Predictability of tropical Pacific decadal variability in an intermediate model

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2004
Authors  Karspeck, A. R.; Seager, R.; Cane, M. A.
Journal Title  Journal of Climate
Volume  17
Issue  14
Pages  2842-2850
Journal Date  Jul
ISBN Number  0894-8755
Accession Number  ISI:000222791100009
Key Words  nino southern-oscillation; el-nino; north pacific; interdecadal variability; climate variability; atmospheric bridge; sst anomalies; ocean; enso; dynamics
Abstract  

The Zebiak - Cane (ZC) model for simulation of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation is shown to be capable of producing sequences of variability that exhibit shifts in the time-mean state of the eastern equatorial Pacific that resemble observations of tropical Pacific decadal variability. The model's performance in predicting these shifts is compared to two naive forecasting strategies. It is found that the ZC model consistently outperforms the two naive forecasts that serve as a null hypothesis in assessing the significance of results. Forecasts initialized during anomalously warm and anomalously cold decades are shown to have the highest predictability.These modeling results suggest that, to a moderate extent, the state of the tropical Pacific in one decade can predetermine its time-mean state in the following decade. However, even in this idealized context decadal forecasting skill is modest. Results are discussed in the context of their implications for the ongoing debate over the origin of decadal variations in the Pacific.

Notes  

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