South Africa

Impact of solar radiation management on drought and heat extremes in Southern Africa and associated influence on the regional agriculture

Project summary

Southern Africa is highly vulnerable to climate extremes such as droughts and heat stress and the frequency of these extremes is of great concern for the population. SRM is a potential mechanism to offset the greenhouse gas forcing of climate change, however, the impacts of SRM in Southern Africa are not yet known. Dr Romaric Odoulami and team will explore the impact of SRM on regional characteristics of drought and heat extremes and will look at both on the ground measurements of these extremes as well as their large-scale atmospheric and ocean-atmospheric drivers. The results of this study will have broader socio-economic and political implications and will help inform African policy-makers in the UNFCCC and other climate forums. The project is hosted at the University of Cape Town (African Climate and Development Initiative).

Photo-like image of South Africa captured in April 2010 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Photo: NASA (Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team).

The team

Dr Romaric OdoulamiDr Romaric Odoulami (Beninese) – Principal Investigator
University of Cape Town

Romaric C. Odoulami is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the African Climate and Development Initiative, an interdisciplinary research and training institute at the University of Cape Town. He completed a PhD degree in Meteorology and Climate Science in 2016 from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (Nigeria). His current works include the understanding of the large-scale atmospheric drivers of extreme weather and climate events in Southern Africa and assessing the potential contribution of anthropogenic factors on their likelihood in a changing climate context. These are part of the AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk. His previous works include the use of regional climate models to assess the potential impacts of a geoengineering scheme (large-scale afforestation) on characteristics of climate extremes over West Africa.
Dr Christopher LennardDr Christopher Lennard (South African) – Co-Principal Investigator
University of Cape Town

Dr Chris Lennard is a climate scientist at the Climate System Analysis Group whose interests include the development of regional climate information, regional climate modelling, renewable energy, extreme climate events and mountain biking. He is a lead author in the IPCC Special Report on Land and Climate and in the Africa chapter of the IPCC AR6. Dr Lennard serves on the Scientific Advisory Team of the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) and leads the CORDEX-Africa initiative.
Prof. Babatunde AbiodunProf. Babatunde Abiodun (Nigerian)
University of Cape Town

Dr Babatunde J. Abiodun is an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he lectures and coordinates the Atmospheric Science Programme for the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University Missouri Kansas City (USA). Prior to joining UCT in 2008, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Iowa State University (USA) and a Lecturer at the Federal University of Technology Akure (Nigeria). His research interest is in the development and application of atmospheric modelling. At Iowa State, he led the development of a global atmospheric model with grid adaptation. Dr Abiodun is an international scholar who has co-authored 3 book chapters and published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers in high-profile international journals. He served as a Lead Author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change (AR5) 2013: The Physical Science Basis. His has been funded by agencies like the global change SysTem for Analysis Research and Training (START), the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Southern Africa Water Research Commission (WRC) to focus on the development and application of climate models to improve knowledge on regionally-extensive drought over Africa, extreme weather and climate events, and impacts of reforestation activities on regional climates. He is a member of the Council of the Society of South African Geographers (SSAG).
Temitope EgbebiyiTemitope Egbebiyi (Nigerian)
University of Cape Town

Temitope S. Egbebiyi is a PhD Student at the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science (EGS) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. He is a young and upcoming scientist with his first degree in Meteorology and an MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science. He has developed a strong research interest in regional climate modelling, extreme weather events, crop modelling, climate change impacts studies, agrometeorology, and adaptation strategies with the aim to contribute to knowledge in this area. This motivated his current PhD study titled “Investigating the impact of projected timing of climate departure from historical variability on crop yield over West Africa”. He is currently a member of the Climate System Analysis Group in EGS as well as the CORDEX Africa group. He has presented some of his research findings at national and international conferences and he recently won the best poster award at the 2018 South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences conference and has co-authored some publications. He is supervised by Dr Olivier Crespo and Dr Chris Lennard at the Climate System Analysis Group, UCT.
Prof. Mark New (South African & British)
University of Cape Town & University of East Anglia

Dr Izidine PintoDr Izidine Pinto (Mozambican)
University of Cape Town

Izidine Pinto is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in a vibrant multi-disciplinary research centre. Pinto holds both an MSc and a PhD degree in Environmental and Geographical Science from UCT from 2015. His research focus on the development of regional climate change information through the framework of distillation, downscaling and understanding the driving dynamics, and relevant methodological developments for the tailoring of climate information to stakeholder needs. This work is part of the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) project. He is also working on the understanding of changes in albedo and the effect on the local climate of Southern Africa.
Sawadogo WindmanagdaSawadogo Windmanagda (Burkinabe)
Federal University of Technology, Akure & University of Cape Town

Sawadogo Windmanagda is a PhD candidate at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (Nigeria). As part of his PhD programme, he has been visiting the Climate System Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town since 2017 where he is working on assessing the impact of climate change and different global warming levels on the renewable energy potential (wind and solar energy) in West Africa using regional climate model simulations. Other research interests of Sawadogo include the understanding of how various geoengineering options could impact extreme climate events and the potential for renewable energy in Africa.