Friday July 21, 2023

University of California, Santa Barbara

In Africa, climate change impacts are experienced as extreme events like drought and floods. Through the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (which leverages expertise from USG science agencies, universities, and the private sector) and the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center, it has been possible to predict and monitor these climatic events, providing early warning of their impacts on agriculture to support humanitarian and resilience programming in the most food insecure countries of the world.

Science is beginning to catch up with and even get ahead of climate change. In a commentary for the journal Earth’s Future, UC Santa Barbara climate scientist Chris Funk and co-authors assert that predicting the droughts that cause severe food insecurity in the Eastern Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia) is now possible, with months-long lead times that allow for measures to be taken that can help millions of the region’s farmers and pastoralists prepare for and adapt to the lean seasons.

“We’ve gotten very good at making these predictions,” said Funk, who directs UCSB’s Climate Hazards Center, a multidisciplinary alliance of scientists who work to predict droughts and food shortages in vulnerable areas.

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