Desertification or "re-greening": Adaptation lessons learned in coping with late 20th century drought in West Africa

Lead PI: Dr. Alessandra Giannini , Dr. Christopher Small , Dr. Michela Biasutti

Unit Affiliation: International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)

July 2016 - July 2020
Africa ; West Africa
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: (1) Improve understanding of historical trends in the sub-seasonal “character of precipitation”, their relation to oceanic influence, and to expectation from warming
(2) Build capacity in ACMAD and AGRHYMET to produce seasonal predictions based on the North American Multi-Model Ensemble [NMME], defining a standard operating procedure to post-process and tailor information to user needs
(3) Update the regional climate change perspective to explicitly connect adaptation to climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable land management

OUTCOMES: (1) Robust improvement in skillful lead time of Sahel-wide rainfall in the North American multi-model ensemble (NMME) of dynamical models (2) Presentation of research results in the relevant regional climate outlook forum through engagement with project partners, most notably the Regional Center for Agro-Hydro-Meteorology (AGRHYMET) (3) Development of IRI Data Library-based Maprooms to explore the potential predictability of the sub-seasonal character of rainfall, based on ENACTS (4) Assessment of the sub-seasonal predictability of early-season dry spells in the ECMWF S2S dynamical prediction system of potential relevance to the prediction of rainy season onset.


National Aeronautics & Space Administration




Nicolas Vigaud, Remi Cousin, Michael Bell, Audrey Vadillo, John del Corral, Elisabeth Nebie


LDEO, EI post-doc program, Marine Geology & Geophysics (MG&G), Ocean & Climate Physics (O&CP)


Regional Centre for Agro-Hydro-Meteorology, Niamey, Niger


Vigaud, N. and A. Giannini. West African convection regimes and their predictability from submonthly forecasts. Climate Dynamics, published online 04 December 2018, doi: 10.1007/s00382-018-4563-y; Giannini, A., O. Ndiaye, B. Minoungou, C. Kelley, A. Ali and B. L. Lamptey. Advances in the lead time of prediction of Sahel rainfall with the North American Multi-Model Ensemble. In preparation (August 2019)


climate analysis vegetation cover policy seasonal climate prediction re-greening drought desertification precipitation climate change sea surface temperature


Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate