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Storylines of Sahel precipitation change: roles of the North Atlantic and Euro-Mediterranean temperature
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  • Paul-Arthur Monerie,
  • Michela Biasutti,
  • Juliette Mignot,
  • Elsa Mohino,
  • Benjamin Pohl,
  • Giuseppe Zappa
Paul-Arthur Monerie
National Centre for Atmospheric Science

Corresponding Author:p.monerie@reading.ac.uk

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Michela Biasutti
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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Juliette Mignot
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Elsa Mohino
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de CC FĂ­sicas
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Benjamin Pohl
CRC / Biogéosciences
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Giuseppe Zappa
National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC), Bologna, Italy.
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Future changes in Sahel precipitation are uncertain because of large differences among projections from various models. In order to explore this uncertainty, we use a storyline approach which seeks to identify alternative plausible evolutions of Sahel precipitation and their driving factors. By analysing projections from the CMIP6 climate models, we show that changes in North Atlantic and in Euro-Mediterranean temperatures explain up to 50% of the central Sahel precipitation change uncertainty. We then construct several storylines of Sahel precipitation change based on future plausible changes in North Atlantic and Euro-Mediterranean temperatures. In one storyline, an amplified warming of both the North Atlantic and the Euro-Mediterranean areas promotes a northward shift of the West African monsoon, increasing precipitation over the central Sahel, while, in another storyline, a moderate warming in both regions is associated with a small change in precipitation over the central Sahel and a decrease in precipitation over the western Sahel, at the end of the 21st century. These results indicate that reducing uncertainty in future changes in Sahel precipitation could be achieved by reducing uncertainty in the future warming of the North Atlantic and the Euro-Mediterranean areas.
20 Feb 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
27 Feb 2023Published in ESS Open Archive
27 Aug 2023Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres volume 128 issue 16. 10.1029/2023JD038712