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Seasonal and intraseasonal changes of African monsoon climates in 21st century CORDEX projections

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Abstract

We analyze a mini ensemble of regional climate projections over the CORDEX Africa domain carried out with RegCM4 model as part of the Phase I CREMA experiment (Giorgi 2013). RegCM4 is driven by the HadGEM2-ES and MPI-ESM global models for the RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 greenhouse gas and aerosol concentration scenarios. The focus of the analysis is on seasonal and intraseasonal monsoon characteristics. We find two prominent change signals. Over West Africa and the Sahel MPI produces a forward shift in the monsoon season in line with previous findings, and this shift is also simulated by the RegCM4. Furthermore, the regional model produces a widespread decrease of monsoon precipitation (when driven by both MPI and HadGEM) associated with decreased easterly wave activity in the 6–9 days regime and with soil moisture-precipitation interactions. South of the equator we find an extension of the dry season with delayed onset and anticipated recession of the monsoon and a narrowing and strengthening of the ITCZ precipitation band. This signal is consistent in all global and regional model projections, although with different spatial detail. We plan to enlarge this mini-ensemble as a further contribution to the CORDEX project to better assess the robustness of the signals found in this paper.

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Acknowledgments

This work has been partially funded by the Project NextData of the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research, and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea.

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Correspondence to L. Mariotti.

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This article is part of a Special Issue on “The Phase I CORDEX RegCM4 Experiment MAtrix (CREMA)” edited by Filippo Giorgi, William Gutowski, and Ray W. Arritt.

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Mariotti, L., Diallo, I., Coppola, E. et al. Seasonal and intraseasonal changes of African monsoon climates in 21st century CORDEX projections. Climatic Change 125, 53–65 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1097-0

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