Advertisement

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 39, Issue 7–8, pp 1801–1821 | Cite as

Stochastic control of Indian megadroughts and megafloods

  • B. G. HuntEmail author
Article

Abstract

A multi-millennial run of the CSIRO Mark2 coupled climatic model has been used to investigate megadroughts and megafloods during the Indian summer monsoon (June–September). These extreme events were defined as having rainfall anomalies at least two standard deviations from normal. More than ten megafloods and more than twenty megadroughts, so-defined, were found to occur in a 5,000-year period of the simulation. The simulation replicated most of the major features of the observed summer monsoon, but a comparison of observed and simulated probability density functions suggests that the limited observed rainfall time series to date does not adequately sample the possible range of Indian monsoonal rainfall. An investigation of causal mechanisms of Indian rainfall variability reproduced the observed negative correlation with ENSO events, but it was found that neither extreme ENSO events or extremes of a range of other climatic phenomena coincided with the simulated, extreme megadroughts and megafloods. This disconnect between these events is succinctly illustrated with examples related to ENSO events in particular. Autoregressive and FFT analysis of observed and simulated Indian summer monsoon rainfall time series revealed them to consist of white noise. Since these time series therefore consist of random outcomes, it is apparent that these Indian megadroughts and megafloods are the consequence of stochastic influences. Thus, it is concluded that the interannual variability of Indian summer monsoonal rainfall cannot be predicted in general, nor can megadroughts and megafloods in particular.

Keywords

Megadroughts Megafloods Multi-millennial simulation Indian monsoon 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology for making available the observed Indian rainfall time series used in this paper.

