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Impacts of 1.5 and 2.0 °C Global Warming on Water Balance Components over Senegal in West Africa

Laboratoire d’Océanographie, des Sciences de l’Environnement et du Climat (LOSEC), Université Assane, SECK de Ziguinchor BP 523, Senegal
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), AIMS Rwanda Center, KN 3, P.O. Box 71 50 Kigali, Rwanda
Laboratoire de Physique de l’Atmosphère et de l’Océan, Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar BP 5085, Senegal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 712;
Received: 11 October 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Hydrological and Climate Extremes in Africa)
This study assesses the changes in precipitation (P) and in evapotranspiration (ET) under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming levels (GWLs) over Senegal in West Africa. A set of twenty Regional Climate Model (RCM) simulations within the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) following the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 emission scenario is used. Annual and seasonal changes are computed between climate simulations under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C warming, with respect to 0.5 °C warming, compared to pre-industrial levels. The results show that annual precipitation is likely to decrease under both magnitudes of warming; this decrease is also found during the main rainy season (July, August, September) only and is more pronounced under 2 °C warming. All reference evapotranspiration calculations, from Penman, Hamon, and Hargreaves formulations, show an increase in the future under the two GWLs, except annual Penman evapotranspiration under the 1.5 °C warming scenario. Furthermore, seasonal and annual water balances (P-ET) generally exhibit a water deficit. This water deficit (up to 180 mm) is more substantial with Penman and Hamon under 2 °C. In addition, analyses of changes in extreme precipitation reveal an increase in dry spells and a decrease in the number of wet days. However, Senegal may face a slight increase in very wet days (95th percentile), extremely wet days (99th), and rainfall intensity in the coming decades. Therefore, in the future, Senegal may experience a decline in precipitation, an increase of evapotranspiration, and a slight increase in heavy rainfall. Such changes could have serious consequences (e.g., drought, flood, etc.) for socioeconomic activities. Thus, strong governmental politics are needed to restrict the global mean temperature to avoid irreversible negative climate change impacts over the country. The findings of this study have contributed to a better understanding of local patterns of the Senegal hydroclimate under the two considered global warming scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming; water balance components; Senegal; CORDEX 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming; water balance components; Senegal; CORDEX
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Mbaye, M.L.; Sylla, M.B.; Tall, M. Impacts of 1.5 and 2.0 °C Global Warming on Water Balance Components over Senegal in West Africa. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 712.

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