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Potential decadal predictability and its sensitivity to sea ice albedo parameterization in a global coupled model
Koenigk, T.; Beatty, C.K.; Caian, M.; Doscher, R.; Wyser, K. (2012). Potential decadal predictability and its sensitivity to sea ice albedo parameterization in a global coupled model. Clim. dyn. 38(11-12): 2389-2408.
In: Climate Dynamics. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0930-7575; e-ISSN 1432-0894, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Decadal predictability; Decadal climate variability; Global climatemodelling

Auteurs  Top 
  • Koenigk, T.
  • Beatty, C.K.
  • Caian, M.
  • Doscher, R.
  • Wyser, K.

    Decadal prediction is one focus of the upcoming 5th IPCC Assessment report. To be able to interpret the results and to further improve the decadal predictions it is important to investigate the potential predictability in the participating climate models. This study analyzes the upper limit of climate predictability on decadal time scales and its dependency on sea ice albedo parameterization by performing two perfect ensemble experiments with the global coupled climate model EC-Earth. In the first experiment, the standard albedo formulation of EC-Earth is used, in the second experiment sea ice albedo is reduced. The potential prognostic predictability is analyzed for a set of oceanic and atmospheric parameters. The decadal predictability of the atmospheric circulation is small. The highest potential predictability was found in air temperature at 2 m height over the northern North Atlantic and the southern South Atlantic. Over land, only a few areas are significantly predictable. The predictability for continental size averages of air temperature is relatively good in all northern hemisphere regions. Sea ice thickness is highly predictable along the ice edges in the North Atlantic Arctic Sector. The meridional overturning circulation is highly predictable in both experiments and governs most of the decadal climate predictability in the northern hemisphere. The experiments using reduced sea ice albedo show some important differences like a generally higher predictability of atmospheric variables in the Arctic or higher predictability of air temperature in Europe. Furthermore, decadal variations are substantially smaller in the simulations with reduced ice albedo, which can be explained by reduced sea ice thickness in these simulations.

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