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Arctic Oscillation during the Mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum from PMIP2 Coupled Model Simulations

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  • 1 Korea Polar Research Institute, KORDI, Incheon, South Korea, and Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Korea Polar Research Institute, KORDI, Incheon, South Korea
  • | 3 Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan
  • | 4 LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 5 Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
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Abstract

Changes in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) during the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum were compared to preindustrial (PI) simulations using four coupled ocean–atmosphere models [i.e., Community Climate System Model (CCSM), third climate configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (HadCM3) Met Office Surface Exchanges Scheme, version 2 (MOSES2), L’Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), and Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate 3.2 (MIROC3.2)] from the second phase of the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project. Results show that the amplitude of the simulated AO during the mid-Holocene is a little smaller than that of the preindustrial simulation. Although the AO pattern and vertical structures are similar to those in the preindustrial simulation, the polar westerlies are slightly weakened and displaced downward to the lower stratosphere, accompanied by weakening of the polar vortex and warming of the cold polar cap region. During the Last Glacial Maximum, when the Northern Hemisphere experiences severe cooling, the intensity of the AO decreases substantially compared to the mid-Holocene, with smaller standard deviations of the AO indices in all models. Furthermore, the magnitude of positive and negative centers of the AO spatial pattern decreases and the strength of the polar vortex and westerlies weakens further with the center of westerlies displaced into the midlatitude upper troposphere. The polar cap region becomes anomalously warm in the stratosphere, whereas it remains cold in the troposphere. The AO appears to be sensitive to background climate state.

Upward-propagating stationary Rossby waves are found to be stronger during the mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum than in the preindustrial simulation. This increase in planetary wave activity might be responsible for the simulated weakening of the AO during the mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum. Recent studies have shown that there is a significant correlation between Eurasian fall snow cover and the winter AO. The upward propagation of Rossby waves was further proposed to explain the physical process linking the AO with the snow depth. It is suggested that a large increase in fall snow depth during the Last Glacial Maximum strengthens the upward-propagating stationary Rossby waves relative to the PI.

Corresponding author address: Seong-Joong Kim, Korea Polar Research Institute, 7-50 Songdo-Dong, Yeonsu-Gu, Incheon, 406-840, South Korea. Email: seongjkim@kopri.re.kr

Abstract

Changes in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) during the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum were compared to preindustrial (PI) simulations using four coupled ocean–atmosphere models [i.e., Community Climate System Model (CCSM), third climate configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (HadCM3) Met Office Surface Exchanges Scheme, version 2 (MOSES2), L’Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), and Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate 3.2 (MIROC3.2)] from the second phase of the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project. Results show that the amplitude of the simulated AO during the mid-Holocene is a little smaller than that of the preindustrial simulation. Although the AO pattern and vertical structures are similar to those in the preindustrial simulation, the polar westerlies are slightly weakened and displaced downward to the lower stratosphere, accompanied by weakening of the polar vortex and warming of the cold polar cap region. During the Last Glacial Maximum, when the Northern Hemisphere experiences severe cooling, the intensity of the AO decreases substantially compared to the mid-Holocene, with smaller standard deviations of the AO indices in all models. Furthermore, the magnitude of positive and negative centers of the AO spatial pattern decreases and the strength of the polar vortex and westerlies weakens further with the center of westerlies displaced into the midlatitude upper troposphere. The polar cap region becomes anomalously warm in the stratosphere, whereas it remains cold in the troposphere. The AO appears to be sensitive to background climate state.

Upward-propagating stationary Rossby waves are found to be stronger during the mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum than in the preindustrial simulation. This increase in planetary wave activity might be responsible for the simulated weakening of the AO during the mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum. Recent studies have shown that there is a significant correlation between Eurasian fall snow cover and the winter AO. The upward propagation of Rossby waves was further proposed to explain the physical process linking the AO with the snow depth. It is suggested that a large increase in fall snow depth during the Last Glacial Maximum strengthens the upward-propagating stationary Rossby waves relative to the PI.

Corresponding author address: Seong-Joong Kim, Korea Polar Research Institute, 7-50 Songdo-Dong, Yeonsu-Gu, Incheon, 406-840, South Korea. Email: seongjkim@kopri.re.kr

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