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

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.53

Dynamics of Decadal Climate Variability and Implications for its Prediction

Mojib Latif(1), Thomas L. Delworth(2), Dietmar Dommenget(3), Helge Drange(4), Wilco Hazeleger(5), James W. Hurrell(6), Noel S. Keenlyside(3), Gerald A. Meehl(7), Rowan T. Sutton(8)

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The temperature record of the last 150 years is characterized by a long-term warming trend, with strong multidecadal variability superimposed. The multidecadal variability is also seen in other (societal important) parameters such as Sahel rainfall or Atlantic hurricane activity. The existence of the multidecadal variability makes climate change detection a challenge, since Global Warming evolves on a similar timescale. The ongoing discussion about a potential anthropogenic signal in the Atlantic hurricane activity is an example. A lot of work was devoted during the last years to understand the dynamics of the multidecadal variability, and external as well as internal mechanisms were proposed. This White Paper focuses on the internal mechanisms relevant to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation/Variability (AMO/V) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation/Variability (PDO/V). Specific attention is given to the role of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in the Atlantic. The implications for decadal predictability and prediction are discussed.

1Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften/Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR (Research Center for Marine Geosciences), Düsternbrooker Weg 20 24105 Kiel, Germany
2Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), Princeton University, Forrestal Campus, 201 Forrestal Road, Princeton, NJ 08540-6649, USA
3Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften/Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR (Research Center for Marine Geosciences), Düsternbrooker Weg 20, D-24105 Kiel, Germany
4Department of Geophysics, University of Bergen, Allegaten 70, 5007 Bergen, Norway
5Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, The Netherlands
6National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA,
7National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
8Climate Division of the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, PO Box 243, Earley Gate, Reading RG6 6BB, U.K

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: mlatif@ifm-geomar.de

This paper shall be cited as:

Latif, M. & Co-Authors (2010). "Dynamics of Decadal Climate Variability and Implications for its Prediction" 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.53

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