Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Research article
25 Feb 2013
Research article |  | 25 Feb 2013

The East Asian Summer Monsoon at mid-Holocene: results from PMIP3 simulations

W. Zheng, B. Wu, J. He, and Y. Yu

Abstract. Ten Coupled General Circulation Models (CGCMs) participated in the third phase of Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP3) are assessed for the East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) in both the pre-Industrial (PI, 0 ka) and mid-Holocene (MH, 6 ka) simulations. Results show that the PMIP3 model median captures well the large-scale characteristics of the EASM, including the two distinct features of the Meiyu rainbelt and the stepwise meridional displacement of the monsoonal rainbelt. At mid-Holocene, the PMIP3 model median shows significant warming (cooling) during boreal summer (winter) over Eurasia continent that are dominated by the changes of insolation. However, the PMIP3 models fail to simulate a warmer annual mean and winter surface air temperature (TAS) over eastern China as derived from proxy records. The EASM at MH are featured by the changes of large-scale circulation over Eastern China while the changes of precipitation are not significant over its sub-domains of the Southern China and the lower reaches of Yangzi River. The inter-model differences for the monsoon precipitation can be associated with different configurations of the changes in large-scale circulation and the water vapour content, of which the former determines the sign of precipitation changes. The large model spread for the TAS over Tibetan Plateau has a positive relationship with the precipitation in the lower reaches of Yangzi River, yet this relationship does not apply to those PMIP3 models in which the monsoonal precipitation is more sensitive to the changes of large-scale circulation. Except that the PMIP3 model median captured the warming of annual mean TAS over Tibetan Plateau, no significant improvements can be concluded when compared with the PMIP2 models results.