Vulnerability-Impact-Adaptation Workshop 1
15-17 November 2017, Cape Town
The workshop was held at the Tsogo Southern Sun Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town and served to bring together impact modelling specialists from around sub-Saharan Africa under the CORDEX-Africa banner. Delegates representing hydrology, agriculture, health and biodiversity modelling were invited to the meeting to introduce an understanding into the CORDEX-Africa programme of the climate information needs of these communities. The organizers of the meeting represented the climate modelling community.
The activities started with the marshmallow challenge after which followed an introduction of CORDEX and CORDEX-Africa. Delegates then broke up into three sectors (hydrology, agriculture and health) and presented to plenary how their models worked and the type of climate information required for their impact modelling. This assisted in broadening the understanding of the climate modellers in the room as to the data needs of the different impact modelling communities. Additionally, climate modellers presented the way global and regional climate models work, which also sparked a good discussion that helped the impact modellers understand why data from these models should be applied critically.
A keynote address was given on the second day by Dr Phil Graham titled “From regional climate modelling to hydrological impacts over the Arab region – a case study for CORDEX”, which resulted in good discussion around how climate information available through CORDEX could be used in impact modelling studies.
Grigory Nikulin discussed how to get relevant CORDEX-Africa climate data from the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF), which proved difficult for delegates who had very little or no exposure to the Linux environment. The Climate4Impacts portal was therefore also presented which easier to use and returns CORDEX data in a generic data format. Also discussed in this session was the necessity to use results from a number of CORDEX models and the potential dangers of using results from only one CORDEX or global model. A further discussion on the need for bias-corrected data was held and the various methodologies used in bias correction. From this discussion it was decided to look into producing bias corrected data for key variables that could be used by the respective sectors.
The final outcome of the meeting was for each sector to formulate a frontier research question and write a short proposal to this question with a potential paper title. Common themes across the proposals included the timing of change as a result of a warming climate, consistency of the change message across climate and impact models and some type of next user/policy information component.
A second workshop in February 2018 will serve as an opportunity to take these proposals further and develop a network with the climate analysis teams within CORDEX Africa as the workshop will run concurrently with the climate analysis workshop.