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Model uncertainties in climate change impacts on Sahel precipitation in ensembles of CMIP5 and CMIP6 simulations

Monerie, P.-A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5304-9559, Wainwright, C. M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7311-7846, Sidibe, M. and Akinsanola, A. A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0192-0082 (2020) Model uncertainties in climate change impacts on Sahel precipitation in ensembles of CMIP5 and CMIP6 simulations. Climate Dynamics, 55 (5-6). pp. 1385-1401. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05332-0

Abstract/Summary

The impact of climate change on Sahel precipitation suffers from large uncertainties and is strongly model-dependent. In this study, we analyse sources of inter-model spread in Sahel precipitation change by decomposing precipitation into its dynamic and thermodynamic terms, using a large set of climate model simulations. Results highlight that model uncertainty is mostly related to the response of the atmospheric circulation to climate change (dynamic changes), while thermodynamic changes are less uncertain among climate models. Uncertainties arise mainly because the models simulate different shifts in atmospheric circulation over West Africa in a warmer climate. We linked the changes in atmospheric circulation to the changes in Sea Surface Temperature, emphasising that the Northern hemispheric temperature gradient is primary to explain uncertainties in Sahel precipitation change. Sources of Sahel precipitation uncertainties are shown to be the same in the new generation of climate models (CMIP6) as in the previous generation of models (CMIP5).

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:91546
Publisher:Springer

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