The role of forcing and internal dynamics in explaining the "Medieval Climate Anomaly"

Hugues Goosse, Elisabeth Crespin, Svetlana Dubinkina, Marie France Loutre, Michael E. Mann, Hans Renssen, Yoann Sallaz-Damaz, Drew Shindell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Proxy reconstructions suggest that peak global temperature during the past warm interval known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA, roughly 950-1250 AD) has been exceeded only during the most recent decades. To better understand the origin of this warm period, we use model simulations constrained by data assimilation establishing the spatial pattern of temperature changes that is most consistent with forcing estimates, model physics and the empirical information contained in paleoclimate proxy records. These numerical experiments demonstrate that the reconstructed spatial temperature pattern of the MCA can be explained by a simple thermodynamical response of the climate system to relatively weak changes in radiative forcing combined with a modification of the atmospheric circulation, displaying some similarities with the positive phase of the so-called Arctic Oscillation, and with northward shifts in the position of the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio currents. The mechanisms underlying the MCA are thus quite different from anthropogenic mechanisms responsible for modern global warming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2847-2866
Number of pages20
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume39
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

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Medieval
anomaly
climate
Arctic Oscillation
temperature
radiative forcing
paleoclimate
data assimilation
atmospheric circulation
global warming
physics
simulation
experiment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Goosse, H., Crespin, E., Dubinkina, S., Loutre, M. F., Mann, M. E., Renssen, H., ... Shindell, D. (2012). The role of forcing and internal dynamics in explaining the "Medieval Climate Anomaly". Climate Dynamics, 39(12), 2847-2866. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-012-1297-0
Goosse, Hugues ; Crespin, Elisabeth ; Dubinkina, Svetlana ; Loutre, Marie France ; Mann, Michael E. ; Renssen, Hans ; Sallaz-Damaz, Yoann ; Shindell, Drew. / The role of forcing and internal dynamics in explaining the "Medieval Climate Anomaly". In: Climate Dynamics. 2012 ; Vol. 39, No. 12. pp. 2847-2866.
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Goosse, H, Crespin, E, Dubinkina, S, Loutre, MF, Mann, ME, Renssen, H, Sallaz-Damaz, Y & Shindell, D 2012, 'The role of forcing and internal dynamics in explaining the "Medieval Climate Anomaly"', Climate Dynamics, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 2847-2866. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-012-1297-0

The role of forcing and internal dynamics in explaining the "Medieval Climate Anomaly". / Goosse, Hugues; Crespin, Elisabeth; Dubinkina, Svetlana; Loutre, Marie France; Mann, Michael E.; Renssen, Hans; Sallaz-Damaz, Yoann; Shindell, Drew.

In: Climate Dynamics, Vol. 39, No. 12, 01.11.2012, p. 2847-2866.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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