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Two interglacials: scientific objectives and experimental designs for CMIP6 and PMIP4 Holocene and last interglacial simulations

Otto-Bleisner, B. L., Braconnot, P., Harrison, S. P., Lunt, D. J., Abe-Ouchi, A., Albani, S., Bartlein, P. J., Capron, E., Carlson, A. E., Dutton, A., Fischer, H., Goelzer, H., Govin, A., Haywood, A., Joos, F., Legrande, A. N., Lipscomb, W. H., Lohmann, G., Mahowald, N., Nehrbass-Ahles, C. , Peterschmidt, J.-Y., Pausata, F. S.-R., Phipps, S. and Renssen, H. (2016) Two interglacials: scientific objectives and experimental designs for CMIP6 and PMIP4 Holocene and last interglacial simulations. Climate of the Past Discussions. ISSN 1814-9359 (In Press)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/cp-2016-106

Abstract/Summary

Two interglacial epochs are included in the suite of paleoclimate simulations in the present phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Equilibrium simulations of the mid-50 Holocene (midHolocene, 6000 years before present) and the Last Interglacial (lig127k, 127,000 years before present) are designed to examine the impact of changes in orbital forcing at times when atmospheric greenhouse gas levels were similar to those of the preindustrial period and the continental configurations were almost identical to modern. These simulations test our understanding of the interplay between radiative forcing and atmospheric circulation, and the connections among large-scale and regional climate changes giving rise to phenomena such as land-sea contrast and high-latitude amplification in temperature changes, and responses of the monsoons, as compared to today. They also provide an opportunity, through carefully designed additional sensitivity experiments as part of the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP4), to quantify the strength of atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and land-surface feedbacks. Sensitivity experiments are proposed to investigate the role of freshwater forcing in triggering abrupt climate changes within interglacial epochs. These feedback experiments naturally lead to a focus on climate evolution during interglacial periods, which will be examined through transient experiments. Analyses of the sensitivity simulations will also focus on interactions between extratropical and tropical circulation, and the relationship between changes in mean climate state and climate variability on annual to multi-decadal timescales. The comparative abundance of paleoenvironmental data and of quantitative climate reconstructions for the Holocene and Last Interglacial make these two epochs ideal candidates for systematic evaluation of model performance, and such comparisons will shed new light on the importance of external feedbacks (e.g., vegetation, dust) and the ability of state-of-the-art models to simulate climate changes realistically.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:No
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:67765
Additional Information:This paper was formally withdrawn from Climate of the Past Discussions and resubmitted to Geoscientific Model Development Discussions
Publisher:European Geosciences Union

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