Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 1–2, pp 389–406 | Cite as

Evaluation of mean and intraseasonal variability of Indian summer monsoon simulation in ECHAM5: identification of possible source of bias

  • S. Abhik
  • P. Mukhopadhyay
  • B. N. Goswami


The performance of ECHAM5 atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) is evaluated to simulate the seasonal mean and intraseasonal variability of Indian summer monsoon (ISM). The model is simulated at two different vertical resolutions, with 19 and 31 levels (L19 and L31, respectively), using observed monthly mean sea surface temperature and compared with the observation. The analyses examine the biases present in the internal dynamics of the model in simulating the mean monsoon and the evolution of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) and attempts to unveil the reason behind them. The model reasonably simulates the seasonal mean-state of the atmosphere during ISM. However, some notable discrepancies are found in the simulated summer mean moisture and rainfall distribution. Both the vertical resolutions, overestimate the seasonal mean precipitation over the oceanic regions, but underestimate the precipitation over the Indian landmass. The performance of the model improves with the increment of the vertical resolution. The AGCM reasonably simulates some salient features of BSISO, but fails to show the eastward propagation of the convection across the Maritime Continent in L19 simulation. The propagation across the Maritime Continent and tilted rainband structure improve as one moves from L19 to L31. The model unlikely shows prominent westward propagation that originates over the tropical western Pacific region. L31 also produces some of the observed characteristics of the northward propagating BSISOs. However, the northward propagating convection becomes stationary in phase 5–7. The simulation of shallow diabatic heating structure and the heavy rainfall activity over the Bay of Bengal indicate the abundance of the premature convection-generated precipitation events in the model. It is found that the moist physics is responsible for the poor simulation of the northward propagating convection anomalies.


Indian summer monsoon Boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation Vertical resolution AGCM Moist processes 



IITM, Pune is fully funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Govt. of India, New Delhi. We would like to thank GSFC/DAAC, NASA for providing MERRA reanalysis, and GPCP dataset and India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi for gridded rainfall dataset. The authors are grateful to Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany for providing ECHAM5 AGCM. The work is a part of AS’s Ph.D. dissertation, financially supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India. AS would like to acknowledge Dr. Xianan Jiang for EEOF analysis, Sharmila S. for helpful discussions. The authors also acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, and Dr. A. Hazra and Pharthiphan A. for their support during the installation of the model in IBM P6.


