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Decadal Climate Prediction: Improving Our Understanding of Processes and Mechanisms to Make Better Predictions

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Session Description: 

The new field of decadal climate prediction has seen rapid advances in quantifying predictive skill in space and time, and the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) multi-model decadal hindcasts have enabled much of this work (Kirtman et al. 2013). However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding processes and mechanisms that could produce prediction skill on decadal timescales. The WCRP Decadal Climate Prediction Panel (DCPP, George Boer, chair), a joint committee between the Working Group on Coupled Models (WGCM) and the Working Group on Seasonal to Interannual Prediction (WGSIP), is currently promoting various types of idealized experiments and diagnostic studies to address this problem by individual scientists and groups. This AGCI workshop will bring together the scientists performing these studies to compare their results and formulate productive coordinated experiments that can become part of the experiment design for the decadal prediction experiment for CMIP6.

There are high expectations for the new field of decadal climate prediction from the stakeholder and policy-maker communities (Meehl et al. 2009; Meehl et al. 2013). To live up to those expectations, the decadal climate prediction community must improve the capabilities of decadal climate predictions, and to do that there is a need for a much better understanding of the processes and mechanisms in the climate system that produce decadal climate variability. Improving understanding of these processes and mechanisms is the way forward for producing near-term climate information that is usable for a variety of real world applications.