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Prof. Liu Jian publishes a paper in Nature Communications on Indian monsoon rainfall prediction

Prof. Liu Jian publishes a paper in Nature Communications on Indian monsoon rainfall prediction

Prof. Liu Jian’s paper in the Nature communications is part of a collaborative research project on Indian monsoon rainfall prediction. Prediction of Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) is one of key issues of tropical climate prediction. Despite enormous progress having been made in predicting ISMR since 1886, the operational forecasts during recent decades (19892012) failed to forecast four extreme events in 1994, 2002, 2004 and 2009. Why is the forecasting skill of the ISMR so poor in the recent decades? Does the Indian monsoon possess intrinsically limited predictability during the recent global warming period? Or is it because of the deficiencies in the methodologies used or in the models? The study shows that the recent low skills of the dynamical models are attributed to deficiencies in capturing the developing CPENSO and anomalous Asian Low. Through statistical analysis, four new All-India Rainfall Index(AIRI) predictors -- EPT, CPT, PSH and NAT are captured, which represent EPENSO Predictor, CPENSO Predictor, mega-ENSO Predictor and Anomalous Asian Low predictor, respectively. A new physicalempirical model that captures these new predictors can produce an independent forecast skill of 0.51 for 19892012 and a 92-year retrospective forecast skill of 0.64 for 19212012. The results reveal a considerable gap between ISMR prediction skill and predictability.