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Welcome to Session D6 on Process Based Evaluation of the West African Monsoon in CORDEX Projections

19 May 2016, 14h00-17h00

Date: Thursday 2016-05-19
Time: 14.00 - 17.00
Room: to be confirmed later
Convenors: Dr Chris Lennard and Dr Bill Gutowski

Summary: In this session we would like to draw attention to components of the West African Monsoon that are both well understood and poorly understood and propose an experimental framework to address knowledge gaps that exist. We include perspectives of climate information users so that the atmospheric science component of the proposed experiment framework could be tailored to have an applied user context. Elucidating the gaps in our understanding of the West African Monsoon and its impacts provides an opportunity to plan and coordinate effective research into the WAM. The session will consist of three keynote presentations to lay the foundations for a longer discussion period, the results of which could inform future research efforts into the WAM.

Three keynote speakers will address the following themes:


  1. Recent advances in our understanding of the West African Monsoon system
  2. What don’t we know about the West African Monsoon – and why is it important that we find out?
  3. How does understanding the impacts/vulnerability space help atmospheric scientists target their efforts in understanding the WAM?

Then in the more workshop context session we will address issues raised in the keynote talks and others to propose particular research themes. In addition to the themes addressed in the keynote talks, additional themes may also be discussed, such as:

  • The five most important things we still need to understand about the WAM are….
  • Observing processes governing the WAM – what do we have and what do we wish we had?
  • How appropriate/useful are the CORDEX data for studying the WAM? What is missing?
  • Is a process-based understanding more important than first-order rainfall assessments?
  • How can multiple projects work together to have maximum scientific impact with respect to the WAM (CORDEX, AMMA2020, IMFULA, IMPALA, WASSCAL, CR4D….)?
  • ……other matters not listed above.


We look forward to a stimulating discussion and fruitful outcomes. We invite all interested persons to register for the session so that we have an idea of how many people to plan. Please email Dr Chris Lennard ( should you like to attend.