Onset of Sahelian drought viewed as a fluctuation‐induced transition
drought; rainfall; Africa, Sahel
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A statistical analysis of representative sets of rainfall data in the west Sahel region is performed and a jump transition in the late sixties is detected. It is suggested that the main features associated with the record can be accounted for by a fluctuation‐induced transition between two stable precipitation regimes: a ‘humid’ and a ‘dry’ state. A minimal model involving the dominant nonlinearities is constructed and its parameters determined from the data. an attempt is made to arrive at a statistical prediction of the duration of the alternate regimes through the relative stability of the two stable states as deduced from mean values and higher moments of residence times. the behaviour predicted by the model is in good qualitative agreement with the record.
CitationDemaree, G.R.; Nicolis, C. (1990). Onset of Sahelian drought viewed as a fluctuation‐induced transition. , Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 116, Issue 491, 221-238, DOI: 10.1002/qj.49711649110.