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  1. Abstract This study investigates how two aspects of agricultural production diversity – farm production diversity and composition of production – relate to child height-for-age and weight-for-height in Ethiopia. We use longitudinal data on child anthropometric measurements, household farm production diversity and farm production composition from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey for 2011, 2013, and 2015 available through the World Bank. Using longitudinal fixed effects models, we show that an increase in farm production diversity reduces the risk of chronic food insecurity (child height-for-age) but has no impact on acute measures of food insecurity (child weight-for-height). Results also suggest that, in a context of poor rainfall, more diversity in farm production can adversely impact child height-for-age, although livestock sales might mitigate that detrimental effect. These findings highlight the importance of considering the relationship between farm-level food production and child nutrition in a context of climate change.
  2. Abstract Global climate models (GCMs) are critical tools for understanding and projecting climate variability and change, yet the performance of these models is notoriously weak over much of tropical Africa. To improve this situation, process-based studies of African climate dynamics and their representation in GCMs are required. Here, we focus on summer rainfall of eastern Africa (SREA), which is crucial to the Ethiopian Highlands and feeds the flow of the Blue Nile River. The SREA region is highly vulnerable to droughts, with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) being a leading cause of interannual rainfall variability. Adequate understanding and accurate representation of climate features that influence regional variability is an important but often neglected issue when evaluating models. We perform a process-based evaluation of GCMs, focusing on the upper-troposphere tropical easterly jet (TEJ), which has been hypothesized to link ENSO to SREA. We find that most models have an ENSO–TEJ coupling similar to observed, but the models diverge in their representation of TEJ–SREA coupling. Differences in the latter explain the majority (80%) of variability in ENSO teleconnection simulation across the models. This is higher than the variance explained by rainfall coupling with the Somali jet (44%) and African easterly jet (55%). However,more »our diagnostics of the leading hypothesized mechanism in the models—variability in divergence in the TEJ exit region—are not consistent across models and suggest that a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of TEJ–precipitation coupling should be a priority for studies of climate variability and change in the region.« less