Possible role of warm SST bias in the simulation of boreal summer monsoon in SINTEX-F2 coupled model

Abstract

Reasonably realistic climatology of atmospheric and oceanic parameters over the Asian monsoon region is a pre-requisite for models used for monsoon studies. The biases in representing these features lead to problems in representing the strength and variability of Indian summer monsoon (ISM). This study attempts to unravel the ability of a state-of-the-art coupled model, SINTEX-F2, in simulating these characteristics of ISM. The coupled model reproduces the precipitation and circulation climatology reasonably well. However, the mean ISM is weaker than observed, as evident from various monsoon indices. A wavenumber–frequency spectrum analysis reveals that the model intraseasonal oscillations are also weaker-than-observed. One possible reason for the weaker-than-observed ISM arises from the warm bias, over the tropical oceans, especially over the equatorial western Indian Ocean, inherent in the model. This warm bias is not only confined to the surface layers, but also extends through most of the troposphere. As a result of this warm bias, the coupled model has too weak meridional tropospheric temperature gradient to drive a realistic monsoon circulation. This in turn leads to a weakening of the moisture gradient as well as the vertical shear of easterlies required for sustained northward propagation of rain band, resulting in weak monsoon circulation. It is also noted that the recently documented interaction between the interannual and intraseasonal variabilities of ISM through very long breaks (VLBs) is poor in the model. This seems to be related to the inability of the model in simulating the eastward propagating Madden–Julian oscillation during VLBs.

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Acknowledgments

This work has been done under the Indo-French project No. 3907/1 entitled “Multi-scale interactions and predictability of the Indian summer monsoon”. IITM is funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. All experiments were carried out on the Earth Simulator (JAMSTEC) in the frame of the France-Japan collaboration. Special thanks to Dr. K Ashok for help in improving the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Susmitha Joseph.

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Joseph, S., Sahai, A.K., Goswami, B.N. et al. Possible role of warm SST bias in the simulation of boreal summer monsoon in SINTEX-F2 coupled model. Clim Dyn 38, 1561–1576 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-011-1264-1

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Keywords

  • Indian summer monsoon
  • Intraseasonal oscillations
  • Interannual variability