Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Clim. Past, 11, 449–471, 2015
Clim. Past, 11, 449–471, 2015

Research article 17 Mar 2015

Research article | 17 Mar 2015

Global climate simulations at 3000-year intervals for the last 21 000 years with the GENMOM coupled atmosphere–ocean model

J. R. Alder and S. W. Hostetler J. R. Alder and S. W. Hostetler
  • US Geological Survey, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA

Abstract. We apply GENMOM, a coupled atmosphere–ocean climate model, to simulate eight equilibrium time slices at 3000-year intervals for the past 21 000 years forced by changes in Earth–Sun geometry, atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), continental ice sheets, and sea level. Simulated global cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is 3.8 °C and the rate of post-glacial warming is in overall agreement with recently published temperature reconstructions. The greatest rate of warming occurs between 15 and 12 ka (2.4 °C over land, 0.7 °C over oceans, and 1.4 °C globally) in response to changes in radiative forcing from the diminished extent of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) ice sheets and increases in GHGs and NH summer insolation. The modeled LGM and 6 ka temperature and precipitation climatologies are generally consistent with proxy reconstructions, the PMIP2 and PMIP3 simulations, and other paleoclimate data–model analyses. The model does not capture the mid-Holocene "thermal maximum" and gradual cooling to preindustrial (PI) global temperature found in the data. Simulated monsoonal precipitation in North Africa peaks between 12 and 9 ka at values ~ 50% greater than those of the PI, and Indian monsoonal precipitation peaks at 12 and 9 ka at values ~ 45% greater than the PI. GENMOM captures the reconstructed LGM extent of NH and Southern Hemisphere (SH) sea ice. The simulated present-day Antarctica Circumpolar Current (ACC) is ~ 48% weaker than the observed (62 versus 119 Sv). The simulated present-day Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) of 19.3 ± 1.4 Sv on the Bermuda Rise (33° N) is comparable with observed value of 18.7 ± 4.8 Sv. AMOC at 33° N is reduced by ~ 15% during the LGM, and the largest post-glacial increase (~ 11%) occurs during the 15 ka time slice.