G8 campaigning has raised awareness of the debt problems faced by African countries – but their inhabitants have also had to contend with severe climate change, with disastrous effects on water resources, agriculture and health. An international collaboration involving the University aims to discover what controls the volatile West African climate.
Dr Doug Parker believes that predictive global climate models will be ‘useless’ until detailed studies into the region’s tropospheric composition (the area from which all weather occurs) are conducted. “We can’t claim to be able to accurately predict global climate change if one huge area is systematically wrong,” said the earth and environment senior lecturer.
Dr Parker is leading the UK section of AMMA (African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses) – over 65 international institutions – which will carry out in-depth observations of this understudied region. “It’s almost like a space mission in regard to the atmospheric composition – measurements have never been made before and we don’t know exactly what we’re going to find,” he said.
Claire Jones | alfa
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