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Climate prediction in Sub-Saharan
Africa: Impacts and adaptation
Geneva, 26 October 2012
Stefano Materia, Post-Doc
Euro Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
Climate Service Division
Part 1: CMCC and its divisions
Part 2: Climate predictions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Impacts and
Euro Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
Research Center on Climate Science and Policy
Network of public and private research institutes
Funded by the Italian Ministries: MIUR (University &
Research), MATTM (Environment) and MEF (Economy &
IPCC focal point for Italy
MISSION: Investigate and model the climate system and its interaction with
society to provide reliable, rigorous, and timely scientific results to stimulate
sustainable growth, protect the environment and to develop science-driven
adaptation and mitigation policies in a changing climate.
The CMCC Divisions
Numerical Applications and Scenarios (ANS)
Climate Impacts and Policies (CIP)
Impacts on Agriculture, Forest and Natural
Ecosystems (IAFENT)
Impacts on Soil and Coast (ISC)
Scientific Computing and Operations (SCO)
Climate Services (SERC)
Climate Services (SERC)
Main objectives:
Develop tailored sectorial climate products in a time
consistent way, up-to-date and regularly maintained
Establish a discussion and interaction platform with
Develop new information systems and tools to
support research and dissemination
Production of climate predictions and climate change projections (global scale,
regional focuses).
Communication of the results and information obtained to a broad range of
users: decision makers and stakeholders, political bodies and public
administration, researchers from other disciplines.
Coordinate research on adaptation policies to climate change and provide
technical and scientific support to the institutions for multilateral negotiation
processes in the field of climate change (EU, IPCC, UNFCCC).
Targeted sectors
Public sector
CMCC Climate Service Activities
Currently, our major “customers”/stakeholders are large international institutions (e.g.,
World Bank, …) and national policy makers and institutions (European Union, Italian
ministries, regional and local administrations)
World Bank:
Climate risks on
Nigeria’s growth
Italian Ministry of
Guidelines for National
Adaptation Strategies
Climate predictions in the frame of
Venice municipality:
Urban planning
Po River Basin Authority:
water management
Part 1: CMCC and its divisions
Part 2: Climate predictions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Impacts and
Why ClimAfrica? What ClimAfrica?
Africa is probably the most vulnerable continents to climate change and
climate variability, because of the combination of low adaptive capacity and
particular eco-climatic and socio-economic conditions (i.e. sea level rise,
flooding, drought, desertification, poverty, conflicts, urbanization, population
growth, diseases, etc.).
The majority of African population rely on rain fed agriculture. Hence, food
production directly depends on climate, making economy and livelihood to be
significantly at risk because of climate change.
ClimAfrica is conceived to respond to the urgent need for the most
appropriate and up-to-date tools to better understand and predict
climate variability and change in Africa, assess their impact on
ecosystems and population, and develop suited adaptation strategies.
How ClimAfrica? Who ClimAfrica?
The ClimAfrica consortium is formed by 18
institutions, 9 from Europe, 8 from Africa, and
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO).
ClimAfrica Work Plan
The work is organized in eight
complementary work-packages:
WP1: Past climate variability
WP2: Modelling seasonal to decadal
climate predictions
WP3: Climate impacts
WP4: Medium-term warning system,
vulnerability, adaptation
WP5: Socio-economic implications
WP6: Case studies in Africa
WP7: Project Management
WP8: Dissemination
ClimAfrica Objectives
1- Develop improved climate predictions
on seasonal to decadal scales
2- Assess climate impacts in key sectors
of Sub-Saharan Africa economy, such as
water resources and agriculture
3- Evaluate vulnerability of ecosystems
and population to inter-annual climate
variations and longer trends (20 years)
4- Suggest and analyse new suited
adaptation strategies
5- Develop a new concept of mid-term
monitoring and forecasting warning
management, civil protection).
WP1 - past climate variability
Collection and synthesis of various
data that diagnose the climate
variability, with particular regard to
water cycle, and the productivity of
ecosystems in the past decades.
The data streams range from
ground based observations and
satellite remote sensing to model
WP1 provides consolidated data
to other WPs in ClimAfrica, and
analyses the interactions between
productivity of Sub-Saharan Africa.
