Differential signal of change among multiple components of West African rainfall View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2022-04-21

AUTHORS

Omon A. Obarein, Cameron C. Lee

ABSTRACT

Rainfall components likely differ in the magnitude and direction of their long-term changes for any given location, and some rainfall components may carry a greater regional signal of change than rainfall totals. This study evaluates the magnitude of change of multiple rainfall components relative to other components, and the greatest regions of change across all rainfall components in West Africa. Hourly rainfall data from the ERA5 reanalysis dataset was used to derive twelve rainfall components, which were evaluated for long-term means, interannual variability, and long-term changes. For rainfall totals and rainfall intensity, the central Sahel is witnessing increasing trends while the western Sahel is experiencing significant decreasing trends. In general, decreasing trends predominate in the study domain, especially in the northwestern Congo Basin, where annual rainfall is decreasing by 120 mm per decade. Importantly, rainfall frequency accounts for 49% of all significant grid-point trends for the whole domain. In contrast, rainfall totals account for 26% of all combined significant trends across the domain, while rainfall intensity (12.6%), rainy season length (9.5%), and seasonality (3.3%) account for the remaining signals of change. Most of the changes among the rainfall components are in the tropical wet and dry regions (59% of all significant trends); the Saharan and equatorial regions account for the least changes. This study finds evidence that rainfall frequency is changing more across the regions compared to rainfall totals and should be explored as rainfall inputs in climate models to potentially improve regional predictions of future rainfall. More... »

PAGES

1-21

References to SciGraph publications

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    39 schema:description Rainfall components likely differ in the magnitude and direction of their long-term changes for any given location, and some rainfall components may carry a greater regional signal of change than rainfall totals. This study evaluates the magnitude of change of multiple rainfall components relative to other components, and the greatest regions of change across all rainfall components in West Africa. Hourly rainfall data from the ERA5 reanalysis dataset was used to derive twelve rainfall components, which were evaluated for long-term means, interannual variability, and long-term changes. For rainfall totals and rainfall intensity, the central Sahel is witnessing increasing trends while the western Sahel is experiencing significant decreasing trends. In general, decreasing trends predominate in the study domain, especially in the northwestern Congo Basin, where annual rainfall is decreasing by 120 mm per decade. Importantly, rainfall frequency accounts for 49% of all significant grid-point trends for the whole domain. In contrast, rainfall totals account for 26% of all combined significant trends across the domain, while rainfall intensity (12.6%), rainy season length (9.5%), and seasonality (3.3%) account for the remaining signals of change. Most of the changes among the rainfall components are in the tropical wet and dry regions (59% of all significant trends); the Saharan and equatorial regions account for the least changes. This study finds evidence that rainfall frequency is changing more across the regions compared to rainfall totals and should be explored as rainfall inputs in climate models to potentially improve regional predictions of future rainfall.
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    47 ERA5 reanalysis dataset
    48 Saharan
    49 Sahel
    50 West Africa
    51 West African rainfall
    52 annual rainfall
    53 basin
    54 central Sahel
    55 changes
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    57 components
    58 contrast
    59 data
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    61 decades
    62 differential signal
    63 direction
    64 domain
    65 dry regions
    66 equatorial region
    67 evidence
    68 frequency
    69 future rainfall
    70 greater region
    71 hourly rainfall data
    72 input
    73 intensity
    74 interannual variability
    75 least change
    76 length
    77 location
    78 long-term changes
    79 long-term mean
    80 magnitude
    81 magnitude of change
    82 means
    83 model
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    86 rainfall
    87 rainfall component
    88 rainfall data
    89 rainfall frequency
    90 rainfall input
    91 rainfall intensity
    92 rainfall totals
    93 rainy season length
    94 reanalysis datasets
    95 region
    96 regional predictions
    97 regional signal
    98 season length
    99 seasonality
    100 signals
    101 signals of change
    102 significant trend
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