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Mid-holocene and last glacial maximum climate simulations with the IPSL model-part I: comparing IPSLCM5A to IPSLCM4

Kageyama, M., Braconnot, P., Bopp, L., Caubel, A., Foujols, M.-A., Guilyardi, E., Khodri, M., Lloyd, J., Lombard, F., Mariotti, V., Marti, O., Roy, T. and Woillez, M.-N. (2012) Mid-holocene and last glacial maximum climate simulations with the IPSL model-part I: comparing IPSLCM5A to IPSLCM4. Climate Dynamics, 40 (9-10). pp. 2447-2468. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1488-8


The climates of the mid-Holocene (MH), 6,000 years ago, and of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), 21,000 years ago, have extensively been simulated, in particular in the framework of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparion Project. These periods are well documented by paleo-records, which can be used for evaluating model results for climates different from the present one. Here, we present new simulations of the MH and the LGM climates obtained with the IPSL_CM5A model and compare them to our previous results obtained with the IPSL_CM4 model. Compared to IPSL_CM4, IPSL_CM5A includes two new features: the interactive representation of the plant phenology and marine biogeochemistry. But one of the most important differences between these models is the latitudinal resolution and vertical domain of their atmospheric component, which have been improved in IPSL_CM5A and results in a better representation of the mid-latitude jet-streams. The Asian monsoon’s representation is also substantially improved. The global average mean annual temperature simulated for the pre-industrial (PI) period is colder in IPSL_CM5A than in IPSL_CM4 but their climate sensitivity to a CO2 doubling is similar. Here we show that these differences in the simulated PI climate have an impact on the simulated MH and LGM climatic anomalies. The larger cooling response to LGM boundary conditions in IPSL_CM5A appears to be mainly due to differences between the PMIP3 and PMIP2 boundary conditions, as shown by a short wave radiative forcing/feedback analysis based on a simplified perturbation method. It is found that the sensitivity computed from the LGM climate is lower than that computed from 2 × CO2 simulations, confirming previous studies based on different models. For the MH, the Asian monsoon, stronger in the IPSL_CM5A PI simulation, is also more sensitive to the insolation changes. The African monsoon is also further amplified in IPSL_CM5A due to the impact of the interactive phenology. Finally the changes in variability for both models and for MH and LGM are presented taking the example of the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is very different in the PI simulations. ENSO variability is damped in both model versions at the MH, whereas inconsistent responses are found between the two versions for the LGM. Part 2 of this paper examines whether these differences between IPSL_CM4 and IPSL_CM5A can be distinguished when comparing those results to palaeo-climatic reconstructions and investigates new approaches for model-data comparisons made possible by the inclusion of new components in IPSL_CM5A.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:51607

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