22 Aug 2022
22 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

No changes in overall AMOC strength in interglacial PMIP4 timeslices

Zhiyi Jiang, Chris M. Brierley, David J. R. Thornalley, and Sophie Sax Zhiyi Jiang et al.
  • Dept of Geography, University College London

Abstract. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a key mechanism of poleward heat transport and an important part of the global climate system. How it responded to past changes in forcing, such as experienced during Quaternary interglacials, is an intriguing and open question. Previous modelling studies suggest an enhanced AMOC in the mid-Holocene compared to the pre-industrial period. In earlier simulations from the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), this arose from feedbacks between sea ice and AMOC changes, which were dependent on resolution. Here we present an initial analysis of the recently available PMIP4 simulations. The ensemble mean of the PMIP4 models shows the strength of the AMOC does not markedly change between the midHolocene and piControl experiments or between the lig127k and piControl experiments. Therefore, it appears orbital forcing itself does not alter the overall AMOC. We further investigate the coherency of the forced response in AMOC across the two interglacials, along with the strength of the signal, using eight PMIP4 models which performed both interglacial experiments. Only 2 models show a stronger change with the stronger forcing, but those models disagree on the direction of the change. We propose that the strong signals in these 2 models are caused by a combination of forcing and the internal variability. After investigating the AMOC changes in the interglacials, we further explored the impact of AMOC on the climate system, especially on the changes in the simulated surface temperature and precipitation. After identifying the AMOC’s fingerprint on the surface temperature and rainfall, we demonstrate that only a small percentage of the simulated surface climate changes can be attributed to the AMOC. Proxy records during the two interglacial periods paint a similar picture of minimal changes, which fits nicely with the simulated results. Although the overall AMOC strength shows minimal changes, future work is required to explore whether this occurs through compensating variations in the different components of AMOC (such as Iceland-Scotland overflow water). This lines of evidence caution against interpreting reconstructions of past interglacial climate as being driven by AMOC, outside of abrupt events.

Zhiyi Jiang et al.

Status: open (until 17 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-63', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2022-63', Anonymous Referee #2, 13 Sep 2022 reply

Zhiyi Jiang et al.

Data sets

AMOC-during-the-interglacials-in-PMIP4-simulations- Zhiyi Jiang

Zhiyi Jiang et al.


Total article views: 331 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
243 81 7 331 2 3
  • HTML: 243
  • PDF: 81
  • XML: 7
  • Total: 331
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 22 Aug 2022)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 22 Aug 2022)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 322 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 322 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 28 Sep 2022
Short summary
This work looks at a series of model simulations of 2 past warm climates. We focus on the deep overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. We show that there are no robust changes in overall strength of the circulation. We also show that the circulation plays little role in changes in the surface climate across the globe.