Climate Predictions and Projections

Objectives

  • The investigation of the processes underlying climate variability and predictability on seasonal, interannual and decadal scale
  • The development of seasonal and decadal prediction systems.  Climate forecasting activities currently contribute to a number of international research projects, including CLIMAFRICA, COMBINE and CMIP5.
  • The production of climate simulations of the recent past and projections of scenario for the next century, global, and the Mediterranean region.
  • The analysis of climate variability and evaluation of the effects of human activities on it.
  • The development of diagnostic tools for the characterization of the variability and climate change signal on regional and global scale.

 

Activities

  • Decadal Variability
    Investigation of the mechanisms which govern decadal and inter-decadal climate variability; explore the role of ocean dynamics on the variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, with particular emphasis on extra-tropical North Atlantic sector and the thermo-haline circulation and the interplay between NAO and large-scale ocean circulation.

 

  • Previsioni Stagionali
    Seasonal predictions are nowadays a well established practice, essentially fostered by our theoretical understanding of El Niño dynamics, which was in turn made possibile by the use of intermediate-complexity coupled ocean-atmosphere models of the tropical Pacific, revealing the possibility of skillful ENSO predictions seasons ahead. This led to the development of seasonal prediction systems in several climate research centres worldwide. At CMCC a seasonal prediction system based on a coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model has been developed. The system which is currently in use (CMCC-SPS2) initializes the atmosphere and land surface via ERA-interim reanalysis and the ocean through ocean data assimilation products made available by CMCC-INGV Global Ocean Data Assimilation system (CIGODAS). The model is initialized four times a year, on the 1st of February, May August and November, and then integrated for 6 months. The forecast is based on 9-members ensemble simulations, obtained by perturbing the atmospheric initial state. Land initialization (constraining soil temperature and moist content, and leaf area index) represent future research activities.

 

  • Decadal Predictions
    Decadal predictions are a novel field of investigation, recently boosted from the increasing concern of policy and decision-makers for the near-term climate evolution. At CMCC a decadal prediction system has been developed, which makes use of a dynamical climate model combined with observation-based state estimates (reanalyses) for the ocean and atmosphere. Exploring alternative initialization and perturbation methodologies aimed at improving the system predictive skill is a crucial aspect which is currently being investigated. Results from decadal hindcast/forecasts contribute to the understanding of the initialization impact on the near-term climate system evolution, and also to identify the principal mechanisms influencing climate predictability at multiannual time-scales.

 

  • Climate Projections
    Study of the processes that govern climate variability from intraseasonal to decadal and longer scales; investigate the role of the dynamics of the stratosphere and its interaction with the troposphere in regulating the interannual variability of the climate system; analysis and quantification of the effects of systematic errors on the variability of the modelled climate; analysis and characterization of extreme events in the tropics and in the Euro-Mediterranean and effects of global warming on them.