Decadal prediction

The group develops forecasting capabilities on decadal timescales.

Over the next decade, changes in climate are expected to be due to a combination of anthropogenic changes in atmospheric greenhouse-gas and aerosol concentrations; natural variations in volcanic and solar activity, and natural, unforced internal variability. To predict regional changes on these timescales it is important to include all of these effects.

The decadal predictions system, DePreSys, achieves this by starting predictions from observed atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and including projected emissions of greenhouse gases and variations in natural climate forcings (volcanic and solar activity).

Retrospective decadal predictions with DePreSys show improvements over uninitialised forecasts, including global average temperature and Atlantic hurricane frequency.

Key aims

  • To improve understanding of mechanisms of decadal variability.

  • To improve predictive capability on decadal timescales.

  • To develop operational decadal prediction products.

Current projects

  • Decadal simulations for IPCC's fifth assessment report.

  • Assessing skill of predictions of Atlantic overturning circulation.

  • Assessing skill of predictions of extreme events.

  • Idealised experiments to assess initialisation strategies.

  • Re-analysis of historical ocean data.

  • Predictions of multi-year Atlantic hurricane frequency.

Last updated: 12 November 2010