The long-lasting Sahel drought in the 1970s and 1980s caused enormous human and socio-economic losses, driving extensive research on its causes. Although changes in global and regional sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are thought to be dominant drivers of the severe Sahel drying trend, the mechanisms for the recent recovery trend are not fully clear yet, but are often assumed to be akin to the previous SST–Sahel drought linkage.