Thermodynamic and dynamic contributions to future changes in summer precipitation over Northeast Asia and Korea: a multi-RCM study
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This study examines future changes in precipitation over Northeast Asia and Korea using five regional climate model (RCM) simulations driven by single global climate model (GCM) under two representative concentration pathway (RCP) emission scenarios. Focusing on summer season (June–July–August) when heavy rains dominate in this region, future changes in precipitation and associated variables including temperature, moisture, and winds are analyzed by comparing future conditions (2071–2100) with a present climate (1981–2005). Physical mechanisms are examined by analyzing moisture flux convergence at 850 hPa level, which is found to have a close relationship to precipitation and by assessing contribution of thermodynamic effect (TH, moisture increase due to warming) and dynamic effect (DY, atmospheric circulation change) to changes in the moisture flux convergence. Overall background warming and moistening are projected over the Northeast Asia with a good inter-RCM agreement, indicating dominant influence of the driving GCM. Also, RCMs consistently project increases in the frequency of heavy rains and the intensification of extreme precipitation over South Korea. Analysis of moisture flux convergence reveals competing impacts between TH and DY. The TH effect contributes to the overall increases in mean precipitation over Northeast Asia and in extreme precipitation over South Korea, irrespective of models and scenarios. However, DY effect is found to induce local-scale precipitation decreases over the central part of the Korean Peninsula with large inter-RCM and inter-scenario differences. Composite analysis of daily anomaly synoptic patterns indicates that extreme precipitation events are mainly associated with the southwest to northeast evolution of large-scale low-pressure system in both present and future climates.
KeywordsRegional climate models Precipitation Northeast Asia Korea RCP scenarios Moisture flux convergence
Authors thank Jong-Seong Kug and two anonymous reviewers for their clarifying and constructive comments. This work was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMIPA 2015–2082. The computational resource and corresponding technical solutions were supported by Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (Project No. KSC-2014-G3-006). Ji-Woo Lee is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science/Office of Biological and Environmental Research under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
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