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[1] The sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of the tropical Indian Ocean show a pronounced warming since the 1950s. We have analyzed the impact of this warming on Sahelian rainfall and on the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) by conducting ensemble experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model. Additionally, we investigate the impact of the other two tropical oceans on these two climate parameters. Our results suggest that the warming trend in the Indian Ocean played a crucial role for the drying trend over the West Sahel from the 1950s to 1990s and may also have contributed to the strengthening of the NAO during the most recent decades.