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Monsoons: global energetics and local physics as drivers of past, present and future monsoons

Biasutti, M., Voigt, A., Boos, W. R., Braconnot, P., Hargreaves, J. C., Harrison, S. P., Kang, S. M., Mapes, B. E., Scheff, J., Schumacher, C., Sobel, A. H. and Xie, S.-P. (2018) Monsoons: global energetics and local physics as drivers of past, present and future monsoons. Nature Geoscience, 11 (6). pp. 392-400. ISSN 1752-0894

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0137-1

Abstract/Summary

Global constraints on momentum and energy govern the structure of the zonal mean tropical circulation and rainfall. The continental-scale monsoon systems are also facets of a momentum- and energy-constrained global circulation, but their modern and paleo variability deviates substantially from that of the longitudinal mean through mechanisms neither fully understood nor well simulated. A framework grounded in global constraints yet encompassing the complexities of monsoon dynamics is needed to identify the causes of mismatch between theory, models, and observations and, ultimately, improve regional climate projection. In a first step towards this goal, disparate regional processes must be distilled into gross measures of energy flow in and out of continents and from the surface to the tropopause, so that monsoon dynamics may be coherently diagnosed across modern and paleo observations and across idealized and comprehensive simulations. Accounting for zonal asymmetries in the circulation, land/ocean differences in surface fluxes, and the character of convective systems, such a monsoon framework would integrate our understanding at all relevant scales: from the fine details of how moisture and energy are lifted in the updrafts of thunderclouds, up to the global circulations.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:76799
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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