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Geologische Rundschau

, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 513–524 | Cite as

Investigating the sensitivity of the Atmospheric General Circulation Model ECHAM 3 to paleoclimatic boundary conditions

  • S. Lorenz
  • B. Grieger
  • Ph. Helbig
  • K. Herterich
Original Paper

Abstract

We present atmospheric simulations of three different time slices of the late Quaternary using the ECHAM 3 general circulation model in T42 resolution. In this work we describe the results of model runs for the time slices 6000 years BP (last climate optimum), 21 000 BP (last glacial maximum) and 115 000 years BP (glacial inception). Although the solar insolation is known for all time slices, a complete data set of the other boundary conditions which are necessary for running the atmospheric model exists only for the last glacial maximum in the form of the CLIMAP reconstruction. For the other two time slices, which are interglacial states like the modern climate, sea surface temperatures, land albedo and ice sheet topography are kept at modern values and only the solar insolation is changed appropriately. The response of the model to solar insolation changes is quite reasonable. The modelled anomalies are small and roughly opposite in sign for 6000 BP and 115 000 BP, respectively. In the case of last glacial maximum, the glacial ice sheet topography and ice albedo produce a much larger climate anomaly in the model. However, to enable a real test of model performance under glacial boundary conditions, the CLIMAP sea surface temperatures, which are now known to be partly inaccurate, should be replaced by an updated “state-of-the-art” reconstruction.

Key words

Atmospheric response General circulation models Glacial maximum Milankovitch Theory Paleoclimate Climate optimum Glacial inception 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Lorenz
    • 1
  • B. Grieger
    • 1
  • Ph. Helbig
    • 1
  • K. Herterich
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität BremenBremenGermany

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