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Seminar: Prediction Challenges from Errors in Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Trends

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  • Atlantic Building
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Initialized, monthly mean predictions of the tropical Pacific Ocean are made against the backdrop of a warming climate, and it is unclear to what extent these predictions are impacted by trends. Here, we analyze the forecast models that comprise the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) and uncover significant linear trend errors that have consequences for the tropical Pacific basin and ENSO variability. All models show positive trend errors over the eastern equatorial Pacific over the 1982-2020 hindcast and real-time period. These positive trend errors interact with the mean bias of each respective model, reducing, over time, the bias of models that are too cold and increasing the bias of models that are too warm. These trend errors lead to a tropical Pacific that is too warm and too wet over the basin, and are significantly correlated with an increase in El Niño false alarms.


Atlantic Building

In-person at Atlantic Building room 2400. For a Zoom link please contact


Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science

For disability accommodations, please contact Walter Tribett at

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