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Ka-Ming Lau
and
Mai-Tsun Li

Observations concerning the summer and winter monsoons of East Asia and their global associations are reviewed. The seasonal mean structure, transient variation, including intraseasonal to interannual, and synoptic to planetary scale fluctuations are discussed separately for the two monsoon components. Similarities and differences between the East Asian monsoon and that of India are also surveyed. We also present a description of the current status of monsoon related observational and theoretical research and highlight important scientific problems. The importance of understanding the long-term anomalies of the monsoon is stressed, and an attempt is made to put the East Asian monsoon in a global perspective with a view towards identifying with the problems of long-range weather forecasting or short-term climate prediction, in general. Finally, some future directions of research are suggested.

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