Climatic Change

, Volume 143, Issue 1–2, pp 115–128 | Cite as

Contributions of decadal climate information in agriculture and food systems in east and southern Africa

  • Admire Mutsa Nyamwanza
  • Mark George New
  • Mariko Fujisawa
  • Peter Johnston
  • Akeel Hajat
Article

Abstract

Whilst there has been much focus on the utility of climate information on the seasonal timescale and several decades into the future vis-à-vis decision-making and responses to climate and related risks in Africa, less attention has been given to information on the decadal timescale. Yet much policy, planning and investment decision-making within African agricultural and food systems take place within this timescale. Decadal prediction research itself has become a hot topic, and it is against this background that we explore the questions, ‘what climate information could be utilised by farmers within this timescale and of what value will it be?’ Using case studies of both small and large-scale farming systems in east and southern Africa, we show decadal climate information potentially providing opportunities for flexible, proactive and innovative decision-making in response to projected dynamics within this period, ultimately bridging the current gap not covered by seasonal forecasts and climate change projections.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Research for this article was part of work on the project “Emerging Climate Risks, Agriculture and Food Security”. We gratefully acknowledge funding received from the CGIAR programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) for this work.

References

  1. Barnett J, O’Neill S (2010) Editorial: Maladaptation. Glob Environ Chang 20:211–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fujisawa M, Kobayashi K, Johnston P, New M (2015) What drives farmers to make top-down or bottom-up adaptation to climate change and fluctuations? A comparative study on 3 cases of apple farming in Japan and South Africa. PLoS One 10 (3). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378992/
  3. Goddard L, Aitchellouche Y, Baethgen W, Dettinger M, Graham R, Hayman P et al (2010) Providing seasonal-to-interannual climate information for risk management and decision-making. Procedia Environmental Sciences. 1(0):81–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Goddard L, Hurrell JW, Kirtman BP, Murphy J, Stockdale T, Vera C (2012) Two timescales for the price of one (almost). Bull Am Meteorol Soc 93:621–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goddard L, Kumar A, Solomon A, Smith D, Boer G, Gonzalez P, Kharin V, Merryfield WJ, Deser C, Mason SJ, Kirtman BP, Msadek R, Sutton RT, Hawkins ED, Fricker TE, Hegerl GC, Stephenson DB, Kushnir Y, Ferro CAT, Greene AM, Meehl GA, Stockdale TN, Burgman R, Newman MJ, Carton JA, Fukumori I, Delworth TL (2013) A verification framework for interannual-to-decadal predictions experiments. Clim Dyn 40(1–2):245–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hansen JW, Baethgen W, Osgood D, Ceccato P, Ngugi RK (2007) Innovations in climate risk management: Protecting and building rural livelihoods in a variable and changing climate. SAT eJournal. 4 (1). www.icrisat.org/journal/specialproject/sp13.pdf
  7. Intasave Africa, 2015, Use and communication of climate information to support uptake of adaptation action in the semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia. www.assar.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/138/RDS_reports/crossregion/Communications%20Research%20full%20report.pdf
  8. IPCC (2012) Summary for policymakers. Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. A special report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [C. B. Field et al. (eds)] Cambridge University Press, New York and Cambridge, pp. 1–19Google Scholar
  9. Jones L, Dougill A, Jones RG, Steynor A, Watkiss P, Kane C, Koelle B, Moufouma-Okia W, Padgham J, Ranger N, Roux J-P, Suarez P, Tanner T, Vincent K (n.d) Ensuring climate information guides long-term development. www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9794.pdf
  10. Meehl GA, Goddard L, Murphy J, Stouffer RJ, Boer G, Danabasoglu G et al (2009) Decadal prediction: can it be skilful? Bull Am Meteorol Soc 90(10):1467–1485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Meehl GA, Goddard L, Boer G, Burgman R, Branstator G, Cassou C, Corti S, Danabasoglu G et al (2014) Decadal climate prediction: an update from the trenches. Am Meteorol Soc 95(2):243–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mehta V, Meehl G, Goddard L, Knight J, Kumar A, Latif M, Lee T, Rosati A, Stammer D (2011) Decadal climate predictability and prediction: where are we? American Meteorological Society. journals.ametsoc. doi:  10.1175/2010BAMS3025.1
