Creating a unified perspective of the North American monsoon: from the paleoclimate record to climate change projections

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 4:00 PM
Room C209 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Christopher L. Castro, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and H. I. Chang, C. Woodhouse, C. Carrillo, B. Ciancarelli, and D. Griffin

In the Southwest United States, the North American monsoon is the main driver of severe weather and accounts for nearly half the annual precipitation. How the monsoon has behaved in the past and how it will change in the future is a question of major importance for natural resource management and infrastructural planning. In this presentation, I will summarize the results of several projects that have investigated the North American monsoon from the perspective of the paleoclimate (tree-ring) record, long-term instrumental record of the late 20th century, high resolution numerical weather prediction of organized convection during a field experiment, and dynamically downscaled climate change projections. Some particular points of discussion include 1) consideration of natural climate variability in the past and future, 2) necessary requirements for regional atmospheric models to reasonably represent the monsoon, and 3) how the monsoon will change in the future, with an emphasis on how climate variability is synergistically interacting with natural variability to intensify climate extremes. Finally, I will discuss the importance of establishing the commonalities between observational and modeling perspectives of the monsoon, necessary to facilite the use of climate change projection information for decision making.