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Feedbacks on Convection from an African Wetland

By Christopher M. Taylor


The Niger Inland Delta in Mali floods every year in response to rain falling hundreds of kilometers upstream. This study examines the remote hydrological feedback between rainfall, fluvial inundation, and new convective storms. A satellite thermalinfra-red dataset spanning 24 years is used to quantify both temporal variability in\ud wetland extent, and the response of cloud cover to the wetland during August and September. The daytime initiation of convective storms is found to double during periods of inundation, consistent with a hypothesised “wetland breeze” effect. A signal of enhanced cloud cover propagates hundreds of kilometers westwards, linked to increased numbers of long-lived Mesoscale Convective Systems emanating from the wetland region. This effect raises the possibility that changes in upstream water use could have a climatic impact over a wide area

Topics: Meteorology and Climatology, Hydrology
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2009GL041652
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