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Effects of Arctic geoengineering on precipitation in the tropical monsoon regions

Nalam, Aditya and Bala, Govindasamy and Modak, Angshuman (2018) Effects of Arctic geoengineering on precipitation in the tropical monsoon regions. In: CLIMATE DYNAMICS, 50 (9-10). pp. 3375-3395.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-3810-y

Abstract

Arctic geoengineering wherein sunlight absorption is reduced only in the Arctic has been suggested as a remedial measure to counteract the on-going rapid climate change in the Arctic. Several modeling studies have shown that Arctic geoengineering can minimize Arctic warming but will shift the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) southward, unless offset by comparable geoengineering in the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, we investigate and quantify the implications of this ITCZ shift due to Arctic geoengineering for the global monsoon regions using the Community Atmosphere Model version 4 coupled to a slab ocean model. A doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels leads to a warming of similar to 6 K in the Arctic region and precipitation in the monsoon regions increases by up to similar to 15%. In our Arctic geoengineering simulation which illustrates a plausible latitudinal distribution of the reduction in sunlight, an addition of sulfate aerosols (11 Mt) in the Arctic stratosphere nearly offsets the Arctic warming due to CO2 doubling but this shifts the ITCZ southward by similar to 1.5A degrees relative to the pre-industrial climate. The combined effect from this shift and the residual CO2-induced climate change in the tropics is a decrease/increase in annual mean precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere/Southern Hemisphere monsoon regions by up to -12/+17%. Polar geoengineering where sulfate aerosols are prescribed in both the Arctic (10 Mt) and Antarctic (8 Mt) nearly offsets the ITCZ shift due to Arctic geoengineering, but there is still a residual precipitation increase (up to 7%) in most monsoon regions associated with the residual CO2 induced warming in the tropics. The ITCZ shift due to our Global geoengineering simulation, where aerosols (20 Mt) are prescribed uniformly around the globe, is much smaller and the precipitation changes in most monsoon regions are within +/- 2% as the residual CO2-induced warming in the tropics is also much less than in Arctic and Polar geoengineering. Further, global geoengineering nearly offsets the Arctic warming. Based on our results we infer that Arctic geoengineering leads to ITCZ shift and leaves residual CO2 induced warming in the tropics resulting in substantial precipitation decreases (increases) in the Northern (Southern) hemisphere monsoon regions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belong to SPRINGER, 233 SPRING ST, NEW YORK, NY 10013 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 18:49
Last Modified: 04 May 2018 18:49
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/59693

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