An orbitally driven tropical source for abrupt climate change

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2001
Authors  Clement, A. C.; Cane, M. A.; Seager, R.
Journal Title  Journal of Climate
Volume  14
Issue  11
Pages  2369-2375
ISBN Number  0894-8755
Accession Number  ISI:000168998800001
Key Words  nino southern oscillation; ocean-atmosphere model; younger dryas event; el-nino; seasonal cycle; north-atlantic; deglaciation; locking; records; chaos

Paleoclimatic data are increasingly showing that abrupt change is present in wide regions of the globe. Here a mechanism for abrupt climate change with global implications is presented. Results from a tropical coupled ocean-atmosphere model show that, under certain orbital configurations of the past, variability associated with El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) physics can abruptly lock to the seasonal cycle for several centuries, producing a mean sea surface temperature (SST) change in the tropical Pacific that resembles a La Nina. It is suggested that this change in SST would have a global impact and that abrupt events such as the Younger Dryas may be the outcome of orbitally driven changes in the tropical Pacific.


437NYTimes Cited:49Cited References Count:27

URL  <Go to ISI>://000168998800001