The Bjerknes Centre is a collaboration on climate research, between the University of Bergen, NORCE, the Institute of Marine Research, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

Seminar talk: Sea surface temperature variability and predictability based on prescribed wind-stress simulations

Annika Reintges from GEOMAR Helmholz Centre for Ocean Research will give a seminar talk on 13 August.

Portrait Reintges
Annika Reintges

Short biography:

I am a postdoctoral researcher at GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany. My research interests are (large scale) physical ocean-sea ice-atmosphere interactions. Currently, I am focusing on the role of the wind-stress for multi-year sea surface temperature predictability in the Kiel Climate Model.



Wind-stress is an important driver of ocean variability. It affects variability on seasonal to interannual timescales, like in the case of the El Niño / Southern Oscillation. But wind is also suggested to influences decadal timescales. For example, it was shown that coupled model simulations forced by observed tropical Pacific wind-stress could reproduce the recent global warming hiatus. Similar experiments could, furthermore, predict the decadal climate shifts in the Pacific. Thus, wind-stress forcing of the ocean is essential to understand climate predictability on a range of timescales, from seasonal to decadal.

In this study, we assess the value for multi-year climate prediction provided by initial conditions produced only through prescribed wind-stress anomalies. For this purpose, we perform decadal hindcasts in a coupled model, the Kiel Climate Model (KCM), initialized from runs with prescribed wind-stress anomalies from the ERA-Interim reanalysis. The skill for predicting 1-year long anomalies is quantified.

Extended sea surface temperature predictability for lead times of several years is found, especially, in the subpolar North Atlantic. For shorter lead times, predictive skill is also high in the subpolar Pacific, the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean, but not in the tropical Atlantic. The enhanced multi-year predictability on the North Atlantic could be achieved by the wind-driven parts of the deep ocean circulation (like of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) but also by other processes affecting the oceanic heat content which acts as a repository for preceding wind-stress information.


Arranged date for the seminar talk: Aug 13, 2019 at 14:15

Location: NERSC Lecture Room, Thormøhlensgate 47