The last interglacial (Eemian) climate simulated by LOVECLIM and CCSM3

Nikolova, I.; Yin, Q.; Berger, A.; Singh, U. K.; Karami, M. P.
September 2012
Climate of the Past Discussions;2012, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p5293
Academic Journal
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the climate of the last interglacial simulated by two climate models of different complexities, LOVECLIM and CCSM3. The simulated surface temperature, hydrological cycle, vegetation and ENSO variability during the last interglacial are analyzed through the comparison with the simulated Pre-Industrial (PI) climate. In both models, the last interglacial period is characterized by a significant warming (cooling) over almost all the continents during boreal summer (winter) leading to a largely increased (reduced) seasonal contrast in the northern (southern) hemisphere. This is mainly due to the much higher (lower) insolation received by the whole Earth in boreal summer (winter) during this interglacial. The arctic is warmer than PI through the whole year, resulting from its much higher summer insolation and its remnant effect in the following fall-winter through the interactions between atmosphere, ocean and sea ice. In the tropical Pacific, the change in the SST annual cycle is suggested to be related to a minor shift towards an El Nino, slightly stronger for MIS-5 than for PI. Intensified African monsoon and vegetation feedback are responsible for the cooling during summer in North Africa and Arabian Peninsula. Over India precipitation maximum is found further west, while in Africa the precipitation maximum migrates further north. Trees and grassland expand north in Sahel/Sahara. A mix of forest and grassland occupies continents and expand deep in the high northern latitudes. Desert areas reduce significantly in Northern Hemisphere, but increase in North Australia. The simulated large-scale climate change during the last interglacial compares reasonably well with proxy data, giving credit to both models and reconstructions. However, discrepancies exist at some regional scales between the two models, indicating the necessity of more in depth analysis of the models and comparisons with proxy data.


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