skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: The Impact of Winds on AMOC in a Fully‐Coupled Climate Model
Abstract

Here we investigate the role of the atmospheric circulation in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) by comparing a fully‐coupled large ensemble, a forced‐ocean simulation, and new experiments using a fully‐coupled global climate model where winds above the boundary layer are nudged toward reanalysis. When winds are nudged north of 45°N, agreement with RAPID array observations of AMOC at 26.5°N improves across several metrics. The phasing of interannual variability is well‐captured due to the response of the local Ekman component in both wind‐nudging and forced‐ocean simulations, however the variance remains underestimated. The mean AMOC strength is substantially reduced relative to the fully‐coupled model large ensemble, which is biased high, due to the impact of winds on surface buoyancy fluxes over the subpolar gyre. Nudging winds toward observations also reduces the 1979–2016 trend in AMOC, suggesting that improvement in the representation of the high‐latitude atmosphere is important for projecting long‐term AMOC changes.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
2213988 1850900
NSF-PAR ID:
10385678
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume:
49
Issue:
24
ISSN:
0094-8276
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Over the past decades, Arctic climate has exhibited significant changes characterized by strong Pan-Arctic warming and a large scale wind shift trending toward an anticyclonic anomaly centered over Greenland and the Arctic ocean. Recent work has suggested that this wind change is able to warm the Arctic atmosphere and melt sea ice through dynamical-driven warming, moistening and ice drift effects. However, previous examination of this linkage lacks a capability to fully consider the complex nature of the sea ice response to the wind change. In this study, we perform a more rigorous test of this idea by using a coupled high-resolution modelling framework with observed winds nudged over the Arctic that allows for a comparison of these wind-induced effects with observations and simulated effects forced by anthropogenic forcing. Our nudging simulation can well capture observed variability of atmospheric temperature, sea ice and the radiation balance during the Arctic summer and appears to simulate around 30% of Arctic warming and sea ice melting over the whole period (1979-2020) and more than 50% over the period 2000 to 2012, which is the fastest Arctic warming decade in the satellite era. In particular, in the summer of 2020, a similar wind pattern reemerged to induce the second-lowest sea ice extent since 1979, suggesting that large scale wind changes in the Arctic is essential in shaping Arctic climate on interannual and interdecadal time scales and may be critical to determine Arctic climate variability in the coming decades. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract. The Arctic is warming 2 to 3 times faster than the global average, partly due to changes in short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) including aerosols. In order to study the effects of atmospheric aerosols in this warming, recent past (1990–2014) and future (2015–2050) simulations have been carried out using the GISS-E2.1 Earth system model to study the aerosol burdens and their radiative and climate impacts over the Arctic (>60∘ N), using anthropogenic emissions from the Eclipse V6b and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) databases, while global annual mean greenhouse gas concentrations were prescribed and kept fixed in all simulations. Results showed that the simulations have underestimated observed surface aerosol levels, in particular black carbon (BC) and sulfate (SO42-), by more than 50 %, with the smallest biases calculated for the atmosphere-only simulations, where winds are nudged to reanalysis data. CMIP6 simulations performed slightly better in reproducing the observed surface aerosol concentrations and climate parameters, compared to the Eclipse simulations. In addition, simulations where atmosphere and ocean are fully coupled had slightly smaller biases in aerosol levels compared to atmosphere-only simulations without nudging. Arctic BC, organic aerosol (OA), and SO42- burdens decrease significantly in all simulations by 10 %–60 % following the reductions of 7 %–78 % in emission projections, with the Eclipse ensemble showing larger reductions in Arctic aerosol burdens compared to the CMIP6 ensemble. For the 2030–2050 period, the Eclipse ensemble simulated a radiative forcing due to aerosol–radiation interactions (RFARI) of -0.39±0.01 W m−2, which is −0.08 W m−2 larger than the 1990–2010 mean forcing (−0.32 W m−2), of which -0.24±0.01 W m−2 was attributed to the anthropogenic aerosols. The CMIP6 ensemble simulated a RFARI of −0.35 to −0.40 W m−2 for the same period, which is −0.01 to −0.06 W m−2 larger than the 1990–2010 mean forcing of −0.35 W m−2. The scenarios with little to no mitigation (worst-case scenarios) led to very small changes in the RFARI, while scenarios with medium to large emission mitigations led to increases in the negative RFARI, mainly due to the decrease in the positive BC forcing and the decrease in the negative SO42- forcing. The anthropogenic aerosols accounted for −0.24 to −0.26 W m−2 of the net RFARI in 2030–2050 period, in Eclipse and CMIP6 ensembles, respectively. Finally, all simulations showed an increase in the Arctic surface air temperatures throughout the simulation period. By 2050, surface air temperatures are projected to increase by 2.4 to 2.6 ∘C in the Eclipse ensemble and 1.9 to 2.6 ∘C in the CMIP6 ensemble, compared to the 1990–2010 mean. Overall, results show that even the scenarios with largest emission reductions leads to similar impact on the future Arctic surface air temperatures and sea-ice extent compared to scenarios with smaller emission reductions, implying reductions of greenhouse emissions are still necessary to mitigate climate change. 
