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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 831414, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/831414
Research Article

Climate Variability in the Sudano-Guinean Transition Area and Its Impact on Vegetation: The Case of the Lamto Region in Côte D’Ivoire

1Laboratory of Atmosphere Physics and Fluid Mechanics, University F.H.B. of Cocody-Abidjan, 22 BP 582 Abidjan 22, Cote D’Ivoire
2Geophysical Station of Lamto, 01 BP 398 Abidjan 01, Cote D’Ivoire
3LTHE-IRD, University of Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

Received 19 August 2013; Accepted 14 December 2013; Published 13 February 2014

Academic Editor: Luis Gimeno

Copyright © 2014 A. Diawara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Based on unique 50-year datasets from 1962 to 2011, this study diagnoses the variability of climate at Lamto (6.13°N, 5.02°W) in Côte d’Ivoire. A combined pluviothermal index is used to identify climate regions of West Africa. The interdecadal change of the climate is analyzed along with a discussion on the West African Monsoon (WAM) circulation. The impact of vegetation is also analyzed. It is shown that Lamto has mainly a subhumid climate but, in some particular years, this area has a humid climate. Two decades (1962–1971 and 2002–2011) exhibit rainfall excess and the last three ones (1972–1981, 1982–1991, and 1992–2001) show a rainfall deficit that affected West Africa in the early 1970s. The meridional wind field from 1000 hPa to 700 hPa is used to study the WAM variability. The level of the WAM is the lowest (~860–890 hPa) during the active period of the northern wind coming from the Sahara desert (November–February). During 1962–1971 and 2007–2009, the depth of the monsoon at Lamto reaches 300 hPa with an increase in the rainfall. A relationship between potential evapotranspiration and the climate highlights rainfall deficit in 1969 and rainfall excess in 2001–2011.