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AMMA-2050: African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis 2050

Project timeline

Project Contact

Victoria Barlow, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Project Manager

Livelihoods in West Africa are at risk to the climatic variability presented in the region. West Africa, in recent decades, has experienced extreme rainfall variability. In the 1970s and 1980s, the climate variability in the West Africa region contributed to a pervasive and protracted drought that resulted in a famine. In subsequent years, there was an increase in seasonal rainfall in the Sahel that contributed to floods that further devastated the region. The physical causes of historical climate variability are well understood, however, understanding future climate variability is hampered by an uncertainty of future greenhouse gas emissions, land cover change and aerosols affecting future climate variability and rainfall. This uncertainty, coupled with the weak capability to plan investments on decadal timescales, results in the limited climate change knowledge being used as a guide in development decision-making.

The African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) 2050 team aim to increase the understanding of the regional climate and how it will change, applying this knowledge to practical development questions. AMMA-2050 aim to address the challenges of understanding how the monsoon will change in future decades, to 2050, and how this information can be most effectively used to support climate-compatible development in the region. By applying expert judgement, AMMA-2050 will identify adaptation options in water resources and agriculture.

AMMA-2050 will improve understanding of how the West African monsoon will be affected by climate change in the coming decades – and help West African societies prepare and adapt. AMMA-2050 are conducting pilot studies that are focused on the issues of urban flooding in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and climate-smart agriculture in Senegal.

In Senegal, AMMA-2050 will provide women and marginalised groups with information regarding future crop yields, water availability and suitable adaptation options. Senegal is developing national adaptation plans, agricultural plans and determining sectoral National Determined Contributions (NDCs). These present opportunities for AMMA-2050 to engage with national and regional decision-makers. AMMA-2050 is preparing for a forum with national and regional decision-makers in Dakar to inform these plans and NDCs.

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, AMMA-2050 is supporting flood-resilient planning using new hydrological mapping models and associated future scenarios. To develop this mapping AMMA-2050 engaged with a group in Montpellier France (IRD who lead the Raincell project in Ouaga) and established a working remote connection to the Athys model developed by IRD. ATHYS (A Telier Hydrologique Spatialisé) is rainfall-runoff transformation model, developed by the Research Institute for Development (IRD) of Montpellier. The basic principles of ATHYS are a hydrological environment for distributed modelling, including a series of models, DEM processing, hydrological and rainfall data and geographical display, spatial data interpolation.

AMMA-2050 research focusing on the wider West Africa region will identify regions at particular risk of flooding now and in the future, to support planning and infrastructure. With climate variability and change one of the complex mix of factors contributing to increased urbanisation, migrant communities moving into Ouagadougou are also more likely to live in flood-prone areas.

The collaborative work between scientists and policymakers in West Africa and Europe aims to increase the understanding of the regional climate and how it will change, applying this knowledge to development questions in the West African region. The research is supported by traditional climate change computer models with observations and cutting-edge regional climate models. With an advanced method, these are used to assess how the West African climate is likely to change in future decades and understand weather events that significantly impact livelihoods. Applying expert judgement to these outputs, AMMA 2050 will identify impacts and adaptation options in water resources and agriculture, including targeted studies on urban flooding and crop breeding.

1. provide expert judgement on future projections of High Impact Weather and climate which is tailored specifically to the needs of decision-makers.

2. create tools and methodologies for using these projections for planning within the agricultural and hydrological sectors.

3. demonstrate the potential for effective application of reliable 5-40 year climate projections and associated uncertainties in regional to local scale decision-making.

AMMA 2050 will translate regional climate projections, accounting for physical uncertainty and socio-economic context, into regional projections for water resources and agriculture, including pilot studies on urban flooding and resilient agriculture. Decision makers will be integrated from the outset, using an ‘assess-risk-of-policy’ framing whereby decision makers will have an essential role in framing uncertainty descriptions – assisting users to take ownership of the research and simultaneously building capacity.

Victoria Barlow

Role: Project Manager Victoria is an experienced Project Manager, working in PR & Marketing & Education before her current post at UKCEH. She manages several large UK based and International projects, multi-sectoral & disciplinary, co-ordinating numerous and diverse stakeholders. Victoria’s role includes project planning,

Camilla Audia

Role: Researcher Camilla is a postdoctoral researcher with a passion for investigating wicked problems and my work focuses on natural resources and especially land management, climate change resilience, indigenous knowledge systems and disaster risk reduction/management in Sub Saharan Africa. Camilla is interested in interdisciplinary

