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A tale of two futures: contrasting scenarios of future precipitation for West Africa from an ensemble of regional climate models

Dosio, A., Turner, A. G., Tchio, A. T., Sylla, M. B., Lennard, C., Jones, R., Terray, L., Nikulin, G. and Hewitson, B. (2020) A tale of two futures: contrasting scenarios of future precipitation for West Africa from an ensemble of regional climate models. Environmental Research Letters, 15 (6). 064007. ISSN 1748-9326

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab7fde

Abstract/Summary

The results of a large ensemble of regional climate models lead to two contrasting but plausible scenarios for the precipitation characteristics over West Africa; one where mean precipitation is projected to decrease significantly over the Gulf of Guinea in spring and the Sahel in summer, and the other one where summer precipitation over both regions is projected to increase. Dry and wet models show similar patterns of the dynamic and thermodynamic terms of the moisture budget, although their magnitudes are larger in the dry models. Largest discrepancies are found in the strength of the land-atmosphere coupling, with dry models showing a marked decrease in soil moisture and evapotranspiration. Some changes in precipitation characteristics are consistent for both sets of models. In particular, precipitation frequency is projected to decrease in spring over the Gulf of Guinea and in summer over the Sahel, but precipitation is projected to become more intense.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions: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:87501
Publisher:Institute of Physics

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