EGU23-7258, updated on 16 Oct 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Uncertainty in Sahel precipitation change: a storyline approach

Paul-Arthur Monerie1, Michela Biasutti2, Juliette Mignot3, Elsa Mohino4, Benjamin Pohl5, and Guiseppe Zappa6
Paul-Arthur Monerie et al.
  • 1National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 2Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA
  • 3LOCEAN/IPSL Sorbonne University/IRD/CNRS/MNHN, Paris, France
  • 4Dpto. Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica, Facultad Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, Plaza Ciencias, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • 5Centre de Recherches de Climatologie, UMR 6282 Biogéosciences, CNRS/Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France
  • 6Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e delClima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ISAC-CNR), Bologna, Italy

Future changes in Sahel precipitation are uncertain because of large differences between projections of various climate models. We assess the effect of climate change on Sahel precipitation in summer and for the end of the 21st century. We show that uncertainty in Sahel precipitation is associated with uncertainty at simulating future changes in surface air temperature over the northern Hemisphere. We point out the Atlantic Ocean and Euro-Mediterranean surface air temperature as drivers of the Sahel precipitation change uncertainty. We use a storyline approach, a statistical method, to construct scenarios of changes in Sahel precipitation, whose differences only depend on future changes in Atlantic Ocean and Euro-Mediterranean surface air temperature. We show that uncertainty in changes in Atlantic Ocean and Euro-Mediterranean surface air temperature explains up to 50% of Sahel precipitation change uncertainty. The approach also allows selecting models to better understand uncertainty in Sahel precipitation change, focusing on the mechanisms at play. We suggest that reducing uncertainty in the future warming of the North Atlantic and the Euro-Mediterranean areas would then allow reducing uncertainty in future changes in Sahel precipitation.

How to cite: Monerie, P.-A., Biasutti, M., Mignot, J., Mohino, E., Pohl, B., and Zappa, G.: Uncertainty in Sahel precipitation change: a storyline approach, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7258,, 2023.