Subseasonal variability associated with Asian summer monsoon simulated by 14 IPCC AR4 coupled GCMs

Jia Lin Lin, Klaus M. Weickman, George N. Kiladis, Brian E. Mapes, Siegfried D. Schubert, Max J. Suarez, Julio T. Bacmeister, Myong In Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the subseasonal variability associated with the Asian summer monsoon in 14 coupled general circulation models (GCMs) participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Eight years of each model's twentieth-century climate simulation are analyzed. The authors focus on the three major components of Asian summer monsoon: the Indian summer monsoon (ISM), the western North Pacific summer monsoon (WNPSM), and the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), together with the two dominant subseasonal modes: the eastward- and northward-propagating boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSIO) and the westward-propagating 12-24-day mode. The results show that current state-of-the-art GCMs still have difficulties and display a wide range of skill in simulating the subseasonal variability associated with Asian summer monsoon. During boreal summer (May-October), most of the models produce reasonable seasonal-mean precipitation over the ISM region, but excessive precipitation over the WNPSM region and insufficient precipitation over the EASM region. In other words, models concentrate their rain too close to the equator in the western Pacific. Most of the models simulate overly weak total subseasonal (2-128 day) variance, as well as too little variance for BSIO and the 12-24-day mode. Only 4-5 models produce spectral peaks in the BSIO and 12-24-day frequency bands; instead, most of the models display too red a spectrum, that is, an overly strong persistence of precipitation. For the seven models with three-dimensional data available, five reproduce the preconditioning of moisture in BSIO but often with a too late starting time, and only three simulate the phase lead of low-level convergence. Interestingly, although models often have difficulty in simulating the eastward propagation of BSIO, they tend to simulate well the northward propagation of BSIO, together with the westward propagation of the 12-24-day mode. The northward propagation in these models is thus not simply a NW-SE-tilted tail protruding off of an eastward-moving deep-tropical intraseasonal oscillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4541-4567
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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