Vol. 6, Issue 1 (2019)
Projection of changes in temperature at selected meteorological stations in Zambia: statistical downscaling of CMIP5 models
Author(s): Monday Chota, Suman Jain
Abstract: Changes in minimum (TMIN) and maximum (TMAX) temperature over selected meteorological stations in Zambia are projected by statistically downscaling three Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios for the period 2020 – 2049 relative to 1971 – 2000. Assessment of various predictor sets showed that a combination of sea level pressure (SLP), specific humidity at 850 hPa (Q850) and temperature at 850 hPa (T850) is suitable for downscaling TMIN while temperature at 2 metres (T2m) was found to be a predictor of choice for TMAX. Robust increase in annual and seasonal temperatures for all stations and emission scenarios is projected. Warming tends to be larger for stations located in the southern part of the country than those in the northern part. Largest seasonal warming is projected to occur during JJA under both scenarios. DJF and MAM seasons are projected to experience smallest increase in TMIN and TMAX respectively under both scenarios. Based on these results, Zambia need to devise practical adaptive strategies directed towards alleviating warming which may adversely impact health, water and agriculture sectors among others.