Volume 95 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 7-33
This study provides an overview of the Asian monsoon and its change as simulated by atmosphere–ocean coupled general circulation models and high-resolution atmospheric general circulation models, focusing on the seasonal mean circulation and precipitation climatology. After reviewing the drivers of and the elements that affect the monsoon, the ability of those climate models to reproduce the Asian monsoon is assessed. The Asian monsoon is better reproduced in the Coupled Modeling Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models than in the CMIP3 models, although biases remain. Projected future changes in the Asian monsoon at the end of the 21st century are then reviewed. Overall projections are similar for both CMIP3 and CMIP5 models with increases in precipitation, albeit with weakened circulation in the South Asian summer, enhanced circulation and increased precipitation in the East Asian summer, and latitude-dependent changes in the winter monsoon circulation in East Asia. However, differences exist in the projected local changes, leading to uncertainty in projections.