The School of Geography and the Environment has received an award from NERC and DFID as part of the Future Climate for Africa programme. The research project, which is called IMPALA (Improving Model Processes for African cLimAte), aims to deliver a step change in predictive capability for Africa on the 5-40 year timescales. Richard Washington and Rachel James in SoGE are joined on the project by Philip Stier in AOPP. The Met Office has overall lead of IMPALA.
Oxford leads the Model Evaluation component of the project, with links to ongoing work by Richard Washington's group to explore regional climate dynamics in climate models and observed datasets, including two new DPhil projects by Callum Munday and Amy Creese, focusing on southern and Central Africa respectively. Oxford will also contribute to development of the model aerosol scheme following on from progress made in the NERC funded DO4Models and Fennec projects.
IMPALA will feature very high resolution (4 km) continent-wide model simulations. At these spatial scales models simulate convection explicitly. The project offers the opportunity to assess the potential gains of such explicit convective simulation over the parameterised equivalent. Oxford will work in conjunction with five African-based partners at the University of Cape Town, University of Yanounde I, University of Nairobi, the South African Weather Service and the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development in Niamey, Niger.