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

Monerie, Paul Arthur, Wainwright, Caroline M. ORCID:, Sidibe, Moussa and Akinsanola, Akintomide Afolayan 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. 10.1007/s00382-020-05332-0

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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
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: This article has a correction. See
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0930-7575
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 6 November 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 07:40

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