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Title: Drying of Indian subcontinent by rapid Indian Ocean warming and a weakening land-sea thermal gradient
Authors: Roxy, Mathew Koll
Ritika, Kapoor
Terray, Pascal
Murtugudde, Raghu
Ashok, Karumuri
Dept. of Earth and Climate Science
Keywords: Black Carbon Aerosols
Summer Monsoon
Asian Monsoon
Issue Date: Jun-2015
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: Nature Communications, 6.
Abstract: There are large uncertainties looming over the status and fate of the South Asian summer monsoon, with several studies debating whether the monsoon is weakening or strengthening in a changing climate. Our analysis using multiple observed datasets demonstrates a significant weakening trend in summer rainfall during 1901–2012 over the central-east and northern regions of India, along the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins and the Himalayan foothills, where agriculture is still largely rain-fed. Earlier studies have suggested an increase in moisture availability and land-sea thermal gradient in the tropics due to anthropogenic warming, favouring an increase in tropical rainfall. Here we show that the land-sea thermal gradient over South Asia has been decreasing, due to rapid warming in the Indian Ocean and a relatively subdued warming over the subcontinent. Using long-term observations and coupled model experiments, we provide compelling evidence that the enhanced Indian Ocean warming potentially weakens the land-sea thermal contrast, dampens the summer monsoon Hadley circulation, and thereby reduces the rainfall over parts of South Asia.
ISSN: 2041-1723
Appears in Collections:JOURNAL ARTICLES

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