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Title: Amplified North Atlantic warming in the late Pliocene by changes in Arctic gateways

Under previous reconstructions of late Pliocene boundary conditions, climate models have failed to reproduce the warm sea surface temperatures reconstructed in the North Atlantic. Using a reconstruction of mid-Piacenzian paleogeography that has the Bering Strait and Canadian Arctic Archipelago Straits closed, however, improves the simulation of the proxy-indicated warm sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic in the Community Climate System Model. We find that the closure of these small Arctic gateways strengthens the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, by inhibiting freshwater transport from the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean to the Labrador Sea, leading to warmer sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic. In conclusion, this indicates that the state of the Arctic gateways may influence the sensitivity of the North Atlantic climate in complex ways, and better understanding of the state of these Arctic gateways for past time periods is needed.
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
University Corporation For Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Pliocene; climate modeling; Arctic
OSTI Identifier: