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Weilin Chen
,
Zhihong Jiang
, and
Laurent Li

Abstract

Probabilistic projection of climate change consists of formulating the climate change information in a probabilistic manner at either global or regional scale. This can produce useful results for studies of the impact of climate change impact and change mitigation. In the present study, a simple yet effective approach is proposed with the purpose of producing probabilistic results of climate change over China for the middle and end of the twenty-first century under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A1B (SRES A1B) emission scenario. Data from 28 coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) are used. The methodology consists of ranking the 28 models, based on their ability to simulate climate over China in terms of two model evaluation metrics. Different weights were then given to the models according to their performances in present-day climate. Results of the evaluation for the current climate show that five models that have relatively higher resolutions—namely, the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia ECHAM4 (INGV ECHAM4), the third climate configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (UKMO HadCM3), the CSIRO Mark version 3.5 (Mk3.5), the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3), and the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate 3.2, high-resolution version [MIROC3.2 (hires)]—perform better than others over China. Their corresponding weights (normalized to 1) are 0.289, 0.096, 0.058, 0.048, and 0.044, respectively. Under the A1B scenario, surface air temperature is projected to increase significantly for both the middle and end of the twenty-first century, with larger magnitude over the north and in winter. There are also significant increases in rainfall in the twenty-first century under the A1B scenario, especially for the period 2070–99. As far as the interannual variability is concerned, the most striking feature is that there are high probabilities for the future intensification of interannual variability of precipitation over most of China in both winter and summer. For instance, over the Yangtze–Huai River basin (28°–35°N, 105°–120°E), there is a 60% probability of increased interannual standard deviation of precipitation by 20% in summer, which is much higher than that of the mean precipitation. In general there are small differences between weighted and unweighted projections, but the uncertainties in the projected changes are reduced to some extent after weighting.

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Wei Li
,
Zhihong Jiang
, and
Laurent Li

Abstract

CMIP6 simulations suggest that the probability of the compound hot and dry event occurring in summer 2022 in the Yangtze River basin in China is enhanced by anthropogenic effect by 7 times.

Open access
Tong Li
,
Xuebin Zhang
, and
Zhihong Jiang

Abstract

Weighting models according to their performance has been used to produce multimodel climate change projections. But the added value of model weighting for future projection is not always examined. Here we apply an imperfect model framework to evaluate the added value of model weighting in projecting summer temperature changes over China. Members of large-ensemble simulations by three climate models of different climate sensitivities are used as pseudo-observations for the past and the future. Performance of the models participating in the phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) are evaluated against the pseudo-observations based on simulated historical climatology and trends in global, regional, and local temperatures to determine the model weights for future projection. The weighted projections are then compared with the pseudo-observations in the future period. We find that regional trend as a metric of model performance yields generally better skill for future projection, while past climatology as performance metric does not lead to a significant improvement to projection. Trend at the grid-box scale is also not a good performance indicator as small-scale trend is highly uncertain. For the model weighting to be effective, the metric for evaluating the model’s performance must be relatable to future changes, with the response signal separable from internal variability. Projected summer warming based on model weighting is similar to that of unweighted projection but the 5th–95th-percentile uncertainty range of the weighted projection is 38% smaller with the reduction mainly in the upper bound, with the largest reduction appearing in southeast China.

Open access
Zhiwei Wu
,
Jianping Li
,
Zhihong Jiang
, and
Tingting Ma

Abstract

The East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) may exhibit rather large variability between years characterized by the same ENSO phase. Such inconsistency reduces the EASM predictability based on ENSO. Results in this study show that the Tibetan Plateau snow cover (TPSC) exerts a modulating effect on ENSO teleconnections and ENSO significantly correlates with the EASM only during the reduced TPSC summers. Three-dimensional circulation structures are examined to manifest that the typical ENSO signals in reduced TPSC summers tend to be stronger than in excessive TPSC summers. Numerical and theoretical evidences indicate that the anomalously reduced TPSC can force positive geopotential height anomalies at the upper troposphere and weaken the jet streams across eastern Asia and northwestern Pacific. Governed by such basic state zonal flows, the extratropical Rossby wave response to the ENSO forcing usually has a larger amplitude and pronounced westward development. In such case, ENSO extends its influences to eastern Asia and enhances its connection with the EASM.

