AbstractsGeography &GIS

Integrated Climate Change Impact Assessment and Extreme Event Forecasting in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB)

by Felix Nzive Mutua

Institution: University of Tokyo
Year: 2013
Record ID: 1226393
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2261/54146


Extreme weather events have been the leading cause of disasters and damage all over the world. Recent events have led to mass displacement, loss of income, and hampered access to clean water and health to many. The primary ingredient to these disasters especially floods is rainfall which over the years, despite advances in modeling, computing power and use of new data and technologies, has proven to be difficult to predict. Numerical weather prediction (NWP) and climate models using global forecasts and emission scenarios as initial and boundary conditions have provided short to midterm forecasts and climate projections in many parts of the world. The Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) in East Africa supports over three million livelihoods and hosts the world record for elaboration of vertebrate species diversity, species extinctions, and exotic species invasions. The second largest freshwater lake in the world is a valuable resource to five East African countries as a source of water and means of transport. However, with a Mesoscale climate regime driven by land and lake dynamics, extreme Mesoscale events have been prevalent and the region has been on the receiving end during anomalously wet years in the region. This has resulted in loss of lives, displacements, and food insecurity. As an essential aspect of early warning there is a need to strengthen adaptation through improved prediction of rainfall and floods. It is now more evident than ever that climate change will have adverse impacts on the global population in coming years. Since the release of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4) in 2007, it has been shown that impacts of climate change are already being felt, with increases in sea level rise, retreating glaciers and more frequent weather extremes. In the LVB, the effects of climate change are increasingly being recognized as a significant contributor to poverty, by its linkage to agriculture, food security and water resources. One aspect that is investigated widely with respect to climate change is the impacts it will have on extreme weather events. There is a general consensus that changes in frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events will have adverse effects on both humanity and nature. Adaptation to climate change needs an understanding of climate change impacts at local scales. There is a need to connect the global scale projections with impacts it may have on people through downscaling and other means. The LVB is a regional basin with multiple land uses and water resource needs. In addition, it is one of the basins that have been heavily affected by extreme weather, especially storm-induced floods. Of particular importance are the likely impacts of climate change in frequency and intensity of extreme events. To tackle this aspect, this study adopted an integrated regional, mesoscale and basin scale approach to climate change assessment. The study investigated the projected changes in mean climate over East Africa, diagnosed the…