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Understanding the Dynamics of the Coupled Climate System


Deeper understanding of the intrinsic variability and stability properties of the main climate variability modes is needed to assess confidence in the detection, attribution and prediction of global and regional climate change, to improve seasonal predictions, and to understand the shortcomings of current prediction systems. DYNAMITE will explore the fundamental dynamical mechanisms of two of the most important modes of climate variability: the North Atlantic Oscillation/Arctic Oscillation (NAO/AO) and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The project will elucidate key theoretical and practical aspects of the NAO/AO and ENSO through analyses of available observations, application of classical and new theory, and use of idealised and state-of-the-art numerical models of the atmosphere, ocean, land-surface, sea-ice, marine biology, and the coupled climate system. Specifically, DYNAMITE will advance the understanding of strongly and weakly coupled processes underlying the natural variability of ENSO and NAO/AO; it will evaluate the representation of the coupled processes underlying ENSO and the NAO in state-of-the-art models used to predict climate change; it will advance understanding of the response of ENSO and NAO/AO to climate change; and it will assess the role of ocean biology in the variability of the tropical coupled climate system, including ENSO. DYNAMITE will be implemented by a partnership of world class climate research institutions, including a candidate country and several SMEs. All of the results and findings gained in DYNAMITE will be transferred to the climate modelling community both in and outside Europe by bi-annual electronic newsletters and a dedicated and open DYNAMITE model workshop at the end of the project. DYNAMITE will improve the European capability to make predictions of the state of the climate system from seasons to centuries ahead, thereby contributing to the competitiveness and sustainability of the European Union.

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