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Atmosphere 2018, 9(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9030103

Remarkable Impacts of Indian Ocean Sea Surface Temperature on Interdecadal Variability of Summer Rainfall in Southwestern China

1
Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Laboratory for Climate Studies & CMA-NJU Joint Laboratory for Climate Prediction Studies, National Climate Center, CMA, Beijing 100081, China
4
Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geoscience, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Abstract

During the boreal summer from June to August, rainfall in Southwestern China shows substantial interdecadal variabilities on timescales longer than 10 years. Based on observational analyses and numerical modeling, we investigated the characteristics of interdecadal Southwestern China summer rainfall (SWCSR) and its dynamic drivers. We find that the SWCSR is markedly impacted by the interdecadal Indian Ocean basin mode (ID-IOBM) of the sea surface temperature (SST), which may induce anomalous inter-hemispheric vertical circulation. During the cold phase of the ID-IOBM, an enhanced lower-level divergence and upper-level convergence exist over the tropical Indian Ocean. The simultaneous lower-level outflow anomalies further converge over the Indo-China peninsula, resulting in an anomalous ascending motion and a lower-level cyclone that contribute to strengthening the eastward moisture transport from the Bay of Bengal to Southwestern China. The joint effects of the anomalous ascending motion and the above-normal moisture transport play a key role in increasing the SWCSR. In summers during the warm phase of the ID-IOBM, the situation is approximately the same, but with opposite polarity. After the beginning of the 1970s, the impacts of interdecadal Indian Ocean dipole (ID-IOD) on SWCSR is strengthening. The anomalous vertical circulation associated with the positive (negative) phase of ID-IOD is in favor of decreased (increased) rainfall in SWC. However, the impacts of ID-IOD on SWCSR is relatively weak before the 1970s, indicating that the ID-IOD is the secondary driver of the interdecadal variability of SWCSR. Modeling results also indicate that the ID-IOBM of SST anomalies is the main driver of interdecadal variability of SWCSR. View Full-Text
Keywords: Southwestern China; summer rainfall; Indian Ocean; sea surface temperature; interdecadal variability Southwestern China; summer rainfall; Indian Ocean; sea surface temperature; interdecadal variability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Liu, J.; Ren, H.-L.; Li, W.; Zuo, J. Remarkable Impacts of Indian Ocean Sea Surface Temperature on Interdecadal Variability of Summer Rainfall in Southwestern China. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 103.

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