References

  1. Annamalai H, Sperber KR (2005) Regional heat sources and the active and break phases of boreal summer intraseasonal (30–50 day) variability. J Atmos Sci 62:2726–2748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Annamalai H, Hamilton K, Sperber KR (2007) The south Asian summer monsoon and its relationship with ENSO in the IPCC AR4 simulations. J Clim 20:1071–1092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashok K, Guan Z, Yamagata T (2001) Impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole on the relationship between the Indian monsoon rainfall and ENSO. Geophys Res Lett 28:4499–4502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boer GJ, Lambert SJ (2008) Multi-model decadal potential predictability of precipitation and temperature. Geophys Res Lett 35:L05706. doi: 10.1029/2008GL033234 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen W, Dong B, Lu R (2010) Impact of the Atlantic Ocean on the multidecadal fluctuation of El Nino-Southern Oscillation-South Asian monsoon relationship in a coupled general circulation model. J Geophys Res 115:D17109. doi: 10.1029/2009JD013596 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cook ER, Anchukaitis KJ, Buckley BM, D’Arrigo RD, Jacoby GC, Wright WE (2010) Asian monsoon failure and megadrought during the last millennium. Science 328:486–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dash SK, Singh GP, Shekhar MS, Vernekar AD (2005) Response of the Indian summer monsoon circulation and rainfall to seasonal snow depth anomaly over Eurasia. Clim Dyn 24:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Deardorff JW (1977) A parameterization of ground-surface moisture content for use in atmospheric prediction models. J Appl Meteorol 16:1182–1185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fan F, Mann ME, Amman CM (2009) Understanding changes in the Asian summer monsoon over the past millennium: insights from a long-term coupled model simulation. J Clim 22:1736–1748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fasullo J (2004) A stratified diagnosis of the Indian monsoon-Eurasian snow cover relationship. J Clim 17:1110–1122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gadgil S, Joseph PV (2003) On breaks of the Indian monsoon. Proc Indian Acad Sci 112:529–558Google Scholar
  12. Gadgil S, Vinayachandran FrancisPA, Gadgil S (2004) Extremes of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall, ENSO and equatorial Indian Ocean oscillation. Geophys Res Lett 31:L12213. doi: 10.1029/2004GL019733 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gent PR, McWilliams JC (1990) Isopycnal mixing in ocean circulation models. J Phys Oceanogr 20:150–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gershunov A, Schneider N, Barnett T (2001) Low-frequency modulation of the ENSO-Indian monsoon rainfall relationship: signal or noise? J Clim 14:2486–2492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gordon HB, O’Farrell SP (1997) Transient climate change in the CSIRO coupled model with dynamic sea ice. Mon Weather Rev 125:875–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goswami BN, Krishnamurthy V, Annamalai H (1997) A broad scale circulation index for the interannual variability of the Indian summer monsoon. COLA Tech. Rep. 46, p 52. Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, CalvertonGoogle Scholar
  17. Goswami BN, Madhusoodanan MS, Neema CP, Sengupta D (2006) A physical mechanism for North Atlantic SST influence on the Indian summer monsson. Geophys Res Lett 33:L02706. doi: 10.1029/2005GL024803 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hermanson L, Sutton RT (2010) Case studies in interannual to decadal climate predictability. Clim Dyn 35:1169–1189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hunt BG (2004) The stationarity of global mean climate. Int J Climatol 24:795–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hunt BG (2006a) Climatological extremes of simulated annual mean rainfall. J Clim 19:5289–5304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hunt BG (2006b) The medieval warm period, the little ice age and simulated climatic variability. Clim Dyn 27:677–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hunt BG (2007) A climatology of heat waves from a multimillennial simulation. J Clim 20:3802–3821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hunt BG (2011a) The role of natural climatic variation in perturbing the observed global mean temperature trend. Clim Dyn 36:509–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hunt BG (2011b) Global characteristics of pluvial and dry multi-year episodes, with emphasis on megadroughts. Int J Climatol 31:1425–1439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hunt BG, Elliott TI (2003) Secular variability of ENSO events in a 1000-year climatic simulation. Clim Dyn 20:689–703Google Scholar
  26. Hunt BG, Elliott TI (2004) Interaction of climatic variability with climatic change. Atmos Ocean 42:145–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hunt BG, Elliott TI (2005) A simulation of the climatic conditions associated with the collapse of the Maya civilization. Clim Change 69:393–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hunt BG, Watterson IG (2010) The temporal and spatial characteristics of surrogate tropical cyclones from a multi-millennial simulation. Clim Dyn 34:699–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ju J, Slingo J (1995) The Asian summer monsoon and ENSO. Q J R Meteorol Soc 121:1133–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kim H-J, Wang B, Ding Q (2008) The global monsoon variability simulated by CMIP3 coupled climate models. J Clim 21:5271–5294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kripalani RH, Kulkarni A (1997) Climatic impact of El Nino/La Nina on the Indian monsoon: a new perspective. Weather 52:39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kripalani RH, Kulkarni A (1999) Climatology and variability of historical Soviet snow depth data: some new perspectives in snow—Indian monsoon teleconnections. Clim Dyn 15:475–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kripalani RH, Oh JH, Kulkarni A, Sabade SS, Chauhari HS (2007) South Asian summer monsoon precipitation variability: coupled climate model simulations and projections under IPCC AR4. Theor Appl Climatol 90:133–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Krishnamurthy V, Goswami BN (2000) Indian monsoon-ENSO relationship on interdecadal timescale. J Clim 13:579–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Krishnamurthy V, Kirtman BP (2009) Relation between Indian monsoon variability and SST. J Clim 22:4437–4458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Krishnan R, Sugi M (2003) Pacific decadal oscillation and variability of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Clim Dyn 21:233–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Krishnan R, Kumar V, Sugi M, Yoshimura J (2009) Internal feedbacks from monsoon-midlatitude interactions during droughts in the Indian summer monsoon. J Atmos Sci 66:553–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kucharski F et al (2009) The CLIVAR C20C project: skill of simulating Indian monsoon rainfall on interannual to decadal timescales: Does GHG forcing play a role? Clim Dyn 33:615–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kumar KK, Rajagopalan B, Cane MA (1999) On the weakening relationship between the