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Projected impact of climate change in the hydroclimatology of Senegal with a focus over the Lake of Guiers for the twenty-first century

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Abstract

This study analyzes the impact of anthropogenic climate change in the hydroclimatology of Senegal with a focus over the lake of Guiers basin for the middle (2041–2060) and late twenty-first century (2080–2099). To this end, high-resolution multimodel ensemble based on regional climate model experiments considering two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) is used. The results indicate that an elevated warming, leading to substantial increase of atmospheric water demand, is projected over the whole of Senegal. In the Lake basin, these increases in potential evapotranspiration (PE) range between 10 and 25 % in the near future and for RCP4.5 while for the far future and RCP8.5, they exceed 50 %. In addition, mean precipitation unveils contrasting changes with wetter (10 to 25 % more) conditions by the middle of the century and drier conditions (more than 50 %) during the late twenty-first century. Such changes cause more/less evapotranspiration and soil moisture respectively during the two future periods. Furthermore, surface runoff shows a tendency to increase in most areas amid few locations including the Lake basin with substantial reduction. Finally, it is found that while semi-arid climates develop in the RCP4.5 scenario, generalized arid conditions prevail over the whole Senegal for RCP8.5. It is thus evident that these future climate conditions substantially threaten freshwater availability for the country and irrigated cropping over the Lake basin. Therefore, strong governmental politics are needed to help design response options to cope with the challenges posed by the projected climate change for the country.

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Acknowledgments

This work is fully supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER Project 2-344). The simulations for this study were done at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). Therefore, we would like to thank the Earth System Physics (ESP) section for their support. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers whose comments have helped to improve the quality of this paper.

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Correspondence to Moustapha Tall.

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Tall, M., Sylla, M.B., Diallo, I. et al. Projected impact of climate change in the hydroclimatology of Senegal with a focus over the Lake of Guiers for the twenty-first century. Theor Appl Climatol 129, 655–665 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-016-1805-y

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