Report on the IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA Joint Assembly

September 2017




The IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA Joint Assembly was held in Cape Town, South Africa from 28th August – 1st September 2017. The attendance by members of the 3 associations led to a varied programme and a wide diversity of presentations. In particular the attendance of members from both IAPSO and IAMAS facilitated interesting discussions, particularly in the session on Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions, and offered new perspectives.

The ‘Future Climate for the African Continent’ session was a joint session, with presentations and posters covering a wide range of topics including the East Africa Short Rains, the Angolan Low and biodiversity. The feedback I received from the presentation I gave in this session was incredibly useful, and it was interesting to learn more about other ongoing research looking at future climate change over Africa. The associated poster session was particularly interesting, as a couple of the posters were using methods similar to those published in my first paper, and examining similar model deficiencies to those documented in my second paper; the poster session provided an excellent occasion to further discuss our findings. I also chaired this session, which was a fantastic opportunity, especially as this was my first international conference.

I also gave a second oral presentation in the session on ‘The Seasonal Cycle over Africa’. As my PhD research is focussed on looking at the past trends, variability and future projections of rainfall seasonality over Africa, it was an excellent opportunity for me to be able to share my research in this session. Additionally, I learnt about a new project launching in South Africa focussed around the seasonal cycle and met other researchers with similar research interests. Both learning about this work, and making these partners aware of my work is incredibly beneficial for my development as a researcher. 

The location of the conference in South Africa meant that there were a larger number of African researchers in attendance, who expressed interest in my work and gave useful feedback on both presentations.

Furthermore, I attended a number of other sessions on topics ranging from effective dialogue, experiential learning and in the co-creation of transdisciplinary knowledge in the ‘Resilience: The science of adapting to climate change’ session, to drivers of the dynamical portion of extreme rainfall and the representation of regional precipitation extremes in climate models in the ‘High -Impact Weather and Climate Extremes’ session. Other session of particular interest included ‘Precipitation at all scales’ and ‘Tropical Circulation Systems’ which broadened my understanding of many areas, and offered a synoptic scale perspective of tropical weather.

I am very grateful to the RMetS Legacy Fund for providing me with financial support which enabled me to attend this conference.