Impact of West Asia, Tibetan Plateau and local dust emissions on intra-seasonal oscillations of the South Asian monsoon rainfall

  • Charu SinghEmail author
  • Dilip Ganguly
  • Puneet Sharma


In the present study, we examine the responses of South Asian Monsoon (SAM) rainfall at intra-seasonal scale to remote dust emissions from west Asia, Tibetan Plateau and local dust emissions from within south Asia using a state of the art coupled atmosphere-slab ocean model CESM1-SOM. A series of systematically designed idealized simulations are carried out in such a way that dust emissions from the selected source regions are either perpetually suppressed or enhanced from these source regions and the response of the intra-seasonal oscillations (ISOs) of SAM rainfall to such perturbations in dust emissions are investigated. It is noted that the intra-seasonal variability of SAM rainfall is dominated by three different ISOs with periodicities of 10–20 days, 30–60 days and 60–90 days. Modulations in the characteristics of each of these three ISOs are studied for each of the dust perturbation experiments. Statistically robust K–S test and F test performed on the results from various dust perturbation experiments suggest that the perpetual perturbations in dust emissions from remote sources as well as locally from south Asia can significantly modulate the spatial and temporal structure of the ISOs of rainfall across scales during the monsoon season. Substantial changes are also noted in the spatial scales and propagation characteristics of ISOs attributable to the dust emission changes made over local and remote source regions in our idealized simulations. Our results suggest that perturbations in dust emissions over remote locations can substantially modulate the depth and duration of active and break rainfall events in the south Asian monsoon region. Results presented here have implications for better understanding and predicting the SAM rainfall variability at the intra-seasonal scales or at shorter time scales (~ less than a season) under variable dust emissions from remote and local source regions.


CESM1-SOM South Asian Monsoon (SAM) rainfall Intra-seasonal oscillations (ISOs) Statistically robust tests 



First author is thankful to Group Head MASD, Dean (A) and Director IIRS for providing support to carry out the present research. IIT Delhi and IIRS HPC facilities utilized for the model simulations and analysis respectively are thankfully acknowledged. We thank the Editor and anonymous reviewers whose comments on an earlier version of this manuscript have helped us to bring out this manuscript in the present form.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

382_2019_4944_MOESM1_ESM.docx (7.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 7434 kb)


  1. Abdul-Razzak H, Ghan SJ (2000) A parameterization of aerosol activation: 2. Multiple aerosol types. J Geophys Res 105:6837–6844. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albani S, Mahowald NM, Perry AT et al (2014) Improved dust representation in the community atmosphere model. J Adv Model Earth Syst 6:541–570. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Annamalai H, Slingo JM (2001) Active/break cycles: diagnosis of the intra-seasonal variability of the Asian Summer Monsoon. Clim Dyn 18:85–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benjamin JR, Cornell CA (1970) Probability, statistics, and decision for civil engineers. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhawar RL, Rahul PRC (2013) Aerosol–cloud-interaction variability induced by atmospheric brown clouds during the 2009 Indian summer monsoon drought. Aerosol Air Qual Res 13:1384–1391. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bollasina M, Nigam S (2009) Absorbing aerosols and pre-summer monsoon hydroclimate variability over the Indian subcontinent: the challenge in investigating links. Atmos Res 94:338–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bretherton CS, Park S (2009) A new moist turbulence parameterization in the community atmosphere model. J Clim 22:3422–3448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cakmur RV, Miller RL, Perlwitz J et al (2006) Constraining the magnitude of the global dust cycle by minimizing the difference between a model and observations. J Geophys Res 111:D06207. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chatterjee P, Goswami BN (2004) Structure, genesis and scale selection of the tropical Quasi-biweekly mode. Q J R Meteorol Soc 130:1171–1194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen TC, Chen JM (1993) The 10–20-day mode of the 1979 Indian monsoon: its relation with the time variation of monsoon rainfall. Mon Weather Rev 121:2465–2482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chowdhury A, Sinha Ray KC, Mukhopadhyay RK (1988) Intra-seasonal cloud variations over India during summer monsoon. Mausam 39:359–366Google Scholar
  12. Dakshinamurthy J, Keshavamurthy R (1976) On oscillations of period around one month in the Indian summer monsoon. Indian J Meteorol Geophys 27:201–203Google Scholar
  13. Gadgil S, Joseph PV (2003) On breaks of the Indian monsoon. Proc Indian Acad Sci (Earth Planet Sci) 112:529–558Google Scholar
