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Changes in the SST-precipitation relationship over the Indo-Pacific warm pool under a warming climate

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Title
Changes in the SST-precipitation relationship over the Indo-Pacific warm pool under a warming climate
Author(s)
Kim, Hye-Ryeom; Kyung-Ja Ha; Lau, William K-M
Publication Date
2023-07
Journal
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, v.18, no.7
Publisher
IOP Publishing Ltd
Abstract
The Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) is a region known for its strong atmospheric convection, which plays a key role in global climate. However, in recent decades, the IPWP has experienced human-induced warming, and it has been observed to have a non-linear relationship between sea surface temperature (SST) and precipitation. Despite the rising SSTs, the increase in precipitation is limited until a specific SST, which is defined as saturation threshold SST (STT). The STT indicates a distinct transition before and after the STT, highlighting the non-linear response of precipitation to SST. Nevertheless, the impact of warmer climates on the SST-precipitation relationship and STT remains uncertain. To investigate future changes in this relationship, we analyzed a joint distribution of SST and precipitation using the historical data and three different Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios (SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0, and SSP5-8.5). We examined the near future (2041-2060), and far future (2081-2100). Our findings reveal that the STT increases with the shift in mean state due to the involvement of atmospheric stratification. This increase is observed across all three scenarios in both future periods, with the SSP5-8.5 scenario exhibiting the most substantial rise during the far future. The warming climate leads to a more pronounced warming in the upper troposphere than the surface, resulting in tropospheric stabilization. This process contributes to the increase in STT through moist-adiabatic lapse rate adjustment. Additionally, the weakening of vertical motion constrains the increase in precipitation, despite the availability of abundant moisture. This study sheds light on the changing SST-precipitation relationship and provides a possible mechanism for the limited increase in precipitation. Therefore, this study offers a background for a better understanding of the non-monotonic response of precipitation to SST in the context of climate change.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/13780
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/acdfe8
ISSN
1748-9326
Appears in Collections:
Center for Climate Physics(기후물리 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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