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Global surface cooling: the atmospheric fast feedback response to a collapse of the thermohaline circulation

Global surface cooling: the atmospheric fast feedback response to a collapse of the thermohaline circulation
Global surface cooling: the atmospheric fast feedback response to a collapse of the thermohaline circulation
In the ECHAM5/MPI-OM model a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation results in a global surface cooling of 0.72 K. The mechanisms that are responsible for this cooling are investigated. Additional experiments were performed with a one-dimensional radiative convective model in which anomalies from the climate model were prescribed. Fast atmospheric feedbacks are essential to maintain and strengthen the global surface cooling caused by a THC collapse. Reduced downward long wave radiation exceeds the decreased upward long wave radiation. This decreased downward long wave radiation is caused by reduced water vapor content rather than by ice-albedo feedbacks. Also, the decrease in water vapor is much stronger than suggested by the water vapor feedback expected from the simulated albedo change. The large decrease in water vapor is the main feedback. On the regional scale, changes in cloud water and cloud radiative forcing further modify the surface cooling.
thermohaline circulation, abrupt climate change, atmospheric feedbacks
0094-8276
L20708
Laurian, A.
7901ed3e-43da-4f72-b2f2-e45ac2ff3d56
Drijfhout, S.S.
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hazeleger, W.
0bd826a1-4713-43ab-aace-3ea59d2fc37e
van Dorland, R.
f4f737c4-9f6c-452d-bca2-a33afb794b53
Laurian, A.
7901ed3e-43da-4f72-b2f2-e45ac2ff3d56
Drijfhout, S.S.
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Hazeleger, W.
0bd826a1-4713-43ab-aace-3ea59d2fc37e
van Dorland, R.
f4f737c4-9f6c-452d-bca2-a33afb794b53

Laurian, A., Drijfhout, S.S., Hazeleger, W. and van Dorland, R. (2009) Global surface cooling: the atmospheric fast feedback response to a collapse of the thermohaline circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (20), L20708. (doi:10.1029/2009GL040938).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In the ECHAM5/MPI-OM model a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation results in a global surface cooling of 0.72 K. The mechanisms that are responsible for this cooling are investigated. Additional experiments were performed with a one-dimensional radiative convective model in which anomalies from the climate model were prescribed. Fast atmospheric feedbacks are essential to maintain and strengthen the global surface cooling caused by a THC collapse. Reduced downward long wave radiation exceeds the decreased upward long wave radiation. This decreased downward long wave radiation is caused by reduced water vapor content rather than by ice-albedo feedbacks. Also, the decrease in water vapor is much stronger than suggested by the water vapor feedback expected from the simulated albedo change. The large decrease in water vapor is the main feedback. On the regional scale, changes in cloud water and cloud radiative forcing further modify the surface cooling.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 29 October 2009
Published date: October 2009
Keywords: thermohaline circulation, abrupt climate change, atmospheric feedbacks
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348365
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348365
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: f3c50f30-f089-4321-afa7-ecea791c638b

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Date deposited: 12 Feb 2013 13:20
Last modified: 07 Jan 2022 21:24

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Contributors

Author: A. Laurian
Author: S.S. Drijfhout
Author: W. Hazeleger
Author: R. van Dorland

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