A study of capturing Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) regime transition through observation-constrained model parameters

Liu, Zhao; Zhang, Shaoqing; Shen, Yang; Guan, Yuping; Deng, Xiong

The multiple equilibria are an outstanding characteristic of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) that has important impacts on the Earth climate system appearing as regime transitions. The AMOC can be simulated in different models, but the behavior deviates from the real world due to the existence of model errors. Here, we first combine a general AMOC model with an ensemble Kalman filter to form an ensemble coupled model data assimilation and parameter estimation (CDAPE) system and derive the general methodology to capture the observed AMOC regime transitions through utilization of observational information. Then we apply this methodology designed within a “twin” experiment framework with a simple conceptual model that simulates the transition phenomenon of AMOC multiple equilibria as well as a more physics-based MOC box model to reconstruct the “observed” AMOC multiple equilibria. The results show that the coupled model parameter estimation with observations can significantly mitigate the model deviations, thus capturing regime transitions of the AMOC. This simple model study serves as a guideline when a coupled general circulation model is used to incorporate observations to reconstruct the AMOC historical states and make multi-decadal climate predictions.

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Liu, Zhao / Zhang, Shaoqing / Shen, Yang / et al: A study of capturing Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) regime transition through observation-constrained model parameters. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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