Improving Model Processes for African Climate (IMPALA)

The Met Office is leading this research programme to improve the understanding of Africa's climate to help provide high-quality information that is crucial for effective decision making across the continent. IMPALA will lead to a step-change in global climate model prediction capability, which until now has not been available across many parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

IMPALA is a consortium of the Met Office and leading UK and African institutions including the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the universities of Cape Town, Exeter, Leeds, Nairobi, Oxford, Reading and Yaounde.

The IMPALA research will improve understanding of African climate processes and the mechanisms of future change. The information gathered by the new research will help decision-makers reduce climate-related risks. For example, infrastructure can be re-designed to account for high temperatures and changing rainfall, while health, education and social support systems, and local planning decisions could be designed to cope with future climate conditions. African scientists will be trained on the latest climate modelling techniques and will focus on climate predictions over the next 5-40 years as this is the lifespan of many development projects being designed today.

IMPALA is part of the £20 million UK government-funded Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) initiative aimed at better understanding climate change in Africa and the impact it is having. FCFA is a joint programme of the Department for International Development (DFID) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

In addition to our leading role in IMPALA, Met Office scientists are also contributing to three other FCFA projects.

  • African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis 2050 (AMMA-2050) will improve understanding of how the West African monsoon will be affected by climate change in the coming decades, and help West African societies prepare and adapt.
  • Future Resilience for African Cites 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.
  • Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa (HyCRISTAL) will develop new understanding of climate change and its impacts in East Africa, working with the region's decision-makers to manage water for a more climate-resilient future.

Last updated: 17 November 2015

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