Estimating modes of inter-decadal variability and predictability in coupled climate models

Carsten Segerlund Frederiksen, Xiaowei Quan, Xiaogu Zheng, Simon Grainger


A methodology is described that allows a separation of inter-decadal variability into components associated with intra-decadal noise and potentially predictable slow decadal processes. The method is applied to a 1200 year simulation of internal variability of sea surface temperature in a coupled atmosphere-ocean model using parameters and radiative forcing associated with the year 2000. The analysis shows large predictability in the extratropical regions. The two leading modes associated with intra-decadal variability are shown to be related to interannual variability in the El Nino--Southern Oscillation and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation. The leading four slow modes are shown to be related to slow decadal variability in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation.

  • C. S. Frederiksen, X. Zheng and S. Grainger. Simulated modes of inter-decadal predictability in sea surface temperature. Clim. Dyn., 46:2231–2245, 2016. doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2699-6.
  • J. Lou, X. Zheng, C. S. Frederiksen, H. Liu, S. Grainger and K. Ying. Simulated decadal modes of the NH atmospheric circulation arising from intra-decadal variability, external forcing and slow-decadal climate processes. Clim. Dyn.,48:2635–2652, 2016. doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3229-x
  • Z. Liu. Dynamics of interdecadal climate variability: a historical perspective. J. Clim., 25:143–162, 2012. doi:10.1175/2011JCLI3980.1
  • H. von Storch and F. W. Zwiers. Statistical Analysis in Climate Research. Cambridge University Press, 484pp, 2001.


decadal variability; potential predictability

Full Text:



Remember, for most actions you have to record/upload into this online system
and then inform the editor/author via clicking on an email icon or Completion button.
ANZIAM Journal, ISSN 1446-8735, copyright Australian Mathematical Society.