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Abrupt Change in Sahara Precipitation and the Associated Circulation Patterns

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2018.82017, PP. 262-273

Keywords: Drought, Recovery, North Africa, Sahara, Desert, Trend, Climate

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This study investigates the changes in inter-annual summer precipitation and the relationship with the atmospheric general circulation in the Sahara Desert occurred in the last 40 years (1971-2010). The results show that the summer precipitation undergone in drought recovery with a strong abrupt change at the end of 20th century. This change in Sahara precipitation is subsequently accompanied with the changes in the atmospheric circulation. The Sahara drought recovery is associated with a significant warming in the tropical and extratropical sea surface temperature, which led to the increase in moisture budget of the tropical African monsoon. The remarkable features such as the strengthening in Arctic high and mid-latitude upper level westerly wind, weakening in subpolar low and upper tropospheric zonal wind over North Africa have shown a distinct relationship with the Sahara precipitation changes.


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