Projections of West African summer monsoon rainfall extremes from two CORDEX models

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2017–2028
Journal / PublicationClimate Dynamics
Volume52
Issue number3-4
Early online date8 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Abstract

Global warming has a profound impact on the vulnerable environment of West Africa; hence, robust climate projection, especially of rainfall extremes, is quite important. Based on two representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios, projected changes in extreme summer rainfall events over West Africa were investigated using data from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment models. Eight (8) extreme rainfall indices (CDD, CWD, r10mm, r20mm, PRCPTOT, R95pTOT, rx5day, and sdii) defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices were used in the study. The performance of the regional climate model (RCM) simulations was validated by comparing with GPCP and TRMM observation data sets. Results show that the RCMs reasonably reproduced the observed pattern of extreme rainfall over the region and further added significant value to the driven GCMs over some grids. Compared to the baseline period 1976–2005, future changes (2070–2099) in summer rainfall extremes under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios show statistically significant decreasing total rainfall (PRCPTOT), while consecutive dry days and extreme rainfall events (R95pTOT) are projected to increase significantly. There are obvious indications that simple rainfall intensity (sdii) will increase in the future. This does not amount to an increase in total rainfall but suggests a likelihood of greater intensity of rainfall events. Overall, our results project that West Africa may suffer more natural disasters such as droughts and floods in the future.

Research Area(s)

  • Climate change, Ensemble, Evaluation and future projection, Extreme precipitation, Regional climate model