On the dependence of hindcast skill on ocean thermodynamics in a coupled ocean-atmosphere model

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Abstract

Three different mechanisms for the generation of ENSO SST anomalies within a simplified tropical Pacific Ocean model are examined: thermocline depth changes, Ekman-induced upwelling anomalies, and zonal advection changes. The effect of varying the relative influence of these terms on the realism of tropical Pacific coupled models is analyzed. The principal tool used to assess such realism is hindcast skill, with forced ocean and oscillatory behavior also being examined. Of the mechanisms considered, thermocline perturbations are shown to be crucially important for high coupled-model hindcast skill. Furthermore, it is concluded that the realism of the model (as measured by hindcast skill) deteriorates markedly when the influence on SST of Ekman upwelling becomes greater than a small fraction of the thermocline influence. -Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2012-2033
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume6
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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