A method is introduced which allows the calculation of long-term climate trends within the framework of a coupled atmosphere-ocean circulation model. The change in the seasonal cycle of incident solar radiation induced by varying orbital parameters has been accelerated by factors of 10 and 100 in order to allow transient simulations over the period from the mid-Holocene until today, covering the last 7000 years. In contrast to conventional time-slice experiments, this approach is not restricted to equilibrium simulations and is capable to utilise all available data for validation. We find that opposing Holocene climate trends in tropics and extra-tropics are a robust feature in our experiments. Results from the transient simulations of the mid-Holocene climate at 6000 years before present show considerable differences to atmosphere-alone model simulations, in particular at high latitudes, attributed to atmosphere-ocean-sea ice effects. The simulations were extended for the time period 1800 to 2000 AD, where, in contrast to the Holocene climate, increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere provide for the strongest driving mechanism. The experiments reveal that a Northern Hemisphere cooling trend over the Holocene is completely cancelled by the warming trend during the last century, which brings the recent global warming into a long-term context.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > MAR2-Palaeo Climate Mechanisms and Variability