The African Climate & Development Initiative is proud of the researchers from the University of Cape Town who are contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC) on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The IPCC is divided into three Working Groups and a Task Force. Working Group I deals with The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, Working Group II with Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and Working Group III with Mitigation of Climate Change. The University of Cape Town has authors contributing to all three of these working groups, including three Coordinating Lead Authors and five Lead Authors.
Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6-WG1)
Rondrotiana Barimalala (Lead Author)
Rondrotiana Barimalala is a researcher in the department of Oceanography. Her research interests include climate modeling, climate variability and change, as well as air-sea interaction. Recently she has also developed a new interest on the use of deep learning to advance climate science. Her work at UCT broadly contributes to understanding the main mechanisms that drive the southern African climate. Rondrotiana is a Lead Author for Chapter 3: Human influence on the climate system, and a Contributing Author for Chapter 1: Framing, context and methods. She is also part of the 2020 cohort of Future Leaders-African Independent Researchers (FLAIR). Rondrotiana, originally from Madagascar, received her PhD from the joint program between the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the University of Trieste, Italy and in a collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA.
Bruce Hewitson (Lead Author)
Bruce Hewitson is the South Africa National Research Chair on Climate Change and director of the Climate System Analysis Group (www.csag.uct.ac.za) at UCT. His expertise focuses on regional climate change, the interface of climate science and society, and capacity building for climate scientists and decision makers with a special interest in developing nation contexts. He leads a range of projects that include the development of new analytical methods, climate change and cities, regional climate change projections, seasonal forecasting, climate uncertainty, and the intersection of climate information and ethics. Bruce was a coordinating lead author in the IPCC’s 3rd, 4th, 5th, and in the 6th Assessment Report is a Lead Author for Chapter 10: Linking global to regional change, in the areas of methods and approaches to constructing regional information for adaptation and policy, including issues of values and ethics.
Izidine Pinto (Lead Author)
Izidine Pinto is a climatologist with a broad interest in regional climate responses to human activities in Africa. He focuses on climate modelling for short term weather forecasts, and climate projections. His current research involves the development of regional climate change projections through the framework of distillation, downscaling and understanding the driving dynamics. A main interest is in modelling of extreme weather events, contributing to more accurate future projections, and ultimately to improve decision making at a city level. Izidine is a Lead Author for Chapter 11: Weather and climate extreme events in a changing climate. He is also contributing for the development of the technical summary (TS) of the IPCC WG1. Originally from Mozambique, he moved to Cape Town in 2009, when he joined the Climate System Analysis Group, initially for his MSc (2011), followed by a PhD (2015) on improving the understanding of future changes in extreme weather events in Southern Africa.
Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6-WG2)
Gina Ziervogel (Lead Author)
Gina Ziervogel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at UCT. Her research focuses on climate change adaptation and development across scales from the household to municipal level. She is particularly interested in the governance of urban adaptation with a focus on water and social justice. Methodologically she is interested in engaged scholarship and transdisciplinary projects that bring together civil society, government and academics to address problems collaboratively. She is a Lead Author for Chapter 6: Cities, settlements and key infrastructure. The chapter builds on the previous IPCC work that has argued how central cities and settlements are for reducing climate risk. The current chapter focuses on unpacking the implications of climate risks for cities and the nature of recent adaptation efforts through the lens of different types of infrastructures. The chapter also unpacks issues of governance, equity and justice, which it argues need to be more explicitly addressed in urban adaptation, which aligns directly with Associate Professor Ziervogel’s work.
Christopher Trisos (Coordinating Lead Author)
Christopher Trisos’s research focus is on the intersection of climate change, biodiversity and human well-being. Before moving to ACDI, Christopher spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at University of Maryland, where his research focused on biodiversity, climate change and geoengineering. He also co-led the interdisciplinary and actionable science training program for postdocs. Christopher has a doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. His research at ACDI is funded by a Future Leader–African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellowship from the Royal Society and the African Academy of Sciences. He is the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 9: Africa, focusing on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the Africa.
