Decomposition of physical processes controlling EASM precipitation changes during the mid-Piacenzian: new insights into data–model integration

Yong Sun*, Haibin Wu, Lin Ding, Lixin Chen, Christian Stepanek, Yan Zhao, Ning Tan, Baohuang Su, Xiayu Yuan, Wenchao Zhang, Bo Liu, Stephen Hunter, Alan Haywood, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Bette Otto-Bliesner, Camille Contoux, Daniel J. Lunt, Aisling Dolan, Deepak Chandan, Gerrit LohmannHarry Dowsett, Julia Tindall, Michiel Baatsen, W. Richard Peltier, Qiang Li, Ran Feng, Ulrich Salzmann, Wing-Le Chan, Zhongshi Zhang, Charles J. R. Williams, Gilles Ramstein

*Corresponding author for this work

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The mid-Piacenzian warm period (MPWP, ~3.264–3.025 Ma) has gained widespread interest due to its partial analogy with future climate. However, quantitative data–model comparison of East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) precipitation during the MPWP is relatively rare, especially due to problems in decoding the imprint of physical processes to climate signals in the records. In this study, pollen-based precipitation records are reconstructed and compared to the multi-model ensemble mean of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 (PlioMIP2). We find spatially consistent precipitation increase in most simulations but a spatially divergent change in MPWP records. We reconcile proxy data and simulation by decomposing physical processes that control precipitation. Our results 1) reveal thermodynamic control of an overall enhancement of EASM precipitation and 2) highlight a distinct control of thermodynamic and dynamical processes on increases of tropical and subtropical EASM precipitation, reflecting the two pathways of water vapor supply that enhance EASM precipitation, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120
Number of pages10
Journalnpj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2024

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