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Western African precipitation dynamics and sea surface temperatures

The effect of climate change on precipitation in the Sahel and West Africa is a complex physical problem, with significant environmental consequences and resulting impact on humanitarian issues in the region. West African precipitation is modulated by a number of features, including the West African Monsoon, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and easterly jets. The African Easterly Jet and Tropical Easterly Jet seem to form a boundary to the north and the south of the Western African rain belt. This region of maximum precipitation is also collocated with a region of strong ascent in the mid troposphere. Using the Community Earth System Model (CESM) I am conducting sensitivity experiments with both local and global parameters to isolate changes in the atmospheric dynamics and the consequent changes in precipitation.  The global parameters I will change includes sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific basins. I will give a brief overview of some of the sea surface temperature experiments I have done in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.