Dynamical processes in the atmosphere and ocean are central to determining the large-scale drivers of regional climate change, yet their predictive understanding is poor. Here, we identify three frontline challenges in climate dynamics where significant progress can be made to inform adaptation: response of storms, blocks and jet streams to external forcing; basin-to-basin and tropical–extratropical teleconnections; and the development of non-linear predictive theory. We highlight opportunities and techniques for making immediate progress in these areas, which critically involve the development of high-resolution coupled model simulations, partial coupling or pacemaker experiments, as well as the development and use of dynamical metrics and exploitation of hierarchies of models.

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We acknowledge the support of CLIVAR in setting up the Climate Dynamics Panel and their travel support for hosting panel meetings. M.C. and S.M. conceived the paper and also co-chair the CLIVAR Climate Dynamics Panel. All other authors contributed to the writing. C.O.R. produced Fig. 2 and M.C. acknowledges support from NERC NE/N018486/1. N.K. acknowledges support from the ERC (grant 648982).

Author information


  1. College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

    • Matthew Collins
  2. Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

    • Shoshiro Minobe
  3. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Facultad de Ciencias — Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay

    • Marcelo Barreiro
  4. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA

    • Simona Bordoni
  5. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

    • Yohai Kaspi
  6. Shirahama Oceanographic Observatory, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Shirahama, Japan

    • Akira Kuwano-Yoshida
  7. Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway

    • Noel Keenlyside
  8. Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany

    • Elisa Manzini
  9. Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    • Christopher H. O’Reilly
  10. National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading, UK

    • Rowan Sutton
  11. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, USA

    • Shang-Ping Xie
  12. L’Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement, L’Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France

    • Olga Zolina
  13. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS, Moscow, Russia

    • Olga Zolina


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Correspondence to Matthew Collins.

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