Dr. Rachel James on Climate Adaptation in Africa

“Adapting to Climate Change in Africa”
GA evening lecture, 18th October 2022

The second lecture in the Autumn Series of the 22-23 Bristol GA programme was given by Dr. Rachel James, who is a Senior Lecturer and Future Leader Fellow in the School of Geographical Sciences.

Janet Neil (our new Branch Co-President) proudly introduced Rachel, having taught her in the 2000s at Redland High School. Rachel studied at the University of Oxford for a BSc (2010) and PhD (2013), followed by a period as Research fellow in the Environmental Change Unit, Oxford, before returning to Bristol in 2020.

Climate change in Africa is described as a ‘wicked problem’. It is multi-faceted, needing multi-disciplinary study – a combination of adaptation and mitigation. The problem featured heavily at COP27 (Nov 6 – 18, 2022) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Rachel James was in attendance, representing the Cabot Institute, University of Bristol. See news item.

Rachel talked passionately about the role that adaptation and mitigation will play and how this is managed. Effective solutions and decisions need to be involve local and regional decision makers and community-focussed. The audience was brought into the discussion about effective management using mentimeter. Transdisciplinary approaches -using political science, social science, engineering, hydrology and climate change – is required. See, for example, the UMFULA project involving researchers from many institutions in UK and Africa. Rachel’s expertise in climate science is an important component of the research and focusses on how rainfall patterns might change in the future in climate features known as ‘tropical temperate troughs’

The slides associated with Rachel’s talk can be viewed in our Resources section.

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