Simulation of paleoclimate over East Asia at 6 ka BP and 21 ka BP by a regional climate model
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Using a regional climate model with detailed land surface processes (RegCM2), East Asian monsoon climates at 6 ka BP and 21 ka BP are simulated by prescribing vegetation and employing paleovegetation respectively in order to examine land surface effects on East Asian climate system and the potential mechanisms for climate change. The RegCM2 with a 120 × 120 km2 resolution has simulated the enlargement of the seasonal cycle of insolation, the temperature rising the whole year, and the reduction of perpetual snow in high latitudes at 6 ka BP. The simulation shows the East Asian summer monsoon strengthening, precipitation and P–E increasing, and the monsoon rain belt shifting westwards and northwards. Effect of paleovegetation included in the modeling reduced surface albedo and caused an increase in the winter temperature, which led to weakening of the winter continental cold anticyclone over China. The results make the seasonal characteristics of simulated temperature changes in better agreement with the geological records, and are an improvement over previous simulations of Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP). The RegCM2 simulated the 21 ka BP climate with lowered temperature throughout the year, and with precipitation reduced in most areas of East Asia (but increased in both the Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia). Low temperature over East Asia led to the strengthening of the East Asian winter monsoon and the shrinking of the summer monsoon. The effect of paleovegetation included in the experiment has enlarged the glacial climate influence in East Asia, which is closer to geological data than the PMIP simulations directly driven by insolation, glaciation and low CO2 concentration.