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Projected Changes in Mountain Precipitation under CO2-induced warmer climate
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  • Pratik Kad,
  • Kyung-Ja Ha,
  • Sun-Seon Lee,
  • Jung-Eun Chu
Pratik Kad
Pusan National University
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Kyung-Ja Ha
Pusan National University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Sun-Seon Lee
IBS Center for Climate Physics (ICCP), Pusan National University
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Jung-Eun Chu
City University of Hong Kong
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Mountains play a vital role in shaping regional and global climate, altering atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns. To this end, identifying projected changes in mountain precipitation is significantly challenging due to topographic complexity. This study explains how mountain precipitation could respond to rising greenhouse gases. Using a series of century-long fully coupled high-resolution simulations conducted with the Community Earth System Model, we aim to disentangle future changes in mountain precipitation in response to atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) perturbations. We identify five low-latitude mountain ranges with elevation-dependent precipitation response, including New Guinea, East Africa, Eastern Himalayas, Central America, and Central Andes. Those mountains are expected to have a mixture of increasing and decreasing precipitation in response to CO2-induced warming, especially over the summit and steep topography. To elucidate the mechanisms controlling future changes in mountain precipitation, we propose ‘orographic moist-convection feedback’ in which an increase in low-level relative humidity enhances local precipitation by strengthening the upward motion through moist processes for the wetting response and vice versa for the drying response. The effects of Mountain precipitation changes can be extended to hydrology and could lead to significant consequences for human societies and ecosystems.
06 May 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
08 May 2023Published in ESS Open Archive
Oct 2023Published in Earth's Future volume 11 issue 10. 10.1029/2023EF003886