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Aerosol-forced AMOC changes in CMIP6 historical simulations

Menary, M. B., Robson, J., Allan, R., Booth, B. B. B., Cassou, C., Gastineau, G., Gregory, J., Hodson, D., Jones, C., Mignot, J., Ringer, M., Sutton, R., Wilcox, L. and Zhang, R. (2020) Aerosol-forced AMOC changes in CMIP6 historical simulations. Geophysical Research Letters. e2020GL088166. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2020GL088166

Abstract/Summary

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has been, and will continue to be, a key factor in the modulation of climate change both locally and globally. However, there remains considerable uncertainty in recent AMOC evolution. Here, we show that the multi-model mean AMOC strengthened by approximately 10% from 1850-1985 in new simulations from the 6th Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP6), a larger change than was seen in CMIP5. Across the models, the strength of the AMOC trend up to 1985 is related to a proxy for the strength of the aerosol forcing. Therefore, the multi-model difference is a result of stronger anthropogenic aerosol forcing on average in CMIP6 than CMIP5, which is primarily due to more models including aerosol-cloud interactions. However, observational constraints - including a historical sea surface temperature fingerprint and shortwave radiative forcing in recent decades - suggest that anthropogenic forcing and/or the AMOC response may be overestimated.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:91305
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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