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The influence of remote aerosol forcing from industrialized economies on the future evolution of East and West African rainfall

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Title: The influence of remote aerosol forcing from industrialized economies on the future evolution of East and West African rainfall
Authors: Scannell, C
Booth, BBB
Dunstone, NJ
Rowell, DP
Bernie, DJ
Kasoar, M
Voulgarakis, A
Wilcox, LJ
Acosta Navarro, JC
Seland, O
Paynter, DJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Past changes in global industrial aerosol emissions have played a significant role in historical shifts in African rainfall, and yet assessment of the impact on African rainfall of near-term (10–40 yr) potential aerosol emission pathways remains largely unexplored. While existing literature links future aerosol declines to a northward shift of Sahel rainfall, existing climate projections rely on RCP scenarios that do not explore the range of air quality drivers. Here we present projections from two emission scenarios that better envelop the range of potential aerosol emissions. More aggressive emission cuts result in northward shifts of the tropical rainbands whose signal can emerge from expected internal variability on short, 10–20-yr time horizons. We also show for the first time that this northward shift also impacts East Africa, with evidence of delays to both onset and withdrawal of the short rains. However, comparisons of rainfall impacts across models suggest that only certain aspects of both the West and East African model responses may be robust, given model uncertainties. This work motivates the need for wider exploration of air quality scenarios in the climate science community to assess the robustness of these projected changes and to provide evidence to underpin climate adaptation in Africa. In particular, revised estimates of emission impacts of legislated measures every 5–10 years would have a value in providing near-term climate adaptation information for African stakeholders.
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance: 1-Nov-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/75583
DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0716.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Start Page: 8335
End Page: 8354
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Climate
Volume: 32
Issue: 23
Copyright Statement: © 2019 American Meteorological Society.This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Atmosphere
Africa
Precipitation
Aerosols
Climate models
Climate variability
SULFUR-DIOXIDE
SAHEL RAINFALL
CLIMATE
MODEL
EMISSIONS
TRENDS
PRECIPITATION
IMPACTS
CHINA
UNCERTAINTY
Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Atmosphere
Africa
Precipitation
Aerosols
Climate models
Climate variability
SULFUR-DIOXIDE
SAHEL RAINFALL
CLIMATE
MODEL
EMISSIONS
TRENDS
PRECIPITATION
IMPACTS
CHINA
UNCERTAINTY
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
0401 Atmospheric Sciences
0405 Oceanography
0909 Geomatic Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0716.1
Online Publication Date: 2019-11-12
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Physics