Abstract

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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Acknowledgements

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

Affiliations

  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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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Matthew Collins.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-017-0059-8

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