The role of atmospheric internal variability on the prediction skill of interannual North Pacific sea-surface temperatures
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The role of atmospheric internal variability on the prediction skill of interannual North Pacific sea-surface temperatures

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  • Journal Title:
    Theoretical and Applied Climatology
  • Description:
    The sensitivity of the sea-surface temperature (SST) prediction skill to the atmospheric internal variability (weather noise) in the North Pacific (20∘–60∘N;120∘E–80∘W) on decadal timescales is examined using state-of-the-art Climate Forecasting System model version 2 (CFS) and a variation of CFS in an Interactive Ensemble approach (CFSIE), wherein six copies of atmospheric components with different perturbed initial states of CFS are coupled with the same ocean model by exchanging heat, momentum and fresh water fluxes dynamically at the air-sea interface throughout the model integrations. The CFSIE experiments are designed to reduce weather noise and using a few ten-year long forecasts this study shows that reduction in weather noise leads to lower SST forecast skill. To understand the pathways that cause the reduced SST prediction skill, two twenty-year long forecasts produced with CFS and CFSIE for 1980-2000 are analyzed for the ocean subsurface characteristics that influence SST due to the reduction in weather noise in the North Pacific. The heat budget analysis in the oceanic mixed layer across the North Pacific reveals that weather noise significantly impacts the heat transport in the oceanic mixed layer. In the CFSIE forecasts, the reduced weather noise leads to increased variations in heat content due to shallower mixed layer, diminished heat storage and enhanced horizontal heat advection. The enhancement of the heat advection spans from the active Kuroshio regions of the east coast of Japan to the west coast of continental United States and significantly diffuses the basin-wide SST anomaly (SSTA) contrasts and leads to reduction in the SST prediction skill in decadal forecasts.
  • Source:
    Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 133
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  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
  • Compliance:
    Submitted
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