Tanya Warnaars

Role: Project Manager Tanya is an experienced project manager with a background in eco-hydrology. She manages several large multi-sectoral international projects, coordinating numerous and diverse project partners (Europe, Latin America, Africa). Her role includes disseminating project outputs to the wider public, including private sector

Christopher Taylor

Role: Principal Investigator The principal lead of AMMA-2050, Chris is interested in how the properties of the land surface: soil moisture and vegetation cover, influence weather and climate. His work has been motivated by the need to understand the climate of semi-arid regions in

David Adukpo

Role: Researcher David is a researcher with the Department of Physics, within the School of Physical Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana

François Affholder

Role: Co-Principal Investigator Francois is an agronomist and an Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) researcher. He holds a Ph.D. in Agronomy and Crop Science from Agro Paris Tech, Paris, France. His personal interests include rock climbing and skiing.

Rondrotiana Barimalala

Role: Early Career Researcher A post-doc researcher at UCT, Rondro was previously at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. Her research interest spans climate and ocean dynamics, variability and modelling. Within UMFULA, she will investigate the role of the tropical Indian Ocean on Central

Maimouna Bologo-Traore

Role: Researcher Lecturer and Researcher in Water management and sanitation in rural and urban areas.

Adama Bamba

Role: Early Career Researcher Adama did his Ph.D. in meteorology and climate science at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) in Nigeria. Since January 2016 he has been recruited as an assistant lecturer and researcher at the laboratory of atmospheric physics and fluid

Victoria Bell

Role: Co- Principal Investigator Victoria leads the Hydrological Modelling and Risk (HMR) Group at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford. Her current research interests include the development of a grid-based, integrated model to estimate large scale pools and fluxes of nutrients across

Adeline Barnaud

Role: Co-Principal Investigator The main focus of Adeline’s research is to understand how biodiversity of tropical plants is shaped through evolutionary forces resulting from human and environmental impacts. The main activity of her research group at the Research Institute for Development (IRD) focuses on

Ben Booth

Role: Researcher Ben is a climate scientist at the UK’s Met Office. A big part of his work involves trying to quantify the plausible spread of future changes that are consistent with the current knowledge of climate processes.

Andrew Challinor

Role: Researcher Andy is Professor of Climate Impacts at the University of Leeds. He began his career with a Ph.D. at the University of Leeds on boundary layer flow through forests, moving to postdoctoral research on the impacts of climate variability and change on

Moussa Diakhate

Role: Early Career Researcher Moussa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal. Moussa’s research interests are Local air-sea interaction, Ocean impacts with continental climate & Climate models bias. Moussa holds a Ph.D. in the Earth and Environmental Sciences from

Arona Diedhiou

Role: Co-Principal Investigator Arona is a research director at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), University of Grenoble, France. Arona is currently working on hydroclimatic variability and on the environmental factors associated with extreme events over Africa (floods, drought, wet and dry spells,

Aida Diongue-Niang

Role: Researcher Adia is currently the Director of Meteorology at the National Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology in Dakar, Senegal

Gino Fox

Role: Researcher Gino is a research fellow in Geography at Susssex University. Gino has over 25 years experience in social and economic development. Over the past 12 years he has worked as a management consultant within the public sector and housing associations specialising in

Rory Fitzpatrick

Role: Early Career Researcher Rory is a postgraduate student at the University of Leeds. His research interest is focused on predicting the West African Monsoon. Rory holds an Msc in Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics from the University of Leeds and his field of expertise is in

Francoise Guichard

Role: Researcher Francoise is with the Mesoscale, Meteorologie Group at the National Centre for Meteorological Research.

Amadou Gaye

Role: Researcher Prof. Amadou Gaye is a scientist and Director of the Physics Laboratory of the Atmosphere and the Ocean at UCAD and is specialised in rainfall variability related to the African monsoon. He is very much active on analysis of climate simulations for

Helen Andrea Houghton-Carr

Role: Researcher Helen leads research in water resource assessment and management within CEH, with a strong background in African research. She leads team at CEH working on developing, testing and applying the GWAVA water resource model. Her interests lie in building research capacity, and

Andy Hartley

Role: Researcher Andy analyses the risks of climate change, in order to help people, businesses, governments, and NGOs adapt to climate change. Andy’s work aims to develop tools and methodologies for the assessment of the risks of climate change, with a focus on the

Serge Janicot

Role: Researcher Serge is currently the research director at the Institut de Recherche Pour La Developpement (IRD). He holds a Ph.D. degree and his thesis focused on Climate Variability in Africa from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). His research interests are

Ndjido Kane

Role: Researcher Dr Ndjido Kane is a geneticist and plant molecular biologist with strong expertise in crop evolution, adaptation and mitigations to environmental stress. He is working to preserve and exploit the genetic diversity of cereals in previsions of a climate change and for