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Zhihong Jiang
,
Wei Li
,
Jianjun Xu
, and
Laurent Li

Abstract

Compared to precipitation extremes calculated from a high-resolution daily observational dataset in China during 1960–2005, simulations in 31 climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) have been quantitatively assessed using skill-score metrics. Four extreme precipitation indices, including the total precipitation (PRCPTOT), maximum consecutive dry days (CDD), precipitation intensity (SDII), and fraction of total rainfall from heavy events (R95T) are analyzed. Results show that CMIP5 models still have wet biases in western and northern China. Especially in western China, the models’ median relative error is about 120% for PRCPTOT; the 25th and 75th percentile errors are of 70% and 220%, respectively. However, there are dry biases in southeastern China, where the underestimation of PRCPTOT reach 200 mm. The performance of CMIP5 models is quite different between western and eastern China. The simulations are more reliable in the east than in the west in terms of spatial pattern and interannual variability. In the east, precipitation indices are more consistent with observations, and the spread among models is smaller. The multimodel ensemble constructed from a selection of the most skillful models shows improved behavior compared to the all-model ensemble. The wet bias in western and northern China and dry bias over southeastern China are all decreased. The median of errors for PRCPTOT has a decrease of 69% and 17% in the west and east, respectively. The good reproduction of the southwesterlies along the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula is revealed to be the main factor explaining the improvement of precipitation patterns and extreme events.

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Jianping Li
,
Zhiwei Wu
,
Zhihong Jiang
, and
Jinhai He

Abstract

The Indian summer monsoon (ISM) tends to be intensified in a global-warming scenario, with a weakened linkage with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but how the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) responds is still an open question. This study investigates the responses of the EASM from observations, theoretical, and modeling perspectives. Observational and theoretical evidence demonstrates that, in contrast to the dramatic global-warming trend within the past 50 years, the regional-mean EASM rainfall is basically dominated by considerable interannual-to-decadal fluctuations, concurrent with enhanced precipitation over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and over southern Japan and suppressed rainfall amount over the South China and Philippine Seas. From 1958 through 2008, the EASM circulation exhibits a southward shift in its major components (the subtropical westerly jet stream, the western Pacific Ocean subtropical high, the subtropical mei-yu–baiu–changma front, and the tropical monsoon trough). Such a southward shift is very likely or in part due to the meridional asymmetric warming with the most prominent surface warming in the midhigh latitudes (45°–60°N), which induces a weakened meridional thermal contrast over eastern Asia. Another notable feature is the enhanced ENSO–EASM relationship within the past 50 years, which is opposite to the ISM. Fourteen state-of-the-art coupled models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that the EASM strength does not respond with any pronounced trend to the global-warming “A1B” forcing scenario (with an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 720 ppm) but shows interannual-to-decadal variations in the twenty-first century (2000–99). These results indicate that the primary response of the EASM to a warming climate may be a position change instead of an intensity change, and such position change may lead to spatial coexistence of floods and droughts over eastern Asia as has been observed in the past 50 years.

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Yi Shi
,
Zhihong Jiang
,
Zhengyu Liu
, and
Laurent Li

Abstract

The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) platform is used to simulate Lagrangian trajectories of air parcels in East China during the summer monsoon. The investigation includes four distinct stages of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) during its seasonal migration from south to north. Correspondingly, the main water vapor channel migrates from the west Pacific Ocean (PO) for the premonsoon in South China (SC) to the Indian Ocean (IO) for the monsoon in SC and in the Yangtze–Huaihe River basin, and finally back to the PO for the terminal stage of monsoon in North China. Further calculations permit us to determine water vapor source regions and water vapor contribution to precipitation in East China. To a large extent, moisture leading to precipitation does not come from the strongest water vapor pathways. For example, the proportions of trajectories from the IO are larger than 25% all of the time, but moisture contributions to actual precipitation are smaller than 10%. This can be explained by the large amount of water vapor lost in the pathways across moisture-losing areas such as the Indian and Indochina Peninsulas. Local water vapor recycling inside East China (EC) contributes significantly to regional precipitation, with contributions mostly over 30%, although the trajectory proportions from subregions in EC are all under 10%. This contribution rate can even exceed 55% for the terminal stage of the monsoon in North China. Such a result provides important guidance to understand the role of land surface conditions in modulating rainfall in North China.

