Improving Model Processes for African Climate

This project, jointly funded by the Department for International Development and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), aims to deliver a step change in predictive capability for Africa on 5-40 year timescales. IMPALA is led by the Met Office working alongside Richard Washington and Rachel James (both in the School of Geography) and Philip Stier in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at the University of Oxford.

View of Africa from space


Oxford will lead the Model Evaluation component of the project, with links to ongoing work by Richard Washington’s group to explore regional climate dynamics in climate models and observed datasets, including two new DPhil projects by Callum Munday and Amy Creese, focusing on southern and central Africa respectively. Oxford will also contribute to development of the model aerosol scheme following on from progress made in the NERC funded DO4Models and Fennec projects.

IMPALA will feature very high resolution (4 km) continent-wide model simulations. At these spatial scales models simulate convection explicitly. The project offers the opportunity to assess the potential gains of such explicit convective simulation over the parameterised equivalent. Oxford will work in conjunction with five African-based partners at the University of Cape Town, University of Yanounde I, University of Nairobi, the South African Weather Service and the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development in Niamey, Niger. IMPALA forms part of the Future Climate For Africa programme.


Richard Washington (leads model evaluation WP3)
Rachel James
Philip Stier

Cath Senior (Project PI at the Met Office)