Accessibility navigation

Underlying causes of Eurasian midcontinental aridity in simulations of mid-Holocene climate

Bartlein, P. J., Harrison, S. P. and Izumi, K. (2017) Underlying causes of Eurasian midcontinental aridity in simulations of mid-Holocene climate. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (17). pp. 9020-9028. ISSN 0094-8276

Text (Open access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2017gl074476


Climate model simulations uniformly show drier and warmer summers in the Eurasian midcontinent during the mid-Holocene, which is not consistent with paleoenvironmental observations. The simulated climate results from a reduction in the zonal temperature gradient, which weakens westerly flow and reduces moisture flux and precipitation in the midcontinent. As a result, sensible heating is favored over evaporation and latent heating, resulting in substantial surface-driven atmospheric warming. Thus, the discrepancy with the paleoenvironmental evidence arises initially from a problem in the simulated circulation and is exacerbated by feedback from the land surface. This region is also drier and warmer than indicated by observations in the preindustrial control simulations, and this bias arises in the same way: zonal flow and hence moisture flux into the midcontinent are too weak, and feedback from the land surface results in surface-driven warming. These analyses suggest the need to improve those aspects of climate models that affect the strength of westerly circulation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:72463
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geophysics
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation