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Anand Gnanadesikan
and
Whit G. Anderson

Abstract

Ocean water clarity affects the distribution of shortwave heating in the water column. In a one-dimensional time-mean sense, increased clarity would be expected to cool the surface and heat subsurface depths as shortwave radiation penetrates deeper into the water column. However, wind-driven upwelling, boundary currents, and the seasonal cycle of mixing can bring water heated at depth back to the surface. This warms the equator and cools the subtropics throughout the year while reducing the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of temperature in polar regions. This paper examines how these changes propagate through the climate system in a coupled model with an isopycnal ocean component focusing on the different impacts associated with removing shading from different regions. Increasing shortwave penetration along the equator causes warming to the south of the equator. Increasing it in the relatively clear gyres off the equator causes the Hadley cells to strengthen and the subtropical gyres to shift equatorward. Increasing shortwave penetration in the less clear regions overlying the oxygen minimum zones causes the cold tongue to warm and the Walker circulation to weaken. Increasing shortwave penetration in the high-latitude Southern Ocean causes an increase in the formation of mode water from subtropical water. The results suggest that more attention be paid to the processes distributing heat below the mixed layer.

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Adele K. Morrison
,
Stephen M. Griffies
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Michael Winton
,
Whit G. Anderson
, and
Jorge L. Sarmiento

Abstract

The Southern Ocean plays a dominant role in anthropogenic oceanic heat uptake. Strong northward transport of the heat content anomaly limits warming of the sea surface temperature in the uptake region and allows the heat uptake to be sustained. Using an eddy-rich global climate model, the processes controlling the northward transport and convergence of the heat anomaly in the midlatitude Southern Ocean are investigated in an idealized 1% yr−1 increasing CO2 simulation. Heat budget analyses reveal that different processes dominate to the north and south of the main convergence region. The heat transport northward from the uptake region in the south is driven primarily by passive advection of the heat content anomaly by the existing time mean circulation, with a smaller 20% contribution from enhanced upwelling. The heat anomaly converges in the midlatitude deep mixed layers because there is not a corresponding increase in the mean heat transport out of the deep mixed layers northward into the mode waters. To the north of the deep mixed layers, eddy processes drive the warming and account for nearly 80% of the northward heat transport anomaly. The eddy transport mechanism results from a reduction in both the diffusive and advective southward eddy heat transports, driven by decreasing isopycnal slopes and decreasing along-isopycnal temperature gradients on the northern edge of the peak warming.

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Salvatore Pascale
,
Simona Bordoni
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Sarah B. Kapnick
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Gabriel A. Vecchi
,
Liwei Jia
,
Thomas L. Delworth
,
Seth Underwood
, and
Whit Anderson

Abstract

The impact of atmosphere and ocean horizontal resolution on the climatology of North American monsoon Gulf of California (GoC) moisture surges is examined in a suite of global circulation models (CM2.1, FLOR, CM2.5, CM2.6, and HiFLOR) developed at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). These models feature essentially the same physical parameterizations but differ in horizontal resolution in either the atmosphere (≃200, 50, and 25 km) or the ocean (≃1°, 0.25°, and 0.1°). Increasing horizontal atmospheric resolution from 200 to 50 km results in a drastic improvement in the model’s capability of accurately simulating surge events. The climatological near-surface flow and moisture and precipitation anomalies associated with GoC surges are overall satisfactorily simulated in all higher-resolution models. The number of surge events agrees well with reanalyses, but models tend to underestimate July–August surge-related precipitation and overestimate September surge-related rainfall in the southwestern United States. Large-scale controls supporting the development of GoC surges, such as tropical easterly waves (TEWs), tropical cyclones (TCs), and trans-Pacific Rossby wave trains (RWTs), are also well captured, although models tend to underestimate the TEW and TC magnitude and number. Near-surface GoC surge features and their large-scale forcings (TEWs, TCs, and RWTs) do not appear to be substantially affected by a finer representation of the GoC at higher ocean resolution. However, the substantial reduction of the eastern Pacific warm sea surface temperature bias through flux adjustment in the Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution (FLOR) model leads to an overall improvement of tropical–extratropical controls on GoC moisture surges and the seasonal cycle of precipitation in the southwestern United States.

