Mysak Lawrence A.

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Lawrence A.

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  • Article
    Milankovitch forcing and meridional moisture flux in the atmosphere : insight from a zonally averaged ocean–atmosphere model
    (American Meteorological Society, 2010-09-15) Antico, Andres ; Marchal, Olivier ; Mysak, Lawrence A. ; Vimeux, Francoise
    A 1-Myr-long time-dependent solution of a zonally averaged ocean–atmosphere model subject to Milankovitch forcing is examined to gain insight into long-term changes in the planetary-scale meridional moisture flux in the atmosphere. The model components are a one-dimensional (latitudinal) atmospheric energy balance model with an active hydrological cycle and an ocean circulation model representing four basins (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans). This study finds that the inclusion of an active hydrological cycle does not significantly modify the responses of annual-mean air and ocean temperatures to Milankovitch forcing found in previous integrations with a fixed hydrological cycle. Likewise, the meridional overturning circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean is not significantly affected by hydrological changes. Rather, it mainly responds to precessionally driven variations of ocean temperature in subsurface layers (between 70- and 500-m depth) of this basin. On the other hand, annual and zonal means of evaporation rate and meridional flux of moisture in the atmosphere respond notably to obliquity-driven changes in the meridional gradient of annual-mean insolation. Thus, when obliquity is decreased (increased), the meridional moisture flux in the atmosphere is intensified (weakened). This hydrological response is consistent with deuterium excess records from polar ice cores, which are characterized by dominant obliquity cycles.
  • Preprint
    Time-dependent response of a zonally averaged ocean–atmosphere–sea ice model to Milankovitch forcing
    ( 2010-03) Antico, Andres ; Marchal, Olivier ; Mysak, Lawrence A.
    An ocean-atmosphere-sea ice model is developed to explore the time-dependent response of climate to Milankovitch forcing for the time interval 5-3 Myr BP. The ocean component is a zonally averaged model of the circulation in five basins (Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans). The atmospheric component is a one-dimensional (latitudinal) energy balance model, and the sea-ice component is a thermodynamic model. Two numerical experiments are conducted. The first experiment does not include sea ice and the Arctic Ocean; the second experiment does. Results from the two experiments are used to investigate (i) the response of annual mean surface air and ocean temperatures to Milankovitch forcing, and (ii) the role of sea ice in this response. In both experiments, the response of air temperature is dominated by obliquity cycles at most latitudes. On the other hand, the response of ocean temperature varies with latitude and depth. Deep water formed between 45°N-65°N in the Atlantic Ocean mainly responds to precession. In contrast, deep water formed south of 60°S responds to obliquity when sea ice is not included. Sea ice acts as a time-integrator of summer insolation changes such that annual mean sea-ice conditions mainly respond to obliquity. Thus, in the presence of sea ice, air temperature changes over the sea ice are amplified, and temperature changes in deep water of southern origin are suppressed since water below sea ice is kept near the freezing point.