A model intercomparison of changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration

J. M. Gregory, K. W. Dixon, R. J. Stouffer, A. J. Weaver, E. Driesschaert, M. Eby, T. Fichefet, H. Hasumi, A. Hu, J. H. Jungclaus, Igor Kamenkovich, A. Levermann, M. Montoya, S. Murakami, S. Nawrath, A. Oka, A. P. Sokolov, R. B. Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

As part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, integrations with a common design have been undertaken with eleven different climate models to compare the response of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) to time-dependent climate change caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Over 140 years, during which the CO2 concentration quadruples, the circulation strength declines gradually in all models, by between 10 and 50%. No model shows a rapid or complete collapse, despite the fairly rapid increase and high final concentration of CO2. The models having the strongest overturning in the control climate tend to show the largest THC reductions. In all models, the THC weakening is caused more by changes in surface heat flux than by changes in surface water flux. No model shows a cooling anywhere, because the greenhouse warming is dominant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume32
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 28 2005
Externally publishedYes

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thermohaline circulation
climate models
greenhouses
climate change
heat flux
surface water
climate modeling
warming
climate
cooling
heating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Gregory, J. M., Dixon, K. W., Stouffer, R. J., Weaver, A. J., Driesschaert, E., Eby, M., ... Thorpe, R. B. (2005). A model intercomparison of changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Geophysical Research Letters, 32(12), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005GL023209

A model intercomparison of changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. / Gregory, J. M.; Dixon, K. W.; Stouffer, R. J.; Weaver, A. J.; Driesschaert, E.; Eby, M.; Fichefet, T.; Hasumi, H.; Hu, A.; Jungclaus, J. H.; Kamenkovich, Igor; Levermann, A.; Montoya, M.; Murakami, S.; Nawrath, S.; Oka, A.; Sokolov, A. P.; Thorpe, R. B.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, No. 12, 28.06.2005, p. 1-5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gregory, JM, Dixon, KW, Stouffer, RJ, Weaver, AJ, Driesschaert, E, Eby, M, Fichefet, T, Hasumi, H, Hu, A, Jungclaus, JH, Kamenkovich, I, Levermann, A, Montoya, M, Murakami, S, Nawrath, S, Oka, A, Sokolov, AP & Thorpe, RB 2005, 'A model intercomparison of changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 32, no. 12, pp. 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005GL023209
Gregory, J. M. ; Dixon, K. W. ; Stouffer, R. J. ; Weaver, A. J. ; Driesschaert, E. ; Eby, M. ; Fichefet, T. ; Hasumi, H. ; Hu, A. ; Jungclaus, J. H. ; Kamenkovich, Igor ; Levermann, A. ; Montoya, M. ; Murakami, S. ; Nawrath, S. ; Oka, A. ; Sokolov, A. P. ; Thorpe, R. B. / A model intercomparison of changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2005 ; Vol. 32, No. 12. pp. 1-5.
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