Consistent responses of East Asian summer mean rainfall to global warming in CMIP5 simulations

Abstract

East Asia summer rainfall is of great social–economic importance. Based on observations, reanalysis and simulations of 16 Coupled Models Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models, the responses of East Asia summer precipitation, as well as some relevant features, to global warming are investigated. The CMIP5 historical simulation reasonably reproduces the climatology of summer rainfall, the associated circulation, the moisture and its transportation, and the mid-troposphere horizontal advection of temperature as well. Under global warming, the rainfall enhancement is robustly projected in the state-of-the-art models over North China, Northeast China, northern coast of Japan and the Kuroshio. As well, the total summer rainfall over East Asia is consistently increased in the models. For the consistent responses, the moisture budget analysis based on the simulations shows that two factors are responsible: one is increased moisture. As East Asia is a climatological ascent region in northern summer, increased moisture induced by global warming leads to more moisture transported upward and thus the rainfall rise. The other is enhanced evaporation, which may be caused by surface warming and provides more precipitable water to the atmosphere column. Furthermore, the results may provide some implications to the long-term variability of East Asia summer rainfall over the last several decades.

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the World Climate Research Program’s Working Group on Coupled Modeling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modeling groups (listed in Table 1 of this paper) for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. The study was supported by National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) grants 2012CB955604, 2011CB309704,the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China grant 41205050, Open Research Fund Program of Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province grant PAEKL-2013-K2 and CityU Strategic Research grant 700278.

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Correspondence to Gang Huang.

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Qu, X., Huang, G. & Zhou, W. Consistent responses of East Asian summer mean rainfall to global warming in CMIP5 simulations. Theor Appl Climatol 117, 123–131 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-013-0995-9

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Keywords

  • Global Warming
  • Summer Rainfall
  • Moisture Budget
  • Northern Summer
  • Warm Advection