Matt Rogers - July 20

School of Meteorology Colloquium   The Pacific Decadal Precession and its Relationship to Tropical Pacific Decadal Variability in CMIP6 Models   Matt Rogers  Monday, July 20th at 9:00am Central Time Join Zoom Meeting:   https://oklahoma.zoom.us/j/98532037422?pwd=UmFuTTY3NHpPK0pSYlQzOFZYMW5mUT09   Meeting ID: 985 3203 7422 Password: 18385723 Persistent, multi-year shifts in atmospheric circulations and their

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July 20, 2020 - 9:00 am

End

July 20, 2020 - 10:00 am

School of Meteorology Colloquium

 

The Pacific Decadal Precession and its Relationship to Tropical Pacific Decadal Variability in CMIP6 Models

 

Matt Rogers 

Monday, July 20th at 9:00am Central Time

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Persistent, multi-year shifts in atmospheric circulations and their associated influence on regional climates can have profound impacts on physical, biological, and socioeconomic systems. The Pacific Decadal Precession (PDP), a quasi-decadal mode of variability in the North Pacific, describes a series of such shifts in atmospheric circulation. Unlike previously established modes of quasi-decadal variability, the PDP is characterized by the cyclonic progression of an atmospheric pressure anomaly dipole around the North Pacific, and has been connected to climate variations across North America. While the dynamics of the PDP are largely unknown, the north-south (N-S) oriented phase of the PDP (i.e., when the pressure dipole is oriented meridionally) has been hypothesized to be partially driven by decadal variability in central Pacific sea surface temperatures, given its similarity to the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) and the previously established linkage between the NPO and central Pacific sea surface temperatures.

The research here investigates this hypothesis by identifying connections between the N-S phase of the PDP, the NPO, and tropical Pacific decadal variability (PDV), in both reanalysis and select models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 archive. The results suggest that the N-S phase of the PDP is indeed related to the NPO, as the quasi-decadal temporal evolution of the NPO tracks the PDP well, and that the emergence of the N-S phase is both related to and influenced by tropical Pacific decadal sea surface temperature variability, specifically variability associated with central Pacific (CP) El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. The link between the N-S phase of the PDP and CP ENSO events is demonstrated by the similarity in sea surface temperature anomaly patterns associated with both the emergence of the N-S phase of the PDP and the structure of CP ENSO events, and highly significant temporal correlations between the two patterns. Further, the atmospheric response to central Pacific warming associated with the evolution of the PDP maps onto the N-S phase, supporting the hypothesis that the N-S phase of the PDP is partially driven by tropical PDV. In contrast to reanalysis, current climate models struggle with simulating the evolution of the PDP, and in general do not capture the observed relationships between the PDP, the NPO, and tropical PDV. Potential reasons for this will be discussed briefly. While evidence  from this study supports connections between the PDP, the NPO, and tropical PDV, more understanding of the dynamics of the PDP and how current models simulate it is needed. Establishing a better understanding of the dynamics of the PDP and further assessment of these dynamics connections in models will aid in improving current prediction capabilities of the PDP and PDP-related regional climate impacts.

 

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