AMMA-2050 NEC05274

Lead Research Organisation: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Department Name: Hydro-climate Risks

Abstract

The climate of West Africa is subject to some of the most variable rainfall patterns observed anywhere in the world. In the past, the region has suffered several decades of severe droughts, whilst more recently major flood events have struck a number of the region's rapidly expanding cities. The consequences of these climatic extremes for the population have been particularly pronounced due to widespread and severe poverty. Global climate change, coming on top of such a variable and unpredictable regional climate, poses a major threat to the populations and economies of West Africa. Although the pathway from climate change to human suffering in West Africa is very short, there are some key bottlenecks to using climate projections to mitigate against risks to the population. Critical gaps exist in knowledge of how West African climate will change over the course of the 21st century, and the uncertainties make it almost impossible for agencies to deliver well-informed plans for the coming decades in critical areas such as food security, urban development and water. Even with the best climate information, it remains a significant challenge to integrate the scientific knowledge into planning and management structures. This collaborative project between scientists and policy makers in West Africa and Europe will, on the one hand, increase understanding of the regional climate and how it will change, and on the other, apply that knowledge to practical development questions.

One of the key challenges for climate science is to understand how the changing composition of the atmosphere (notably CO2) will impact on the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as floods and droughts. In West Africa, these events are tied to the behaviour of convective rain storms; when storms are particularly intense or occur in rapid succession, devastating floods may result, whilst a week or two without storms during the wet season can trigger crop failure. Climate scientists rely on computer simulations of the global atmosphere, oceans and continents, yet these models have a very crude description of convective storms. For the first time, a new generation of regional climate models is emerging which realistically depict storms, and critically, how storms respond to factors such as land and ocean conditions, and increases in CO2. AMMA-2050 will use these new computer simulations alongside conventional climate models and historical observations, to understand why the statistics of key climate extremes are changing, and what this tells us about climate and its extremes in future decades.

The outputs from the models will be used to examine impacts on key sectors in West African society, notably water and agriculture. Adaptation options will be explored, for example through the use of alternative crops, taking account of the inherent uncertainties in climate information, and the ways in which it is interpreted by decision-makers. We will focus on two questions. Firstly, in Senegal we will identify sustainable agricultural adaptation strategies and the policy frameworks to support those options. Secondly, we will examine how climate changes are likely to affect flooding in the rapidly growing city of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The research and capacity building work of AMMA-2050 will help develop a new generation of African researchers and decision-makers, well-placed to respond to the requirements of West African nations. Within AMMA-2050, end-users have an important role, and their needs are embedded in project design and delivery, such that outputs will be responsive to their needs, and delivered in a format that is easily used. Enhanced resilience is an important aim of the project: it starts with improving our understanding of the climate signal over West Africa and leads through to decisions being made in specific pilot studies that showcase the importance of using improved and impact-sensitive science outputs.

Planned Impact

The primary impacts of AMMA-2050 will be: the enhanced uptake of the products of climate science in medium term decision-making in West Africa; and the growth of regional expertise in climate science, its impacts and the science-decision making interface.

The AMMA-2050 project combines novel scientific excellence along with fully integrated participation of stakeholders. We are building on the community of researchers and operational partners established in AMMA since 2003, which already has a strong track record of collaborative, multidisciplinary and impact-focused science. Within AMMA-2050 we aim to use this community to derive practical impact from our research, and to demonstrate specific applications of robust climate projections to planning in the agricultural and urban flood-risk sectors.

In order to deliver impact in the use of reliable climate information in these sectors, it is necessary to address the fundamental weaknesses in current climate science and the information it delivers. This physical science research in Pillar 1 of the project will be conducted in very close cooperation with a programme of applied research (Pillar 2) and practical demonstration projects (Pillar 3). Sustained communication among these groups is essential to the delivery of practical outputs that are relevant to users. For example, key measures of high-impact climatic quantities (drought, flooding etc) will be defined within the whole consortium and coordinated at the top level, so that such measures are both useful to users within the demonstration projects, and scientifically rigorous in the climate models. Furthermore, the credibility of climate information relies on the transparent evaluation of the information in terms of its accuracy and reliability. The legitimacy of the climate information will be ensured by the co-production of knowledge by institutions in Africa and Europe and by stakeholders and scientists working together on the project. Since excellent science is a major driver of the work of AMMA-2050, we aim to publish our results in the top peer-reviewed journals, and present the research at national and international meetings.

Existing partnerships and networks are the foundation upon which our communications are built. Within AMMA-2050, stakeholders have a defined role in ensuring the work is demand-led. Our knowledge exchange activities will draw on the networks our partners have in West Africa as well as involving boundary organisations such as the CCKE-Unit. Ongoing engagement of these organisations will ensure outputs of AMMA-2050 are communicated beyond our original list of stakeholders to a wider audience of interest groups. In this, we will work with regional and international agencies such as the Volta Basin Authority (VBA), the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) programme, the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD), the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), and government departments such as the Direction de la Gestion et de la Planification des Ressources en Eau (DGPRE) in Dakar.

