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Title: A Decadal Prediction Case Study: Late Twentieth-Century North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content

Abstract

Here, an ensemble of initialized decadal prediction (DP) experiments using the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) shows considerable skill at forecasting changes in North Atlantic upper-ocean heat content and surface temperature up to a decade in advance. Coupled model ensembles were integrated forward from each of 10 different start dates spanning from 1961 to 2006 with ocean and sea ice initial conditions obtained from a forced historical experiment, a Coordinated Ocean-Ice Reference Experiment with Interannual forcing (CORE-IA), which exhibits good correspondence with late twentieth-century ocean observations from the North Atlantic subpolar gyre (SPG) region. North Atlantic heat content anomalies from the DP ensemble correlate highly with those from the CORE-IA simulation after correcting for a drift bias. In particular, the observed large, rapid rise in SPG heat content in the mid-1990s is successfully predicted in the ensemble initialized in January of 1991. A budget of SPG heat content from the CORE-IA experiment sheds light on the origins of the 1990s regime shift, and it demonstrates the extent to which low-frequency changes in ocean heat advection related to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation dominate temperature tendencies in this region. Similar budgets from the DP ensembles reveal varying degrees ofmore » predictive skill in the individual heat budget terms, with large advective heat flux anomalies from the south exhibiting the highest correlation with CORE-IA. The skill of the DP in this region is thus tied to correct initialization of ocean circulation anomalies, while external forcing is found to contribute negligibly (and for incorrect reasons) to predictive skill in this region over this time period.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF); UT-Battelle LLC/ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1564916
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; FC02-97ER62402
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; North Atlantic Ocean; climate prediction; heat budgets/fluxes; model initialization; decadal variability; North Atlantic Oscillation

Citation Formats

Yeager, Stephen, Karspeck, Alicia, Danabasoglu, Gokhan, Tribbia, Joe, and Teng, Haiyan. A Decadal Prediction Case Study: Late Twentieth-Century North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-11-00595.1.
Yeager, Stephen, Karspeck, Alicia, Danabasoglu, Gokhan, Tribbia, Joe, & Teng, Haiyan. A Decadal Prediction Case Study: Late Twentieth-Century North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content. United States. https://doi.org/10.1175/jcli-d-11-00595.1
Yeager, Stephen, Karspeck, Alicia, Danabasoglu, Gokhan, Tribbia, Joe, and Teng, Haiyan. Wed . "A Decadal Prediction Case Study: Late Twentieth-Century North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content". United States. https://doi.org/10.1175/jcli-d-11-00595.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1564916.
@article{osti_1564916,
title = {A Decadal Prediction Case Study: Late Twentieth-Century North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content},
author = {Yeager, Stephen and Karspeck, Alicia and Danabasoglu, Gokhan and Tribbia, Joe and Teng, Haiyan},
abstractNote = {Here, an ensemble of initialized decadal prediction (DP) experiments using the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) shows considerable skill at forecasting changes in North Atlantic upper-ocean heat content and surface temperature up to a decade in advance. Coupled model ensembles were integrated forward from each of 10 different start dates spanning from 1961 to 2006 with ocean and sea ice initial conditions obtained from a forced historical experiment, a Coordinated Ocean-Ice Reference Experiment with Interannual forcing (CORE-IA), which exhibits good correspondence with late twentieth-century ocean observations from the North Atlantic subpolar gyre (SPG) region. North Atlantic heat content anomalies from the DP ensemble correlate highly with those from the CORE-IA simulation after correcting for a drift bias. In particular, the observed large, rapid rise in SPG heat content in the mid-1990s is successfully predicted in the ensemble initialized in January of 1991. A budget of SPG heat content from the CORE-IA experiment sheds light on the origins of the 1990s regime shift, and it demonstrates the extent to which low-frequency changes in ocean heat advection related to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation dominate temperature tendencies in this region. Similar budgets from the DP ensembles reveal varying degrees of predictive skill in the individual heat budget terms, with large advective heat flux anomalies from the south exhibiting the highest correlation with CORE-IA. The skill of the DP in this region is thus tied to correct initialization of ocean circulation anomalies, while external forcing is found to contribute negligibly (and for incorrect reasons) to predictive skill in this region over this time period.},
doi = {10.1175/jcli-d-11-00595.1},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1564916}, journal = {Journal of Climate},
issn = {0894-8755},
number = 15,
volume = 25,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {8}
}

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Works referencing / citing this record:

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An overview of decadal climate predictability in a multi-model ensemble by climate model MIROC
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Reconstructing extreme AMOC events through nudging of the ocean surface: a perfect model approach
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Near surface ocean temperature uncertainty related to initial condition uncertainty
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