Submitted as: model description paper
16 May 2023
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 16 May 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Simulated stable water isotopes during the mid-Holocene and pre-industrial using AWI-ESM-2.1-wiso

Xiaoxu Shi, Alexandre Cauquoin, Gerrit Lohmann, Lukas Jonkers, Qiang Wang, Hu Yang, Yuchen Sun, and Martin Werner

Abstract. Numerical simulations employing prognostic stable water isotopes can not only facilitate our understanding of hydrological processes and climate change but also allow for a straightforward comparison between isotope signals obtained from models and various archives. In the current work, we describe the performance and explore the potential of a new version of the Earth system model AWI-ESM, labeled AWI-ESM-wiso, in which we incorporated three isotope tracers into all relevant components of the water cycle. We present here the results of pre-industrial (PI) and mid-Holocene (MH) simulations. The model well reproduces the observed PI isotope compositions in both precipitation and sea water, and captures their major differences from the MH condition. The simulated relationship between the isotope composition in precipitation (δ18Op) and surface air temperature is very similar between the PI and MH conditions, and largely consistent with modern observations despite some regional model biases. The ratio of the MH-PI difference in δ18Op to the MH-PI difference in surface air temperature is reasonable over Greenland and Antarctica only when summertime air temperature is considered. An amount effect is evident over the North Africa monsoon domain, where a negative correlation between δ18Op and the amount of precipitation is simulated. As an example of model applications, we studied the onset date of MH West Africa summer monsoon (WASM) using daily variables. We find that defining the WASM onset based on precipitation alone may yield erroneous results due to the substantial daily variations of precipitation, which may obscure the distinction between pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons. Combining precipitation and isotope indicators, we suggest in this work a novel method for identifying the commencement of the WASM. Moreover, we do not find obvious difference between the MH and PI in terms of the mean onset date of WASM.

Xiaoxu Shi et al.

Status: open (until 11 Jul 2023)

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Xiaoxu Shi et al.

Data sets

Source codes and model outputs of AWIESM-wiso Xiaoxu Shi and Martin Werner

Model code and software

Source codes and model outputs of AWIESM-wiso Xiaoxu Shi and Martin Werner

Xiaoxu Shi et al.


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Short summary
We develpoed a new climate model with isotopic capabilities and simulated the pre-industrial and mid-Holocene periods. Despite certain regional model biases, the modeled isotope composition is in good agreement with observation and reconstruction. Based on our analyses, the observed isotope-temperature relationship in polar regions may have a summertime bias. Using daily model outputs, we developed a novel isotope-based approach for determining the onset date of the West African summer monsoon.