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Evaluating the Dominant Components of Warming in Pliocene Climate Simulations : Volume 9, Issue 2 (26/03/2013)

By Hill, D. J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003974317
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 27
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Evaluating the Dominant Components of Warming in Pliocene Climate Simulations : Volume 9, Issue 2 (26/03/2013)  
Author: Hill, D. J.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Climate, Past
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Hill, D. J., Abe-Ouchi, A., Chan, W., Bragg, F. J., Stepanek, C., Otto-Bliesner, B. L.,...Kamae, Y. (2013). Evaluating the Dominant Components of Warming in Pliocene Climate Simulations : Volume 9, Issue 2 (26/03/2013). Retrieved from

Description: School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. The Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project is the first coordinated climate model comparison for a warmer palaeoclimate with atmospheric CO2 significantly higher than pre-industrial concentrations. The simulations of the mid-Pliocene warm period show global warming of between 1.8 and 3.6 °C above pre-industrial surface air temperatures, with significant polar amplification. Here we perform energy balance calculations on all eight of the coupled ocean–atmosphere simulations within PlioMIP Experiment 2 to evaluate the causes of the increased temperatures and differences between the models. In the tropics simulated warming is dominated by greenhouse gas increases, with cloud albedo feedbacks enhancing the warming in most of the models, but by widely varying amounts. The responses to mid-Pliocene climate forcing in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes are substantially different between the climate models, with the only consistent response being a warming due to increased greenhouse gases. In the high latitudes all the energy balance components become important, but the dominant warming influence comes from the clear sky albedo. This demonstrates the importance of specified ice sheet and high latitude vegetation boundary conditions and simulated sea ice and snow albedo feedbacks. The largest components in the overall uncertainty are associated with cloud albedo feedbacks in the tropics and polar clear sky albedo, particularly in sea ice regions. These simulations show that high latitude albedo feedbacks provide the most significant enhancements to Pliocene greenhouse warming.

Evaluating the dominant components of warming in Pliocene climate simulations

Bragg, F. J., Lunt, D. J., and Haywood, A. M.: Mid-Pliocene climate modelled using the UK Hadley Centre Model: PlioMIP Experiments 1 and 2, Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 1109–1125, doi:10.5194/gmd-5-1109-2012, 2012.; Chan, W.-L., Abe-Ouchi, A., and Ohgaito, R.: Simulating the mid-Pliocene climate with the MIROC general circulation model: experimental design and initial results, Geosci. Model Dev., 4, 1035–1049, doi:10.5194/gmd-4-1035-2011, 2011.; Chandler, M., Rind, D., and Thompson, R.: Joint investigations of the middle Pliocene climate II: GISS GCM Northern Hemisphere results, Global Planet. Change, 9, 197–219, 1994.; Clark, N. A., Williams, M., Hill, D. J., Quilty, P., Smellie, J., Zalasiewicz, J., Leng, M., and Ellis, M.: Fossil proxies of climate and seasonality from the late Neogene Antarctic shelf, Naturwissenschaften, submitted, 2013.; Contoux, C., Ramstein, G., and Jost, A.: Modelling the mid-Pliocene Warm Period climate with the IPSL coupled model and its atmospheric component LMDZ5A, Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 903–917, doi:10.5194/gmd-5-903-2012, 2012.; Conway, T. J., Lang, P. M., and Masarie, K. A.: Atmospheric carbon dioxide dry air mole fractions from the NOAA ESRL Carbon Cycle Cooperative Global Air Sampling Network, 1968–2011, Version: 2012-08-15, available at: (last access: 20 March 2013), 2012.; Donnadieu, Y., Pierrehumbert, R., Jacob, R., and Fluteau, F.: Modelling the primary control of paleogeography on Cretaceous climate, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 248, 426–437, 2006.; Dowsett, H. J., Cronin, T. M., Poore, R. Z., Thompson, R. S., Whatley, R. C., and Wood, A. M.: Micropaleontological evidence for increased meridional heat transport in the North Atlantic Ocean during the Pliocene, Science, 258, 1133–1135, 1992.; Dowsett, H. J., Robinson, M. M., and Foley, K. M.: Pliocene three-dimensional global ocean temperature reconstruction, Clim. Past, 5, 769–783, doi:10.5194/cp-5-769-2009, 2009.; Dowsett, H. J., Robinson, M., Haywood, A. M., Salzmann, U., Hill, D. J., Sohl, L., Chandler, M. A., Williams, M., Foley, K., and Stoll, D.: The PRISM3D paleoenvironmental reconstruction, Stratigraphy, 7, 123–139, 2010.; Dowsett, H. J., Robinson, M. M., Haywood, A. M., Hill, D. J., Dolan, A. M., Stoll, D. K., Chan, W. L., Abe-Ouchi, A., Chandler, M. A., Rosenbloom, N. A., Otto-Bleisner, B. L., Bragg, F. J., Lunt, D. J., Foley, K. M., and Riesselman, C. R.: Assessing confidence in Pliocene sea surface temperatures to evaluate predictive models, Nature Climate Change, 2, 365–371, 2012.; Haywood, A. M., Valdes, P. J., and Sellwood, B. W.: Global scale palaeoclimate reconstruction of the middle Pliocene climate using the UKMO GCM: initial resul


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