South Asian Summer Monsoon and Its Relationship with ENSO in the IPCC AR4 Simulations

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In this paper we use the extensive integrations produced for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) to examine the relationship between ENSO and the monsoon at interannual and decadal timescales. We begin with an analysis of the monsoon simulation in the 20th century integrations. Six of the 18 models were found to have a reasonably realistic representation of monsoon precipitation climatology. For each of these six models SST and anomalous precipitation evolution along the equatorial Pacific during El Nino events display considerable differences when compared to observations. Out of these six models only four (GFDL{_}CM{_}2.0, GFDL{_}CM{_}2.1, MRI, and MPI{_}ECHAM5) exhibit ... continued below

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Annamalai, H.; Hamilton, K. & Sperber, K. R. September 7, 2005.

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In this paper we use the extensive integrations produced for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) to examine the relationship between ENSO and the monsoon at interannual and decadal timescales. We begin with an analysis of the monsoon simulation in the 20th century integrations. Six of the 18 models were found to have a reasonably realistic representation of monsoon precipitation climatology. For each of these six models SST and anomalous precipitation evolution along the equatorial Pacific during El Nino events display considerable differences when compared to observations. Out of these six models only four (GFDL{_}CM{_}2.0, GFDL{_}CM{_}2.1, MRI, and MPI{_}ECHAM5) exhibit a robust ENSO-monsoon contemporaneous teleconnection, including the known inverse relationship between ENSO and rainfall variations over India. Lagged correlations between the all-India rainfall (AIR) index and Nino3.4 SST reveal that three models represent the timing of the teleconnection, including the spring predictability barrier which is manifested as the transition from positive to negative correlations prior to the monsoon onset. Furthermore, only one of these three models (GFDL{_}CM{_}2.1) captures the observed phase lag with the strongest anticorrelation of SST peaking 2-3 months after the summer monsoon, which is partially attributable to the intensity of simulated El Nino itself. We find that the models that best capture the ENSO-monsoon teleconnection are those that correctly simulate the timing and location of SST and diabatic heating anomalies in the equatorial Pacific, and the associated changes to the equatorial Walker Circulation during El Nino events. The strength of the AIR-Nino3.4 SST correlation in the model runs waxes and wanes to some degree on decadal timescales. The overall magnitude and timescale for this decadal modulation in most of the models is similar to that seen in observations. However, there is little consistency in the phase among the realizations, suggesting a lack of predictability of the decadal modulation of the monsoon-ENSO relationship. The analysis was repeated for each of the four models using results from integrations in which the atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration was raised to twice pre-industrial values. From these ''best'' models in the double CO{sub 2} simulations there are increases in both the mean monsoon rainfall over the Indian sub-continent (by 5-25%) and in its interannual variability (5-10%). We find for each model that the ENSO-monsoon correlation in the global warming runs is very similar to that in the 20th century runs, suggesting that the ENSO-monsoon connection will not weaken as global climate warms. This result, though plausible, needs to be taken with some caution because of the diversity in the simulation of ENSO variability in the coupled models we have analyzed. The implication of the present results for monsoon prediction are discussed.

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PDF-file: 53 pages; size: 1.7 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Journal of Climate, vol. 20, no. 6, March 15, 2007, pp. 1071-1092; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 6

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-215158
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 902388
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc887643

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  • September 7, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 12:01 p.m.

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Annamalai, H.; Hamilton, K. & Sperber, K. R. South Asian Summer Monsoon and Its Relationship with ENSO in the IPCC AR4 Simulations, article, September 7, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc887643/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.