Articles | Volume 13, issue 2
16 Feb 2017
Research article | 16 Feb 2017
Changes to the tropical circulation in the mid-Pliocene and their implications for future climate
Shawn Corvec and Christopher G. Fletcher
No articles found.
Chih-Chun Chou, Paul J. Kushner, Stéphane Laroche, Zen Mariani, Peter Rodriguez, Stella Melo, and Christopher G. Fletcher
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 4443–4461,Short summary
Aeolus is the first satellite that provides global wind profile measurements. The mission aims to improve the weather forecasts in the tropics, but also, potentially, in the polar regions. We evaluate the performance of the instrument over the Canadian North and the Arctic by comparing its measured winds in both cloudy and non-cloudy layers to wind data from forecasts, reanalysis, and ground-based instruments. Overall, good agreement was seen, but Aeolus winds have greater dispersion.
Tyler C. Herrington, Christopher G. Fletcher, and Heather Kropp
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint under review for TCShort summary
Here we validate soil temperatures from eight reanalysis products across the pan-Arctic, and compare their performance to a newly calculated ensemble mean soil temperature product. We find that most products are biased cold by 2–7 K, especially in the cold season, and that the ensemble mean product outperforms individual reanalysis products. As such, we recommend the product for a wide range of applications – including validation of climate models, or as input to permafrost models.
John G. Virgin, Christopher G. Fletcher, Jason N. S. Cole, Knut von Salzen, and Toni Mitovski
Geosci. Model Dev., 14, 5355–5372,Short summary
Equilibrium climate sensitivity, or the amount of warming the Earth would exhibit a result of a doubling of atmospheric CO2, is a common metric used in assessments of climate models. Here, we compare climate sensitivity between two versions of the Canadian Earth System Model. We find the newest iteration of the model (version 5) to have higher climate sensitivity due to reductions in low-level clouds, which reflect radiation and cool the planet, as the surface warms.
Fraser King, Andre R. Erler, Steven K. Frey, and Christopher G. Fletcher
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4887–4902,Short summary
Snow is a critical contributor to our water and energy budget, with impacts on flooding and water resource management. Measuring the amount of snow on the ground each year is an expensive and time-consuming task. Snow models and gridded products help to fill these gaps, yet there exist considerable uncertainties associated with their estimates. We demonstrate that machine learning techniques are able to reduce biases in these products to provide more realistic snow estimates across Ontario.
Markus Todt, Nick Rutter, Christopher G. Fletcher, and Leanne M. Wake
The Cryosphere, 13, 3077–3091,Short summary
Vegetation is often represented by a single layer in global land models. Studies have found deficient simulation of thermal radiation beneath forest canopies when represented by single-layer vegetation. This study corrects thermal radiation in forests for a global land model using single-layer vegetation in order to assess the effect of deficient thermal radiation on snow cover and snowmelt. Results indicate that single-layer vegetation causes snow in forests to be too cold and melt too late.
Jonathan P. D. Abbatt, W. Richard Leaitch, Amir A. Aliabadi, Allan K. Bertram, Jean-Pierre Blanchet, Aude Boivin-Rioux, Heiko Bozem, Julia Burkart, Rachel Y. W. Chang, Joannie Charette, Jai P. Chaubey, Robert J. Christensen, Ana Cirisan, Douglas B. Collins, Betty Croft, Joelle Dionne, Greg J. Evans, Christopher G. Fletcher, Martí Galí, Roya Ghahreman, Eric Girard, Wanmin Gong, Michel Gosselin, Margaux Gourdal, Sarah J. Hanna, Hakase Hayashida, Andreas B. Herber, Sareh Hesaraki, Peter Hoor, Lin Huang, Rachel Hussherr, Victoria E. Irish, Setigui A. Keita, John K. Kodros, Franziska Köllner, Felicia Kolonjari, Daniel Kunkel, Luis A. Ladino, Kathy Law, Maurice Levasseur, Quentin Libois, John Liggio, Martine Lizotte, Katrina M. Macdonald, Rashed Mahmood, Randall V. Martin, Ryan H. Mason, Lisa A. Miller, Alexander Moravek, Eric Mortenson, Emma L. Mungall, Jennifer G. Murphy, Maryam Namazi, Ann-Lise Norman, Norman T. O'Neill, Jeffrey R. Pierce, Lynn M. Russell, Johannes Schneider, Hannes Schulz, Sangeeta Sharma, Meng Si, Ralf M. Staebler, Nadja S. Steiner, Jennie L. Thomas, Knut von Salzen, Jeremy J. B. Wentzell, Megan D. Willis, Gregory R. Wentworth, Jun-Wei Xu, and Jacqueline D. Yakobi-Hancock
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 2527–2560,Short summary
The Arctic is experiencing considerable environmental change with climate warming, illustrated by the dramatic decrease in sea-ice extent. It is important to understand both the natural and perturbed Arctic systems to gain a better understanding of how they will change in the future. This paper summarizes new insights into the relationships between Arctic aerosol particles and climate, as learned over the past five or so years by a large Canadian research consortium, NETCARE.
