Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 495–505, 2017
Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 495–505, 2017

Research article 05 Jul 2017

Research article | 05 Jul 2017

Non-linear intensification of Sahel rainfall as a possible dynamic response to future warming

Jacob Schewe and Anders Levermann

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Cited articles

Biasutti, M.: Forced Sahel rainfall trends in the CMIP5 archive, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 118, 1613–1623,, 2013.
Biasutti, M. and Giannini, A.: Robust Sahel drying in response to late 20th century forcings, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L11706,, 2006.
DeMenocal, P., Ortiz, J., Guilderson, T., Adkins, J., Sarnthein, M., Baker, L., and Yarusinsky, M.: Abrupt onset and termination of the African Humid Period: rapid climate responses to gradual insolation forcing, Quat. Sci. Rev., 19, 347–361, 2000.
Dong, B. and Sutton, R.: Dominant role of greenhouse-gas forcing in the recovery of Sahel rainfall, Nat. Clim. Chang., 5, 757–760,, 2015.
Folland, C., Palmer, T., and Parker, D.: Sahel rainfall and worldwide sea temperatures, 1901–85, Nature, 320, 602–607, 1986.
Short summary
Monsoon systems have undergone abrupt changes in past climates, and theoretical considerations show that threshold behavior can follow from the internal dynamics of monsoons. So far, however, the possibility of abrupt changes has not been explored for modern monsoon systems. We analyze state-of-the-art climate model simulations and show that some models project abrupt changes in Sahel rainfall in response to a dynamic shift in the West African monsoon under 21st century climate change.
Final-revised paper