  1. Abhik S, Halder M, Mukhopadhyay P, Jiang X, Goswami BN (2013) A possible new mechanism for northward propagation of boreal summer intraseasonal oscillations based on TRMM and MERRA reanalysis. Clim Dyn 40:1611–1624. doi: 10.1007/s00382-012-1425-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bosilovich MG et al (2006) NASA’s modern era retrospective-analysis for research and applications. US CLIVAR variations, 4, US CLIVAR office, Washington DC, pp 5–8Google Scholar
  3. CLIVAR Madden–Julian Oscillation Working Group (2009) MJO simulation diagnostics. J Clim 22:3006–3030. doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2731.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dai A (2006) Precipitation characteristics in eighteen coupled climate models. J Clim 19:4605–4630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Demott CA, Stan C, Randall DA, Klinter JL III, Khairoutdinov M (2011) The Asian monsoon in the superparameterized CCSM and its relationship to tropical wave activity. J Clim 24:5134–5156. doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI4202.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duchon CE (1979) Lanczos filtering in one and two dimensions. J Appl Meteorol 18:1016–1022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fu X, Wang B (2004) Different solutions of intraseasonal oscillation exist in atmosphere–ocean coupled model and atmosphere-only model. J Clim 17:1263–1271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fu X, Wang B, Li T, McCreary JP (2003) Coupling between northward–propagating. Intraseasonal oscillations and sea surface temperature in the Indian Ocean. J Atmos Sci 60:1733–1753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goswami BN (2011) South Asian summer monsoon. In: Lau WK-M, Waliser DE (eds) Intraseasonal variability of the atmosphere-Ocean climate system. Springer, Berlin, pp 21–72Google Scholar
  10. Goswami BN, Ajaya Mohan RS (2001) Intraseasonal oscillations and interannual variability of the Indian summer monsoon. J Clim 14:1180–1198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goswami BN, Wu G, Yasunari T (2006) The annual cycle, intraseasonal oscillations, and roadblock to seasonal predictability of the Asian summer monsoon. J Clim 19:5078–5098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hayashi Y (1982) Space–time spectral analysis and its applications to atmospheric waves. J Meteor Soc Jpn 60:156–171Google Scholar
  13. Hirons LC, Inness P, Vitart F, Bechtold P (2012) Understanding advances in the simulation of intraseasonal variability in the ECMWF model. Part II: the application of process-based diagnostics. Q J R Meteorol Soc. doi: 10.1002/qj.2059
  14. Huffman GJ, Adler RF, Morrissey M, Bolvin DT, Curtis S, Joyce R, McGavock B, Susskind J (2001) Global precipitation at one-degree daily resolution from multi-satellite observations, J. Hydrometeorol 2:36–50. doi: 10.1175/1525-7541(2001)002<0036:GPAODD>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Inness PM, Slingo JM, Woolnough SJ, Neale RB, Pope VD (2001) Organization of tropical convection in a GCM with varying vertical resolution: implications for the simulation of the Madden–Julian Oscillation. Clim Dyn 17:777–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jiang X, Li T, Wang B (2004) Structures and mechanisms of the northward propagating boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation. J Clim 17:1022–1039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jiang X, Waliser DE, Li JL, Woods C (2011) Vertical cloud structures of the boreal summer intraseasonal variability based on CloudSat observations and ERA-interim reanalysis. Clim Dyn 36:2219–2232. doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0853-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johnson RH, Rickenbach TM, Rutledge SA, Cielielski PE, Schubert WH (1999) Trimodal characteristics of tropical convection. J Clim 12:2397–2418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Joseph S, Sahai AK, Goswami BN, Terray P, Masson S, Kuo J-J (2012) Possible role of warm SST bias in the simulation of boreal summer monsoon in SINTEX-F2 coupled model. Clim Dyn 38:1561–1576. doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1264-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kemball-Cook S, Wang B, Fu X (2002) Simulation of the intraseasonal oscillation in ECHAM4 model: the impact of coupling with an ocean model. J Atmos Sci 59:1433–1453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim H-M, Kang I-S, Wang B, Lee J-Y (2008) Interannual variations of the boreal summer intraseasonal variability predicted by ten atmosphere-ocean coupled models. Clim Dyn 30:485–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lawrence DM, Webster PJ (2002) The boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation: relationship between northward and eastward movement of convection. J Atmos Sci 59:1593–1606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liess S, Bengtsson L (2004) The intraseasonal oscillation in ECHAM4, part II: sensitivity studies. Clim Dyn 22:671–688Google Scholar
