Climate Dynamics

, Volume 49, Issue 9–10, pp 3237–3255 | Cite as

Cloud-radiation-precipitation associations over the Asian monsoon region: an observational analysis

  • Jiandong Li
  • Wei-Chyung Wang
  • Xiquan Dong
  • Jiangyu Mao


This study uses 2001–2014 satellite observations and reanalyses to investigate the seasonal characteristics of Cloud Radiative Effects (CREs) and their associations with cloud fraction (CF) and precipitation over the Asian monsoon region (AMR) covering Eastern China (EC) and South Asia (SA). The CREs exhibit strong seasonal variations but show distinctly different relationships with CFs and precipitation over the two regions. For EC, the CREs is dominated by shortwave (SW) cooling, with an annual mean value of − 40 W m− 2 for net CRE, and peak in summer while the presence of extensive and opaque low-level clouds contributes to large Top-Of-Atmosphere (TOA) albedo (>0.5) in winter. For SA, a weak net CRE exists throughout the year due to in-phase compensation of SWCRE by longwave (LW) CRE associated with the frequent occurrence of high clouds. For the entire AMR, SWCRE strongly correlates with the dominant types of CFs, although the cloud vertical structure plays important role particularly in summer. The relationships between CREs and precipitation are stronger in SA than in EC, indicating the dominant effect of monsoon circulation in the former region. SWCRE over EC is only partly related to precipitation and shows distinctive regional variations. Further studies need to pay more attention to vertical distributions of cloud micro- and macro-physical properties, and associated precipitation systems over the AMR.


Cloud radiative effect Cloud fraction Precipitation Asian monsoon region Seasonal variation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiandong Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei-Chyung Wang
    • 3
  • Xiquan Dong
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jiangyu Mao
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG)Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Atmospheric Sciences Research CenterState University of New YorkAlbanyUSA
  4. 4.College of Global Change and Earth System ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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