Climate response of the south Asian monsoon system to West Asia, Tibetan Plateau and local dust emissions

  • Charu SinghEmail author
  • Dilip Ganguly
  • Puneet Sharma
  • Shiwansha Mishra


The equilibrium climate response of the south Asian monsoon (SAM) system to West Asia (WA), Tibetan Plateau (TP) and local dust emissions is investigated through a series of systematically designed idealized numerical experiments using CESM1-SOM, an atmospheric general circulation model coupled with a slab ocean model. Our results show that while an increased (decreased) dust emissions from the WA region produces a significant positive impact in the range of 0.20–0.40 mm/day (negative impact ~ 0.40–0.60 mm/day) on the summer monsoon precipitation over south Asia particularly over the Indian subcontinent, a perpetual perturbation ranging from complete suppression to nearly doubling of dust emissions from the TP region or locally within south Asia yield relatively weaker and largely insignificant responses in the seasonal mean monsoon climate over south Asia. Distinctly opposite responses of the SAM system are noted to the suppression and enhancement of dust emissions from the WA region. A perpetual enhancement (suppression) of dust emissions from the WA region results in atmospheric circulation changes and alters the atmospheric temperature distribution over the south Asian region by warming (cooling) the free troposphere in such a way that it strengthens (weakens) the crucial north–south meridional mid-to-upper tropospheric temperature gradient as well as the magnitude of the vertical shear of zonal winds during the beginning of the summer monsoon season which further results in atmospheric circulation by favoring (opposing) the prevailing low level south-westerly winds and upper level northerly winds, leading to a strengthening (weakening) of the climatological summertime local Hadley cell circulation and leading to an increase (a decrease) in seasonal mean precipitation across most parts of South Asia and most significantly during the month of June.


Equilibrium climate response South Asian monsoon Dust West Asia CESM1-SOM 



First author is thankful to GH MASD, Dean (A) and Director IIRS for providing the support to carry out the present research. We acknowledge IIT Delhi HPC facility used for performing the model simulations discussed in this study. We also acknowledge Giovanni TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS) for making available the monthly global precipitation GPCP version 2.2 data set for the research purpose. The CRU TS3.21 data set used in this study has been procured from We thank the Editor and anonymous reviewers for providing their constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24490 kb)


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRODehradunIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Atmospheric SciencesIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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