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Inter-annual variability in the tropical Atlantic from the Last Glacial Maximum into future climate projections simulated by CMIP5/PMIP3

Brierley, C; Wainer, I; (2018) Inter-annual variability in the tropical Atlantic from the Last Glacial Maximum into future climate projections simulated by CMIP5/PMIP3. Climate of the Past , 14 (10) pp. 1377-1390. 10.5194/cp-14-1377-2018. Green open access

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Abstract

Tropical Atlantic variability (TAV) plays an important role in driving year-to-year changes in rainfall over Africa and South America. In this study, its response to global climate change is investigated through a series of multi-model experiments. We explore the leading modes of TAV during the historical, Last Glacial Maximum, mid-Holocene, and future simulations in the multi-model ensemble known as PMIP3/CMIP5. Despite their known sea surface temperature biases, most of the models are able to capture the tropical Atlantic's two leading modes of SST variability patterns - the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM) and the Atlantic zonal mode (also called the Atlantic Niño or ATL3). The ensemble suggests that AMM amplitude was less during the mid-Holocene and increased during the Last Glacial Maximum, but is equivocal about future changes. ATL3 appears stronger under both the Last Glacial Maximum and future climate changes, with no consistent message about the mid-Holocene. The patterns and the regions under the influence of the two modes alter a little under climate change in concert with changes in the mean climate state. In the future climate experiment, the equatorial mode weakens, and the whole Northern Hemisphere warms up, while the South Atlantic displays a hemisphere-wide weak oscillating pattern. For the LGM, the AMM projects onto a pattern that resembles the pan-Atlantic decadal oscillation. No robust relationships between the amplitude of the zonal and meridional temperature gradients and their respective variability was found.

Type: Article
Title: Inter-annual variability in the tropical Atlantic from the Last Glacial Maximum into future climate projections simulated by CMIP5/PMIP3
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5194/cp-14-1377-2018
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-1377-2018
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058765
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