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Towards a feasible and representative pan-African research infrastructure network for GHG observations

López-Ballesteros, Ana; Beck, Johannes; Bombelli, Antonio; Grieco, Elisa; Lorencová, Eliška Krkoška; Merbold, Lutz; Brümmer, Christian; Hugo, Wim; Scholes, Robert and Vačkář, David, et al. (2018) In Environmental Research Letters 13(8).
Abstract

There is currently a lack of representative, systematic and harmonised greenhouse gas (GHG) observations covering the variety of natural and human-altered biomes that occur in Africa. This impedes the long-term assessment of the drivers of climate change, in addition to their impacts and feedback loops at the continental scale, but also limits our understanding of the contribution of the African continent to the global carbon (C) cycle. Given the current and projected transformation of socio-economic conditions in Africa (i.e. the increasing trend of urbanisation and population growth) and the adverse impacts of climate change, the development of a GHG research infrastructure (RI) is needed to support the design of suitable mitigation... (More)

There is currently a lack of representative, systematic and harmonised greenhouse gas (GHG) observations covering the variety of natural and human-altered biomes that occur in Africa. This impedes the long-term assessment of the drivers of climate change, in addition to their impacts and feedback loops at the continental scale, but also limits our understanding of the contribution of the African continent to the global carbon (C) cycle. Given the current and projected transformation of socio-economic conditions in Africa (i.e. the increasing trend of urbanisation and population growth) and the adverse impacts of climate change, the development of a GHG research infrastructure (RI) is needed to support the design of suitable mitigation and adaptation strategies required to assure food, fuel, nutrition and economic security for the African population. This paper presents the initial results of the EU-African SEACRIFOG project, which aims to design a GHG observation RI for Africa. The first stages of this project included the identification and engagement of key stakeholders, the definition of the conceptual monitoring framework and an assessment of existing infrastructural capacity. Feedback from stakeholder sectors was obtained through three Stakeholder Consultation Workshops held in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia. Main concerns identified were data quality and accessibility, the need for capacity building and networking among the scientific community, and adaptation to climate change, which was confirmed to be a priority for Africa. This feedback in addition to input from experts in the atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic thematic areas, facilitated the selection of a set of 'essential variables' that need to be measured in the future environmental RI. An inventory of 47 existing and planned networks across the continent allowed for an assessment of the current RIs needs and gaps in Africa. Overall, the development of a harmonised and standardised pan-African RI will serve to address the continent's primary societal and scientific challenges through a potential cross-domain synergy among existing and planned networks at regional, continental and global scales.

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published
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keywords
Adaptation, Africa, Climate change, Cooperation, Environmental monitoring, GHG observations, Research infrastructures
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
13
issue
8
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85056491968
ISSN
1748-9318
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/aad66c
language
English
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yes
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42473944-911b-4fd3-ba39-7b3472afb36a
date added to LUP
2018-11-29 09:35:45
date last changed
2019-04-05 12:47:20
@article{42473944-911b-4fd3-ba39-7b3472afb36a,
  abstract     = {<p>There is currently a lack of representative, systematic and harmonised greenhouse gas (GHG) observations covering the variety of natural and human-altered biomes that occur in Africa. This impedes the long-term assessment of the drivers of climate change, in addition to their impacts and feedback loops at the continental scale, but also limits our understanding of the contribution of the African continent to the global carbon (C) cycle. Given the current and projected transformation of socio-economic conditions in Africa (i.e. the increasing trend of urbanisation and population growth) and the adverse impacts of climate change, the development of a GHG research infrastructure (RI) is needed to support the design of suitable mitigation and adaptation strategies required to assure food, fuel, nutrition and economic security for the African population. This paper presents the initial results of the EU-African SEACRIFOG project, which aims to design a GHG observation RI for Africa. The first stages of this project included the identification and engagement of key stakeholders, the definition of the conceptual monitoring framework and an assessment of existing infrastructural capacity. Feedback from stakeholder sectors was obtained through three Stakeholder Consultation Workshops held in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia. Main concerns identified were data quality and accessibility, the need for capacity building and networking among the scientific community, and adaptation to climate change, which was confirmed to be a priority for Africa. This feedback in addition to input from experts in the atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic thematic areas, facilitated the selection of a set of 'essential variables' that need to be measured in the future environmental RI. An inventory of 47 existing and planned networks across the continent allowed for an assessment of the current RIs needs and gaps in Africa. Overall, the development of a harmonised and standardised pan-African RI will serve to address the continent's primary societal and scientific challenges through a potential cross-domain synergy among existing and planned networks at regional, continental and global scales.</p>},
  articleno    = {085003},
  author       = {López-Ballesteros, Ana and Beck, Johannes and Bombelli, Antonio and Grieco, Elisa and Lorencová, Eliška Krkoška and Merbold, Lutz and Brümmer, Christian and Hugo, Wim and Scholes, Robert and Vačkář, David and Vermeulen, Alex and Acosta, Manuel and Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus and Helmschrot, Jörg and Kim, Dong Gill and Jones, Michael and Jorch, Veronika and Pavelka, Marian and Skjelvan, Ingunn and Saunders, Matthew},
  issn         = {1748-9318},
  keyword      = {Adaptation,Africa,Climate change,Cooperation,Environmental monitoring,GHG observations,Research infrastructures},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Towards a feasible and representative pan-African research infrastructure network for GHG observations},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aad66c},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2018},
}