The Influence of Vegetation-Atmosphere-Ocean Interaction on Climate During the Mid-Holocene

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Science  19 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5371, pp. 1916-1919
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5371.1916

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Simulations with a synchronously coupled atmosphere–ocean–vegetation model show that changes in vegetation cover during the mid-Holocene, some 6000 years ago, modify and amplify the climate system response to an enhanced seasonal cycle of solar insolation in the Northern Hemisphere both directly (primarily through the changes in surface albedo) and indirectly (through changes in oceanic temperature, sea-ice cover, and oceanic circulation). The model results indicate strong synergistic effects of changes in vegetation cover, ocean temperature, and sea ice at boreal latitudes, but in the subtropics, the atmosphere–vegetation feedback is most important. Moreover, a reduction of the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic Ocean leads to a warming of the Southern Hemisphere.

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