Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Research article
22 Mar 2023
Research article |  | 22 Mar 2023

Effects on early monsoon rainfall in West Africa due to recent deforestation in a convection-permitting ensemble

Julia Crook, Cornelia Klein, Sonja Folwell, Christopher M. Taylor, Douglas J. Parker, Adama Bamba, and Kouakou Kouadio

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Cited articles

Abiodun, B., Pal, J. S., Afiesimama, E., Gutowski, W., and Adedoyin, A.: Simulation of West African monsoon using RegCM3 Part II: impacts of deforestation and desertification, Theor. Appl. Climatol., 93, 245–261, 2008. 
Aleman J. C., Jarzyna M. A., and Staver A. C.: Forest extent and deforestation in tropical Africa since 1900, Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2, 26–33, 2018. 
Alkama, R. and Cescatti, A.: Biophysical climate impacts of recent changes in global forest cover, Science, 351 6273, 600–604, 2016. 
Best, M. J., Pryor, M., Clark, D. B., Rooney, G. G., Essery, R. L. H., Ménard, C. B., Edwards, J. M., Hendry, M. A., Porson, A., Gedney, N., Mercado, L. M., Sitch, S., Blyth, E., Boucher, O., Cox, P. M., Grimmond, C. S. B., and Harding, R. J.: The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), model description – Part 1: Energy and water fluxes, Geosci. Model Dev., 4, 677–699,, 2011. 
Birch, C. E., Marsham, J. H., Parker, D. J., and Taylor, C. M.: The scale dependence and structure of convergence fields preceding the initiation of deep convection, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 4769–4776,, 2014. 
Short summary
We estimate recent deforestation in West Africa and use a climate model allowing explicit convection to determine impacts on early season rainfall. We find enhanced rainfall over deforestation, in line with recent observational results, due to changes in circulation rather than humidity, showing potential for future studies. Local changes depend on initial soil moisture, deforestation extent, and ocean proximity, with sea breezes shifting inland where surface friction decreased.