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Extreme storms in West African Sahel 3x more frequent due to warming

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Global warming accounts for tripling of extreme West African Sahel storms

Posted: 26 Apr 2017 10:10 AM PDT

Global warming is responsible for a tripling in the frequency of extreme West African Sahel storms observed in just the last 35 years, an international team of experts has reported…

climate change will see the Sahel experience many more instances of extreme rain in future… The findings — published in the journal Nature — note that further strengthening of intense storms in the Sahel known as Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs) will increase the risk of more frequent and severe flooding and disease due to poor sanitation in West African cities. …

…In 2009 a downpour of 263mm [10 inches] over several hours forced 150,000 residents of Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, to leave their homes….The research indicates that MCS intensification is linked to increasingly hot conditions in the Sahara desert resulting from human-made greenhouse gas emissions

Professor Taylor, said, “Global warming is expected to produce more intense storms, but we were shocked to see the speed of the changes taking place in this region of Africa.”…

Christopher M. Taylor, Danijel Belušić, Françoise Guichard, Douglas J. Parker, Théo Vischel, Olivier Bock, Phil P. Harris, Serge Janicot, Cornelia Klein, Gérémy Panthou. Frequency of extreme Sahelian storms tripled since 1982 in satellite observations. Nature, 2017; 544 (7651): 475 DOI: 10.1038/nature22069

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