Every six months the Human Dynamics supported Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa project publishes a Continental Bulletin. The April 2016 edition was produced this month, providing a snapshot of the climatic conditions experienced across the entire African continent for the previous six months, and most importantly provides a forecast for the next six months.
In the six months’ between September 2015 and March 2016, Africa experienced El Nino drought conditions, which led to poor crop and rangeland production in southern Africa and northern parts of eastern Africa. However conversely, the middle part of Eastern Africa experienced good vegetation growth due to El Nino. The intensification of oceanic upwelling created optimal conditions for fish growth in the Guinea Current’s Large Marine Ecosystem. Whereas, warmer than unusual seas surface temperatures could possibly lead to a reduction in fish production in the Canary and Benguela Large Marine Ecosystems.
These observations and forecasts for the future are explored in detail in this eight-page snapshot of MESA’s climatic assessments. The report also includes additional analysis, such as a spatiotemporal analysis of the continental environment using cluster analysis by applying the NDVI index, pictured above. The “Normalised Difference Vegetation Index” (NDVI) is a numerical indicator that uses the visible and near-infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and is adopted to analyse remote sensing measurements and assess whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not. MESA applies this technique to track the impact of droughts and the bands of vegetation that were affected. The resulting reports inform numerous decision-makers across Africa.