How Does the Seasonal Cycle Control Equatorial Atlantic Interannual Variability?

C. Prodhomme*, A. Voldoire, E. Exarchou, A.L. Deppenmeier, J. García-Serrano, V. Guemas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


It has long been thought that reducing mean-state biases would lead to improvements in variability. However, so far, there is no confirmation of a relation between model mean biases and variability. While most coupled models exhibit substantial sea surface temperature (SST) biases in the Tropical Atlantic, they are still able to reproduce reasonable SST variability in the basin. We investigate the relationship between the first- and second-order moments of the SST distribution in the equatorial Atlantic using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 simulations. Results suggest that the ability of the coupled models to properly reproduce the interannual variability is linked to their ability to simulate a realistic seasonal cycle evolution, that is, a realistic cold tongue development and a realistic Bjerknes feedback during the beginning of summer, rather than to their ability to represent the summer SST climatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-922
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019


  • Atlantic Niño
  • Bjerkness feedback
  • coupled model
  • systematic error
  • Tropical Atlantic


Dive into the research topics of 'How Does the Seasonal Cycle Control Equatorial Atlantic Interannual Variability?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this