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Publication Date
25 September 2012

Fast and Slow Responses of the South Asian Monsoon System to Anthropogenic Aerosols



Using a global climate model with fully predictive aerosol life cycle, we investigate the fast and slow responses of the South Asian monsoon system to anthropogenic aerosol forcing. Our results show that the feedbacks associated with sea surface temperature (SST) change caused by aerosols play a more important role than the aerosol's direct impact on radiation, clouds and land surface (rapid adjustments) in shaping the total equilibrium climate response of the monsoon system to aerosol forcing. Inhomogeneous SST cooling caused by anthropogenic aerosols eventually reduces the meridional tropospheric temperature gradient and the easterly shear of zonal winds over the region, slowing down the local Hadley cell circulation, decreasing the northward moisture transport, and causing a reduction in precipitation over South Asia. Although total responses in precipitation are closer to the slow responses in general, the fast component dominates over land areas north of 25°N. Our results also show an east-west asymmetry in the fast responses to anthropogenic aerosols causing increases in precipitation west of 80°E but decreases east of it.

“Fast And Slow Responses Of The South Asian Monsoon System To Anthropogenic Aerosols”. 2012. Geophysical Research Letter 39. doi:10.1029/2012GL053043.
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