Will be among the worst affected by human-induced climate change. But what exactly is going to happen? And what can we do to prepare for the flooding, droughts, biodiversity loss, and human migration coming our way? These urgent questions need evidence-based answers. In this issue of Scientific African Magazine, two of the feature stories explore how climate change will affect our food supply: Warmer and wetter weather could fuel the production of poisons by molds on crops such as maize and wheat, canceling out efforts to battle this scourge (Fighting the fungus, page 26). And across Africa, changing weather patterns combined with deforestation could deplete wild-growing plants that many Africans depend on for food and medicine (Saving Africa’s wild larder, page 22).
As the world battles to prepare for climate change, there is also a real and worrying risk that African countries will be left out of global decision-making about the planet’s future. The feature Dialing down the sun (page 20) showcases an African first, three projects that will explore how solar geoengineering as-yet theoretical programs to deliberately deflect some of the sun’s rays from reaching the Earth’s surface to prevent warming could affect three African regions. Many of the stories in this magazine are linked to papers published in Scientific African journal earlier this year. They illustrate how new African research has a vital role to play in addressing the myriad challenges facing the continent. Another milestone in this issue is the diversity of its contributors.
Ten African or Africa-based journalists and scientists hailing from eight different African countries, the majority of them women, have written news, features and opinion pieces for this magazine. This means that what you are reading is not just a collection of cool African science stories penned by people from elsewhere. It’s a science magazine written by Africans, for Africa and the world. If you think we should be covering an important, science and innovation-driven, Africa relevant story, write to us
As the world battles to prepare for climate change, there is also a real and worrying risk that African countries will be left out of global decisionmaking about the planet’s future.