Earth Institute Research Projects

Future Changes in the Seasonal Cycle: Mechanisms and Implications

Lead PI: Dr. Michela Biasutti , Prof. Adam Sobel

Unit Affiliation: Ocean & Climate Physics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

January 2010 - February 2015
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The project has five objectives: 1) Validate CMIP3 simulations of the seasonal cycle in SST and rainfall; 2) Identify the source of the delay in SST; 3) Identify the source of the delay in precipitation; 4) describe the effect of the delay on regional monsoons; and 5) identify where the monsoons are delayed by more than the effect can explain.

OUTCOMES: Demonstrated that changes in projected seasonal cycles are due to changes in effective heat capacity in regions of sea ice loss and changes in surface fluxes are in turn due to wind speed changes that can be trace in mid-latitude changes in the Hadley cell. Five journal publications.


National Science Foundation (NSF)





Sobel and Camargo. "Projected Future Seasonal Changes in Tropical Summer Climate," Journal of Climate, 2011. doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3748.1

Biasutti. "Forced Sahel rainfall trends in the CMIP5 archive," Journal of Geophysical Research, 2013. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50206

John G. Dwyer, Michela Biasutti, and Adam H Sobel. "The effect of greenhouse-gas-induced changes in SST on the seasonality of tropical precipitation," Journal of Climate, 2014.

Anji Seth, Sara A Rauscher, Michela Biasutti, Alessandra Giannini, Suzana J Camargo, and Maisa Rojas. "CMIP5 Projected Changes in the Annual Cycle of Precipitation in Monsoon Regions," Journal of Climate, 2013. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00726.1

Dwyer, J. G., Biasutti, M., & Sobel, A. H.. "Projected Changes in the Seasonal Cycle of Surface Temperature," Journal of Climate, v.25, 2012, p. 6359. doi:10

Biasutti. "Climate change: Future rise in rain inequality," Nature Geoscience, 2013. doi:doi:10.1038/ngeo1814

Dwyer, J. G., Camargo, S. J., Sobel, A. H., Biasutti, M., Emanuel, K. A., Vecchi, G. A., et al.. "Projected 21st century changes in the length of the tropical cyclone season.," J Climate,, 2015. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00686.1


sea surface temperature hydroclimate global climate models monsoon precipitation validation models climate change ocean and climate physics


Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate