Global Teleconnection Operators: A method for assessing regional climate sensitivities to SST patterns

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Visiting scholar, Professor Chris Forest from the Departments of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science & Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University will be at NIWA at Greta Point to give a lecture in how uncertainty in regional climate predictions is a critical component of understanding risks of future climate impacts.

Unfortunately, state of the science Earth System Models fail to show significant skill reproducing climate change at sub-continental and smaller scales (i.e., regional scales) despite their ability detect and attribute climate change at global to continental scales. Large internal climate variability is one reason for this lack of skill although when forced by historical tropical sea surface temperature (SST) patterns, atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) show reasonable skill at reproducing regional climate change over continents. In this talk, we investigate how multiple AGCMs respond over continents to idealized SST anomaly patterns and define a global teleconnection operator (GTO) as a tool for investigating regional climate sensitivities of individual models. This GTO permits identifying a component of internal climate variability that is forced by SST variablity and also evaluating how AGCMs differ in their idealized regional responses.

Related Papers of interest:

Tsai, C.-Y., C.E. Forest, and T. Wagener, On the use of SST-forced teleconnection patterns to estimate precipitation effects on regional river basins, Clim. Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2449-1, 2014.

Li, W. and C.E. Forest, Estimating the sensitivity of the atmospheric teleconnection patterns to SST anomalies using a linear statistical method.J. Climate, 27, 9065–9081. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00231.1, 2014.

Hoffman, A., C.E. Forest, and W. Li, On the use of SST-forced teleconnection patterns to estimate dust emissions and depositions at sub-continental scales, J. Geophys. Res.- Atmos., doi:10.1002/2014JD021682, 2014.

Li, W., C.E. Forest, and J.J. Barsugli, Comparing two methods to estimate the sensitivity of regional climate simulations to tropical SST anomalies, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D20103, doi:10.1029/2011JD017186, 2012.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017 at 10.30am

Main Conference Room, NIWA Greta Point

Please direct any queries to Sue Rosier, ph 386-0312

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Tue, 03/28/2017 - 10:30
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Programme type: Impacts and Implications