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The potential of increasing man-made air pollution to reduce rainfall over southern West Africa

Pante, Gregor; Knippertz, Peter; Fink, Andreas H.; Kniffka, Anke

Abstract:
Southern West Africa has one of the fastestgrowing populations worldwide. This has led to a higher water demand and lower air quality. Over the last 3 decades, most of the region has experienced decreasing rainfall during the little dry season (LDS; mid-July to end of August) and more recently also during the second rainy season (SRS; September–October), while trends during the first rainy season (FRS; mid-May to mid-July) are insignificant. Here we analyse spatio-temporal variations in precipitation, aerosol, radiation, cloud, and visibility observations from surface stations and from space to find indications for a potential contribution of anthropogenic air pollution to these rainfall trends. The proposed mechanism is that the dimming of incoming solar radiation by aerosol extinction contributes to reducing vertical instability and thus convective precipitation. To separate a potential aerosol influence from large-scale climatic drivers, a multilinear-regression model based on sea-surface temperature (SST) indices is used. During both LDS and SRS, weakly statistically significant but accelerating negative rainfall trends unrelated to known climatic factors are found. ... mehr

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000119940
Veröffentlicht am 09.02.2021
Originalveröffentlichung
DOI: 10.5194/acp-2020-463
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung - Forschungsbereich Troposphäre (IMK-TRO)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsdatum 04.01.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1680-7367, 1680-7375
KITopen-ID: 1000119940
HGF-Programm 12.01.02 (POF III, LK 01) Proc.res.f.multisc.predictab.of weather
Erschienen in Atmospheric chemistry and physics / Discussions
Verlag European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Band 21
Seiten 35–55
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 29.05.2020
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