Impacts of a warming marginal sea on torrential rainfall organized under the Asian summer monsoon

Sci Rep. 2014 Jul 18;4:5741. doi: 10.1038/srep05741.


Monsoonal airflow from the tropics triggers torrential rainfall over coastal regions of East Asia in summer, bringing flooding situations into areas of growing population and industries. However, impacts of rapid seasonal warming of the shallow East China Sea ECS and its pronounced future warming upon extreme summertime rainfall have not been explored. Here we show through cloudresolving atmospheric model simulations that observational tendency for torrential rainfall events over western Japan to occur most frequently in July cannot be reproduced without the rapid seasonal warming of ECS. The simulations also suggest that the future ECS warming will increase precipitation substantially in such an extreme event as observed in mid July 2012 and also the likelihood of such an event occurring in June. A need is thus urged for reducing uncertainties in future temperature projections over ECS and other marginal seas for better projections of extreme summertime rainfall in the surrounding areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't