African SWIFT Cheney Public Lecture: From Extreme Weather to Climate Change in Africa

University of Leeds Cheney Fellow, Dr Benjamin Lamptey, will talk on extreme weather and climate change in Africa, with consideration of the contribution of human activity on the continent and implications for the environment, society and the economy. The talk will be followed by a panel discussion involving several climate and weather experts. The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks reception. This talk will take place in the Michael Sadler Building, Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre at the University of Leeds on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 from 19:00-21:00 BST (18:00-20:00 UTC).

This lecture is open to the public. Attendance is free but you will need to register in advance. 

  • Please register at this link ONLY if you plan to attend the lecture in-person
  • Please register for to attend the online webinar here

About the lecture: Climate Change in Africa is a big threat to the people, the environment and the economy. Most of the disasters are hydrometeorological in origin and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has projected an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events over the continent. While global climate is changing due to greenhouse gas increases, mostly emitted from countries outside Africa, it has been argued since the 1970s that human activities on the land surface in Africa also cause shifts in the climate. It can be hard to imagine how Africa will cope with an increase in the intensity of storms, droughts and heatwaves, when the effects of present-day weather extremes can be so devastating. Is the contribution of land use change to climate change in Africa important to these changes? The presentation will inquire how the present-day weather is viewed vis-à-vis climate change.

About the speaker: Dr Benjamin Lamptey joined the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) in Niamey, Niger as the Deputy Director-General (DDG) in September 2013. He became the Acting Director General of ACMAD cumulatively with the DDG position from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2018, before joining the University of Leeds, UK, as a Cheney Fellow. Prior to joining ACMAD, he was the Acting Head of the Nautical Science Department and Acting Dean of the Graduate School at the Regional Maritime University in Accra, Ghana. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado USA from 2005 to 2007 after obtaining his doctorate degree in Geosciences (with a minor in High Performance Computing) from the Pennsylvania State University. He started his meteorology career as a Weather Forecaster at the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) and later became the Head of the Climatology Division. He led the creation of the national climatological database. He is a climate modeler but has expertise in Data Management. His current passion is in the transition from research to operations.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session and a panel discussion. Panel members will include:

  • Dr Rosalind West, DFID Climate Science Lead
  • Prof Andy Dougill, Executive Dean: Faculty of Earth and Environment
  • Prof John Marsham, Water@Leeds Research Fellow
  • Dr Benjamin Lamptey, Cheney Fellow

Also see the University of Leeds website

African SWIFT Summer School Success in Kumasi

Across the fortnight 21 July-2 August 2019, GCRF African SWIFT held its first International Summer School designed specifically to train the next generation of scientists in tropical meteorology and forecasting techniques. Hosted by SWIFT partner, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, the African SWIFT Summer School was organised in collaboration with the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS). During the two weeks, 45 students from countries across tropical Africa and Europe were taught by experts in the field of tropical meteorology from both academia and operational centres around the world. The programme focused on providing a hands-on learning experience designed to build students’ technical forecasting skills, and included daily lectures, practical sessions and weather forecast discussions covering all aspects of African meteorology, from satellite-based nowcasting to sub-seasonal to seasonal predictions, to forecast evaluation. Students also participated in a Discussion Forum with weather forecast user groups from across Kumasi and the Ashanti Region. The conversations explored ways that forecast information might be improved and linked more closely to the needs of climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, disaster management and urban planning. As well as important learning outcomes such as improving students’ understanding of weather phenomena and forecasting techniques, the Summer School has also provided a unique opportunity for students to interact with experts and learn alongside peers.

African SWIFT congratulates the students of its first International Summer School and thanks them for all their energy, enthusiasm and hard work. SWIFT also thanks the experts and organisers for their many and valued contributions that led to the Summer School’s resounding success. Particular thanks are extended to SWIFT partner KNUST for all their help in organising and delivering the series of SWIFT events held across the two weeks, and for being such welcoming and accommodating hosts.

Link to summer school insights report from Caroline Wainwright and Vicky Boult on FCFA site.

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