Influence of Stationary Waves on Precipitation Change in North American Summer during the Last Glacial Maximum - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Climate Year : 2023

Influence of Stationary Waves on Precipitation Change in North American Summer during the Last Glacial Maximum

Abstract

Abstract Paleo-proxy reconstructions reveal a moistening of the American Southwest during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 21 ka). However, the primary mechanisms driving the moistening trend are still debated, with relatively few studies focused on hypotheses related to synoptic changes in precipitation. Analysis of the Paleoclimate Intercomparison Model Project (PMIP3) simulations shows enhancement of precipitation in the southwest and south-central United States during the winter and summer. Here, we suggest that summertime eastward phase shifting of stationary waves at the LGM enhanced precipitation in the south-central United States and dried the southeastern United States. Mechanism denial experiments performed with version 3 of the Hadley Centre Coupled Model (HadCM3) indicate that the thermodynamic effect of the Laurentide Ice Sheet forced eastward phase shifting of stationary waves. By comparing a synthesis of LGM proxies to the PMIP3 ensemble, we find models that compare more favorably to the reconstructions simulate a weaker Laurentide ice thermodynamic effect, smaller eastward phase shifting of stationary waves, and weaker jet stream anomalies. Significance Statement Our study is motivated by the impact of climate change on hydroclimate in North America, especially in the semiarid areas near the southwestern United States, and the persistent problem of significant disagreements among CMIP model projections. Yet modern models and observations alone cannot tell us the likeliest climate change outcome in this region. Here we analyze precipitation during the LGM reconstructed from proxies and as simulated by the PMIP3, which reveal a precipitation trend with wetting in the southwestern United States and drying in the southeastern United States. Our interpretation of the PMIP3 simulations involves application of simple theories for midlatitude stationary waves, and indicates that the LGM precipitation is generated by the phase shift of stationary waves from the enhancement of jet speeds. Our model–data comparison also suggests that in the PMIP3 simulations, weak LGM jet stream anomalies, due to weak polar amplification, compare more favorably to the proxies.
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Dates and versions

hal-04218162 , version 1 (26-09-2023)

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Hung-I Lee, Jonathan Mitchell, Juan Lora, Aradhna Tripati. Influence of Stationary Waves on Precipitation Change in North American Summer during the Last Glacial Maximum. Journal of Climate, 2023, 36 (10), pp.3165-3182. ⟨10.1175/JCLI-D-21-0886.1⟩. ⟨hal-04218162⟩
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