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  1. Abstract

    The impact of increased model horizontal resolution on climate prediction performance is examined by comparing results from low-resolution (LR) and high-resolution (HR) decadal prediction simulations conducted with the Community Earth System Model (CESM). There is general improvement in global skill and signal-to-noise characteristics, with particularly noteworthy improvements in the eastern tropical Pacific, when resolution is increased from order 1° in all components to order 0.1°/0.25° in the ocean/atmosphere. A key advance in the ocean eddy-resolving HR system is the reduction of unrealistic warming in the Southern Ocean (SO) which we hypothesize has global ramifications through its impacts on tropical Pacific multidecadal variability. The results suggest that accurate representation of SO processes is critical for improving decadal climate predictions globally and for addressing longstanding issues with coupled climate model simulations of recent Earth system change.

  2. Abstract

    Upwelling along ocean eastern boundaries is expected to intensify due to coastal wind strengthening driven by increasing land-sea contrast according to the Bakun hypothesis. Here, the latest high-resolution climate simulations that exhibit drastic improvements of upwelling processes reveal far more complex future upwelling changes. The Southern Hemisphere upwelling systems show a future strengthening in coastal winds with a rapid coastal warming, whereas the Northern Hemisphere coastal winds show a decrease with a comparable warming trend. The Bakun mechanism cannot explain these changes. Heat budget analysis indicates that temperature change in the upwelling region is not simply controlled by vertical Ekman upwelling, but also influenced by horizontal heat advection driven by strong near-coast wind stress curl that is neglected in the Bakun hypothesis and poorly represented by the low-resolution models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. The high-resolution climate simulations also reveal a strong spatial variation in future upwelling changes, which is missing in the low-resolution simulations.

  3. Climate change projections consistently demonstrate that warming temperatures and dwindling seasonal snowpack will elicit cascading effects on ecosystem function and water resource availability. Despite this consensus, little is known about potential changes in the variability of ecohydrological conditions, which is also required to inform climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Considering potential changes in ecohydrological variability is critical to evaluating the emergence of trends, assessing the likelihood of extreme events such as floods and droughts, and identifying when tipping points may be reached that fundamentally alter ecohydrological function. Using a single-model Large Ensemble with sophisticated terrestrial ecosystem representation, we characterize projected changes in the mean state and variability of ecohydrological processes in historically snow-dominated regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Widespread snowpack reductions, earlier snowmelt timing, longer growing seasons, drier soils, and increased fire risk are projected for this century under a high-emissions scenario. In addition to these changes in the mean state, increased variability in winter snowmelt will increase growing-season water deficits and increase the stochasticity of runoff. Thus, with warming, declining snowpack loses its dependable buffering capacity so that runoff quantity and timing more closely reflect the episodic characteristics of precipitation. This results in a declining predictability of annualmore »runoff from maximum snow water equivalent, which has critical implications for ecosystem stress and water resource management. Our results suggest that there is a strong likelihood of pervasive alterations to ecohydrological function that may be expected with climate change.« less
  4. Abstract

    The effects of differences in climate base state are related to processes associated with the present‐day South Asian monsoon simulations in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 2 (E3SMv2) and the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2). Though tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean base state sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are over 1°C cooler in E3SMv2 compared to CESM2, and there is an overall reduction of Indian sector precipitation, the pattern of South Asian monsoon precipitation is similar in the two models. Monsoon‐ENSO teleconnections, dynamically linked by the large‐scale east‐west atmospheric circulation, are reduced in E3SMv2 compared to CESM2. In E3SMv2, this is related to cooler tropical SSTs and ENSO amplitude that is less than half that in CESM2. Comparison to a tropical Pacific pacemaker experiment shows, to a first order, that the base state SSTs and ENSO amplitude contribute roughly equally to lower amplitude monsoon‐ENSO teleconnections in E3SMv2.

  5. Abstract

    Low-lying island nations like Indonesia are vulnerable to sea level Height EXtremes (HEXs). When compounded by marine heatwaves, HEXs have larger ecological and societal impact. Here we combine observations with model simulations, to investigate the HEXs and Compound Height-Heat Extremes (CHHEXs) along the Indian Ocean coast of Indonesia in recent decades. We find that anthropogenic sea level rise combined with decadal climate variability causes increased occurrence of HEXs during 2010–2017. Both HEXs and CHHEXs are driven by equatorial westerly and longshore northwesterly wind anomalies. For most HEXs, which occur during December-March, downwelling favorable northwest monsoon winds are enhanced but enhanced vertical mixing limits surface warming. For most CHHEXs, wind anomalies associated with a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and co-occurring La Niña weaken the southeasterlies and cooling from coastal upwelling during May-June and November-December. Our findings emphasize the important interplay between anthropogenic warming and climate variability in affecting regional extremes.

