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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Summer East Atlantic (SEA) mode is the second dominant mode of summer low-frequency variability in the Euro-Atlantic region. Using reanalysis data, we show that SEA-related circulation anomalies significantly influence temperatures and precipitation over Europe. We present evidence that part of the interannual SEA variability is forced by diabatic heating anomalies of opposing signs in the tropical Pacific and Caribbean that induce an extratropical Rossby wave train. This precipitation dipole is related to SST anomalies characteristic of the developing ENSO phases. Seasonal hindcast experiments forced with observed sea surface temperatures (SST) exhibit skill at capturing the interannual SEA variability corroborating the proposed mechanism and highlighting the possibility for improved prediction of boreal summer variability. Our results indicate that tropical forcing of the SEA likely played a role in the dynamics of the 2015 European heat wave.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
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    AGU
    In:  Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (15). pp. 8199-8206.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: We examine the simulated Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV) in a model that includes a correction for a longstanding problem with climate models, namely the misplacement of the North Atlantic Current. The corrected model shows that in the warm AMV phase, heat is lost by the ocean in the northwestern part of the basin and gained by the ocean to the east, suggesting an advective transfer of heat by the mid-latitude westerlies. The basin wide response is consistent with a role for cloud feedback and is in broad agreement with estimates from observations, but is poorly represented in the uncorrected model. The corrected model is then used to show that the ocean/atmosphere heat transfer is influenced by low frequency variability in the overlying atmosphere. We also argue that changing ocean heat transport is an essential feature of our results.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    AGU
    In:  Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122 (1). pp. 602-616.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: A multi-mode, linear reduced-gravity model, driven by ERA-Interim monthly mean wind stress anomalies, is used to investigate interannual variability in tropical Pacific sea level as seen in satellite altimeter data. The model output is fitted to the altimeter data along the equator, in order to derive the vertical profile for the model forcing, showing that a signature from modes higher than mode six cannot be extracted from the altimeter data. It is shown that the model has considerable skill at capturing interannual sea level variability both on and off the equator. The correlation between modelled and satellite-derived sea level data exceeds 0.8 over a wide range of longitudes along the equator and readily captures the observed ENSO events. Overall, the combination of the first, second, third and fifth modes can provide a robust estimate of the interannual sea level variability, the second mode being dominant. A remarkable feature of both the model and the altimeter data is the presence of a pivot point in the western Pacific on the equator. We show that the westward displacement of the pivot point from the centre of the basin is strongly influenced by the fact that most of the wind stress variance is found in the western part of the basin. We also show that the Sverdrup transport is not fundamental to the dynamics of the recharge/discharge mechanism in our model, although the spatial structure of the wind forcing does play a role in setting the amplitude of the “warm water volume”.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-03-18
    Description: Five initialization and ensemble generation methods are investigated with respect to their impact on the prediction skill of the German decadal prediction system "Mittelfristige Klimaprognose" (MiKlip). Among the tested methods, three tackle aspects of model‐consistent initialization using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF), the filtered anomaly initialization (FAI) and the initialization method by partially coupled spin‐up (MODINI). The remaining two methods alter the ensemble generation: the ensemble dispersion filter (EDF) corrects each ensemble member with the ensemble mean during model integration. And the bred vectors (BV) perturb the climate state using the fastest growing modes. The new methods are compared against the latest MiKlip system in the low‐resolution configuration (Preop‐LR), which uses lagging the climate state by a few days for ensemble generation and nudging toward ocean and atmosphere reanalyses for initialization. Results show that the tested methods provide an added value for the prediction skill as compared to Preop‐LR in that they improve prediction skill over the eastern and central Pacific and different regions in the North Atlantic Ocean. In this respect, the EnKF and FAI show the most distinct improvements over Preop‐LR for surface temperatures and upper ocean heat content, followed by the BV, the EDF and MODINI. However, no single method exists that is superior to the others with respect to all metrics considered. In particular, all methods affect the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in different ways, both with respect to the basin‐wide long‐term mean and variability, and with respect to the temporal evolution at the 26° N latitude.
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  • 5
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    AGU
    In:  Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (10). pp. 3643-3648.
