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Enhanced future changes in wet and dry extremes over Africa at convection-permitting scale


African society is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The representation of convection in climate models has so far restricted our ability to accurately simulate African weather extremes, limiting climate change predictions. Here we show results from climate change experiments with a convection-permitting (4.5 km grid-spacing) model, for the first time over an Africa-wide domain (CP4A). The model realistically captures hourly rainfall characteristics, unlike coarser resolution models. CP4A shows greater future increases in extreme 3- hourly precipitation compared to a convection-parameterised 25 km model (R25). CP4A also shows future increases in dry spell length during the wet season over western and central Africa, weaker or not apparent in R25. These differences relate to the more realistic representation of convection in CP4A, and its response to increasing atmospheric moisture and stability. We conclude that, with the more accurate representation of convection, projected changes in both wet and dry extremes over Africa may be more severe.