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Development of warm SST errors in the southern tropical Atlantic in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts

Toniazzo, T. and Woolnough, S. (2014) Development of warm SST errors in the southern tropical Atlantic in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts. Climate Dynamics, 43 (11). pp. 2889-2913. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1691-2


SST errors in the tropical Atlantic are large and systematic in current coupled general-circulation models. We analyse the growth of these errors in the region of the south-eastern tropical Atlantic in initialised decadal hindcasts integrations for three of the models participating in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project 5. A variety of causes for the initial bias development are identified, but a crucial involvement is found, in all cases considered, of ocean-atmosphere coupling for their maintenance. These involve an oceanic “bridge” between the Equator and the Benguela-Angola coastal seas which communicates sub-surface ocean anomalies and constitutes a coupling between SSTs in the south-eastern tropical Atlantic and the winds over the Equator. The resulting coupling between SSTs, winds and precipitation represents a positive feedback for warm SST errors in the south-eastern tropical Atlantic.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:31790
Uncontrolled Keywords:General-circulation models;Model systematic biases; Ocean–atmosphere coupling;Tropical Atlantic;Tropical circulation;Coastal upwelling systems;Seasonal and decadal prediction;

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