EGU21-3432, updated on 08 Aug 2022
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) simulated during interglacials and its impact on climate

Zhiyi Jiang, Chris Brierley, David Thornalley, and Sophie Sax
Zhiyi Jiang et al.
  • University College London, Geography, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a key mechanism of poleward heat transport and an important part of the global climate system. How it responded to past changes inforcing, such as experienced during Quaternary interglacials, is an intriguing and open question. Previous modelling studies suggest an enhanced AMOC in the mid-Holocene compared to the pre-industrial period. In previous simulations from the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), this arose from feedbacks between sea ice and AMOC changes, which also depended on resolution. Here I present aninitial analysis of the recently available PMIP4 simulations. This shows the overall strength of the AMOC does not markedly change between the mid-Holocene and piControl experiments (at least looking at the maximum of the mean meridional mass overturning streamfunction below 500m at 30oN and 50oN). This is not inconsistent with the proxy reconstructions using sortable silt and Pa/Th for the mid-Holocene. Here we analyse changes in the spatial structure of the meridional overturning circulation, along with their fingerprints on the surface temperature (computed through regression). We then estimate the percentage of the simulated surface temperature changes between the mid-Holocene and pre-industrial period that can be explained by AMOC. Furthermore, the analysis for the changes in the AMOC spatial structure has been extended to see if the same patterns of change hold for the last interglacial. The simulations will be compared to existing proxy reconstructions, as well as new palaeoceanographic reconstructions.

How to cite: Jiang, Z., Brierley, C., Thornalley, D., and Sax, S.: The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) simulated during interglacials and its impact on climate, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3432,, 2021.


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