Testing a relationship: Arctic warming and China's summer monsoon

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 05:30 in Earth & Climate

(Phys.org) —In the late 1970s, eastern China experienced a shift in the summer monsoon circulation causing a "North-drought/South-flood" trend. In two related studies, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and China Meteorological Administration found a climate linkage that explains this phenomenon, and they tested six global climate models to see if they captured it. The observed rainfall trend coincides with rising Arctic temperature and reduced Arctic sea ice in the last three decades. While the atmospheric linkage between interdecadal summer precipitation changes in China and the Arctic spring warming can be established from observations, only one climate model was able to simulate both the recent decadal trends as well as their linkages. The two studies showed the importance of Arctic and mid- to high-latitude warming on the long-term variability of the East Asian summer monsoon.

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