Dynamic soil feedbacks on the climate of the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum

Michael.Staerz [ at ] awi.de


State-of-the-art general circulation models (GCMs) are tested and challenged by the ability to reproduce paleoclimate key intervals. In order to account for climate changes associated with soil dynamics we have developed a soil scheme, which is asynchronously coupled to a state-of-the-art atmosphere ocean GCM with dynamic vegetation. We test the scheme for conditions representative of a warmer (mid-Holocene, 6 kyr before present, BP) and colder (Last Glacial Maximum, 21 kyr BP) than pre-industrial climate. The computed change of physical soil properties (i.e. albedo, water storage capacity, and soil texture) for these different climates leads to amplified global climate anomalies. Especially regions like the transition zone of desert/savannah and taiga/tundra, exhibit an increased response as a result of the modified soil treatment. In comparison to earlier studies, the inclusion of the soil feedback pushes our model simulations towards the warmer end in the range of mid-Holocene studies and beyond current estimates of global cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum based on PMIP2 (Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project 2) studies. The main impact of the interactive soil scheme on the climate response is governed by positive feedbacks, including dynamics of vegetation, snow, sea ice, local water recycling, which might amplify forcing factors ranging from orbital to tectonic timescales.

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GINKGO - Palaeovegetation Workshop, 03 Jun 2014 - 05 Jun 2014, Frankfurt a. M., Germany.
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Stärz, M. , Knorr, G. and Lohmann, G. (2014): Dynamic soil feedbacks on the climate of the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum , GINKGO - Palaeovegetation Workshop, Frankfurt a. M., Germany, 3 June 2014 - 5 June 2014 .

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