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The Influence of Land Surface Properties on Sahel Climate. Part 1: Desertification


This is a general circulation model sensitivity study of the physical mechanisms of the effects of desertification on the Sahel drought. In the desertification experiment, the moisture flux convergence and rainfall were reduced in the test area and increased to the immediate south of this area. The simulated anomaly dipole pattern was similar to the observed African drought patterns in which the axis of the maximum rainfall shifts to the south. The circulation changes in the desertification experiment were consistent with those observed with those observed during sub-Saharan dry years. The tropical easterly jet was weaker and the African easterly jet was stronger than normal. Further, in agreement with the observations, the easterly wave disturbances were reduced in intensity but not in number. Descending motion dominated the desertification area. The surface energy budget and hydrological cycles were also changed substantially in the anomaly experiment -from Authors

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