    more » « less
  3. This dataset contains monthly average output files from the iCAM6 simulations used in the manuscript "Enhancing understanding of the hydrological cycle via pairing of process-oriented and isotope ratio tracers," in review at the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. A file corresponding to each of the tagged and isotopic variables used in this manuscript is included. Files are at 0.9° latitude x 1.25° longitude, and are in NetCDF format. Data from two simulations are included: 1) a simulation where the atmospheric model was "nudged" to ERA5 wind and surface pressure fields, by adding an additional tendency (see section 3.1 of associated manuscript), and 2) a simulation where the atmospheric state was allowed to freely evolve, using only boundary conditions imposed at the surface and top of atmosphere. Specific information about each of the variables provided is located in the "usage notes" section below. Associated article abstract: The hydrologic cycle couples the Earth's energy and carbon budgets through evaporation, moisture transport, and precipitation. Despite a wealth of observations and models, fundamental limitations remain in our capacity to deduce even the most basic properties of the hydrological cycle, including the spatial pattern of the residence time (RT) of water in the atmosphere and the mean distance traveled from evaporation sources to precipitation sinks. Meanwhile, geochemical tracers such as stable water isotope ratios provide a tool to probe hydrological processes, yet their interpretation remains equivocal despite several decades of use. As a result, there is a need for new mechanistic tools that link variations in water isotope ratios to underlying hydrological processes. Here we present a new suite of “process-oriented tags,” which we use to explicitly trace hydrological processes within the isotopically enabled Community Atmosphere Model, version 6 (iCAM6). Using these tags, we test the hypotheses that precipitation isotope ratios respond to parcel rainout, variations in atmospheric RT, and preserve information regarding meteorological conditions during evaporation. We present results for a historical simulation from 1980 to 2004, forced with winds from the ERA5 reanalysis. We find strong evidence that precipitation isotope ratios record information about atmospheric rainout and meteorological conditions during evaporation, but little evidence that precipitation isotope ratios vary with water vapor RT. These new tracer methods will enable more robust linkages between observations of isotope ratios in the modern hydrologic cycle or proxies of past terrestrial environments and the environmental processes underlying these observations.   Details about the simulation setup can be found in section 3 of the associated open-source manuscript, "Enhancing understanding of the hydrological cycle via pairing of process‐oriented and isotope ratio tracers." In brief, we conducted two simulations of the atmosphere from 1980-2004 using the isotope-enabled version of the Community Atmosphere Model 6 (iCAM6) at 0.9x1.25° horizontal resolution, and with 30 vertical hybrid layers spanning from the surface to ~3 hPa. In the first simulation, wind and surface pressure fields were "nudged" toward the ERA5 reanalysis dataset by adding a nudging tendency, preventing the model from diverging from observed/reanalysis wind fields. In the second simulation, no additional nudging tendency was included, and the model was allowed to evolve 'freely' with only boundary conditions provided at the top (e.g., incoming solar radiation) and bottom (e.g., observed sea surface temperatures) of the model. In addition to the isotopic variables, our simulation included a suite of 'process-oriented tracers,' which we describe in section 2 of the manuscript. These variables are meant to track a property of water associated with evaporation, condensation, or atmospheric transport. Metadata are provided about each of the files below; moreover, since the attached files are NetCDF data - this information is also provided with the data files. NetCDF metadata can be accessed using standard tools (e.g., ncdump). Each file has 4 variables: the tagged quantity, and the associated coordinate variables (time, latitude, longitude). The latter three are identical across all files, only the tagged quantity changes. Twelve files are provided for the nudged simulation, and an additional three are provided for the free simulations: Nudged simulation files iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_RHevap: Mass-weighted mean evaporation source property: RH (%) with respect to surface temperature. iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_Tevap: Mass-weighted mean evaporation source property: surface temperature in Kelvin iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_Tcond: Mass-weighted mean condensation property: temperature (K) iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_columnQ: Total (vertically integrated) precipitable water (kg/m2).  