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Sensitivity of winter North Atlantic-European climate to resolved atmosphere and ocean dynamics

Sensitivity of winter North Atlantic-European climate to resolved atmosphere and ocean dynamics
Sensitivity of winter North Atlantic-European climate to resolved atmosphere and ocean dynamics

Northern Hemisphere western boundary currents, like the Gulf Stream, are key regions for cyclogenesis affecting large-scale atmospheric circulation. Recent observations and model simulations with high-temporal and -spatial resolution have provided evidence that the associated ocean fronts locally affect troposphere dynamics. A coherent view of how this affects the mean climate and its variability is, however, lacking. In particular the separate role of resolved ocean and atmosphere dynamics in shaping the atmospheric circulation is still largely unknown. Here we demonstrate for the first time, by using coupled seasonal forecast experiments at different resolutions, that resolving meso-scale oceanic variability in the Gulf Stream region strongly affects mid-latitude interannual atmospheric variability, including the North Atlantic Oscillation. Its impact on climatology, however, is minor. Increasing atmosphere resolution to meso-scale, on the other hand, strongly affects mean climate but moderately its variability. We also find that regional predictability relies on adequately resolving small-scale atmospheric processes, while resolving small-scale oceanic processes acts as an unpredictable source of noise, except for the North Atlantic storm-track where the forcing of the atmosphere translates into skillful predictions.

2045-2322
Haarsma, Reindert J.
a46861ed-ae95-49cc-b395-e7126fa703a8
García-Serrano, Javier
5e5dd05c-9f27-4d15-9075-a34ff1cbbe6c
Prodhomme, Chloé
99d2a16f-c627-46b2-ac12-f1e534cd56f7
Bellprat, Omar
44df716b-4eda-4932-8d77-296a591ebcef
Davini, Paolo
ff0cfc4c-9248-435c-a0de-c18904c69d90
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Haarsma, Reindert J.
a46861ed-ae95-49cc-b395-e7126fa703a8
García-Serrano, Javier
5e5dd05c-9f27-4d15-9075-a34ff1cbbe6c
Prodhomme, Chloé
99d2a16f-c627-46b2-ac12-f1e534cd56f7
Bellprat, Omar
44df716b-4eda-4932-8d77-296a591ebcef
Davini, Paolo
ff0cfc4c-9248-435c-a0de-c18904c69d90
Drijfhout, Sybren
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13

Haarsma, Reindert J., García-Serrano, Javier, Prodhomme, Chloé, Bellprat, Omar, Davini, Paolo and Drijfhout, Sybren (2019) Sensitivity of winter North Atlantic-European climate to resolved atmosphere and ocean dynamics. Scientific Reports, 9 (1), [13358]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-49865-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Northern Hemisphere western boundary currents, like the Gulf Stream, are key regions for cyclogenesis affecting large-scale atmospheric circulation. Recent observations and model simulations with high-temporal and -spatial resolution have provided evidence that the associated ocean fronts locally affect troposphere dynamics. A coherent view of how this affects the mean climate and its variability is, however, lacking. In particular the separate role of resolved ocean and atmosphere dynamics in shaping the atmospheric circulation is still largely unknown. Here we demonstrate for the first time, by using coupled seasonal forecast experiments at different resolutions, that resolving meso-scale oceanic variability in the Gulf Stream region strongly affects mid-latitude interannual atmospheric variability, including the North Atlantic Oscillation. Its impact on climatology, however, is minor. Increasing atmosphere resolution to meso-scale, on the other hand, strongly affects mean climate but moderately its variability. We also find that regional predictability relies on adequately resolving small-scale atmospheric processes, while resolving small-scale oceanic processes acts as an unpredictable source of noise, except for the North Atlantic storm-track where the forcing of the atmosphere translates into skillful predictions.

Text
s41598-019-49865-9 - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 29 August 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 September 2019
Published date: 16 September 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434577
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434577
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: acda9312-0630-4a49-84da-8203b659dddb

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Date deposited: 02 Oct 2019 16:30
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 17:48

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Contributors

Author: Reindert J. Haarsma
Author: Javier García-Serrano
Author: Chloé Prodhomme
Author: Omar Bellprat
Author: Paolo Davini

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