Summary of Project AMMA-2050
The climate of West Africa is subject to some of the most variable rainfall patterns seen anywhere in the world. In the past the area has been hit by periods of prolonged and severe droughts which have had strong consequences on the livelihoods of many people. These populations are growing and are increasingly vulnerable to changes in the climate trends, particularly on the short to medium term. By combining West African skills and knowledge of the needs of urban planners and agricultural sector with expertise from the UK and France we aim to improve understanding of the variability of future climate.
The AMMA-2050 project will focus on extreme weather events and relate these to projections of changes in the average seasonal rainfall. These events will be studied regionally for the area of West Africa in order to improve our understanding of future trends and better explain the uncertainties inherent in such projections of rainfall. These results will be used to drive our understanding of how climate information is used by decision makers across the region in an effort to show the value of designs made with trustworthy information.
The two sectors that are particularly relevant to livelihoods are urban planning (a key concern due to the growing populations of cities) and agricultural cultivation schemes (where large sections of the population still depend on subsistence farming).
In addition to assessing how these sectors will be impacted at a regional level we will also conduct two focus studies to determine in depth how:
- urban planners use information on flooding to make their plans.
- to develop agriculture planting programmes.
The aim is for both urban and agricultural actors to have improved tools that aid them in designing strategies that are robust for a future climate.
The research and capacity building work AMMA-2050 will undertake in partnership with African, UK and French partners will result in a workforce able to lead decisions that are relevant to West African nations. Therefore our proposed work is designed with excellent science at its core but will work with social scientists to aid in understanding how best to make use of the project outcomes. Furthermore end-users have an important role as their needs are included in the design of the project making the results coming out of the project in a format that is easily used by them.
Improved resilience is an important aim for AMMA-2050 and it starts with improving our understanding of the climate signal over the West African region and leading through to how decisions are taken in very specific pilot studies that showcase the importance of having access to improved science outputs.