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Land surface feedbacks and palaeomonsoons in northern Africa

Brostrom, A., Coe, M., Harrison, S. P., Gallimore, R., Kutzbach, J. E., Foley, J., Prentice, I. C. and Behling, P. (1998) Land surface feedbacks and palaeomonsoons in northern Africa. Geophysical Research Letters, 25 (19). pp. 3615-3618. ISSN 1944-8007

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/98GL02804


We ran a sequence of climate model experiments for 6000 years ago, with land-surface conditions based on a realistic map of palaeovegetation, lakes and wetlands, to quantify the effects of land-surface feedbacks in the Saharan region. Vegetation-induced albedo and moisture flux changes produced year-round warming, forced the monsoon to 17°–25°N two months earlier, and shifted the precipitation belt ≈300 km northwards compared to the effects of orbital forcing alone. The addition of lakes and wetlands produced localised changes in evaporation and precipitation, but caused no further extension of the monsoon belt. Diagnostic analyses with biome and continental hydrology models showed that the combined land-surface feedbacks, although substantial, could neither maintain grassland as far north as observed (≈26°N) nor maintain Lake “MegaChad” (330,000 km²).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:36399
Publisher:Wiley on behalf of the American Geophysical Union

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