Ghana is in the process of developing its first climate atlas, an interactive tool for citizens, researchers, businesses, community and political leaders to learn about climate change in the country.
It would among other functions serve as a decision-making tool for national and local authorities.
The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) is collaborating with the Denmark Meteorological Institute (DMI) to develop the atlas, which would help climate projections.
Ms Ama Pomaa Boateng, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, announced this at the end of the 15th International training workshop on climate variability and predictability held in Accra.
Participant numbering 30 from African countries were offered hands-on training sessions, utilizing state-of-the-art tools for Sub-seasonal to seasonal climate monitoring and forecasting.
They would be expected to contribute to the provision of early warning on extreme weather events such as thunderstorms, lightning, floods, drought and high temperatures to enable stakeholders take early actions. Ms Boateng, said the 2022 State-of-the-climate report for Ghana issued by GMet, revealed that the country was experiencing higher-than-normal temperatures and rainfall.
“Indeed, during the peak of the rainy season in the southern part of Ghana, we heard and read about the numerous flooding incidents, which were recorded in the Western and Eastern coastal towns of Ghana as well as inland areas,” she said.
The Deputy Minister stated that the increasing variations in climate and weather dynamics called for an enhanced and coordinated response system to mitigate the consequences of climate variability.
Dr. Wassila Thiaw, an official at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Prediction Center, said access to reliable weather information was crucial to adapting to the climate crisis
He explained that a country’s ability to develop tools for early warning would help meet global goals including food security, healthcare services and sustainable jobs.
Mr Eric Asuman, Acting Director of GMet, said Ghana’s agriculture contributes to 54 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and employs an estimated 44.7 percent of the workforce.
“Therefore, anything that threatens agriculture, such as extreme weather events and climate variability, threatens the very core and fibre of our economy.
GMet, he recalled since its existence had been focusing on climate services in two timescales – nowcast and seasonal forecast.
Mr Asuman said it was the vision of the board and staff to improve on the nowcast as it was evident on its daily forecast and warnings that had helped improve the seasonal forecast