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Simulated effects of land immersion on regional arid climate: a case study of the pre-Saharan playa of Chott el-Jerid (south of Tunisia)

Abstract : The potential effects on the regional climate induced by partially immersing the arid pre-Saharan playa basin of Chott el-Jerid (south of Tunisia) are investigated by comparing two multi-year (1991–2011) sets of numerical simulations each consisting of ten-member ensemble and performed using the WRF regional climate model. The first WRF ensemble is performed under current land use and land cover, while the second is carried out after introducing a virtual large and shallow surface water reservoir (a lake) in Chott el-Jerid. The most pronounced effects generated by the artificial lake are circumscribed over its surface and slightly spread downwind to the other parts of the Chott. The lake has a clear moderating effect on near-surface air temperatures by increasing (decreasing) the wintertime (summertime) air temperatures. Sensible heat fluxes are remarkably increased in winter and decreased in summer over the lake following the temperature gradient between the lake surface and the overlying atmosphere. Latent heat fluxes, moisture convergence, and water vapor mixing ratio are increased over the lake throughout the year, especially in winter. The lake also induces domain-wide decreased (increased) surface pressures and land (lake) breeze circulation in winter (summer). Simulated rainfall amounts are most increased over the lake in winter likely because of an enhanced atmospheric instability, while they slightly decrease in summer.
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https://hal-agrosup-dijon.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02433825
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 2:59:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 9:52:06 AM

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Bilel Fathalli, Thierry Castel, Benjamin Pohl. Simulated effects of land immersion on regional arid climate: a case study of the pre-Saharan playa of Chott el-Jerid (south of Tunisia). Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Springer Verlag, 2020, 140, pp.231-250. ⟨10.1007/s00704-019-03083-5⟩. ⟨hal-02433825⟩

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