Joint CSDMS-SEN annual meeting 2016: Capturing Climate Change

Climate Dynamics of Tropical Africa: Paleoclimate perspectives and challenges

Bette Otto-Bliesner

NCAR, United States

Water – too little, too much – will likely be the biggest future climate challenge for the world. This will be particularly true in vulnerable regions in Africa, where the response of rainfall to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations is a critical socio-economic issue, with implications for water resources, agriculture, and potential conflict. The geological record finds tropical Africa at times hyperarid and at other times covered with large megalakes, with abrupt transitions between these humid and dry states. Climate modeling allows us to explore the processes that combined to produce these past changes. In this talk, I will highlight what has been learned about the glacial-interglacial variations of African hydroclimate from models and data. Together, they provide a perspective on projections of future precipitation changes over tropical Africa.

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group