  14. Ganguly D, Rasch PJ, Wang H, Yoon JH (2012) Climate response of the South Asian monsoon system to anthropogenic aerosols. J Geophys Res 117:D13209. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gettelman A, Liu X, Ghan SJ et al (2010) Global simulations of ice nucleation and ice supersaturation with an improved cloud scheme in the Community Atmosphere Model. J Geophys Res 115:D18216. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ghan SJ, Zaveri RA (2007) Parameterization of optical properties for hydrated internally-mixed aerosol. J Geophys Res 112:D10201. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ghan SJ, Leung LR, Easter RC, Abdul-Razzak K (1997) Prediction of cloud droplet number in a general circulation model. J Geophys Res 102:21777–21794. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ghan SJ, Liu X, Easter RC, Zaveri R, Rasch PJ, Yoon JH, Eaton B (2012) Toward a minimal representation of aerosols in climate models: comparative decomposition of aerosol direct, semi-direct and indirect radiative forcing. J Clim 25:6461–6476. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ginoux P, Chin M, Tegen I, Prospero J, Holben B, Dubovik O, Lin SJ (2001) Sources and distributions of dust aerosols simulated with the GOCART model. J Geophys Res 106:20255–20273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ginoux P, Prospero JM, Gill TE, Hsu NC, Zhao M (2012) Global-scale attribution of anthropogenic and natural dust sources and their emission rates based on MODIS Deep Blue aerosol products. Rev Geophys 50:RG3005. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goswami BN (2005) Intraseasonal variability in the atmosphere-ocean climate system. Springer, PraxisGoogle Scholar
  22. Goswami BN, AjayaMohan RS (2001) Intra-seasonal oscillations and interannual variability of the Indian Summer Monsoon. J Clim 14:1180–1198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goswami BN, Shukla J et al (1984) Study of the dynamics of the intertropical convergence zone with a symmetric version of the GLAS climate model. J Atmos Sci 41:5–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goswami BN, Venugopal V, Sengupta D, Madhusoodanan MS, Xavier PK (2006) Increasing trend of extreme rain events over India in a warming environment. Science 314:1442–1445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hartmann DL, Michelsen ML (1989) Intraseasonal periodicities in Indian Rainfall. J Atmos Sci 46:2838–2862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hazra A, Goswami BN, Chen JP (2013) Role of interactions between aerosols radiative effect, dynamics, and cloud microphysics on transitions of monsoon intraseasonal oscillations. J Atmos Sci 70:2073–2087. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hess M, Koepke P, Schult I (1998) Optical properties of aerosols and clouds: the software package OPAC. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 79:831–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hoyos CD, Webster PJ (2007) The role of the intraseasonal variability in the nature of Asian monsoon precipitation. J Clim 20:4402–4424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hurrell JW et al (2013) The community earth system model: a framework for collaborative research. B Am Meteorol Soc 94:1339–1360. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Iacono MJ, Delamere JS, Mlawer EJ, Shephard MW, Clough SA, Collins WD (2008) Radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases: calculations with the AER radiative transfer models. J Geophys Res 113:D13103. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jin Q, Wei J, Yang ZL (2014) Positive response of Indian summer rainfall to Middle East dust. Geophy Res Lett. Google Scholar
  32. Jin Q, Wei J, Yang ZL, Pu B, Huang J (2015) Consistent response of Indian summer monsoon to Middle East dust in observations and simulations. Atmos Chem Phys 15:9897–9915. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jin Q, Yang ZL, Wei J (2016a) Seasonal responses of Indian summer monsoon to dust aerosols in the Middle East, India, and China. J Clim 29:6329–6349. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jin Q, Yang ZL, Wei J (2016b) High sensitivity of Indian summer monsoon to Middle East dust absorptive properties. Sci Rep 6:30690. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Karmakar N, Krishnamurti TN (2018) Characteristics of northward propagating intra-seasonal oscillation in the Indian summer monsoon. Clim Dyn. Google Scholar
  36. Kok JF, Ridley DA, Zhou Q, Miller RL, Zhao C, Heald CL, Ward DS, Albani S, Haustein K (2017) Smaller desert dust cooling effect estimated from analysis of dust size and abundance. Nat Geosci 10(274–278):2017. Google Scholar
  37. Kripalani RH, Kulkarni A, Sabade SS, Revadekar JV, Patwardhan SK, Kulkarni JR (2004) Intra-seasonal oscillations during Monsoon 2002 and 2003. Curr Sci 87:325–331Google Scholar
  38. Krishnamurthy V, Shukla J (2000) Intraseasonal and interannual variability of rainfall over India. J Clim 13:4366–4377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Krishnamurthy V, Shukla J (2007a) Intra-seasonal and seasonally persisting patterns of Indian monsoon rainfall. J Clim 20:3–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Krishnamurthy V, Shukla J (2007b) Seasonal persistence and propagation of intra-seasonal patterns over the Indian Monsoon Region. Clim Dyn. Google Scholar
  41. Krishnamurti TN, Ardanuy P (1980) The 10 to 20-day westward propagating mode and “Breaks in the Monsoon”. Tellus A 32:15–26Google Scholar
