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Article

Intraseasonal Precipitation Variability over West Africa under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C Global Warming Scenarios: Results from CORDEX RCMs

1
School of Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University, 43844-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
2
Programmes, the African Academy of Sciences, 24916-00502 Nairobi, Kenya
3
Fisheries and Watershed Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, PMB, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
4
Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 30121 Venice, Italy
5
Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), 30175 Venice, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(12), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8120143
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 3 December 2020 / Published: 6 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts at Various Geographical Scales)
This study assessed the performance of 24 simulations, from five regional climate models (RCMs) participating in the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX), in representing spatiotemporal characteristics of precipitation over West Africa, compared to observations. The top five performing RCM simulations were used to assess future precipitation changes over West Africa, under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming levels (GWLs), following the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. The performance evaluation and future change assessment were done using a set of seven ‘descriptors’ of West African precipitation namely the simple precipitation intensity index (SDII), the consecutive wet days (CWD), the number of wet days index (R1MM), the number of wet days with moderate and heavy intensity precipitation (R10MM and R30MM, respectively), and annual and June to September daily mean precipitation (ANN and JJAS, respectively). The performance assessment and future change outlook were done for the CORDEX–Africa subdomains of north West Africa (WA-N), south West Africa (WA-S), and a combination of the two subdomains. While the performance of RCM runs was descriptor- and subregion- specific, five model runs emerged as top performers in representing precipitation characteristics over both WA-N and WA-S. The five model runs are CCLM4 forced by ICHEC-EC-EARTH (r12i1p1), RCA4 forced by CCCma-CanESM2 (r1i1p1), RACMO22T forced by MOHC-HadGEM2-ES (r1i1p1), and the ensemble means of simulations made by CCLM4 and RACMO22T. All precipitation descriptors recorded a reduction under the two warming levels, except the SDII which recorded an increase. Unlike the WA-N that showed less frequency and more intense precipitation, the WA-S showed increased frequency and intensity. Given the potential impact that these projected changes may have on West Africa’s socioeconomic activities, adjustments in investment may be required to take advantage of (and enhance system resilience against damage that may result from) the potential changes in precipitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: ensembles; regional and mesoscale modelling; climate; tropics; seasonal prediction; intraseasonal rainfall variability; CORDEX; West African monsoon ensembles; regional and mesoscale modelling; climate; tropics; seasonal prediction; intraseasonal rainfall variability; CORDEX; West African monsoon
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ogega, O.M.; Gyampoh, B.A.; Mistry, M.N. Intraseasonal Precipitation Variability over West Africa under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C Global Warming Scenarios: Results from CORDEX RCMs. Climate 2020, 8, 143. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8120143

AMA Style

Ogega OM, Gyampoh BA, Mistry MN. Intraseasonal Precipitation Variability over West Africa under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C Global Warming Scenarios: Results from CORDEX RCMs. Climate. 2020; 8(12):143. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8120143

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ogega, Obed M., Benjamin A. Gyampoh, and Malcolm N. Mistry 2020. "Intraseasonal Precipitation Variability over West Africa under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C Global Warming Scenarios: Results from CORDEX RCMs" Climate 8, no. 12: 143. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8120143

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