Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)
Possible causes of the contraction of West Africa’s rainfall season under global warming: implications for agriculture
PI: David Cudjoe Adukpo, University of Cape Coast
US Partner: William Gutowski, Jr., Iowa State University
Project Dates: May 2012 - April 2014
In recent years, increasing climate-oriented research is improving our understanding of the changes in the climate and highlighting the possible impacts of these changes all over the world. An example of the manifestation of these changes is in rainfall variability. Observations and research results have shown changes in the onset of the main rainfall season in West Africa, which in turn have an impact on agricultural practices. In many parts of West Africa, rain-fed agriculture is a prominent instrument for economic growth, food security, and poverty reduction (Boko et al., 2007), so future changes in climate may cause significant disturbances. This project will study the possible causes of the reduction in West Africa’s rainfall season and explore the relationship between onset and retreat of rainfall dates in West Africa and climate index interactions using response surface analysis. The project will also study how the variability in rainfall is affecting the present and future maize yield in Ghana, as well as other potential impacts such as hydroelectric power generation and fisheries.
Summary of Recent Activities
In early 2013, Dr. Adukpo’s students made some preliminary data runs to choose the domain and parameters for simulations. However, disruptions to Ghana’s power grid have prevented the group from setting up long calculations and have limited practice sessions at the computer. Analysis of past data has been ongoing, and the results will be used to prepare a manuscript. A draft of another paper has been completed based upon site visits to maize farmers in selected ecological zones in Ghana. The students have also written and submitted their first drafts of literature reviews of their various topics. In February 2013, they met with Dr. Adukpo and researcher Dr. Nana Browne regarding the manuscripts and student submissions. Thanks to negotiations with other institutions to run long-form climate modeling calculations, Dr. Adukpo expects that his students will be able to prepare and submit a report on the climate dynamics of West Africa by the middle of 2013.