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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 657318, 7 pages
Research Article

Possible Influence of Volcanic Activity on the Decadal Potential Predictability of the Natural Variability in Near-Term Climate Predictions

1National Institute for Environmental Studies, 22-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
2Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8568, Japan
3Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 3173-25 Showamachi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0001, Japan
4Meteorological Research Institute, 1-1 Nagamine, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0052, Japan

Received 23 March 2010; Accepted 7 June 2010

Academic Editor: Eugene Rozanov

Copyright © 2010 Hideo Shiogama et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Initialization based on data assimilations using historical observations possibly improves near-term climate predictions. Significant volcanic activity in the future is unpredictable and not assumed in future climate predictions. To examine the possible influence of unpredictable future volcanic activity on the decadal potential predictability of the natural variability, we performed a 2006–2035 climate prediction experiment with the assumption that the 1991  Mt. Pinatubo eruption would take place again in 2010. The Pinatubo forcing induced not only significant cooling responses but also considerable noises in the natural variability. The errors due to the Pinatubo forcing grew faster than that arising from imperfect knowledge of the observed state, leading to a rapid reduction of the decadal potential predictability of the natural variability.