International Science Programme (ISP)

Predicting climate change

Meet climate change researcher Dr Babatunde Joseph Abiodun from the former ISP supported research group in physics at the Federal University of Technology in Nigeria.

In 2003, Babatunde received his PhD in Meteorology from the former ISP supported research group called The Nigerian Mesoscale Experiment (NIMEX). Today, his research is concentrating on climate modeling and long term predictions on climate change.

- We live in the atmosphere and it determines everything we do, so we need to know what the atmosphere does. We need to model climate change to know what are ahead of us and how to adapt to these changes.

Babatunde recently received an award from the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) for an excellent research and compelling presentation on the modeling of impacts of reforestation on future climate in West Africa.

- My study investigated how planting trees on large-scale in the Savanna region may affect, good and bad, the local climate in West Africa. The study showed that the planting of trees may increase rainfall and temperature as expected, but not in all regions. The region north of the trees may experience less rain and a higher temperature, thus being adversely affected.

At the moment Babatunde is Senior Lecturer at University of Cape Town in South Africa, where he lived for the past six years. He goes back to Nigeria every year to teach, and he is supervising PhD students from his home university as well as students from other countries in Africa.

- I moved to South Africa after having spent four years in the US doing my postdoc, as I felt I needed to give something back to Africa. There are not enough resources in Nigeria for me to be able to make an impact. Moving to South Africa put me in a better position to do research and work with students from all over Africa.

15 August 2014