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Stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in the Last Glacial Maximum climate

Stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in the Last Glacial Maximum climate
Stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in the Last Glacial Maximum climate
The stability of the glacial Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is examined using a coupled model of intermediate complexity. Two slightly different climatic states are generated. One has a southward overturning freshwater transport at the southern border of the Atlantic basin, the other a northward transport. Pulse experiments with varying magnitude always result in a collapsed circulation in case of a southward transport, while the overturning recovers in case of a northward transport. In the latter case recovery is due to a positive salinity-overturning feedback, which strengthens the remnant circulation cell that exists in the ‘collapsed’ state. This is amplified by advection by wind-driven currents and a southward ITCZ shift. The glacial circulation is more easily perturbed than the modern and restoring timescales are considerably longer, matching the duration of Heinrich events.
meridional overturning circulation, last glacial maximum, stability
0094-8276
L22706-[5pp]
Weber, Susanne L.
8fddd340-e824-4412-b353-e020e2eb42c2
Drijfhout, Sybren S.
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13
Weber, Susanne L.
8fddd340-e824-4412-b353-e020e2eb42c2
Drijfhout, Sybren S.
a5c76079-179b-490c-93fe-fc0391aacf13

Weber, Susanne L. and Drijfhout, Sybren S. (2007) Stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in the Last Glacial Maximum climate. Geophysical Research Letters, 34 (22), L22706-[5pp]. (doi:10.1029/2007GL031437).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The stability of the glacial Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is examined using a coupled model of intermediate complexity. Two slightly different climatic states are generated. One has a southward overturning freshwater transport at the southern border of the Atlantic basin, the other a northward transport. Pulse experiments with varying magnitude always result in a collapsed circulation in case of a southward transport, while the overturning recovers in case of a northward transport. In the latter case recovery is due to a positive salinity-overturning feedback, which strengthens the remnant circulation cell that exists in the ‘collapsed’ state. This is amplified by advection by wind-driven currents and a southward ITCZ shift. The glacial circulation is more easily perturbed than the modern and restoring timescales are considerably longer, matching the duration of Heinrich events.

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Published date: November 2007
Keywords: meridional overturning circulation, last glacial maximum, stability
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 349155
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349155
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: f4178891-32a8-42de-969c-f39555275868

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2013 10:47
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 17:57

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Author: Susanne L. Weber

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