Early warning signals of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation collapse in a fully coupled climate model.
Nature Publishing Group
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The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) exhibits two stable states in models of varying complexity. Shifts between alternative AMOC states are thought to have played a role in past abrupt climate changes, but the proximity of the climate system to a threshold for future AMOC collapse is unknown. Generic early warning signals of critical slowing down before AMOC collapse have been found in climate models of low and intermediate complexity. Here we show that early warning signals of AMOC collapse are present in a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, subject to a freshwater hosing experiment. The statistical significance of signals of increasing lag-1 autocorrelation and variance vary with latitude. They give up to 250 years warning before AMOC collapse, after ~550 years of monitoring. Future work is needed to clarify suggested dynamical mechanisms driving critical slowing down as the AMOC collapse is approached.
University of Exeter
European Union Seventh Framework programme FP7/2007-2013
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Vol. 5, pp. 5752
Place of publication