Mark is involved in African climate variability, seasonal forecasting and climate change issues. He works with the Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG), based in the EGS department. Mark’s research interests include intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics important for agriculture (e.g. rainfall onset/cessation and frequency/intensity of dry/wet spells), their physical causes and potential predictability. Ongoing work on the onset of the maize growing season relates to food security concerns across the region. He presented at regional climate outlook forums (SARCOF), farmers associations and both local and international conferences. Mark was a reviewer for IPCC WGII AR4.
Mark is a project manager on Assessment of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC) funded project AF07. The project collaborates with international partners and African scientists to produce detailed climate change scenarios for Africa using Regional Climate Models (RCMs). An important aspect of this project is to build capacity within Africa to use RCMs for climate research using PC (Linux) hardware e.g. have set up modelling facilities at University of Zambia and Zimbabwe Meteorological Services. He is involved with assessing GCM climate change predictions for Africa and assessing different RCMs (MM5, Precis), their physics and the feedbacks of vegetation and the land surface on local climates. Mark participated as a principal developer in a pan-South Africa project to improve seasonal forecasting in southern Africa using General Circulation Models (GCMs). He installed UK met office global climate model (UM) on Compaq alpha platform and developed shell-scripts/C code for data ingestion and post processing. Mark tested physics options to reduce simulation biases in the southern African region and he wrote code for and implemented the UM seasonal forecasting system, which currently feeds into the regional outlook issued by the South African Weather Service.