Research Associates

Dr Mark Tadross

Senior Research Officer
Room: 5.04
Tel: 021 650 2884

PhD (Cambridge)

Academic Profile

I'm involved in African climate variability, seasonal forecasting and climate change issues. I work with the Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG), based in the EGS department.

Research Interests

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. Presented at regional climate outlook forums (SARCOF), farmers associations and both local and international conferences. Reviewer IPCC WGII AR4.

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. Assessing GCM climate change predictions for Africa. Assessing different RCMs (MM5, Precis), their physics and the feedbacks of vegetation and the land surface on local climates.

Participated as a principal developer in a pan-South Africa project to improve seasonal forecasting in southern Africa using General Circulation Models (GCMs). Installed UK met office global climate model (UM) on Compaq alpha platform and developed shell-scripts/C code for data ingestion and post processing. Tested physics options to reduce simulation biases in the southern African region. Wrote code for and implemented the UM seasonal forecasting system, which currently feeds into the regional outlook issued by the South African Weather Service (


  • Mackellar, N.C., Hewitson B.C., Tadross M.A., 2006: Namaqualand's climate: recent historical changes and future scenarios. Journal of Arid Environments, in press.
  • Tadross, M.A., Gutowski W.J. Jr., Hewitson B.C., Jack C.J., New M., 2006: MM5 simulations of interannual change and the diurnal cycle of southern African regional climate. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, in press. DOI 10.1007/s00704-005-0208-2.
  • Tadross, M.A., Jack C., and Hewitson B.C., 2005: On RCM-based projections of change in southern African summer climate. Geophysical Research Letters, 32(23), L23713, doi 10.1029/2005GL024460.
  • Midgley, G.F., Chapman, R.A., Hewitson, B., Johnston, P., de Wit, M., Ziervogel, G., Mukheibir, P., van Niekerk, L., Tadross, M., van Wilgen, B.W., Kgope, B., Morant, P.D., Theron, A., Scholes, R.J., Forsyth, G.G. (2005). A status quo, vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the physical and socio-economic effects of climate change in the western Cape. Report to the Western Cape Government, Cape Town, South Africa. CSIR Report No. ENV-S-C 2005-073, Stellenbosch.
  • Hewitson B.C., Tadross, M.A., Sarr A., Jain S., Mdoka M., Jack C., McKellar N., Walawege R., Intsiful J., Gutowski W.J.Jr., Crane R., Stendel M., 2005: The development of regional climate change scenarios for sub-sahara Africa. Assessment of Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change project AF07, START secretariat, Washington DC, US, pp 115.
  • Hewitson, B.C., Crane R.G., and Tadross M., 2005: Regional climate scenarios for impact assessment. Chapter in 'Africa Global Change Synthesis'
  • Karanja, F.K., Hewitson B.C., and Tadross M., 2004: Contribution to UNEP commissioned paper 'Climate change scenarios and vulnerability assessments for selected countries in Eastern and Southern Africa'
  • Usman, M.T., Archer E., Johnston P., and Tadross M., 2005: A conceptual framework for enhancing the utility of rainfall hazard forecasts for agriculture in marginal environments, Natural Hazards, 34, 111-129.
  • Hewitson B., Reason C., Tennant W., Tadross M., Jack C., Mackellar N., Lennard C., Walawege R., Mdoka M., 2004: Dynamical modelling of present and future climate, Water Research Commission of South Africa.
  • Reason C.J.C., Landman W., Tadross M., Tennant W., Bopape M-J., 2004: Seasonal to decadal predictability and prediction of southern African climate, white paper presented to the CLIVAR workshop on Atlantic predictability, 17-21 April, University of Reading, UK.
  • Tadross, M., B.C. Hewitson, and M. Usman, 2003: Calculating the onset of the maize growing season over southern Africa using GTS and CMAP data, CLIVAR-exchanges, 27, 48-50.
  • Reason C.J.C., Jagadheesha J., and Tadross M., 2003: A model investigation of inter-annual winter rainfall variability over southwestern South Africa and associated ocean-atmosphere interaction. South African Journal of Science. 99. p 75-80.
  • Tadross, M.A. [1997]. The effect of speckle on a nearest-neighbour statistical approach to sea ice classification. In Local ice cover deformation and mesoscale ice dynamics, mid-term review for European Community MAST III project MAS3-CT95-0006. 9-10 October, Cambridge, U.K.
  • Tadross, M.A. [1997]. Microwave remote sensing of young sea ice in the Greenland Sea. Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K., pp 241
  • Wadhams, P., De Carolis, G., Parmiggiani, F.F. and Tadross, M. [1997]. Wave dispersion by Frazil-Pancake ice from SAR imagery. In Proc. International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Singapore, 3-8 August 1997.
  • Wadhams, P., Parmiggiani, F.F., De Carolis, G. and Tadross, M.A. [1997]. The use of SAR to map ice thickness in the Odden ice tongue and determine its role in deep convection. Final report for the European Community, Environment and climate program. Contract EV5V-CT94-0440, pp 157.
  • Wadhams, P., Parmiggiani, F.F. and Tadross, M.A. [1995]. Wave spectra of SAR imagery in the Odden ice tongue. In Proc. International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Florence, Italy, 10-14 July 1995.
  • Wells, S., Tadross, M.A. and Garbett, D., Sea ice observations log, p 423-452.
  • Wells, S., Tadross, M.A., Sea Ice physics, p 49-53.
  • In Myhre, A.M., Thiede, J., Firth, J.V., et al., [1995]. Proc. ODP, Init. Repts., 151: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program).
  • Tadross, M.A. and Brandon, M.A. [1993]. Sea ice observations from the R.V. Northern Horizon, 20/1/93 - 17/2/93. Scott Polar Research Institute, Sea Ice Group technical report, pp 30.