Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Effects of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption on Decadal Climate Prediction Skill

TitleEffects of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption on Decadal Climate Prediction Skill
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMeehl, Gerald A., Teng Haiyan, Maher Nicola, and England Matthew H.
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Number24
Abstract / Summary

Multi-model simulations show a post-Pinatubo eruption sequence of Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) that includes a La Niña-like pattern the third northern winter after an eruption, opposite in sign to what was observed after Pinatubo. This leads to the loss of hindcast skill for years in the 1990s affected by the Pinatubo eruption because the post-eruption internal variability of the climate system did not match the multi-model forced response. Agung (1963) and El Chichõn (1982) happened to have post-eruption Pacific SST sequences more similar to the multi-model response and thus do not degrade prediction skill as measured by anomaly pattern correlation in the hindcasts. Thus, decadal hindcast skill is reduced if the post-eruption randomly occurring internal El Niño variability in the observations deviates from the multi-model forced response that, by definition, averages out internal variability in favor of the forced response.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015GL066608
DOI10.1002/2015GL066608
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2015
Volume: 42
Number: 24
Publication Date: 12/2015

Multi-model simulations show a post-Pinatubo eruption sequence of Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) that includes a La Niña-like pattern the third northern winter after an eruption, opposite in sign to what was observed after Pinatubo. This leads to the loss of hindcast skill for years in the 1990s affected by the Pinatubo eruption because the post-eruption internal variability of the climate system did not match the multi-model forced response. Agung (1963) and El Chichõn (1982) happened to have post-eruption Pacific SST sequences more similar to the multi-model response and thus do not degrade prediction skill as measured by anomaly pattern correlation in the hindcasts. Thus, decadal hindcast skill is reduced if the post-eruption randomly occurring internal El Niño variability in the observations deviates from the multi-model forced response that, by definition, averages out internal variability in favor of the forced response.

DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066608
Citation:
Meehl, GA, H Teng, N Maher, and MH England.  2015.  "Effects of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption on Decadal Climate Prediction Skill."  Geophysical Research Letters 42(24).  https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL066608.