16 September 2017

Internally Generated and Externally Forced Multidecadal Oceanic Modes and their Influence on the Summer Rainfall Over East Asia


By analyzing simulations from a unique Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble (CESM_LE) project, we show that the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) is primarily an internally generated oceanic variability, while the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) may be an oceanic variability generated by internal oceanic processes and modulated by external forcings in the 20th century. Although the observed relationship between IPO and the Yangtze-Huaihe River valley (YHRV) summer rainfall in China is well simulated in both the preindustrial control and 20th century ensemble, none of the 20th century ensemble members can reproduce the observed time evolution of both IPO and YHRV due to the unpredictable nature of IPO on multidecade timescale. 


Although CESM_LE cannot reproduce the observed relationship between AMO and Huanghe River valley (HRV) summer rainfall of China in the preindustrial control simulation, this relationship in the 20th century simulations is well reproduced, and the chance to reproduce the observed time evolution of both AMO and HRV rainfall is about 30%, indicating the important role of the interaction between the internal processes and the external forcing to realistically simulate the AMO and HRV rainfall.


The interdecadal oceanic variabilities can be generated from both internal and external processes, and these variabilities can significantly modulate our climate on global and regional scale, such as the warming slowdown in the early 21st century, and the rainfall in East Asia. 

Aixue Hu
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)