Timescales of transformational climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan African agriculture
- Develops a temporal uncertainty framework using the CMIP5 ensemble to assess when and where cultivation of key crops in sub-Saharan Africa becomes unviable
- Reports potential transformational changes for all major crops during the twenty-first century, as climates shift and areas become unsuitable
- Finds that for most crops, transformation is limited to small pockets (<15% of area)
- Finds that transformation is more widespread only for beans, maize and banana (~30% area for maize and banana, 60% for beans)
- Envisages three overlapping adaptation phases to enable projected transformational changes: an incremental adaptation phase focused on improvements to crops and management, a preparatory phase that establishes appropriate policies and enabling environments, and a transformational adaptation phase in which farmers substitute crops, explore alternative livelihoods strategies, or relocate
- States monitoring capacities to track farming systems as well as climate are needed to best align policies with production triggers for no-regret actions
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