2014-12-17

News from the latest Climate Change conference in Lima, Peru

The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) took place from 1 to 14 December in Lima, Peru.

Progress was made towards a new universal climate agreement covering both mitigation and adaptation. Governments agreed on ground rules about greenhouse gass contributions and there is hope that this new agreement will be signed next year at the 21st session of the COP in Paris.

For a short summary of key outcomes of this year's meeting see:



http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lima/lima-call-for-climate-action-puts-world-on-track-to-paris-2015/

2014-11-11

Preferred activities for a potentially dry season (2014-2015) at Mokwakwaila community


What activities would you have done if you had had access to cash and resources last season?

The green and red dots represent two groups with men and women in each group.




Preferred activities for a wet season (2013-2014) at Mokwakwaila community


What activities would you have done if you had had access to cash and resources last season?

The green and red dots represent two groups with men and women in each group.




Community meeting at Mokwakwaila on Nov 6th


2014-11-07

Lambani community meeting on Nov 4th


Preferred activities for a potentially dry season (2014-2015) at Lambani community

What activities would you like to do this season if you have access to cash and resources?

Womens' answers with Blue dots.


Mens' answers with Yellow dots.


Preferred activities for a wet season (2013-2014) at Lambani community

What activities would you have done if you had had access to cash and resources last season?

Womens' answers with Blue dots.


Mens' answer with Yellow dots.


IK signs at Lambani

Here are the latest local signs seen in Lambani community.


First snowfall of the year in Linköping......


Climate adaptation workshop in Stockholm


On Nov 3-4th in Stockholm, Sweden a small workshop was held to create a new network and discuss ideas for new projects on urban climate adaptation in East Africa. Participants were from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Linköping University, The Swedish Defense Agency, University of Dodoma (Tanzania), DONET (a Tanzanian NGO specialising in environmental issues), University of Burundi, The Nile Basin Initiative and University of Nairobi. The group plans to meet again in February 2015 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

2014-09-01

Stakeholder meeting to discuss project results of the 2013-2014 growing season


On May 16th a stakeholder meeting was held in Polokwane with researchers and interested stakeholders to discuss results after the first rainy season. Presentations and discussions focussed on: using seasonal climatological forecasts, assessment of hydrological and climatological forecasts, signs of nature noted during the rainy season, current status of the wireless sensor network and data, integration of forecasts, sensor data and signs in nature, experiences from the field officers during the 2013-2014 growing season and updates on LDA field trials in Mokwakwaila and Lambani. We also discussed preparations for the 2014-2015 season and how to integrate good suggestions and improvements into our work.








Some of the workshop presentations can be uploaded here.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0By1x7BPwdnyeaXdUdlhQVXEzVEU&usp=sharing

2014-06-16

A year in Lambani

During our meeting with farmers in Lambani, we compiled a graph sketching the last season with respect to rains, crops, droughts, etc. Information was gathered in different forms and will be compiled and presented later.

2014-05-27

A year in Mokwakwaila

For us to better understand a typical season at one of the research sites, we had the pleasure to sit down and discuss with some of the local farmers. Sketching down the information on a piece of paper resulted in this graph.

The 2013-2014 season was in short a good year (for the home-garden farmers), water supplies were good, etc. We will further compile the information we got from the other farmers that kindly received us on the 19th of May, 2014.

2014-05-26

Example model analysis of soil moisture data

In the figure below, I have taken the data from the Mokwakwaila office station. We are looking at the measured data from the most shallow sensor. In addition to this, I have created a model that takes the precipitation into account, as well as evaporation and run-off. The numbers are displayed in per cent.

The model looks something like

topModel(m) = topModel(m-1) + scaleRain*(rainfall(m) + rainfall(m-1)) - topModel(m-1)*topModel(m-1)*(evaporation + dillution)*(timeVector(m)-timeVector(m-1));
The current, modelled value of soil moisture is equal to the previous one plus rain times a scaling factor. In addition to this, moisture will disappear through air and ground, this is a time-dependent parameter and it will also depend on the soil moisture itself. I have assumed a square model. The more moist it is, the more will evaporate.

Evaporation, etc., is also a function of air and soil temperature, not included here, that would further refine the model. Evaporation and dillution, is approximately 2% per hour.

