Reliability of decadal predictions
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 39, Issue 21, November 2012
How to Cite
2012), Reliability of decadal predictions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L21712, doi:10.1029/2012GL053354., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 6 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 31 JUL 2012
 The reliability of multi-year predictions of climate is assessed using probabilistic Attributes Diagrams for near-surface air temperature and sea surface temperature, based on 54 member ensembles of initialised decadal hindcasts using the ECMWF coupled model. It is shown that the reliability from the ensemble system is good over global land areas, Europe and Africa and for the North Atlantic, Indian Ocean and, to a lesser extent, North Pacific basins for lead times up to 6–9 years. North Atlantic SSTs are reliably predicted even when the climate trend is removed, consistent with the known predictability for this region. By contrast, reliability in the Indian Ocean, where external forcing accounts for most of the variability, deteriorates severely after detrending. More conventional measures of forecast quality, such as the anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) of the ensemble mean, are also considered, showing that the ensemble has significant skill in predicting multi-annual temperature averages.