Articles | Volume 3, issue 2
Research article
28 Nov 2012
Research article |  | 28 Nov 2012

The influence of dynamic vegetation on the present-day simulation and future projections of the South Asian summer monsoon in the HadGEM2 family

G. M. Martin and R. C. Levine

Abstract. Various studies have shown the importance of Earth System feedbacks in the climate system and the necessity of including these in models used for making climate change projections. The HadGEM2 family of Met Office Unified Model configurations combines model components which facilitate the representation of many different processes within the climate system, including atmosphere, ocean and sea ice, and Earth System components including the terrestrial and oceanic carbon cycle and tropospheric chemistry. We examine the climatology of the Asian summer monsoon in present-day simulations and in idealised climate change experiments. Members of the HadGEM2 family are used, with a common physical framework (one of which includes tropospheric chemistry and an interactive terrestrial and oceanic carbon cycle), to investigate whether such components affect the way in which the monsoon changes. We focus particularly on the role of interactive vegetation in the simulations from these model configurations. Using an atmosphere-only HadGEM2 configuration, we investigate how the changes in land cover which result from the interaction between the dynamic vegetation and the model systematic rainfall biases affect the Asian summer monsoon, both in the present-day and in future climate projections. We demonstrate that the response of the dynamic vegetation to biases in regional climate, such as lack of rainfall over tropical dust-producing regions, can affect both the present-day simulation and the response to climate change forcing scenarios.

Final-revised paper