    Publication Date: 2017-04-10
    Description: A link between atmospheric variability in the Tropics independent of ENSO and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is found based on seasonal mean data for austral summer. Variations associated with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are removed usinga linear method and a Tropics Index (TI) is defined as the zonal average of the ENSO-removed 500 hPa geopotential height between 10°S and 10°N. Since the detrended TI shows no link to SST variability in the Tropics, it appears to be related to internal atmospheric variability. We find that the TI can explain about 40% variance of the SAM interannual variability and about 75% of the SAM long term trend between 1957/58 and 2001/02, where here the SAM includes the ENSO signal. Positive/negative values of the TI are associated with the positive/negative SAM. A possible link between the TI and global warming is noted.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-04-10
    Description: We use surface air temperature to evaluate the decadal forecast skill of the fully coupled Max Planck Institut Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) initialized using only surface wind stress applied to the ocean component of the model (Modini: Model initialization by partially coupled spin-up). Our analysis shows that the greenhouse gas forcing alone results in a significant forecast skill on the 2–5 and 6–9 year range even for uninitialized hindcasts. For the first forecast year, the forecast skill of Modini is generally comparable with previous initialization procedures applied to MPI-ESM. But only Modini is able to generate a significant skill (correlation) in the tropical Pacific for a 2–5 year (and to a lesser extent for a 6–9 year) hindcast. Modini is also better able to capture the observed hiatus in global warming in hindcast mode than the other methods. Finally, we present forecasts for 2015 and the average of years 2016–2019 and 2020–2024, predicting an end to the hiatus.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-02-25
    Description: A global ocean model with 1/12∘ horizontal resolution is used to assess the seasonal cycle of surface Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE). The model reproduces the salient features of the observed mean surface EKE, including amplitude and phase of its seasonal cycle in most parts of the ocean. In all subtropical gyres of the Pacific and Atlantic, EKE peaks in summer down to a depth of ∼350 m, below which the seasonal cycle is weak. Investigation of the possible driving mechanisms reveals the seasonal changes in the thermal interactions with the atmosphere to be the most likely cause of the summer maximum of EKE. The development of the seasonal thermocline in spring and summer is accompanied by stronger mesoscale variations in the horizontal temperature gradients near the surface which corresponds, by thermal wind balance, to an intensification of mesoscale velocity anomalies towards the surface.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
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    AGU
    In:  Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (17). L17801.
    Publication Date: 2017-06-20
    Description: The tropical impact on the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) is examined in an ensemble of atmospheric general circulation model runs that use relaxation towards the ERA-40 reanalysis in the tropics for winters between 1960/61 and 2001/02 and performed with a recent version of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model. 25% of the interannual variance of the EAWM can be reproduced in the ensemble mean by the model experiments with relaxation, even though the influence from ENSO appears to be weak. The implication is that there is the possibility of enhanced predictability for the EAWM resulting from improved forecast skill in the tropics as a whole. Prescribing observed sea surface temperature and sea ice without using relaxation cannot reproduce the interannual variability of the EAWM in our experiments, questioning the usefulness of uncoupled atmosphere models in this region, consistent with previous studies. Key Points: - Tropical impact on interannual variability of the East Asian winter monsoon. - Tropical influence and extratropical SST and sea-ice matter for the trend. - AGCMs driven only by observed SST and sea-ice give poor results.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-04-10
    Description: We examine the impact of sea surface temperature (SST) bias on inter-annual variability during boreal summer over the equatorial Atlantic using two suites of partially coupled model (PCM) experiments with and without surface heat flux correction. In the experiments, surface wind stress anomalies are specified from observations while the thermodynamic coupling between the atmospheric and oceanic components is still active as in the fully coupled model. The results show that the PCM can capture around 50% of the observed variability associated with the Atlantic Niño from 1958 to 2013, but only when the bias is substantially reduced using heat flux correction, with no skill otherwise. We further show that ocean dynamics explain a large part of the SST variability in the eastern equatorial Atlantic in both observations (50-60%) and the PCM experiments (50-70%) with heat flux correction, implying that the seasonal predictability potential may be higher than currently thought.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-04-10
    Description: Ocean–atmosphere interactions play a key role in climate variability on a wide range of time scales from seasonal to decadal and longer. The extratropical oceans are thought to exert noticeable feedbacks on the atmosphere especially on decadal and longer time scales, 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 (PDO), 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.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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