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Intercomparison of the interannual response of coupled models under present climate and climate change conditions and analysis of both the teleconnections to midlatitudes and to the Indian Ocean

PI: Xavier Rodo
Institution: Parc Cientific de Barcelona
Abstract:
Our main interest is the understanding of how phenomena such as ENSO may temporarily drive atmospheric and ocean dynamics at distant ocean basins. Traditionally, observational confirmation of such dynamics has been somewhat elusive, mainly to the nonlinearity in the response functions and scaling and the narrower meridional extent, the more intense trades and the resulting shorter fundamental periods in the ENSO pattern reproduced by most customary CGCM.

Our specific objectives will be:
1) Check with local analysis tools how the different GCM reproduce ENSO in the Pacific,
2) Track which are their local atmospheric field manifestations and how this can be traced to both atmospheric and oceanic signatures in distant basins (mainly for the NAE region and the Mediterranean area in particular, and for the Indian Ocean (IO) domain), and
3) on the basis of the best models for 1) and 2), undergo the study of climate changes at the interannual timescale under 21st century conditions (2CO2 essentially).

We will mainly concentrate on the interannual response of coupled models in the 20th century and use innovative analysis and diagnostic tools recently developed to study the transitory response at these timescales. Of those models selected for their best response, we will study which teleconnection patterns they generate and how these change or not in the spatial extent and/or magnitude for the 21st century simulations.

Models scrutinized that do not produce a reasonable ENSO simulation should be objectively excluded from a multi-model ensemble forecast of future climate change. We will then assess the skill of each model and use it to generate forecasts of future ENSO teleconnections. Our objective would be to determine if an improved hindcast for the Mediterranean region in S. Europe and over the Indian subcontinent could be generated from GCM simulations, and then to apply the same process to precipitation forecasts in future climate change simulations. Our interest in the Indian Ocean and continental India climate under 2CO2 conditions lies in the possibility of forecasting future cholera outbreaks in that region.

Data needed would essentially be precipitation, sea surface temperature and surface air temperature, sea level pressure and geopotential height anomalies at different levels, and if possible wind fields and soil moisture.
This research will be mainly conducted by Prof. Xavier Rodó, with the involvement of at least Drs. Sandro Buss, Dr. M. Pascual and M.A. Rodríguez-Arias.
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