Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 104, Issue 1–2, pp 139–158 | Cite as

Simulated changes in the atmospheric water balance over South Asia in the eight IPCC AR4 coupled climate models

Original Paper


This paper evaluates the performance of eight state-of-art IPCC-AR4 coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models in their representation of regional characteristics of atmospheric water balance over South Asia. The results presented here are the regional climate change scenarios of atmospheric water balance components, precipitation, moisture convergence and evaporation (P, C and E) up to the end of the twenty-second century based on IPCC AR4 modelling experiments conducted for (A1B) future greenhouse gas emission scenario. The AOGCMs, despite their relatively coarse resolution, have shown a reasonable skill in depicting the hydrological cycle over the South Asian region. However, considerable biases do exist with reference to the observed atmospheric water balance and also inter-model differences. The monsoon rainfall and atmospheric water balance changes under A1B scenario are discussed in detail. Spatial patterns of rainfall change projections indicate maximum increase over northwest India in most of the models, but changes in the atmospheric water balance are generally widespread over South Asia. While the scenarios presented in this study are indicative of the expected range of rainfall and water balance changes, it must be noted that the quantitative estimates still have large uncertainties associated with them.


  1. Adler RF, Huffman GJ, Chang A, Ferraro R, Xie P, Janowiak J, Rudolf B, Schneider U, Curtis S, Bolvin D, Gruber A, Susskind J, Arkin P, Nelkin E (2003) The version 2 global precipitation climatology project (GPCP), monthly precipitation analysis (1979–present). J Hydrometeor 4:1147–1167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Christensen JH, Hewitson B, Busuioc A, Chen A, Gao X, Held I, Jones R, Kolli RK, Kwon WT, Laprise R, Magaña Rueda V, Mearns L, Menendez CG, Raisanen J, Rinke A, Sarr A, Whetton P (2007) Regional climate projections climate change 2007: the physical science basis contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: S Solomon, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. p. 996Google Scholar
  3. Covey C, AchutaRao KM, Cubasch U, Jones P, Lambert SJ, Mann ME, Phillips TJ, Taylor KE (2003) An overview of results from the coupled model intercomparison project. Glob Planet Change 37:103–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Delworth TL, Broccoli AJ, Rosati A, Stouffer RJ, Balaji V, Beesley JA, Cooke WF, Dixon KW, Dunne J, Dunne KA, Durachta JW, Findell KL, Ginoux P, Gnanadesikan A, Gordon CT, Griggies SM, Gudgil R, Harrison MJ, Held IM, Hemler RS, Horowitz LW, Klein SA, Knutson TR, Kushner PJ, Langenhorst AR, Lee HC, Lin SJ, Lu J, Malyshev SL, Milly PCD, Ramaswamy V, Russell J, Schwarzkopf MD, Shevliakova E, Sirutis JJ, Spelman MJ, Stern WF, Winton M, Wittenberg AT, Wyman B, Zeng F, Zhang R (2006) GFDL’s CM2 global coupled climate models—Part 1: formulation and simulation characteristics. J Clim 19:643–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Diansky NA, Volodin EM (2002) Simulation of present day-climate with a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model. Izv Atmos Ocean Phys (Engl Transl) 38:732–747Google Scholar
  6. Douville H, Chauvin F, Planton S, Royer JF, Salas-Melia D, Tyteca S (2002) Sensitivity of the hydrological cycle to increasing amounts of greenhouse gases and aerosols. Clim Dyn 20:45–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Flato G, Boer GJ et al (2000) The Canadian center for climate modeling and analysis global coupled model and its climate. Clim Dyn 16:451–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hagemann S, Arpe K, Bengtsson L (2005) Validation of the hydrological cycle of ERA40. ERA-40 Project Report Series 24:42Google Scholar
  9. Gadgil S, Sajani S (1998) Monsoon precipitation in the AMIP runs. Clim Dyn 14:659–689Google Scholar
  10. Gates WL et al (1999) An overview of the results of the atmospheric model intercomparison project (AMIPI). Bull Am Met Soc 80:29–55Google Scholar
  11. IPCC (1996) Climate change 1995: the science of climate change contribution of working group I to the second assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: Houghton JJ, MeiroFilho LG, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. p. 572Google Scholar
  12. IPCC (2001) Climate change 2001: the scientific basis contribution of working group I to the third assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: Houghton JT, Ding Y, Griggs DJ, Noguer M, VanderLinden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K, Jhonson CA (eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. p. 881Google Scholar
  13. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. In: S Solomon, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. p. 996Google Scholar
