22 Sep 2021

22 Sep 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A multiannual ground temperature dataset covering sixteen high elevation sites (3493–4377 m a.s.l.) in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Alexander R. Groos1, Janik Niederhauser1, Bruk Lemma2,3, Mekbib Fekadu4,5, Wolfgang Zech6, Falk Hänsel4, Luise Wraase4, Naki Akçar7, and Heinz Veit1 Alexander R. Groos et al.
  • 1Institute of Geography, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Agronomy and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle, Germany
  • 3Forest and Rangeland Biodiversity Directorate, Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, P.O. Box 30726, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 4Department of Geography, Philipps University of Marburg, 35032 Marburg, Germany
  • 5Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 3434, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 6Institute of Soil Science and Soil Geography, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
  • 7Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. Tropical mountains and highlands in Africa are under pressure because of anthropogenic climate and land-use change. To determine the impacts of global climate change on the afro-alpine environment and to assess the potential socio-economic consequences, the monitoring of essential climate and environmental variables at high elevation is fundamental. However, long-term climate observations on the continent above 3,000 m are very rare. Here we present a consistent multinannual ground temperature dataset for the BaleMountains in the southern Ethiopian Highlands, which comprise Africa's largest tropical alpine area. 29 ground temperature data loggers have been installed at 16 sites since 2017 to characterise and continuously monitor the mountain climate and ecosystem of the Bale Mountains along an elevation gradient from 3493 to 4377 m. At five sites above ∼ 3900 m, the monitoring will be continued to trace long-term changes. The generated time series provide insights in the spatio temporal ground temperature variations at high elevation, the energy exchange between the ground surface and atmosphere, as well as the impact of vegetation and slope orientation on the thermal dynamics of the ground. To promote the further use of the ground temperature dataset by the wider research community dealing with the climate and geo-ecology of tropical mountains in Eastern Africa, it is made freely available via the open-access repository Zenodo: (Groos et al., 2021b).

Alexander R. Groos et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-268', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-268', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Oct 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2021-268', Anonymous Referee #3, 22 Oct 2021

Alexander R. Groos et al.

Data sets

A multiannual ground temperature dataset covering sixteen high elevation sites (3493–4377 m a.s.l.) in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia Alexander R. Groos, Janik Niederhauser, Bruk Lemma, Mekbib Fekadu, Wolfgang Zech, Falk Hänsel, Luise Wraase, Naki Akçar, and Heinz Veit

Alexander R. Groos et al.


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Short summary
Continuous observations and measurements from high elevations are necessary to monitor recent climate and environmental changes in the tropical mountains of Eastern Africa, but meteorological and ground temperature data from above 3,000 m are very rare. Here we present a comprehensive ground temperature monitoring network that has been established between 3493 and 4377 m in the Bale Mountains (Ethiopian Highlands) to monitor and study the afro-alpine climate and ecosystem in this region.