The Women In Science (WIS) Directorate of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana, has started the maiden edition of its lecture series dubbed; “AIMSWIS Climate Science Speaker Series”.
The lecture served as a platform for the Institute to create awareness on climate change, its causes and challenges, as well as offer solutions to mitigate the devastating effects on the environment.
It focused on understanding the climate dynamics and evaluating the effects on natural and anthropogenic factors of climate change.
Dr Nana Ama Browne Klutse, a Senior Lecturer at the Physics Department, University of Ghana, the main speaker for the event, said climate change was a change in global or regional climate patterns due to increasing global average temperatures.
She said it was imperative for the public to have knowledge and understanding of the climate change dynamics so that its effects could be mitigated.
“Everyone has a role to play in the climate change cycle to ensure a safer and habitable environment,” she noted.
Dr Browne Klutse said climate change had two causes – natural causes and anthropogenic – explaining that human-related causes include poor sanitation, burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
“Humans also increasingly influence the climate and the earth’s temperature through burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforest, farming and rearing livestock, which add enormous amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and increased the greenhouse effect and global warming,” she observed.
She noted that climate change had dire effects on the environment, resulting in higher temperatures and reducing the annual average rainfall, which caused heat waves risks for vulnerable communities.
The effects of climate change severely affects elderly persons, frail and infants, resulting in less water availability and increased frequency of bush fires and extended fire season.
Dr Browne Klutse, who is also the AIMS-Canada Resident Research Chair on Climate Science for AIMS Rwanda, said climate change had now become a developmental challenge, therefore as a nation, it was imperative to put measures in place to lessen its effects.
Mrs Beauty Beatrice Kwawu, the Gender Equality and Inclusion Focal Point for AIMS Ghana, in charge of the Climate Science Speaker Series, said the lecture was organised to promote a gender interest in climate science research and increase women’s participation in it.
“The goal is to showcase African women in climate science and inspire members of the AIMS Community, especially young women, to address climate change challenge,” she said.
It also formed part of a broader effort by the Institute to build the intellectual capacity on the causes of climate change in Africa and propose practical solutions to its developmental challenges resulting from climate change.
The African Institute for Mathematical Science Ghana is part of the AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative network of Centres of excellence for postgraduate training, research and public engagement in mathematical sciences.
AIMS Ghana is also a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence.