Seasonal-to-Decadal Predictability and Prediction of South American Climate

P. Nobre CPTEC/INPE, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil

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J. A. Marengo CPTEC/INPE, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil

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I. F. A. Cavalcanti CPTEC/INPE, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil

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G. Obregon CPTEC/INPE, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil

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V. Barros UBA/CIMA, CONICET_UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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I. Camilloni UBA/CIMA, CONICET_UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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N. Campos FUNCEME, Fortaleza, Brazil

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A. G. Ferreira FUNCEME, Fortaleza, Brazil

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Abstract

The dynamical basis for seasonal to decadal climate predictions and predictability over South America is reviewed. It is shown that, while global tropical SSTs affect both predictability and predictions over South America, the current lack of SST predictability over the tropical Atlantic represents a limiting factor to seasonal climate predictions over some parts of the continent. The model’s skill varies with the continental region: the highest skill is found in the “Nordeste” region and the lowest skill over southeastern Brazil. It is also suggested that current two-tier approaches to predict seasonal climate variations might represent a major limitation to forecast coupled ocean–atmosphere phenomena like the South Atlantic convergence zone. Also discussed are the possible effects of global climate change on regional predictability of seasonal climate.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Paulo Nobre, Rodovia Presidente Dutra, Km 40, Cachoeira Paulista, SP 12630-000, Brazil. Email: pnobre@cptec.inpe.br

Abstract

The dynamical basis for seasonal to decadal climate predictions and predictability over South America is reviewed. It is shown that, while global tropical SSTs affect both predictability and predictions over South America, the current lack of SST predictability over the tropical Atlantic represents a limiting factor to seasonal climate predictions over some parts of the continent. The model’s skill varies with the continental region: the highest skill is found in the “Nordeste” region and the lowest skill over southeastern Brazil. It is also suggested that current two-tier approaches to predict seasonal climate variations might represent a major limitation to forecast coupled ocean–atmosphere phenomena like the South Atlantic convergence zone. Also discussed are the possible effects of global climate change on regional predictability of seasonal climate.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Paulo Nobre, Rodovia Presidente Dutra, Km 40, Cachoeira Paulista, SP 12630-000, Brazil. Email: pnobre@cptec.inpe.br

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