  42. Krishnamurti TN, Bhalme HN (1976) oscillations of a monsoon system Part I. Observational aspects. J Atmos Sci 33:1937–1954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Krishnan R, Zhang C, Sugi M (2000) Dynamics of breaks in the Indian summer monsoon. J Atmos Sci 57:1354–1372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kulkarni A, Sabade SS, Kripalani RH (2006) Intra-seasonal vagaries of the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall. Research report No RR-114 IITM (Pune)Google Scholar
  45. Kumar S, Arora A (2018) On the connection between remote dust aerosol and Indian summer monsoon. Theor Appl Climatol. Google Scholar
  46. Lamarque JF et al (2010) Historical (1850–2000) gridded anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of reactive gases and aerosols: methodology and application. Atmos Chem Phys 10:7017–7039. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lau KM, Kim MK, Kim KM (2006) Asian summer monsoon anomalies induced by aerosol direct forcing: the role of the Tibetan Plateau. Clim Dyn 26:855–864. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Liu X, Penner JE, Ghan SJ, Wang M (2007) Inclusion of ice microphysics in the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3). J Clim 20:4526–4547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Liu X et al (2012) Toward a minimal representation of aerosol in climate models: description and evaluation in the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5. Geosci Model Dev 5:709–739. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Magana V, Webster PJ (1996) Atmospheric circulations during active and break periods of the Asian monsoon; Preprints of the Eighth Conference on the Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System (GOALS). Am Meteorol Soc Atlanta GAGoogle Scholar
  51. Mahowald NM, Muhs DR, Levis S, Rasch PJ, Yoshioka M, Zender CS, Luo C (2006) Change in atmospheric mineral aerosols in response to climate: last glacial period, preindustrial, modern, and doubled carbon dioxide climates. J Geophys Res 111:D10202. Google Scholar
  52. Mandke S, Sahai AK, Shinde MA, Joseph S, Chattopadhyay R (2007) Simulated changes in active/break spells during the Indian summer monsoon due to enhanced CO2 concentrations: assessment from selected coupled atmosphere–ocean global climate models. Int J Climatol 27:837–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Manoj MG, Devara PCS, Safai PD, Goswami BN (2011) Absorbing aerosols facilitate transition of Indian monsoon breaks to active spells. Clim Dyn 37:2181–2198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Manoj MG, Devara PCS, Joseph S, Sahai AK (2012) Aerosol indirect effect during the aberrant Indian Summer Monsoon breaks of 2009. Atmos Environ 60:153–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Morrison H, Gettelman A (2008) A new two-moment bulk stratiform cloud microphysics scheme in the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM3) Part I: description and numerical tests. J Clim 21:3642–3659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Neale RB et al. (2010) Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 5.0). NCAR/TN-486 + STR 289 Natl. Cent For Atmos Res Boulder ColoGoogle Scholar
  57. Neale RB, Richter JH, Jochum M (2008) The impact of convection on ENSO: from a delayed oscillator to a series of events. J Clim 21:5904–5924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Oleson KW et al. (2010) Technical description of version 4.0 of the Community Land Model (CLM). NCAR Tech Note TN-4781STR 266 Natl Cent for Atmos Res Boulder ColoGoogle Scholar
  59. Park S, Bretherton CS (2009) The University of Washington shallow convection and moist turbulence schemes and their impact on climate simulations with the Community Atmosphere Model. J Clim 22:3449–3469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Park S, Bretherton CS, Rasch PJ (2014) Integrating cloud processes in the community atmosphere model version 5. J Clim 27:6821–6856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Prospero JM, Ginoux P et al (2002) Environmental characterization of global sources of atmospheric soil dust identified with the Nimbus 7 Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Absorbing Aerosol Product. Rev Geophys 40:1002. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rajeevan M et al (2006) High resolution daily gridded rainfall data for the Indian Region: analysis of break and active monsoon spells. Curr Sci 91:296–306Google Scholar
  63. Rajeevan M, Gadgil S, Bhate J (2010) Active and break spells of the Indian Summer monsoon. J Earth Syst Sci 119:229–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ramamurthy K (1969) Monsoon of India: Some aspects of the ‘break’ in the Indian southwest monsoon during July and August. Forecasting Manual 1-57 IV 18.3 India Met Dept Poona IndiaGoogle Scholar
  65. Rasch PJ, Coleman DB (2006) Characteristics of transport using three formulations of atmospheric dynamics in a single GCM framework. J Clim 19:2243–2266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. RaviKiran V, Rajeevan M, Rao SVB, Rao PN (2009) Analysis of variations of cloud and aerosol properties associated with active and break spells of Indian summer monsoon using MODIS data. Geophys Res Lett 36:L09706Google Scholar