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Hyeong-Seog Kim
,
Gabriel A. Vecchi
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Thomas R. Knutson
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Whit G. Anderson
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Thomas L. Delworth
,
Anthony Rosati
,
Fanrong Zeng
, and
Ming Zhao

Abstract

Global tropical cyclone (TC) activity is simulated by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Climate Model, version 2.5 (CM2.5), which is a fully coupled global climate model with a horizontal resolution of about 50 km for the atmosphere and 25 km for the ocean. The present climate simulation shows a fairly realistic global TC frequency, seasonal cycle, and geographical distribution. The model has some notable biases in regional TC activity, including simulating too few TCs in the North Atlantic. The regional biases in TC activity are associated with simulation biases in the large-scale environment such as sea surface temperature, vertical wind shear, and vertical velocity. Despite these biases, the model simulates the large-scale variations of TC activity induced by El Niño–Southern Oscillation fairly realistically. The response of TC activity in the model to global warming is investigated by comparing the present climate with a CO2 doubling experiment. Globally, TC frequency decreases (−19%) while the intensity increases (+2.7%) in response to CO2 doubling, consistent with previous studies. The average TC lifetime decreases by −4.6%, while the TC size and rainfall increase by about 3% and 12%, respectively. These changes are generally reproduced across the different basins in terms of the sign of the change, although the percent changes vary from basin to basin and within individual basins. For the Atlantic basin, although there is an overall reduction in frequency from CO2 doubling, the warmed climate exhibits increased interannual hurricane frequency variability so that the simulated Atlantic TC activity is enhanced more during unusually warm years in the CO2-warmed climate relative to that in unusually warm years in the control climate.

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Liwei Jia
,
Xiaosong Yang
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Gabriel A. Vecchi
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Richard G. Gudgel
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Thomas L. Delworth
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Anthony Rosati
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William F. Stern
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Andrew T. Wittenberg
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Lakshmi Krishnamurthy
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Shaoqing Zhang
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Rym Msadek
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Sarah Kapnick
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Seth Underwood
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Fanrong Zeng
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Whit G. Anderson
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Venkatramani Balaji
, and
Keith Dixon

Abstract

This study demonstrates skillful seasonal prediction of 2-m air temperature and precipitation over land in a new high-resolution climate model developed by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and explores the possible sources of the skill. The authors employ a statistical optimization approach to identify the most predictable components of seasonal mean temperature and precipitation over land and demonstrate the predictive skill of these components. First, the improved skill of the high-resolution model over the previous lower-resolution model in seasonal prediction of the Niño-3.4 index and other aspects of interest is shown. Then, the skill of temperature and precipitation in the high-resolution model for boreal winter and summer is measured, and the sources of the skill are diagnosed. Last, predictions are reconstructed using a few of the most predictable components to yield more skillful predictions than the raw model predictions. Over three decades of hindcasts, the two most predictable components of temperature are characterized by a component that is likely due to changes in external radiative forcing in boreal winter and summer and an ENSO-related pattern in boreal winter. The most predictable components of precipitation in both seasons are very likely ENSO-related. These components of temperature and precipitation can be predicted with significant correlation skill at least 9 months in advance. The reconstructed predictions using only the first few predictable components from the model show considerably better skill relative to observations than raw model predictions. This study shows that the use of refined statistical analysis and a high-resolution dynamical model leads to significant skill in seasonal predictions of 2-m air temperature and precipitation over land.