  24. Liess S, Waliser DE, Schubert SD (2005) Predictability studies of the intraseasonal oscillation with the ECHAM5 GCM. J Atmos Sci 62(9):3320–3336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lin JL, Weickman KM, Kiladis GN, Mapes BE, Schubert SD, Suarez MJ, Bacmeister JT, Lee MI (2008) Subseasonal variability associated with Asian summer monsoon simulated by 14 IPCC AR4 coupled GCMs. J Clim 21:4541–4567. doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI1816.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lohmann U, Roeckner E (1996) Design and performance of a new cloud microphysics parameterization developed for the ECHAM4 general circulation model. Clim Dyn 12:557–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Madden RA, Julian PR (1971) Detection of a 40–50 day oscillation in zonal wind in tropical Pacific. J Atmos Sci 28:702–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Madden RA, Julian PR (1972) Description of global-scale circulation cells in the tropics with a 40–50 day period. J Atmos Sci 29:1109–1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Madden RA, Julian PR (1994) Observations of the 40–50-day tropical oscillation: a review. Mon Weather Rev 122:814–837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mukhopadhyay P, Taraphdar S, Goswami BN, Krishna KK (2010) Indian summer monsoon precipitation climatology in a high resolution regional climate model: impact of convective parameterization on systematic biases. Wea Forecast 25:369–387. doi: 10.1175/2009WAF2222320.1 Google Scholar
  31. Nordeng TE (1994) Extended versions of the convective parameterization scheme at ECMWF and their impact on the mean and transient activity of the model in the tropics. Tech Memo 206, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom, p 25Google Scholar
  32. Rajeevan M, Bhate J, Kale JD, Lal B (2006) High resolution daily gridded rainfall data for the Indian region: analysis of break and active monsoon spells. Curr Sci 91:296–306Google Scholar
  33. Rajeevan M, Gadgil S, Bhate J (2010) Active and break spells of the Indian summer monsoon. J Earth Sys Sci 119:229–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ramamurthy K (1969) Monsoon of India: some aspects of “Break” in the Indian South West Monsoon during July and August (forecasting manual, Part IV.18.3), India Meteorological Department, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  35. Roeckner E et al (2003) The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5. Part I: Model description. Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie Rep 349. Hamburg, Germany, p 140Google Scholar
  36. Roeckner E et al (2006) Sensitivity of simulated climate to horizontal and vertical resolution in the ECHAM5 atmosphere model. J Clim 19:3771–3791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seo K-H, Schemm J-KE, Wang W, Kumar A (2007) The boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation simulated in the NCEP climate forecast system: the effect of sea surface temperature. Mon Wea Rev 135:1807–1826. doi: 10.1175/MWR3369.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Slingo JM et al (1996) Intraseasonal oscillations in 15 atmospheric general circulation models: results from an AMIP diagnostic subproject. Clim Dyn 12:325–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sperber KR, Annamalai H (2008) Coupled model simulations of boreal summer intraseasonal (30–50 day) variability, part 1: systematic errors and caution on use of metrics. Clim Dyn 31:345–372. doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0367-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sperber KR, Gualdi S, Legutke S, Gayler V (2005) The Madden–Julian oscillation in ECHAM4 coupled and uncoupled general circulation models. Clim Dyn 25:117–140. doi: 10.1007/s00382-005-0026-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Suhas E, Neena JM, Goswami BN (2012) An Indian monsoon intraseasonal oscillations (MISO) index for real time monitoring and forecast verification. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-012-1462-5 Google Scholar
  42. Taylor KE (2001) Summarizing multiple aspects of model performance in a single diagram. J Geo Res 106:7183–7192. doi: 10.1029/2000JD900719 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Teng H, Wang B (2003) Interannual variations of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation in the Asian–Pacific region. J Clim 16:3572–3584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tiedtke M (1989) A comprehensive mass flux scheme for cumulus parameterization in large-scale models. Mon Wea Rev 117:1779–1800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Waliser DE (2006) Intraseasonal variations. In: Wang B (ed) The Asian monsoon. Springer, Heidelberg, p 787Google Scholar
  46. Waliser DE et al (2003) AGCM simulations of intraseasonal variability associated with the Asian summer monsoon. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-003-0337-1 Google Scholar
  47. Wang B (2011) Theories. In: Lau WK-M, Waliser DE (eds) Intraseasonal variability of the atmosphere-Ocean climate system. Springer, Berlin, pp 335–398Google Scholar
  48. Wang B, Xie X (1997) A model for the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation. J Atmos Sci 54:72–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Webster PJ (1983) Mechanisms of monsoon low-frequency variability: surface hydrological effects. J Atmos Sci 40:2110–2124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yanai M, Esbensen S, Chu J (1973) Determination of the bulk properties of tropical cloud clusters from large heat and moisture budgets. J Atmos Sci 30:611–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zhang GJ, Mu M (2005) Simulation of the Madden–Julian Oscillation in the NCAR CCM3 using a revised Zhang-McFarlane convection parameterization scheme. J Clim 18:4046–4064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zhang C, Dong M, Gualdi S, Hendon HH, Maloney ED, Marshall A, Sperber KR, Wang W (2006) Simulations of the Madden–Julian oscillation in four pairs of coupled and uncoupled global models. Clim Dyn 27:573–592. doi: 10.1007/s00382-006-0148-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zhu W, Li T, Fu X, Luo J–J (2010) Influence of the Maritime Continent on the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation. J Meteor Soc Jpn 88:395–407. doi: 10.2151/jmsj.2010-308 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia

Personalised recommendations