Simulated stable water isotopes during the mid-Holocene and pre-industrial periods using AWI-ESM-2.1-wiso

martin.werner [ at ]


Numerical simulations employing prognostic sta- ble water isotopes can not only facilitate our understanding of hydrological processes and climate change but also al- low for a direct comparison between isotope signals obtained from models and various archives. In the current work, we describe the performance and explore the potential of a new version of the Earth system model AWI-ESM (Alfred We- gener Institute Earth System Model), labeled AWI-ESM-2.1- wiso, in which we incorporated three isotope tracers into all relevant components of the water cycle. We present here the results of pre-industrial (PI) and mid-Holocene (MH) simula- tions. The model reproduces the observed PI isotope compo- sitions in both precipitation and seawater well and captures their major differences from the MH conditions. The sim- ulated relationship between the isotope composition in precipitation (d18Op) and surface air temperature is very similar between the PI and MH conditions, and it is largely consis- tent with modern observations despite some regional model biases. The ratio of the MH–PI difference in δ18Op to the MH–PI difference in surface air temperature is comparable to proxy records over Greenland and Antarctica only when summertime air temperature is considered. An amount effect is evident over the North African monsoon domain, where a negative correlation between δ18Op and the amount of pre- cipitation is simulated. As an example of model applications, we studied the onset and withdrawal date of the MH West African summer monsoon (WASM) using daily variables. We find that defining the WASM onset based on precipitation alone may yield erroneous results due to the substantial daily variations in precipitation, which may obscure the dis- tinction between pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons. Com- bining precipitation and isotope indicators, we suggest in this work a novel method for identifying the commencement of the WASM. Moreover, we do not find an obvious difference between the MH and PI periods in terms of the mean onset of the WASM. However, an advancement in the WASM with- drawal is found in the MH compared to the PI period due to an earlier decline in insolation over the northern location of Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

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Primary Division
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Published online
Eprint ID
DOI 10.5194/gmd-16-5153-2023

Cite as
Shi, X. , Cauquoin, A. , Lohmann, G. , Jonkers, L. , Wang, Q. , Yang, H. , Sun, Y. and Werner, M. (2023): Simulated stable water isotopes during the mid-Holocene and pre-industrial periods using AWI-ESM-2.1-wiso , Geoscientific Model Development, 16 (17), pp. 5153-5178 . doi: 10.5194/gmd-16-5153-2023

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