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          Institute: MPI für Meteorologie     Collection: Land in the Earth System     Display Documents



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ID: 478948.0, MPI für Meteorologie / Land in the Earth System
Atmosphere and ocean dynamics: contributors to the European Little Ice Age ?
Authors:Palastanga, V.; van der Schrier, G.; Weber, S. L.; Kleinen, T.; Briffa, K. R.; Osborn, T. J.
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2011
Title of Journal:Climate Dynamics
Journal Abbrev.:Clim. Dyn.
Volume:36
Start Page:973
End Page:987
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:The role of a reduction in the Atlantic meridional overturning and that of a persistently negative North Atlantic Oscillation in explaining the coldness of the European Little Ice Age (LIA) has been assessed in two sets of numerical experiments. These experiments are performed using an intermediate complexity climate model and a full complexity GCM. The reduction in the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) of ca. 25% is triggered by a conventional fresh-water hosing set-up. A persistently negative NAO winter circulation, at NAO-index value -0.5, is imposed using recently developed data-assimilation techniques applicable on paleoclimatic timescales. The hosing experiments lead to a reduction in oceanic meridional heat transport and cooler sea-surface temperatures. Next to a direct cooling effect on European climate, the change in ocean surface temperatures feedback on the atmospheric circulation modifying European climate significantly. The data-assimilation experiments showed a reduction of winter temperatures over parts of Europe, but there is little persistence into the summer season. The output of all model experiments are compared to reconstructions of winter and summer temperature based on the available temperature data for the LIA period. This demonstrates that the hypothesis of a persistently negative NAO as an explanation for the European LIA does not hold. The hosing experiments do not clearly support the hypothesis that a reduction in the MOC is the primary driver of LIA climate change. However, a reduction in the Atlantic overturning might have been a cause of the European LIA climate, depending on whether there is a strong enough feedback on the atmospheric circulation. © 2010 The Author(s).
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Kauhs
Affiliations:MPI für Meteorologie/Land in the Earth System (2005-)
Identifiers:DOI:10.1007/s00382-010-0751-0
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