Robust Sahel drought due to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation in CMIP5 simulations



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Villamayor Moreno, Julián and Mohino Harris, Elsa (2015) Robust Sahel drought due to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation in CMIP5 simulations. Geophysical research letters, 42 (4). pp. 1214-1222. ISSN 0094-8276

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Many studies address the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) as a modulator of climate in several regions all over the globe. However, very few suggest that it has an impact on Sahel rainfall low-frequency variability. This work shows the relevance of such connection, supported by a robust response of state-of-the-art global climate models, involved in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Our results reveal that the positive phase of the IPO has a negative impact on Sahel rainfall anomalies regardless of the externally forced changes induced by anthropogenic gases. Such relationship is stronger for those models in which sea surface temperatures associated with the positive phase of the IPO show warmer anomalies over the tropical Pacific. Therefore, we suggest the importance of a skillful simulation of IPO to improve decadal prediction of Sahel rainfall and to better understand its variability.

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© 2015 American Geophysical Union. The authors thank the helpful comments of the two anonymous reviewers and Editor Diffenbaugh. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement 603521 and the Spanish project CGL2012-38923-C02-01. We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme's Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modeling groups for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP, the U.S. Department of Energy's Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led the development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. Thanks are also given to the MICINN of the Spanish government for the scholarship that J.V. has been granted.

Uncontrolled Keywords:West-african monsoon; Sea-surface temperature; Decadal oscillation; Climate variability; Summer monsoon; North-atlantic; Rainfall; 20th-century; Enso; Prediction
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Geophysics
Sciences > Physics > Meteorology
ID Code:30454
Deposited On:29 May 2015 18:44
Last Modified:01 Jun 2015 10:51

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