Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1569
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1569
05 Jun 2024
 | 05 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

A multi-model analysis of the decadal prediction skill for the North Atlantic ocean heat content

Teresa Carmo-Costa, Roberto Bilbao, Jon Robson, Ana Teles-Machado, and Pablo Ortega

Abstract. Decadal predictions can skillfully forecast the upper ocean temperature in many regions of world. The North Atlantic in particular shows promising results when it comes to high predictive skill of Ocean Heat Content (OHC). Nevertheless, important regional differences exist across Decadal Prediction Systems, which are explored in this multi-model analysis. Differences are also found in their respective uninitialized historical ensembles, which points to large uncertainties in the externally forced signals. We analyze eight CMIP6 climate models with comparable ensembles of decadal predictions and historical simulations to document their differences in upper OHC skill, and to investigate if intrinsic model characteristics, such as key mean state biases in the local forcing from the atmosphere or the local stratification, can influence the relative predictive role of external forcings and internal variability. Particular attention has been given to the Labrador Sea and its surroundings, since this is found to be a region where upper OHC has low observational uncertainties, yet high inter-model spread in the upper OHC prediction skill of decadal predictions and historical experiments. Benchmarking mean state properties of the local surface fluxes and stratification against observations, both strongly linked with the simulated upper OHC skill for the historical ensembles, suggests that their multi-model mean provides the most realistic estimate of the true forced signal

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Teresa Carmo-Costa, Roberto Bilbao, Jon Robson, Ana Teles-Machado, and Pablo Ortega

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2024)

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Teresa Carmo-Costa, Roberto Bilbao, Jon Robson, Ana Teles-Machado, and Pablo Ortega
Teresa Carmo-Costa, Roberto Bilbao, Jon Robson, Ana Teles-Machado, and Pablo Ortega

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Short summary
Climate models can be used to skilfully predict decadal changes in North Atlantic ocean heat content. However, significant regional differences among these models reveal large uncertainties in the influence of external forcings. This study examines eight climate models to understand the differences in their predictive capacity for the North Atlantic, investigating the importance of external forcings and key model characteristics such as ocean stratification and the local atmospheric forcing.