CLIVAR-ICTP Workshop on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability: Challenge and Opportunity

16.11 - 24.11.2015  
Trieste, Italy
Contact person:
Lisa Iannitti, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The role of decadal variability in climate has been a subject for investigations since the advent of modern climate research and a title for many past meetings and workshops. That said, several recent developments make the holding of another workshop on the subject timely:

- Recent years saw the proliferation of new instrumental observations, particularly in the ocean and from space. These lead to advancements in coupled model-based climate prediction, including initialized decadal prediction. The international effort under CMIP 5 in this area provided material for an initial but incomplete assessment of the benefit and use of such predictions.

- Reconstructions of past, pre-instrumental climate variability from high-resolution single and multiple proxy datasets advanced and provided new information on decadal variability during the pre-industrial era.

- The proxy-based reconstructions also served as validation for a concerted CMIP 5 effort on coupled model simulate of last millennium climate variability. In particular these simulations were conceived to assess the response of surface temperature and precipitation to solar variability, volcanic forcing, and changes in land use and to contrast this response with the response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission and industrial aerosols. The analysis of these experiments has provided useful understanding of the response to external natural forcing but also revealed perplexing model inconsistencies that require further analysis and study.

Despite all the advances in observational analysis and modeling, the research community was caught by surprise by the slowdown in the rate of global surface temperature change since the late 1990’s. Climate researchers were quick to propose and test various hypotheses for this “warming hiatus” but the verdict is still out as to its cause and to the failure of initialized coupled model predictions to detect it. Faced with these developments, the WCRP and its core projects, particularly CLIVAR identified the need to advance the study of decadal climate variability and predictability (DCVP) and to continue experimental climate prediction under WGCM and WGSIP. Given these considerations, a workshop on DCVP to discuss the progress, identify the remaining challenges and lay out the way to address them is timely.


The full final program is now available at


International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy
16-19 November 2015
20-24 November 2015 - Training Activity
20-21 November 2015 - CLIVAR DVCP Meeting

Financial support

PAGES is providing funding to support members of the paleoscience community to attend this workshop, early-career researchers are particularly encourage to apply.

To express your interest in receiving funding, please follow the normal registration and abstract submission process outlined below and in addition please write an email to Anna Pirani (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) making her aware of your registration and interest in being considered for PAGES support.

Registration and general information

A pre-registration desk will be open at the Adriatico Guest House on Sunday from 17:00-19:30. It is recommended to take advantage of this upon arrival.

For social media users, the hashtag #ClivarDec will be used for workshop coverage. Participants’ posts about the workshop will be aggregated on a dedicated Storify page:

We will also be streaming the workshop live - the link to access the video is

Scientific Organizing Committee

I.-S. Kang (Seoul National University, Korea), G. Lau (Chinese University of Hong Kong, China), J. Kinter (COLA/GMU, U.S.A.), F. Kucharski (ICTP, Italy), R. Farneti (ICTP, Italy ), A. Pirani (CLIVAR), E. Schneider (COLA/GMU, U.S.A.), S. Schubert (GMAO/NASA, U.S.A.), Y. Kushnir (LDEO/Columbia U., U.S.A.), D. Smith (UK Met Office, UK), Stephen Barker (Cardiff University, UK), Edward Cook (LDEO/Colombia U., USA)

Post-meeting material

A succinct review paper resulting as a product from this meeting was published in BAMS in April 2018.