Not a tagged quantity, but necessary to calculate depletion times in section 4.3 (e.g., Fig. 11 and 12). iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_d18O: Precipitation d18O (‰ VSMOW) iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_d18Oevap_0: Mass-weighted mean evaporation source property - d18O of the evaporative flux (e.g., the 'initial' isotope ratio prior to condensation), (‰ VSMOW) iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_dxs: Precipitation deuterium excess (‰ VSMOW) - note that precipitation d2H can be calculated from this file and the precipitation d18O as d2H = d-excess - 8*d18O. iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_dexevap_0: Mass-weighted mean evaporation source property - deuterium excess of the evaporative flux iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_lnf: Integrated property - ln(f) calculated from the constant-fractionation d18O tracer (see section 3.2). iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_precip: Total precipitation rate in m/s. Note there is an error in the metadata in this file - it is total precipitation, not just convective precipitation. iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_residencetime: Mean atmospheric water residence time (in days). iCAM6_nudged_1980-2004_mon_transportdistance: Mean atmospheric water transport distance (in km). Free simulation files iCAM6_free_1980-2004_mon_d18O: Precipitation d18O (‰ VSMOW) iCAM6_free_1980-2004_mon_dxs: Precipitation deuterium excess (‰ VSMOW) - note that precipitation d2H can be calculated from this file and the precipitation d18O as d2H = d-excess - 8*d18O. iCAM6_free_1980-2004_mon_precip: Total precipitation rate in m/s. Note there is an error in the metadata in this file - it is total precipitation, not just convective precipitation. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    A multimodel, multiresolution ensemble using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP) coupled experiments is used to assess the performance of key aspects of the North Atlantic circulation. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and related heat transport, tends to become stronger as ocean model resolution is enhanced, better agreeing with observations at 26.5°N. However, for most models the circulation remains too shallow compared to observations and has a smaller temperature contrast between the northward and southward limbs of the AMOC. These biases cause the northward heat transport to be systematically too low for a given overturning strength. The higher‐resolution models also tend to have too much deep mixing in the subpolar gyre. In the period 2015–2050 the overturning circulation tends to decline more rapidly in the higher‐resolution models, which is related to both the mean state and to the subpolar gyre contribution to deep water formation. The main part of the decline comes from the Florida Current component of the circulation. Such large declines in AMOC are not seen in the models with resolutions more typically used for climate studies, suggesting an enhanced risk for Northern Hemisphere climate change. However, only a small number of different ocean models are included in the study.

     
    more » « less
  5. The fundamental mechanisms that explain high subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) decadal predictability within a particular modeling framework are described. The focus is on the Community Earth System Model (CESM), run in both a historical forced-ocean configuration as well as in a fully coupled configuration initialized from the former. The initialized prediction experiments comprise the CESM Decadal Prediction Large Ensemble (CESM-DPLE)—a 40-member set of retrospective hindcasts documented in Yeager et al. (Bull Am Meteorol Soc 99:1867–1886. https://doi.org/10.1175/bams-d-17-0098.1, 2018). Heat budget analysis confirms the driving role of advective heat convergence in skillful prediction of SPNA upper ocean heat content out to decadal lead times. The key ocean dynamics are topographically-coupled overturning/gyre fluctuations that are geographically centered over the mid-Atlantic ridge (MAR). Long-lasting predictive skill for ocean heat transport can be related to predictable barotropic gyre and sigma-coordinate AMOC circulations, but depth-coordinate AMOC is far less predictable except in the deepest layers. The foundation of ocean memory (and circulation predictive skill) in CESM-DPLE is Labrador Sea Water thickness, which propagates predictably through interior pathways towards the MAR where large anomalies accumulate and persist. Abyssal thickness anomalies drive predictable decadal changes in the gyre circulation, including changes in sea level gradient and near surface flow, that account for the high predictability of SPNA upper ocean heat content. 
    more » « less