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ESRL/PSD Seminar Series

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.

PSD-South Conference Room (1D403)
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
2:00pm Refreshments at 1:50 pm

SECURITY: If you are coming from outside the NOAA campus, please be advised that you will need an on-site sponsor. Please contact that person in advance of the seminar to be put on the list and allow 10 minutes extra on the day of the seminar. Please contact Joe Barsugli (303-497-6042) or Lucia Harrop (303-497-6188) at least a day before the seminar if you have any questions.