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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 2
Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 523-533, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-5-523-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: PlioMIP: experimental design, mid-Pliocene boundary conditions...

Special issue: The Norwegian Earth System Model: NorESM; basic development,...

Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 523-533, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-5-523-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Model description paper 25 Apr 2012

Model description paper | 25 Apr 2012

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

Z. S. Zhang1,2,3, K. Nisancioglu1,2, M. Bentsen1,2, J. Tjiputra1,2, I. Bethke1,2, Q. Yan3, B. Risebrobakken1,2, C. Andersson1,2, and E. Jansen1,2 Z. S. Zhang et al.
  • 1Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allegaten 55, 5007, Bergen, Norway
  • 2UNI Research, Allegaten 55, 5007, Bergen, Norway
  • 3Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100029, Beijing, China

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.

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