North Pacific decadal variability in the CMIP5 last millennium simulations

Laura E. Fleming, Kevin J. Anchukaitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Pacific ocean–atmosphere system exerts an important influence on the climate of Asia and North America, but the limited length of the observational record prevents a complete understanding of its bidecadal and multidecadal time scales. Paleoclimate reconstructions provide one source of information on longer time scales, although they differ in their estimation of the behavior of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) prior to the instrumental period. Forced general circulation model simulations offer complementary long-term perspectives on both the history and dynamics of this important mode of variability. Here, we analyze the PDO in the ensemble of CMIP5/PMIP3 last millennium (past1000 + historical) simulations. We evaluate the modeled spatial, temporal, and spectral characteristics of this mode, as well as teleconnections between North Pacific variability and global climate. All models produce a mode of North Pacific variability over the last millennium with spatial patterns and spectral power density similar to observations. CCSM, FGOALS, and IPSL best reproduce observed spatial patterns, spectral characteristics, and teleconnections to terrestrial regions used in paleoclimate proxy reconstructions. In these simulations, the PDO shows no consistent response to solar or volcanic forcing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3783-3801
Number of pages19
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • CMIP5
  • Decadal
  • General circulation models
  • Last millennium
  • PDO
  • Pacific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'North Pacific decadal variability in the CMIP5 last millennium simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this