Department of Environmental Sciences
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Seminar Abstracts
Environmental Sciences Seminar Abstract            

  INVESTIGATING THE POTENTIAL FOR DECADAL CLIMATE PREDICTABILITY: EFFORTS AT NOAA/GFDL
Keith Dixon
NOAA/GFDL

The topic of decadal climate prediction, with its focus on climate variability and change on time scales of roughly 10 years, occupies territory between seasonal-to-interannual forecasting (e.g. ENSO forecasts or seasonal hurricane outlooks; often labeled “initial value problems”) and multi-decade to century time-scale climate change projections (e.g., IPCC-class global climate change projections for 2100; “boundary condition problems”). Whether, and to what extent, skillful projections of regional decadal time scale climate variations can be made is an open research question, and one that is garnering increased attention at several research centers, including NOAA/GFDL. Efforts at NOAA/GFDL continue on multiple fronts. For example, suites of “perfect predictability” experiments are used to investigate the potential predictability of the Atlantic Ocean’s meridional overturning circulation and related features. Improved estimates of the observed 3-D global ocean state are being made via data assimilation techniques making use of traditional ship-based observations and newer ARGO float data. And new, high resolution global climate models provide more detailed regional climate details (mean and variability) that are compared to observations and coarser resolution model results.


Last updated: 03/02/2011