, Volume 121, Issue 1-2, pp 55-77
Date: 24 Apr 2013

Projected change in East Asian summer monsoon precipitation under RCP scenario

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Future changes in East Asian summer monsoon precipitation climatology, frequency, and intensity are analyzed using historical climate simulations and future climate simulations under the RCP4.5 scenario using the World Climate Research Programme’s (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) multi-model dataset. The model reproducibility is evaluated, and well performance in the present-day climate simulation can be obtained by most of the studied models. However, underestimation is obvious over the East Asian region for precipitation climatology and precipitation intensity, and overestimation is observed for precipitation frequency. The overestimation of precipitation frequency is mainly due to the large positive bias of the light precipitation (precipitation <10 mm/day) days, and the underestimation of precipitation intensity is mainly caused by the negative bias of the intense precipitation (precipitation >10 mm/day) intensity. For the future climate simulations, simple multi-model ensemble (MME) averages using all of the models show increases in precipitation and its intensity over almost all of East Asia, while the precipitation frequency is projected to decrease over eastern China and around Japan and increase in other regions. When the weighted MME is considered, no large difference can be observed compared with the simple MME. For the MME using the six best models that have good performance in simulating the present-day climate, the future climate changes over East Asia are very similar to those predicted using all of the models. Further analysis shows that the frequency and intensity of intense precipitation events are also projected to significantly increase over East Asia. Increases in precipitation frequency and intensity are the main contributors to increases in precipitation, and the contribution of frequency increases (contributed by 40.8 % in the near future and by 58.9 % by the end of the twenty-first century) is much larger than that of intensity increases (contributed by 29.9 % in the near future and by 30.1 % by the end of the twenty-first century). This finding also implies an increased risk of intense precipitation events over the East Asian region under global warming scenario. These results regarding future climate simulations show much greater reliability than those using CMIP3 simulations.

Responsible editor: J. Fasullo.