publication . Article . 2016

Sahel decadal rainfall variability and the role of model horizontal resolution

Michael Vellinga; Malcolm Roberts; Pier Luigi Vidale; Matthew S. Mizielinski; Marie‐Estelle Demory; Reinhard Schiemann; Jane Strachan; Caroline Bain;
Open Access English
  • Published: 06 Jan 2016
  • Publisher: American Geophysical Union
  • Country: United Kingdom
Substantial low-frequency rainfall fluctuations occurred in the Sahel throughout the twentieth century, causing devastating drought. Modeling these low-frequency rainfall fluctuations has remained problematic for climate models for many years. Here we show using a combination of state-of-the-art rainfall observations and high-resolution global climate models that changes in organized heavy rainfall events carry most of the rainfall variability in the Sahel at multiannual to decadal time scales. Ability to produce intense, organized convection allows climate models to correctly simulate the magnitude of late-twentieth century rainfall change, underlining the impo...
free text keywords: General Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geophysics, Horizontal resolution, Climate model, Magnitude (mathematics), Precipitation, General Circulation Model, Geology, Climatology, Tropical wave, Model resolution
Related Organizations
37 references, page 1 of 3

Adler, R. F., et al. (2003), The version 2 Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) monthly precipitation analysis (1979-present), J. Hydrometeorol., 4, 1147-1167.

Bain, C. L., K. D. Williams, S. F. Milton, and J. T. Heming (2013), Objective tracking of African easterly waves in Met Office models, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 140, 47-57, doi:10.1002/qj.2110.

Berry, G., and C. Thorncroft (2012), African easterly wave dynamics in a mesoscale numerical model: The upscale role of convection, J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 1267-1283, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-11-099.1.

Berry, G. J., and C. Thorncroft (2005), Case study of an intense African easterly wave, Mon. Weather Rev., 133, 752-766, doi:10.1175/MWR2884.1. [OpenAIRE]

Biasutti, M. (2013), Forced Sahel rainfall trends in the CMIP5 archive, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 1613-1623, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50206. [OpenAIRE]

Birch, C., D. Parker, J. Marsham, D. Copsey, and L. Garcia-Carreras (2014), A seamless assessment of the role of convection in the water cycle of the West African Monsoon, J. Geophys. Res., 119, 2890-2912, doi:10.1002/2013JD020887. [OpenAIRE]

Birch, C., M. Roberts, L. Garcia-Carreras, D. Ackerley, M. Reeder, and A. Lock (2015), Sea breeze dynamics and convective initiation: The influence of convective parameterisation on climate model biases, J. Clim., 28, 8093-8108, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00850.1. [OpenAIRE]

Burpee, R. W. (1972), The origin and structure of easterly waves in the lower troposphere of North Africa, J. Atmos. Sci., 29, 77-90, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1972)029<0077:TOASOE>2.0.CO;2.

Cook, K. (1999), Generation of the African Easterly Jet and its role in determining West African precipitation, J. Clim., 12, 1165-1184, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1999)012<1165:GOTAEJ>2.0.CO;2.

Cretat, J., E. Vizy, and K. Cook (2014), How well are daily intense rainfall events captured by current climate models over Africa?, Clim. Dyn., 42(9), 2691-2711, doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1796-7.

Demory, M.-E., P. L. Vidale, M. Roberts, P. Berrisford, J. Strachan, R. Schiemann, and M. Mizielinski (2014), The role of horizontal resolution in simulating drivers of the global hydrological cycle, Clim. Dyn., 42, 2201-2225, doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1924-4.

Donlon, C., M. Martin, J. Stark, J. Roberts-Jones, E. Fiedler, and W. Wimmer (2012), The Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) system, Remote Sens. Environ., 116, 140-158, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2010.10.017.

Duvel, J. (1990), Convection over tropical Africa and the Atlantic Ocean during northern summer. Part II: Modulation by easterly waves, Mon. Weather Rev., 118, 1855-1868, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1990)118<1855:COTAAT>2.0.CO;2.

Fink, A. H., and A. Reiner (2003), Spatiotemporal variability of the relation between African Easterly Waves and West African squall lines in 1998 and 1999, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 4332, doi:10.1029/2002JD002816.

Folland, C. K., D. E. Parker, and T. N. Palmer (1986), Sahel rainfall and worldwide sea temperatures, Nature, 320, 602-607. [OpenAIRE]

37 references, page 1 of 3
Powered by OpenAIRE Research Graph
Any information missing or wrong?Report an Issue