Articles | Volume 19, issue 1
Research article
01 Feb 2023
Research article |  | 01 Feb 2023

Using data and models to infer climate and environmental changes during the Little Ice Age in tropical West Africa

Anne-Marie Lézine, Maé Catrain, Julián Villamayor, and Myriam Khodri

Data sets

Using data and model to infer climate and environmental changes during the Little Ice Age in tropical West Africa A.-M. Lézine, M. Catrain, J. Villamayor, and M. Khodri

Model code and software

Presentation and evaluation of the IPSL-CM6A-LR climate model O. Boucher, J. Servonnat, A. L. Albright, O. Aumont, Y. Balkanski, V. Bastrikov, S. Bekki, R. Bonnet, S. Bony, L. Bopp, P. Braconnot, P. Brockmann, P. Cadule, A. Caubel, F. Cheruy, F. Codron, A. Cozic, D. Cugnet, F. D'Andrea, P. Davini, C. de Lavergne, S. Denvil, J. Deshayes, M. Devilliers, A. Ducharne, J. L. Dufresne, E. Dupont, C. Éthé, L. Fairhead, L. Falletti, S. Flavoni, M. A. Foujols, S. Gardoll, G. Gastineau, J. Ghattas, J. Y. Grandpeix, B. Guenet, L. E. Guez, E. Guilyardi, M. Guimberteau, D. Hauglustaine, F. Hourdin, A. Idelkadi, S. Joussaume, M. Kageyama, M. Khodri, G. Krinner, N. Lebas, G. Levavasseur, C. Lévy, L. Li, F. Lott, T. Lurton, S. Luyssaert, G. Madec, J. B. Madeleine, F. Maignan, M. Marchand, O. Marti, L. Mellul, Y. Meurdesoif, J. Mignot, I. Musat, C. Ottlé, P. Peylin, Y. Planton, J. Polcher, C. Rio, N. Rochetin, C. Rousset, P. Sepulchre, A. Sima, D. Swingedouw, R. Thiéblemont, A. K. Traore, M. Vancoppenolle, J. Vial, J. Vialard, N. Viovy, and N. Vuichard

Short summary
Data and climate simulations were used to discuss the West African Little Ice Age (LIA). We show a clear opposition between a dry Sahel–savannah zone and a humid equatorial sector. In the Sahel region, the LIA was characterized by a gradual drying trend starting in 1250 CE after two early warning signals since 1170 CE. A tipping point was reached at 1800 CE. Drying events punctuated the LIA, the largest of which dated to ca. 1600 CE and was also recorded in the savannah zone.