Why Climate Modelers Should Worry About Atmospheric and Oceanic Weather

Ben Kirtman, Gabriel A. Vecchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


The local air-sea feedback diagnostic presented here shows that in many regions of the tropical ocean and the atmosphere primarily drives interannual sea surface temperature variability. This diagnostic is applied to both uncoupled AGCM simulations and coupled simulations. The results support the claim that uncoupled AGCM simulations fail to capture the co-variability between the atmosphere and ocean particularly in warm regions of the IndoPacific. This has implications in terms of how well the model is able to reproduce the observed tropical teleconnections. In addition, the diagnostic reveals that the coupled models typically fail to capture the observed local air-sea feedbacks in the western Pacific. Based on simple theoretical calculations the authors argue that: (i) this error leads to ENSO events that extend too far to the west and (ii) that to reduce this error addition stochastic forcing at the air-sea interface needs to be added to the coupled system. This second point is supported by CGCM experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGlobal Monsoon System, The
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Forecast, 2nd Edition
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789814343411
ISBN (Print)9789814343404
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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