Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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Decadal prediction at CCCma

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Dr. William Merryfield
April 26, 2023 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

This event was held online via Zoom Meetings. 

Watch a recording of the talk.


Decadal predictions often employ the same models as long-term climate simulations and projections, but differ in that they are initialized from observation-based states, and attempt to predict the combined trajectory of internal climate variations and externally-forced changes, rather than only representing the latter.

This presentation will first review the development of decadal prediction capabilities at CCCma in the context of the initial emergence and rapid development of this field. It than covers associated contributions to international efforts such as CMIP5, CMIP6, and the WMO’s annual-to-decadal operations, together with current scientific issues and the potential for such predictions to inform climate services in Canada. Finally, a CCCma-led initiative to prepare the international decadal prediction community to respond to the eventuality of a climate-altering volcanic eruption is described.


Bill Merryfield is a Research Scientist at ECCC’s Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma) in Victoria. For more than 10 years he has led efforts to apply CCCma’s climate and Earth system models to predicting future climate variations and trends on seasonal to decadal time scales, along with associated science. These efforts have led to CCCma’s models contributing to ECCC’s operational seasonal forecasts, as well as to multi-model decadal forecasts issued annually by the WMO. He currently serves as co-chair of the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Subseasonal to Interdecadal Prediction, and as a member of its Decadal Climate Prediction Project panel.

Watch a recording of the talk.