Clim. Past, 9, 13-26, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Influence of orbital forcing and solar activity on water isotopes in precipitation during the mid- and late Holocene
S. Dietrich1, M. Werner1, T. Spangehl2, and G. Lohmann1
1Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bussestr. 24, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2Deutscher Wetterdienst, Frankfurter Str. 135, 63067 Offenbach, Germany

Abstract. In this study we investigate the impact of mid- and late Holocene orbital forcing and solar activity on variations of the oxygen isotopic composition in precipitation. The investigation is motivated by a recently published speleothem δ18O record from the well-monitored Bunker Cave in Germany. The record reveals some high variability on multi-centennial to millennial scales that does not linearly correspond to orbital forcing. Our model study is based on a set of novel climate simulations performed with the atmosphere general circulation model ECHAM5-wiso enhanced by explicit water isotope diagnostics. From the performed model experiments, we derive the following major results: (1) the response of both orbital and solar forcing lead to changes in surface temperatures and δ18O in precipitation with similar magnitudes during the mid- and late Holocene. (2) Past δ18O anomalies correspond to changing temperatures in the orbital driven simulations. This does not hold true if an additional solar forcing is added. (3) Two orbital driven mid-Holocene experiments, simulating the mean climate state approximately 5000 and 6000 yr ago, yield very similar results. However, if an identical additional solar activity-induced forcing is added, the simulated changes of surface temperatures as well as δ18O between both periods differ. We conclude from our simulation results that non-linear effects and feedbacks of the orbital and solar activity forcing substantially alter the δ18O in precipitation pattern and its relation to temperature change.

Citation: Dietrich, S., Werner, M., Spangehl, T., and Lohmann, G.: Influence of orbital forcing and solar activity on water isotopes in precipitation during the mid- and late Holocene, Clim. Past, 9, 13-26, doi:10.5194/cp-9-13-2013, 2013.
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