IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

Southeast Asia

The broad-scale spatial distribution of temperature and precipitation in DJF and JJA averaged across the MMD models compares well with observations. Rajendran et al. (2004) examine the simulation of current climate in the MRI coupled model (see Table 8.1 for model details). Large-scale features were well simulated, but errors in the timing of peak rainfall over Indochina were considered a major shortcoming. Collier et al. (2004) assess the performance of the CCSM3 model (see Table 8.1 for model details) in simulating tropical precipitation forced by observed SST. Simulation was good over the Maritime continent compared to the simulation for other tropical regions. B. Wang et al. (2004) assess the ability of 11 AGCMs in the Asian-Australian monsoon region simulation forced with observed SST variations. They found that the models’ ability to simulate observed interannual rainfall variations was poorest in the Southeast Asian portion of the domain. Since current AOGCMs continue to have some significant shortcomings in representing ENSO variability (see Section 8.4), the difficulty of projecting changes in ENSO-related rainfall in this region is compounded.

Rainfall simulation across the region at finer scales has been examined in some studies. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) stretched-grid Conformal-Cubic Atmospheric Model (CCAM) at 80-km resolution shows reasonable precipitation simulation in JJA, although Indochina tended to be drier than in the observations (McGregor and Nguyen, 2003). Aldrian et al. (2004a) conducted a number of simulations with the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) regional model for an Indonesian domain, forced by reanalyses and by the ECHAM4 GCM. The model was able to represent the spatial pattern of seasonal rainfall. It was found that a resolution of at least 50 km was required to simulate rainfall seasonality correctly over Sulawesi. The formulation of a coupled regional model improves regional rainfall simulation over the oceans (Aldrian et al., 2004b). Arakawa and Kitoh (2005) demonstrate an accurate simulation of the diurnal cycle of rainfall over Indonesia with an AGCM of 20-km horizontal resolution.