Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Model description paper
21 Aug 2012
Model description paper |  | 21 Aug 2012

Pre-industrial and mid-Pliocene simulations with NorESM-L: AGCM simulations

Z. Zhang and Q. Yan

Abstract. In the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP), two sets of experiments are suggested. One includes a reference and a mid-Pliocene experiment run with atmosphere general circulation models (AGCM experiments, referred to as Experiments I), the other includes a pre-industrial and a mid-Pliocene experiment run with coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models (AOGCM experiments, referred to as Experiments II). In this paper, we describe the AGCM experiments with the atmosphere component in the low-resolution version of the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM-L), and also assess the potential uncertainties in analyzing mid-Pliocene climate anomalies that might result from the choice of the sea surface temperature (SST) forcing for the reference experiment (pre-industrial or modern). We carry out a mid-Pliocene experiment, a control experiment forced by the modern SST fields, and a pre-industrial experiment forced by the monthly SST fields from HadISST averaged between 1879 and 1900. Our experiments illustrate that the simulated mid-Pliocene global mean annual surface air temperature (SAT) is 17.1 °C. It is 2.5 °C warmer than the control experiment, but 2.7 °C warmer than the pre-industrial experiment. We find that the uncertainties in analyses of mid-Pliocene climate anomalies are small on a global scale, but still large on a regional scale. On the regional scale, these uncertainties should be noted and assessed in future PlioMIP studies.