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Ting Liu, Wenxiu Zhong. Predictability of the upper ocean heat content in a CESM ensemble prediction system[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2239-x
Citation: Ting Liu, Wenxiu Zhong. Predictability of the upper ocean heat content in a CESM ensemble prediction system[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2239-x

Predictability of the upper ocean heat content in a CESM ensemble prediction system

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2239-x
Funds:  the National Key R&D Program of China under contract No. 2020YFA0608803, the Scientific Research Fund of the Second Institute of Oceanography, MNR No. QNYC2101, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 42105052; the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) under contract No. SML2021SP310, and the Innovation Group Project of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) under contract No. 311021001.
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  • Upper ocean heat content (OHC) has been widely recognized as a crucial precursor to high-impact climate variability, especially for that being indispensable to the long-term memory of the ocean. Assessing the predictability of OHC using state-of-the-art climate models is invaluable for improving and advancing climate forecasts. Recently developed retrospective forecast experiments, based on a Community Earth System Model ensemble prediction system, offer a great opportunity to comprehensively explore OHC predictability. Our results indicate that the skill of actual OHC predictions varies across different oceans and diminishes as the lead time of prediction extends. The spatial distribution of the actual prediction skill closely resembles the corresponding persistence skill, indicating that the persistence of OHC serves as the primary predictive signal for its predictability. The decline in actual prediction skill is more pronounced in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans than in the Pacific Ocean, particularly within tropical regions. Additionally, notable seasonal variations in the actual prediction skills across different oceans align well with the phase-locking features of OHC variability. The potential predictability of OHC generally surpasses the actual prediction skill at all lead times, highlighting significant room for improvement in current OHC predictions, especially for the North Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Achieving such improvements necessitates a collaborative effort to enhance the quality of ocean observations, develop effective data assimilation methods, and reduce model bias.
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