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Ocean and atmosphere influence on the 2015 European heatwave

Ocean and atmosphere influence on the 2015 European heatwave
Ocean and atmosphere influence on the 2015 European heatwave
During the summer of 2015, central Europe experienced a major heatwave that was preceded by anomalously cold sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the northern North Atlantic. Recent observation-based studies found a correlation between North Atlantic SST in spring and European summer temperatures, suggesting potential for predictability. Here we show, by using a high-resolution climate model, that ocean temperature anomalies, in combination with matching atmospheric and sea-ice initial conditions were key to the development of the 2015 European heatwave. In a series of 30-member ensemble simulations we test different combinations of ocean temperature and salinity initial states versus non-initialised climatology, mediated in both ensembles by different atmospheric/sea-ice initial conditions, using a non-standard initialisation method without data-assimilation. With the best combination of the initial ocean, and matching atmosphere/sea-ice initial conditions, the ensemble mean temperature response over central Europe in this set-up equals 60% of the observed anomaly, with 6 out of 30 ensemble-members showing similar, or even larger surface air temperature anomalies than observed.
1748-9326
114035
Mecking, J V
9b090069-5061-4340-b736-9690894ce203
Drijfhout, S S
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hirschi, J J-m
c8a45006-a6e3-4319-b5f5-648e8ef98906
Blaker, A T
94efe8b2-c744-4e90-87d7-db19ffa41200
Mecking, J V
9b090069-5061-4340-b736-9690894ce203
Drijfhout, S S
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hirschi, J J-m
c8a45006-a6e3-4319-b5f5-648e8ef98906
Blaker, A T
94efe8b2-c744-4e90-87d7-db19ffa41200

Mecking, J V, Drijfhout, S S, Hirschi, J J-m and Blaker, A T (2019) Ocean and atmosphere influence on the 2015 European heatwave. Environmental Research Letters, 14 (11), 114035. (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab4d33).

Record type: Article

Abstract

During the summer of 2015, central Europe experienced a major heatwave that was preceded by anomalously cold sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the northern North Atlantic. Recent observation-based studies found a correlation between North Atlantic SST in spring and European summer temperatures, suggesting potential for predictability. Here we show, by using a high-resolution climate model, that ocean temperature anomalies, in combination with matching atmospheric and sea-ice initial conditions were key to the development of the 2015 European heatwave. In a series of 30-member ensemble simulations we test different combinations of ocean temperature and salinity initial states versus non-initialised climatology, mediated in both ensembles by different atmospheric/sea-ice initial conditions, using a non-standard initialisation method without data-assimilation. With the best combination of the initial ocean, and matching atmosphere/sea-ice initial conditions, the ensemble mean temperature response over central Europe in this set-up equals 60% of the observed anomaly, with 6 out of 30 ensemble-members showing similar, or even larger surface air temperature anomalies than observed.

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Mecking_2019_Environ._Res._Lett._14_114035 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 11 October 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 November 2019
Published date: 14 November 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435862
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435862
ISSN: 1748-9326
PURE UUID: 67363034-5abd-417a-a229-7d3db1aa7553

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Date deposited: 22 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 18:50

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Contributors

Author: J V Mecking
Author: S S Drijfhout
Author: J J-m Hirschi
Author: A T Blaker

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