Is the Atlantic subpolar gyre bistable in comprehensive coupled climate models?

Born, Andreas; Stocker, Thomas; Raible, Christoph; Levermann, A. (2013). Is the Atlantic subpolar gyre bistable in comprehensive coupled climate models? Climate dynamics, 40(11-12), pp. 2993-3007. Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00382-012-1525-7

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The Atlantic subpolar gyre (SPG) is one of the main drivers of decadal climate variability in the North Atlantic. Here we analyze its dynamics in pre-industrial control simulations of 19 different comprehensive coupled climate models. The analysis is based on a recently proposed description of the SPG dynamics that found the circulation to be potentially bistable due to a positive feedback mechanism including salt transport and enhanced deep convection in the SPG center. We employ a statistical method to identify multiple equilibria in time series that are subject to strong noise and analyze composite fields to assess whether the bistability results from the hypothesized feedback mechanism. Because noise dominates the time series in most models, multiple circulation modes can unambiguously be detected in only six models. Four of these six models confirm that the intensification is caused by the positive feedback mechanism.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Born, Andreas; Stocker, Thomas and Raible, Christoph

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0930-7575

Publisher:

Springer-Verlag

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

12 Sep 2014 16:49

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:10

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00382-012-1525-7

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.47700

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/47700

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