Simulating climate and stable water isotopes during the Last Interglacial using a coupled climate-isotope model.

Gierz, Paul, Werner, Martin and Lohmann, Gerrit (2017) Simulating climate and stable water isotopes during the Last Interglacial using a coupled climate-isotope model. Open Access Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 9 (5). pp. 2027-2045. DOI 10.1002/2017MS001056.

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Understanding the dynamics of warm climate states has gained increasing importance in the face of anthropogenic climate change, and while it is possible to simulate warm interglacial climates, these simulated results cannot be evaluated without the aid of geochemical proxies. One such proxy is δ18O, which allows for inference about both a climate state's hydrology and temperature. We utilize a stable water isotope equipped climate model to simulate three stages during the Last Interglacial (LIG), corresponding to 130, 125, and 120 kyr before present, using forcings for orbital configuration as well as greenhouse gases. We discover heterogeneous responses in the mean δ18O signal to the climate forcing, with large areas of depletion in the LIG δ18O signal over the tropical Atlantic, the Sahel, and the Indian subcontinent, and with enrichment over the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. While we find that the climatology mean relationship between δ18O and temperature remains stable during the LIG, we also discover that this relationship is not spatially consistent. Our results suggest that great care must be taken when comparing δ18O records of different paleoclimate archives with the results of climate models as both the qualitative and quantitative interpretation of δ18O variations as a proxy for past temperature changes may be problematic due to the complexity of the signals.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Projects: PalMod in-kind
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2018 09:33
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2018 08:15

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