Abstract

A linearized, steady state, primitive equation model is used to simulate the climatological zonal asymmetries (stationary eddies) in the wind and temperature fields of the 18 000 YBP climate during winter. We compare these results with the eddies simulated in the ice age experiments of Broccoli and Manabe, who used CLIMAP boundary conditions and reduced atmospheric CO2 in an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) coupled with a static mixed layer ocean model. The agreement between the models is good, indicating that the linear model can be used to evaluate the relative influences of orography, diabatic heating, and transient eddy heat and momentum transports in generating stationary waves. We find that orographic forcing dominates in the ice age climate. The mechanical influence of the continental ice sheets on the atmosphere is responsible for most of the changes between the present day and ice age stationary eddies. This concept of the ice age climate is complicated by the sensitivity of the stationary eddies to the large increase in the magnitude of the zonal mean meridional temperature gradient simulated in the ice age GCM.

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