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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 5
Clim. Past, 9, 2153–2171, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-9-2153-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Progress in paleoclimate modelling

Clim. Past, 9, 2153–2171, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-9-2153-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 13 Sep 2013

Research article | 13 Sep 2013

Mid-Holocene ocean and vegetation feedbacks over East Asia

Z. Tian1,2 and D. Jiang1,3,4 Z. Tian and D. Jiang
  • 1Nansen–Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Regional Climate–Environment Research for Temperate East Asia, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 4Climate Change Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. Mid-Holocene ocean and vegetation feedbacks over East Asia are investigated by a set of numerical experiments performed with the version 4 of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4). With reference to the pre-industrial period, most of the mid-Holocene annual and seasonal surface-air temperature and precipitation changes are found to result from a direct response of the atmosphere to insolation forcing, while dynamic ocean and vegetation modulate regional climate of East Asia to some extent. Because of its thermal inertia, the dynamic ocean induced an additional warming of 0.2 K for the annual mean, 0.5 K in winter (December–February), 0.0003 K in summer (June–August), and 1.0 K in autumn (September–November), but a cooling of 0.6 K in spring (March–May) averaged over China, and it counteracted (amplified) the direct effect of insolation forcing for the annual mean and in winter and autumn (spring) for that period. The dynamic vegetation had an area-average impact of no more than 0.4 K on the mid-Holocene annual and seasonal temperatures over China, with an average cooling of 0.2 K for the annual mean. On the other hand, ocean feedback induced a small increase of precipitation in winter (0.04 mm day−1) and autumn (0.05 mm day−1), but a reduction for the annual mean (0.14 mm day−1) and in spring (0.29 mm day−1) and summer (0.34 mm day−1) over China, while it also suppressed the East Asian summer monsoon rainfall. The effect of dynamic vegetation on the mid-Holocene annual and seasonal precipitation was comparatively small, ranging from −0.03 mm day−1 to 0.06 mm day−1 averaged over China. In comparison, the CCSM4 simulated annual and winter cooling over China agrees with simulations within the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), but the results are contrary to the warming reconstructed from multiple proxy data for the mid-Holocene. Ocean feedback narrows this model–data mismatch, whereas vegetation feedback plays an opposite role but with a level of uncertainty.

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