Navigation Links
UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
Date:3/14/2012

DURHAM, N.H. Researchers from the University of New Hampshire have found that many African farmers inaccurately perceive changes in climate and rainfall when compared with scientific data, highlighting the need for better climate information to assist them to improve farming practices.

"Quantifying local people's perceptions to climate change, and their assessments of which changes matter, is fundamental to addressing the dual challenge of land conservation and poverty alleviation in densely populated tropical regions," said Joel Hartter, assistant professor of geography at UNH and the principal investigator on the project.

The research is presented in the online journal PLoS ONE in the article "Patterns and Perceptions of Climate Change in a Biodiversity Conservation Hotspot." In addition to Hartter, the research team also includes Mary Stampone, assistant professor of geography at UNH and New Hampshire state climatologist; Sadie Ryan of the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California Santa Barbara; Karen Kirner of the University of Florida; Colin Chapman of McGill University and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York; and Abraham Goldman of the University of Florida.

The researchers investigated farming practices and perceptions of climate change in the Albertine Rift region in East Africa, one of the world's most threatened biodiversity hotspots due to dense agriculture, high levels of land and resource pressures, and habitat loss and conversion. This leads to high potential for conservation conflict. They relied on three separate household surveys conducted in the vicinity of Kibale National Park, a small forest park along the equator in Uganda known for its large population of endangered chimpanzees.

The researchers found that farmers are concerned with variable precipitation. Many survey respondents reported that conditions are drier and rainfall timing is becoming less predictable.

"Perceptions of local farmers are important because farmers often manage land according to their perceptions and beliefs. In these communities, meteorological information from the scientific community is rarely available, and farmers rely on their own observations and subjective interpretations," Hartter said.

However, an analysis of daily rainfall data for the period 1981 to 2010 indicated that total rainfall both within and across seasons has not changed significantly, although the timing and transitions of seasons has been highly variable. Results of rainfall data analysis also indicated significant changes in the intra-seasonal rainfall distribution, including longer dry periods within rainy seasons, which may contribute to the perceived decrease in rainfall and can compromise food security.

Local variation in rainfall is not captured by large-scale measurements used in climate research. However, it is the local information that is used to make planting and harvesting decisions, and therefore has the highest impact on food security.

"Our results highlight the need for fine-scale climate information to assist agro-ecological communities in developing effective adaptive management," Hartter said. "If we can provide farmers with more relevant and physically accurate information, it could lead to more sustainable land use management practices."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lori Wright
lori.wright@unh.edu
603-862-0574
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
4. University of Tennessee researchers invent device to rapidly detect infectious disease
5. Researchers find safer way to use common but potentially dangerous medication
6. SFU researchers help discover new HIV vaccine-related tool
7. Notre Dame researchers are providing insights into elephant behavior and conservation issues
8. Researchers develop worlds first biodegradable joint implant
9. Researchers identify novel pathway responsible for infection of a common STD pathogen
10. Researchers discover how vitamin D inhibits inflammation
11. Purdue researchers reveal role of protein mutation in Parkinsons disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2016)... Pa. , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... system at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New ... Protection (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter the ... not belong to them. pilot testing of the ... initially at three terminals at JFK during January 2016. --> ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Biometrics Market in ... offering. --> Research and ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce the attainment ... are the result of the company,s laser focus on ... , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based ... Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... medicine, has announced a new agreement with Bankok,Thailand-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) ... phsyicians in 15 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- The Maryland House of Delegates and House Speaker ... Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece ... System President and CEO Robert Chrencik , MBA, ... given to the public by the leader of the ... and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions to our statewide ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... RICHLAND, Wash., Feb. 10, 2016  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE ... seed brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications for the treatment ... cancers, today announced its financial results for the second ... December 31, 2015. --> ... second quarter of fiscal 2016, which ended December 31, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading ... (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, February 18, 2016. ... tables for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 p.m. - 8:30 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: