Remote forcing at the Last Glacial Maximum in the Tropical Pacific Ocean

Dyke H. Andreasen, Christina Ravelo, Anthony J. Broccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results of a-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) wind stress sensitivity experiment using a high-resolution ocean general circulation model of the tropical Pacific Ocean. LGM wind stress, used to drive the ocean model, was generated using an atmospheric general circulation model simulation forced by LGM boundary conditions as part of the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) [Broccoli, 2000]. LGM wind stress anomalies were large in the western half of the basin, yet there was a significant hydrographic response in the eastern half. This ocean model experiment hind casts changes that are in close agreement with paleoceanographic data from the entire region, even without the explicit modeling of the air-sea interactions. Data and model both predict that the annual average thermocline tilt across the basin was enhanced. Data and model are consistent with a stronger equatorial undercurrent which shoaled to the west of where it does today, and stronger advection of water from the Peru Current into the east equatorial Pacific and across the equator. Paleoproductivity and sea surface temperature (SST) data are interpreted in light of the modeling results, indicating that paleoproductivity changes were related to wind-forced dynamical changes resulting from LGM boundary conditions, while SST changes were related to independent, possibly radiative, forcing. Overall, our results imply that much of the dynamic response of the tropical Pacific during the LGM can be explained by wind field changes resulting from global LGM boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-897
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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