Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 9–10, pp 2765–2775

Assessment of uncertainties in the response of the African monsoon precipitation to land use change simulated by a regional model

  • Samson Hagos
  • L. Ruby Leung
  • Yongkang Xue
  • Aaron Boone
  • Fernando de Sales
  • Naresh Neupane
  • Maoyi Huang
  • Jin-Ho Yoon
Article

Abstract

Land use and land cover (LULC) over Africa have changed substantially over the last 60 years and this change has been proposed to affect monsoon circulation and precipitation. This study examines the uncertainties of model simulated response in the African monsoon system and Sahel precipitation due to LULC change using a set of regional model simulations with different combinations of land surface and cumulus parameterization schemes. Although the magnitude of the response covers a broad range of values, most of the simulations show a decline in Sahel precipitation due to the expansion of pasture and croplands at the expense of trees and shrubs and an increase in surface air temperature. The relationship between the model responses to LULC change and the climatologists of the control simulations is also examined. Simulations that are climatologically too dry or too wet compared to observations and reanalyses have weak response to land use change because they are in moisture or energy limited regimes respectively. The ones that lie in between have stronger response to the LULC changes, showing a more significant role in land–atmosphere interactions. Much of the change in precipitation is related to changes in circulation, particularly to the response of the intensity and latitudinal position of the African Easterly Jet, which varies with the changes in meridional surface temperature gradients. The study highlights the need for measurements of the surface fluxes across the meridional cross-section of the Sahel to evaluate models and thereby allowing human impacts such as land use change on the monsoon to be projected more realistically.

Keywords

African monsoon Land use change Land cover change African Easterly Jet Land degradation Crop land Pasture land Regional model simulations Land surface models 

