The 35th Annual South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences (SASAS) Conference was held at Riverside Sun in Vanderbijlpark on 8-9 October 2019. The theme for this conference was “Climate meets Agriculture – The Interplay”. The conference was both stimulating and informative, with a wonderful array of international keynote speakers and invited speakers.
The programme covered topics on Agrometeorology; Air Quality and Aerosols; Remote Sensing Applications; Climate Change and Agriculture; Weather Forecasting and Climate Modelling; Climate Extremes – Impacts and Preparedness; Instrumentation and Data Collection; Atmospheric Wave Dynamics and aerosols, Impacts of Climate Variability and Change as well as Climate Services, Policy and Research Opportunities. Thus, delegates had a wide range of sessions to attend at the conference. This programme also covered special invited talks discussing topical issues, as well as speed talks by students from various institutions. A total number of 100 abstracts were accepted for the conference. Each contributed abstract submitted for oral or poster presentation was edited and extended abstracts were peer reviewed.
Two international speakers were invited to give the keynote addressing the opening plenary session each day: Prof. Gerrit Hoogenboom from the University of Florida, USA,spoke on “Crop Modeling as a Tool for Research, Outreach and Policy Making for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability”,and Prof. Mitsuru Tsubo from Tottori University in Japan discussedthe “Historical Relationship between Climate and Crop Yield: A Case of Maize”. The programme was further enhanced with two invited talks, by Prof.Edward Nesamvuni (University of the Free State)presenting on “Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptive Response for Smallholder Livestock Sector to the Changing Climate”, while,Prof. Stanley Liphadzi (Water Research Commission)presented on “Utilizing Innovations to Build Farmers and Community Resilience towards Climate Change: A Water Security Perspective”. Their presentations were very well received by delegates at the conference.On the first day, Dr Cecilia Njenga, Head of the UN Environment Office in South Africa,hosted a speed talk session whereby students from various institutions presented their posters in just 5 minutes.The programme further coveredspecial invited talks by renowned climate scientists discussingtopical issues, on the second day.In addition to the oral papers presented in two parallel sessions, atotalof 37posterswere displayed.Generous sponsorship from the SAWS, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), WRC and Campbell Scientific South Africa made the hosting of the SASAS 2019Conference possible.The organizing committee was co-chaired byMs. Teboho Masupha and Ms. Phumzile Maluleke under the guidance of Dr. Mokhele Moeletsi, Research Team Manager: Agrometeorology. A dedicated and hardworking team ensured that the conference can be considered a great success and another feather in the cap of the ARC.