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Climate-Vegetation-Feedbacks as a Mechanism for Accelerated Climate Change: The onset of the African Humid Period

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Timm, O. , Köhler, P. , Timmermann, A. and Menviel, L. (2008): Climate-Vegetation-Feedbacks as a Mechanism for Accelerated Climate Change: The onset of the African Humid Period , The Leverhulme Climate Symposium 2008. Earth's Climate: Past, Present and Future. University of Cambridge and the Royal Society, London, 10th - 13th March 2008. .
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Abstract:

Paleo-environmental records and models indicate that the African Humid Period (AHPabruptly ended about 5000-4000 years before present (BP). Some proxies indicate alsan abrupt onset of the AHP between 14,000 and 11,000 BP. How important are local orbitaforcing, ice-sheet forcing, greenhouse gas forcing, and the reorganization of the AtlantiMeridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) for changes in the African Monsoon/vegetatiosystem? Here we use transient simulations with climate-vegetation models of differencomplexity to identify the factors that control the onset of the African Monsoon/VegetationWe test the following hypothesis:(1) There is no indication for insolation-thresholds for the onset/break of the AHP.(2) Forcing from CO2/ice-sheets significantly controls the climate of North Africa.(3) CO2 fertilization contributes to the vegetation changes over North Africa.(4) A shutdown of the AMOC is as important as orbital insolation for the African Monsoon.

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