Keyword: climate change, climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation


An Africa-first, with the potential to improve climate change preparedness Picture2


What is the African-based earth system?

The CSIR is developing the first African-based earth system model to provide reliable projections of the potential impact of climate change on the African continent. This will help answer questions such as what might happen to the local climate if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, as well as whether or not climate change will result in the more frequent occurrence of strong El Niño events and drought in southern Africa.


How it works

The CSIR has begun the development of the first African-based earth system model. This will be a coupled model – it incorporates the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans to enable accurate and more realistic climate projections for Africa. The multidisciplinary effort is driven by CSIR experts in the fields of global change, high-performance computing as well as modelling and digital science.

Only one out of the 30 earth system models in use had been developed in the southern hemisphere and therefore very few models can provide an adequate understanding on climate variability in Africa and the Southern Ocean, which is extremely important for global climate regulation.

The CSIR’s investment in the development of this model is aimed at informing the country’s adaptation strategies for climate change. Projections generated by the CSIR have directly informed the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions that South Africa has submitted to the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Federation Convention on Climate Change. The models have also informed the national communication on climate change of South Africa.


More info

For more information, contact Francois Engelbercht at