Modeling Mediterranean Ocean climate of the Last Glacial Maximum
- Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. A regional ocean general circulation model of the Mediterranean is used to study the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum. The atmospheric forcing for these simulations has been derived from simulations with an atmospheric general circulation model, which in turn was forced with surface conditions from a coarse resolution earth system model. The model is successful in reproducing the general patterns of reconstructed sea surface temperature anomalies with the strongest cooling in summer in the northwestern Mediterranean and weak cooling in the Levantine, although the model underestimates the extent of the summer cooling in the western Mediterranean. However, there is a strong vertical gradient associated with this pattern of summer cooling, which makes the comparison with reconstructions complicated. The exchange with the Atlantic is decreased to roughly one half of its present value, which can be explained by the shallower Strait of Gibraltar as a consequence of lower global sea level. This reduced exchange causes a strong increase of salinity in the Mediterranean in spite of reduced net evaporation.