Amrhein Daniel E.

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Daniel E.

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  • Article
    A synthesis of deglacial deep‐sea radiocarbon records and their (in)consistency with modern ocean ventilation
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-01-08) Zhao, Ning ; Marchal, Olivier ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Amrhein, Daniel E. ; Gebbie, Geoffrey A.
    We present a synthesis of 1,361 deep‐sea radiocarbon data spanning the past 40 kyr and computed (for 14C‐dated records) from the same calibration to atmospheric 14C. The most notable feature in our compilation is a long‐term Δ14C decline in deep oceanic basins over the past 25 kyr. The Δ14C decline mirrors the drop in reconstructed atmospheric Δ14C, suggesting that it may reflect a decrease in global 14C inventory rather than a redistribution of 14C among different reservoirs. Motivated by this observation, we explore the extent to which the deep water Δ14C data jointly require changes in basin‐scale ventilation during the last deglaciation, based on the fit of a 16‐box model of modern ocean ventilation to the deep water Δ14C records. We find that the fit residuals can largely be explained by data uncertainties and that the surface water Δ14C values producing the fit are within the bounds provided by contemporaneous values of atmospheric and deep water Δ14C. On the other hand, some of the surface Δ14C values in the northern North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean deviate from the values expected from atmospheric 14CO2 and CO2 concentrations during the Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Bølling‐Allerød. The possibility that deep water Δ14C records reflect some combination of changes in deep circulation and surface water reservoir ages cannot be ruled out and will need to be investigated with a more complete model.
  • Article
    A global glacial ocean state estimate constrained by upper-ocean temperature proxies
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-08-28) Amrhein, Daniel E. ; Wunsch, Carl ; Marchal, Olivier ; Forget, Gael
    We use the method of least squares with Lagrange multipliers to fit an ocean general circulation model to the Multiproxy Approach for the Reconstruction of the Glacial Ocean Surface (MARGO) estimate of near sea surface temperature (NSST) at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; circa 23–19 thousand years ago). Compared to a modern simulation, the resulting global, last-glacial ocean state estimate, which fits the MARGO data within uncertainties in a free-running coupled ocean–sea ice simulation, has global-mean NSSTs that are 2°C lower and greater sea ice extent in all seasons in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Increased brine rejection by sea ice formation in the Southern Ocean contributes to a stronger abyssal stratification set principally by salinity, qualitatively consistent with pore fluid measurements. The upper cell of the glacial Atlantic overturning circulation is deeper and stronger. Dye release experiments show similar distributions of Southern Ocean source waters in the glacial and modern western Atlantic, suggesting that LGM NSST data do not require a major reorganization of abyssal water masses. Outstanding challenges in reconstructing LGM ocean conditions include reducing effects from model biases and finding computationally efficient ways to incorporate abyssal tracers in global circulation inversions. Progress will be aided by the development of coupled ocean–atmosphere–ice inverse models, by improving high-latitude model processes that connect the upper and abyssal oceans, and by the collection of additional paleoclimate observations.
  • Article
    A review of the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in Atlantic multidecadal variability and associated climate impacts
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-04-29) Zhang, Rong ; Sutton, Rowan ; Danabasoglu, Gokhan ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Marsh, Robert ; Yeager, Stephen G. ; Amrhein, Daniel E. ; Little, Christopher M.
    By synthesizing recent studies employing a wide range of approaches (modern observations, paleo reconstructions, and climate model simulations), this paper provides a comprehensive review of the linkage between multidecadal Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) variability and Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV) and associated climate impacts. There is strong observational and modeling evidence that multidecadal AMOC variability is a crucial driver of the observed AMV and associated climate impacts and an important source of enhanced decadal predictability and prediction skill. The AMOC‐AMV linkage is consistent with observed key elements of AMV. Furthermore, this synthesis also points to a leading role of the AMOC in a range of AMV‐related climate phenomena having enormous societal and economic implications, for example, Intertropical Convergence Zone shifts; Sahel and Indian monsoons; Atlantic hurricanes; El Niño–Southern Oscillation; Pacific Decadal Variability; North Atlantic Oscillation; climate over Europe, North America, and Asia; Arctic sea ice and surface air temperature; and hemispheric‐scale surface temperature. Paleoclimate evidence indicates that a similar linkage between multidecadal AMOC variability and AMV and many associated climate impacts may also have existed in the preindustrial era, that AMV has enhanced multidecadal power significantly above a red noise background, and that AMV is not primarily driven by external forcing. The role of the AMOC in AMV and associated climate impacts has been underestimated in most state‐of‐the‐art climate models, posing significant challenges but also great opportunities for substantial future improvements in understanding and predicting AMV and associated climate impacts.
