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Colder Subarctic Pacific with larger sea ice caused by closure of the Central American Seaway and its influence on the East Asian monsoon: a climate model study

By
Tatsuo Motoi
Tatsuo Motoi
Meteorological College, 7-4-81 Asahicho, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0852, Japan
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Wing-Le Chan
Wing-Le Chan
Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 3173-25 Showamachi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0001, Japan
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The changes in the sea-ice conditions and sea surface temperatures in the Subarctic Pacific caused by the closure of the Central American Seaway and their influence on the East Asian monsoon are investigated by a series of closed (CE), open (OE) and re-closed (RCE) seaway experiments with a climate model. It is found that a permanent halocline forms in the Subarctic Pacific because of the termination of saline water transport through the seaway in CE and RCE. Efficient cooling by shallow convection in the stratified permanent halocline causes thicker and more extensive sea ice in winter, and leads to colder surface water in summer in the Subarctic Pacific.

Colder air, over more extensive sea ice cover in winter and over the colder water in summer, produces higher surface air pressure with anticyclonic wind anomalies in both seasons. Southeasterly and southerly wind anomalies develop around the Japanese archipelago in the East Asian monsoon region and induce warm and humid surface air with increased precipitation over the East Asian continent. These results indicate that the East Asian monsoon is weakened in winter and strengthened in summer as a result of closing the Central American Seaway.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Monsoon Evolution and Tectonic–Climate Linkage in Asia

P. D. Clift
P. D. Clift
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R. Tada
R. Tada
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H. Zheng
H. Zheng
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Geological Society of London
Volume
342
ISBN electronic:
9781862395909
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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