The Mean State and Inter-annual Variability of East Asian Summer Monsoon in CMIP5 Coupled Models: Does Air-Sea Coupling Improve the Simulations?

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Tianjun Zhou, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China and Fengfei Song, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing, China
The climatology and inter-annual variability of East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) simulated by 34 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) coupled general circulation models (CGCMs) are evaluated. To estimate the role of air-sea coupling, 17 CGCMs are compared to their corresponding atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs). The climatological low-level monsoon circulation and mei-yu/changma/baiu rainfall band are improved in CGCMs from AGCMs. The improvement is at the cost of the local cold sea surface temperature (SST) biases in CGCMs, since they decrease the surface evaporation and enhance the circulation. The inter-annual EASM pattern is evaluated by a skill formula and the highest/lowest 8 models are selected to investigate the skill origins. The observed Indian Ocean (IO) warming, tropical eastern Indian Ocean (TEIO) rainfall anomalies and Kelvin wave response are captured well in high-skill models, while these features are not present in low-skill models. Further, the differences in the IO warming between high-skill and low-skill models are rooted in the preceding ENSO simulation. Hence, the IO-WPAC teleconnection is important for CGCMs, similar to AGCMs. However, compared to AGCMs, the easterly anomalies in the southern flank of the WPAC make the TEIO warmer in CGCMs by reducing the climatological monsoon westerlies and decreasing the surface evaporation. The warmer TEIO induces the stronger precipitation anomalies and intensifies the teleconnection. Hence, the inter-annual EASM pattern is better simulated in CGCMs than that in AGCMs.

Key words: CMIP5, CGCMs, air-sea coupling, AGCMs, inter-annual EASM pattern, ENSO, IO-WPAC teleconnection