PREFACE is organised into 4 main research core themes (CT2-5), which are subdivided into several work packages (WP3-13). CT1, comprising WP1-3, is in charge of Management and Dissemination.
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CT2 (WP3-5)
CT3 (WP6-8)
CT4 (WP9-11)
CT5 (WP12-13)
Management Structure

Schematics of PREFACE work organisation


Schematics of PREFACE work organisation

CT1: Project Management and Dissemination

Lead: Noel Keenlyside, Mahaut de Vareilles and Benjamin Pfeil (UiB, Norway)
Efficient and effective management is of paramount importance as PREFACE is a large multidisciplinary consortium with 28 partners spread over Europe and Africa. To meet this challenge, PREFACE has a streamlined, but appropriately resourced management (see management structure) and an entire work package (WP1) devoted to project management.

WP1: Management deals with all management and financial administrative issues, carefully monitoring project progress, and ensure timely preparation of scientific reports, financial statement, and deliverables, and arranging management and general assembly meetings.

WP2: Dissemination handles all dissemination issues, including preparation of information material for various audiences such as the wider scientific community, stakeholders, and policy makers, and organising summer schools, workshops, and the final project meeting in Africa with a session directed at policy makers.

WP14: Data and information management undertakes project data and information management, and will maintain both internal data servers for sharing data generated in PREFACE and software for disseminating results across the web, and for internal communication.


CT2: Role of ocean processes in climate variability

Lead: Peter Brandt (GEOMAR, Germany); Alban Lazar (UPMC, France)

CT2 will increase understanding of ocean processes key to tropical Atlantic climate through the combined use of historical and new observations and medium- to high-resolution forced ocean modelling:

WP3: Heat and freshwater budgets, air-sea interaction aims to improve the understanding of the physical processes controlling the mixed layer heat and freshwater balances in the eastern boundary upwelling regions (Canary Current and Benguela Current) and in the Gulf of Guinea. Read on…

WP4: Circulation and wave response investigates the role of local and remote forcings along the equatorial and coastal wave-guide in setting mean sea surface temperature (SST) pattern and in driving SST variability in eastern boundary coastal upwelling regions of both hemispheres. Read on…

WP5: Joint observations – model comparison, with input from WP3&4, will use forced medium- to very-high-resolution ocean models to identify causes of systematic error in these regions and ways of improving ocean models, thus informing work in CT3&5. Read on…


CT3: Evaluation of current climate models and bias reduction

Lead: Thomas Toniazzo (UniRes, Norway); Emilia Sanchez-Gomez (CERFACS, France)

CT3 will provide a robust assessment of various systematic errors in coupled ocean-atmosphere-land processes, and develop improved and bias corrected coupled models:

WP6: Coupled basin-wide processes determining the climatology focuses on understanding and reducing systematic biases that develop on time scales from hours to a year, as captured in climate predictions. WP6 informs work in WP7&8. Read on…

WP7: Relation between the background state (error) and variability investigates the relationship between models mean biases and the representation of the tropical Atlantic variability on seasonal to decadal timescales. Read on…

WP8: Influence of remote systematic errors assesses to what extent tropical Atlantic systematic errors can be understood in isolation of remotes errors, including land interaction. Read on…


CT4: Climate prediction in the tropical Atlantic

Lead: Belen Rodriguez-Fonseca (UCM, Spain); Virginie Guemas (BSC-CNS, Spain)

CT4 will increase understanding of climate predictability in the region and evaluate the impact of model systematic error on climate prediction, through experiments incorporating model improvements (from CT2&3) and bias correction techniques:

WP9: Tropical Atlantic variability on seasonal and longer time scales and its global impacts investigates mechanisms for seasonal variability, and assesses the contribution of external forced climate change in the region. Read on…

WP10: Statistical methods to assess and improve forecast of Tropical Atlantic variability focuses on advanced statistical methods for enhancing prediction in the region. Read on…

WP11: Impact of model improvement and systematic error reduction on climate prediction and projection quantifies the impact of the PREFACE model improvements (CT3) and bias correction techniques in climate predictions and long-term projections, and provides the most reliable information to CT5. Read on…


CT5: Impacts of climate change on pelagic functional diversity in the tropical Atlantic with effects on western African fisheries economies

Lead: Patrice Brehmer (IRD, France); Jörn Schmidt (CAU, Germany)

CT5 aims to disentangle environmental and anthropogenic pressures on pelagic fish stocks in the Tropical Atlantic:

WP12: Environmental and anthropogenic pressures on pelagic ecosystems and fisheries – aims to disentangle environmental and anthropogenic pressures on pelagic fishes in the tropical Atlantic; stock development and spatial distribution (vertical and horizontal), and to analyse changes in total biomass and spatial (vertical and horizontal) distribution of major food web components. Read on…

WP13: Evaluating environmental and socio-economic effects of climate change on small scale fisheries – develop coupled ecological-economic models for key species and investigate perceived and realised threats for coastal fishing communities. Read on…