Christopher G. Fletcher, Ben Kravitz, and Bakr Badawy
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 17529–17543,Short summary
The most important number for future climate projections is Earth's climate sensitivity (CS), or how much warming will result from increased carbon dioxide. We cannot know the true CS, and estimates of CS from climate models have a wide range. This study identifies the major factors that control this range, and we show that the choice of methods used in creating a climate model are three times more important than fine-tuning the details of the model after it is created.
Paul J. Kushner, Lawrence R. Mudryk, William Merryfield, Jaison T. Ambadan, Aaron Berg, Adéline Bichet, Ross Brown, Chris Derksen, Stephen J. Déry, Arlan Dirkson, Greg Flato, Christopher G. Fletcher, John C. Fyfe, Nathan Gillett, Christian Haas, Stephen Howell, Frédéric Laliberté, Kelly McCusker, Michael Sigmond, Reinel Sospedra-Alfonso, Neil F. Tandon, Chad Thackeray, Bruno Tremblay, and Francis W. Zwiers
The Cryosphere, 12, 1137–1156,Short summary
Here, the Canadian research network CanSISE uses state-of-the-art observations of snow and sea ice to assess how Canada's climate model and climate prediction systems capture variability in snow, sea ice, and related climate parameters. We find that the system performs well, accounting for observational uncertainty (especially for snow), model uncertainty, and chaotic climate variability. Even for variables like sea ice, where improvement is needed, useful prediction tools can be developed.
Related subject area
Subject: Climate Modelling | Archive: Modelling only | Timescale: CenozoicWarm mid-Pliocene conditions without high climate sensitivity: the CCSM4-Utrecht (CESM 1.0.5) contribution to the PlioMIP2Evaluating the large-scale hydrological cycle response within the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 (PlioMIP2) ensembleReduced El Niño variability in the mid-Pliocene according to the PlioMIP2 ensembleData-constrained assessment of ocean circulation changes since the middle Miocene in an Earth system modelSimulation of the mid-Pliocene Warm Period using HadGEM3: experimental design and results from model–model and model–data comparisonMid-Pliocene West African Monsoon rainfall as simulated in the PlioMIP2 ensembleMid-Pliocene Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation simulated in PlioMIP2Contribution of the coupled atmosphere–ocean–sea ice–vegetation model COSMOS to the PlioMIP2Sensitivity of mid-Pliocene climate to changes in orbital forcing and PlioMIP's boundary conditionsPliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP2) simulations using the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC4m)The origin of Asian monsoons: a modelling perspectiveChanges in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere through the Eocene–Oligocene transition: a model–data comparisonPlioMIP2 simulations with NorESM-L and NorESM1-FThe effect of mountain uplift on eastern boundary currents and upwelling systemsModeling a modern-like pCO2 warm period (Marine Isotope Stage KM5c) with two versions of an Institut Pierre Simon Laplace atmosphere–ocean coupled general circulation modelThe HadCM3 contribution to PlioMIP phase 2An energy balance model for paleoclimate transitionsPrecipitation δ18O on the Himalaya–Tibet orogeny and its relationship to surface elevationOn the mechanisms of warming the mid-Pliocene and the inference of a hierarchy of climate sensitivities with relevance to the understanding of climate futuresClimate sensitivity and meridional overturning circulation in the late Eocene using GFDL CM2.1Difference between the North Atlantic and Pacific meridional overturning circulation in response to the uplift of the Tibetan PlateauSensitivity of the Eocene climate to CO2 and orbital variabilityThe influence of ice sheets on temperature during the past 38 million years inferred from a one-dimensional ice sheet–climate modelRegional and global climate for the