The capacity building activities of AMMA-2050 will involve a balance of staff time visiting African and European research centres and policy placements totalling more than 60 months. Alongside attendance at international conferences and annual consortium meetings, plus significant leadership roles, the project will help to develop a skilled workforce and a new generation of leaders in African research. The ultimate beneficiaries of AMMA-2050 will be the populations of West Africa, who will benefit from more effective use of climate information in planning for an uncertain future. This is particularly so in the key areas of food security, via informed adaptive cropping and agricultural policies, and cities which are resilient to future flood risk.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/M020428/1 01/06/2015 30/11/2019 £1,867,472
NE/M020428/2 Transfer NE/M020428/1 01/12/2019 31/12/2021 £289,309
 
Title Theatre Forum film 
Description AMMA-2050 worked with the Theatre Forum group, Kaddu Yarax, to develop a play addressing the constraints in dialogue between key stakeholders in ensuring effective climate adaptation. The piece includes the role of farmer, farmer leader, local government official, climate scientist, agricultural research and donor. The play raises key tensions and invites participant discussion and proposal of solutions for addressing these. The audience can then take on the role of an actor to try out their proposed solution, with the remaining actors remaining in character. This approach offers a voice for those often marginalised within decision making, providing a level playing field for dialogue. The play was presented at AMMA-2050's final project meeting, attended by representatives of the National Assembly and senior policy makers. It was subsequently shown at the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institution, to local government representatives and community leaders in Fatick region, and farmers and farmer groups in Kaffrine region. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The piece enabled active discussion amongst each of the audiences with whom it was shared. Researchers from AMMA-2050 partnering institutions appreciated the forum as an approach supporting inclusive dialogue amongst all key stakeholders in climate adaptation planning. Local government official and farmers' groups reported that the play well represented the reality of existing constraints to inclusive planning to address climate risks, welcoming the opportunities to debate and identify ways of addressing these barriers 
URL https://www.amma2050.org/sites/default/files/AMMA2050impactcasestudy-theatreforum.pdf
 
Description The project has delivered new understanding of how climate is changing in West Africa, and the impacts of those changes on key sectors (urban planning, agriculture). In particular, the work has shown that climate change is already strongly affecting the frequency of intense storms, and that flood-producing storms are set to become much more frequent in the future, accompanied with a risk of longer dry spells within the growing season. We have also shown that the negative impact of global climate change on crop yield to date has already been significant, and is set to rise further.
Exploitation Route We have worked with decision-makers at city, regional and national scale to embed knowledge of climate change and its uncertainties into planning. We have created tools (for example a web portal) to help this impact continue into the future, and continue to train decision-makers in the use of the data so that longer-term decisions they make can be resilient to uncertainties in future climate.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description The work has enabled two African governments to reshape policy on agriculture and flooding. It has improved the evidence base of National Adaptation Plans and built capacity within those countries. Estimates of resulting potential savings are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. One government representative said '[this work] has managed to achieve more understandingthan I have achieved in 20 years'.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Title Biodiversity collection, genomic data and agronomic data 
Description An exhaustive inventory of pearl millet local genetic resources to be used in breeding program was made. Collection of pearl millet genetic resources in Senegal was made following an environmental gradient. The collected sites were selected according to climatic data availability and information provided by stakeholders. This collection was then combined with a collection of 200 accessions (local varieties) of pearl millet from West Africa. Using wide-genomic sequencing and population genetics approaches, we aim at identifying genomic regions that provide potential adaptations to climate change for pearl millet. Indeed, next generation sequencing (NGS) approaches allow to readily scan genomes by sequencing entire genomic regions. Genomic data (3.6 billions of sequences) were obtained for 20 000 plants. Data are now available and currently under population genomics analysis. Performance of accessions based on phenology, mrophology and yield were tested in controlled conditions. Field trials were performed at the International Center of Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) station, Sadore, Niger in 2016 and 2017 (6 replicats). Data (154000 phenotypic data) are still under collection and will be available in may 2018. Genomic information will be compared with quantitative traits in 2018. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The collected pearl millet accessions will be store in local and international genebank and therefore available for future breeding programs. Identifyied genomic regions that provide potential adaptations to climate change for pearl millet could be used in breeding programmes to develop crops adapted to future climate conditions. 
 
Description CEH-Leeds 
Organisation UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution My team in Leeds conduct atmospheric studies using observations, models and theoretical ideas. I have also led a number of projects and field experiements in which we have collaborated with CEH.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in land-surface processes. Expertise in land-atmosphere interactions. Expertise in land-atmosphere climate dynamics. Data analysis, especially remote sensing of rainfall and land surface state. Leadership of projects. Co-supervision of PhD students.
Impact This is a multidisciplinary partnership in the area of land-atmosphere interaction. It has resulted in a large number of high-impact papers, successful jointly-supervised PhD studentships, and successful impacts, especially in Africa.
 
Description Met Office 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Our research group analyses atmospheric processes in order to better represent them in the Met Office's forecast models. We also use those forecast models in our research, and evaluate their performance in order to identify the best strategies to improve the models.
Collaborator Contribution The Met Office brings its models and its datasets to the partnership, in addition to the considerable expertise of its staff. The Met Office also represent a conduit to the impact of our research for society, through its provision of operational weather and climate forecasts.
Impact Our research has influenced the Met Office strategy for model development, especially in regard to high-resolution models, and the convective parametrisation scheme. We have jointly influenced international strategy for atmospheric research and measurements.
 
