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Yu Zhigang
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Wu Dexing

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Dong Shuanglin

Zhang Jing
Deputy Secretary of CPC OUC Committee

Li Weiran

Yan Ju

Li Huajun
Prof. Xie’s Paper in NAT GEOSCI
Author: Source: Update:2013-04-29 Hits:

    In a paper published online on April 14, 2013, in Nature Geoscience, Professor Xie Shangping from Ocean University of China (OUC) and his colleagues report tropical convection is an important factor in regional climate variability and change around the globe. The response of regional precipitation to global warming is spatially variable, and state-of-the-art model projections suffer large uncertainties in the geographic distribution of precipitation changes. 【Click here to see the Chinese version

    In the research paper titled “Patterns of the seasonal response of tropical rainfall to global warming”, Prof. Huang Ping, the first author, and Prof. Xie, the co-author, point out that two views exist regarding tropical rainfall change: one predicts increased rainfall in presently rainy regions (wet-get-wetter), and the other suggests increased rainfall where the rise in sea surface temperature exceeds the mean surface warming in the tropics (warmer-get-wetter).

    Prof. Xie and his fellow scientists analyzed simulations with 18 models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), and present a unifying view for seasonal rainfall change. We found that the pattern of ocean warming induces ascending atmospheric flow at the Equator and subsidence on the flanks, anchoring a band of annual mean rainfall increase near the Equator that reflects the warmer-get-wetter view.

    The scientists propose that this climatological ascending motion marches back and forth across the Equator with the Sun, pumping moisture upwards from the boundary layer and causing seasonal rainfall anomalies to follow a wet-get-wetter pattern. The seasonal mean rainfall, which is the sum of the annual mean and seasonal anomalies, thus combines the wet-get-wetter and warmer-get-wetter trends. 

    As the authors explain, given that precipitation climatology is well observed whereas the pattern of ocean surface warming is poorly constrained, their research findings suggest that projections of tropical seasonal mean rainfall are more reliable than the annual mean.

    Dr. Huang Ping, who is also the corresponding author, is a senior research fellow with the Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hu Kaiming, Dr. Huang Gang and Dr. Huang Ronghui are also in the list of the authors.

    In November 2012, Prof. Xie, as a lead scientist of OUC, co-authored a research paper titled “Slowdown of the Walker circulation driven by tropical Indo-Pacific warming” published in Nature.

Translated by William ZOU

Edited by Lianju LI


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