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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.02

Initialization for Seasonal and Decadal Forecasts

Magdalena A. Balmaseda(1), Yosuke Fujii(2), Oscar Aves(3), Toshiyuki Awaji(4), David Behringer(5), Nicolas Ferry(6), Tong Lee(7), Michele Rienecker(8), Tony Rosati(9), Detlef Stammer(10), Doug Smith(11), Franco Molteni(1)

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The potential for predicting natural internal climate variability on seasonal and decadal time scales resides mainly in information provided by the ocean initial conditions. While seasonal forecasting is a consolidated activity, with several operational centers around the world issuing routine seasonal forecasts, decadal forecasting is still in its infancy. This paper discusses the role of the ocean observing system in the initialization of seasonal and decadal predictions. It is shown that the assimilation of ocean observations reduces the uncertainty in the estimation of the upper ocean thermal structure and improves the skill of seasonal forecasts. Results from observing system experiments conducted with different seasonal forecast systems indicate that no observing system is redundant, highlighting their complementary nature. Results from synthetic observing system experiments conducted assuming sustainability of the current observing system indicate that Argo data has the potential for constraining the deep ocean variables responsible for decadal variability.

1ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast), Shinfield Park, Reading RG2 9AX United Kingdom
2MIR (Meteorological Research Institute), 1-1 Nagamine, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0052, Japan
3CAWCR (Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research), GPO Box 1289, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
4JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology)/Kyoto University, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, 237-0061, Japan
5NOAA/NCEP (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Centers for Environmental Prediction), 5200 Auth Road Camp Springs, Maryland 20746 USA
6Mercator-Océan, 8-10 rue Hermès, 31520 RAMONVILLE ST AGNE, France
7NASA/JPL (National Aeronautics and Space Administration /Jet Propulsion Laboratory), 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
8GMAO, NASA/GSFC (Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Goddard Space Flight Center), Mail Code 610.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
9NOAA/GFDL (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory), 201 Forrestal Road, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
10KlimaCampus Universität Hamburg, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
11Met Office, Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: Magdalena.Balmaseda@ecmwf.int

This paper shall be cited as:

Balmaseda, M. & Co-Authors (2010). "Initialization for Seasonal and Decadal Forecasts" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.02

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