Source apportionment of atmospheric water over East Asia – a source tracer study in CAM5.1
Abstract. The atmospheric water tracer (AWT) method is implemented in the Community Atmosphere Model version 5.1 (CAM5.1) to quantitatively identify the contributions of various source regions to precipitation and water vapour over East Asia. Compared to other source apportionment methods, the AWT method was developed based on detailed physical parameterisations, and can therefore trace the behaviour of atmospheric water substances directly and exactly. According to the simulation, the northern Indian Ocean (NIO) is the dominant oceanic moisture source region for precipitation over the Yangtze River valley (YRV) and southern China (SCN) in summer, while the north-western Pacific (NWP) dominates during other seasons. Evaporation over the South China Sea (SCS) is responsible for only 2.7–3.7 % of summer precipitation over the YRV and SCN. In addition, the Indo-China Peninsula is an important terrestrial moisture source region (annual contribution of ∼ 10 %). The overall relative contribution of each source region to the water vapour amount is similar to the corresponding contribution to precipitation over the YRV and SCN. A case study for the SCS shows that only a small part ( ≤ 5.5 %) of water vapour originates from local evaporation, whereas much more water vapour is supplied by the NWP and NIO. In addition, because evaporation from the SCS represents only a small contribution to the water vapour over the YRV and SCN in summer, the SCS mainly acts as a water vapour transport pathway where moisture from the NIO and NWP meet.