WP2 - Seasonal and decadal prediction system
Radiative forcing
GHGs & SO4
Global Model
The CMCC Seasonal
Prediction System (SPS)
initial conditions
Land Surface
Sea Ice
Ocean initial
The CMCC Seasonal Prediction System is initialised with the “closest to
reality” state of the ocean and atmosphere. The model evolves according to
both the initial conditions and the physical equations ruling the earth’s system.
WP2 - Seasonal and decadal prediction system
Seasonal retrospective forecast for 22 years (19892010). Four six-month lasting simulation per year,
starting Feb 1st, May 1st, Aug 1st, Nov 1st.
Decadal predictions. Twenty-year-simulations, start
dates 1990-1995-2000-2005-2010, November 1st.
Outputs provided:
• surface temperature
• precipitation
• heat fluxes
• winds
• etc.
Surface T anomaly,
prediction for autumn 2010
WP3 – Climate impacts on key-ecosystem
services (water and agriculture)
Quantify the sensitivity of vegetation productivity and water resources to
seasonal, interannual and decadal variability in weather and climate, using
impact models on agriculture and water
Identify tradeoffs and areas
of risk and vulnerability
related to:
a)water related hazards
b)agricultural and pastoral
c)soil degradation
…using an agroDVM
Separated components of LPJ-GUESS Net echosystem exchange (NEE) for the African continent, derived from the difference
between a full LPJ-GUESS landuse simulation and runs with seperate climate components kept constant.
WP4 – Medium-term of Forecasting food and water vulnerabilities and
recommending relevant adaptation measures
Task 4.1
• Understand the current dynamics of major food production
systems in Africa (and develop a set of conditional
vulnerability scenarios based on current agricultural and
socio-economic trends to be used to assess impacts
Task 4.2
• Create a Medium Term Warning System considering both
“persistent” and “extreme” climate impact factors
Task 4.3
• Identification of options for adaptation to climate change and
development and dissemination of planning methods, tools
and guides (with WP8)
ClimAfrica - Climate change predictions in
Sub-Saharan Africa: impacts and adaptation
ClimAfrica Project Meeting
WP5 – Socio-economic implications of climate
change impacts and adaptation in SSA
Using a macro-economic, top-down modelling approach,
WP5 will assess the economic implication of climate
change impacts on agriculture for the SSA economic
systems. Impacts will be detailed region wide in term of
GDP changes, competitiveness changes, trade flow
changes. They will be also specified at the industry level
describing production, demand and price shifts.
WP5 will also develop a bottom-up analysis,
referenced, investigating the potential
consequences of climate change impacts on
system in SSA through its stresses on the
the food
WP6 – Case studies
Define environmental and socioeconomic conditions of 9 different
SSA regions located along a wide
climate gradient (Ghana, Burkina
Faso, Togo, Malawi, Rep. of Congo,
Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania).
The studies carried out in these
regions will provide field data to
other WPs for empirical model and
mechanistic model development.
In addition, the synergies developed
with the existing actors (managers
and policy-makers, NGO ’ s, local
farmer ’ s organizations, women ’ s
associations, etc.) during these
studies will allow to test and validate
both the individual model outputs
and the Medium Term Warning
System in these regions
Expected results
1. Improvement of climate predictions in Africa
2. Evaluation of climate impacts on water resources
and agriculture
3. Development of new adaptation strategies suited for
4. Assessment of economic implications of climate
change impacts and adaptation
5. Creation of an operational medium term monitoring
and a forecasting warning system
[email protected]
Examples of services for the agriculture sector
-Estimation of crop yield annual changes
-Fire risk predictions
-Water balance
-Change in forests stocks
-Land capability and sustainability analysis
-Change in forests stocks and sequestration capacity
-Impacts of sea-level rise on agriculture/ecosystems
-Water/air quality analysis
-Analysis of socio-economic scenarios
-Adaptation to climate change monitoring and evaluation
-Climate proof flood risk management
Autumn 2012 predictions: Precipitation anomalies
Precipitation anomalies for
Oct-Nov-Dec 2012:
This figure shows the precipitation
anomalies: the difference between the
predicted precipitations and the long term
Brownish areas are expected to be drier
than normal, while blue regions are
expected to be wetter than normal.
The figure below shows the probability
that the anomalies predicted above will
Cold colours show areas with high
probability of precipitations above
average. Warm colours show areas with
high probability of precipitations below