Abstract: Climate change will have large impacts on water resources and its predictions are fraught with uncertainties in West Africa. With the current global drive for renewable energy due to climate change, there is a need for understanding the effects of hydro-climatic changes on water resources and hydropower generation. A hydrological model was used to model runoff inflow into the largest hydroelectric dam (Kainji) in the Niger Basin (West Africa) under present and future conditions. Inflow to the reservoir was simulated using hydro-climatic data from a set of dynamically downscaled 8 global climate models (GCM) with two emission scenarios from the CORDEX-Africa regional downscaling experiment, driven with CMIP5 data. Observed records of the Kainji Lake were used to develop a hydroelectricity production model to simulate future energy production for the reservoir. Results indicate an increase in inflow into the reservoir and concurrent increases in hydropower production for the majority of the GCM data under the two scenarios. This analysis helps planning hydropower schemes for sustainable hydropower production.
Abstract: In recent years, biofuels have emerged as a suitable alternative to hydrocarbon fuel due to their foreseen potential of being a future energy resource. Biofuel development initiatives have been successfully implemented in countries like Brazil, United States of America, European Union, Canada, Australia, and Japan. However, such programmes have been stagnant in Africa due to various constraints, such as financial barriers, technical expertise, land availability, and government policies. Nonetheless, some countries within the continent have realized the potential of biofuels and have started to introduce similar programmes and initiatives for their development. These include the bioethanol production initiatives and the plantation of jatropha oil seeds in most Sub-Saharan African countries for biodiesel production. Therefore, this paper examines the biofuel development initiatives that have been implemented in several countries across Sub-Saharan Africa over the past few years. It also discusses the opportunities and challenges of having biofuel industries in the continent. Finally, it proposes some recommendations that could be applied to accelerate their development in these Sub-Saharan African countries.
Abstract: This study aims to calibrate and validate the generic crop model (CROPGRO-Soybean) and estimate the soybean yield, considering simulations with different sowing times for the current period (1990–2013) and future climate scenario (2014–2030). The database used came from observed data, nine climate models of CORDEX (Coordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment)-Africa framework and MERRA (Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications) reanalysis. The calibration and validation data for the model were acquired in field experiments, carried out in the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 growing seasons in the experimental area of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Angónia, Mozambique. The yield of two soybean cultivars: Tgx 1740-2F and Tgx 1908-8F was evaluated in the experiments and modeled for two distinct CO2 concentrations. Our model simulation results indicate that the fertilization effect leads to yield gains for both cultivars, ranging from 11.4% (Tgx 1908-8F) to 15% (Tgx 1740-2Fm) when compared to the performance of those cultivars under current CO2 atmospheric concentration. Moreover, our results show that MERRA, the RegCM4 (Regional Climatic Model version 4) and CNRM-CM5 (Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques – Climatic Model version 5) models provided more accurate estimates of yield, while others models underestimate yield as compared to observations, a fact that was demonstrated to be related to the model’s capability of reproducing the precipitation and the surface radiation amount.
Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that urban forms and materials can help to mediate temporal variation of microclimates and that landscape modifications can potentially reduce temperatures and increase accessibility to outdoor environments. To understand the relationship between urban form and temperature moderation, we examined the spatial and temporal variation of air temperature throughout one desert city—Doha, Qatar—by conducting vehicle traverses using highly resolved temperature and GPS data logs to determine spatial differences in summertime air temperatures. To help explain near-surface air temperatures using land cover variables, we employed three statistical approaches: Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), Regression Tree Analysis (RTA), and Random Forest (RF). We validated the predictions of the statistical models by computing the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and discovered that temporal variations in urban heat are mediated by different factors throughout the day. The average RMSE for OLS, RTA and RF is 1.25, 0.96, and 0.65 (in Celsius), respectively, suggesting that the RF is the best model for predicting near-surface air temperatures at this study site. We conclude by recommending the features of the landscape that have the greatest potential for reducing extreme heat in arid climates.
Abstract: Tropical Cyclone (TC) systems affect global ocean heat transport due to mixing of the upper ocean and impact climate dynamics. A higher Sea Surface Temperature (SST), other influencing factors remaining supportive, fuels TC genesis and intensification. The atmospheric thermodynamic profile, especially the sea-air temperature contrast (SAT), also contributes due to heat transfer and affects TC’s maximum surface wind speed (Vmax) explained by enthalpy exchange processes. Studies have shown that SST can approximately be used as a proxy for SAT. As a part of an ongoing effort in this work, we simplistically explored the connection between SST and Vmax from a climatological perspective. Subsequently, estimated Vmax is applied to compute Power Dissipation Index (an upper limit on TC’s destructive potential). The model is developed using long-term observational SST reconstructions employed on three independent SST datasets and validated against an established model. This simple approach excluded physical parameters, such as mixing ratio and atmospheric profile, however, renders it generally suitable to compute potential intensity associated with TCs spatially and weakly temporally and performs well for stronger storms. A futuristic prediction by the HadCM3 climate model under doubled CO2 indicates stronger storm surface wind speeds and rising SST, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.
Abstract: In this study, the hourly air temperature differences between City hall (urban) and Okoafo (rural) in Lagos, Nigeria, were calculated using one year of meteorological observations, from June 2014 to May 2015. The two sites considered for this work were carefully selected to represent their climate zones. The city core, City hall, is within the Local Climate Zone (LCZ 2) (Compact midrise) while the rural location, Okoafo, falls within LCZ B (Scattered Trees) in the south-western part on the outskirt of the city. This study is one of very few to investigate urban temperature conditions in Lagos, the largest city in Africa and one of the most rapidly urbanizing megacities in the world; findings show that maximum nocturnal UHI magnitudes in Lagos can exceed 7 °C during the dry season, and during the rainy season, wet soils in the rural environment supersede regional wind speed as the dominant control over UHI magnitude.