Harouna Karambiri

Role: Researcher Harrouna is a Lecturer in Hydrology and Hydraulics Applied at the International Engineering Institute of Water and Environment (2iE). He holds a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Geostatistics, and Water geochemistry from the National School of Mines in Paris (France)

Cornelia Klein

Role: Researcher Cornelia has a background in atmospheric modelling with the Weather Research & Forecasting model (WRF). Currently she is focused on remote sensing data to analyse characteristics of high impact weather in West Africa. Cornelia is interested in how and at which scales

Kouadio Kouakou

Role: Early Career Researcher Kouadio completed his Ph.D. in Meteorology and Climate Science from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria. He is currently at Formation Doctorale Climat, Ressources Naturelles et Innovations (FD CRNI) and the supercomputer centre, from the Université Félix Houphouët

Nana Klutse

Role: Early Career Researcher Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse is a Senior Research Scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute and Manager of the Remote Sensing and Climate Centre at the Institute. She has a Physics background and holds a Doctor of

Dominic Kniveton

Role: Researcher Dominic is Professor of Climate Change and Society at the University of Sussex.  His research concerns both the impact of climate change on society and how to improve the use of climate information.  In particular his recent research has explored the nexus of

James Miller

Role: Researcher James previous area of work involved applied hydrology in the consultancy sector, utilizing hydrological and hydraulic models to determine the impacts of developments on flood risk and assessing water supply scenarios. He has also been a volunteer working in Indonesia on a

Siny Ndoye

Role: Early Career Researcher Dr. Siny Ndoye holds a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar and University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris. His Ph.D. research interests are the investigation of the dynamical functioning of the Senegal upwelling using satellite images,

Francis Nkrumah

Role: Early Career Researcher Francis is a Ph.D. student with the Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics section at the Department of Physics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He is now working on the Evolution of Extreme Rainfall Events and its Dynamics over the Southern West

Kathryn Nicklin

Role: Researcher Kathryn is a research fellow in the Climate Impacts Group, which is part of the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at Leeds University. Her work focuses on the use of seasonal and decadal forecasts in the prediction of crop yields. Kathryn

Ousmane Ndiaye

Role: Researcher Ousmane heads the research and application groups at the National Civil Aviation and Meteorology Service (ANACIM) in Senegal. Ousmane studied meteorology engineering and physics, and then went on to get a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Ousmane is an expert on seasonal and monsoon

Douglas Parker

Role: Co-Principal Investigator Doug is a lecturer in the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds University where he leads a strong research group studying climate dynamics of Africa, with a track record of collaborative work in the region. His research focuses on the physics

Geremy Panthou

Role: Researcher Geremy is a research scientist at Grenoble Institute of Technology. He has a BSc. degree from Avignon University, and an MSc. and Ph.D. from Grenoble University. His thesis was on Extreme Rainfall Analysis and Evolution in the West African region. His research

Ponnambalam Rameshwaran

Role: Researcher Rameshwarah’s research interests are within river hydraulics, hydraulic and hydrological modelling, flood conveyance, turbulence measurements and modelling, flood and drought impact, fluvial ecosystems and physical habitat modelling, agro-hydrological modelling, irrigation water use efficiency, brackish water irrigation and yield response. Rameshwarah has a

Philippe Roudier

Role: Researcher Philippe works with LOCEAN. His research interests are climate change impacts on agriculture in West Africa, crop modelling, seasonal forecasting, and hydrology.

Dave Rowell

Role: Co-Principal Investigator Dave’s main areas of expertise are African climate variability and change, and the mechanisms and uncertainty of future regional climate change, using both General Circulation Model (GCM) and observational data. Other research interests have included European climate change, atmospheric decadal variability,

Benjamin Sultan

Role: Co-Principal Investigator Benjamin Sultan is a senior researcher specialised in Climate variability; predicting Societal impacts of climate variability and crop modelling. He leads research in climate change and its impacts on agriculture in West Africa.

Youssouph Sane

Role: Researcher Youssouph is a researcher with the National Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology (ANACIM). His research interest is in the evolution of the monsoon in West Africa. He analyses extreme weather events and their impact on the different hydrological cycles in West Africa.

Fowe Tazen

Role: Researcher Fowe is a researcher in hydrology and water resources. Fowe’s specific interest lies in the impact of global change on water resources in the Sahel and West African regions.