  6. Abstract

    Single-forcing large ensembles are a relatively new tool for quantifying the contributions of different anthropogenic and natural forcings to the historical and future projected evolution of the climate system. This study introduces a new single-forcing large ensemble with the Community Earth System Model, version 2 (CESM2), which can be used to separate the influences of greenhouse gases, anthropogenic aerosols, biomass burning aerosols, and all remaining forcings on the evolution of the Earth system from 1850 to 2050. Here, the forced responses of global near-surface temperature and associated drivers are examined in CESM2 and compared with those in a single-forcing large ensemble with CESM2’s predecessor, CESM1. The experimental design, the imposed forcing, and the model physics all differ between the CESM1 and CESM2 ensembles. In CESM1, an “all-but-one” approach was used whereby everything except the forcing of interest is time evolving, while in CESM2 an “only” approach is used, whereby only the forcing of interest is time evolving. This experimental design choice is shown to matter considerably for anthropogenic aerosol-forced change in CESM2, due to state dependence of cryospheric albedo feedbacks and nonlinearity in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) response to forcing. This impact of experimental design is, however,more »strongly dependent on the model physics and/or the imposed forcing, as the same sensitivity to experimental design is not found in CESM1, which appears to be an inherently less nonlinear model in both its AMOC behavior and cryospheric feedbacks.

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  7. Abstract Understanding the impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is important for climate prediction. By analyzing observational data and performing Indian and Pacific Ocean pacemaker experiments using a state-of-the-art climate model, we find that a positive IOD (pIOD) can favor both cold and warm sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the tropical Pacific, in contrast to the previously identified pIOD-El Niño connection. The diverse impacts of the pIOD on ENSO are related to SSTA in the Seychelles-Chagos thermocline ridge (SCTR; 60°E-85°E and 7°S-15°S) as part of the warm pole of the pIOD. Specifically, a pIOD with SCTR warming can cause warm SSTA in the southeast Indian Ocean, which induces La Niña-like conditions in the tropical Pacific through interbasin interaction processes associated with a recently identified climate phenomenon dubbed the “Warm Pool Dipole”. This study identifies a new pIOD-ENSO relationship and examines the associated mechanisms.
  8. Abstract The subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) experienced extreme cold during 2015, an event often called the “cold blob”. The evolution of this event in the Community Earth System Model version 1 Decadal Prediction Large Ensemble (CESM1-DPLE) hindcast initialized in November 2014 is compared to observations. This CESM1-DPLE hindcast failed to predict cold conditions during 2015 despite already cold SPNA initial conditions and despite having high sea surface temperature skill in the SPNA in all other years. The goal of this paper is to understand what led to this prediction failure in order to provide insight for future decadal prediction efforts. Our analysis shows that strongly positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) conditions during winter and spring 2015 likely sustained the cold blob but were not simulated in any CESM1-DPLE members. We examine the rarity of the 2015 event using the CESM1-DPLE’s uninitialized counterpart, the CESM1 Large Ensemble (CESM1-LE). Results from the CESM1-LE indicate that the exceptional state of the observed NAO in the winter of 2015 is at least part of the explanation for why this event was not encompassed in the CESM1-DPLE spread. To test another possibility — that deficiencies in the initial conditions degraded the prediction — we performedmore »additional hindcasts using the CESM1-DPLE protocol but different initial conditions. Altering the initial conditions did not improve the simulation of the 2015 cold blob, and in some cases, degraded it. Given the difficulty of predicting this event, this case could be a useful testbed for future prediction system development.« less
  9. Abstract. The potential for multiyear prediction of impactful Earthsystem change remains relatively underexplored compared to shorter(subseasonal to seasonal) and longer (decadal) timescales. In this study, weintroduce a new initialized prediction system using the Community EarthSystem Model version 2 (CESM2) that is specifically designed to probepotential and actual prediction skill at lead times ranging from 1 month outto 2 years. The Seasonal-to-Multiyear Large Ensemble (SMYLE) consists of acollection of 2-year-long hindcast simulations, with four initializations peryear from 1970 to 2019 and an ensemble size of 20. A full suite of output isavailable for exploring near-term predictability of all Earth systemcomponents represented in CESM2. We show that SMYLE skill for ElNiño–Southern Oscillation is competitive with other prominent seasonalprediction systems, with correlations exceeding 0.5 beyond a lead time of 12months. A broad overview of prediction skill reveals varying degrees ofpotential for useful multiyear predictions of seasonal anomalies in theatmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice. The SMYLE dataset, experimentaldesign, model, initial conditions, and associated analysis tools are allpublicly available, providing a foundation for research on multiyearprediction of environmental change by the wider community.