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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-120
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-120
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  22 Sep 2020

22 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Mid-Pliocene Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation simulated in PlioMIP2

Zhongshi Zhang1, Xiangyu Li1, Chuncheng Guo2, Odd Helge Otterå2,3, Kerim H. Nisancioglu4, Ning Tan5, Camille Contoux6, Gilles Ramstein6, Ran Feng7, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner8, Esther Brady8, Deepak Chandan9, W. Richard Peltier9, Michiel L. J. Baatsen10, Anna S. von der Heydt10, Julia E. Weiffenbach10, Christian Stepanek11, Gerrit Lohmann11,12, Qiong Zhang13, Qiang Li13, Mark A. Chandler14, Linda E. Sohl14, Alan M. Haywood15, Stephen J. Hunter15, Julia C. Tindall15, Charles Williams16, Daniel J. Lunt16, Wing-Le Chan17, and Ayako Abe-Ouchi17 Zhongshi Zhang et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental studies, China University of Geoscience, Wuhan, 430074, China
  • 2NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 3Center for Early Sapiens Behaviour, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 4Department of Earth Science and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, University of Bergen, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 5Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 6Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 7Department of Geosciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA
  • 8Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, USA
  • 9Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • 10Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Department of Physics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 11Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 12Institute for Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 13Department of Physical Geography and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 14CCSR/GISS, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 15School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS29JT, UK
  • 16School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 17Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (AORI), University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan

Abstract. In the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project phase 2 (PlioMIP2), coupled climate models have been used to simulate an interglacial climate during the mid-Piacenzian warm period (mPWP, 3.264 to 3.025 Ma). Here, we compare the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), poleward ocean heat transport and sea surface warming in the Atlantic simulated with these models. In PlioMIP2, all models simulate an intensified mid-Pliocene AMOC. However, there is no consistent response in the simulated Atlantic ocean heat transport, or the depth of the Atlantic overturning cell. The models show a large spread in the simulated AMOC maximum, the Atlantic ocean heat transport, as well as the surface warming in the North Atlantic. Although a few models simulate a surface warming of ~ 8–12 ° in the North Atlantic, similar to the reconstruction from Pliocene Research, Interpretation and Synoptic Mapping (PRISM), most models underestimate this warming. The large model-spread and model-data discrepancies in the PlioMIP2 ensemble does not support the hypothesis that an intensification of the AMOC, together with an increase in northward ocean heat transport, is the dominant forcing for the mid-Pliocene warm climate.

Zhongshi Zhang et al.

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