Meteorologists Can’t keep up With climate change In Mozambique

Meteorologists Can’t keep up With climate change In Mozambique

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Houses in the cyclone Idai throw destroyed the banks of the Buzi district, Mozambique. To cope with the meteorologists there say that they have all the resources you need that the country as a result of climate change with more extreme weather

Nichole Sobecki/VII for NPR


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Nichole Sobecki/VII for NPR

Normal November weather in Mozambique, the capital Maputo is pleasant and warm, with a chance of epic thunderstorms. The sun shines in the morning, and then boom the sky opens, and a stiff wind begins to blow, and it is probably best if you are on the inside.

At 10 p.m., an 85-degrees-Thursday, November of this year, Mozambique meteorologists, Acacio Tembe, lead was hunched at a computer at the National Institute of Meteorology to find out if a storm is in the cards that afternoon. He switched between the register maps with global weather maps from the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan. On each card, the clouds and bands of rain

Lead forecaster Acacio Tembe, on the left, and treated the output of a warning about an incoming storm with a colleague at the National meteorological Institute in Maputo, Mozambique.

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Nichole Sobecki/VII

Tembe ‘ rang the phone. The man on the other end was responsible for the drainage and water resources for the city of Maputo, and he wanted to know: Is it a storm? Because it is only an inch and a half of rain, the flooding in the streets of the city.

“We don’t know,” Tembe told him. “We are still analyzing the information.”

Tembe promised to let him know if you decided to, for the issue of a severe weather warning, and then he hung up and leaned back in his office swivel chair. He stared silently into the clouds that on his screen, as if he needed his face closer to the monitor, maybe, somehow, you give him what is truly is: a map with better resolution.

A boat ferries passengers across the river in the district of Buzi, Mozambique, on 14. Reliable weather-radar data is not available in the region.

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Nichole Sobecki/VII

The forecast for forecasting: cloudy

A map of the National meteorology Institute shows regional weather data for November 19.

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Nichole Sobecki/VII

Mozambique is one of the many countries around the world where weather forecasts are lagging behind, even as climate change brings more extreme and variable weather drives. In Bangladesh, the tropical storm warnings are not sufficiently reliable. To try In Peru, the national government, to weather and climate information for residents, with more extreme weather. The World Meteorological Organization is working on the update of flash flood warning systems in more than 50 countries around the world, including Mozambique.

Mozambique forecasters currently rely heavily on the weather data and models collected and created, and is primarily tailored to the needs of other countries.

“now, we with global models,” says Tembe. They are helpful for the understanding of the large-scale weather forecasts for the country — for example, to find out if it will rain later in the week, or if a hurricane is on its way from the coast.

But Tembe says that the information from these models is specific enough to consistently predict local and short term weather. This is an increasingly serious problem, because the weather in Mozambique is becoming more extreme.

“Today, we have more intense phenomena,” he explains. “More cases of heavy rain, the heat is stronger, the wind stronger. It is different from the past.” Mozambique is already under more droughts, and more frequent and severe storms than it was earlier this century was because the climate changed.

Acacio Tembe, Mozambique, lead forecaster, says the country is experiencing an increase in extreme weather, including more intense rain, more drought and more frequent and severe hurricanes and heat waves.

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Dangerous fallout

The extreme weather can be deadly. Much of the country is currently suffering from a drought, the supply of effort of food. And in this spring of two powerful cyclones hit Mozambique in quick succession, killing hundreds of people and destroy thousands of buildings. The first cyclone Idai, in the vicinity of Mozambique, the third largest city of Beira is met, a row of tearing houses and flooding to much of the city.

map shows the location of Mozambique in relation to the rest of southern Africa


to increase

“The exposure of disaster risk in Mozambique, as a result of climate change,” says Antonio Queface, an atmospheric scientist at the Department of physics, Maputo, Edward Mondlane University. “[If] we are looking specifically for the tropical cyclones, from 1979 until the last few years, including Idai in the year 2019, you can see, there is a change in the patterns. The cyclones, which are more rigorous, with strong wind and rain, and more often.”

Daily weather is always to predict extreme and difficult to predict. As is true in much of the world, as the earth is getting warmer, the climate change has extreme rain rather. This means that a larger proportion of the precipitation falls that the country is forecast to come in big dumps, in contrast to rather moderate rainfall.

It all comes more and more risk for the people in Mozambique. In the coastal municipalities on the Land of the long Indian ocean, sea level rise and more intense tropical storms make life even more dangerous and unsafe. For the more than 3 million families that farm in Mozambique, more dry lines can mean less plants and the dead cattle.

the residents need more detailed information, both about the local weather on a particular day and how the weather conditions change. Both need better weather and climate prediction ability.

