Global Monsoon Precipitation: Trends, Leading Modes, and Associated Drought and Heat Wave in the Northern Hemisphere

Deng, Kaiqiang; Yang, Song; Ting, Mingfang; Tan, Yaheng; He, Shan

Global monsoon precipitation (GMP) brings the majority of water for the local agriculture and ecosystem. The Northern Hemisphere (NH) GMP shows an upward trend over the past decades, while the trend in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) GMP is weak and insignificant. The first three singular value decomposition modes between NH GMP and global SST during boreal summer reflect, in order, the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO), eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño, and central Pacific (CP) El Niño, when the AMO dominates the NH climate and contributes to the increased trend. However, the first three modes between SHGMP and global SST during boreal winter are revealed as EP El Niño, the AMO, and CP El Niño, when the EP El Niño becomes the most significant driver of the SHGMP, and the AMO-induced rainfall anomalies may cancel out each other within the SH global monsoon domain and thus result in a weak trend. The intensification of NH GMP is proposed to favor the occurrences of droughts and heat waves (HWs) in the midlatitudes through a monsoon–desert-like mechanism. That is, the diabatic heating associated with the monsoonal rainfall may drive large-scale circulation anomalies and trigger intensified subsidence in remote regions. The anomalous descending motions over the midlatitudes are usually accompanied by clear skies, which result in less precipitation and more downward solar radiation, and thus drier and hotter soil conditions that favor the occurrences of droughts and HWs. In comparison, the SH GMP may exert much smaller impacts on the NH extremes in spring and summer, probably because the winter signals associated with SHGMP cannot sufficiently persist into the following seasons.

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American Meteorological Society

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
November 8, 2018