mid-Pliocene using the University of Toronto version of CCSM4 and PlioMIP2 boundary conditionsReconstructing geographical boundary conditions for palaeoclimate modelling during the CenozoicModel simulations of early westward flow across the Tasman Gateway during the early EoceneArctic sea ice simulation in the PlioMIP ensembleThe Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) Phase 2: scientific objectives and experimental designTropical cyclone genesis potential across palaeoclimatesOrbital control on late Miocene climate and the North African monsoon: insight from an ensemble of sub-precessional simulationsInterannual climate variability seen in the Pliocene Model Intercomparison ProjectIce sheet model dependency of the simulated Greenland Ice Sheet in the mid-PlioceneUsing results from the PlioMIP ensemble to investigate the Greenland Ice Sheet during the mid-Pliocene Warm PeriodLinks between CO2, glaciation and water flow: reconciling the Cenozoic history of the Antarctic Circumpolar CurrentModelling global-scale climate impacts of the late Miocene Messinian Salinity CrisisThe challenge of simulating the warmth of the mid-Miocene climatic optimum in CESM1Uncertainties in the modelled CO2 threshold for Antarctic glaciationInvestigating vegetation–climate feedbacks during the early EoceneEvaluating the dominant components of warming in Pliocene climate simulationsThe role of eastern Tethys seaway closure in the Middle Miocene Climatic Transition (ca. 14 Ma)Mid-Pliocene East Asian monsoon climate simulated in the PlioMIPA comparative study of large-scale atmospheric circulation in the context of a future scenario (RCP4.5) and past warmth (mid-Pliocene)Mid-pliocene Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation not unlike modernDoes Antarctic glaciation cool the world?The Middle Miocene climate as modelled in an atmosphere-ocean-biosphere modelCold tongue/Warm pool and ENSO dynamics in the PlioceneTropical seaways played a more important role than high latitude seaways in Cenozoic coolingImplications of the permanent El Niño teleconnection "blueprint" for past global and North American hydroclimatologyA new mechanism for the two-step δ18O signal at the Eocene-Oligocene boundaryEffects of CO2, continental distribution, topography and vegetation changes on the climate at the Middle Miocene: a model study
Michiel L. J. Baatsen, Anna S. von der Heydt, Michael A. Kliphuis, Arthur M. Oldeman, and Julia E. Weiffenbach
Clim. Past, 18, 657–679,Short summary
The Pliocene was a period during which atmospheric CO2 was similar to today (i.e. ~ 400 ppm). We present the results of model simulations carried out within the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 (PlioMIP2) using the CESM 1.0.5. We find a climate that is much warmer than today, with augmented polar warming, increased precipitation, and strongly reduced sea ice cover. In addition, several leading modes of variability in temperature show an altered behaviour.
Zixuan Han, Qiong Zhang, Qiang Li, Ran Feng, Alan M. Haywood, Julia C. Tindall, Stephen J. Hunter, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Esther C. Brady, Nan Rosenbloom, Zhongshi Zhang, Xiangyu Li, Chuncheng Guo, Kerim H. Nisancioglu, Christian Stepanek, Gerrit Lohmann, Linda E. Sohl, Mark A. Chandler, Ning Tan, Gilles Ramstein, Michiel L. J. Baatsen, Anna S. von der Heydt, Deepak Chandan, W. Richard Peltier, Charles J. R. Williams, Daniel J. Lunt, Jianbo Cheng, Qin Wen, and Natalie J. Burls
Clim. Past, 17, 2537–2558,Short summary
Understanding the potential processes responsible for large-scale hydrological cycle changes in a warmer climate is of great importance. Our study implies that an imbalance in interhemispheric atmospheric energy during the mid-Pliocene could have led to changes in the dynamic effect, offsetting the thermodynamic effect and, hence, altering mid-Pliocene hydroclimate cycling. Moreover, a robust westward shift in the Pacific Walker circulation can moisten the northern Indian Ocean.