What else

missing

A satellite dish outside of Mozambique National meteorology institutions, weather information from the European Union satellite. Meteorologists say they need more weather data for accurate local forecasts.

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Queface says there are two missing pieces now: weather forecast models with higher resolution, so that the meteorologists can zoom in and give the residents of the specific information, and weather data, these models accurately.

Over the last two decades, the international weather maps available to the people of Mozambique by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, the European Union and national governments, including the United States have become more detailed, such as the weather and the satellite technology is advanced. But not all of the data available to forecasters in other countries, in real time, in part because many countries do not have the computing power or Internet speeds required, and use the data for the short turnaround forecasts.

“I think, says, it is a difficult issue on the models” Queface. “How can you give the inputs to the model? What data do you have? Africa as a continent, perhaps with the exception of South Africa, there is a scarcity of meteorological data” available for local and national weather forecast.

It’s not just satellite data. Mozambique only has a handful of weather stations measurements across the country, according to the National Institute of meteorology.

Without an accurate, continuous, and local information on wind, air humidity, air pressure, precipitation, and other basic weather measurements, a higher resolution, Mozambique-specific weather model would always say inaccurate, Queface. “[It’s garbage in, garbage out] on the model. So the model itself doesn’t solve anything.”

Janitor Salamao Mausse enters Xai Mozambique of the now-defunct radar installation in Xai -,.

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Radar image

In the early 2000s, the government of Mozambique, together with the world Bank for the Installation of two weather radar stations. The goal is the detection of the type of data that meteorologists need to make accurate forecasts and also help scientists track changes in the country, the climate.

A radar system was in the coastal city of Beira, and the second was, a few hours North of the capital, in the city of Xai-Xai. If the Xai-Xai location opened in 2004, the then President, Joaquim Chissano, personally participated in the so-called ” baptism of the installation, and gave him a name: “life-Radar.”

“It was something that the people here are very proud of,” says Salamao Mausse, the longtime caretaker for the local meteorological offices responsible for the radar. “The radar was the good, accurate weather information for the whole country.”

Salamao Mausse is within the dome of the radar station, the run stopped, in the year of 2012. He still cleans every few days, just in case it is repaired.

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changed The radar, as the local residents thoughts on the weather forecast, he says. In the past, a lot of people a lot of stock in the local forecasts had not, because they are often wrong. But in the year 2008, if the radar had been a couple of years ago, there was a storm in the region. The local meteorologists, the radar data could see that the storm was parked over the neighboring province. You make a forecast warning people that flooding was likely for the next two days, so you should make sure that their cattle were safe, and avoid low-lying places.

in fact, the storm was exactly as you predicted.

“And all were really impressed”, Mausse, remembers, and laughs. “They were like, ‘Are you the God into the conversation to come up with the thing?'”

shortly thereafter, But, according to the National Institute for meteorology, the radar functions began to fail. It was difficult to maintain, calibrate and repair difficult, because the company that made it, Gematronik, was in Germany. And local technicians in Mozambique, she has no experience with radar.

The radar in Xai-Xai stopped providing data in 2013. Mausse has to go further up the mountain, to clean every few days and dust the radar control room, and cut the grass around it, in the hope that it will be fixed one day. Mozambique, the second radar installation has also stopped working, says Tembe.

In the year 2015 American Meteorological Society, researchers a study presented, from neighboring South Africa, found that 16 radar systems of the same company “plagued by technical problems.” The study found that both Mozambique and Botswana have had similar problems. The authors suggest that older radar systems may be useful in the region in the long term, to maintain as they are easier with local parts and know-how. Another option could be the locally collected data through the weather sensors in vehicles and mobile phones.

Queface indicates that, no matter where the weather data comes from Mozambique, need to faster, more reliable, Internet, advanced computing and more, the training of meteorologists.

Forecasters in Mozambique, the National meteorology Institute to say, you would need more computing power, faster Internet service and more training for dealing with all the satellite collected data about their region.

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hope in search of money

Many countries, that funding for such upgrades come out of the Paris climate agreement, which will be discussed by leaders from around the world this week in Madrid. According to the agreement, the major industrial countries, which contributed the most to the total global greenhouse gas emissions agreed to pay into a global Fund that would help the cost of the management and adaptation to climate change.

just last week, the Fund gave $10 million to the Philippines for the update of its forecast of the weather in some parts of the country.

limping, But the amount of money available for such upgrades is far behind the amount of money promised. The United States, about a third of the $3 billion that they promised in 2014 under the Obama administration.

Queface says outside money is essential if Mozambique wants to build a better weather forecast system. “Countries such as ours, you have a lot of priorities,” he says. “You need schools, you need health centers, they have to so many things. And sometimes, a disaster is coming and you need to relief operations.”

Released on Thu, 11 Dec 2019 10:09:00 +0000

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