EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Climate, Mixing, and Carbon Budgets in a LGM set-up of CESM

Markus Jochum1, Guido Vettoretti1, Zanna Chase2, and Roman Nuterman1
Markus Jochum et al.
  • 1Niels Bohr Instiute, Denmark (
  • 2University of Tasmania, Australia

We use a free running Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) setup of CESM1 with its full ecosystem model to understand which processes are responsible for the large difference in atmospheric CO2 concentration between the LGM  and 1850 CE.
Just by accounting for the changed orbital forcing  and replacing today's bathymetry and icesheet orography with their Peltier et al. (2015) LGM reconstructions, leads to a 55 ppm difference in atmospheric CO2.  Additional experiments with increased aolian iron fluxes make it plausible that IPCC class ESMs can reproduce the processes that were hypothesized to be important for the observed low LGM CO2 concentration.

A second focus of our study is the connection between sea level, ocean turbulence and the strengths of the various carbon pumps. Including the full amount of the suggested increase in ocean mixing during the LGM would lead to a 20 ppm larger CO2 concentration.This suggests that either mixing during the LGM is not understood yet, or that ESMs may indeed misrepresent one or more aspects of the various carbon pumps.

We conclude with a discussion of uncertainties within the model setup, in particular with regards to the assumed structure of ocean mixing.

How to cite: Jochum, M., Vettoretti, G., Chase, Z., and Nuterman, R.: Climate, Mixing, and Carbon Budgets in a LGM set-up of CESM, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4837,, 2020