Climate Dynamics

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 467–483

Secular variation of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Pacific Oscillation and climatic jumps in a multi-millennial simulation


DOI: 10.1007/s00382-007-0307-0

Cite this article as:
Hunt, B.G. Clim Dyn (2008) 30: 467. doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0307-0


Outputs from a 10,000-year simulation with a coupled global climatic model for present climatic conditions have been used to investigate the behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) and related phenomena. The analysis reveals a wide range of temporal variability for these Oscillations, suggesting that observations to date provide only a limited sample of possible outcomes. In addition, the simulation suggests that the current observed phase relation between the PDO and NPO may not be typical of longer-term variability. Climatic jumps appear to be a ubiquitous feature of climatic variability, and while, as observed, the most common interval between such jumps is about 20 years, intervals of up to 100 years occur in the simulation. The probability density functions of the PDO and NPO are very close to Gaussian, with the PDO being represented by an auto-regressive function of order one, while the NPO consisted of white noise. An FFT analysis of PC1 of the PDO revealed periodicities concentrated near 10 years, while for the NPO the principal periodicities were decadal to bidecadal. Global distributions of the distributions of the correlations between PC1 or the NPO and selected climatic variables were similar, and in agreement with observations. These correlations highlight the inter-relationships between these two Oscillations. The above correlations were not necessarily stable in time for a given geographical point, with transitions occurring between positive and negative extremes. Climatic jumps were identified with transitions of both the PDO and NPO, with magnitudes of importance as regards climatic perturbations. Spatial patterns of the changes associated with such jumps have global scales, and the need to consider the implications of these jumps in regard to greenhouse induced climatic change is noted.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric ResearchMelbourneAustralia

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