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Unexpected increase in Northern Hemispheric Monsoon Rainfall

March 21, 2013; 3:07 PM

Northern Hemispheric monsoon rainfall has significantly increased over the past 30 years, which goes against the theory that the summer monsoon circulation should weaken under man-made warming.

Over the past 30 years, global temperatures have risen an average of 0.4 degrees Celsius.

However, an international team of scientists led by meteorology professor Bin Wang of the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii Manoa, found that the summer monsoon circulation, as well as the Hadley and Walker circulations have all greatly intensified. This intensification has resulted in a 9.5 percent increase in global summer monsoon rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the EurekAlert article.

Natural factors such as the cooling of the eastern Pacific that began in 1998, mainly due to the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which favors more La Nina's vs. El Nino's is a likely cause. The Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation was also found to be a contributor.

In order to have better future predictions of monsoonal rainfall in a warming world scientists acknowledge that they need to have a better understanding of how these natural swings impact the climate system.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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