Using a Very Large Ensemble to Examine the Role of the Ocean in Recent Warming Trends.

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Sarah Naomi Sparrow1, Richard Millar1, Alexander Otto1, Kuniko Yamazaki2 and Myles Robert Allen3, (1)University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, (2)University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, (3)University of Oxford, ECI/School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford, United Kingdom
Results from a very large (~10,000 member) perturbed physics and perturbed initial condition ensemble are presented for the period 1980 to present. A set of model versions that can shadow recent surface and upper ocean observations are identified and the range of uncertainty in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) assessed. This experiment uses the Met Office Hadley Centre Coupled Model version 3 (HadCM3), a coupled model with fully dynamic atmosphere and ocean components as part of the climateprediction.net distributive computing project. Parameters are selected so that the model has good top of atmosphere radiative balance and simulations are run without flux adjustments that “nudge” the climate towards a realistic state, but have an adverse effect on important ocean processes. This ensemble provides scientific insights on the possible role of the AMOC, among other factors, in climate trends, or lack thereof, over the past 20 years.

This ensemble is also used to explore how the occurrence of hiatus events of different durations varies for models with different transient climate response (TCR). We show that models with a higher TCR are less likely to produce a 15-year warming hiatus in global surface temperature than those with a lower TCR.