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On the Glacial and Inter-glacial Thermohaline Circulation and the Associated Transports of Heat and Freshwater : Volume 11, Issue 2 (20/03/2014)

By Ballarotta, M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020848
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 44
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: On the Glacial and Inter-glacial Thermohaline Circulation and the Associated Transports of Heat and Freshwater : Volume 11, Issue 2 (20/03/2014)  
Author: Ballarotta, M.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Brodeau, L., Döös, K., Falahat, S., & Ballarotta, M. (2014). On the Glacial and Inter-glacial Thermohaline Circulation and the Associated Transports of Heat and Freshwater : Volume 11, Issue 2 (20/03/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. The change of the thermohaline circulation (THC) between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ≈ 21 kyr ago) and the present day climate are explored using an Ocean General Circulation Model and stream functions projected in various coordinates. Compared to the present day period, the LGM circulation is reorganised in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Southern Ocean and particularly in the abyssal ocean, mainly due to the different haline stratification. Due to stronger wind stress, the LGM tropical circulation is more vigorous than under modern conditions. Consequently, the maximum tropical transport of heat is slightly larger during the LGM. In the North Atlantic basin, the large sea-ice extent during the LGM constrains the Gulf Stream to propagate in a more zonal direction, reducing the transport of heat towards high latitudes and reorganising the freshwater transport. The LGM circulation is represented as a large intrusion of saline Antarctic Bottom Water into the Northern Hemisphere basins. As a result, the North Atlantic Deep Water is shallower in the LGM simulation. The stream functions in latitude-salinity coordinates and thermohaline coordinates point out the different haline regimes between the glacial and interglacial period, as well as a LGM Conveyor Belt circulation largely driven by enhanced salinity contrast between the Atlantic and the Pacific basin. The thermohaline structure in the LGM simulation is the result of an abyssal circulation that lifts and deviates the Conveyor Belt cell from the area of maximum volumetric distribution, resulting in a ventilated upper layer above a deep stagnant layer, and an Atlantic circulation more isolated from the Pacific. An estimation of the turnover times reveal a deep circulation almost sluggish during the LGM, and a Conveyor Belt cell more vigorous due to the combination of stronger wind stress and shortened circulation route.

On the glacial and inter-glacial thermohaline circulation and the associated transports of heat and freshwater

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