Through diagnostic studies of CIMP5 experiments and additional modeling studies, we will examine contributions to the predictability from both slow external forcing and internal dynamics, focusing on the decadal predictability in subsurface heat content and SST variability over the north and tropical Pacific. We will also explore the potential contributions to the decadal predictability from natural or forced changes in ENSO activity. The outcome of this project will add to our understanding of the predictability of Pacific decadal variability, which meets the objectives of the NOAA CVP program.
The possibility of making decadal climate predictions has been recognized after the great progress made during last couple of decades in climate system modeling, seasonal to interannual climate predictions, and century-scale climate projections. Determining the sources of predictability within the climate system is still a formidable challenge for decadal climate predictions. Although studies of the subject have suggested that decadal predictability resides in both external forced variability and slow natural variability, further exploration and a better understanding of the sources of decadal predictability are needed. In this project, we propose to investigate the predictability of the Pacific decadal sea surface temperature (SST) variability, which is a major source for decadal climate anomalies over North America.