The Monsoons and Climate Change: observations and modeling
Announcing the publication of “The Monsoons and Climate Change: observations and modeling”, edited by UCSB Department of Geography faculty Leila Carvalho and Charles Jones.
This book presents a global overview examining monsoon variability in South Asia, Australian, South America and North American, as well as a focus on glaciers and monsoon systems.
About the Authors
Dr. Leila M. V. Carvalho is an atmospheric scientist and specializes on the study of the monsoons and climate change
Dr. Charles Jones is an atmospheric scientist and specializes on intraseasonal variations and its impacts on a range of climate processes.
Monsoon systems are unique features of the climate of the Earth. While monsoons were historically defined as a “reversal in the surface winds accompanied by changes in precipitation” over the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, modern studies show in fact that, except for the Polar Regions, monsoons occur in Africa, Asia, Indonesia, Australia, and in the Americas. Driven primarily by the thermal contrast between large land masses and surrounding oceans, the monsoons exhibit a phenomenal range of spatial and temporal variability. The annual onset of the rainy season and its demise, for instance, shows considerable changes from year-to-year in each monsoon system. Similarly, the intensity of the monsoons varies on subseasonal, interannual, decadal and centennial time scales. It is, therefore, widely recognized that the monsoons play a vital role to humans and the environment. Often the occurrence of extreme events such as heavy precipitation or droughts can have significant impacts on millions of people who live in monsoon regions and rely on water for human consumption, agriculture, energy and transportation.
Observational and theoretical evidence points to the undeniable fact that the Earth’s climate is changing rapidly and anthropogenic activities have been an important component of this change. Climate variability and change pose significant challenges for humans to develop adaptation strategies that can minimize negative impacts. This is particularly the case when important uncertainties in projections of regional climate change exist. While the monsoons have been investigated for many decades and the understanding of the physical mechanisms associated with the monsoons has progressed steadily over the years, there are many unresolved questions of how the continuing warming of the planet will affect the monsoons.