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CMIP5 Simulations of 1850-2005 South Asian Summer Monsoons

Paper Reviewed
Prasanna, V. 2016. Assessment of South Asian Summer Monsoon Simulation in CMIP5-Coupled Climate Models During the Historical Period (1850-2005). Pure and Applied Geophysics 173:1379-1402.

This intriguing paper, in the words of Prasanna (2016), "evaluates the performance of 29 state-of-the-art CMIP5-coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) in their representation of regional characteristics of monsoon simulation over South Asia." And what was the result of this exercise?

The South Korean scientist reports discovering that (1) "the coupled model simulations over South Asia exhibit large uncertainties from one model to the other," specifically mentioning the large systematic biases that have been found to occur in coupled simulations of (2) summer precipitation, (3) evaporation and (4) sea surface temperature in the Indian Ocean, the values of which "often exceeded 50% of the climatological values."

"Mostly," as Prasanna continues, "the systematic bias in the models may arise from the different components of the model (such as, from [5] the poor representation of ocean processes in the ocean model or from [6] the ocean-atmosphere interface (insufficient coupling frequency) and might arise due to [7] poor representation of land processes in the land model."

In light of these several findings, therefore, Prasanna concludes that for "reliable future climate change projections, the climate models need to be improved in the representation of the above salient features over the South Asian summer monsoon region."

Posted 2 August 2015