Mechanism of ENSO influence on the South Asian monsoon rainfall in global model simulations

Abstract

Coupled ocean atmosphere global climate models are increasingly being used for seasonal scale simulation of the South Asian monsoon. In these models, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) evolve as coupled air-sea interaction process. However, sensitivity experiments with various SST forcing can only be done in an atmosphere-only model. In this study, the Global Forecast System (GFS) model at T126 horizontal resolution has been used to examine the mechanism of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forcing on the monsoon circulation and rainfall. The model has been integrated (ensemble) with observed, climatological and ENSO SST forcing to document the mechanism on how the South Asian monsoon responds to basin-wide SST variations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The model simulations indicate that the internal variability gets modulated by the SSTs with warming in the Pacific enhancing the ensemble spread over the monsoon region as compared to cooling conditions. Anomalous easterly wind anomalies cover the Indian region both at 850 and 200 hPa levels during El Niño years. The locations and intensity of Walker and Hadley circulations are altered due to ENSO SST forcing. These lead to reduction of monsoon rainfall over most parts of India during El Niño events compared to La Niña conditions. However, internally generated variability is a major source of uncertainty in the model-simulated climate.

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Acknowledgements

This work was carried out as a part of the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate project of the Ministry of Earth Sciences at NCMRWF.

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Correspondence to Sarat C. Kar.

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Joshi, S., Kar, S.C. Mechanism of ENSO influence on the South Asian monsoon rainfall in global model simulations. Theor Appl Climatol 131, 1449–1464 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2045-5

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