The annual cycle of Indian monsoon rainfall plays a critical role in the agricultural as well as the industrial sector. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the behaviour of the monsoon annual cycle in a warming climate. There are several studies on the variability and uncertainty of the Indian monsoon. This study, examines the impact of climate change on the annual cycle of monsoon rainfall in India from 1871–2100 by applying 20 model simulations designed by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) coupled with the model inter-comparison Project 5 (CMIP5). It is found that the models MPI-ESM-LR, INM-CM4 and MRI-CGCM3 best capture the spatial patterns of the monsoon rainfall peak month (MRPM) of the winter monsoon compared to observations, whereas HadGEM2-AO and MIROC-ESM-CHEM best capture the MRPM of the summer monsoon. The MIROC, MIROC-ESM, and MIROC-ESM-CHEM models best capture the average rainfall intensity as well as the MRPM of all-India rainfall. This paper examines the future spatial distribution of the MRPM for meteorological sub-divisions of India, that can have crucial implications for water resources and management. Although the future projections as per the CMIP5 models indicate no changes in the MRPM of the all-India rainfall, a reduction in average intensity can be expected. The projections indicate a shift in the MRPM in some meteorological sub-divisions, particularly with regard to the summer monsoon but no significant change has been projected for the winter monsoon. For example, the summer monsoon MRPM is projected to move from July to August in northern and central India.
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