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Atlantic Ocean heat transport influences interannual-to-decadal surface temperature predictability in the North Atlantic region

MPG-Autoren
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Borchert,  Leonard
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
CRG Climate System Data Assimilation, Research Area A: Climate Dynamics and Variability, The CliSAP Cluster of Excellence, External Organizations;

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Müller,  Wolfgang A.
Decadal Climate Predictions - MiKlip, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Borchert, L., Müller, W. A., & Baehr, J. (2018). Atlantic Ocean heat transport influences interannual-to-decadal surface temperature predictability in the North Atlantic region. Journal of Climate, 31, 6763-6782. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0734.1.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-DBFF-A
Zusammenfassung
AbstractAn analysis of a three-member ensemble of initialized coupled simulations with the MPI-ESM-LR covering the period 1901–2010 shows that Atlantic northward ocean heat transport (OHT) at 50°N influences surface temperature variability in the North Atlantic region for several years. Three to ten years after strong OHT phases at 50°N, a characteristic pattern of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies emerges: warm anomalies are found in the North Atlantic and cold anomalies emerge in the Gulf Stream region. This pattern originates from persistent upper-ocean heat content anomalies that originate from southward-propagating OHT anomalies in the North Atlantic. Interannual-to-decadal SST predictability of yearly initialized hindcasts is linked to this SST pattern: when ocean heat transport at 50°N is strong at the initialization of a hindcast, SST anomaly correlation coefficients in the northeast Atlantic at lead years 2–9 are significantly higher than when the ocean heat transport at 50°N is weak at initialization. Surface heat fluxes that mask the predictable low-frequency oceanic variability that influences SSTs in the northwest Atlantic after strong OHT phases, and in the northwest and northeast Atlantic after weak OHT phases at 50°N lead to zonally asymmetrically predictable SSTs 7–9 years ahead. This study shows that the interannual-to-decadal predictability of North Atlantic SSTs depends strongly on the strength of subpolar ocean heat transport at the start of a prediction, indicating that physical mechanisms need to be taken into account for actual temperature predictions.