Long-term trends in atmospheric rivers over East Asia

Article


Liang, Ju, Yong, Yangyang and Hawcroft, Matthew K.. 2023. "Long-term trends in atmospheric rivers over East Asia." Climate Dynamics. 60 (3-4), pp. 643-666. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-022-06339-5
Article Title

Long-term trends in atmospheric rivers over East Asia

ERA Journal ID1962
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsLiang, Ju, Yong, Yangyang and Hawcroft, Matthew K.
Journal TitleClimate Dynamics
Journal Citation60 (3-4), pp. 643-666
Number of Pages24
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationGermany
ISSN0930-7575
1432-0894
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-022-06339-5
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-022-06339-5
AbstractAtmospheric rivers (ARs) play an important role in the climate of East Asia due to their close linkage to precipitation extremes. In this study, long-term trends in ARs over East Asia for the period 1951–2015 are investigated using long-term records of historical climate, including the ERA5 climate reanalysis and the APHRODITE precipitation dataset. These datasets are produced at a relatively high spatial resolution of 0.25° × 0.25°, which allows for evaluation of the long-term trends in the fine-scale characteristics of ARs. The results indicate a significant decreasing trend in ARs and the associated precipitation over the north of East Asia. These dynamical changes dominate the decreasing trend of total summer precipitation amounts in parts of northern China. The decreasing trend in ARs over the north is principally related to the intensification and southward displacement of the southwesterly monsoon flow in boreal summer. In contrast, increasing AR activity and the associated precipitation and heavy rain events over the south of East Asia are observed. These changes are associated with a warmer and more humid environment along AR axes, as well as the southward shift of ARs driven by the dynamical responses of the large-scale environments in the context of climate warming. These responses include the intensification of the upper-level westerly jet accompanied with the strengthening of the South Asian Anticyclone during summer season. Moreover, in contrast to the general decreasing trends in boreal summer, AR activity during boreal winter-spring exhibits significant increasing trends, implying a potential weakening of the seasonality of ARs. This study shows that ARs are important synoptic mechanisms within observed precipitation trends over East Asia, such that understanding their response to a warming climate is a prerequisite to characterizing the nature of future precipitation changes in this region.
KeywordsAtmospheric rivers; East Asia ; Precipitation
ANZSRC Field of Research 20204101. Climate change impacts and adaptation
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Exeter, United Kingdom
Guangxi University, China
University of Southern Queensland
Met Office, United Kingdom
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