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          Institute: MPI für Meteorologie     Collection: Ocean in the Earth System     Display Documents

ID: 377778.0, MPI für Meteorologie / Ocean in the Earth System
Initializing decadal climate predictions with the GECCO oceanic synthesis
Authors:Pohlmann, H.; Jungclaus, J.; Koehl, A.; Stammer, D.; Marotzke, J.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2009-07
Title of Journal:Journal of Climate
Journal Abbrev.:J. Clim.
Start Page:3926
End Page:3938
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:This study aims at improving the forecast skill of climate predictions through the use of ocean synthesis data for initial conditions of a coupled climate model. For this purpose, the coupled model of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Meteorology, which consists of the atmosphere model ECHAM5 and the MPI Ocean Model (MPI-OM), is initialized with oceanic synthesis fields available from the German contribution to Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (GECCO) project. The use of an anomaly coupling scheme during the initialization avoids the main problems with drift in the climate predictions. Thus, the coupled model is continuously forced to follow the density anomalies of the GECCO synthesis over the period 1952-2001. Hindcast experiments are initialized from this experiment at constant intervals. The results show predictive skill through the initialization up to the decadal time scale, particularly over the North Atlantic. Viewed over the time scales analyzed here (annual, 5-yr, and 10-yr mean), greater skill for the North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) is obtained in the hindcast experiments than in either a damped persistence or trend forecast. The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation hindcast closely follows that of the GECCO oceanic synthesis. Hindcasts of global-mean temperature do not obtain greater skill than either damped persistence or a trend forecast, owing to the SST errors in the GECCO synthesis, outside the North Atlantic. An ensemble of forecast experiments is subsequently performed over the period 2002-11. North Atlantic SST from the forecast experiment agrees well with observations until the year 2007, and it is higher than if simulated without the oceanic initialization (averaged over the forecast period). The results confirm that both the initial and the boundary conditions must be accounted for in decadal climate predictions.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Carola Kauhs
Affiliations:MPI für Meteorologie/Ocean in the Earth System
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