Joint Seminar: Extratropical sea surface temperature impacts on large-scale atmospheric circulation

Ocean-atmosphere interactions play a key role in climate variability on a wide range of timescales from seasonal to decadal and longer. The extratropical oceans are thought to exert noticeable feedbacks on the atmosphere especially on decadal and longer timescales, yet the large-scale atmospheric response to anomalous extratropical sea surface temperature (SST) is still under debate. Here we show, by means of dedicated high-resolution atmospheric model experiments, that sufficient daily variability in the extratropical background SST needs to be resolved to force a statistically significant large-scale atmospheric response to decadal North Pacific SST anomalies associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which is consistent with observations. The large-scale response is mediated by atmospheric eddies. This implies that daily extratropical SST fluctuations must be simulated by the ocean components and resolved by the atmospheric components of global climate models to enable realistic simulation of decadal North Pacific sector climate variability. Further analyses show that changes to the level of daily SST variability on decadal time scales may also modulate the atmospheric response, causing other drivers than eddy vorticity forcing, e.g., deep convection zone associated with SST fronts, to establish the response.




15:15 Uhr


Bundesstr. 53, room 022/023
Seminar Room 022/023, Ground Floor, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Hamburg


Guidi Zhou


Karsten Peters

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