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The resolution sensitivity of the South Asian monsoon and Indo-Pacific in a global 0.35◦ AGCM

Johnson, S. J., Levine, R. C., Turner, A. G., Martin, G. M., Woolnough, S. J., Schiemann, R., Mizielinski, M. S., Roberts, M. J., Vidale, P. L., Demory, M.-E. and Strachan, J. (2016) The resolution sensitivity of the South Asian monsoon and Indo-Pacific in a global 0.35◦ AGCM. Climate Dynamics, 46 (3-4). pp. 807-831. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s00382-015-2614-1

Abstract/Summary

The South Asian monsoon is one of the most significant manifestations of the seasonal cycle. It directly impacts nearly one third of the world’s population and also has substantial global influence. Using 27-year integrations of a high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model (Met Office Unified Model), we study changes in South Asian monsoon precipitation and circulation when horizontal resolution is increased from approximately 200 to 40 km at the equator (N96 to N512, 1.9 to 0.35◦). The high resolution, integration length and ensemble size of the dataset make this the most extensive dataset used to evaluate the resolution sensitivity of the South Asian monsoon to date. We find a consistent pattern of JJAS precipitation and circulation changes as resolution increases, which include a slight increase in precipitation over peninsular India, changes in Indian and Indochinese orographic rain bands, increasing wind speeds in the Somali Jet, increasing precipitation over the Maritime Continent islands and decreasing precipitation over the northern Maritime Continent seas. To diagnose which resolution related processes cause these changes we compare them to published sensitivity experiments that change regional orography and coastlines. Our analysis indicates that improved resolution of the East African Highlands results in the improved representation of the Somali Jet and further suggests that improved resolution of orography over Indochina and the Maritime Continent results in more precipitation over the Maritime Continent islands at the expense of reduced precipitation further north. We also evaluate the resolution sensitivity of monsoon depressions and lows, which contribute more precipitation over northeast India at higher resolution. We conclude that while increasing resolution at these scales does not solve the many monsoon biases that exist in GCMs, it has a number of small, beneficial impacts.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:40012
Uncontrolled Keywords:Asian monsoon · Maritime Continent · Orography · High resolution · African highlands · Monsoon depressions
Publisher:Springer

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