2015 Volume 93 Issue 5 Pages 571-580
We investigate future changes in winter precipitation around Japan and their uncertainties using the downscalings of a non-hydrostatic regional climate model (NHRCM) with 20-km grid spacing according to global climate projections. The global climate projections were conducted by the atmospheric general circulation model with three patterns of sea surface temperature changes in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. Moreover, three cumulus convective parameterizations were applied in the present and future climate experiments. The ensemble mean of nine future NHRCM experiments shows decreases in the winter precipitation on the coast of the Sea of Japan and over the Pacific Ocean in the south of the Japanese archipelago. The former decrease in precipitation results from a weakened winter monsoon. The latter corresponds to changes in extratropical cyclone number around Japan, which have a large uncertainty. On the other hand, winter precipitation increases over the northernmost part of Japan (Hokkaido) and the northeastern Asian continent. The strengthened northwesterly around Hokkaido, which results from the reduction of sea ice in the Sea of Okhotsk, causes increased precipitation in the inland area of Hokkaido. In addition, moistening due to global warming relates to increased precipitation in extremely cold regions. These signals are common to most experiments.