High resolution regional climate modelling and a hydrometeorological observatory for West Africa: Challenges and opportunities

High-tech meets dusty roads when climate and water research takes place in West Africa. Computing facilities are limited and climate observation data are rare, of weak quality and usually show tremendous gaps. The presentation gives an overview on the realization and analysis of new high resolution regional climate simulations for West Africa, the further development and performance analysis of a fully coupled regional atmosphere-hydrology model system, and the setup, operation and first evaluation of a hydrometeorological observatory in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Challenges and opportunities for future research and capacity building will be addressed.

About the speaker
Harald Kunstmann is currently Honorary Research Associate at the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University. He is deputy director of the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU) at Campus Alpin of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and full professor and chair for Regional Climate and Hydrology at University of Augsburg in joint appointment with KIT. He studied physics in Marburg, Virginia/USA and Heidelberg and got his PhD in environmental natural sciences from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.

His research addresses the impacts of climate change and land use change on water availability and flooding risks. His work comprises dynamical and statistical downscaling of meteorological fields, fully coupled atmospheric and hydrological modeling, convection permitting modelling, seasonal predictions, geostatistical merging of hydrometeorological data, the evaluation of attenuation data from commercial microwave links for the line integrated quantification of precipitation, and the setup and operation of hydrometeorological observatories.

His research focus on climate and water sensitive regions worldwide; in addition to Africa, his research covers the Alpine Space, the Near East and Asia.