M11 - The Seasonal Cycle over the African Continent and Adjoining Oceans, Today and in the Past

Convenor: Sumant Nigam  

The proposed session, which has a focus on the African continent and its three very different surrounding oceans but does not exclude other regions, targets observational and modeling studies that address the questions posed below. The seasonal cycle, though a huge and familiar climate signal in regional circulation and surface hydroclimate, nonetheless has unexplained facets, and is a challenge for sophisticated climate models, especially over southern Africa and its surrounding oceans.

  • What are the inadequacies of the observational networks?
  • What are the atmospheric and oceanic deficiencies of the models, and how can they be remedied?
  • What can be learnt from past seasonal cycles? (The cycle of today is but one realization from a wide range of possibilities; those of the past were different because of variations in the two reasons for the seasons: obliquity, and precession of the equinoxes.)