Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-118
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-118

  13 Sep 2021

13 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Dynamic boreal summer atmospheric circulation response as a negative feedback to Greenland melt during the MIS-11 interglacial

Brian R. Crow, Matthias Prange, and Michael Schulz Brian R. Crow et al.
  • MARUM (Center for Marine Environmental Sciences) and Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, 28359, Germany

Abstract. The unique alignment of orbital precession and obliquity during the Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS-11) interglacial produced perhaps the longest period of planetary warmth above pre-industrial conditions in the past 800 kyr. Reconstructions point to a significantly reduced Greenland ice sheet volume during this period as a result, although the remaining extent and volume of the ice sheet are poorly constrained. A series of time-slice simulations across MIS-11 using a coupled climate model indicates that boreal summer was particularly warm around Greenland and high latitudes of the Atlantic sector for a period of at least 20 kyr. This state of reduced atmospheric baroclinicity, coupled with an enhanced and poleward-shifted intertropical convergence zone and North African monsoon, favored weakened high-latitude winds and the emergence of a single, unified midlatitude jet stream. Consequent reductions in lower-tropospheric eddy heat flux over the north Atlantic therefore emerge as a negative feedback to additional warming over Greenland, perhaps partially counteracting conditions otherwise very favorable for widespread melting of the ice sheet. The relationship between Greenland precipitation and the state of the North Atlantic jet is less apparent, but slight summer changes in precipitation appear to be more than offset by increases during the remainder of the year. Such a dynamic state is surprising, as it bears stronger resemblance to the unified-jet state postulated as typical for glacial states than to the modern-day interglacial state.

Brian R. Crow et al.

Status: open (until 08 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-118', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Sep 2021 reply

Brian R. Crow et al.

Brian R. Crow et al.

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Short summary
To better understand climate conditions which lead to extensive melting of the Greenland ice sheet, we used climate models to reconstruct the climate conditions of the warmest period in the last 800,000 years, which was centered around 410,000 years ago. Surprisingly, we found that atmospheric circulation changes may have acted to reduce the melt of the ice sheet rather than enhance it, despite the extensive warmth of the time.