African wetlands and climate

Dr Simon Dadson at the School of Geography and the Environment, has led a team of researchers from Oxford University, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Met Office and the University of Cape Town in a project to investigate the role of African wetlands in the climate system.

Okavango River

Okavango River in Botswana © Simon Dadson

The research, which was funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council and comes to an end this year, enables the calculation of river flows and inland flooding in data-sparse regions. The system is now integrated within the UK Met Office’s Unified Model suite of global and regional climate models and is being used worldwide.

The scientific impact of this work is to further understanding of how climate variability and change effects water resources availability, but also to get a better view of how patterns of changing freshwater availability affect local meteorology. The project has generated significant interest among the African environmental science community and enabled several research fellows to undertake exchange visits to Oxford, and vice versa.

Dr Dadson will build upon this work in a new project with the University of Reading which will investigate the influence of wetland-climate feedbacks on African hydroclimate.

Read the impact case study ‘How changes to inland waters impact regional climates’

Visit the project webpage and access the project data