Arthur M. Oldeman, Michiel L. J. Baatsen, Anna S. von der Heydt, Henk A. Dijkstra, Julia C. Tindall, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Alice R. Booth, Esther C. Brady, Wing-Le Chan, Deepak Chandan, Mark A. Chandler, Camille Contoux, Ran Feng, Chuncheng Guo, Alan M. Haywood, Stephen J. Hunter, Youichi Kamae, Qiang Li, Xiangyu Li, Gerrit Lohmann, Daniel J. Lunt, Kerim H. Nisancioglu, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, W. Richard Peltier, Gabriel M. Pontes, Gilles Ramstein, Linda E. Sohl, Christian Stepanek, Ning Tan, Qiong Zhang, Zhongshi Zhang, Ilana Wainer, and Charles J. R. Williams
Clim. Past, 17, 2427–2450,Short summary
In this work, we have studied the behaviour of El Niño events in the mid-Pliocene, a period of around 3 million years ago, using a collection of 17 climate models. It is an interesting period to study, as it saw similar atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to the present day. We find that the El Niño events were less strong in the mid-Pliocene simulations, when compared to pre-industrial climate. Our results could help to interpret El Niño behaviour in future climate projections.
Katherine A. Crichton, Andy Ridgwell, Daniel J. Lunt, Alex Farnsworth, and Paul N. Pearson
Clim. Past, 17, 2223–2254,Short summary
The middle Miocene (15 Ma) was a period of global warmth up to 8 °C warmer than present. We investigate changes in ocean circulation and heat distribution since the middle Miocene and the cooling to the present using the cGENIE Earth system model. We create seven time slices at ~2.5 Myr intervals, constrained with paleo-proxy data, showing a progressive reduction in atmospheric CO2 and a strengthening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
Charles J. R. Williams, Alistair A. Sellar, Xin Ren, Alan M. Haywood, Peter Hopcroft, Stephen J. Hunter, William H. G. Roberts, Robin S. Smith, Emma J. Stone, Julia C. Tindall, and Daniel J. Lunt
Clim. Past, 17, 2139–2163,Short summary
Computer simulations of the geological past are an important tool to improve our understanding of climate change. We present results from a simulation of the mid-Pliocene (approximately 3 million years ago) using the latest version of the UK’s climate model. The simulation reproduces temperatures as expected and shows some improvement relative to previous versions of the same model. The simulation is, however, arguably too warm when compared to other models and available observations.
Ellen Berntell, Qiong Zhang, Qiang Li, Alan M. Haywood, Julia C. Tindall, Stephen J. Hunter, Zhongshi Zhang, Xiangyu Li, Chuncheng Guo, Kerim H. Nisancioglu, Christian Stepanek, Gerrit Lohmann, Linda E. Sohl, Mark A. Chandler, Ning Tan, Camille Contoux, Gilles Ramstein, Michiel L. J. Baatsen, Anna S. von der Heydt, Deepak Chandan, William Richard Peltier, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Wing-Le Chan, Youichi Kamae, Charles J. R. Williams, Daniel J. Lunt, Ran Feng, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, and Esther C. Brady
Clim. Past, 17, 1777–1794,Short summary
The mid-Pliocene Warm Period (~ 3.2 Ma) is often considered an analogue for near-future climate projections, and model results from the PlioMIP2 ensemble show an increase of rainfall over West Africa and the Sahara region compared to pre-industrial conditions. Though previous studies of future projections show a west–east drying–wetting contrast over the Sahel, these results indicate a uniform rainfall increase over the Sahel in warm climates characterized by increased greenhouse gas forcing.
