Asymmetrical response of summer rainfall in East Asia to CO2 forcing

Se Yong Song, Sang Wook Yeh, Soon Il An, Jong Seong Kug, Seung Ki Min, Seok Woo Son, Jongsoo Shin

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the regional hydrological response to varying CO2 concentration is critical for cost-benefit analysis of mitigation and adaptation polices in the near future. To characterize summer monsoon rainfall change in East Asia in a changing CO2 pathway, we used the Community Earth System Model (CESM) with 28 ensemble members in which the CO2 concentration increases at a rate of 1% per year until its quadrupling peak, i.e., 1468 ppm (ramp-up period), followed by a decrease of 1% per year until the present-day climate conditions, i.e., 367 ppm (ramp-down period). Although the CO2 concentration change is symmetric in time, the amount of summer rainfall anomaly in East Asia is increased 42% during a ramp-down period than that during a ramp-up period when the two periods of the same CO2 concentration are compared. This asymmetrical rainfall response is mainly due to an enhanced El Niño-like warming pattern as well as its associated increase in the sea surface temperature in the western North Pacific during a ramp-down period. These sea surface temperature patterns enhance the atmospheric teleconnections and the local meridional circulations around East Asia, resulting in more rainfall over East Asia during a ramp-down period. This result implies that the removal of CO2 does not guarantee the return of regional rainfall to the previous climate state with the same CO2 concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalScience Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 30

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