Shi, G. and Ribbe, J. and Cai, W. and Cowan, T. (2008) An interpretation of Australian rainfall projections. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (2). L2072. ISSN 0094-8276
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Official URL: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2007GL032436.shtml
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1029/2007GL032436
The majority of climate models project a winter rainfall reduction over south-eastern Australia (SEA), while some show a tendency for a summer rainfall increase. The dynamics for these rainfall changes are not clear. Using outputs from a climate model, we show that a summer rainfall increase is consistent with a large Tasman Sea warming promoting convection, and an upward trend of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) promoting onshore flows; these processes dominate over a rainfall decrease from an El Nino-like warming pattern. In winter, similar effects from a Tasman Sea warming and an upward SAM trend operate along Australia’s east coast, however, the rain-reducing impact of an Indian Ocean Dipole-like warming pattern dominates. In both seasons, the upward SAM trend causes a rainfall reduction over southern Australia. Summer rainfall over north-western Australia is projected to decrease, due to an unrealistic relationship with the El Nino- Southern Oscillation. Possible uncertainties are discussed.
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