Understanding Multidecadal Modulations of Atlantic and Pacific interanual impacts

Project facts

Project promoter
Complutense University of Madrid
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 5,473
The project is carried out in:


Studies of the project promoter have shown how the inter-annual atmospheric teleconnections with the tropics are not stationary. The tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature variability influences on the Pacific depending on the time of period. The main objective is to undertake further study of how the multidecadal variability of the ocean surface interacts with the inter-annual variability in the tropics and how models reproduce both, the inter-annual modes and the low frequency modulators. The Project will do simulations with different basic states and inter and inter-annual modes in order to understand the frame of the improvement of the earth system modelling and the role of the ocean background state in the ocean and atmospheric inter-annual variability. The donor partner, University of Bergen, will contribute its know-how and many years of experience in analysing the role of changes in the ocean background state and its impacts on Europe. The main beneficiaries of the project will be professionals working in the climate change research and the society as a whole.

Summary of project results

The original program of work to do during the stay of Belén Rodríguez in the Bjerkenes center was mainly organized about different objectives: 1) To work on the role of the changes in the ocean background state on the atmospheric teleconnections, focusing on the impacts on European climate. 2) To work together in the objectives of PREFACE project for the first year related to the Interbasin teleconnections. In particular: 2.1 To further analyze the interbasin teleconnections in existing sensitivity experiments; 2.2. To analyze the role of the basic state on the interbasin teleconnections in CMIP5 simulations (control). 3) Work in the Milestone in which the Initial assessment of the remote errors and modulations in existing simulations will be reported. A proposal for sensitivity experiments was made. 4) Study the Zonal mode configurations. The Atlantic-Pacific connection takes place in relation to a mode of variability that is not the canonical Niño pattern reported in the literature. The principal beneficiary of the project is the society worldwide and the global economy. Take into account that we are tackling with global climate variability and with El Niño fenomenon.The fact of finding how during some particular periods ENSO is able to teleconnect with European climate variability (or Sahelian rainfall or Indian summer Monsoon) and during other periods there is no connection, opens windows of opportunities for climate prediction. Climate variability can affect on crop systems, outbreaks of vector borne diseases (malaria for example), fisheries, hydrology, energy. If El Niño effects are predictable and rainfall over Europe , the Sahel or the Summer Indian monsoon are better determined, these effects, if related to drought or floods or heat waves for example, can be mitigated , prevention strategies can be organized and the advantages of the benefices can be planned. The fact that climate variability can change depending on the mean state is the most remarkable result obtained and in which partners are more interested in continuing working. In particular, a warm background southern hemisphere in comparison with the north is an interesting result that they want to further work on in the frame of PREFACE project.

Summary of bilateral results

Apart from enhancing the collaboration with Prof Nils Gunnar and Noel Keenlyside in tropical-extratropical teleconnections, partners have enhanced collaboration in the Tropical Atlantic Variability. During the stay, Prof. Belén Rodríguez had the opportunity of discuss and exchange our ideas with different visitors of Noel Keenlyside, exchanging results and dealing with important scientific discussions that will enhance the collaboration within the PREFACE project. I particular, Professor Roberto Mechoso from UCLA, Professor Ping Chang from U. Texas and Dr Hyacinth Nnamchi, from U. Nigeria. Thanks to this visit she started to work with Lea Svendsen in the modulation of the Indian Summer monsoon by the Atlantic and the Pacific using the same simulations. Also, the simulations have been used to apply the same methodology to the Sahelian rainfall. The computations have been done but no result has been analysed so far. Thanks to this visit she also planned to collaborate with other researchers as Dr. Thomas Toniazzo, Dr. Teferi Demissie in relation to the European Project PREFACE.