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High-latitude climate sensitivity to ice-sheet forcing over the last 120kyr

Singarayer, J. S. and Valdes, P. J. (2010) High-latitude climate sensitivity to ice-sheet forcing over the last 120kyr. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29 (1-2). pp. 43-55. ISSN 0277-3791

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.10.011


Interpretation of ice-core records is currently limited by paucity of modelling at adequate temporal and spatial resolutions. Several key questions relate to mechanisms of polar amplification and inter-hemispheric coupling on glacial/interglacial timescales. Here, we present the first results from a large set of global ocean–atmosphere climate model ‘snap-shot’ simulations covering the last 120 000 years using the Hadley Centre climate model (HadCM3) at up to 1 kyr temporal resolution. Two sets of simulations were performed in order to examine the roles of orbit and greenhouse gases versus ice-sheet forcing of orbital-scale climate change. A series of idealised Heinrich events were also simulated, but no changes to aerosols or vegetation were prescribed. This paper focuses on high latitudes and inter-hemispheric linkages. The simulations reproduce polar temperature trends well compared to ice-core reconstructions, although the magnitude is underestimated. Polar amplification varies with obliquity, but this variability is dampened by including variations in land ice coverage, while the overall amplification factor increases. The relatively constant amplification of Antarctic temperatures (with ice-sheet forcing included) suggests it is possible to use Antarctic temperature reconstructions to estimate global changes (which are roughly half the magnitude). Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation varies considerably only with the introduction of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, but only weakens in the North Atlantic in the deep glacial, when ocean–sea-ice feedbacks result in the movement of the region of deep convection to lower latitudes and with the introduction of freshwater to the surface North Atlantic in order to simulate Heinrich events.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:33547

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