Climate resilience in the Ethiopian highlands

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Climate resilience in the Ethiopian highlands

Climate resilience in the

Ethiopian highlands

Ben Zaitchik

Johns Hopkins University


Defining Resilience

Human Systems: the ability of communities to

withstand and recover from stresses

Natural Systems: a measure of how much

disturbance an ecosystem can handle without

shifting into a qualitatively different state

– Human and natural systems are interlinked, complex,

and adaptive

– Agricultural resilience depends on both human and

natural systems


Exposure, Impacts,

and Vulnerability

Exposure to

climate variability

and change

Sensitivity to

climate

stressors

Livelihood

assets

Capacity &

willingness

Impacts

Adaptive

capacity

Vulnerability

Resilience building

activities

Improved

outcomes


Current climate conditions

Precipitation

• Variable in time

• Variable in space

• Intense convective

events

Temperature

• Steep topography

• Strong local contrasts

• Implications for crops

Annual Precipitation (mm)

1800

1700

1600

1500

1400

1300

1200

1100

and ecology

1000

1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000


Current climate conditions

Precipitation

• Variable in time

• Variable in space

• Intense convective

events

Temperature

• Steep topography

• Strong local contrasts

• Implications for crops

and ecology


Hydrological Implications

• Seasonal and interannual

management

challenge

• High erosion rates and

reduced downstream

water value

• Local precipitation

extremes that can be

difficult to monitor

Monthly Flow at Roseires

10000

9000

8000

7000

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0

Jun-20 Feb-34 Oct-47 Jun-61 Mar-75


Exposure, Impacts,

and Vulnerability

Exposure to

climate variability

and change

Sensitivity to

climate

stressors

Livelihood

assets

Capacity &

willingness

Impacts

Adaptive

capacity

Vulnerability

Resilience building

activities

Improved

outcomes


Agricultural Systems


Agroecological Diversity


Adaptive capacity Indices

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

Index value

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1.0

ML plain brw

ML plain black

ML sloping L

Low land & Vally

Hilly & Mt.

-1.2

Agroecosystem

Simane et al., In Review


Exposure, Impacts,

and Vulnerability

Exposure to

climate variability

and change

Sensitivity to

climate

stressors

Livelihood

assets

Capacity &

willingness

Impacts

Adaptive

capacity

Vulnerability

Resilience building

activities

Improved

outcomes


Climate Projections

Change in Annual Precipitation:

2080s – present, Blue Nile Headwaters

15

10

% Precipitation Change

5

0

-5

-10

B1

A1B

A2

-15

Climate Model


Agro-ecosystem approach

• Objective classification of present day agroecological

zones based on climate, hydrology, and

cropping practices

• EOF-based GCM downselection

• Dynamical/Statistical downscaling of selected

scenarios

• Probabilistic maps of agro-ecological futures


Step 1

• Reliable, high resolution analysis of

present day climate and hydrology

• Detailed land cover and land suitability

assessment


Nile Land Data Assimilation System

(Nile LDAS)

Landscape Information

Update Observations

LDAS Output

Land Surface Model

Meteorological Data

Rain ET Runoff


Cross-validation

June 2009: Evapotranspiration

ALEXI

LDAS

M. Anderson, USDA


Land Cover Analysis

% agriculture

0-5 %

5-10 %

20-30 %

30-60%

M. Ozdogan, Univ of Wisconsin


Status

• Implemented LDAS and performed two rounds of

evaluation

• Cross-comparison of distributed hydrological

fluxes and satellite observations underway

• 30m land cover maps of The Blue Nile

Headwaters under evaluation

• Statistical and dynamical downscaling of selected

CMIP3 GCMs


THANK YOU

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