Dr. Zaitchik

Please join us  for a special climate change seminar in Fralin Hall on Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 p.m. This event will be hosted by Dr. Julia Gohlke (PHS) and sponsored by the Global Change Center. Refreshments will be available in the Fralin atrium immediately following the lecture.

Ben Zaitchik, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
Causes and Consequences of Climate Variability in the Nile Basin

The two headwaters regions of the Nile River—the western Ethiopian Highlands and the Equatorial Lakes of East Africa—lie at the intersection of powerful and competing atmospheric circulations. The regions are climatically distinct from each other and might be viewed as functionally unrelated were it not for the fact that they collectively provide virtually all of the water that flows through the main stem Nile. The Nile basin is prone to significant hydro-political tensions that are fed both by climate variability, which has significant social and economic impacts in both upstream and downstream nations, and by unilateral development of hydrological resources that has set upstream and downstream nations against each other.  In this presentation I will provide an overview of the drivers of climatic and hydrologic variability affecting the Nile basin. I will then introduce several ongoing studies that target topics of scientific uncertainty and social relevance in the Nile, including drivers of subseasonal precipitation variability, tradeoffs in water resource utilization, local climate vulnerability profiles, and the food-energy-water nexus in a changing climate.

Dr. Zaitchik is available to meet with GCC Faculty and IGC Fellows on February 1st.  Please contact Gloria Schoenholtz (schoeng@vt.edu) if you would like to schedule a time to meet him.