Miller Timothy J.

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Timothy J.

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  • Article
    Seasonal prediction of bottom temperature on the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-05-03) Chen, Zhuomin ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Chen, Ke ; Fratantoni, Paula S. ; Gawarkiewicz, Glen G. ; Joyce, Terrence M. ; Miller, Timothy J. ; Nye, Janet A. ; Saba, Vincent S. ; Stock, Brian C.
    The Northeast U.S. shelf (NES) is an oceanographically dynamic marine ecosystem and supports some of the most valuable demersal fisheries in the world. A reliable prediction of NES environmental variables, particularly ocean bottom temperature, could lead to a significant improvement in demersal fisheries management. However, the current generation of climate model-based seasonal-to-interannual predictions exhibits limited prediction skill in this continental shelf environment. Here, we have developed a hierarchy of statistical seasonal predictions for NES bottom temperatures using an eddy-resolving ocean reanalysis data set. A simple, damped local persistence prediction model produces significant skill for lead times up to ∼5 months in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and up to ∼10 months in the Gulf of Maine, although the prediction skill varies notably by season. Considering temperature from a nearby or upstream (i.e., more poleward) region as an additional predictor generally improves prediction skill, presumably as a result of advective processes. Large-scale atmospheric and oceanic indices, such as Gulf Stream path indices (GSIs) and the North Atlantic Oscillation Index, are also tested as predictors for NES bottom temperatures. Only the GSI constructed from temperature observed at 200 m depth significantly improves the prediction skill relative to local persistence. However, the prediction skill from this GSI is not larger than that gained using models incorporating nearby or upstream shelf/slope temperatures. Based on these results, a simplified statistical model has been developed, which can be tailored to fisheries management for the NES.