Regional Climate Studies

Regional Climate Modeling over Semi-Arid Regions

Blanketed by the Arabian Desert in the east and the Saharan desert in the west, many of the regions in Southwest Asia and West Africa can be described as semiarid or arid climatic regimes. The combination of a short, distinct rainy season with a long, hot, dry summer leads to a large strain on freshwater resources, providing strong motivation to study the climate of the area. More specifically, this work identifies the surface features over Southwest Asia and West Africa that dictate the surface climate. Particularly, this work focuses on the effects of two common surface processes in semi-arid climates: dust emissions and irrigation. Both of these land processes are influenced by human behavior and can have profound effects on regional climates. Consequently, to allow for the future assessment of climate variability over Southwest Asia and West Africa, this work presents a modified regional climate model that more accurately simulates the summertime climate over semiarid regions. Ultimately, this research strives to achieve a better understanding and prediction of the processes that determine the summertime climate of semiarid regions.