Related Research Areas
Water & Energy Cycles

It is now clear that sea surface temperature (SST) changes have had profound impacts on long-term hydroclimate variability in a number of regions throughout the world. There is also emerging evidence that in some regions land feedbacks may play an important role. There are, however, a number of uncertainties about the physical processes that link regional climate to remote SST changes, the strength and nature of the land impacts, and the predictability of regional hydroclimate variations on these long time scales. The goals of this study are to: 1) Further quantify the physical mechanisms that link North American hydroclimate variability to the leading patterns of decadal SST variability in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic basins. This includes an assessment of the impact of global warming. 2) a) Improve our understanding of the role of the land in magnifying the SST response over North America in terms of both surface temperature and soil moisture variations. b) Assess the impact of vegetation changes on hydroclimate at decadal and longer time scales. 3) a) Assess the nature and predictability of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)-like SST variations with a focus on the role of Pacific subtropical cells and the 1970s climate shift and the more recent shift in the late 1990s. b) Assess the nature and predictability of Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)-like SST changes during the 1960s and 1990s, with a focus on the role of the thermohaline circulation (the Meridional Overturning Circulation, MOC). The work will use NASA’s GEOS-5 model (coupled and uncoupled) and atmosphere and ocean data assimilation systems, including a “replay” methodology that allows running the coupled model under various atmospheric constraints. The study will also take advantage of the large suite of existing USCLIVAR drought working group AGCM simulations, and carry out selected companion runs with the GFDL and NCEP coupled models. Comparisons will be made with several atmosphere and ocean reanalysis data, including a planned 50+ year low-resolution MERRA product.

Project PI: Siegfried Schubert/ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Code 611,Goddard Space Flight Center/ NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20772

Phone: (301)614-6145



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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 15, 2010


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