Output 5 - highlight results
A key objective of the CSRP is to bring results of the programme's research into practical use in Africa. This is being achieved in three main ways:
- Climate science workshops held in collaboration with African centres.
- Participation in Africa's Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs).
- Participation in policy forums for climate and development.
In this way CSRP research is strengthening the climate advice provided by African regional climate organisations to their users, and alerting policy forums to opportunities and challenges in developing the use of climate science to support sustainable development.
Climate science workshops
The CSRP is working with African climate scientists to develop optimum ways of using the output of dynamical (i.e. climate-model-based) seasonal predictions systems in preparing regional and national seasonal climate outlooks (see also Output 4). This includes use of the new seasonal prediction products of Output 2, developed in consultation with stakeholders.
To this end, the theme of the first CSRP climate science workshop was "appreciation and use of dynamical seasonal forecasts for the Greater Horn of Africa". This two-week workshop was delivered in collaboration with the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre Nairobi and included development of the first ever consensus prediction for the July to September season, an important rainy season in the north of the Greater Horn, and a forum with users of climate products.
Key outcomes from the workshop include:
- successful trial of a set of spreadsheet-based interactive training tools for familiarising with and verifying dynamical seasonal forecasts;
- strategies for improved use of dynamical forecasts in the preparation of regional and national seasonal outlooks.
Participation in Africa's Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs)
The CSRP is working closely with Regional Climate Outlook Forums RCOFs in Africa. The RCOF process is a key mechanism in Africa for generating and disseminating seasonal forecast information, for capacity development of national climate scientists and for promoting two-way interaction between providers and users of climate information.
Collaboration has focussed on RCOFs held for three regions: The Greater Horn of Africa (GHACOF), coordinated by ICPAC, Nairobi; West Africa (PRESAO), coordinated by ACMAD, Niamey; and southern Africa (SARCOF), coordinated by SADC-CSC.
CSRP input into the above meetings is being used to strengthen seasonal forecast statements published by the regional centres, and includes:
- providing our experimental season onset forecasts developed under Output 2, and working with regional climate scientists and users to further develop them;
- assisting in the interpretation and use of dynamical seasonal forecasts in preparation of consensus seasonal forecasts for the region.
- providing capacity strengthening on climate science, including through specific CSRP climate science workshops;
Participation in policy forums for climate and development
The CSRP is sharing results of its Africa-focused climate research and capacity building activities with a number of policy forums, drawing attention to opportunities and challenges in developing the use of climate science to support sustainable development.
First Climate Change and Development for Africa conference (CCDA-I):
Lessons from the science outputs of CSRP led to the following two recommendations in the CCDA-I outcomes statement, which draw attention to the need for strengthened collaboration between modelling centres such as the Met Office Hadley Centre and African researchers and users of climate information.
- African institutions and researchers, in collaboration with climate research and modelling partners, are called upon to strengthen their research programmes so as to improve the performance of global and regional climate models in representing African climate and its drivers.
- African institutions and researchers are called upon to identify and prioritise urgent scientific questions hindering practical action on adaptation so as to better understand and resolve inconsistencies between model projections and other research findings on likely rainfall trends across Africa.
Special GHACOF session on Greater Horn of Africa drought
CSRP results demonstrating potential to strengthen drought early warning systems were presented. Outcomes and recommendations from this special session fed into a Heads of State Summit, 8-9 September 2011 hosted by the Kenyan Prime Minister, to discuss ways to "put an end to drought emergencies in the Greater Horn of Africa." The CSRP is working with ICPAC to research robust ways in which early warning systems can be improved.
Results of CSRP science outputs and capacity building activities were shared at a UNFCCC side event on climate science updates relevant to Africa. Positive feedback reflected enthusiasm for the CSRP's approach of conducting research in collaboration with, informed by and useful for Africans.