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Increased risk of near term global warming due to a recent AMOC weakening

Abstract : Some of the new generation CMIP6 models are characterised by a strong temperature increase in response to increasing greenhouse gases concentration 1. At first glance, these models seem less consistent with the temperature warming observed over the last decades. Here, we investigate this issue through the prism of low-frequency internal variability by comparing with observations an ensemble of 32 historical simulations performed with the IPSL-CM6A-LR model, characterized by a rather large climate sensitivity. We show that members with the smallest rates of global warming over the past 6-7 decades are also those with a large internally-driven weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). This subset of members also matches several AMOC observational fingerprints, which are in line with such a weakening. This suggests that internal variability from the Atlantic Ocean may have dampened the magnitude of global warming over the historical era. Taking into account this AMOC weakening over the past decades means that it will be harder to avoid crossing the 2°C warming threshold.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 10:36:52 AM
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Rémy Bonnet, Didier Swingedouw, Guillaume Gastineau, Olivier Boucher, Julie Deshayes, et al.. Increased risk of near term global warming due to a recent AMOC weakening. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 12 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-021-26370-0⟩. ⟨hal-03405246⟩

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