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  • 1
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 31 (19). pp. 7969-7984.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: This study analyzes the response of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) to different CO2 concentrations and two ice sheet configurations in simulations with the coupled climate model MPI-ESM. With preindustrial (PI) ice sheets, there are two different AMOC states within the studied CO2 range: one state with a strong and deep upper overturning cell at high CO2 concentrations and one state with a weak and shallow upper cell at low CO2 concentrations. Changes in AMOC variability with decreasing CO2 indicate two stability thresholds. The strong state is stable above the first threshold near 217 ppm, and the weak state is stable below the second threshold near 190 ppm. Between the two thresholds, both states are marginally unstable, and the AMOC oscillates between them on millennial time scales. The weak AMOC state is stable when Antarctic Bottom Water becomes dense and salty enough to replace North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) in the deep North Atlantic and when the density gain over the North Atlantic becomes too weak to sustain continuous NADW formation. With Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice sheets, the density gain over the North Atlantic and the northward salt transport are enhanced with respect to the PI ice sheet case. This enables active NADW formation and a strong AMOC for the entire range of studied CO2 concentrations. The AMOC variability indicates that the simulated AMOC is far away from a stability threshold with LGM ice sheets. The nonlinear relationship among AMOC, CO2, and prescribed ice sheets provides an explanation for the large intermodel spread of AMOC states found in previous coupled LGM simulations.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 2
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    Copernicus Publications (EGU)
    In:  Climate of the Past, 12 (9). pp. 1829-1846.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Simulations with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) are used to study the sensitivity of the AMOC and the deep-ocean water masses during the Last Glacial Maximum to different sets of forcings. Analysing the individual contributions of the glacial forcings reveals that the ice sheets cause an increase in the overturning strength and a deepening of the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) cell, while the low greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations cause a decrease in overturning strength and a shoaling of the NADW cell. The effect of the orbital configuration is negligible. The effects of the ice sheets and the GHG reduction balance each other in the deep ocean so that no shoaling of the NADW cell is simulated in the full glacial state. Experiments in which different GHG concentrations with linearly decreasing radiative forcing are applied to a setup with glacial ice sheets and orbital configuration show that GHG concentrations below the glacial level are necessary to cause a shoaling of the NADW cell with respect to the pre-industrial state in MPI-ESM. For a pCO2 of 149 ppm, the simulated overturning state and the deep-ocean water masses are in best agreement with the glacial state inferred from proxy data. Sensitivity studies confirm that brine release and shelf convection in the Southern Ocean are key processes for the shoaling of the NADW cell. Shoaling occurs only when Southern Ocean shelf water contributes significantly to the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Heinrich events are among the dominant modes of glacial climate variability. During these events, massive iceberg armadas were released by the Laurentide Ice Sheet, sailed across the Atlantic, and caused large-scale climate changes. We study these events in a fully coupled complex ice sheet–climate model with synchronous coupling between ice sheets and oceans. The ice discharges occur as internal variability of the model with a recurrence period of 5kyr, an event duration of 1–1.5kyr, and a peak discharge rate of about 50mSv, roughly consistent with reconstructions. The climate response shows a two-stage behavior, with freshwater release effects dominating the surge phase and ice-sheet elevation effects dominating in the post-surge phase. As a direct response to the freshwater discharge during the surge phase, the deepwater formation in the North Atlantic decreases and the North Atlantic deepwater cell weakens by 3.5Sv. With the reduced oceanic heat transport, the surface temperatures across the North Atlantic decrease, and the associated reduction in evaporation causes a drying in Europe. The ice discharge lowers the surface elevation in the Hudson Bay area and thus leads to increased precipitation and accelerated ice sheet regrowth in the post-surge phase. Furthermore, the jet stream widens to the north and becomes more zonal. This contributes to a weakening of the subpolar gyre, and a continued cooling over Europe even after the ice discharge. This two-stage behavior can explain previously contradicting model results and understandings of Heinrich Events.
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Modeling is an important tool for understanding AMOC on all timescales. Mechanistic studies of modern AMOC variability have been hampered by a lack of consistency between free-running models and the sensitivity of AMOC to resolution and parameterization. Recent work within the framework of the phase two Coordinated Ocean- Reference Experiments (CORE-II) addresses this issue head on, looking at model differences of AMOC mean state and interannual variability. One consistent feature across the models is that AMOC mean transport is related to mixed layer depths and Labrador Sea salt content, whereas interannual variability is primarily associated with Labrador Sea temperature anomalies. This is consistent with the hypothesized importance of salt balance for AMOC variability on geological timescales. The simulated relationships between AMOC and subsurface temperature anomalies in fully coupled climate models reveal subsurface AMOC fingerprints that could be used to reconstruct historical AMOC variations at low frequency.With the lack of long-term AMOC observations, models of ocean state that assimilate observational data have been explored as a way to reconstruct AMOC, but comparisons between models indicate they are quite variable in their AMOC representations. Karspeck et al. (2015) found that historical reconstructions of AMOC in such models are sensitive to the details of the data assimilation procedure. The ocean data assimilation community continues to address these issues through improved models and methods for estimating and representing error information.Two objectives of paleoclimate modeling are 1) to provide mechanistic information for interpretation of paleoclimate observations, and 2) to test the ability of predictive models to simulate Earth's climate under different background forcing states. In a good example of the first objective, Schmittner and Lund (2015) and Menviel et al. (2014) provided key information about the proxy signals expected under freshwater disturbance of AMOC, which were used to support the paleoclimate observations made by Henry et al. (2016). In an example of the second objective, Muglia and Schmittner (2015) analyzed Third Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP3) models of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and found consistently more intense and deeper AMOC transports relative to preindustrial simulations, counter to the paleoclimate consensus of LGM conditions, indicating that some processes are not well represented in the PMIP3 models. One challenge is to find adequate paleo observations against which to test these models. PMIP is now in phase 4 (part of CMIP6), which includes experiments covering five periods in Earth's history: the last millennium, last glacial maximum, last interglacial, and the mid-Pliocene. Newly compiled paleoclimate datasets from the PAGES2k project, more transient simulations, and participation of isotope enabled models planned for CMIP6PMIP4 will enable richer paleo data-model comparisons in the near future.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: Report 2017-3 , GSFC-E-DAA-TN45417 , US Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Workshop; 23-25 May 2016; Boulder, CO; United States
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-25
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: text
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