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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2017 → Statistical and dynamical assessment of land-ocean-atmosphere interactions across North Africa

University of Wisconsin - Madison (2017)

Statistical and dynamical assessment of land-ocean-atmosphere interactions across North Africa

Yu, Yan

Titre : Statistical and dynamical assessment of land-ocean-atmosphere interactions across North Africa

Auteur : Yu, Yan

Etablissement de soutenance : University of Wisconsin - Madison

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2017

Résumé partiel
North Africa is highly vulnerable to hydrologic variability and extremes, including impacts of climate change. The current understanding of oceanic versus terrestrial drivers of North African droughts and pluvials is largely model-based, with vast disagreement among models in terms of the simulated oceanic impacts and vegetation feedbacks. Regarding oceanic impacts, the relative importance of the tropical Pacific, tropical Indian, and tropical Atlantic Oceans in regulating the North African rainfall variability, as well as the underlying mechanism, remains debated among different modeling studies. Classic theory of land-atmosphere interactions across the Sahel ecotone, largely based on climate modeling experiments, has promoted positive vegetation-rainfall feedbacks associated with a dominant surface albedo mechanism. However, neither the proposed positive vegetation-rainfall feedback with its underlying albedo mechanism nor its relative importance compared with oceanic drivers, has been convincingly demonstrated up to now using observational data. Here, the multivariate Generalized Equilibrium Feedback Assessment (GEFA) is applied in order to identify the observed oceanic and terrestrial drivers of North African climate and quantify their impacts. The reliability of the statistical GEFA method is first evaluated against dynamical experiments within the Community Earth System Model (CESM). In order to reduce the sampling error caused by short data records, the traditional GEFA approach is refined through stepwise GEFA, in which unimportant forcings are dropped through stepwise selection. In order to evaluate GEFA’s reliability in capturing oceanic impacts, the atmospheric response to a sea surface temperature (SST) forcing across the tropical Pacific, tropical Indian, and tropical Atlantic Ocean is estimated independently through ensembles of dynamical experiments and compared with GEFA-based assessments. Furthermore, GEFA’s performance in capturing terrestrial impacts is evaluated through ensembles of fully coupled CESM dynamical experiments, with modified leaf area index (LAI) and soil moisture across the Sahel or West African Monsoon (WAM) region. The atmospheric responses to oceanic and terrestrial forcings are generally consistent between the dynamical experiments and statistical GEFA, confirming GEFA’s capability of isolating the individual impacts of oceanic and terrestrial forcings on North African climate. Furthermore, with the incorporation of stepwise selection, GEFA can now provide reliable estimates of the oceanic and terrestrial impacts on the North African climate with the typical length of observational datasets, thereby enhancing the method’s applicability

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Page publiée le 5 septembre 2017, mise à jour le 3 février 2019