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Dynamical and Thermodynamic Elements of Modeled Climate Change at the East African Margin of Convection

Alessandra Giannini; Bradfield Lyon; Richard Seager; Nicolas Vigaud

Title:
Dynamical and Thermodynamic Elements of Modeled Climate Change at the East African Margin of Convection
Author(s):
Giannini, Alessandra
Lyon, Bradfield
Seager, Richard
Vigaud, Nicolas
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Volume:
45
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Geographic Area:
Africa, East
Abstract:
We propose a dynamical interpretation of model projections for an end-of-century wetting in equatorial East Africa. In the current generation of global climate models, increased atmospheric moisture content associated with warming is not the dominant process explaining the increase in rainfall, as the regional circulation is only weakly convergent even during the rainy seasons. Instead, projected wetter future conditions are generally consistent with the El Niño-like trend in tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures in climate models. In addition, a weakening in moisture convergence over the adjacent Congo Basin and Maritime Continent cores of convection results in the weakening of near-surface winds, which increases moisture advection from the Congo Basin core toward the East African margin. Overall confidence in the projections is limited by the significant biases in simulation of the regional climatology and disagreement between observed and modeled tropical Pacific sea surface temperature trends to date.
Subject(s):
Climatology
Climatic changes
Atmospheric thermodynamics
Precipitation forecasting
Publisher DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075486
Item views
31
Metadata:
text | xml
Suggested Citation:
Alessandra Giannini, Bradfield Lyon, Richard Seager, Nicolas Vigaud, , Dynamical and Thermodynamic Elements of Modeled Climate Change at the East African Margin of Convection, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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