Observed changes in African rainfall and its extremes since the mid nineteenth-century

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 10:30 AM
Room C102 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Sharon E. Nicholson, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

A number of changes in African weather are projected to occur as a result of global change. This includes for many areas increased frequency and intensity of drought, as well as increased variability. Changes in the rainfall regime over a period of one and one-half centuries are examined, using a newly developed gauge data set. Time series are examined for 10 major sectors of Africa, which represent the variability over most of Africa's non-desert regions. The questions examined include the frequency, intensity and duration of drought; the interannual variability; and the seasonal cycle. The instrumental time series, which variously begin between the 1840s and the 1860s, are complemented with semi-quantitative series that combine gauge data with historical information. These allow for a look at changes since 1800.