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Xiaosong Yang
,
Anthony Rosati
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Shaoqing Zhang
,
Thomas L. Delworth
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Rich G. Gudgel
,
Rong Zhang
,
Gabriel Vecchi
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Whit Anderson
,
You-Soon Chang
,
Timothy DelSole
,
Keith Dixon
,
Rym Msadek
,
William F. Stern
,
Andrew Wittenberg
, and
Fanrong Zeng

Abstract

The decadal predictability of sea surface temperature (SST) and 2-m air temperature (T2m) in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) decadal hindcasts, which are part of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project experiments, has been investigated using an average predictability time (APT) analysis. Comparison of retrospective forecasts initialized using the GFDL Ensemble Coupled Data Assimilation system with uninitialized historical forcing simulations using the same model allows identification of the internal multidecadal pattern (IMP) for SST and T2m. The IMP of SST is characterized by an interhemisphere dipole, with warm anomalies centered in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre region and North Pacific subpolar gyre region, and cold anomalies centered in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current region. The IMP of T2m is characterized by a general bipolar seesaw, with warm anomalies centered in Greenland and cold anomalies centered in Antarctica. The retrospective prediction skill of the initialized system, verified against independent observational datasets, indicates that the IMP of SST may be predictable up to 4 (10) yr lead time at 95% (90%) significance level, and the IMP of T2m may be predictable up to 2 (10) yr at the 95% (90%) significance level. The initialization of multidecadal variations of northward oceanic heat transport in the North Atlantic significantly improves the predictive skill of the IMP. The dominant roles of oceanic internal dynamics in decadal prediction are further elucidated by fixed-forcing experiments in which radiative forcing is returned abruptly to 1961 values. These results point toward the possibility of meaningful decadal climate outlooks using dynamical coupled models if they are appropriately initialized from a sustained climate observing system.

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Thomas L. Delworth
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Anthony Rosati
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Whit Anderson
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Alistair J. Adcroft
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V. Balaji
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Rusty Benson
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Keith Dixon
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Stephen M. Griffies
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Hyun-Chul Lee
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Ronald C. Pacanowski
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Gabriel A. Vecchi
,
Andrew T. Wittenberg
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Fanrong Zeng
, and
Rong Zhang

Abstract

The authors present results for simulated climate and climate change from a newly developed high-resolution global climate model [Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model version 2.5 (GFDL CM2.5)]. The GFDL CM2.5 has an atmospheric resolution of approximately 50 km in the horizontal, with 32 vertical levels. The horizontal resolution in the ocean ranges from 28 km in the tropics to 8 km at high latitudes, with 50 vertical levels. This resolution allows the explicit simulation of some mesoscale eddies in the ocean, particularly at lower latitudes.

Analyses are presented based on the output of a 280-yr control simulation; also presented are results based on a 140-yr simulation in which atmospheric CO2 increases at 1% yr−1 until doubling after 70 yr.

Results are compared to GFDL CM2.1, which has somewhat similar physics but a coarser resolution. The simulated climate in CM2.5 shows marked improvement over many regions, especially the tropics, including a reduction in the double ITCZ and an improved simulation of ENSO. Regional precipitation features are much improved. The Indian monsoon and Amazonian rainfall are also substantially more realistic in CM2.5.

The response of CM2.5 to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 has many features in common with CM2.1, with some notable differences. For example, rainfall changes over the Mediterranean appear to be tightly linked to topography in CM2.5, in contrast to CM2.1 where the response is more spatially homogeneous. In addition, in CM2.5 the near-surface ocean warms substantially in the high latitudes of the Southern Ocean, in contrast to simulations using CM2.1.

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Stephen M. Griffies
,
Michael Winton
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Whit G. Anderson
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Rusty Benson
,
Thomas L. Delworth
,
Carolina O. Dufour
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John P. Dunne
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Paul Goddard
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Adele K. Morrison
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Anthony Rosati
,
Andrew T. Wittenberg
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Jianjun Yin
, and
Rong Zhang

Abstract

The authors characterize impacts on heat in the ocean climate system from transient ocean mesoscale eddies. Their tool is a suite of centennial-scale 1990 radiatively forced numerical climate simulations from three GFDL coupled models comprising the Climate Model, version 2.0–Ocean (CM2-O), model suite. CM2-O models differ in their ocean resolution: CM2.6 uses a 0.1° ocean grid, CM2.5 uses an intermediate grid with 0.25° spacing, and CM2-1deg uses a nominal 1.0° grid.

