CR 26:85-96 (2004) - doi:10.3354/cr026085
Downscaling of GCM scenarios to assess precipitation changes in the little rainy season (March-June) in Cameroon
Edouard K. Penlap1,2,*, Christoph Matulla1,3, Hans von Storch1, F. Mkankam Kamga2
ABSTRACT: Large-scale climate forcings on local precipitation in Cameroon are analysed during the little rainy season (March-June). Variables found to have strong influence are used to downscale GCM projected rainfall for 2010-2049. In particular, 2 IPCC IS92a scenarios, simulated by the ECHAM4/OPYC3 climate model, are investigated. First, monthly precipitation data from 1951-1990 at 33 meteorological stations are grouped into homogeneous rainfall regions using self-organising feature maps (SOFMs). SOFMs identified 3 groups of stations with related time-series variability. Then, an empirical orthogonal function procedure, followed by canonical correlation analysis (CCA), is used to derive statistical relationships between the homogeneous regions and large-scale variables from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Project. A CCA model is established for every region. Numerous fields at different pressure levels are used as macro-scale predictors. All possible combinations of 2 predictors are systematically tested in 3 validation experiments. Those combinations that perform well in the experiments are used to derive local-scale precipitation scenarios from the general circulation model (GCM) climate projection experiments. Different combinations of large-scale variables enter the model depending on region. A composite analysis suggests that precipitation is related to an advective (convective) phenomenon in the northern (southern) part of the study domain. Moreover, precipitation changes based on 2 IS92a emission scenarios as simulated by ECHAM4/OPYC3 are calculated. The trace-gas-only and the trace-gas-plus-sulphate integrations induce changes ranging locally from +44 to -10% and from +36 to -9% respectively, relative to the 1951-1990 control period.
KEY WORDS: Cameroon · Precipitation · Regionalisation · Downscaling · Climate change
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