  13. Mehta VM, Knutson CL, Rosenberg NJ, Olsen JR, Wall NA, Bernadt TK, Hayes MJ (2013) Decadal climate information needs of stakeholders for decision support in water and agriculture production sectors: a case study in the Missouri River basin. Am Meteorol Soc 5:27–42Google Scholar
  14. Miller A, Boehlje M, Dobbins C (1998) Positioning the farm business. Staff Paper 98–9. Department of Agricultural Economics. Purdue University. https://www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab/research/articles/Positioning%20the%20Farm%20Business.pdf
  15. Mills AJ, Durepos G, Wiebe E (2010) Encyclopaedia of case study research. DOI: 10.4135/9781412957397
  16. Moore SS, Seavy NE, Gerhart M (2013) Scenario planning for climate change adaptation: A guidance for resource managers. Point Blue Conservation Science and California Coastal ConservancyGoogle Scholar
  17. Murphy E, Kattsov V, Keenlyside N, Kimoto M, Meehl G, Mehta V, Pohlmann H, Scaife A, Smith D (2010) Towards prediction of decadal climate variability and change. Procedia Environmental Science 1:287–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. O’Brien KL, Vogel HC (eds) (2003) Coping with climate variability: the use of seasonal climate forecasts in Southern Africa. Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, U.K.Google Scholar
  19. Patt A, Gwata C (2002) Effective seasonal climate forecast applications: examining constraints for subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe. Glob Environ Chang 12:185–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schulze, RE (2005) Setting the scene: the current hydroclimatic “landscape” in Southern Africa. [In: Schulze RE (ed.)] Climate change and water resources in Southern Africa: studies on scenarios, climatic change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation. Water Research Commission, Pretoria. WRC Report 1430/1/05: 6. pp. 83–94.Google Scholar
  21. Soares MB, Dessai S (2014) On the use of seasonal to decadal climate predictions for decision-making in Europe. Sustainability Research Institute Paper No. 62. http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/fileadmin/Documents/research/sri/workingpapers/SRIPs-62.pdf
  22. Tall A, Hansen J, Jay A, Campbell B, Kinyangi J, Aggarwal PK, Zougmoré R (2014) Scaling up climate services for farmers: mission possible. Learning from good practice in Africa and South Asia. CCAFS report no. 13. Copenhagen: CGIAR research program on climate change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS). www.ccafs.cgiar.org
  23. Thornton P, Herrero M (2015) Adapting to climate change in the mixed crop and livestock farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Nat Clim Chang 5:830–836. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2754
  24. Vera C, Barange M, Dube OP, Goddard L, Griggs D, Kobysheva N, Odada E, Parey S, Polovina J, Poveda G, Seguin B, Trenberth K (2010) Needs assessment for climate information on decadal timescales and longer. Procedia Environmental Sciences 1(0):275–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vermeulen SJ, Aggarwal PK, Ainslie A, Angelone C, Campbell BM, Challinor AJ, Hansen JW, Ingram JSI, Jarvis A, Kristjunson P, Lau C, Nelson GC, Thornton PK, Wollenberg E (2012) Options for support to agriculture and food security under climate change. Environmental Science and Policy 15:136–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ziervogel G, Opere A (eds) (2010) Integrating meteorological and indigenous knowledge-based seasonal climate forecasts in the agricultural sector. International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. Climate Change Adaptation in Africa learning paper series.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Admire Mutsa Nyamwanza
    • 1
  • Mark George New
    • 2
  • Mariko Fujisawa
    • 3
  • Peter Johnston
    • 4
  • Akeel Hajat
    • 5
  1. 1.Economic Performance and Development ProgrammeHuman Sciences Research CouncilCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.African Climate and Development InitiativeUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly
  4. 4.Climate Systems Analysis Group, Department of Environmental and Geographical SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  5. 5.C12 ConsultantsLilongweMalawi

Personalised recommendations