Christopher Lennard (Lead Author)
Chris Lennard is a climatologist at the Climate System Analysis Group. He is interested in regional African climate and as such is a Co-PI on the Wind Atlas for South Africa project, which is mapping wind climates over South Africa for the renewable energy sector, and Co-PI on the DECIMALS project which investigates potential impacts of solar geoengineering on Africa. He is also involved in projects that co-produce regional climate information relevant for decision making at the science-policy interface, including FRACTAL. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Team of the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) and leads the CORDEX-Africa initiative that develops African climate and impact modelling scientists through analysis and application of CORDEX data. In the AR6 he is responsible for producing the climate change section of the WG2 Africa chapter, making sure that the climate messages speak directly to the sectors assessed of the chapter and also leads the WG1-WG2 “handshake” team whose responsibility is to harmonize climate messages between WG1 and WG2, where he works closely with CLAs and LAs particularly in WG1 Chapters 10, 11, 12 and Atlas.
Nicholas Simpson (Chapter Scientist)
Nicholas Simpson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the ACDI at UCT. He is the Chapter Scientist for Chapter 9: Africa Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Nick’s current research concentrates on the complexity of climate risk, how everyday African’s perceive climate change, energy poverty / access, and security practices at the interface of climate change and conflict. Nick's previous research has extended security studies to the governance of new 'Anthropocene' risks / harms. This work has extended our understanding of responses to unanticipated and severe Anthropocene events; such as the Cape Town drought. Nick was also the first to establish theoretical and practice ready consilience between the capabilities approach and environmental assessment. His PhD concentrated on participatory sustainable decision-making. Nick’s research also focuses on the very bottom end of the economic spectrum, aiming to support the creation and improvement of livelihoods and small businesses of those most at environmental and economic risk. His work with Tearfund (UK) has identified 'design principles' that inform the conceptualization and evaluation of projects to aid in the replication of emerging sustainability-orientated work for humanitarian NGOs. Their latest collaboration concentrates on off-grid low carbon energy and credit solutions in Africa for informal and marginalized communities.
Luckson Zvobgo (Co-Chapter Scientist)
Luckson Zvobgo is a Co-Chapter Scientist for Chapter 9: Africa. Luckson is a PhD student at UCT and his research is focusing on how smallholder farmers under rain-fed agriculture in semi-arid regions of southern Africa apply local and indigenous knowledge to adapt to climate change and variability impacts and hazards. Luckson and other IPCC team members are working on a systematic review of the evidence on water climate change adaptation across Africa and the application of local and indigenous knowledge. He is also interested in climate-resilient water resources development and governance. He actively participated in the development of Zimbabwe’s Water Policy. Luckson is a consultant in the fields of environmental management and water resources development with projects completed in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Jessica Thorn (Contributing Author)
Jessica is a Namibian ecologist with a background in human geography, a senior research at ACDI holding a Climate Research 4 Development and African Women in Climate Change fellowship, and a research associate at the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, affiliated to the University of Nairobi, and African Conservation Centre. She uses probabilistic social-ecological modelling and scenario analysis to measure impacts of development on land use change, peri-urban resilience and ecological infrastructure. Before moving to UCT, Jessica spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University and ETH Zurich. She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford, funded by CGIAR Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security and Centre for International Forestry Research. Jessica is contributing to the Africa chapter, focusing on human settlements, nature-based solutions, economy and livelihoods, as well as the Cross-Chapter Paper 5 (CCP-5) "Mountains" detection and attribution assessment.
Luleka Dlamini (Research Assistant)
Luleka Dlamini recently completed a MSc. in Environmental and Geographical Science, specializing in Atmospheric Science at UCT. She is currently registered into a joint PhD between Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at UCT and the Soil Physics and Land Management group at Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands). Luleka is broadly interested in transdisciplinary research that focuses on agriculture, water, climate change, crop modelling and use of earth observation in the African context. As such, her PhD research will focus on integrating earth observation and crop modelling to explore future climate-smart agriculture in data-limited areas of South Africa. Luleka also just recently joint ACDI as is a research assistant for the Africa Chapter. Here she is particularly involved with the food systems sections, where she is currently working on projected climate change risks to regionally important food and cash crop.
