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Publication Date
1 October 2021

Differential Credibility of Climate Modes in CMIP6



This work quantitatively evaluates the fidelity with which the Northern Annular Mode (NAM), Southern Annular Mode (SAM), Pacific-North American pattern (PNA), El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the first-order mode interactions are represented in Earth System Model (ESM) output from the CMIP6 archive. Several skill metrics are used as part of a differential credibility assessment (DCA) of both spatial and temporal characteristics of the modes across ESMs, ESM families and specific ESM realizations relative to ERA5. The spatial patterns and probability distributions are generally well represented but skill scores that measure the degree to which the frequencies of maximum variance are captured are consistently lower for most ESMs and climate modes. Substantial variability in skill scores manifests across realizations from individual ESMs for the PNA and oceanic modes. Further, the ESMs consistently overestimate the strength of the NAM-PNA first-order interaction and underestimate the NAM-AMO connection. These results suggest that the choice of ESM and ESM realizations will continue to play a critical role in determining climate projections at the global and regional scale at least in the near-term.

Coburn, Jacob J, and S. C. Pryor. 2021. “Differential Credibility Of Climate Modes In Cmip6”. Journal Of Climate 34: 8145-8164. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-21-0359.1.
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