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Representation of Multidecadal Sahel Rainfall Variability in 20th Century Reanalyses
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 10937Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Summer rainfall in the Sahel region has exhibited strong multidecadal variability during the 20th century causing dramatic human and socio-economic impacts. Studies have suggested that the variability is linked to the Atlantic multidecadal variability; a spatially persistent pattern of warm/cold sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic. In the last few years, several promising century-long reanalysis datasets have been made available, opening up for further studies into the dynamics inducing the observed low-frequency rainfall variability in Sahel. We find that although three of the 20th century ECMWF reanalyses show clear multidecadal rainfall variability with extended wet and dry periods, the timing of the multidecadal variability in two of these reanalyses is found to exhibit almost anti-phase features for a large part of the 20th century when compared to observations. The best representation of the multidecadal rainfall variability is found in the ECMWF reanalysis that, unlike the other reanalyses (including NOAA's 20th century), do not assimilate any observations and may well be a critical reason for this mismatch, as discussed herein. This reanalysis, namely ERA-20CM, is thus recommended for future studies on the dynamics driving the multidecadal rainfall variability in Sahel and its linkages to the low-frequency North Atlantic oceanic temperatures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, article id 10937
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159066DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29217-9ISI: 000439101600036PubMedID: 30026485OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159066DiVA, id: diva2:1242235
Available from: 2018-08-27 Created: 2018-08-27 Last updated: 2018-08-27Bibliographically approved

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