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The Present and Future of the West African Monsoon: A Process-Oriented Assessment of CMIP5 Simulations along the AMMA Transect

Abstract : The present assessment of the West African monsoon in the models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) phase 5 (CMIP5) indicates little evolution since the third phase of CMIP (CMIP3) in terms of both biases in present-day climate and climate projections.The outlook for precipitation in twenty-first-century coupled simulations exhibits opposite responses between the westernmost and eastern Sahel. The spread in the trend amplitude, however, remains large in both regions. Besides, although all models predict a spring and summer warming of the Sahel that is 10%-50% larger than the global warming, their temperature response ranges from 0 to 7 K.CMIP5 coupled models underestimate the monsoon decadal variability, but SST-imposed simulations succeed in capturing the recent partial recovery of monsoon rainfall. Coupled models still display major SST biases in the equatorial Atlantic, inducing a systematic southward shift of the monsoon. Because of these strong biases, the monsoon is further evaluated in SST-imposed simulations along the 10 degrees W-10 degrees E African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) transect, across a range of time scales ranging from seasonal to intraseasonal and diurnal fluctuations.The comprehensive set of observational data now available allows an in-depth evaluation of the monsoon across those scales, especially through the use of high-frequency outputs provided by some CMIP5 models at selected sites along the AMMA transect. Most models capture many features of the African monsoon with varying degrees of accuracy. In particular, the simulation of the top-of-atmosphere and surface energy balances, in relation with the cloud cover, and the intermittence and diurnal cycle of precipitation demand further work to achieve a reasonable realism.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 25, 2021 - 9:26:31 AM
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Romain Roehrig, Dominique Bouniol, Francoise Guichard, Frederic Hourdin, Jean-Luc Redelsperger. The Present and Future of the West African Monsoon: A Process-Oriented Assessment of CMIP5 Simulations along the AMMA Transect. Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society, 2013, 26 (17), pp.6471-6505. ⟨10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00505.1⟩. ⟨hal-01109027⟩



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