Case studies in interannual to decadal climate predictability
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s00382-009-0672-y
The predictability of ocean and climate variables is investigated, using a perfect model-based case study approach that recognises that predictability is dependent on the initial climate state. In line with previous studies, large scale ocean variables, show predictability for several years or more; by contrast, the predictability of climate variables is generally limited to, 2 years at most. That predictability shows high sensitivity to the initial state is demonstrated by predictable climate signals, arising in different regions, variables and seasons for different initial conditions. The predictability of climate variables, in the second year is of particular interest, because this is beyond the timescale that is usually considered to be the limit, of seasonal predictability. For different initial conditions, second year predictability is found in: temperatures in southeastern, North America (winter) and western Europe (winter and summer), and precipitation in India (summer monsoon) and in the tropical, South Atlantic. Second year predictability arises either from persistence of large-scale sea surface temperature (SST) and, related ocean heat content anomalies, particularly in regions such as the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean, or from mechanisms, that involve El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dynamics.