Danielle Millar (Research Assistant)
Danielle Millar is an early stage researcher. She holds a Masters in Medical Physiology from the University of Stellenbosch. Her research focuses on cellular and molecular biology, specifically disease prevention and intervention. She has experience in autophagic modulation, cancer biology, adjunctive therapies (including indigenous medicines and dietary interventions), herb-drug interactions, and drug metabolism and transporters. She has an interest in environmental health and stress biology, and is a researcher for the health section of the Africa chapter. Her most recent research has focused on the effects of air quality on human health, particularly in air pollution hotspots in South Africa.
Mark New (Coordinating Lead Author)
Mark New is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Climate Change and Director of the ACDI at UCT. As Pro-VC for Climate Change he is responsible for the ACDI and the coordination of cutting-edge research and teaching at UCT on the twin issues of low carbon and climate resilient development, from a strongly African perspective. The ACDI draws on the intellectual capital of the range of disciplines at UCT and external collaborators, to create the largest concentration of expertise in climate and development in Africa. Mark is also the AXA Chair in African Climate Risk. His research programme is focused on quantifying and understanding the changing risk of climate on water and food security in southern Africa. Mark is the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 17: Decision-making options for managing risk, which synthesis evidence from across preceding regional and sectoral chapters and the broader literature on approaches and tools for adaptation decision making, the broad categories of adaptation options that are suggested for managing climate risk, enabling and catalysing conditions that can support effective adaptation, as well as a section on what does “success” look like for adaptation, and what approaches are available to track and evaluate progress on adaptation. He is also co-leading an extended “Cross Chapter Box” – a special stand alone section – on Financing of Adaptation and Resilience.
Megan Lukas-Sithole (Chapter Scientist)
Megan Lukas-Sithole is based at the ACDI and is a Chapter Scientist for Chapter 17: Decision-making options for managing risk. For her Ph.D, she did an ethnographic study on the everyday sustainability practices of people living in Nyanga, Cape Town. Prior to her PhD, Megan worked at the City of Cape Town in the field of Environmental Management. Her qualifications include a BSc in Environmental and Geographical Science (UCT), PG Dip in Environmental Law (UCT), and MPhil in Environmental Management (Stellenbosch University).
Lauren Arendse (Chapter Scientist)
Lauren Arendse is based at ACDI and is a Chapter Scientist for Chapter 17. She obtained her master’s in Water and Science Engineering from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands. She is passionate about the environment and human society, and curious about the role of technology and innovation in progressing towards a sustainable future. Lauren is interested in evaluating the financial need for adaptation and resilience both globally and across regions and sectors [to assess if financial flows are meeting the global needs]. She is also actively involved, as a volunteer, with the Water Youth Network which is a global network of students and youth water professionals working together to empower youths, advocate for youth involvement in decision making and connect actors in the water sector and beyond towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6-WG3)
Harald Winkler (Coordinating Lead Author)
Harald Winkler is a Professor within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at UCT. He is rated as an “internationally acclaimed researcher” (B2) by SA’s National Research Foundation, is a member of editorial boards of five international journals, has been a member of the SA delegation to the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Harald’s research interests are focused around climate policy, at international and national level. He led the research work underpinning South Africa’s Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS). From 2010 to 2015, a significant focus of his work with other developing countries to share the LTMS experience in a programme called MAPS – Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios. He developed the proposal of sustainable development policies and measures (SD-PAMs). Current focus areas and research interests include: the future of the climate regime and implementation of the Paris Agreement, Equity and climate change, including work on ‘equitable access to sustainable development’, equity in nationally determined contributions and ‘zero poverty zero emissions’ pathways, Sustainable energy paths for South Africa, particularly in energy use and supply, and comparative analysis of mitigation actions in cities and in developing countries. Harald is the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4: Mitigation and development pathways in the near-to mid-term.
Dimakatso Sebothoma (Research Assistant)
Dimakatso Sebothoma is a research assistant on Chapter 4. Dimakatso previously assisted on the Renewable, Innovative and Scalable Electrification (RISE) project. Dimakatso is an engineering graduate with a Bachelor of Technology in mechanical engineering from the University of South Africa and is currently completing her MSc in sustainable energy engineering at UCT. Her broader research interest includes sustainable renewable energy, waste to energy and climate change mitigation.