For the first time, the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due for release in 2019, will contain African-derived projections of future global climate change. The projections will be made possible by a new coupled climate model, which is being developed through collaborative research between the CSIR and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
The new coupled model incorporates the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans to enable accurate and more realistic climate projections over Africa. The multidisciplinary effort is driven by CSIR experts in the fields of global change, high-performance computing and modelling and digital science.
In 2017, the CSIR became the first institute in Africa to register for the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project formally. The CSIR registered with a full variable resolution Earth system model.
The reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assess the evidence of climate change that has occurred to date; combine climate change projections obtained from all leading climate change institutions globally and convert the information collected into a set of plausible climate futures.
The CSIR’s investment in the development of the model is aimed at informing the country’s adaptation strategies for climate change. Projections generated by the CSIR have informed the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions that South Africa has submitted to the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Federation Convention on Climate Change directly. The models have also informed the national communication on climate change of South Africa.