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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-23
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-23
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  01 Jun 2018

01 Jun 2018

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This preprint was under review for the journal CP. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

The Effects of Younger Dryas Orbital Parameter and Atmospheric pCO2 Changes on Radiative Forcing and African Monsoonal Circulation

Taylor M. Hughlett1, Arne M. E. Winguth1, and Nan Rosenbloom2 Taylor M. Hughlett et al.
  • 1Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Texas Arlington, Arlington, 76013, United States of America
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, 80305, United States of America

Abstract. Differences in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) from the Younger Dryas (YD) to the Holocene can be explained by, but not limited to, factors relating to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, discharge of freshwater into the surface ocean, and changes in Earth's orbital parameters. Utilizing the Community Earth System Model (CESM1.0.5) with moderate resolution, this study evaluates how Younger Dryas seasonal and annual radiative forcing affect the climate change and variability. The Younger Dryas to Holocene changes in radiative forcing are mostly attributed to change in orbital parameters and to lesser extent to the relatively small rise in atmosphere pCO2, which is supported by a comparison of model simulations with proxy reconstructions of sea surface temperature and oceanic δ18O. These factors led to increased precipitation and reduced transport of water masses in the North Atlantic Ocean. Atmospheric pCO2 and orbital parameter changes are not substantial enough to explain the transition to the Younger Dryas northern hemispheric cooling. Younger Dryas to Holocene changes in the Monsoonal circulation over the African continent appears to be more affected by changes in orbital parameters than in atmospheric pCO2 but underestimated compared to observed reconstructions from ice and sediment cores. Thus, additional mechanisms such as fresh water hosed-cooling and/or ice sheet-albedo effect need to be considered to explain the Younger Dryas to Holocene climate change and variability.

Taylor M. Hughlett et al.

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Taylor M. Hughlett et al.

Taylor M. Hughlett et al.

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Short summary
This study used the Community Earth System Model version 1.2 to isolate and compare changes in radiative forcing due to orbital and atmospheric pCO2 concentrations for the Younger Dryas cooling event. It was determined that while neither parameter alone could induce a cooling comparative to the Younger Dryas, the changes in orbital parameters and the resultant changing of radiative forcing imparts a more pronounced effect on the climate than radiative changes due to pCO2.
This study used the Community Earth System Model version 1.2 to isolate and compare changes in...
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