  14. Johns TC, Durman CF, Banks HT, Roberts MJ, McLaren AJ, Ridley JK, Senior CA, Williams KD, Jones A, Rickard GJ, Cusack S, Ingram WJ, Crucifix M, Sexton DMH, Joshi MM, Dong BW, Spencer H, Hill RSR, Gregory JM, Keen AB, Pardaens AK, Lowe JA, Bodes-Salcedo A, Stark S, Searl Y (2006) The new Hadley centre climate model: evaluations of coupled simulations. J Clim 19:1327–1353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones C, Gregory J, Thorpe R, Cox P, Murphy J, Sexton D, Valdes H (2004) Systematic optimization and climate simulation of FAMOUS a fast version of HADCM3. Hadley Centre Technical Note 60. p. 33Google Scholar
  16. Jungclaus JH, Keenlyside N, Botzet M, Haak H, Luo JJ, Latif M, Marotzke J, Mikolajewicz U, Roeckner E (2006) Ocean circulation and tropical variability in the coupled model ECHAM5/MPI-OM. J Clim 19:3952–3972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kalnay E et al (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 77:437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kang IS, Jin K, Wang B, Lau KM, Shukla J, Krishnamurthy V, Schubert SD, Waliser DE, Stern WF, Kitoh A, Meehl GA, Kanamitsu M, Galin VY, Satyan V, Park CK, Liu Y (2002) Intercomparison of the climatological variations of Asian summer monsoon precipitation simulated by 10 GCMs. Clim Dyn 19:383–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kripalani RH, Oh JH, Kulkarni A, Sabade SS, Chaudhari HS (2007) South Asian summer monsoon precipitation variability: Coupled climate model simulations and projections under IPCC AR4. Theor Appl Climatol 90:133–159Google Scholar
  20. Lambert SJ, Boer GJ (2001) CMIP: evaluation and intercomparison of coupled climate models. Clim Dyn 17:83–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Oki T, Musiake K, Matsuyama H, Masuda K (1995) Global atmospheric water balance and runoff from large river basins. Hydrol Processes 9:655–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Onogi K, Koide H, Sakamoto M, Kobayashi S, Tsutsui J, Hatsushika H, Matsumoto T, Yamazaki N, Kamahori H, Takahashi K, Kato K, Ose T, Kadokura S, Wada K (2000) JRA-25; Japanese 25-year Reanalysis progress and status. Quart J R Meteorol Soc 131:3259–3268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peixoto JP, Oort AH (1992) Physics of climate. Amer Inst Phys, New York, p 520Google Scholar
  24. Prasanna V, Yasunari T (2008) Interannual variability of Atmospheric water balance over South peninsular India and Sri Lanka during North East Monsoon season. Intl J Climatol 28:1997–2009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Prasanna V, Yasunari T (2009) Time-space characteristics of seasonal and interannual variations of atmospheric water balance over South Asia. J Meteor Soc Jpn 87:263–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Salas-Melia D, Chauvin F, Deque M, Douville H, Gueremy JF, Marquet P, Planton S, Royer JF, Tyteca S (2005) Description and validation of the CNRM-CM3 global coupled model. CNRM working note 103Google Scholar
  27. Trenberth KE (1991) Climate diagnostics from global analyses: conservation of mass in ECMWF analyses. J Clim 4:707–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Trenberth KE (1999) Atmospheric moisture recycling: role of advection and local evaporation. J Clim 12:1368–1381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Trenberth KE, Guillemot CJ (1998) Evaluation of the atmospheric moisture and hydrological cycle in the JRA-25 reanalyses. Clim Dyn 14:213–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Trenberth KE, Fasullo J, Smith L (2005) Trends and variability in column integrated water vapor. Clim Dyn 24:741–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ueda H, Iwai A, Kuwako K, Hori ME (2006) Impact of anthropogenic forcing on the Asian summer monsoon as simulated by 8 GCMs. 698 Geophys Res Lett 33: L06703, doi:101029/2005GL025336
  32. Uppala SM, Kallberg PW, Simmons AJ, Andrae U, da Costa Bechtold V, Fiorino M, Gibson JK, Haseler J, Hernandez A, Kelly GA, Li X, Onogi K, Saarinen S, Sokka N, Allan RP, Andersson E, Arpe K, Balmaseda MA, Beljaars ACM, van de Berg L, Bidlot J, Bormann N, Caires S, Chevallier F, Dethof A, Dragosavac M, Fisher M, Fuentes M, Hagemann S, Holm E, Hoskins BJ, Isaksen L, Janssen PAEM, Jenne R, McNally AP, Mahfouf JF, Morcrette JJ, Rayner NA, Saunders RW, Simon P, Sterl A, Trenberth KE, Untch A, vasiljevic D, Viterbo P, Woollen J (2005) The ERA-40 reanalysis. Quart J Roy Meteor Soc 131:2961–3012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Waliser DE, Jin K, Kang IS, Stern WF, Schubert SD, Wu MLC, Lau KM, Lee MI, Krishnamurthy V, Kitoh A, Meehl GA, Galin VY, Satyan V, Mandke SK, Wu G, Liu Y, Park CK (2003) AGCM simulations of intra-seasonal variability associated with the Asian summer monsoon. Clim Dyn 21:423–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang B, Kang IS, Lee JY (2004) Ensemble simulation of Asian–Australian monsoon variability by 11 AGCMs. J Clim 17:699–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yukimoto S, Noda A, Kitoh A, Sugi M, Kitamura Y, Hosaka M, Shibata K, Maeda S, Uchiyama T (2001) The new meteorological research institute coupled GCM (MRI-CGCM2) model climate and variability. Papers Meteor Geophys 51:47–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center (HyARC)Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.International Pacific Research Center, SOESTUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluHawaii

Personalised recommendations