Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Research article
 | Highlight paper
18 Mar 2024
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 18 Mar 2024

Possible role of anthropogenic climate change in the record-breaking 2020 Lake Victoria levels and floods

Rosa Pietroiusti, Inne Vanderkelen, Friederike E. L. Otto, Clair Barnes, Lucy Temple, Mary Akurut, Philippe Bally, Nicole P. M. van Lipzig, and Wim Thiery

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Cited articles

Akurut, M., Willems, P., and Niwagaba, C.: Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Precipitation over Lake Victoria, East Africa, in the 21st Century, Water, 6, 2634–2659,, 2014. a, b
Ashouri, H., Hsu, K. L., Sorooshian, S., Braithwaite, D. K., Knapp, K. R., Cecil, L. D., Nelson, B. R., and Prat, O. P.: PERSIANN-CDR: Daily Precipitation Climate Data Record from Multisatellite Observations for Hydrological and Climate Studies, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 96, 69–83,, 2015. a
Ayugi, B., Zhihong, J., Zhu, H., Ngoma, H., Babaousmail, H., Rizwan, K., and Dike, V.: Comparison of CMIP6 and CMIP5 Models in Simulating Mean and Extreme Precipitation over East Africa, Int. J. Climatol., 41, 6474–6496,, 2021. a
Beck, H. E., Wood, E. F., Pan, M., Fisher, C. K., Miralles, D. G., Van Dijk, A. I. J. M., McVicar, T. R., and Adler, R. F.: MSWEP V2 Global 3-Hourly 0.1° Precipitation: Methodology and Quantitative Assessment, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 100, 473–500,, 2019. a
Black, E.: The Relationship between Indian Ocean Sea–Surface Temperature and East African Rainfall, Philos. T. R. Soc. A, 363, 43–47,, 2005. a, b
Chief editor
This paper examines a highly impactful climate extreme in Africa - a region which is very vulnerable to climate change but has received comparatively little attention in the extreme event attribution literature. Its analysis brings event attribution science closer to societal impacts.
Short summary
Heavy rainfall in eastern Africa between late 2019 and mid 2020 caused devastating floods and landslides and drove the levels of Lake Victoria to a record-breaking maximum in May 2020. In this study, we characterize the spatial extent and impacts of the floods in the Lake Victoria basin and investigate how human-induced climate change influenced the probability and intensity of the record-breaking lake levels and flooding by applying a multi-model extreme event attribution methodology.
Final-revised paper