Response of subtropical stationary waves and hydrological extremes to climate warming in boreal summer

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Subtropical stationary waves may act as an important bridge connecting regional hydrological extremes with global warming. Observations show that the boreal summer stationary-wave amplitude (SWA) had a significantly positive trend during 1979-2013. Here, we investigate the past and future responses of SWA to increasing climate forcing using 31 CMIP5 GCMs. Twenty-four out of 31 models display a consistent increase in climatological-mean SWA in response to warming. To assess the detectability of a trend in SWA, we compared half-century trends between preindustrial control (PiControl), historical, and RCP8.5 simulations. The probability distribution of the normalized SWA trend obtained through bootstrapping shows neither positive nor negative tendencies of SWA trend in PiControl simulations. Twenty-two of 31 historical simulations exhibit a positiveSWAtrend. TheSWAtrends in 26 of 31 RCP8.5 simulations are positive. The finding supports the hypothesis that the positive SWA trend is at least partially driven by increasing external forcing. The linear regression of interannual variability in hydrological extreme frequency on SWA suggests that high SWA is related to increased heavy-rainfall-day frequency over South Asia, the Indochinese Peninsula, and southern China (SA-EA), and to increased dry-spell-day frequency over the northwestern and central United States (NUS) and the southern United States and Mexico (SUS-MEX). The projected amplification of SWA, combined with the relationships between SWA and number of hydrological extremes, may partially explain projected increases in the number of dry spells over NUS and SUS-MEX and the number of heavy-rainfall days over SA-EA.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yuan, J; Li, W; Kopp, RE; Deng, Y

Published Date

  • December 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 24

Start / End Page

  • 10165 - 10180

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0894-8755

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0401.1

Citation Source

  • Scopus