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Creators/Authors contains: "Fedorov, Alexey V."

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  1. Abstract

    Over the past century, the subpolar North Atlantic experienced slight cooling or suppressed warming, relative to the background positive temperature trends, often dubbed the North Atlantic warming hole (NAWH). The causes of the NAWH remain under debate. Here we conduct coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations to demonstrate that enhanced Indian Ocean warming, another salient feature of global warming, could increase local rainfall and through teleconnections strengthen surface westerly winds south of Greenland, cooling the subpolar North Atlantic. In decades to follow however, this cooling effect would gradually vanish as the Indian Ocean warming acts to strengthen the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). We argue that the historical NAWH can potentially be explained by such atmospheric mechanisms reliant on surface wind changes, while oceanic mechanisms related to AMOC changes become more important on longer timescales. Thus, explaining the North Atlantic temperature trends and particularly the NAWH requires considering both atmospheric and oceanic mechanisms.

  2. Abstract Different oceanic and atmospheric mechanisms have been proposed to describe the response of the tropical Pacific to global warming, yet large uncertainties persist on their relative importance and potential interaction. Here, we use idealized experiments forced with a wide range of both abrupt and gradual CO2 increases in a coupled climate model (CESM) together with a simplified box model to explore the interaction between, and time scales of, different mechanisms driving Walker circulation changes. We find a robust transient response to CO2 forcing across all simulations, lasting between 20 and 100 years, depending on how abruptly the system is perturbed. This initial response is characterized by the strengthening of the Indo-Pacific zonal SST gradient and a westward shift of the Walker cell. In contrast, the equilibrium response, emerging after 50–100 years, is characterized by a warmer cold tongue, reduced zonal winds, and a weaker Walker cell. The magnitude of the equilibrium response in the fully coupled model is set primarily by enhanced extratropical warming and weaker oceanic subtropical cells, reducing the supply of cold water to equatorial upwelling. In contrast, in the slab ocean simulations, the weakening of the Walker cell is more modest and driven by differential evaporativemore »cooling along the equator. The “weaker Walker” mechanism implied by atmospheric energetics is also observed for the midtroposphere vertical velocity, but its surface manifestation is not robust. Correctly diagnosing the balance between these transient and equilibrium responses will improve understanding of ongoing and future climate change in the tropical Pacific.« less
  3. While the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is projected to slow down under anthropogenic warming, the exact role of the AMOC in future climate change has not been fully quantified. Here, we present a method to stabilize the AMOC intensity in anthropogenic warming experiments by removing fresh water from the subpolar North Atlantic. This method enables us to isolate the AMOC climatic impacts in experiments with a full-physics climate model. Our results show that a weakened AMOC can explain ocean cooling south of Greenland that resembles the North Atlantic warming hole and a reduced Arctic sea ice loss in all seasons with a delay of about 6 years in the emergence of an ice-free Arctic in boreal summer. In the troposphere, a weakened AMOC causes an anomalous cooling band stretching from the lower levels in high latitudes to the upper levels in the tropics and displaces the Northern Hemisphere midlatitude jets poleward.