The IMPALA project is tackling a major scientific hurdle that limits decision-makers from using climate information: current climate models have only a modest ability to capture African climate systems. Because of this, there is large uncertainty and low scientific confidence in important aspects of the projections for Africa’s climate in the next 5–40 years.
IMPALA feeds into the FCFA regional pilot projects through its pan-African scale work on improving knowledge and modelling of African climate. The project focuses on a single climate model, the Met Office Unified Model, to improve its simulation of African climate through a better understanding and representation of weather and climate processes. This will result in reduced uncertainty in future projections of the African climate and provide valuable information to climate scientists and modellers within Africa and worldwide, and empower decision-makers with information that can be used to reduce risks and help protect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable.
The initiative aims to deliver a step change in global climate model capability that will reduce uncertainty and enable better-informed evaluation of the robustness of future projections.
The IMPALA project has developed a very high-resolution pan-African climate model (grid-spacing of around 4km), the first of its kind, that better captures key processes and local-scale weather phenomena including extremes, and provides new understanding of the roles played by these processes in African climate variability and change. The model is called CP4-Africa. The improved knowledge and new simulations are being used by scientists in the four regional research projects (AMMA-2050, FRACTAL, HyCRISTAL and UMFULA) . This, in turn, will deliver more reliable information for decision-makers and scientists in a range of sectors including agriculture, urban and rural water resources, health and infrastructure management and renewable energy.
IMPALA is now in its final year. Plans up to project end in February 2019 include:
Read the reports of our previous science meetings:
First IMPALA Science meeting, Exeter, December 10-11, 2015. View the report here
Second IMPALA Science meeting, Leeds, January 19-20, 2017. View the report here