Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Model description paper
25 Apr 2012
Model description paper |  | 25 Apr 2012

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

Z. S. Zhang, K. Nisancioglu, M. Bentsen, J. Tjiputra, I. Bethke, Q. Yan, B. Risebrobakken, C. Andersson, and E. Jansen

Abstract. The mid-Pliocene period (3.3 to 3.0 Ma) is known as a warm climate with atmospheric greenhouse gas levels similar to the present. As the climate at this time was in equilibrium with the greenhouse forcing, it is a valuable test case to better understand the long-term response to high levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. In this study, we use the low resolution version of the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM-L) to simulate the pre-industrial and the mid-Pliocene climate. Comparison of the simulation with observations demonstrates that NorESM-L simulates a realistic pre-industrial climate. The simulated mid-Pliocene global mean surface air temperature is 16.7 °C, which is 3.2 °C warmer than the pre-industrial. The simulated mid-Pliocene global mean sea surface temperature is 19.1 °C, which is 2.0 °C warmer than the pre-industrial. The warming is relatively uniform globally, except for a strong amplification at high latitudes.