References

  1. Abiodun BJ, Pal JS, Afiesimama EA, Gutowski WJ, Adedoyin A (2008) Simulation of West African monsoon using RegCM3 Part II: impacts of deforestation and desertification. Theor Appl Climatol 93(3–4):245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boone A, de Rosnay P, Basalmo G, Beljaars A, Chopin F, Decharme B, Delire C, Ducharne A, Gascoin S, Guichard F, Gusev Y, Harris P, Jarlan L, Kergoat L, Mougin E, Nasonova O, Norgaard A, Orgeval T, Ottle′ C, Poccard-Leclercq I, Polcher J, Sandholt I, Saux-Picart S, Taylor C, Xue Y (2009) The AMMA land surface model intercomparison project (ALMIP). Bull Am Meteorol Soc doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2786.1
  3. Charney JG (1975) Dynamics of deserts and drought in the Sahel. Quart J Roy Meteor Soc 101:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Charney JG, Quirk WJ, Chow SH, Kornfield J (1977) A comparative study of the effects of albedo change on drought in semi-arid regions. J Atmos Sci 34:1366–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Claussen M, Kubatzki C, Brovkin V, Ganopolski A, Hoelzmann P, Pachur HJ (1999) Simulation of an abrupt change in Saharan vegetation in the mid-holocene. Geophys Res Lett 26:2037–2040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dee DP et al (2011) The ERA-interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quart J R Meteorol Soc 137:553–597. doi:10.1002/qj.828 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. FAO (2008) FAOSTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  8. Feddema JJ (1998) Estimated impacts of soil degradation on the African water balance and climate. Clim Res 10:127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Giannini A, Saravanan R, Chang P (2003) Oceanic forcing of Sahel rainfall on interannual to interdecadal time scales. Science 302:1027–1030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goldewijk K (2001) Estimating global land use change over the past 300 years: the HYDE database. Global Biogeochem Cycle 15:417–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grell GA (1993) Prognostic evaluation of assumptions used by cumulus parameterizations. Mon Weather Rev 121:764–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grell GA, Devenyi D (2002) A generalized approach to parameterizing convection combining ensemble and data assimilation techniques. Geophys Res Let 29(14):2002. doi:10.1029/2002GL015311 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Guo Zhichang et al (2006) GLACE: the global land-atmosphere coupling experiment. Part II: analysis. J Hydrom 7:611–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hagos SM, Cook KH (2008) Ocean warming and late-twentieth-century Sahel drought and recovery. J Clim 21:3797–3814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hagos S, Zhang C (2010) Diabatic heating, divergent circulation and moisture transport in the African monsoon system. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 136(S1):411–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hong SY, Noh Y, Dudhia J (2006) A new vertical diffusion package with explicit treatment of entrainment processes. Mon Weather Rev 134:2318–2341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huffman George J, Adler Robert F, Morrissey Mark M, Bolvin David T, Curtis Scott, Joyce Robert, McGavock Brad, Susskind Joel (2001) Global precipitation at one-degree daily resolution from multisatellite observations. J Hydrometeor 2(1):36–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huffman GJ, Adler RF, Bolvin DT, Gu G, Nelkin EJ, Bowman KP, Hong Y, Stocker EF, Wolff DB (2007) The TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis: quasi-global, multi-year, combined-sensor precipitation estimates at fine scale. J Hydrometeor 8:38–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hurtt G, Chini L, Frolking S, Betts R, Edmonds J, Feddema J, Fisher G, Goldewijk K, Hibbard KA, Houghton R, Janetos A, Jones C, Kinderman G, Konoshita T, Riahi K, Shevliakova E, Smith S, Stehfest E, Thomson A, Thornton P, van Vuuren DP, Wang Y (2011) Land use change and earth system dynamics. Climatic. doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0153-2Klein Google Scholar
  20. Janjic ZI (1994) The step-mountain eta coordinate model: further developments of the convection, viscous sub layer, and turbulence closure schemes. Mon Weather Rev 122:927–945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kain JS (2004) The kain-fritsch convective parameterization: an update. J Appl Meteor 43:170–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kanamitsu Masao, Ebisuzaki Wesley, Woollen Jack, Shi-Keng Yang, Hnilo JJ, Fiorino M, Potter GL (2002) NCEP–DOE AMIP-II reanalysis (R-2). Bull Am Meteor Soc 83:1631–1643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kandji ST, Verchot L, Mackensen J (2006) Climate change and variability in the Sahel region: impacts and adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector. United Nations environment programme (UNEP) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  24. Kucharski F, Zeng N, Kalnay E (2013) A further assessment of vegetation feedback on decadal Sahel rainfall variability. Clim Dyn 40(5–6):1453–1466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lau KM, Shen SSP, Kim KM, Wang H (2006) A multimodel study of the twentieth century simulations of Sahel drought from the 1970s to 1990s. J Geophys Res 111 doi: 10.1029/2005JD006281
  26. Mitchell TD, Jones PD (2005) An improved method of constructing a database of monthly climate observations and associated high-resolution grids. Int J Climatol 25:693–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mlawer EJ, Taubman SJ, Brown PD, Iacono MJ, Clough SA (1997) Radiative transfer for inhomogeneous atmospheres: RRTM, a validated correlated-k model for the longwave. J Geophys Res 102:16663–16682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Morrison H, Curry JA, Khvorostyanov VI (2005) A new double-moment microphysics parameterization for application in cloud and climate models part I: description. J Atmos Sci 62:1665–1677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moufouma-Okia W, Rowell DP (2010) Impact of soil moisture initialization and lateral boundary conditions on regional climate model simulations of the West African monsoon. Climate Dyn 35:213–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Patricola CM, Cook KH (2008) Atmosphere/vegetation feedbacks: a mechanism for abrupt climate change over northern Africa. J Geophys Res 113Google Scholar
  31. Pleim JE, Xiu A (2003) Development of a land-surface model part II: data assimilation. J Appl Meteor 42:1811–1822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pu B, Cook KH (2012) Role of the West African westerly jet in sahel rainfall variations. J Climate 25:2880–2896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Reynolds JF, Smith DMS et al (2007) Global desertification: building a science for dryland development. Science 316(5826):847–851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rienecker MM, Suarez MJ, Gelaro R, Todling R, Bacmeister J, Liu E, Bosilovich MG, Schubert SD, Takacs L, Kim G-K, Bloom S, Chen J, Collins D, Conaty A, da Silva A et al (2011) MERRA: NASA’s modern-era retrospective analysis for research and applications. J Climate 24:3624–3648. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00015.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rodell M, Houser PR, Jambor U, Gottschalck J, Mitchell K, Meng C-J, Arsenault K, Cosgrove B, Radakovich J, Bosilovich M, Entin JK, Walker JP, Lohmann D, Toll D (2004) The global land data assimilation system. Bull Am Meteor Soc 85(3):381–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Seneviratne S, Koster RD (2012) A revised framework for analyzing soil moisture memory in climate data: derivation and interpretation. J Hydrometeorol 13(1):404–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Skamarock WC, Klemp JB, Dudhia J, Gill DO, Barker DM, Duda M, Huang XY, Wang W, Powers JG (2008) A Description of the Advanced Research WRF Version 3. NCAR Tech Note, NCAR/TN-475 STR. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, 113 ppGoogle Scholar
  38. Taylor Christopher M, Lambin Eric F, Stephenne Nathalie, Harding Richard J, Essery Richard LH (2002) The influence of land use change on climate in the Sahel. J Climate 15:3615–3629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Xue Y (1997) Biosphere feedback on regional climate in tropical North Africa. Quart J Roy Meteor Soc 123:1483–1515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Xue Y, Sellers PJ, Kinter JL, Shukla J (1991) A simplified biosphere model for global climate studies. J Climate 4:345–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xue Y, De Sales F, Lau K-MW, Boone A, Feng J, Dirmeyer P, Guo Z, Kim K-M, Kitoh A, Kumar V, Poccard-Leclercq I, Mahowald N, Moufouma-Okia W, Pegion P, Rowell D, Schubert SD, Sealy A, Thiaw WM, Vintzileos A, Williams S, Wu M-LC (2010) Intercomparison and analyses of the climatology of the West African monsoon in the West African monsoon modeling and evaluation project (WAMME) first model intercomparison experiment. In special issue “West African Monsoon and its Modeling”, climate dynamics. 35: 3–27. doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0778-2
  42. Zhang Chunxi, Wang Yuqing, Hamilton Kevin (2011) Improved representation of boundary layer clouds over the Southeast Pacific in ARW-WRF using a modified tiedtke cumulus parameterization scheme. Mon Weather Rev 139:3489–3513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zheng XY, Eltahir EAB (1997) The response to deforestation and desertification in a model of West African monsoons. Geophys Res Lett 24:155–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samson Hagos
    • 1
  • L. Ruby Leung
    • 1
  • Yongkang Xue
    • 2
  • Aaron Boone
    • 2
  • Fernando de Sales
    • 2
  • Naresh Neupane
    • 3
  • Maoyi Huang
    • 1
  • Jin-Ho Yoon
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA
  2. 2.University of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations