Publication Abstracts

Lunt et al. 2012

Lunt, D.J., A.M. Haywood, G.A. Schmidt, U. Salzmann, P.J. Valdes, H.J. Dowsett, and C.A. Loptson, 2012: On the causes of mid-Pliocene warmth and polar amplification. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 321-322, 128-138, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.12.042.

The mid-Pliocene (∼3 to 3.3 Ma ago), is a period of sustained global warmth in comparison to the late Quaternary (0 to ∼1 Ma ago), and has potential to inform predictions of long-term future climate change. However, given that several processes potentially contributed, relatively little is understood about the reasons for the observed warmth, or the associated polar amplification. Here, using a modelling approach and a novel factorisation method, we assess the relative contributions to mid-Pliocene warmth from: elevated CO2, lowered orography, and vegetation and ice sheet changes. The results show that on a global scale, the largest contributor to mid-Pliocene warmth is elevated CO2. However, in terms of polar amplification, changes to ice sheets contribute significantly in the Southern Hemisphere, and orographic changes contribute significantly in the Northern Hemisphere. We also carry out an energy balance analysis which indicates that that on a global scale, surface albedo and atmospheric emmissivity changes dominate over cloud changes. We investigate the sensitivity of our results to uncertainties in the prescribed CO2 and orographic changes, to derive uncertainty ranges for the various contributing processes.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Lunt, D. J. and Haywood, A. M. and Schmidt, G. A. and Salzmann, U. and Valdes, P. J. and Dowsett, H. J. and Loptson, C. A.},
  title={On the causes of mid-Pliocene warmth and polar amplification},
  journal={Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - lu08000d
AU  - Lunt, D. J.
AU  - Haywood, A. M.
AU  - Schmidt, G. A.
AU  - Salzmann, U.
AU  - Valdes, P. J.
AU  - Dowsett, H. J.
AU  - Loptson, C. A.
PY  - 2012
TI  - On the causes of mid-Pliocene warmth and polar amplification
JA  - Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.
VL  - 321-322
SP  - 128
EP  - 138
DO  - 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.12.042
ER  -

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