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Publication Date
16 June 2021

Anthropogenic influences on the African easterly jet–African easterly wave system



The African easterly jet (AEJ) and African easterly waves (AEWs) can have both local and far-reaching impacts on weather. It is therefore crucial to understand how the AEJ and AEWs will respond to future climate change. In this study, we examine anthropogenic influences on the AEJ–AEW system using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model configured as a tropical channel model (TCM). Hindcast simulations for the years 2001–2010 were performed using the WRF TCM, and ten additional years of simulations were performed using the pseudo-global warming method with the initial and boundary conditions of the model modified as if it were the late twenty-first century. A comparison of the simulations from the two climate scenarios indicates robust changes to both the AEJ and AEWs. For the AEJ, the jet is weaker and shifted northwards and upwards in the future climate, in association with an increase in precipitation over the Sahel and a strengthening of the meridional temperature gradient. For the AEWs, there is an increase in the number and strength of the waves in the future climate, in association with an increase in the baroclinic and barotropic energy conversions. The barotropic energy conversion in particular has a larger contribution in the future climate, which manifests in the southern AEW track experiencing greater future strengthening than the northern track.

Bercos-Hickey, Emily, and Christina M. Patricola. 2021. “Anthropogenic Influences On The African Easterly Jet–African Easterly Wave System”. Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-021-05838-1.
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