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Impact of Climate, Agriculture and Vegetation in the Sahel in the recent past : the CAVIARS Projet. [P-3330-53]

Marticorena B., Abdourhamane Touré A., Baron C., Bergametti G., Bouet C., Bouniol D., Campos A., Couvreux F., Dardel C., Guichard F., Grippa M., Hiernaux P., Kergoat L., Largeron Y., Lebel T., Mougin E., Pennanech C., Pierre C., Quantin G., Rajot J.L., Siour G., Tidjani A.D., Valentin C., Vischel T.. 2015. In : Our Common Future under Climate Change. International scientific conference Abstract Book 7-10 July 2015. Paris, France. Paris : CFCC15, p. 614-614. Our Common Future under Climate Change, 2015-07-07/2015-07-10, Paris (France).

The semi-arid regions of the Earth are particularly vulnerable to wind erosion. The Sahelian region experienced contrasted climatic conditions during the last decades, with severe drought in the 70's and 80's and a relative re-greening in the recent years. Over the same period, changes in land use have occurred with an increase of the cultivated surfaces leading to a decrease of fallows and rangelands. As a result, a significant proportion of the land is bare or sparsely vegetated, and thus is not efficiently protected from the erosive action of wind. In this region, wind erosion tends to decrease the productive capacity of the soils whose fertility is already very low. In addition, the impact of wind erosion is expected to increase significantly in the near future (1) in relation with the expected changes in climate (in particular the modifications of precipitation and surface wind) and (2) in response to the increasing land use due to population increase and the related food needs. The aims of the CAVIARS project (Climate, Agriculture and Vegetation: Impacts on Aeolian ERosion in the Sahel) are to develop an integrated modeling tool to describe the evolution of wind erosion in the Sahel in connection with climatic and land use changes, to validate this tool in the current period by making the best possible use of the numerous data sets acquired in recent years over West Africa, and to test its ability to reproduce specific events (such as the drought in the Sahel) of the recent past (about the last 50 years). This project is based on a modeling approach of this recent past (hindcasts) that is justified by the need to ensure the robustness of the simulations with different forcings prior to any simulation of future scenarios. The proposed strategy is (1) to develop or optimize reliable modeling tools for quantifying the various terms (land use, changes in aridity...) responsible for changes in the intensity of wind erosion (2) to synthesize quality checked observations, that can be used as direct or indirect indicators of wind erosion (precipitation time series, changes in vegetation cover, atmospheric dust load,...) (3) to implement a validation strategy based on the quantification of wind erosion both locally, measured on grazed and cultivated plots, and at the regional and continental scales. (Texte intégral)

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