Climate change between the mid and late Holocene in northern high latitudes – Part 2: Model-data comparisons

Climate of the Past 01/2010; DOI: 10.5194/cp-6-609-2010
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT The climate response over northern high latitudes to the mid-Holocene orbital forcing has been investigated in three types of PMIP (Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project) simulations with different complexity of the modelled climate system. By first undertaking model-data comparison, an objective selection method has been applied to evaluate the capability of the climate models to reproduce the spatial response pattern seen in proxy data. The possible feedback mechanisms behind the climate response have been explored based on the selected model simulations. Subsequent model-model comparisons indicate the importance of including the different physical feedbacks in the climate models. The comparisons between the proxy-based reconstructions and the best fit selected simulations show that over the northern high latitudes, summer temperature change follows closely the insolation change and shows a common feature with strong warming over land and relatively weak warming over ocean at 6 ka compared to 0 ka. Furthermore, the sea-ice-albedo positive feedback enhances this response. The reconstructions of temperature show a stronger response to enhanced insolation in the annual mean temperature than winter and summer temperature. This is verified in the model simulations and the behaviour is attributed to the larger contribution from the large response in autumn. Despite a smaller insolation during winter at 6 ka, a pronounced warming centre is found over Barents Sea in winter in the simulations, which is also supported by the nearby northern Eurasian continental and Fennoscandian reconstructions. This indicates that in the Arctic region, the response of the ocean and the sea ice to the enhanced summer insolation is more important for the winter temperature than the synchronous decrease of the insolation.

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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the global variations in the timing and magnitude of the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) and their dependence on various forcings in transient simulations covering the last 9000 years (9 ka), performed with a global atmosphere-ocean-vegetation model. In these experiments, we consider the influence of variations in orbital parameters and atmospheric greenhouse gases and the early-Holocene deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice sheet (LIS). Considering the LIS deglaciation, we quantify separately the impacts of the background melt-water fluxes and the changes in topography and surface albedo. In the analysis we focus on the intensity of the maximum temperature deviation relative to the preindustrial level, its timing in the Holocene, and the seasonal expression. In the model, the warmest HTM conditions are found at high latitudes in both hemispheres, reaching 5 °C above the preindustrial level, while the smallest HTM signal is seen over tropical oceans (less than 0.5 °C). This latitudinal contrast is mostly related to the nature of the orbitally-forced insolation forcing, which is also largest at high latitudes, and further enhanced by the polar amplification. The Holocene timing of the HTM is earliest (before 8 ka BP) in regions not affected by the remnant LIS, particularly NW North America, E Asia, N Africa, N South America, the Middle East, NE Siberia and Australia. Compared to the early Holocene insolation maximum, the HTM was delayed by 2–3 ka over NE North America, and regions directly downwind from the LIS. A similar delay is simulated over the Southern Ocean, while an intermediate lag of about 1 ka is found over most other continents and oceans. The seasonal timing of the HTM over continents generally occurs in the same month as the maximum insolation anomaly, whereas over oceans the HTM is delayed by 2–3 months. Exceptions are the oceans covered by sea ice and North Africa, were additional feedbacks results in a different seasonal timing. The simulated timing and magnitude of the HTM are generally consistent with global proxy evidence, with some notable exceptions in the Mediterranean region, SW North America and eastern Eurasia.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 06/2012; 48:7-19. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The climates of the mid-Holocene (MH), 6,000 years ago, and of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), 21,000 years ago, have extensively been simulated, in particular in the framework of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparion Project. These periods are well documented by paleo-records, which can be used for evaluating model results for climates different from the present one. Here, we present new simulations of the MH and the LGM climates obtained with the IPSL_CM5A model and compare them to our previous results obtained with the IPSL_CM4 model. Compared to IPSL_CM4, IPSL_CM5A includes two new features: the interactive representation of the plant phenology and marine biogeochemistry. But one of the most important differences between these models is the latitudinal resolution and vertical domain of their atmospheric component, which have been improved in IPSL_CM5A and results in a better representation of the mid-latitude jet-streams. The Asian monsoon’s representation is also substantially improved. The global average mean annual temperature simulated for the pre-industrial (PI) period is colder in IPSL_CM5A than in IPSL_CM4 but their climate sensitivity to a CO2 doubling is similar. Here we show that these differences in the simulated PI climate have an impact on the simulated MH and LGM climatic anomalies. The larger cooling response to LGM boundary conditions in IPSL_CM5A appears to be mainly due to differences between the PMIP3 and PMIP2 boundary conditions, as shown by a short wave radiative forcing/feedback analysis based on a simplified perturbation method. It is found that the sensitivity computed from the LGM climate is lower than that computed from 2 × CO2 simulations, confirming previous studies based on different models. For the MH, the Asian monsoon, stronger in the IPSL_CM5A PI simulation, is also more sensitive to the insolation changes. The African monsoon is also further amplified in IPSL_CM5A due to the impact of the interactive phenology. Finally the changes in variability for both models and for MH and LGM are presented taking the example of the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is very different in the PI simulations. ENSO variability is damped in both model versions at the MH, whereas inconsistent responses are found between the two versions for the LGM. Part 2 of this paper examines whether these differences between IPSL_CM4 and IPSL_CM5A can be distinguished when comparing those results to palaeo-climatic reconstructions and investigates new approaches for model-data comparisons made possible by the inclusion of new components in IPSL_CM5A.
    Climate Dynamics 01/2012; · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (424–374 ka) was characterized by a protracted deglaciation and an unusually long climatic optimum. It remains unclear to what degree the climate development during this interglacial reflects the unusually weak orbital forcing or greenhouse gas trends. Previously, arguments about the duration and timing of the MIS11 climatic optimum and about the pace of the deglacial warming were based on a small number of key records, which appear to show regional differences. In order to obtain a global signal of climate evolution during MIS11, we compiled a database of 78 sea surface temperature (SST) records from 57 sites spanning MIS11, aligned these individually on the basis of benthic (N = 28) or planktonic (N = 31) stable oxygen isotope curves to a common time frame and subjected 48 of them to an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. The analysis revealed a high commonality among all records, with the principal SST trend explaining almost 49% of the variability. This trend indicates that on the global scale, the surface ocean underwent rapid deglacial warming during Termination V, in pace with carbon dioxide rise, followed by a broad SST optimum centered at ~410 kyr. The second EOF, which explained ~18% of the variability, revealed the existence of a different SST trend, characterized by a delayed onset of the temperature optimum during MIS11 at ~398 kyr, followed by a prolonged warm period lasting beyond 380 kyr. This trend is most consistently manifested in the mid-latitude North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea and is here attributed to the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. A sensitivity analysis indicates that these results are robust to record selection and to age-model uncertainties of up to 3–6 kyr, but more sensitive to SST seasonal attribution and SST uncertainties >1 °C. In order to validate the CCSM3 (Community Climate System Model, version 3) predictive potential, the annual and seasonal SST anomalies recorded in a total of 74 proxy records were compared with runs for three time slices representing orbital configuration extremes during the peak interglacial of MIS11. The modeled SST anomalies are characterized by a significantly lower variance compared to the reconstructions. Nevertheless, significant correlations between proxy and model data are found in comparisons on the seasonal basis, indicating that the model captures part of the long-term variability induced by astronomical forcing, which appears to have left a detectable signature in SST trends.
    Climate of the Past 10/2013; 9:2231-52. · 3.56 Impact Factor

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