Traditionally we think of them as being caused by differences in land-sea heating.

But more recently, some researchers, like Simona Bordoni and William Boos, have argued otherwise.

  • $\begingroup$ This article demonstrates some recent modelling web.gps.caltech.edu/~bordoni/docs/grl51393.pdf $\endgroup$ – user889 Jan 1 '15 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ There are several monsoons each require their own detailed explanation. Can OP tell us which one or does OP want a generic explanation ? $\endgroup$ – gansub Jan 1 '15 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ @gansub as naught101 has suggested, even write a part answer, focusing on a particular monsoon and in reference to the authors and new theories. $\endgroup$ – user889 Jan 2 '15 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ Is this a real question? In other words, you cite the traditional theory, but then just say that there is contradicting evidence, without saying what Bordoni and Boos argue. Either this is an open science question (in which I would suggest you do research), or this question seems to lack detail. I.e. Which papers say that the temperature differences do not drive the monsoon. $\endgroup$ – BarocliniCplusplus Sep 15 at 19:34

Thats a very heavy question and might need a dozen pages to briefly answer, but however its better to summarize the answer and refer to the most detailed review work of Pin Xian Wang and his team entitled "The global monsoon across time scales: Mechanisms and outstanding issues".

I hope this can answer all the questions anyone have in mind. General definition can be that (Global Monsoon (GM) as a planetary scale circulation system. The primary driver of the GM is solar insolation, and the specific features in the underlying surface, such as land-sea distribution, topography, and oceanic circulations, are mainly responsible for the differences among regional monsoon systems.) derived from the above work.

The most important point to be considered that the paper listed above is based on CMIP5 models, however many authors in the region have documented the deviations and differences in all CMIP5 models globally. I will also suggest the work of Alexis Berg for African monsoon system.

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Monsoons are caused by ITCZ changing between the months. This means that because the earth tilts 23.5 degrees north each year, maximum solar insolation varies, causing low pressure to gather. Hence the monsoons.ITCZ at northern and southern hemisphere summers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer states the traditional explanation. OP is asking for newer more contemporary explanations. $\endgroup$ – gansub Sep 16 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ Also, you should define what ITCZ stands for, it may not be clear to everyone. Welcome to Earth Science SE! $\endgroup$ – Jean-Marie Prival Sep 16 at 7:08

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