2014-05-19

Today's sensor data

Just since I prepared the files for some eye inspection, I thought we could add them here too.

Below you find the data underneath each other and in the same scale. The data is recorded at the Mokwakwaila office and at the Morwatshela high school. The plots are spanning from June 2013 until today. Notice that one of the sensors were installed some three months later than the other. This explains the long straight line from June to November 2013.

With the two graphs in front of us, we can at least see some correlation between the values with the naked eye.

The office station also has a rain gauge and we can see that there was quite heavy rain at the end of January. This also forms a peak in the soil moisture at the school. If we look at the accumulated rain over seven day periods over the year, Mokwakwaila received 75 mm during end of January. Interestingly, there was an earlier rain fall, flood, on Jan 6, where 61 mm was registered during 6 hours.

Just for the interested, a quick comparison of the different soil moisture values are given in the figure bellow. The curves can be identified from above (green: deep@school, yellow: shallow@office, red: deep@school, blue@office).

ANT or ANT+ as a communication scheme

ANT/ANT+ are hybrids of the Bluetooth communication standard and can be used for short-range communication between electronic devices. Nowaday, ANT/ANT+ typically is used for training gadgets, healthcare and similar.

Today, when we visited Mokwakwaila to check on the sensors we found that there was a huge ant nest there! Crowded with them. Unfortunately, this has also made the sensor malfunction and data is lost.

We have to reinstall the sensor in September for the next season. We will probably have to move the sensor a bit to, and it will be a challenge to get the sensor up from the ground given all the ants that will be there...

2014-05-13

What is ENSO?

ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation)

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon describes the year-to-year variations in sea- surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. This affects atmospheric circulation and weather for many regions of the globe.

ENSO occurs in 3 phases as below:

  • El Niño – warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean
  • La Niña – colder than average sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean
  • Neutral or “La Nada” – sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are close to average, these periods are often in transition between El Niño and La Niña events

ENSO typically affects weather in Southern Africa as below:

  • El Niño – drier than average, lower rainfall
  • La Niña – wetter than average, higher rainfall
  • Neutral or “La Nada” – can be either or average, no distinct rainfall pattern

The “skill” or reliability of a seasonal forecast also varies according to which ENSO phase is in force during the current rainfall season. In general for Southern Africa, seasonal forecasts for conditions of both El Nino and La Nina can have relatively good skill, meaning that they are more likely to come true. Under Neutral conditions, however, the skill of the forecast is low, which means that one should not put much trust in such forecasts.

Link

2014-05-06

More forecasts

We have added forecasts for the Letaba and Luvuvhu regions with analyzed data from CSIR and CSAG. Please find them here.

We will update the forecast pages accordingly.

2014-04-11

Second generation forecasts

And now the second-generation forecasts have been produced based on all data but IK and sensor data from the Lambani and Luvuvhu regions.

We have put the information on the February 2014 page. (Otherwise browse through the Forecast tab on the top.

2014-01-30

The first forecasts!

The first forecast has now been produced based on all data but IK and sensor data from the Lambani and Luvuvhu regions.

We have put the information on the January 2014 page.

More information on how to interpret the results and browse through the files will be added shortly. A more graphical approach will be used to follow the data. A first version might look like this:

2014-01-22

Example on indigenous signs in Lambani

Indigenous signs (2013-2014)

Date

Describe the signs


What does this indicate?

Daily, weekly or seasonal signs?

PLANTS





Has anyone seen any signs from local plants that indicate drier or wetter conditions? (Yes/No)





If yes, what are the signs?





The XX trees have many shoots

Oct 3

Many shoots

A wet season

Seasonal

The Motoma trees

Oct 3

Lots of fruit

A wet season

Seasonal

ANIMALS





Has anyone seen any signs from local animals that indicate drier or wetter conditions? (Yes/No)





If yes, what are the signs?





Swallows

Oct 3

Arrival

It will soon rain

A few days

Other bird (name?)

Oct 3

Returns many times

A good rain year

Seasonal

Livestock (e.g. cattle and goats)

Oct 3

Calves come unnoticed

A good rain year

Seasonal

Livestock (e.g. cattle and goats)

Oct 3

More female calves

A good rain year

Seasonal

DRY/WET/HOT/COLD CONDITIONS





Has anyone suffered any problems related to too much/little water/hot/cold?





If yes, what are they?