Zhongshi Zhang, Xiangyu Li, Chuncheng Guo, Odd Helge Otterå, Kerim H. Nisancioglu, Ning Tan, Camille Contoux, Gilles Ramstein, Ran Feng, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Esther Brady, Deepak Chandan, W. Richard Peltier, Michiel L. J. Baatsen, Anna S. von der Heydt, Julia E. Weiffenbach, Christian Stepanek, Gerrit Lohmann, Qiong Zhang, Qiang Li, Mark A. Chandler, Linda E. Sohl, Alan M. Haywood, Stephen J. Hunter, Julia C. Tindall, Charles Williams, Daniel J. Lunt, Wing-Le Chan, and Ayako Abe-Ouchi
Clim. Past, 17, 529–543,Short summary
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is an important topic in the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project. Previous studies have suggested a much stronger AMOC during the Pliocene than today. However, our current multi-model intercomparison shows large model spreads and model–data discrepancies, which can not support the previous hypothesis. Our study shows good consistency with future projections of the AMOC.
Christian Stepanek, Eric Samakinwa, Gregor Knorr, and Gerrit Lohmann
Clim. Past, 16, 2275–2323,Short summary
Future climate is expected to be warmer than today. We study climate based on simulations of the mid-Pliocene (about 3 million years ago), which was a time of elevated temperatures, and discuss implications for the future. Our results are provided towards a comparison to both proxy evidence and output of other climate models. We simulate a mid-Pliocene climate that is both warmer and wetter than today. Some climate characteristics can be more directly transferred to the near future than others.
Eric Samakinwa, Christian Stepanek, and Gerrit Lohmann
Clim. Past, 16, 1643–1665,Short summary
Boundary conditions, forcing, and methodology for the two phases of PlioMIP differ considerably. We compare results from PlioMIP1 and PlioMIP2 simulations. We also carry out sensitivity experiments to infer the relative contribution of different boundary conditions to mid-Pliocene warmth. Our results show dominant effects of mid-Pliocene geography on the climate state and also that prescribing orbital forcing for different time slices within the mid-Pliocene could lead to pronounced variations.
Wing-Le Chan and Ayako Abe-Ouchi
Clim. Past, 16, 1523–1545,Short summary
We carry out several modelling experiments to investigate the climate of the mid-Piacenzian warm period (~ 3.205 Ma) when CO2 levels were similar to those of present day. The global surface air temperature is 3.1 °C higher compared to pre-industrial ones. Like previous experiments, the scale of warming suggested by proxy sea surface temperature (SST) data in the northern North Atlantic is not replicated. However, tropical Pacific SST shows good agreement with more recently published proxy data.
Delphine Tardif, Frédéric Fluteau, Yannick Donnadieu, Guillaume Le Hir, Jean-Baptiste Ladant, Pierre Sepulchre, Alexis Licht, Fernando Poblete, and Guillaume Dupont-Nivet
Clim. Past, 16, 847–865,Short summary
The Asian monsoons onset has been suggested to be as early as 40 Ma, in a palaeogeographic and climatic context very different from modern conditions. We test the likeliness of an early monsoon onset through climatic modelling. Our results reveal a very arid central Asia and several regions in India, Myanmar and eastern China experiencing highly seasonal precipitations. This suggests that monsoon circulation is not paramount in triggering the highly seasonal patterns recorded in the fossils.
Alan T. Kennedy-Asser, Daniel J. Lunt, Paul J. Valdes, Jean-Baptiste Ladant, Joost Frieling, and Vittoria Lauretano
Clim. Past, 16, 555–573,Short summary
Global cooling and a major expansion of ice over Antarctica occurred ~ 34 million years ago at the Eocene–Oligocene transition (EOT). A large secondary proxy dataset for high-latitude Southern Hemisphere temperature before, after and across the EOT is compiled and compared to simulations from two coupled climate models. Although there are inconsistencies between the models and data, the comparison shows amongst other things that changes in the Drake Passage were unlikely the cause of the EOT.
