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Climate change risks in Sahelian Africa

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Analyses of Sahel regional and country-specific rainfall and temperature time series derived from a fixed subset of stations show the well-documented large-scale decreasing trend in rainfall that occurred between 1970 and 2000 and also, an increasing trend in summertime maximum and wintertime minimum temperatures. The evolution of summertime mean maximum temperature is almost opposite to that of rainfall, and a significant correlation is observed between the evolution of this quantity and millet yields, in comparison with correlation with summertime rainfall. It appears that quantifying future vulnerability of the Sahel zone to climate change is rather difficult because climate models have not in general shown yet a satisfactory reproduction of the observed climate variability of this area.

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The author wishes to thank the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale du Niger for kindly furnishing the meteorological data used in this study.

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Correspondence to Abdelkrim Ben Mohamed.

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Ben Mohamed, A. Climate change risks in Sahelian Africa. Reg Environ Change 11 (Suppl 1), 109–117 (2011).

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