Analysis of the ocean heat budget reveals that mesoscale eddies act to transport heat upward in a manner that partially compensates (or offsets) for the downward heat transport from the time-mean currents. Stronger vertical eddy heat transport in CM2.6 relative to CM2.5 accounts for the significantly smaller temperature drift in CM2.6. The mesoscale eddy parameterization used in CM2-1deg also imparts an upward heat transport, yet it differs systematically from that found in CM2.6. This analysis points to the fundamental role that ocean mesoscale features play in transient ocean heat uptake. In general, the more accurate simulation found in CM2.6 provides an argument for either including a rich representation of the ocean mesoscale in model simulations of the mean and transient climate or for employing parameterizations that faithfully reflect the role of eddies in both lateral and vertical heat transport.

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Xiaosong Yang
,
Gabriel A. Vecchi
,
Rich G. Gudgel
,
Thomas L. Delworth
,
Shaoqing Zhang
,
Anthony Rosati
,
Liwei Jia
,
William F. Stern
,
Andrew T. Wittenberg
,
Sarah Kapnick
,
Rym Msadek
,
Seth D. Underwood
,
Fanrong Zeng
,
Whit Anderson
, and
Venkatramani Balaji

Abstract

The seasonal predictability of extratropical storm tracks in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s (GFDL)’s high-resolution climate model has been investigated using an average predictability time analysis. The leading predictable components of extratropical storm tracks are the ENSO-related spatial patterns for both boreal winter and summer, and the second predictable components are mostly due to changes in external radiative forcing and multidecadal oceanic variability. These two predictable components for both seasons show significant correlation skill for all leads from 0 to 9 months, while the skill of predicting the boreal winter storm track is consistently higher than that of the austral winter. The predictable components of extratropical storm tracks are dynamically consistent with the predictable components of the upper troposphere jet flow for both seasons. Over the region with strong storm-track signals in North America, the model is able to predict the changes in statistics of extremes connected to storm-track changes (e.g., extreme low and high sea level pressure and extreme 2-m air temperature) in response to different ENSO phases. These results point toward the possibility of providing skillful seasonal predictions of the statistics of extratropical extremes over land using high-resolution coupled models.

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Carolina O. Dufour
,
Stephen M. Griffies
,
Gregory F. de Souza
,
Ivy Frenger
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Adele K. Morrison
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Jaime B. Palter
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Jorge L. Sarmiento
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Eric D. Galbraith
,
John P. Dunne
,
Whit G. Anderson
, and
Richard D. Slater

Abstract

This study examines the role of processes transporting tracers across the Polar Front (PF) in the depth interval between the surface and major topographic sills, which this study refers to as the “PF core.” A preindustrial control simulation of an eddying climate model coupled to a biogeochemical model [GFDL Climate Model, version 2.6 (CM2.6)– simplified version of the Biogeochemistry with Light Iron Nutrients and Gas (miniBLING) 0.1° ocean model] is used to investigate the transport of heat, carbon, oxygen, and phosphate across the PF core, with a particular focus on the role of mesoscale eddies. The authors find that the total transport across the PF core results from a ubiquitous Ekman transport that drives the upwelled tracers to the north and a localized opposing eddy transport that induces tracer leakages to the south at major topographic obstacles. In the Ekman layer, the southward eddy transport only partially compensates the northward Ekman transport, while below the Ekman layer, the southward eddy transport dominates the total transport but remains much smaller in magnitude than the near-surface northward transport. Most of the southward branch of the total transport is achieved below the PF core, mainly through geostrophic currents. This study finds that the eddy-diffusive transport reinforces the southward eddy-advective transport for carbon and heat, and opposes it for oxygen and phosphate. Eddy-advective transport is likely to be the leading-order component of eddy-induced transport for all four tracers. However, eddy-diffusive transport may provide a significant contribution to the southward eddy heat transport due to strong along-isopycnal temperature gradients.

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