  • Preprint
    Inferring surface water equilibrium calcite δ18O during the last deglacial period from benthic foraminiferal records : implications for ocean circulation
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-11-12) Amrhein, Daniel E. ; Gebbie, Geoffrey A. ; Marchal, Olivier ; Wunsch, Carl
    The ocean circulation modifies mixed layer (ML) tracer signals as they are communicated to the deep ocean by advection and mixing. We develop and apply a procedure for using tracer signals observed “upstream” (by planktonic foraminifera) and “downstream” (by benthic foraminifera) to constrain how tracer signals are modified by the intervening circulation and, by extension, to constrain properties of that circulation. A history of ML equilibrium calcite δ18O (δ18Oc) spanning the last deglaciation is inferred from a least-squares fit of eight benthic foraminiferal δ18Oc records to Green's function estimated for the modern ocean circulation. Disagreements between this history and the ML history implied by planktonic records would indicate deviations from the modern circulation. No deviations are diagnosed because the two estimates of ML δ18Oc agree within their uncertainties, but we suggest data collection and modeling procedures useful for inferring circulation changes in future studies. Uncertainties of benthic-derived ML δ18Oc are lowest in the high-latitude regions chiefly responsible for ventilating the deep ocean; additional high-resolution planktonic records constraining these regions are of particular utility. Benthic records from the Southern Ocean, where data are sparse, appear to have the most power to reduce uncertainties in benthic-derived ML δ18Oc. Understanding the spatiotemporal covariance of deglacial ML δ18Oc will also improve abilities of δ18Oc records to constrain deglacial circulation.
  • Thesis
    An inverse approach to understanding benthic oxygen isotope records from the last deglaciation
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2014-02) Amrhein, Daniel E.
    Observations suggest that during the last deglaciation (roughly 20,000-10,000 years ago) the Earth warmed substantially, global sea level rose approximately 100 meters in response to melting ice sheets and glaciers, and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide increased. This interval may provide an analog for the evolution of future climate. The ocean plays a key role in the modern climate system by storing and transporting heat, salt, and nutrients, but its role during the last deglaciation remains uncertain. Prominent signals of the last deglaciation in the ocean are a gradual warming and a decrease of the seawater oxygen isotope ratio 18O (a signature of melting land ice sheets). These changes do not occur uniformly in the ocean, but propagate like plumes of dye over hundreds and thousands of years, the aggregate results of turbulent advective and diffusive processes. Information about changing temperatures and oxygen isotopes is stored in the shells of benthic organisms recovered in ocean sediment cores. This thesis develops and applies an inverse framework for understanding deglacial oxygen isotope records derived from sediment cores in terms of the Green functions of ocean tracer transport and ocean mixed layer boundary conditions. Singular value decomposition is used to find a solution for global mixed layer tracer concentration histories that is constrained by eight last-deglacial sediment core records and a model of the modern ocean tracer transport. The solution reflects the resolving power of the data, which is highest at model surface locations associated with large rates of volume flux into the deep ocean. The limited data resolution is quantified and rationalized through analyses of simple models. The destruction of information contained in tracers is a generic feature of advective-diffusive systems. Quantifying limitations of tracer records is important for making and understanding inferences about the long-term evolution of the ocean.
  • Thesis
    Inferring ocean circulation during the Last Glacial Maximum and last deglaciation using data and models
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09) Amrhein, Daniel E.
    Since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~ 20,000 years ago) air temperatures warmed, sea level rose roughly 130 meters, and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide increased. This thesis combines global models and paleoceanographic observations to constrain the ocean’s role in storing and transporting heat, salt, and other tracers during this time, with implications for understanding how the modern ocean works and how it might change in the future. • By combining a kinematic ocean model with “upstream” and “downstream” deglacial oxygen isotope time series from benthic and planktonic foraminifera, I show that the data are in agreement with the modern circulation, quantify their power to infer circulation changes, and propose new data locations. • An ocean general circulation model (the MITgcm) constrained to fit LGM sea surface temperature proxy observations reveals colder ocean temperatures, greater sea ice extent, and changes in ocean mixed layer depth, and suggests that some features in the data are not robust. • A sensitivity analysis in the MITgcm demonstrates that changes in winds or in ocean turbulent transport can explain the hypothesis that the boundary between deep Atlantic waters originating from Northern and Southern Hemispheres was shallower at the LGM than it is today.