Archives par mot-clé : AMOC

Can we trust projections of AMOC weakening based on climate models that cannot reproduce the past?

by G.D. McCarthy & L. Caesar, Nov 2023 in PhilosophicalTransactions

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a crucial element of the Earth’s climate system, is projected to weaken over the course of the twenty-first century which could have far reaching consequences for the occurrence of extreme weather events, regional sea level rise, monsoon regions and the marine ecosystem. The latest IPCC report puts the likelihood of such a weakening as ‘very likely’. As our confidence in future climate projections depends largely on the ability to model the past climate, we take an in-depth look at the difference in the twentieth century evolution of the AMOC based on observational data (including direct observations and various proxy data) and model data from climate model ensembles. We show that both the magnitude of the trend in the AMOC over different time periods and often even the sign of the trend differs between observations and climate model ensemble mean, with the magnitude of the trend difference becoming even greater when looking at the CMIP6 ensemble compared to CMIP5. We discuss possible reasons for this observation-model discrepancy and question what it means to have higher confidence in future projections than historical reproductions.

This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ’Atlantic overturning: new observations and challenges’.

Understanding Abrupt Climate Change in the Late Quaternary

by R.S. Bradley & H.F. Diaz, Nov18,  2021 in Eos

Between about 75,000 and 10,000 years ago, there was a series of sudden and dramatic changes in rainfall patterns in tropical regions likely triggered by changes in ocean water circulation. A recent article in Reviews of Geophysics examines the evidence of these “Tropical Hydroclimatic Events” and explores the potential causes. Here, one of the authors explains more about these abrupt climate change events of the past and suggests how it can inform our understanding of potential future climate change.

What are “Tropical Hydroclimatic Events” (THEs)? When and where did they occur?

When we look back at past climate variations in continental regions of the Tropics and sub-Tropics (~30ºN-30ºS), it is abundantly clear that there were times when climate abruptly changed, causing some areas that were formerly wet to become quite dry, and areas that were formerly dry to become much wetter, disrupting plant and animal communities, as well as people living in the region. We call those changes “Tropical Hydroclimatic Events (THEs).” The changes affected vast areas (and lasted for centuries in some cases_ before the climate shifted back to the former conditions. There were at least half a dozen of these THEs between about 10,000 and 75,000 years ago.

Yet Another Model-Based Claim Of Anthropogenic Climate Forcing Collapses

by K. Richard, Feb 25 2021 in NoTricksZone

High-resolution climate models have projected a “decline of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) under the influence of anthropogenic warming” for decades (Lobelle et al., 2020). New research that assesses changes in the deeper layers of the ocean (instead of “ignoring” these layers like past models have) shows instead that the AMOC hasn’t declined for over 30 years.

The North Atlantic has been rapidly cooling in recent decades (Bryden et al., 2020, Fröb et al., 2019). A cooling of “more than 2°C” in just 8 years (2008-2016) and a cooling rate of -0.78°C per decade between 2004 and 2017 has been reported for nearly the entire ocean region just south of Iceland. The cooling persists year-round and extends from the “surface down to 800 m depth”