Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 1–2, pp 759–778 | Cite as

Indian Summer Monsoon as simulated by the regional earth system model RegCM-ES: the role of local air–sea interaction

  • Fabio Di SanteEmail author
  • Erika Coppola
  • Riccardo Farneti
  • Filippo Giorgi


In this study the regional earth system model RegCM-ES is applied over the South Asia CORDEX domain to improve the simulation of the variability of the Indian Summer Monsoon. RegCM-ES has been integrated for 30 years, from 1979 to 2008, with a spatial resolution of 50 km in the atmospheric component, 18 km in the ocean and 50 or 12 km in the two hydrological models used for this study. A new hydrological component, the Cetemps Hydrological Model (CHyM), is included in the coupled system composed by the regional climate model RegCM4 and the ocean model MITgcm. In our analysis we show how the two way air–sea feedback simulated by the coupled system largely improves the representation of intraseasonal (ISV) and interannual (IAV) modes of variability of the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall (ISMR). The comparison with the Hydrological Discharge (HD) model shows large improvements in simulating the correct amount of freshwater river discharge over the Bay of Bengal (BoB), one of the fundamental factor responsible for the formation of the shallow barrier layer (BL) over the BoB. However, the improvements in river discharge do not have a clear effect on the BL due to excessive mixing in the ocean model. The improvements in the simulation of IAV are primarily due to the ability of RegCM-ES to reproduce the Intraseasonal Oscillation modes and to the complex mechanism related to the delayed response of the ISMR to the ENSO forcing. Our results highlight the very important role of fine scale air–sea feedbacks in modulating the ISMR and the internal dynamics of this phenomenon.


South Asian Monsoon Regional earth system model ENSO Climate variability 



The research reported in this work was supported by OGS and CINECA under HPC-TRES program award number 2016-07. The authors thank Fred Kucharski for his help and time. Insightful discussions with him related to the ENSO-Indian Monsoon relationship helped us to expand and improve this manuscript. The authors are grateful to Marco Verdecchia from the Center of Excellence Telesensing of Environment and Model Prediction of Severe events (CETEMPS) for his valuable support with the hydrological model CHyM. The authors wish also to thank Adriano Fantini for his precious help in the development of an R interactive script used to prepare the ocean Bathymetry of this study. The latest version of the driver is retrievable through the github repository:, whereas the module to include the CHyM scheme has to be requested to the authors of this manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth System Physics Section, International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale - OGSSgonicoItaly

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