CR 06:137-145 (1996)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr006137

Historic and future climatic change in Zimbabwe

Unganai LS

Near-term and current regional climate patterns for Zimbabwe are summarized based on twentieth-century observation data and model simulations. These records suggest air temperature warming of up to 0.8*C and a decline in annual precipitation during the past 60 yr. Future climate scenarios, based on 2 General Circulation Model (GCM) equilibrium models, General Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL3) and Canadian Climate Centre (CCCM), were developed for Zimbabwe and southern Africa. Both GCMs suggest that with doubling of atmospheric CO2 mean air temperature will increase by 2 to 4*C. In contrast, these 2 GCMs project different current and future precipitation scenarios for Zimbabwe. When calibrated with observed climate data from Zimbabwe, the CCCM GCM closely simulated current ambient temperature and precipitation patterns. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is a major influence on interannual variability of climate in southern Africa. Future African regional climatology projections, based on GCM scenarios, will need to better consider ENSO and other factors if greater precision is to be achieved.


Climate scenarios · Climate variability · General Circulation Models · Zimbabwe


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