The School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE) has recently benefited from NERC/DFID funding aimed at leading-edge research to better understand Africa's changing climate and the use of climate change information in decision-making across the continent under the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) programme.
Africa's climate is one of the least-researched and poorly understood in the world, but looks set to change significantly in the decades ahead. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that temperatures could warm up to 6°C on the continent this century, and vast areas could experience more intense drought or rainfall than known before.
Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) is supporting five major research projects to develop better climate information for Africa and to test how the new information could be used in decision-making.
SoGE is fortunate to have received funding in the following three FCFA consortia:
UMFULA (Uncertainty reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications)
UMFULA aims to provide new insights about climate processes and extremes in Central and Southern Africa. The Climate Science component is led from Oxford by Richard Washington. Dr Neil Hart will serve as the main Oxford postdoctoral researcher on UMFULA with additional research from Dr Rachel James. The African Climate research group in SoGE will work in collaboration with the Philip Stier in AOPP, Oxford, the Department of Oceanography at the University of Cape Town and the University of Yaounde. Doctoral training programme funded students Amy Creese and Calum Munday are also closely involved in the project through their research on central and southern African climate science.
FRACTAL (Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands)
FRACTAL will improve scientific knowledge of future climate trends in Southern Africa, deepen urban policy-makers' understanding of how climate change will affect water and energy services, and support them to explore climate-resilient development choices. Dr Simon Dadson and Dr Richard Jones will work with the Climate Systems Analysis Group in the Environmental and Geographical Science Department at the University of Cape Town.
IMPALA ( Improving Model Processes for African Climate)
IMPALA research aims to improve understanding of African climate processes and the mechanisms of future change - leading to a step change in global climate model prediction capability for Africa. Richard Washington leads Work Package 3 on Model Evaluation, working alongside Dr Rachel James. Dr Ian Ashpole is developing the Met Office climate model aerosol emission scheme within the IMPALA project.
For full descriptions of the research awards, visit: Future Climate for Africa (FCFA).