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Simulated global-scale response of the climate system to Dansgaard/Oeschger and Heinrich events

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Claussen, M., Ganopolski, A., Brovkin, V., Gerstengarbe, F. W., & Werner, P. (2003). Simulated global-scale response of the climate system to Dansgaard/Oeschger and Heinrich events. Climate Dynamics, 21(5-6), 361-370. doi:10.1007/s00382-003-0336-2.

By using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity we have studied the global-scale response of the glacial climate system during marine isotope stage (MIS) 3 to perturbations at high northern latitudes and the tropics. These perturbations include changes in inland-ice volume over North America, in freshwater flux into the northern North Atlantic and in surface temperatures of the tropical Pacific. The global pattern of temperature series resulting from an experiment in which perturbations of inland ice and freshwater budget are imposed at high northern latitudes only, agree with paleoclimatic reconstructions. In particular, a positive correlation of temperature variations near Greenland and variations in all regions of the Northern Hemisphere and some parts of the southern tropics is found. Over the southern oceans a weak negative correlation appears which is strongest at a time lag of approximately 500 years. Further experimentation with prescribed temperature anomalies applied to the tropical Pacific suggests that perturbation of tropical sea-surface temperatures and hence, the tropical water cycle, is unlikely to have triggered Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events. However, together with random freshwater anomalies prescribed at high northern latitudes, tropical perturbations would be able to synchronize the occurrence of D/O events via the mechanism of stochastic resonance.