The response of the Indian monsoon to North Atlantic freshwater forcing during the early Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum
Carrie Morrill , NOAA National Climatic Data Center
Paleoclimate records indicate that during some past abrupt climate changes, such as Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles and the 8.2 ka event, the Indian monsoon weakened and temperatures in the North Atlantic fell. It has been hypothesized that pulses of freshwater added to the North Atlantic could have led to this remote climate response in Asia. However, the physical mechanisms for the teleconnection have yet to be determined. To test this hypothesis, we present results from two experiments using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) coupled Community Climate System Model, version 3. In these experiments, we applied a 1 Sverdrup (1x106 m3 /s) freshwater hosing over the North Atlantic between 50 and 70 degrees N for 100 years. The two experiments used boundary conditions relevant for 8.5 ka and 21 ka (Last Glacial Maximum). Both simulations show a statistically significant decrease in summer precipitation over India following freshwater addition to the North Atlantic. Precipitation in June-July-August decreases 40% in the 21 ka simulation and 20% in the 8.5 ka simulation. We will discuss whether these simulations provide support for any of the proposed pathways for the teleconnection. These include: an increase in Eurasian snowcover, an increase in sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, or a reduction in the temperature gradient across the tropical Pacific.
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