Future precipitation projections over Central and Southern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean: What causes the changes and the uncertainty?

Future projections of precipitation at regional scales are vital to inform climate change adaptation activities. Therefore, is it important to quantify projected changes and associated uncertainty, and understand model processes responsible. This paper addresses these challenges for southern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean focusing on the local wet season. Precipitation projections for the end of the twenty-first century indicate a pronounced dipole pattern in the CMIP5 multimodel mean. The dipole indicates future wetting (drying) to the north (south) of the climatological axis of maximum rainfall, implying a northward shift of the ITCZ and south Indian Ocean convergence zone that is not consistent with a simple “wet get wetter” pattern. This pattern is most pronounced in early austral summer, suggesting a later and shorter wet season over much of southern Africa.

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