Laure Tall Diouf

Role: Researcher Laure is a researcher with the Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research (ISRA). Laure’s research interests are in soil fertility, nutrient cycling in soils, legume-based systems and intercropping and greenhouse gas (CH4 and N2O) emissions in agricultural systems. Laure holds a BSc. in

AMMA-2050 are working on two approved Innovation projects and are currently applying for a third. One is led by UCAD and is looking at coastal upwelling off the coast of Senegal with the inclusion of the impact this has on fisheries. The second Innovation project is on urban drainage in Ouagadougou – this links to the work of Barbara Evans in Hycristal where AMMA-2050 are looking at sanitation flows in Ouagadougou using the same approach developed in Hycristal.

The NERC Capital project, Urban Hydro-Met network 4 Africa is establishing a high-resolution Hydro-Meteorological network in three African cities located in Dakar (Senegal); Kampala (Uganda) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). This information will benefit the hydrological work being assessed in AMMA-2050 to evaluate model simulations of flood-producing storms.

Dakar, Senegal:

In Senegal for the agricultural sector, AMMA-2050 are modelling impacts of climate change on different landraces. The team are collecting information on the genomes of different crop varieties (and the genetic sequencing is currently underway); this information will then be linked to climate metrics for informing which traits are most likely needed in a future climate. Participatory modelling meetings are planned for June 2018 with high-level decision makers.

AMMA-2050 is also proposing to develop a MoU with the cross-party parliamentary network body, Réseau des Parlementaires pour la Protection de l’Environnement au Sénégal (REPES). In 2017, the Senegalese group commissioned a cross-sectoral review of how climate information has been integrated across public policy and the REPES Coordinator is keen to engage AMMA-2050 in informing this continuing discussion.

AMMA-2050 has also benefited from alignment with a complementary initiative of LOCEAN/IRD to develop a climate adaptation portal, being piloted in Senegal, designed to support decision makers. The survey undertaken to inform the portal clarified the types of climate information required to support decision-making institutions. A range of AMMA-2050 products, including the Climate Metrics Atlas, will be shared via this portal.

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:

2iE led Innovation Fund: Impact of Sanitation in flooding Risk in Ouagadougou. This joint pilot project involves AMMA-2050 and HyCRISTAL researchers. Using the knowledge of the current status, understanding of flood-affected areas of the city AMMA-2050 will then be able to develop the conceptual SFD model. The aim of the work is to understand the impacts of climate change on urban WASH systems by combining the SFD model of HyCRISTAL with the urban modelling work being done in AMMA-2050’s pilot study in Ouagadougou. There has been an exchange of flood data and sanitation information from 2iE to Leeds, using this, a preliminary set of information slides will be prepared for the upcoming stakeholder meeting in May in Burkina Faso. This will demonstrate how AMMA-2050 are integrating climate change information and flood information on urban WASH systems.

In both Senegal and Burkina Faso, AMMA-2050 are working with feedback from stakeholders that will be assessed to further support medium-term decision making.

The bulk of the project was completed in November 2019, but additional activities are continuing. The four activities below were identified as key to the success and legacy of AMMA-2050 and received further funding until March 2021:

  • Development of tools to describe changing rainfall patterns for engineers. This work involves creating Intensity Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves which capture the statistics of individual rain events and are used in designing infrastructure. The work involves combining different strands of information to provide the underpinning science on which AMMA-2050 can develop future IDF curves, and critically, their associated uncertainty. Our geographical focus expands out from our pilot study in Ouagadougou to the wider Western and Central Sahel. This activity will also include training for National Met Services in the provision of IDF curves.
  • Geo Portal – The primary access to AMMA-2050 information across Senegal is via a web-based Geo-Portal, co-funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are building on the success of this tool by incorporating the new CMIP6 data into the portal and to increase its use through a training and communication program on climate change impacts. Through this training we hope to further develop the cohort of trained researchers on the use of the web based Geo Portal and to acquire the necessary learning to accommodate feedback from users.
  • Engagement in Ouagadougou – Delivering training for non-technical decision makers on the following key learning points from AMMA-2050:
    • Key messages and implications arising from AMMA2050
    • Explaining tools and uncertainty in data Exploring flood maps and potential applications
    • How flood maps can feed into the Ouagadougou urban plan and the urban observatory
    • What is an IDF and how can they be developed and used
    • What are the additional needs of stakeholders


  • Training and Shared Learning – We aim to improve current understanding of future climate variability and change in West Africa, with particular focus on key learning from AMMA-2050. We will employ updated information slides on Key Messages and develop a finalised policy brief on this for a non-technical audience. Working with our ISRA partners we will also develop a training module on gender and inclusivity to be delivered alongside the training in Senegal and Ouagadougou. In the development of this module we will undertake a review of the implications of AMMA-2050 learning about climate change and high impact weather (HIW) for women and inclusivity.


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