Near-Term Climate Change in Zambia: What the Research Tells Us


This Climate Centre project report synthesizes current published information regarding climatology, climate variability, and near-term climate change in Zambia. Country, regional, and climate studies have been integrated into a comprehensive picture of Zambia’s current and near-future climate. Additionally, the paper outlines the impact of climate on human health, agriculture, energy, and infrastructure. While climate change has consequences everywhere, the discussion here will focus on the sectors most impacted by the projected changes in precipitation and temperature.

Limitations in projecting the future climate of Zambia, including its quantification and relevant spatial detail, will also be discussed. With consideration of these restrictions, this paper aims to evaluate past impacts of climate and extreme weather in various sectors, and demonstrate whether these events are expected to be more or less common in the future. While some social challenges persist in Zambia regardless of climate, understanding and preparing for expected changes in climate and weather extremes can greatly help reduce risks and abate societal issues.

This paper was produced in the context of the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) pilot study in Zambia to examine how to make climate science actionable, so decision-makers can make informed adaptation and development investments that are robust to a range of possible outcomes in the near- to medium-term future. The outcomes of this study will be used by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to assess a new research programme to advance scientific 3 understanding of the Southern African climate on decadal timescales and, working with African stakeholders, help this science inform long-term climate-resilient development strategies.


Gannon, C.; Kandy, D.; Turner, J.; Kumar, I.; Pilli-Sihvola, K.; Chanda, F.S. Near-Term Climate Change in Zambia: What the Research Tells Us. Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, The Hague, Netherlands (2014) 15 pp.

Published 1 January 2014