ICTP was founded in 1964 with the aim of fostering the growth of research in physical and mathematical sciences, especially in developing countries. The research of the Earth System Physics (ESP) section of ICTP includes anthropogenic climate change, natural climate variability and climate predictability over seasonal to decadal timescales. The ESP maintains and develops a fully coupled global ocean atmosphere model and a state-of-the-art regional climate model. Relevant to this call, both models have been applied to research problems in Africa and are used by a number of African research centres. ICTP also researches statistical and dynamical techniques for downscaling grid-scale global and regional model output to the local scale. ESP participates in current European projects ENSEMBLES, CECILIA, WATCH and ACQWA.
Of particular relevance to HEALTHY FUTURES, ESP has a central role in a new EU-FP7 project called QWECI starting in 2010, which will investigate the potential of monthly to seasonal forecasts of malaria and RVF in Malawi, Senegal and Ghana. As part of this project ICTP will gain experience in the techniques required to maximize skill in prediction of parameters relevant for driving dynamics disease models, and will gain experience in the techniques required to couple meteorological forecasts with dynamic disease models. This research is of direct relevance to HEALTHY FUTURES (WP2 present climate, WP3 dynamic disease models, and WP4 future climate scenarios) and implies that the research planned in the present proposal can build on an existing project.
Adrian Tompkins (ESP) will coordinate and lead the ICTP effort in HEALTHY FUTURES. He is the co-leader/co-author of QWECI. He received his PhD (1997) from the University of Reading, spent three years at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany and seven years as a staff scientist at the internationally renowned forecast centre ECMWF, before joining ICTP in October 2007. He has a wide experience in the development and use of global weather forecast and climate models as well as regional cloud resolving models. His 40+ peer-reviewed publications include work on African climate and its predictability as simulated by both climate and operational numerical weather prediction models.
Filippo Giorgi is currently a senior scientist in ICTP and head of ESP, which he joined in May 1998. He obtained a Ph.D. (1986) in atmospheric sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and worked as a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Co, USA, until 1998. He co-authored over 140 refereed publications and was an investigator in over 20 research grants in the U.S. and Europe. He pioneered the field of regional climate modelling.
Erika Coppola received the Laurea degree in Physics (1998) from the University of LAquila, and the Ph.D in Meteorology (2004) from the University of Reading, UK, involving research on passive remote sensing of the atmosphere from space, with a particular focus on precipitation in Africa. From 2002 to 2006 she held a post-doc at the University of L'Aquila, followed by the present research scientist post at ICTP. She is involved in the hydrological model research and development activity, with a focus on hydrological processes in Africa.
Rachel Lowe is currently a Visiting Scientist at International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy, working on the development of spatio-temporal models for disease risk prediction in Africa and the communication of forecast information to decision makers. Rachel graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2004 with a First Class Honours BSc in Meteorology and Oceanography with a year in Europe. She spent one year at the University of Granada in Spain reading Environmental Science. In 2006-07 she completed an MSc with distinction in Geophysical Hazards at University College London where she received a Graduate Masters Award. From 2007-10 Rachel was a PhD student at the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter (PhD Thesis: Spatio-temporal modelling of climate-sensitive disease risk: towards an early warning system for dengue in Brazil). She was also Network Facilitator for the Leverhulme Trust funded project EUROBRISA.
Gulilat is a post doctoral visiting scientist at ICTP since october 2008. his research interest includes dynamical downscaling of global climate simulations and seasonal hindcasts using ICTP's RegCM over varios parts of Africa and Central America. Gulilat received his MSc and PhD from Reading University in 2004, 2008. His PhD work is on the teleconnection mechanisms between remote SSTs and East African rainfall and on statistical seasonal prediction of East African rainfall. Gulilat will be working on downscaling of ERA-interim and CMIP5 cimate projection to produce a high resolution climate information that is suitable to impact models.
ICTP researchers will apply their climate research expertise in the WP2 and the future climate scenarios of WP4. They will also advise on WP3.