Tag: svendsen

Weakening of the Atlantic Niño variability under global warming

Crespo, L.R., Prigent, A., Keenlyside, N., Koseki, S., Svendsen, L., Richter, I., Sánchez-Gómez, E. 2022: Weakening of the Atlantic Niño variability under global warming. Nat. Clim. Chang. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-022-01453-y

Summary: The Atlantic Niño is one of the most important patterns of interannual tropical climate variability, but how climate change will influence this pattern is not well known due to large climate model biases. Here we show that state-of-the-art climate models robustly predict a weakening of Atlantic Niños in response to global warming, mainly due to a decoupling of subsurface and surface temperature variations as the upper equatorial Atlantic Ocean warms. This weakening is predicted by most (>80%) models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phases 5 and 6 under the highest emission scenarios. Our results indicate a reduction in variability by the end of the century by 14%, and as much as 24–48% when accounting for model errors using a simple emergent constraint analysis. Such a weakening of Atlantic Niño variability will potentially impact climate conditions and the skill of seasonal predictions in many regions.

Link to publication. You are most welcome to contact us or the corresponding author(s) directly, if you have questions.

NorCPM1 and its contribution to CMIP6 DCPP

Bethke, I., Wang, Y., Counillon, F., Keenlyside, N., Kimmritz, M., Fransner, F., Samuelsen, A., Langehaug, H., Svendsen, L., Chiu, P.-G., Passos, L., Bentsen, M., Guo, C., Gupta, A., Tjiputra, J., Kirkevåg, A., Olivié, D., Seland, Ø., Solsvik Vågane, J., Fan, Y., Eldevik, T. 2021: NorCPM1 and its contribution to CMIP6 DCPP. Geosci Model Dev. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-14-7073-2021 .

For an easy-to-understand overview, we recommend starting with this neat article written by the Climate Futures team, a project connected to BCPU: “New Study: Decadal Climate Forecasts From The Norwegian Climate Prediction Model” (les heller på norsk).

Summary: The Norwegian Climate Prediction Model version 1 (NorCPM1) is a new research tool for performing climate reanalyses and seasonal-to-decadal climate predictions. It combines the Norwegian Earth System Model version 1 (NorESM1) – which features interactive aerosol–cloud schemes and an isopycnic-coordinate ocean component with biogeochemistry – with anomaly assimilation of sea surface temperature (SST) and -profile observations using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF).

We describe the Earth system component and the data assimilation (DA) scheme, highlighting implementation of new forcings, bug fixes, retuning and DA innovations. Notably, NorCPM1 uses two anomaly assimilation variants to assess the impact of sea ice initialization and climatological reference period: the first (i1) uses a 1980–2010 reference climatology for computing anomalies and the DA only updates the physical ocean state; the second (i2) uses a 1950–2010 reference climatology and additionally updates the sea ice state via strongly coupled DA of ocean observations.

We assess the baseline, reanalysis and prediction performance with output contributed to the Decadal Climate Prediction Project (DCPP) as part of the sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The NorESM1 simulations exhibit a moderate historical global surface temperature evolution and tropical climate variability characteristics that compare favourably with observations. The climate biases of NorESM1 using CMIP6 external forcings are comparable to, or slightly larger than those of, the original NorESM1 CMIP5 model, with positive biases in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) strength and Arctic sea ice thickness, too-cold subtropical oceans and northern continents, and a too-warm North Atlantic and Southern Ocean. The biases in the assimilation experiments are mostly unchanged, except for a reduced sea ice thickness bias in i2 caused by the assimilation update of sea ice, generally confirming that the anomaly assimilation synchronizes variability without changing the climatology. The i1 and i2 reanalysis/hindcast products overall show comparable performance. The benefits of DA-assisted initialization are seen globally in the first year of the prediction over a range of variables, also in the atmosphere and over land. External forcings are the primary source of multiyear skills, while added benefit from initialization is demonstrated for the subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) and its extension to the Arctic, and also for temperature over land if the forced signal is removed. Both products show limited success in constraining and predicting unforced surface ocean biogeochemistry variability. However, observational uncertainties and short temporal coverage make biogeochemistry evaluation uncertain, and potential predictability is found to be high. For physical climate prediction, i2 performs marginally better than i1 for a range of variables, especially in the SPNA and in the vicinity of sea ice, with notably improved sea level variability of the Southern Ocean. Despite similar skills, i1 and i2 feature very different drift behaviours, mainly due to their use of different climatologies in DA; i2 exhibits an anomalously strong AMOC that leads to forecast drift with unrealistic warming in the SPNA, whereas i1 exhibits a weaker AMOC that leads to unrealistic cooling. In polar regions, the reduction in climatological ice thickness in i2 causes additional forecast drift as the ice grows back. Posteriori lead-dependent drift correction removes most hindcast differences; applications should therefore benefit from combining the two products.