Xiangyu Li, Chuncheng Guo, Zhongshi Zhang, Odd Helge Otterå, and Ran Zhang
Clim. Past, 16, 183–197,Short summary
Here we report the PlioMIP2 simulations by two versions of the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM) with updated boundary conditions derived from Pliocene Research, Interpretation and Synoptic Mapping version 4. The two NorESM versions both produce warmer and wetter Pliocene climate with deeper and stronger Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Compared to PlioMIP1, PlioMIP2 simulates lower Pliocene warming with NorESM-L, likely due to the closure of seaways at northern high latitudes.
Gerlinde Jung and Matthias Prange
Clim. Past, 16, 161–181,Short summary
All major mountain ranges were uplifted during Earth's history. Previous work showed that African uplift might have influenced upper-ocean cooling in the Benguela region. But the surface ocean cooled also in other upwelling regions during the last 10 million years. We performed a set of model experiments altering topography in major mountain regions to explore the effects on atmosphere and ocean. The simulations show that mountain uplift is important for upper-ocean temperature evolution.
Ning Tan, Camille Contoux, Gilles Ramstein, Yong Sun, Christophe Dumas, Pierre Sepulchre, and Zhengtang Guo
Clim. Past, 16, 1–16,Short summary
To understand the warm climate during the late Pliocene (~3.205 Ma), modeling experiments with the new boundary conditions are launched and analyzed based on the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) atmosphere–ocean coupled general circulation model (AOGCM). Our results show that the warming in mid- to high latitudes enhanced due to the modifications of the land–sea mask and land–ice configuration. The pCO2 uncertainties within the records can produce asymmetrical warming patterns.
Stephen J. Hunter, Alan M. Haywood, Aisling M. Dolan, and Julia C. Tindall
Clim. Past, 15, 1691–1713,Short summary
In this paper, we model climate of the mid-Piacenzian warm period (mPWP; ~3 million years ago), a geological analogue for contemporary climate. Using the HadCM3 climate model, we show how changes in CO2 and geography contributed to mPWP climate. We find mPWP warmth focussed in the high latitudes, geography-driven precipitation changes, complex changes in sea surface temperature and intensified overturning in the North Atlantic (AMOC).
Brady Dortmans, William F. Langford, and Allan R. Willms
Clim. Past, 15, 493–520,Short summary
In geology and in paleoclimate science, most changes are caused by well-understood forces acting slowly over long periods of time. However, in highly nonlinear physical systems, mathematical bifurcation theory predicts that small changes in forcing can cause major changes in the system in a short period of time. This paper explores some sudden changes in the paleoclimate history of the Earth, where it appears that bifurcation theory gives a more satisfying explanation than uniformitarianism.
Hong Shen and Christopher J. Poulsen
Clim. Past, 15, 169–187,Short summary
The stable isotopic composition of water (δ18O) preserved in terrestrial sediments has been used to reconstruct surface elevations. The method is based on the observed decrease in δ18O with elevation, attributed to rainout during air mass ascent. We use a climate model to test the δ18O–elevation relationship during Tibetan–Himalayan uplift. We show that δ18O is a poor indicator of past elevation over most of the region, as processes other than rainout are important when elevations are lower.
Deepak Chandan and W. Richard Peltier
Clim. Past, 14, 825–856,Short summary
We infer the physical mechanisms by which the mid-Pliocene could have sustained a warm climate. We also provide a mid-Pliocene perspective on a range of climate sensitivities applicable on several timescales. Warming inferred on the basis of these sensitivity parameters is compared to forecasted levels of warming. This leads us to conclude that projections for 300–500 years into the future underestimate the potential for warming because they do not account for long-timescale feedback processes.
David K. Hutchinson, Agatha M. de Boer, Helen K. Coxall, Rodrigo Caballero, Johan Nilsson, and Michiel Baatsen
Clim. Past, 14, 789–810,Short summary
The Eocene--Oligocene transition was a major cooling event 34 million years ago. Climate model studies of this transition have used low ocean resolution or topography that roughly approximates the time period. We present a new climate model simulation of the late Eocene, with higher ocean resolution and topography which is accurately designed for this time period. These features improve the ocean circulation and gateways which are thought to be important for this climate transition.
