Climate Dynamics

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 493–513 | Cite as

On the interpretation of low-latitude hydrological proxy records based on Maunder Minimum AOGCM simulations

  • Masakazu Yoshimori
  • Christoph C. Raible
  • Thomas F. Stocker
  • Manuel Renold


An increasing number of proxy records, which are related to changes in the hydrological cycle, have been collected for climate reconstructions of the last millennium. There has been, however, little attempt to test climate models with such proxy records or to interpret proxy records using climate model simulations. In the present study, we analyze the hydrological changes between three different types of experiments: a present-day control, a perpetual AD 1640, and an ensemble of six transient Maunder Minimum (AD 1640–1715) simulations. Atmospheric moisture transport is investigated in terms of contributions of specific humidity and circulation changes. The study points out the importance of the specific humidity contribution to changes in moisture transport reflected in hydrological proxy records. The moisture budget of the western tropical Pacific is also investigated to aid the interpretation of a proxy record in this specific region. The present-day freshening of the western tropical Pacific, compared to the Maunder Minimum, is explained by the increased zonal moisture transport via trade winds, mainly due to the increased amount of atmospheric water vapor content in the warming world. Due to the existence of several uncertainty factors, such as forcing reconstructions, the link between the model simulations and proxy records is, however, not definitive, but the thermal contribution to hydrological proxy records is important and not limited to the Maunder Minimum period.


Moisture Transport Specific Humidity Total Solar Irradiance Hadley Circulation Proxy Record 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are indebted to NCAR for their continuous effort in developing the model and making it available to the community. We are grateful for authors of cited reconstructions in making their data available to the community ( Developers of freely available softwares, SCRIP, NCL and Ferret, are also acknowledged. This work is supported by the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Climate funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. A substantial part of the computations was made on IBM Power 4 at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Manno. TFS acknowledges support by IPRC and A. Timmermann during a sabbatical visit to IPRC in 2006. This is IPRC publication #381 and SOEST #6762. We thank two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped to clarify the text and to greatly improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masakazu Yoshimori
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christoph C. Raible
    • 1
  • Thomas F. Stocker
    • 1
    • 3
  • Manuel Renold
    • 1
  1. 1.Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Center for Environmental PredictionRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  3. 3.International Pacific Research Center, SOESTUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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