The results confirm that the large-scale ocean circulation exerts strong control on North Atlantic temperature variability, implying predictive potential from better synchronization of circulation variability. Future development will therefore focus on improving the representation of mean state and variability of AMOC and its initialization, in addition to upgrades of the atmospheric component. Other efforts will be directed to refining the anomaly assimilation scheme – to better separate internal and forced signals, to include land and atmosphere initialization and new observational types – and improving biogeochemistry prediction capability. Combined with other systems, NorCPM1 may already contribute to skilful multiyear climate prediction that benefits society.

Link to publication. You are most welcome to contact us or the corresponding author(s) directly, if you have questions.

The Arctic Mediterranean In Interacting Climates of Ocean Basins Observations, Mechanisms, Predictability, and Impacts

Eldevik, T., Smedsrud, L.H., Li, C., Årthun, M., Madonna, E., Svendsen, L. 2020: The Arctic Mediterranean. In: Mechoso (Ed.). Interacting Climates of Ocean Basins Observations, Mechanisms, Predictability, and Impacts. Cambridge University Press, 2020, 186-215 . https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108610995.007 .
Summary: The Arctic Mediterranean sits on the “top of the world” and connects the Atlantic and Pacific climate realms via the cold Arctic. It is the combined basin of the Nordic Seas (the Norwegian, Iceland, and Greenland seas) and the Arctic Ocean confined by the Arctic land masses – thus making it a Mediterranean ocean (Figure 6.1; e.g., Aagaard et al., 1985). The Arctic Mediterranean is small for a World Ocean but its heat loss and freshwater uptake is disproportionally large (e.g., Ganachaud and Wunsch, 2000; Eldevik and Nilsen, 2013; Haine et al., 2015). With the combined presence of the Gulf Stream’s northern limb, regional freshwater stratification, and a retreating sea-ice cover, it is likely where water mass contrasts, shifting air-ocean-ice interaction, and climate change are most pronounced in the present world oceans (Stocker et al., 2013; Vihma, 2014).

You are most welcome to contact us or the corresponding author(s) directly, if you have questions.

Hva gjør La Niña med været? (How does la Niña affect the weather?)

Værfenomenet El Niño forbinder mange med intens varme, men nå er dens kaldere lillesøster La Niña her. Hva betyr det? Vår forsker og førsteamanuensis, Dr. Lea Svendsen, skriver om dette hos Enegi og Klima: Hva gjør La Niña med været?.

(Most are all quite familiar with the El Niño phenomenon and its link with periods of intense heat. But now, El Niño’s colder little sister is here. What does this mean for the weather? Our researcher, Dr. Lea Svendsen, writes about this in her recent article in the Norwegian popular science journal Energi og Klima (link above. Article in Norwegian).

Seasonal predictions initialised by assimilating sea surface temperature observations with the EnKF

Wang, Y., F. Counillon, N. Keenlyside, L. Svendsen, S. Gleixner, M. Kimmritz, P. Dai, and Y. Gao, 2019: Seasonal predictions initialised by assimilating sea surface temperature observations with the EnKF. Climate Dynamics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-04897-9 .

Summary:This study demonstrates that assimilating SST with an advanced data assimilation method yields prediction skill level with the best state-of-the-art systems. We employ the Norwegian Climate Prediction Model (NorCPM)—a fully-coupled forecasting system—to assimilate SST observations with the ensemble Kalman filter. Predictions of NorCPM are compared to predictions from the North American Multimodel Ensemble (NMME) project. The global prediction skill of NorCPM at 6- and 12-month lead times is higher than the averaged skill of the NMME. A new metric is introduced for ranking model skill. According to the metric, NorCPM is one of the most skilful systems among the NMME in predicting SST in most regions. Confronting the skill to a large historical ensemble without assimilation, shows that the skill is largely derived from the initialisation rather than from the external forcing. NorCPM achieves good skill in predicting El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) up to 12 months ahead and achieves skill over land via teleconnections. However, NorCPM has a more pronounced reduction in skill in May than the NMME systems. An analysis of ENSO dynamics indicates that the skill reduction is mainly caused by model deficiencies in representing the thermocline feedback in February and March. We also show that NorCPM has skill in predicting sea ice extent at the Arctic entrance adjacent to the north Atlantic; this skill is highly related to the initialisation of upper ocean heat content.

Link to publication. You are most welcome to contact us or the corresponding author(s) directly, if you have questions.