Baohuang Su, Dabang Jiang, Ran Zhang, Pierre Sepulchre, and Gilles Ramstein
Clim. Past, 14, 751–762,Short summary
The present numerical experiments undertaken by a coupled atmosphere–ocean model indicate that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau alone could have been a potential driver for the reorganization of Pacific and Atlantic meridional overturning circulations between the late Eocene and early Oligocene. In other words, the Tibetan Plateau could play an important role in maintaining the current large-scale overturning circulation in the Atlantic and Pacific.
John S. Keery, Philip B. Holden, and Neil R. Edwards
Clim. Past, 14, 215–238,Short summary
In the Eocene (~ 55 million years ago), the Earth had high levels of atmospheric CO2, so studies of the Eocene can provide insights into the likely effects of present-day fossil fuel burning. We ran a low-resolution but very fast climate model with 50 combinations of CO2 and orbital parameters, and an Eocene layout of the oceans and continents. Climatic effects of CO2 are dominant but precession and obliquity strongly influence monsoon rainfall and ocean–land temperature contrasts, respectively.
Lennert B. Stap, Roderik S. W. van de Wal, Bas de Boer, Richard Bintanja, and Lucas J. Lourens
Clim. Past, 13, 1243–1257,Short summary
We show the results of transient simulations with a coupled climate–ice sheet model over the past 38 million years. The CO2 forcing of the model is inversely obtained from a benthic δ18O stack. These simulations enable us to study the influence of ice sheet variability on climate change on long timescales. We find that ice sheet–climate interaction strongly enhances Earth system sensitivity and polar amplification.
Deepak Chandan and W. Richard Peltier
Clim. Past, 13, 919–942,Short summary
This paper discusses the climate of the mid-Pliocene warm period (~ 3.3–3 Mya) obtained using coupled climate simulations at CMIP5 resolution with the CCSM4 model and the boundary conditions (BCs) prescribed for the PlioMIP2 program. It is found that climate simulations performed with these BCs capture the warming patterns inferred from proxy data much better than what was possible with the BCs for the original PlioMIP program.
Michiel Baatsen, Douwe J. J. van Hinsbergen, Anna S. von der Heydt, Henk A. Dijkstra, Appy Sluijs, Hemmo A. Abels, and Peter K. Bijl
Clim. Past, 12, 1635–1644,Short summary
One of the major difficulties in modelling palaeoclimate is constricting the boundary conditions, causing significant discrepancies between different studies. Here, a new method is presented to automate much of the process of generating the necessary geographical reconstructions. The latter can be made using various rotational frameworks and topography/bathymetry input, allowing for easy inter-comparisons and the incorporation of the latest insights from geoscientific research.
Willem P. Sijp, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Peter K. Bijl
Clim. Past, 12, 807–817,Short summary
The timing and role in ocean circulation and climate of the opening of Southern Ocean gateways is as yet elusive. Here, we present the first model results specific to the early-to-middle Eocene where, in agreement with the field evidence, a southerly shallow opening of the Tasman Gateway does indeed cause a westward flow across the Tasman Gateway, in agreement with recent micropalaeontological studies.
Fergus W. Howell, Alan M. Haywood, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Fran Bragg, Wing-Le Chan, Mark A. Chandler, Camille Contoux, Youichi Kamae, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Nan A. Rosenbloom, Christian Stepanek, and Zhongshi Zhang
Clim. Past, 12, 749–767,Short summary
Simulations of pre-industrial and mid-Pliocene Arctic sea ice by eight GCMs are analysed. Ensemble variability in sea ice extent is greater in the mid-Pliocene summer, when half of the models simulate sea-ice-free conditions. Weaker correlations are seen between sea ice extent and temperatures in the pre-industrial era compared to the mid-Pliocene. The need for more comprehensive sea ice proxy data is highlighted, in order to better compare model performances.
