Climate-Based Information for USAID Missions: Future Projections vs. Historical Data

By Timothy S. Thomas

Most scientists studying the impact of climate change on agriculture use climate models that project out to 2050 or beyond – some even going to 2100. Even those focusing more short-term rarely study anything earlier than 2030 – the models just have too little change in that time period for them to produce anything of interest. These climate studies can be of significant help to USAID missions when working with host governments in developing longer-range investment plans in the agricultural and environmental sectors, and can also be of help in assessing climate risk in activities that are meant to have impact for multiple decades.

Yet many climate risk assessments for USAID activities need to assess climate impacts for just a few years into the future, for example, just until the early 2020s. For those assessments, typical climate models and studies are not helpful. In such cases, missions would be better served by looking at climate trends from gridded weather data available from a number of sources.

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What is the potential impact from climate change for Africa’s farmers?

By Nilar Andrea Chit Tun, IFPRI

A comprehensive book series by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has investigated the impact of climate change on African agriculture and food security. The final chapter on East Africa will be exclusively released at an upcoming session at the Global Landscapes Forum.

What’s next for climate change in Africa? This is precisely the question that will be debated at the Technical and Networking Session The good, the bad and the ugly: Climate change’s potential impact on farmers in Africa on Saturday 16 November at the Global Landscapes Forum in Warsaw, Poland.

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