Κυριακή, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Impacts of the Sahel-Sahara Interface Reforestation on West African Climate: Intraseasonal Variability and Extreme Precipitation Events

This study aims to evaluate the impacts of the Sahel-Sahara interface reforestation on spatiotemporal variability of the summer rainfall and extreme precipitation events over West Africa using the RegCM4 model. The land surface scheme of RegCM4 was modified to incorporate an East-West reforested zone (15°N and 20°N). Two runs were performed using the standard version of RegCM4 and the modified one of the same model taking into account the incorporated forest. The reforestation significantly modifies rainfall signal over West Africa by increasing it over the reforested zone and the Fouta Jallon highlands (FJH). This rainfall increase is associated with a strengthening of the atmospheric moisture over the reforested area. This atmospheric moisture content increase associated with the wind dynamic may explain the spatiotemporal change of the rainfall and extreme precipitation events. The analysis of the impacts of the reforestation on some rainfall indices shows an increase of the 90th, 95th, and 99th percentiles over the reforested zone and off the FJH. This reforestation also causes an increase of the maximum length of the consecutive wet days over and off FJH and a decrease of the maximum length of the consecutive dry days over the northern Sahel and the reforested zone.

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