9.8.2 Research gaps and priorities
As shown at the outset of this chapter, there has been a substantial shift from an impacts-led approach to a vulnerability-led approach in climate-change science. Despite this shift, much of the climate-change research remains focused on impacts. For Africa, however, as this chapter has attempted to show, a great deal more needs to be done in order to understand and show the interactions between vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and variability and the consequences of climate variability and change both in the short and long term.
Notwithstanding the marked progress made in recent years, particularly with model assessments (e.g., in parts of Africa, see Christensen et al., 2007), the climate of many parts of Africa is still not fully understood. Climate scenarios developed from GCMs are very coarse and do not usually adequately capture important regional variations in Africa’s climate. The need exists to further develop regional climate models and sub-regional models at a scale that would be meaningful to decision-makers and to include stakeholders in framing some of the issues that may require more investigation. A further need is an improved understanding of climate variability, including an adequate representation of the climate system and the role of regional oceans and diverse feedback mechanisms.