, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 910-942
Date: 12 Aug 2012

Characteristics, processes, and causes of the spatio-temporal variabilities of the East Asian monsoon system

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Recent advances in the study of the characteristics, processes, and causes of spatio-temporal variabilities of the East Asian monsoon (EAM) system are reviewed in this paper. The understanding of the EAM system has improved in many aspects: the basic characteristics of horizontal and vertical structures, the annual cycle of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) system and the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) system, the characteristics of the spatio-temporal variabilities of the EASM system and the EAWM system, and especially the multiple modes of the EAM system and their spatio-temporal variabilities. Some new results have also been achieved in understanding the atmosphere-ocean interaction and atmosphere-land interaction processes that affect the variability of the EAM system. Based on recent studies, the EAM system can be seen as more than a circulation system, it can be viewed as an atmosphere-ocean-land coupled system, namely, the EAM climate system. In addition, further progress has been made in diagnosing the internal physical mechanisms of EAM climate system variability, especially regarding the characteristics and properties of the East Asia-Pacific (EAP) teleconnection over East Asia and the North Pacific, the “Silk Road” teleconnection along the westerly jet stream in the upper troposphere over the Asian continent, and the dynamical effects of quasi-stationary planetary wave activity on EAM system variability. At the end of the paper, some scientific problems regarding understanding the EAM system variability are proposed for further study.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00376-013-0001-6.