journal article

Seasonal Prediction of Arabian Sea Marine Heatwaves


Marine heatwaves are known to have a detrimental impact on marine ecosystems, yet predicting when and where they will occur remains a challenge. Here, using a large ensemble of initialized predictions from an Earth System Model, we demonstrate skill in predictions of summer marine heatwaves over large marine ecosystems in the Arabian Sea seven months ahead. Retrospective forecasts of summer (June to August) marine heatwaves initialized in the preceding winter (November) outperform predictions based on observed frequencies. These predictions benefit from initialization during winters of medium to strong El Niño conditions, which have an impact on marine heatwave characteristics in the Arabian Sea. Our probabilistic predictions target spatial characteristics of marine heatwaves that are specifically useful for fisheries management, as we demonstrate using an example of Indian oil sardine (Sardinella longiceps).
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