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Effect of the Radiation Balance on Warming Occurrence over West Africa
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  • Olusola Samuel Ojo,
  • Israel Emmanuel,
  • Babatunde Adeyemi,
  • Emmanuel Omonigho Ogolo
Olusola Samuel Ojo
Federal University of Technology

Corresponding Author:ojoso@futa.edu.ng

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Israel Emmanuel
Federal University of Technology Akure
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Babatunde Adeyemi
Federal University of Technology
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Emmanuel Omonigho Ogolo
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In this study, daily atmospheric radiation and temperature data at the surface were obtained from the archives of the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) for the period of 36 years (1980 – 2015) over West African geo-climatic regions. Analyses showed that the values of radiation balance in entire West Africa decreased from 140.37±2.11W/m2 in 1980 to 132.89±2.18 W/m2 in 2015. This shows that there is dominance of longwave radiation components in the radiation balance budget which determines the warming effect in the earth surface. Also, the magnitudes of ratio of change in surface temperature to change in radiation balance flux (radiative forcing) termed climate sensitivity ranged between 1.74±0.08 and 3.92±0.69 across the studied regions. These values fall within the threshold values of 1.5 and 4.5 proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report for the prevalence of surface warming. Meanwhile, the trend analyses of frequencies and intensities of warm nights and warm days whose maximum values were 35.52±0.77 oC and 42.34±0.73 oC showed predominant significant increasing trends respectively. Also, cross correlation analysis reveals strong significant relationships between radiation balance flux and temperature extreme events at short time-lags. Finally, it can be inferred from the results that the climate system of the West African Region is experiencing warming effects in which radiation balance contributed significantly. Consequently, this may result in more heat stress, drought, and flooding causing negative influences on agriculture, forestry, and entire ecosystems in this 21st century.
Mar 2021Published in Scientific African volume 11 on pages e00700. 10.1016/j.sciaf.2021.e00700