Advancing Multi-Year to Decadal Climate Prediction with High-Resolution E3SM and CESM

PI Ben Kirtman , University of Miami
Co-PI Leo Siqueira, University of Miami
Gerald Meehl, NCAR
Jadwiga Richter, NCAR
Kirtman Photo

January through March daily rainfall standard deviation over the Pacific-North American sector for E3SM LRv1, NCAR-CESM Low-Res, NCAR-CESM High-Res, and observation (TRMM 3B42 andCMORPH_BLD).

Project Summary

The research will address the DOE/BER mission by exploring underlying mechanisms of predictability and quantifying interactions of climate processes in how they affect US extremes and understand the current and future impacts of these phenomena on regional and global climate.

Project Description

Several graduate students at RSMAS will learn how to run the high-resolution Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), and the NCAR team will collaborate with the CATALYST team to analyze the E3SM simulations.The team hypothesizes that small-scale sea-surface temperature (SST) features made possible by high resolution ocean model component, along with improvements in atmospheric circulation and storm systems with higher resolution in the atmosphere, will affect decadal predictability and variability and the associated changes in extremes.

The main objectives of the research are: (1) to investigate how the mesoscale features in the ocean feedback onto the representation of known modes of decadal variability (e.g., Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), among others), and diagnose how these known modes teleconnect to regional US extremes. The analysis will also include a detailed examination of subseasonal (e.g., Madden-Julian Oscillation, MJO) variability, seasonal (e.g., El Niño-Southern Oscillation, ENSO) variability, and how their interactions impact regional US extremes in terms of intensity and occurrence. Examples of extremes the team will investigate include flooding/drought, heat waves/cold spells, extreme wind events, and coastal flooding. Mainly, they seek to diagnose how the predictability of multi-year to decadal variability and the embedded extreme events are affected by oceanic mesoscale features and western boundary currents, and 2) quantify the role of volcanic eruptions in predictions of Pacific region SSTs and consequent global temperatures, with a focus on the regional details of the patterns of SSTs in verifying pattern correlations of observed and predicted SSTs that relate to decadal variability of globally averaged surface temperatures.

Initialized very high resolution global E3SM decadal predictions with observed volcanic emissions will be performed to test the above hypotheses and will comprise the most thorough set of simulations ever attempted for a decadal climate prediction project with the E3SM. Crucially, since these simulations are initialized predictions, they can make robust event-by-event comparisons with observations, which is particularly important when diagnosing extreme events. These simulations will be compared to lower resolution Community Earth System Model (CESM) simulations already conducted.

Project Type