African Climate Change - understanding the drying trends

Project Details

Key Questions

How reliable are the projected future drying trends in African rainfall?


The goal is to understand how the widespread drying in future African climate occurs in climate models and to use state of the art models to interrogate the circulation dynamics bound up with that drying in contrasting climate models.

Aims of the Project

Establish whether the mechanisms of future drying in climate models over Africa are reliable and trustworthy.

Project Description

Africa will be the continent hardest hit by climate change yet has contributed least to the drivers of that change. Adapting to future climate depends on confidence in the projected future change computed by climate models. In the case of African climate change there is urgent work to be done because the dynamics of the climate system are not well understood compared with many other regions of the world and the climate models require evaluation and improvement for their projections to be trusted. You would have the opportunity to join a vibrant research group contributing to the understanding of African climate from analysis of both observational and model data sets. Recent doctoral students have made prize-winning contributions to this research, discovering new, important features of the circulation and the ways in which climate models do or don’t resolve them as well as the consequences of deficiencies for the projection of future climate. Recent NERC funded programmes which the team has been involved in provide us with access to the cutting edge of progress in climate modelling from the Met Office. In this particular project you would focus on regions which are projected to experience strong future drying and analyse whether climate models use the same circulation mechanism and dynamics to invoke that drying.

Methods to be used

Climate model data analysis.

Specialised skills required

Coding in Python or equivalent

Please contact Richard Washington on if you are interested in this project