Description MoU between CEH and WASCAL 
Organisation West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use
Country Burkina Faso 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution CEH and WASCAL have jointly developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing for a) exploration of potential future research collaborations; b) supporting opportunities for supporting WASCAL early career researchers across a number of UK research institutions.
Collaborator Contribution WASCAL supported a joint WASCAL-CEH workshop in November 2018, focused on strengthening co-production of climate services for West Africa.
Impact Operationalising the links between researchers and policymakers in West Africa: A joint WASCAL-AMMA-2050 workshop to share emerging learning and inform the development of a clear road map to bridge existing gapshop workshop report: https://www.amma2050.org/sites/default/files/report_Workshop_WASCAL_AMMA-17%2012%2018-nocontacts.pdf Brought together researchers from across hydrology, meteorology, climate science, social science with a decision makers working at regional (ECOWAS), national and sub-national levels.
Start Year 2018
 
Description MoU between CEH and WASCAL 
Organisation West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use
Country Burkina Faso 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution CEH and WASCAL have jointly developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing for a) exploration of potential future research collaborations; b) supporting opportunities for supporting WASCAL early career researchers across a number of UK research institutions.
Collaborator Contribution WASCAL supported a joint WASCAL-CEH workshop in November 2018, focused on strengthening co-production of climate services for West Africa.
Impact Operationalising the links between researchers and policymakers in West Africa: A joint WASCAL-AMMA-2050 workshop to share emerging learning and inform the development of a clear road map to bridge existing gapshop workshop report: https://www.amma2050.org/sites/default/files/report_Workshop_WASCAL_AMMA-17%2012%2018-nocontacts.pdf Brought together researchers from across hydrology, meteorology, climate science, social science with a decision makers working at regional (ECOWAS), national and sub-national levels.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with PAS/PNA and Climate Analytics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Collaboration with the PAS/PNA workshop coordinated by partners Climate Analytics, to share current scientific understanding regarding future climate for Senegal and potential impacts across sectors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://climateanalytics.org/media/re_rapport_final_pas_pna_150319.pdf
 
Description Consultation with decision makers in Senegal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Sharing of emerging learning about future climate in West Africa, with consultation on potential impacts in Senegal and how it can support national and sub-national planning, particularly for the agricultural sector
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2018
URL https://www.amma2050.org/sites/default/files/May-2018-Dakar-WorkshopReport.pdf
 
Description Final project meeting 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Sharing AMMA-2050 key findings, tools and approaches with national and (sub-state) regional decision makers from Senegal and Burkina Faso to support ongoing consultation and uptake. Key findings of climate science research and the project's two pilot studies - one focused on strengthening climate-resilient agriculture in Senegal and the other on flood-resilient planning in Ouagadougou - were shared with decision makers in the morning. In the afternoon participants were invited to a Theatre Forum, where the Senegalese Theatre Forum group, Kaddu Yarax, presented a piece jointly developed with AMMA-2050 researchers, which highlights the important role that all stakeholders have in enabling effective climate adaptation, with the audience invited to propose and play out proposed solutions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://futureclimateafrica.org/news/amma-2050-presents-their-ground-breaking-findings-on-climate-ch...
 
Description Meeting with Mayors in Ouagadougou 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with city and national decision makers in Burkina Faso as part of AMMA-2050's pilot to strengthen flood-resilient urban planning in Ouagadougou. Project partners shared a range of tools, including - Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves, flood risk maps, emerging scientific understanding about the future climate in West Africa - and sought decision makers' feedback on the use and further development of these products to support decision-making
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.amma2050.org/sites/default/files/RapportMayoralmeeting24May2018-shortend.pdf
 
Description Presentation of Geo Portal with ANACIM 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sharing the Geo Portal, developed by IRD with funding from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, designed to share emerging understanding regarding climate changes for Senegal and impacts on agriculture. Workshop coordinated by ANACIM, Senegal National Meteorological and Civil Aviation Agency.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.anacim.sn/atelier-de-presentation-portail-multisectoriel-impacts-changement-climatique-la...
 
Description joint WASCAL-AMMA2050 workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The joint WASCAL-AMMA 2050 workshop aimed to support and inform WASCAL's approach to co-producing climate services. Together with invited policymakers working at city, national and regional levels, researchers from AMMA-2050 and WASCAL shared and discussed a range of approaches for developing climate services tailored to support specific decision-making processes. The workshop employed a participatory impact pathways approach, with methodologies presented including: Theatre Forum, participatory modelling and the Plateau Game, as employed within the AMMA-2050 pilot projects. WASCAL welcomed the workshop, with colleagues embracing the proposed approaches. The institution also recognised the need to ensure dedicated science-policy resource to strengthen institutional engagement with decision makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://wascal.org/wascal-amma-2050-set-roadmap-to-activate-science-policy-links-in-west-africa/