Free access
Wei Li
,
Zhihong Jiang
,
Jianjun Xu
, and
Laurent Li

Abstract

The present article is the second part of a study on the extreme precipitation indices over China in CMIP5 models that perform a probabilistic projection of future precipitation indices with reference to the period 1986–2005. This is realized with a rank-based weighting method. The ranking of the 25 models is done according to their performance in simulating rainfall indices in present-day climate. Such weights are used to form a weighted ensemble for future climate projection. Results show that, compared to the unweighted raw ensemble, the projection with the weighted scheme is more credible, as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of indices is larger from the weighted ensemble. From the beginning of the mid-twenty-first century, changes of wet indices with probability >0.5 increase significantly, especially over western China and the Yellow–Huai River basin, where the changes of all wet indices are in excess of 10%, the increase of total precipitation (PRCPTOT) can reach up to 20% over western China at the end of twenty-first century, and the SNR of PRCPTOT and precipitation intensity (SDII) is the highest at those two regions. This indicates that the precipitation in those regions has a high reliability to become more extreme. The maximum consecutive dry days (CDD) decreases throughout the north of 30°N, which shows that drought conditions in northern China would be reduced, and they are more likely to increase in southern China. However, the SNR for projection of CDD is less than 1.0 almost everywhere. Such a situation seems related to a strengthening of the East Asian summer monsoon and the associated northward shift of the monsoon front.

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Zhihong Jiang
,
George Tai-Jen Chen
, and
Ming-Chin Wu

Abstract

Daily rainfall data at 15 stations in Taiwan and the grid dataset of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research during the period of February–March 1951–2000 were used to reveal the characteristics of large-scale circulations associated with spring heavy rain events over Taiwan in strong ENSO and non-ENSO years. The effect of interdecadal variation on the relationship of spring rainfall and ENSO was also examined.

Results showed that the different regimes of interdecadal variation that occurred in the late 1970s exert significant effect on the relationship between ENSO and spring rainfall in Taiwan. A pronounced positive correlation with statistical significance between cold season Niño-3 SST and the following spring rainfall over western Taiwan was only found since the late 1970s. Large-scale environmental conditions associated with the heavy spring rain events in strong ENSO and non-ENSO years were found to be quite different. Intrusion of a weak midlatitude frontal system into the eastern China coastal area coupled with an anomalous anticyclone over the Philippine Sea (PSAC) in the lower troposphere were primarily responsible for the spring heavy rain events in strong ENSO years. On the other hand, the intrusion of a much more intense midlatitude frontal system into China and the coastal area was necessary to generate spring heavy rain events in non-ENSO years. This difference is also instrumental for more frequent occurrence of heavy rainfall events and more rainfall amount observed in ENSO years.

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George Tai-Jen Chen
,
Zhihong Jiang
, and
Ming-Chin Wu

Abstract

Daily rainfall data at 15 stations of the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and the gridded dataset of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis during the period of February–April 1951–2000 were used to reveal the characteristics of temporal and spatial variations of spring rainfall over Taiwan in relation to the sea surface temperature (SST) over the Niño-3 (5°S–5°N, 90°–150°W) area. Extremely heavy rain events during a warm episode were selected to study the characteristics of the associated large-scale circulations.

Results showed that the spring rainfall in Taiwan was positively correlated to the Niño-3 SST not only for the overall rainfall events but also for the heavy rain events. Extremely heavy rain events occurred significantly more frequently during warm episodes as compared to those occurring during cold and normal episodes. A varimax-rotated empirical orthogonal function (REOF) analysis revealed the existence of two spatial modes, with one over northern Taiwan and the other over southern Taiwan. It was found that the intrusion of the midlatitude frontal system into the eastern China coastal area coupled with the mean state of the Pacific–East Asian teleconnection pattern was primarily responsible for the extremely heavy rain events during springtime warm episodes.

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