Exploring changes to the Harmattan windy season and precipitation in southern West Africa

Host institution

University of Ghana

Grant year


Project summary

The potential use of SRM to tackle climate change could have important impacts on southern West Africa’s Harmattan windy season (usually November to March), and how it affects rainfall in the region. This is a crucial issue for people almost entirely dependent on rainfall for agriculture and food supply, with crucial consequences for their livelihoods and wellbeing.  Prof. Nana Ama Browne Klutse, University of Ghana will examine how the use SRM could affect regional temperature, humidity and rainfall in a warming climate. This work will both enable greater understanding of future rainfall patterns, and allow for better-informed contributions from African scientists in global discussions about the potential costs and benefits of deploying SRM.

The team

Prof nana ama klutse profile
University of Ghana
Nana Ama Browne Klutse is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, at the University of Ghana. She is involved in the preparation of the IPCC 6AR as a Lead Author in the Working Group 1 report, and a Member of the Task Group on Data Support. Nana is a member of UNESCO’s Scientific Board of the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP), and a researcher in climate change science with the African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS). Her current research focus is on understanding the climate dynamics of Africa, climate observations, and projections for climate services. She holds a PhD in climatology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and part of her research was undertaken at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy.
University of Yaounde 1
Atanas Dommo holds a PhD in atmospheric science with specialisations in climate science and climate change. Currently, his research focuses on clouds and aerosols’ radiative effects over Central Africa in the context of climate change. This includes studying cloud variability in Central Africa, and its local impact on the climate over the subregion. Dr Dommo also has extensive knowledge of managing and analysing large datasets, as well as of statistical tools that can be applied to the field of climate change. He has also worked on analysing the new rainfall datasets collected from the microwave telecommunications network in Cameroon, with the aim of improving data quality for the benefit of national meteorological agencies, policymakers and researchers.
University of Ghana
Azoda Hubert Koffi is a senior lecturer with the Energy and Environmental Physics Group in the Department of Physics, at the University of Ghana, Legon. He holds a PhD in physics, and his research focuses on using climate models to understand the intensity and quality of solar irradiance, and its implications for the West Africa climate system. He has worked on the influence of the West African Monsoon on air quality, rainfall patterns, food security, and energy, with a focus on the performance of photo voltaic panels. He has also lectured on subjects including: the physics of the ocean; general physics, thermodynamics, green hydrogen, and fuel cells technologies.
University of Cape Coast
Francis Nkrumah is a lecturer and a research scientist in the Department of Physics, at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, from where he completed his undergraduate, MPhil and doctoral studies. His research interests lie in the area of physics, hydrology, meteorology, and climatology, with a particular focus on the atmospheric dynamics of the West African climate. Much of his work has been on improving the understanding of extreme weather events, mainly through the application of statistical tools to weather and climate data. He has also investigated the implications of mesoscale convective systems on the West African climate and land-use changes. He has actively collaborated with both domestic and international researchers in other disciplines of climate science. Dr Nkrumah has authored a number of papers on climate science over the past five years, and has given a number of talks and tutorials in his short career as an early career research scientist. He recently served as a Contributing Author to Working Group 1 for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report.
University of Cape Coast
Kwesi Quagraine is a Lecturer and climate research scientist at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is currently investigating climate variability and change using machine learning approaches. This research includes looking at the co-behaviour of large-scale climate processes and their influences on regional climate by developing methodologies that accommodate possible nonlinear interactions of these large-scale processes, and help investigate the drivers of rainfall extremes over West Africa.
University of Abomey-Calavi
Gandomè Mayeul Léger Davy Quenum is a post-doctoral fellow with affiliations with the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC) and the African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS). He is an interdisciplinary research scientist with skills in physics, hydrology, meteorology, and climatology. His research experience and subjects include extreme climate events (flooding and droughts), and predictions by applying both statistical and dynamical methodologies. Other areas of expertise include Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and WRF-Hydro modelling system approaches for investigating climate extreme events. He also uses models such as Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE), and Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), to explore anthropogenic effects on hydrological processes.
Rebecca Bediako
University of Ghana
Rebecca is a research student pursuing MPhil in Physics at the University of Ghana. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in meteorology and atmospheric physics at the University of Cape Coast, and set her sights on specialising in atmospheric physics to gain a deeper understanding of the Earth’s atmosphere, a critical component in the study of climate dynamics. Her research focuses on the intricacies of atmospheric processes, with an interest in climate modelling and the effects of climate change. Beyond her academic pursuits, she is committed to environmental advocacy.
University of Cape Coast
Patrick Essien, an accomplished research scientist and lecturer at the Department of Physics at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He earned his PhD in Space Geophysics from the esteemed National Institute for Space Research, Brazil. His research interests span a broad spectrum, primarily focusing on atmospheric dynamics, space weather, and climate change. He is renowned for his pioneering research into neutral atmospheric processes and disturbances. He boasts of publications in esteemed peer-reviewed journals and his expertise has been showcased at numerous international conferences and educational institutions.

Photo credits

Banner: Storms over Ghana – Earth Observation taken during the Expedition 37 mission. Credit: NASA, Karen Nyberg

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