  67. Ross SM (2004) Introduction to probability and statistics for engineers and scientists, 3rd edn. Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  68. Scanza et al (2015) Modeling dust as component minerals in the community atmosphere model. Atmos Chem Phys 15:537–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sharma D, Miller RL (2017) Revisiting the observed correlation between weekly averaged Indian monsoon precipitation and Arabian Sea aerosol optical depth. Geophys Res Lett 44:10006–10016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sharmila S, Joseph S, Chattopadhyay R, Sahai AK, Goswami BN (2014) Asymmetry in space–time characteristics of Indian summer monsoon intraseasonal oscillations during extreme years: role of seasonal mean state. Int J Climatol. Google Scholar
  71. Sikka DR, Gadgil S (1980) On the maximum cloud zone and the ITCZ over Indian longitudes during the Southwest Monsoon. Mon Weather Rev 108:1840–1853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Singh C (2013) Characteristics of monsoon breaks and intraseasonal oscillations over central India during the last half century. Atmos Res 128:120–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Singh C, Dasgupta P (2017) Unraveling the spatio-temporal structure of the atmospheric and oceanic intra-seasonal oscillations during the contrasting monsoon seasons. Atmos Res 192:48–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Singh C, Ganguly D, Dash SK (2016) Aerosols and contrasting monsoon conditions over the Himalayan region. Remote Sens Atmos Clouds Precip VI Proc SPIE. Google Scholar
  75. Singh C, Ganguly D, Dash SK (2017a) Dust load and rainfall characteristics and their relationship over the South Asian monsoon region under various warming scenarios. J Geophys Res Atmos. Google Scholar
  76. Singh C, Thomas L, Kumar KK (2017b) Impact of aerosols and cloud parameters on Indian summer monsoon rain at intraseasonal scale: a diagnostic study. Theoret Appl Climatol 127:381–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Singh C, Ganguly D, Dash SK (2018a) On the dust load and rainfall relationship in South Asia: an analysis from CMIP5. Clim Dyn 50:403–422. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Singh C, Ganguly D, Dash SK (2018b) Investigation of the relationship between natural aerosols and Indian summer monsoon rainfall using a climate model, Climate Change Impacts (Chapter-11) Water Sci Technol Library, vol 82. Springer, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-10-5713-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Singh C, Ganguly D, Sharma P, Mishra S (2019) Climate response of the south Asian monsoon system to West Asia, Tibetan Plateau and local dust emissions. Clim Dyn. Google Scholar
  80. Stolz DC, Rutledge SA, Xu W, Pierce JR (2017) Interactions between the MJO, aerosols, and convection over the Central Indian Ocean. J Atmos Sci 74:353–374. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Tegen I (2003) Modeling the mineral dust aerosol cycle in the climate system. Quat Sci Rev 22:1821–1834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tian B, Waliser DE, Kahn Li Q, Yung YL et al (2008) Does the Madden–Julian oscillation influence aerosol variability? J Geophys Res 113:D12215. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Tian B, Waliser DE, Kahn RA, Wong S (2011) Modulation of Atlantic aerosols by the Madden–Julian oscillation. J Geophys Res 116:D15108. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Vernekar AD, Thapliyal V, Kripalani RH, Singh SV, Kirtman B (1993) Global structure of the Madden–Julian oscillations during two contrasting summer monsoon seasons over India. Meteorol Atmos Phys 52:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Vinoj V et al (2014) Short-term modulation of Indian summer monsoon rainfall by West Asian dust. Nat Geosci 7:308–313. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Webster PJ, Magana VO, Palmer TN, Shukla J, Tomas RA, Yanai M, Yasunari T (1998) Monsoons: process, predictability, and the prospects for prediction. J Geophys Res 103:14451–14510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Yasunari T (1979) Cloudiness fluctuation associated with the northern hemisphere summer monsoon. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 57:227–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Yasunari T (1980) Quasi-stationary appearance of 30–40 day period in the cloudiness fluctuations during summer monsoon over India. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 58:225–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Yasunari T (1981) Structure of an Indian Summer Monsoon system with around 40-day period. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 59:336–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Zender CS, Bian H, Newman D (2003a) Mineral dust entrainment and deposition (DEAD) model: description and 1990s dust climatology. J Geophys Res 108:4416. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Zender CS, Newman D, Torres O (2003b) Spatial heterogeneity in aeolian erodibility: uniform, topographic, geomorphic, and hydrologic hypotheses. J Geophys Res 108:4543. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Zhang GJ, McFarlane NA (1995) Sensitivity of climate simulations to the parameterization of cumulus convection in the Canadian climate centre general circulation mode. Atmos Ocean 33:407–446. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© 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 Sciences, Indian Institute of TechnologyDelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations