Do African monsoons affect global weather?

West Africa’s population is growing rapidly, and it is uniquely exposed to complex meteorology, an uncertain future from climate change impacts & rapidly increasing air pollution. However, University of Reading climate scientists are helping sub-Saharan Africans as part of a major new project to explore links between climate, health, urbanisation & agriculture. Over the next five years, the EU project DACCIWA, will make extensive measurements in the region, & develop new weather & climate models to inform policies for the region. Sixteen partners will investigate the whole scientific chain from natural and anthropogenic emissions to impacts on climate, ecosystems and health.

With one of the fastest growing populations on Earth, massive urbanisation and rapid economic growth, southern West Africa is changing fast. The rapidly growing cities are mostly located along the coast, with agricultural and forested areas immediately inland. “Vast populations are dependent upon the West Africa monsoon rains, and we know that the West Africa monsoon influences and is influenced by weather patterns across large swathes of our planet.” said Professor Richard Allan, one of several climate scientists at the University of Reading, who is involved in the project.

“It is a complex, integral component of Earth’s climate. This is why we are studying in detail how clouds, rainfall and atmospheric properties are interconnected, combining detailed simulations with measurements taken on the ground, in the air and from satellites. The results from the project will support policy making decisions and improve our ability to make better predictions of the Africa monsoon.”

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