Earth Science Frontiers ›› 2022, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 355-371.DOI: 10.13745/j.esf.sf.2021.9.52

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Mid-Holocene climate in China and the East Asian monsoon: Insights from PMIP4 simulations

TIAN Zhiping(), ZHANG Ran, JIANG Dabang   

  1. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2021-06-02 Revised:2021-07-02 Online:2022-09-25 Published:2022-08-24


We revisited the climate in China and the East Asian monsoon during the mid-Holocene (6,000 years ago) via PMIP4 (Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project phase 4) simulation using 14 climate models. Similar to the previous simulation results using PMIP3 models, the mid-Holocene surface air temperatures were cooler for the annual (-0.61 ℃), winter (-1.65 ℃) and spring (-1.69 ℃) means and warmer for the summer (+0.80 ℃) and autumn (+0.08 ℃) means compared to the preindustrial period. The annual and winter cooling results run contrary to the warming results as inferred from most geological records. There was an extra cooling of 0.01-0.45 ℃ over the PMIP3 results, partly due to a reduction in the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. By PMIP4 simulation using 11 climate models, the mid-Holocene annual precipitation increased by 2%, evaporation decreased by 1%, and net precipitation (i.e., precipitation minus evaporation) increased by 7% relative to their preindustrial levels in terms of arithmetic means; seasonally, all three variables decreased for winter and spring and increased for summer and autumn. Comparatively, between PMIP4 and PMIP3 models for the above three variables, the differences in their national means and regional changes were relatively larger for summer and autumn than for the year and the other two seasons. And compared to the PMIP3 model results, the annual net precipitation change by PMIP4 simulation is closer to geological records. All 14 PMIP4 models reproduced a consistent strengthening of the East Asian winter and summer monsoon intensities during the mid-Holocene by 11% and 32% on average, respectively, compared to the preindustrial period. Regionally, the increases in monsoon circulation by PMIP4 simulation were larger in the north and smaller in the south of East Asia relative to the increases by PMIP3 simulation.

Key words: mid-Holocene, climate in China, East Asian monsoon, PMIP4 simulations

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