A Global Ocean State Estimate at the Last Glacial Maximum

Thursday, 17 December 2015: 09:45
2010 (Moscone West)
Daniel E Amrhein and Carl I Wunsch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States
Many features of Earth's climate at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ca. 20,000 years ago) remain a mystery, including the role of the ocean circulation in transporting thermal energy, salinity, and other tracers. Most efforts at reconstructing the ocean state during the LGM have relied either upon integrations of general circulation models under prescribed LGM boundary conditions or the interpretation of climate proxy records without explicit physical constraints. Here we describe a global, primitive equation simulation of the LGM ocean with boundary conditions (wind, surface air temperature, and other atmospheric variables) and mixing parameters derived by a least-squares fit of an ocean general circulation model to observations of deep ocean stable isotopes and sea surface temperatures at the LGM.