Step 2: Determine Climate Change Information Needs

Searches of the literature and engagements with key stakeholders identified four key factors relevant to cocoa farming and climate:

  • A. Optimal temperature envelope for growing cocoa
  • B. Average annual rainfall and dry season rainfall
  • C. Fungal disease Phytophthora palmivora (related to high rainfall)
  • D. Extreme rainfall events, flooding and dry spells

To study these four factors, we need to show the ‘envelope’ of the average climate conditions for growing cocoa on the Guadalcanal Plain, and how it could change in the future. We also want some general information about projected changes to heavy rainfall and floods.

For our four analysis areas, the research questions are:

  • How will the temperature conditions for growing cocoa be affected under future climate change scenarios, and could parts of Guadalcanal become too warm for growing cocoa?
  • Under future climate change, could the average annual rainfall become too wet, or could there be too many dry months for growing cocoa in Guadalcanal?
  • Under future climate change, could the fungal disease become a greater or lesser threat for growing cocoa in Guadalcanal than it is currently?
  • Could extreme rainfall events and/ or flooding from tropical cyclones or other sources become more frequent or more intense on average?