Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s00382-020-05410-3
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Large-scale dynamics have greater role than thermodynamics in driving precipitation extremes over India
Author Sudharsan, N.; Karmakar, S.; Fowler, H.J.; Hari, V.
Journal Climate Dynamics
Year 2020
Department CHS
Volume 55
Issue 9-10
Page From 2603
Page To 2614
Language englisch
Abstract The changing characteristics of precipitation extremes under global warming have recently received tremendous attention, yet the mechanisms are still insufficiently understood. The present study attempts to understand these processes over India by separating the ‘dynamic’ and ‘thermodynamic’ components of precipitation extremes using a suite of observed and reanalysis datasets. The former is mainly due to changes in atmospheric motion, while the latter is driven mainly by the changes associated with atmospheric moisture content. Limited studies have attributed dynamic and thermodynamic contributions to precipitation extremes, and their primary focus has been on the horizontal atmospheric motion component of the water budget. Our study, on the other hand, implements the decomposition of vertical atmospheric motion, based on the framework proposed by Oueslati et al. (Sci Rep 9: 2859, 2019), which has often been overlooked, especially for India. With the focus on two major and recent extreme events in the Kerala and Uttarakhand regions of India, we show that the vertical atmospheric motion has a more significant contribution to the events than the horizontal atmospheric motion. Further, decomposition of the vertical atmospheric motion shows that the dynamic component overwhelms the thermodynamic component’s contribution to these extreme events, which is found to be negligible. Using a threshold method to define extreme rainfall, we further extended our work to all India, and the results were consistent with those of the two considered events. Finally, we evaluate the contributions from the recently made available CMIP6 climate models, and the results are interestingly in alignment with the observations. The outcomes of this study will play a critical role in the proper prediction of rainfall extremes, whose value to climate adaptation can hardly be overemphasised.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Sudharsan, N., Karmakar, S., Fowler, H.J., Hari, V. (2020):
Large-scale dynamics have greater role than thermodynamics in driving precipitation extremes over India
Clim. Dyn. 55 (9-10), 2603 - 2614