David Crowhurst

David Crowhurst

Land Surface Controls on Central African Rainfall

Academic Profile

David is a DPhil student at the School of Geography and the Environment, where he works in the Oxford Climate Research Lab. He holds a BA in Geography (First Class, Gibbs Prize) from Keble College, Oxford, where he specialised in climate variability and climate impacts. He earned the H.O. Beckit Prize for the best physical geography dissertation on East African rainfall projections. He also holds an MSc in Applied Meteorology (Distinction) from the University of Reading, where he specialised in climate change, tropical meteorology, statistics and environmental data analysis (Python).

Current Research

DPhil Project

For his DPhil project, David aims to develop an understanding of the land surface controls on Central African rainfall. Erroneous simulation of these controls is a contributing factor to the inter-model spread in rainfall amount and distribution in this region.

David aims to determine the ways in which climate models currently simulate land surface quantities and land-atmosphere coupling relationships in Central Africa. He will evaluate the performance of the models against in situ observations, and perform sensitivity analyses on the best performing models to determine what the processes linking land and atmosphere are. The results could provide informed guidance to model developers on how to reduce uncertainty in model projections of rainfall in this region and beyond.

Related work 

In 2017, David completed a three-month summer placement at the Met Office Hadley Centre. As a member of the Marine Observations Processing and Analysis team, he was tasked with setting up and testing a new, night time only configuration of the Met Office OSTIA analysis system. OSTIA assimilates satellite, buoy and in situ observations together to produce a daily, high-resolution sea surface temperature field, which is supplied as input to the Met Office numerical weather prediction model.

David found that using only night time observations in the analysis system reduced the quality of the output, and concluded that a night time only configuration should not be implemented operationally. He produced a technical report of his findings for the Met Office, and aims to write up the report as a short note to the Journal of Geophysical Research.


Publications will be coming soon

Associated Research Streams

David Crowhurst

Contact information

  • Email: david.crowhurst@keble.ox.ac.uk
  • Telephone:
  • Webpage: None available
  • Orchid ID:0000-0002-2642-4552
  • Twitter Account: View Twitter Page

Associated Supervisors