T2.

32 - fact sheet

http://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...

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Using seasonal forecasts to adapt to climate variability and change in Africa
Climate change acts over a range of time scales, varying seasonally and from year-to-year while changing over decades and beyond. Current seasonal climate anomalies in Britain due to the North Atlantic Oscillation and in Africa during extreme El Niño events are as large or larger than projected long-term climate changes. Some of the largest impacts of long-term climate change may arise from increased climate variability superimposed on an underlying global warming trend. Learning to adapt to short-term climate extremes is likely to prepare societies to adapt to long-term change. However, this idea has never been rigorously tested. Dr Richard Washington, from the University of Oxford's School of Geography and the Environment, and colleagues are investigating social responses to climate events and climate forecasts over a range of time scales in southern Africa. They will prepare climate outlooks for the region over several seasons, several years and several decades to the 2050s. The researchers will also interview farmers in the Mangondi village in Limpopo Province to determine how they use climate information. They will then integrate an agent-based simulation with the outputs from traditional models of climate, crops and water resources to establish a range of impacts and adaptation responses. Workshops conducted in the Mangondi village will test if such adaptation responses could be successful in reducing vulnerability to long-term climate change. The results of the examination of adaptation in the present and near future will provide insights into which adaptation strategies are plausible in the long-term. The project will produce specific recommendations for reducing vulnerability to climate change in southern Africa. The results also will have broader implications for the African continent and, by focusing on climate-driven adaptation, will provide new understanding for climate change response strategies in the United Kingdom. The results will also provide insights into human decision-making in the Tyndall Centre's Integrated Assessment Model.

A new Tyndall project is investigating whether enhancing the ability to adapt to current climate variability reduces vulnerability to future climate change, and if it develops adaptation skills in African communities that can be applied in the long-term. More information Contact the lead investigator of Project T2.32 (Climate outlooks and agent-based simulation of adaptation in Africa): Dr Richard Washington School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1865 27 1919; Fax: +44 (0) 1865 27 1929 Email: richard.washington@geog.ox.ac.uk Other researchers involved in this project are: Dr Tom Downing and Dr Gina Ziervogel, Stockholm Environment Institute

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T2.32 - fact sheet

http://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...

Dr Sukaina Bharwani, Stockholm Environment Institute and School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford Dr Alex Haxeltine, Tyndall Centre, University of East Anglia Dr Mike Bithell, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge Mr Mattew Swann, Dr Mark New and Dr Edmund Chattoe, University of Oxford Professor Bruce Hewitson and Professor Chris Reason, University of Cape Town Professor Roland Schulze, Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Natal Dr Coleen Vogel, University of Witwatersrand Project duration: November 2002 to April 2005 Useful web sites: The Tyndall Centre: www.tyndall.ac.uk University of Oxford Geography and the Environment: www.geog.ox.ac.uk Climate Outlooks project Website: www.geog.ox.ac.uk/research/projects/cloud/index.html Stockholm Environment Institute: www.sei.se University of Cape Town Climate Systems Analysis Group: www.csag.uct.ac.za

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