Searching for a fingerprint of global warming in the Asian summer monsoon
Keywords:Monsoon, Climate change, Trends, Fingerprint, Multiple regression
This study investigates possible trends in several large scale indices that describe the Asian summer monsoon. Results from recent atmospheric general circulation experiments are used to provide clues as to how the monsoon might be changing due to the effects of global warming. Interestingly, this study has found that the large-scale wind shear monsoon indices have been decreasing at a rate of 0.1-0.3% per year (based on NCEP/CAR reanalysis 1958-98) in quantitative agreement with recent results from doubled CO2 simulations made using several state-of-the-art climate models. Nevertheless, despite the weakening of the monsoon circulation, all-India rainfall shows no clear trend in either the model results or in the observation reanalysis from 1958-98. Multiple regression is used to separate out the "dynamical" contribution from the observed all-India rainfall index, and a clear increasing trend then emerges in the "non-dynamical" residual. A simple dimensionless Multivariate Monsoon Index (MMI) is proposed that could be of use in monitoring global warming changes in the monsoon.
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