Improvement in understanding and modelling of African climate

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CSRP2 conducted a pioneering assessment of the drivers of the so-called 'East Africa Paradox'.

For East Africa, CSRP-2 conducted a pioneering assessment of the drivers of the so-called 'East Africa Paradox' (EAP), where model projections (showing increasing rainfall) disagree with observations (decreasing rainfall). This paradox has major implications for the ability to make robust adaptation strategies in East Africa. CSRP has revealed that the recent drying may be caused by man-made aerosols (from industrial emissions in other world regions).

For the Sahel, CSRP revealed that uncertainty in prediction is comes in part from issues concerning the representation of convection in models and (connected with this) model resolution. CSRP showed that improving these aspects can correct some model deficiencies in parts of the Sahel. This opens up very significant potential for step-change improvement in the reliability of climate advice in the Sahel and beyond.

CSRP research has clarified priorities for improving climate models: for example it is now clear that realistic vegetation type and cover is one requirement for generating realistic model rainfall, and that albedo and dust loading changes associated with land use changes also have an impact on rainfall. Such results are now pulling through into improvements in the UK Met Office models.

Last updated: 12 May 2016

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