Geophysical Research Letters

Ocean circulation and climate in an idealised Pangean OAGCM

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Abstract

[1] An idealised Pangean configuration is integrated in a coupled ocean atmosphere general circulation model to investigate the form of the ocean circulation and its impacts on the large scale climate system. A vigorous, hemispherically symmetric overturning is found, driven by deep water formation at high latitudes. Whilst the peak mass transport is around 100 Sv, a low vertical temperature gradient in the ocean means that the maximum heat transport is only 1.2 PW. The geographical change in the coupled model is found to produce a global average warming of 2°C, despite an increase in global surface albedo. This occurs through changes in the atmospheric water vapour and cloud distributions. There is also reduction in the equator-pole temperature gradient, largely attributable to the same causes, avoiding the paradox of low meridional temperature gradients without increased polar heat transport.

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