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Internal climate memory in observations and models


Monselesan, DP and O'Kane, TJ and Risbey, JS and Church, J, Internal climate memory in observations and models, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, (4) pp. 1232-1242. ISSN 0094-8276 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2014GL062765


Attribution of cause of climate change is hindered by our ability to separate internal low-frequency variability from the forced response in the climate system. We characterize the spatiotemporal characteristics of internal variability by comparing ensemble averages of in-band fractional variances in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) preindustrial control simulations to estimates from observations and reanalyses. For sea surface temperature and sea level height anomalies both models and observations show that variability on time scales less than 5 years is predominantly in the tropics and has the spatial signature of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. On progressively longer time scales the variance moves to the extratropics and from middle to higher latitudes while displaying spatially coherent features. The CMIP5 models show good agreement in the spatial and temporal apportioning of in-band variance when the variances are normalized.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate, climate memory, observations, models, climate change, variability, climate modelling, el nino
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:O'Kane, TJ (Dr Terry O'Kane)
UTAS Author:Risbey, JS (Dr James Risbey)
UTAS Author:Church, J (Dr John Church)
ID Code:118515
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-13
Last Modified:2017-08-09
Downloads:153 View Download Statistics

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