Indian monsoon and ENSO. Science 284:2156–2159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kumar KK, Rajagopalan B, Hoering M, Batos G, Cane M (2006) Unravelling the mystery of Indian monsoon failure during El Nino. Science 314:115–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lin J-L et al (2008) Subseasonal variability associated with Asian summer monsoon simulated by 14 IPCC AR4 coupled GCMs. J Clim 21:4541–4567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Liu J, Wang B, Ding Q, Kuang X, Soon W, Zorita E (2009) Centennial variations of the global monsoon precipitation in the last millennium: results from ECHO-G model. J Clim 22:2356–2371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Liu J, Wang B, Wang H, Kuang X, Ti R (2011) Forced response of the East Asian summer rainfall over the past millennium: results from a coupled model simulation. Clim Dyn 36:323–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McGregor JL, Gordon HB, Watterson IG, Dix MR, Rotstayn LD (1993) The CSIRO 9-level atmospheric general circulation model. CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research Tech Paper 26, p 89Google Scholar
  45. Meehl GA, Arblaster JM (2002) The tropospheric biennial oscillation and Asian–Australian monsoon rainfall. J Clim 15:722–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Meehl GA, Hu A (2006) Megadroughts in the Indian monsoon region and southwest North America and a mechanism for associated multidecadal Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. J Clim 19:1605–1623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nigam S (1994) On the dynamical basis for the Asian summer monsoon rainfall—El Nino relationship. J Clim 7:1750–1771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Park H-S, Chiang JCH, Lintner BR, Zhang GJ (2010) The delayed effect of major El Nino events on Indian monsoon rainfall. J Clim 23:932–946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Parthasarathy B, Munot AA, Kothawale DR (1994) All-India monthly and seasonal rainfall series. Theor Appl Climatol 49:1871–1993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Peings Y, Douville H (2010) Influence of the Eurasian snow cover on the Indian summer monsoon variability in observed climatologies and CMIP3 simulations. Clim Dyn 34:643–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Peings Y, Douville H, Terray P (2009) Extended winter Pacific North America oscillation as a precursor of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Geophys Res Lett 36:L11710. doi: 10.1029/2009GL038453 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Prabhu A, Mahajan PN, Khaladkar RM, Chipade MD (2010) Role of Antarctic circumpolar wave in modulating the extremes of Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Geophys Res Lett 37:L14106. doi: 10.1029/2010GL043760 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Preethi B, Kripalani RH, Kumar KK (2010) Indian summer monsoon rainfall variability in global coupled ocean-atmosphere models. Clim Dyn 35:1521–1539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rajeevan M, Pai DS, Anil Kumar R, Lal B (2006) New statistical models for long-range forecasting of southwest rainfall over India. Clim Dyn 28:813–828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rajeevan M, Unnikrishnan CK, Preethi B (2011) Evaluation of the ENSEMBLES multi-model seasonal forecasts of Indian summer monsoon variability. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1061-X (published on line)
  56. Ramage CS (1983) Teleconnections and the siege of time. J Climatol 3:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108:4407. doi: 10.1029/2002JD002670 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Saha SK, Halder S, Kumar KK, Goswami BN (2011) Pre-onset land surface processes and internal interannual variabilities of the Indian summer monsoon. Clim Dyn 36:2077–2089CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Saji NH, Goswami BN, Vinayachandran PN, Yamagata T (1999) A dipole mode in the tropical Indian ocean. Nature 401:360–363Google Scholar
  60. Shukla J (2007) Monsoon mysteries. Science 318:204–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sinha A, Stott L, Berkelhammer M, Cheng H, Edwards RL, Buckley B, Aldenderfer M, Mudelsee M (2011) A global context for megadroughts in monsoon Asia during the past millennium. Quat Sci Rev 30:47–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Solomon A et al (2011) Distinguishing the roles of natural and anthropogenically forced decadal climate variability—implications for prediction. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 92:141–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Soman MK, Slingo J (1997) Sensitivity of the Asian summer monsoon to aspects of sea-surface-temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific ocean. Q J R Meteorol Soc (Part B) 123:309–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sontakke NA, Pant GB, Singh N (1993) Construction of All-India summer monsoon rainfall series for the period 1844–1991. J Clim 6:1807–1811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sontakke NA, Singh N, Singh HN (2008) Instrumental period rainfall time series of the Indian region (1813–2005): revised reconstruction, update and analysis. Holocene 18:1055–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wang B, Ding Q, Joseph PV (2009) Objective definition of the Indian summer monsoon onset. J Clim 22:3303–3316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Webster PJ, Yang S (1992) Monsoon and ENSO: selectively interactive systems. Q J R Meteorolol Soc 188:877–926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Webster PJ, Magana VO, Palmer TN, Shukla J, Tomas RA, Yanai M, Yasunari T (1998) Monsoons: processes, predictability, and the prospects for prediction. J Geophys Res 103(C7):14451–14510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Xie PP, Arkin PA (1997) Global precipitation: a 17-year monthly analysis based on gauge observations, satellite estimates, and numerical model outputs. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 78:2539–2558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Yadav RK, Kumar KR, Rajeevan M (2009) Increasing influence of ENSO and decreasing influence of AO/NAO in the recent decades over northwest India winter precipitation. J Geophys Res 114:D12112. doi: 10.1029/2008JD011318 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yang J, Liu Q, Xie S-P, Xie S-P, Liu Z, Wu L (2007) Impact of the Indian Ocean SST basin mode on the Asian summer monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 34:L02708. doi: 10.1029/2006GL028571 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yang J, Liu Q, Liu Z (2010) Linking observations of the Asian monsoon to the Indian ocean SST: possible roles of Indian Ocean basin mode and dipole mode. J Clim 23:5889–5902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhou T, Wu B, Wang B (2009a) How well do atmospheric general circulation models capture the leading modes of the interannual variability of the Asian–Australian monsoon? J Clim 22:1159–1173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhou T et al (2009b) The CLIVAR C20C project: which components of the Asian–Australian monsoon circulation variations are forced and reproducible? Clim Dyn 33:1051–1068CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric ResearchAspendaleAustralia

Personalised recommendations