Africa Climate

The African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP) program promotes innovative adaptation research in Africa. Alumni of the program represent a cadre of climate change specialists who are promoting and facilitating adaptation research, education, and decision making across Africa.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, nearly 100 ACCFP Fellows have been matched with universities, research centers, and other host institutions across Africa where they collaborate with mentors to implement individually designed projects that, for example, assess and prioritize climate risks, investigate current practices for designing and implementing adaptation actions, and consider approaches for integrating adaptation with planning and practice. Learn more about how ACCFP links individuals and institutions.

Current Fellowship types include Adaptation Science Fellowships and Adaptation Policy Fellowships. ACCFP Science Fellows receive small grants that enable them to visit other institutions – “Host Institutions” – where they collaborate with mentors to implement individually-designed projects. Adaptation Policy Fellows participate in an Adaptation Policy Training Institute and receive a small grant to conduct a follow-on project that uses the knowledge gained during the training.

Due to the lack of knowledge on climate change and Global Warming in Africa we need to do a lot of Research which will enable us to really evaluate and adequately sensitize the population on climate change issues.

All ACCFP Fellows participate in periodic workshops and training sessions that add value to the research experience. Such activities challenge Fellows to step “outside the box” in considering the role and potential contributions of their individual work within broader efforts to address climate change adaptation challenges in Africa.

SASSCAL is a joint initiative of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Germany, responding to the challenges of global change. The establishment of a Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management could create added value for the whole southern African region. It should be conceptualised and operationalised to complement the excellent existing research and capacity development infrastructures and research initiatives in the region. It should be embedded in the regional and national research. Its mission is to conduct problem-oriented research in the area of adaptation to climate and change and sustainable land management and provide evidence-based advice for all decision-makers and stakeholders to improve the livelihoods of people in the region and to contribute to the creation of an African knowledge-based society.

The SASSCAL will improve the capacities to provide sound science-based solutions for current problems and future risks in the region, in particular regarding climate change and the associated demands concerning land management practices of local players. To this end, the centre will contribute to strengthening existing and developing new capacities for application-oriented scientific research and science-policy consultations on climate change, adapted land-use and sustainable development in the region.

SASSCAL will support national, regional and local institutions and service providers to develop relevant advisory and implementation skills.

A regional dialogue between scientists and decision makers is indispensable in this context because many of the global change challenges go beyond national boundaries. Therefore SASSCAL will have a regional scope and the work of the Centre will be defined in partnership with the respective scientific communities, the users of science products, policy-makers, and decision-makers.

To describe weather conditions across the continent of Africa in specific terms is difficult in such a small space, so we’ll opt for general terms. Most of Africa is in the tropics, and except for the peaks of mountains in the Great Rift Valley, it never freezes. The continent’s northern half is primarily desert or arid, while its central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense jungle (rainforest) regions.

Africa is the hottest continent on earth; dry lands and deserts comprise 60% of the entire land surface. The Sahara Desert (including its satellite deserts) is the world’s largest hot desert, and temperature above 37.78 °C (100 °F) are common. In fact, the record for the highest temperature ever recorded was set in Libya in 1922; 58 °C – (136 °F).

To the immediate south of the Sahara Desert in the Sahel region, drought and annual rains way below average are rather common, and major dust storms are a frequent occurrence. In the central African rain forests (along the Equator) warm to hot climate conditions are the norm with very high humidity; Africa’s heaviest rains fall in this area.

In the far south, the Kalahari Desert, a large semi-arid sandy savannah covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Rainfall is sparse and summer temperatures run high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain each year.

Summers in Southern Africa can be be quite hot, especially along the coastal areas. Inland in the higher elevations, temperatures do moderate. Winters are generally mild, with some light snow up in the hills and mountains.

For detailed weather in any African country select the country of choice from the dropdown list above right, or review these current weather conditions in some selected cities.
Note: The seasons south of the Equator are just the opposite of those north of the Equator; (Spring) October to December; (Summer) January to March; (Fall) April to June, (Winter) July through September.

Afriuca Climate, World’s second largest continent

Africa is the second largest continent, approximately three times the size of the United States. The African continent measures 5,200 miles from north to south, and at its broadest point, is nearly as wide as it is long.

Victoria Falls from Zambian side, Africa contains both the world’s largest desert (the Sahara) and the world’s longest river (the Nile). The continent is also home to Victoria Fall, considered as one of the natural wonders of the world.

Africa’s 11,636,846 square miles of land are divided into 55 countries (including South Sudan, which became a separate country in 2011).

Africa is bordered by:

  • the Atlantic Ocean to the west
  • the Indian Ocean to the east
  • the Mediterranean to the north.
  • A variety of climate zones

Unsurprisingly, such a large land mass has a wide variety of climates:

  • Tropical rainforest – found particularly in the centre of the continent and also along the eastern coast of Madagascar.
  • Humid sub-tropical – found in the southwest.
  • Mediterranean – mostly on the northwest (Mediterranean) coast and in the southeast
  • Savannah – found to the north and south where it replaces the rain forest. There are distinct wet and dry seasons.
  • Steppe – away from the Equator, to the north and south, the savannah grades into drier steppe.
  • Desert – here there is little rainfall and wide differences between day and night temperatures. The Sahara in the north is the world’s largest desert (only three countries have a greater area – Russia, Canada and China). The Kalahari in southern Africa covers an area larger than France.
  • Highland – largely found in the east, below the Horn of Africa.
  • Marine – largely in the southeast.

Record temperatures in Africa

  • The highest temperature recorded anywhere in the world was at Al’Aziziya, Libya, which reached 57.8°C (136°F) on September 13, 1922.
  • The lowest recorded temperature in Africa is -24°C (-11°F) at Ilfrane, Morocco, on February 11, 1935.

Highs and lows

Temperatures are highest in desert areas, particularly the Sahara. They are coolest across the south and in mountainous areas and plateaux highlands.

Rainfall varies dramatically across Africa. The northern half of the continent contains large areas of arid desert, where annual rainfall can be just 50mm. But in central areas of the continent, tropical rainforests can receive over 4,000mm each year (Scotland has an average of around 1,500mm).

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