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High resolution Northern Hemisphere wintertime mid-latitude dynamics during the Last Glacial Maximum

Unterman, M. B., Crowley, T. J., Hodges, K., Kim, S.-J. and Erickson, D. J. (2011) High resolution Northern Hemisphere wintertime mid-latitude dynamics during the Last Glacial Maximum. Geophysical Research Letters, 38. L23702. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049599

Abstract/Summary

Hourly winter weather of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is simulated using the Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3) on a globally resolved T170 (75 km) grid. Results are compared to a longer LGM climatological run with the same boundary conditions and monthly saves. Hourly-scale animations are used to enhance interpretations. The purpose of the study is to explore whether additional insights into ice age conditions can be gleaned by going beyond the standard employment of monthly average model statistics to infer ice age weather and climate. Results for both LGM runs indicate a decrease in North Atlantic and increase in North Pacific cyclogenesis. Storm trajectories react to the mechanical forcing of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, with Pacific storms tracking over middle Alaska and northern Canada, terminating in the Labrador Sea. This result is coincident with other model results in also showing a significant reduction in Greenland wintertime precipitation – a response supported by ice core evidence. Higher-temporal resolution puts in sharper focus the close tracking of Pacific storms along the west coast of North America. This response is consistent with increased poleward heat transport in the LGM climatological run and could help explain “early” glacial warming inferred in this region from proxy climate records. Additional analyses shows a large increase in central Asian surface gustiness that support observational inferences that upper-level winds associated with Asian- Pacific storms transported Asian dust to Greenland during the LGM.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Environmental Systems Science Centre
ID Code:27034
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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