Alan M. Haywood, Harry J. Dowsett, Aisling M. Dolan, David Rowley, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Bette Otto-Bliesner, Mark A. Chandler, Stephen J. Hunter, Daniel J. Lunt, Matthew Pound, and Ulrich Salzmann
Clim. Past, 12, 663–675,Short summary
Our paper presents the experimental design for the second phase of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP). We outline the way in which climate models should be set up in order to study the Pliocene – a period of global warmth in Earth's history which is relevant for our understanding of future climate change. By conducting a model intercomparison we hope to understand the uncertainty associated with model predictions of a warmer climate.
J. H. Koh and C. M. Brierley
Clim. Past, 11, 1433–1451,Short summary
Here we diagnose simulated changes in large-scale climate variables associated with the formation of tropical cyclones (i.e. hurricanes and typhoons). The cumulative potential for storm formation is pretty constant, despite the climate changes between the Last Glacial Maximum and the warm Pliocene. There are, however, coherent shifts in the relative strength of the storm regions. Little connection appears between the past behaviour in the five models studied and their future projections.
A. Marzocchi, D. J. Lunt, R. Flecker, C. D. Bradshaw, A. Farnsworth, and F. J. Hilgen
Clim. Past, 11, 1271–1295,Short summary
This paper investigates the climatic response to orbital forcing through the analysis of an ensemble of simulations covering a late Miocene precession cycle. Including orbital variability in our model–data comparison reduces the mismatch between the proxy record and model output. Our results indicate that ignoring orbital variability could lead to miscorrelations in proxy reconstructions. The North African summer monsoon's sensitivity is high to orbits, moderate to paleogeography and low to CO2.
C. M. Brierley
Clim. Past, 11, 605–618,Short summary
Previously, model ensembles have shown little consensus in the response of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to imposed forcings – either for the past or future. The recent coordinated experiment on the warm Pliocene (~3 million years ago) shows surprising agreement that there was a robustly weaker ENSO with a shift to lower frequencies. Suggested physical mechanisms cannot explain this coherent signal, and it warrants further investigation.
S. J. Koenig, A. M. Dolan, B. de Boer, E. J. Stone, D. J. Hill, R. M. DeConto, A. Abe-Ouchi, D. J. Lunt, D. Pollard, A. Quiquet, F. Saito, J. Savage, and R. van de Wal
Clim. Past, 11, 369–381,Short summary
The paper assess the Greenland Ice Sheet’s sensitivity to a warm period in the past, a time when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were comparable to current levels. We quantify ice sheet volume and locations in Greenland and find that the ice sheets are less sensitive to differences in ice sheet model configurations than to changes in imposed climate forcing. We conclude that Pliocene ice was most likely to be limited to highest elevations in eastern and southern Greenland.
A. M. Dolan, S. J. Hunter, D. J. Hill, A. M. Haywood, S. J. Koenig, B. L. Otto-Bliesner, A. Abe-Ouchi, F. Bragg, W.-L. Chan, M. A. Chandler, C. Contoux, A. Jost, Y. Kamae, G. Lohmann, D. J. Lunt, G. Ramstein, N. A. Rosenbloom, L. Sohl, C. Stepanek, H. Ueda, Q. Yan, and Z. Zhang
Clim. Past, 11, 403–424,Short summary
Climate and ice sheet models are often used to predict the nature of ice sheets in Earth history. It is important to understand whether such predictions are consistent among different models, especially in warm periods of relevance to the future. We use input from 15 different climate models to run one ice sheet model and compare the predictions over Greenland. We find that there are large differences between the predicted ice sheets for the warm Pliocene (c. 3 million years ago).
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The mid-Pliocene warm period is sometimes thought of as being a climate that could closely resemble the climate in the near-term due to anthropogenic climate change. Here we examine the tropical atmospheric circulation as modeled by PlioMIP (the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project). We find that there are many similarities and some important differences to projections of future climate, with the pattern of sea surface temperature (SST) warming being a key factor in explaining the differences.
The mid-Pliocene warm period is sometimes thought of as being a climate that could closely...