220.127.116.11 Sea Level Pressure Detection and Attribution
Global December to February sea level pressure changes observed over the past 50 years have been shown to be inconsistent with simulated internal variability (Gillett et al., 2003b, 2005), but are consistent with the simulated response to greenhouse gas, stratospheric ozone, sulphate aerosol, volcanic aerosol and solar irradiance changes based on 20C3M simulations by eight MMD coupled models (Gillett et al., 2005; Figure 9.16). This result is dominated by the SH, where the inclusion of stratospheric ozone depletion leads to consistency between simulated and observed sea level pressure changes. In the NH, simulated sea level pressure trends are much smaller than those observed (Gillett, 2005). Global mean sea level pressure changes associated with increases in atmospheric water vapour are small in comparison to the spatial variations in the observed change in sea level pressure, and are hard to detect because of large observational uncertainties (Trenberth and Smith, 2005).
18.104.22.168 Monsoon Circulation
The current understanding of climate change in the monsoon regions remains one of considerable uncertainty with respect to circulation and precipitation (Sections 3.7, 8.4.10 and 10.3.5.2). The Asian monsoon circulation in the MMD models was found to decrease by 15% by the late 21st century under the SRES A1B scenario (Tanaka et al., 2005; Ueda et al., 2006), but trends during the 20th century were not examined. Ramanathan et al. (2005) simulate a pronounced weakening of the Asian monsoon circulation between 1985 and 2000 in response to black carbon aerosol increases. Chase et al. (2003) examine changes in several indices of four major tropical monsoonal circulations (Southeastern Asia, western Africa, eastern Africa and the Australia/Maritime Continent) for the period 1950 to 1998. They find significantly diminished monsoonal circulation in each region, although this result is uncertain due to changes in the observing system affecting the NCEP reanalysis (Section 3.7). These results are consistent with simulations (Ramanathan et al., 2005; Tanaka et al., 2005) of weakening monsoons due to anthropogenic factors, but further model and empirical studies are required to confirm this.