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Decadal predictions of the probability of occurrence for warm summer temperature extremes

MPS-Authors
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Borchert,  Leonard
Decadal Climate Predictions - MiKlip, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Pohlmann,  Holger
Decadal Climate Predictions - MiKlip, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD);

Neddermann,  Nele-Charlotte
Institute of Oceanography, Hamburg;
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Suarez-Gutierrez,  Laura
Director’s Research Group OES, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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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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Citation

Borchert, L., Pohlmann, H., Baehr, J., Neddermann, N.-C., Suarez-Gutierrez, L., & Müller, W. A. (2019). Decadal predictions of the probability of occurrence for warm summer temperature extremes. Geophysical Research Letters, 16, 14042-14051. doi:10.1029/2019GL085385.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-6960-9
Abstract
An 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.