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Different Asian monsoon rainfall responses to idealised orography sensitivity experiments in the HadGEM3-GA6 and FGOALS-FAMIL global climate models

Wong, K. C., Liu, S., Turner, A. G. and Schiemann, R. K. (2018) Different Asian monsoon rainfall responses to idealised orography sensitivity experiments in the HadGEM3-GA6 and FGOALS-FAMIL global climate models. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 35 (8). pp. 1049-1062. ISSN 0256-1530

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00376-018-7269-5

Abstract/Summary

Recent work has shown the dominance of the Himalayas in supporting the Indian summer monsoon (ISM), perhaps by surface sensible heating along its southern slope and by mechanical blocking acting to separate moist tropical flow from drier mid-latitude air. Previous studies have also shown that Indian summer rainfall is largely unaffected in sensitivity experiments that remove only the Tibetan Plateau. However, given the large biases in simulating the monsoon in CMIP5 models, such results may be model dependent. This study investigates the impact of orographic forcing from the Tibetan Plateau, Himalayas and Iranian Plateau on the ISM and East Asian summer monsoons (EASM) in the UK Met Office HadGEM3-GA6 and China’s Institute of Atmospheric Physics FGOALS-FAMIL GCMs. The models chosen feature opposite-signed biases in their simulation of the ISM rainfall and circulation climatology. The changes to ISM and EASM circulation across the sensitivity experiments are similar in both models and consistent with previous studies. However, considerable differences exist in the rainfall responses over India and China, and in the detailed aspects such as onset and retreat dates. In particular, the models show opposing changes in Indian monsoon rainfall when the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau orography are removed. Our results show that a multi-model approach, as suggested in the forthcoming Global Monsoon Model Intercomparison Project (GMMIP) associated with CMIP6, is needed to clarify the impact of orographic forcing on the Asian monsoon and to fully understand the implications of model systematic error.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:73430
Publisher:Science Press, co-published with Springer-Verlag Gmb

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