Scientific Reports Publishes Zhang’s Successful Forecast of 2010–11 La Niña Event

For Immediate Release
February 19th, 2013
Contacts: Mark Baith,

Scientific Reports Publishes Zhang’s Successful Forecast of 2010–11 La Niña Event

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – Senior Research Scientist Rong-Hua Zhang, of the University of Maryland’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, has outlined the recent annual success of his Intermediate Coupled Model (ICM) in a newly published study.

The paper titled “A Successful Real-Time Forecast of the 2010-11 La Nina Event” was published in Nature’s on-line sub-journal, Scientific Reports.

Zhang’s ICM model has steadily developed a reputation within the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) research community for accurately predicting the “Nino 3.4 Region” Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies that classify El Niño (La Niña) episodes.

A NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Sanity Check of the Nino 3.4 SST forecasts during the same time-frame (11/2011), noted that Zhang’s ESSIC ICM was one of only two models – from the +20 operational models routinely deployed – that provided “good” forecasts for the event.

Zhang’s study, which was co-authored by Fei Zheng, Jiang Zhu, and Zhangui Wang, referenced a wealth of past ENSO, SST, and related publications and results, dating back to the early 1980’s.  The ICM model itself has been deployed operationally since 2003.

A “contributions” section within the publication noted that all authors contributed to extensive and intensive discussions over the years, leading to the central ideas presented in the paper.  R.-H. Zhang and F. Zheng contributed to observed data analyses and modeling studies; R.-H. Zhang wrote the paper.  All authors reviewed the final manuscript.

Media Contacts
Mark Baith
Earth System Interdisciplinary Center