The first 250 years of the Heinrich 11 iceberg discharge: Last Interglacial HadGEM3-GC3.1 simulations for CMIP6-PMIP4 [in review]

The Heinrich 11 event is simulated using the HadGEM3 model during the Last Interglacial period. We apply 0.2 Sv of meltwater forcing across the North Atlantic during a 250 years long simulation. We find that the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is reduced by 60 % after 150 years of meltwater forcing, with an associated decrease of 0.2 to 0.4 PW in meridional ocean heat transport at all latitudes. The changes in ocean heat transport affect surface temperatures. The largest increase in the meridional surface temperature gradient occurs between 40–50 N. This increase is associated with a strengthening of 20 % in 850 hPa winds. The stream jet intensification in the Northern Hemisphere in return alters the temperature structure of the ocean heat through an increased gyre circulation, and associated heat transport (+0.1–0.2 PW), at the mid-latitudes, and a decreased gyre ocean heat transport (−0.2 PW) at high-latitudes. The changes in meridional temperature and pressure gradients cause the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) to move southward, leading to stronger westerlies and a more positive Southern Annual Mode (SAM) in the Southern Hemisphere. The positive SAM influences sea ice formation leading to an increase in Antarctic sea ice. Our coupled-model simulation framework shows that the classical "thermal bipolar see-saw'' has previously undiscovered consequences in both Hemispheres: these include Northern Hemisphere gyre heat transport and wind changes; alongside an increase in Antarctic sea ice during the first 250 years of meltwater forcing.


Publication status:
Published Online
Authors: Guarino, Maria Vittoria ORCIDORCID record for Maria Vittoria Guarino, Sime, Louise ORCIDORCID record for Louise Sime, Schroeder, David, Ridley, Jeff

On this site: Louise Sime, Maria Vittoria Guarino
11 January, 2022
Climate of the Past: Discussions
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