How reliable are climate models in representing southern African rainfall?
Callum graduated with a first class degree in Geography from the University of Oxford in 2014. In the latter two years of his degree, he specialised in issues surrounding climate change. This included the understanding and modelling of the climate system as well as the impacts of and adaptation to climate change. This interest in the climate system is reflected in his final year dissertation entitled ‘The external controls on southern African precipitation biases in the CMIP5 ensemble’. During the course of his degree, he also completed a module in desert landscape dynamics, and is especially interested in the interaction between desert dust and the climate system on a number of timescales.
In the summer following his graduation, Callum completed a research internship with the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) which built on the findings from his dissertation. In particular, he investigated the role of moisture transport into southern Africa and subsequent convergence in the continental interior in differentiating between model simulations of precipitation across a range of CMIP5 models.
In 2015, Callum will take up a joint post as Radcliffe Meteorological Observer at the Oxford Radcliffe Meteorological Station, run by the School of Geography and Environment (SoGE). Follow twitter updates from the weather station @RMO_Oxford.
2014 Academic Scholarship, St Edmund Hall
2013 David J Cox Prize for best dissertation proposal, St Edmund Hall
2013 J R Hughes Book Prize for best performing Geography student, St Edmund Hall
2013 Open Exhibition, St Edmund Hall
Precipitation, and its variability, is vital for the economy, society and environment of southern Africa. However, the regional climate system is complex and is driven by local, global, tropical and mid-latitude climate processes. This makes it a challenging environment for climate models, which must be evaluated if not developed prior to their use for policy relevant predictions.
In his DPhil project, Callum will continue his research on model representation of the southern African climate system using a range of climate models and observational datasets. He hopes that his research will be of instrumental value to climate modellers and policy makers in the region.
Publications will be coming soon
Associated Research Streams
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