The WCRP strategic framework (WCRP, 2005) aims to facilitate analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. Clearly work in the area of decadal prediction well fits this aim. More specifically, however, a key focus of the WCRP strategic framework is towards seamless prediction, and there are many theoretical and practical reasons for the weather and climate community to adopt a seamless prediction methodology (Hurrell et al, 2007).
Decadal prediction is a "meeting ground" for the weather and climate modeling communities. The climate-change community is typically focused on the problem of estimating anthropogenically-induced climate change on centennial timescales. For this community, the provision of accurate initial conditions is not a major concern, since the level of predictability of the first kind is believed to be small on century timescales. By contrast, the numerical weather prediction and seasonal forecast community have well-developed data assimilation schemes to determine initial conditions, however the models do not incorporate many of the cryospheric and biogeochemical processes believed to be important on timescales of centuries. A focus on decadal prediction by the two groups may help expedite the development of data assimilation schemes in Earth system models, and the use of Earth system models for shorter-range prediction, e.g., seasonal. For example, as has been discussed elsewhere (Palmer et al 2008), seasonal predictions can be used to calibrate probabilistic climate-change projections, in a seamless prediction system. Hence there is common ground over which to base a cooperation of the two communities in order to develop seamless prediction systems.
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- Second U.S. Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) Annual Meeting - July 2010, USA