21 August 2015
The possible role of local air pollution in climate change in West Africa
Publication: Nature Climate Change (5, 815-822)
DOI Number: 10.1038/nclimate2727
Author: P. Knippertz, M. J. Evans, P. R. Field, A. H. Fink, C. Liousse and J. H. Marsham
The climate of West Africa is characterized by a sensitive monsoon system that is associated with marked natural precipitation variability. This region has been and is projected to be subject to substantial global and regional-scale changes including greenhouse-gas-induced warming and sea-level rise, land-use and land-cover change, and substantial biomass burning. We argue that more attention should be paid to rapidly increasing air pollution over the explosively growing cities of West Africa, as experiences from other regions suggest that this can alter regional climate through the influences of aerosols on clouds and radiation, and will also affect human health and food security. We need better observations and models to quantify the magnitude and characteristics of these impacts.