Observed and Projected Changes to the Precipitation Annual Cycle

TitleObserved and Projected Changes to the Precipitation Annual Cycle
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume30
Number13
Pages4983-4995
Date Published08/2017
Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to cause spatial and temporal shifts in precipitation patterns. These may be apparent in changes to the annual cycle of zonal mean precipitation P. Trends in the amplitude and phase of the P annual cycle in two long-term, global satellite datasets are broadly similar. Model-derived fingerprints of externally forced changes to the amplitude and phase of the P seasonal cycle, combined with these observations, enable a formal detection and attribution analysis. Observed amplitude changes are inconsistent with model estimates of internal variability but not attributable to the model-predicted response to external forcing. This mismatch between observed and predicted amplitude changes is consistent with the sustained La Niña–like conditions that characterize the recent slowdown in the rise of the global mean temperature. However, observed changes to the annual cycle phase do not seem to be driven by this recent hiatus. These changes are consistent with model estimates of forced changes, are inconsistent (in one observational dataset) with estimates of internal variability, and may suggest the emergence of an externally
forced signal.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1175/jcli-d-16-0572.1
DOI10.1175/jcli-d-16-0572.1
Journal: Journal of Climate
Number: 13
Volume: 30

Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to cause spatial and temporal shifts in precipitation patterns. These may be apparent in changes to the annual cycle of zonal mean precipitation P. Trends in the amplitude and phase of the P annual cycle in two long-term, global satellite datasets are broadly similar. Model-derived fingerprints of externally forced changes to the amplitude and phase of the P seasonal cycle, combined with these observations, enable a formal detection and attribution analysis. Observed amplitude changes are inconsistent with model estimates of internal variability but not attributable to the model-predicted response to external forcing. This mismatch between observed and predicted amplitude changes is consistent with the sustained La Niña–like conditions that characterize the recent slowdown in the rise of the global mean temperature. However, observed changes to the annual cycle phase do not seem to be driven by this recent hiatus. These changes are consistent with model estimates of forced changes, are inconsistent (in one observational dataset) with estimates of internal variability, and may suggest the emergence of an externally
forced signal.

DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-16-0572.1
Year of Publication: 2017
Citation:
Marvel, K, M Biasutti, C Bonfils, K Taylor, Y Kushnir, and B Cook.  2017.  "Observed and Projected Changes to the Precipitation Annual Cycle."  Journal of Climate 30(13): 4983-4995, doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0572.1.