Climate, Land Use and Conflict in Northern Africa

In cooperation with CliSAP Research Area C4, possible future climate change in Africa north of the Equator is analyzed, and possible interactions between climate, anthropogenic land cover change and land use are explored.

Preliminary results:

A first analysis of possible future climate and vegetation change in Northern Africa is finalized [1]. By analyzing three CMIP5 Earth System Models (ESMs) with dynamic vegetation it has been shown that until the end of the 21st century, the three models agree on a substantial greening especially in the central and eastern Sahel due to increased CO2-levels. This trend is reversed under prolonged climate change especially in the western Sahel, highlighting that the beneficial effect of CO2-fertilisation must finally diminish.

Analysis of the impact of type and intensity of anthropogenic land use on the climate in the Sahel and Sudan is under way. First results suggest that the type of land use (pasture vs. crops) only marginally affects regional climate. Linkages between land use, water, migration and conflict in Northern Africa have been analyzed (e.g. [2]).

[1] Bathiany, S., Claussen, M., Brovkin, V., 2014: CO2-induced Sahel greening in CMIP5 Earth System Models. J. Climate. In revision.

[2] Scheffran, J., Ide, T., Schilling, J., 2014: Violent Climate or Climate of Violence? Concepts and Relations with Focus on Kenya and Sudan, International Journal of Human Rights (in press).