Effects of Cumulus Convection on the Simulated Monsoon Circulation in a General Circulation Model

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  • 1 California Space Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California
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Abstract

The effect of cumulus convection on the Asian summer monsoon circulation is investigated, using a general circulation model. Two simulations for the summer months (June, July, and August) are performed, one parameterizing convection using a mass flux scheme and the other without convective parameterization. Thee results show that convection has significant effects on the monsoon circulation and its associated precipitation. In the simulation with the mass flux convective parameterization, precipitation in the western Pacific is decreased, together with a decrease in surface evaporation and wind speed. In the Indian monsoon region it is almost the opposite. Comparison with a simulation using moist convective adjustment to parameterize convection shows that the monsoon circulation and precipitation distribution in the no-convection simulation are very similar to those in the simulation with moist convective adjustment.

The difference in the large-scale circulation with and without convective parameterization is interpreted in terms of convective stabilization of the atmosphere by convection, using dry and moist static energy budgets. It is shown that weakening of the low-level convergence in the western Pacific in the simulation with convection is closely associated with the stabilization of the atmosphere by convection, mostly through drying of the lower troposphere; changes in low-level convergence lead to changes in precipitation. The precipitation increase in the Indian monsoon region can be explained similarly.

Abstract

The effect of cumulus convection on the Asian summer monsoon circulation is investigated, using a general circulation model. Two simulations for the summer months (June, July, and August) are performed, one parameterizing convection using a mass flux scheme and the other without convective parameterization. Thee results show that convection has significant effects on the monsoon circulation and its associated precipitation. In the simulation with the mass flux convective parameterization, precipitation in the western Pacific is decreased, together with a decrease in surface evaporation and wind speed. In the Indian monsoon region it is almost the opposite. Comparison with a simulation using moist convective adjustment to parameterize convection shows that the monsoon circulation and precipitation distribution in the no-convection simulation are very similar to those in the simulation with moist convective adjustment.

The difference in the large-scale circulation with and without convective parameterization is interpreted in terms of convective stabilization of the atmosphere by convection, using dry and moist static energy budgets. It is shown that weakening of the low-level convergence in the western Pacific in the simulation with convection is closely associated with the stabilization of the atmosphere by convection, mostly through drying of the lower troposphere; changes in low-level convergence lead to changes in precipitation. The precipitation increase in the Indian monsoon region can be explained similarly.

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