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Identification of deficiencies in seasonal rainfall simulated by CMIP5 climate models

Dunning, C. M., Allan, R. P. and Black, E. (2017) Identification of deficiencies in seasonal rainfall simulated by CMIP5 climate models. Environmental Research Letters, 12 (11). 114001. ISSN 1748-9326

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa869e

Abstract/Summary

An objective technique for analysing seasonality, in terms of regime, progression and timing of the wet seasons, is applied in the evaluation of CMIP5 simulations across continental Africa. Atmosphere-only and coupled integrations capture the gross observed patterns of seasonal progression and give mean onset/cessation dates within 18 days of the observational dates for 11 of the 13 regions considered. Accurate representation of seasonality over central-southern Africa and West Africa (excluding southern coastline) adds credence for future projected changes in seasonality here. However, coupled simulations exhibit timing biases over the Horn of Africa, with the long rains 20 days late on average. Although both sets of simulations detect biannual rainfall seasonal cycles for East and Central Africa, coupled simulations fail to capture the biannual regime over the southern West African coastline. This is linked with errors in the Gulf of Guinea sea surface temperature (SST) and deficient representation of the SST/rainfall relationship.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:73003
Publisher:Institute of Physics

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