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Authors: Cherchi, A.*
Annamalai, H.*
Masina, S.*
Navarra, A.*
Title: South Asian summer monsoon and the eastern Mediterranean climate: the monsoon-desert mechanism in CMIP5 simulations
Title of journal: Journal of climate
Series/Report no.: 18/27(2014)
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Issue Date: Sep-2014
DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00530.1.
Keywords: Rossby waves
Diabatic heating
Coupled models
Model evaluation/performance
Interannual variability
Abstract: Dry summers over the eastern Mediterranean are characterized by strong descent anchored by long Rossby waves, which are forced by diabatic heating associated with summer monsoon rainfall over South Asia. The large-scale teleconnection between rising and subsiding air masses is referred to as the "monsoon-desert mechanism.'' This study evaluates the ability of the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) models in representing the physical processes involved in this mechanism. An evaluation of statistics between summer climatologies of monsoon diabatic heating and that of vertical velocity over the eastern Mediterranean suggests a linear relationship. Despite large spatial diversity in monsoon heating, descent over the Mediterranean is coherently located and realistic in intensity. To measure the sensitivity of descent to the diversity in the horizontal and vertical distribution of monsoon heating, a series of linear atmosphere model experiments are performed. It is shown that column-integrated heating over both the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea provides the largest descent with a more realistic spatial pattern. In the vertical, CMIP5 models underestimate the diabatic heating at upper levels, while they overestimate it at lower levels, resulting in a weaker forced response and weaker associated descent over the Mediterranean. A moist static energy budget analysis applied to CMIP5 suggests that most models capture the dominant role of horizontal temperature advection and radiative fluxes in balancing descent over the Mediterranean. Based on the objective analysis herein, a subset of models is identified that captures the teleconnection for reasons consistent with observations. The recognized processes vary at interannual time scales as well, with imprints of severe weak/strong monsoons noticeable over the Mediterranean.
Description: We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme'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 outputs. 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 financial support of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea through the project GEMINA and that of INDO-MARECLIM (Project 295092) is gratefully acknowledged. A. Cherchi thankfully acknowledges the generous hospitality of the International Pacific Research Center at UH Manoa, Honolulu. Jan Hafner is thanked for providing the moist static energy budget code used here and Matthew Windlansky is thanked for comments and proof reading. H. Annamalai acknowledges the partial support by the Office of Science (BER) U.S. Department of Energy, Grant DE-FG02-07ER6445, and also by the three institutional grants (JAMSTEC, NASA, NOAA) of the IPRC. Dr. Chen and an anonymous reviewer are acknowledged for the instructive and helpful comments given.
Appears in Collections:03.01.03. Global climate models
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