WCRP-CLIVAR Workshop on Climate Interactions among the Tropical Basins (Online)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 to Friday, February 26, 2021
Event City: 
Event Attendance: 
Open (Registration is required)
Event Contact: 
Jose Santos
Event Description: 

February 24-25. 2021 (Open). February 26: (By invitation only)

*Deadline for abstract submission: 30 November 2020

We invite researchers to submit their work to be presented during this event. All submitted abstracts will be poster presentations. Early Career Scientist are specially encouraged to submit.

This workshop is free of charge but registration is required, which can be done here

  1. Scientific Organizing Committee
  2. Aims and objectives
  3. Meeting format
  4. Preliminary agenda
  5. Further Information



  1. Scientific Organizing Committee:
  • Ingo Richter (Co-chair, JAMSTEC, Japan)
  • Noel Keenlyside (Co-chair, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway)
  • Michael McPhaden (NOAA/PMEL, USA)
  • Yuko Okumura (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
  • Chunzai Wang (South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, China)
  • Ping Chang (Texas A&M University, USA)
  • Malte Stuecker (University of Hawaii, USA)
  • Andrea Taschetto (University of New South Wales, Australia)


  1. Aims and objectives:

The interactions among the tropical Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean basins are increasingly recognized as a key factor in understanding climate variability on interannual to decadal timescales. While recent years have seen progress toward understanding tropical basin interactions, much remains to be learned. This includes a deeper understanding of the mechanisms, the preferred pathways, and the potential benefits for seasonal-to-decadal prediction. In order to make progress in these areas the CLIVAR Research Focus on Tropical Basin Interaction (TBI) is organizing a workshop that will bring together scientists with a broad range of expertise. The objectives of this workshop are as follows:

  • Provide an overview of the current scientific understanding of TBI.
  • Identify knowledge gaps and shortcoming of current modeling approaches, as well as new observations, including paleo-proxies, that would contribute to a better understanding of TBI.
  • Develop an experimental protocol for coordinated model sensitivity tests to advance the understanding of TBI and, in particular, its potential role in seasonal-to-decadal prediction. This will form the basis for a set of coordinated GCM experiments. The RF TBI will solicit the participation of modeling centers and research groups in these experiments.
  • Discuss novel approaches for studying interaction among the tropical basins, including conceptual models, machine learning, and proxy data.


  1. Meeting format:

The workshop will be held over a 3-day period and feature three formats:

1) Plenary talks reviewing the current understanding of TBI

There will be eight 30-minute invited talks focusing on various aspects of TBI, such as time scales (e.g. subseasonal-to-interannual vs. decadal) and techniques (e.g. GCM experiments vs. conceptual models).

2) Poster sessions focusing on new research results and approaches

The workshop will welcome TBI studies using observations, paleo reconstructions, theory, and modeling approaches of any complexity (from toy models to global climate models). Areas of particular interest include:

  • atmospheric and oceanic pathways of inter-basin interactions, as well as their mechanisms
  • the benefit of TBI for seasonal-to-decadal prediction
  • the influence of model biases on the simulation of TBI
  • projected changes of TBI
  • TBI in proxy data

3) Plenary discussions and breakout groups to discuss the best ways forward (By invitation only)

A particular focus of the discussions will be on designing GCM sensitivity tests that can help to deepen our understanding of TBI and quantify its impacts on interannual prediction skill. Attention will also be paid on how a hierarchy of models of varying complexity, from toy models to full-fledged Earth System Models, can help to understand and quantify TBI. We are also interested in discussion of what light paleo-proxy archives can shine on TBI.



  1. Preliminary agenda:

Day 1: Current understanding of interbasin linkage

Session 1

PT1: Subseasonal-to-interannual time scales

PT2: Decadal time scales


Session 2

PT3: Climate change

PT4: Past Climates


Session 3

     Discussion: What are the gaps in our understanding? Which reconstructed or new observations would be most useful?

Day 2: Approaches for understanding interbasin linkage

Session 1

PT5: GCM experiments

PT6: Conceptual models and theory


Session 2

PT7: Statistical methods (including machine learning)

PT8: Paleo proxies


Session 3

Discussion: Novel approaches to understand basin interaction using intermediate complexity models and theory. How to extract more information from existing observations? Opportunities for proxy data.

Day 3. By invitation only

Discussions within working groups (WGs) to take place during the times of sessions 1 and 2. Allow some flexibility in the schedule to accommodate group members across different time zones.

Sessions 1+2

WG1: GCM experiments

GCM experiment design for a TBI intercomparison project

WG2: theoretical approaches and intermediate complexity models

How to leverage conceptual and intermediate complexity models to investigate TBI

WG3: observations

Observational analyses to perform and observational requirements to monitor TBI

WG4: paleo data

Creation of an archive of paleo data to be used in the analysis of TBI

Session 3

Short report from each WG. Summary of the meeting.

Meeting content at a glance



Session 2

Session 3


subseasonal-to-decadal basin interaction

past and future climates

knowledge gaps; leveraging existing data; need for new observations


GCMs and conceptual models

statistical methods and paleo proxies

shortcomings of GCM experiments; utility of conceptual models;

opportunities for paleo data


Working Groups (by invitation only)

reports of Working Groups; meeting summary


  1. Further Information:

1) Each day will have three sessions at 09-11 GMT, 15-17 GMT, and 23-24 GMT. The sessions are deliberately separated by several hours to ensure that, for each time zone, at least one slot is convenient. This is an important consideration for a virtual meeting with attendees located across a wide range of time zones.

2) Poster sessions will have a core time but additional viewing times can be freely scheduled by the presenters.

3) All sessions will be recorded and be made available for viewing to participants. Pending approval by all participants, recordings will also be made available to the general public.