New research showing that the climate in Timor-Leste (TL) has changed over the last 50 years will be presented at the Timor-Leste Studies Association Conference today.
Sr Florindo Morais Neto, a Climate Change Researcher at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, will present data that shows on average maximum temperatures in TL have increased by 1.7o C from Portuguese times till now.
Minimum temperatures have changed less, only increasing by 0. 5o C. There has been small reduction in rainfall, with monthly rainfall reducing about 30mm over the last 44 years.
The research is based on eight years of data collected from 32 weather stations across the country.
Climate Change Research Advisor at Seeds of Life (SoL), Samuel Bacon, said this is the first time it’s been possible to measure climate change from Portuguese time to now.
“With the destruction of government buildings in 1974 and again in 1999 there was no good, continuous record of climate in much of Timor Leste.
“Previously we needed to rely on modelled data to understand climate change and variability but now we can analyse measured data from the weather stations.
“Improving the understanding of climate change and variability will assist farmers’ ability to manage climate-related risks both now and in the future,” he said.
The Ministry first installed four weather stations across Timor-Leste in 2004, followed by another eight in 2008.
To support climate change monitoring and to assist agro-meterorology, SoL installed 20 more automatic weather stations.
All the data that has been collected from the weather stations is collated and analysed by SoL in collaboration with the National Directorate of Meteorology and Geophysics (DNMG), and Agriculture and Land use Geographic Information System (ALGIS) to make it available for the people and government of Timor-Leste.