London Climate Action week (LCAW), hosted by the Mayor of London and the greater London authority, will mobilise climate expertise and talent from across sectors to run events in the city focused on taking local, national and international action. A number of events will be held during the week to highlight the scaling up of practical solutions and identify new solutions to help cut carbon emissions to keep global temperature increases within 1.5°C and support the Paris Agreement.

Webinar: Can we reduce GHG emissions from livestock? A feasibility and investment study from East Africa, 10 July
This CGIAR webinar will present the context of the livestock sector in East Africa, including climate finance, an overview of the feasibility of ten low emissions development (LED) interventions for the livestock sector in Kenya and Ethiopia, and present an investment study on one of the most promising options. Register here.

Climate Action Summit 2019, 23 September, New York City, US
The UN 2019 Climate Summit will seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens to step up action in six areas: energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, industry transition, nature-based solutions, cities and local action, and resilience.

African Climate Risks Conference, 7-9 October, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The African Climate Risks Conference overarching theme is “Dismantling barriers to urgent climate change adaptation actions” and is an open platform for sharing the latest climate research on African climate among researchers, and with policy makers, practitioners and development partners.  The goal is to ensure improved flow of knowledge and interactions among researchers, practitioners and decision-makers; leading toward greater impact and legacy of completed and on-going African climate research and adaptation initiatives. Registrations and grant applications open July 2019.

Recent publications by FCFA authors

Finney, D. L., Marsham, J. H., Jackson, L. S., Kendon, E. J., Rowell, D. P., Boorman, P. M., ... & Senior, C. A. (2019). Implications of improved representation of convection for the East Africa water budget using a convection-permitting model. Journal of Climate

Rowell, D. P. (2019). An Observational Constraint on CMIP5 Projections of the East African Long Rains and Southern Indian Ocean Warming. Geophysical Research Letters.

Diakhaté, M., Rodríguez-Fonseca, B., Gómara, I., Mohino, E., Dieng, A. L., & Gaye, A. T. (2019). Oceanic Forcing on Interannual Variability of Sahel Heavy and Moderate Daily Rainfall. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 20(3), 397-410.

Zhang, W., Brandt, M., Penuelas, J., Guichard, F., Tong, X., Tian, F., & Fensholt, R. (2019). Ecosystem structural changes controlled by altered rainfall climatology in tropical savannas. Nature Communications, 10(1), 671.

Berthou, S., Rowell, D. P., Kendon, E. J., Roberts, M. J., Stratton, R. A., Crook, J. A., & Wilcox, C. (2019). Improved climatological precipitation characteristics over West Africa at convection-permitting scales. Climate Dynamics, 1-21.

Crook, J., Klein, C., Folwell, S., Taylor, C. M., Parker, D. J., Stratton, R., & Stein, T. (2019). Assessment of the representation of West African storm lifecycles in convection‐permitting simulations. Earth and Space Science.

Gallego‐Elvira, B., Taylor, C. M., Harris, P. P., & Ghent, D. (2019). Evaluation of regional‐scale soil moisture‐surface flux dynamics in Earth system models based on satellite observations of land surface temperature. Geophysical Research Letters.

Munday, C., & Washington, R. (2019). Controls on the diversity in climate model projections of early summer drying over Southern Africa. Journal of Climate.

Creese, A., Washington, R., & Munday, C. (2019). The plausibility of September‐November Congo Basin rainfall change in coupled climate models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Creese, A., Washington, R., & Jones, R. (2019). Climate change in the Congo Basin: processes related to wetting in the December–February dry season. Climate Dynamics, 1-20.

Archer, E. R. (2019). Learning from South Africa's recent summer rainfall droughts: How might we think differently about response?. Area.

Quagraine, K. A., Hewitson, B., Jack, C., Pinto, I., & Lennard, C. (2019). A methodological approach to assess the co-behaviour of climate processes over southern Africa. Journal of Climate. 

Daron, J., Burgin, L., Janes, T., Jones, R. G., & Jack, C. (2019). Climate process chains: Examples from southern Africa. International Journal of Climatology.

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