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Sahara and Sahel vulnerability to climate changes, lessons from Holocene hydrological data

A.-M. Lézine 1 C. Hély 2 C. Grenier 1, 3 P. Braconnot 1, 4 G. Krinner 5
3 HYDRO - Modélisation Hydrologique
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
4 MERMAID - Modelling the Earth Response to Multiple Anthropogenic Interactions and Dynamics
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
5 CLIPS
LGGE - Laboratoire de glaciologie et géophysique de l'environnement
Abstract : The examination of more than 1500 paleohydrological dated records collected between 10 and 28°N during the last 50 years have been used to improve our knowledge and understanding of the Sahara and Sahel vulnerability to the Atlantic monsoon changes in the long-term. We have analyzed the distribution of water bodies (mainly lakes and wetlands) over time and space: the central Saharan massifs played a major role in favoring water supply to the lowlands throughout the whole African Humid Period. In addition, distinct East-West dynamics is recorded with humidity starting - and stopping - several millennia earlier to the east than to the west of the Sahara. A series of time lags are discussed: (1) between the maximum of deep (fresh water) lake formation during the early Holocene and the maximum of water body extensions during the mid-Holocene which highlight the primary role of aquifer water level in lake response to climate change (2) between the hydrological history of the Sahara and the Sahel and the forcings - mainly insolation changes - during the early and mid-Holocene which involves complex interactions between remnant ice sheet in the Northern Hemisphere, open water bodies in the Sahara and Sahel and the Atlantic monsoon system.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 2:19:09 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 3:17:14 AM

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A.-M. Lézine, C. Hély, C. Grenier, P. Braconnot, G. Krinner. Sahara and Sahel vulnerability to climate changes, lessons from Holocene hydrological data. Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2011, 30 (21-22), pp.3001-3012. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.07.006⟩. ⟨insu-00647072⟩

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