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West African monsoon response to greenhouse gas and sulphate aerosol forcing under two emission scenarios

Author:
Caminade, C., Terray, L., Maisonnave, E.
Source:
Climate dynamics 2006 v.26 no.5 pp. 531-547
ISSN:
0930-7575
Subject:
Sahel, aerosols, data collection, evaporation, global warming, greenhouse gases, hydrologic cycle, models, monsoon season, rain, seasonal variation, summer, surface temperature, variance, Guinea, South Africa
Abstract:
The impact of increased greenhouse gases (GHG) and aerosols concentrations upon the West African monsoon (WAM) is investigated for the late twenty-first century period using the Météo-France ARPEGE-IFS high-resolution atmospheric model. Perturbed (2070-2100) and current (1961-2000) climates are compared using the model in time-slice mode. The model is forced by global sea surface temperatures provided by two transient scenarios performed with low-resolution coupled models and by two GHG evolution scenarios, SRES-A2 and SRES-B2. Comparing to reanalysis and observed data sets, the model is able to reproduce a realistic seasonal cycle of WAM despite a clear underestimation of the African Easterly Jet (AEJ) during the boreal summer. Mean temperature change indicates a global warming over the continent (stronger over North and South Africa). Simulated precipitation change at the end of the twenty-first century shows an increase in precipitation over Sudan-Sahel linked to a strong positive feedback with surface evaporation. Along Guinea Gulf coast, rainfall regimes are driven by large-scale moisture advection. Moreover, results show a mean precipitation decrease (increase) in the most (less) enhanced GHG atmosphere over this region. Modification of the seasonal hydrological cycle consists in a rain increase during the monsoon onset. There is a significant increase in rainfall variance over the Sahel, which extends over the Guinea coast region in the moderate emission scenario. Enhanced precipitation over Sahel is linked to large-scale circulation changes, namely a weakening of the AEJ and an intensification of the Tropical Easterly Jet.
Agid:
274246