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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 44, Issue 7–8, pp 1935–1955 | Cite as

A twentieth-century reanalysis forced ocean model to reconstruct the North Atlantic climate variation during the 1920s

  • W. A. Müller
  • D. Matei
  • M. Bersch
  • J. H. Jungclaus
  • H. Haak
  • K. Lohmann
  • G. P. Compo
  • P. D. Sardeshmukh
  • J. Marotzke
Article

Abstract

The observed North Atlantic multi-decadal variability for the period 1872–2009 is reconstructed with the Max Planck Institute ocean model, which is forced with an ensemble of the atmospheric twentieth century reanalysis. Special emphasis is put on the early part of the experiments, which includes a prominent climate variation during the 1920s. The experiments are in agreement with selected hydrographic records, indicating a transition from cold and fresh North Atlantic water properties, prior to the 1920 climate variation, towards warm and saline waters afterwards. Examining the variation reveals that sea level pressure (SLP) anomalies prior to the 1900s resemble a negative phase of North Atlantic Oscillation and associated weak winds result in a weak North Atlantic Current (NAC) and sub-polar gyre (SPG). This leads to a reduced transport of warm and saline waters into the higher latitudes. Simultaneously, Arctic freshwater release results in the accumulation of cold and fresh water properties, which cover the upper layers in the Labrador Sea and subsequently suppress convection. From the 1910s, the Arctic freshwater export is reduced, and, NAC and SPG are strengthened as a result of an increased SLP gradient over the North Atlantic. Concurrently, Labrador Sea convection and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) increase. The intensified NAC, SPG, and AMOC redistribute sub-tropical water into the North Atlantic and Nordic Seas, thereby increasing observed and modelled temperature and salinity during the 1920s.

Keywords

Climate variability Ocean state reconstruction North Atlantic 1920s warming 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the German Computing Centre (DKRZ) for the provision of computing resources. This research was supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the MiKlip (MultiClip 01LP1158A, DroughtClip 01LP1145A) and RACE projects and by the German Science Foundation (DFG) funded project CliSAP. G.P. Compo is supported by the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy and the NOAA Climate Program Office. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project used resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center and the NERSC Science Gateway managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which are supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 and Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725, respectively. Support for the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project dataset is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (DOE INCITE) program, and Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Program Office. We further thank Sabine Kümmerle and Davide Zanchettin for useful suggestions and Thorben Schmith for the provision of the freshwater reconstructions. Special thanks is addressed to Jeffrey Whittaker for assistance providing the Twentieth Century Reanalysis data.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. Müller
    • 1
  • D. Matei
    • 1
  • M. Bersch
    • 2
  • J. H. Jungclaus
    • 1
  • H. Haak
    • 1
  • K. Lohmann
    • 1
  • G. P. Compo
    • 3
    • 4
  • P. D. Sardeshmukh
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. Marotzke
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburgGermany
  2. 2.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesBoulderUSA
  4. 4.Physical Sciences DivisionNOAA Earth System Research LaboratoryBoulderUSA

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