Rainfall in West Africa

Key messages:

  • Under a +2°C and a +3°C global warming, modest increase in precipitation is projected
  • Projected increase in precipitation are mainly at the South coast
  • There is a good consensus among the analyzed simulations

Why is the content of this map important?

The increase in temperature over West Africa will be at least 2°C. It will be higher in the North of the region. Evaporation will increase. The fact that precipitation stays at the same level, in view with increasing evaporation, implies rising shortages in water resources.

Which sectors are affected by this result?

The water shortage will affect the agriculture and hydrology sectors.

What is shown on the maps?

The map of precipitation differences shows an increase of 20 mm/year in Mali and Niger for a total of 300 mm under present climate conditions. This amount increases when moving southwards and reaches 150 mm in Nigeria and 200 mm in Guinea. These two regions receive more than 2000 mm every year in present climate. This precipitation increases are further heightened with +3°C global warming.

Details and further information:

This table shows that the precipitation increases occur mainly in late summer.

Monthly accumulated precipitation (mm) over land
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
1971-2000 4 7 17 32 53 77 103 122 100 52 14 5
+2°C 4 7 18 31 53 77 110 134 108 55 14 5


Additional information:

The climate change indicators have been calculated from the CNRM/CNRM-ARPEGE52, CNRM/ENEA-REGCM, ECEARTH/CSC-REMO, ECEARTH/SMHI-RCA4, ECEARTH/DMI-HIRHAM, MPI-ES/CSC-REMO simulations.



Michel Déqué

Meteo France (MeteoF), France