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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-139
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-139
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 Dec 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Extratropical cyclones over the North Atlantic and Western Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum and implications for proxy interpretation

Joaquim G. Pinto and Patrick Ludwig Joaquim G. Pinto and Patrick Ludwig
  • Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Extratropical cyclones are a dominant feature of the mid-latitudes, as their passage is associated with strong winds, precipitation, and temperature changes. The statistics and characteristics of extratropical cyclones over the North Atlantic region exhibit some fundamental differences between present day (PI) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate conditions. Here, the statistics are analysed based on results of a tracking algorithm applied to global PI and LGM climate simulations. During the LGM, both the number and the intensity of detected cyclones was higher compared to PI. In particular, increased cyclone track activity is detected close to the Laurentide ice sheet and over central Europe. To determine changes in cyclone characteristics, the top 30 extreme storm events for PI and LGM have been simulated with a regional climate model and high resolution (12.5 km grid spacing) over the eastern North Atlantic and Western Europe. Results show that LGM extreme cyclones were characterised by weaker precipitation, enhanced frontal temperature gradients, and stronger wind speeds than PI analogues. These results are in line with the view of a colder and drier Europe, characterised by little vegetation and affected by frequent dust storms, leading to reallocation and build-up of thick loess deposits in Europe.

Joaquim G. Pinto and Patrick Ludwig
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Joaquim G. Pinto and Patrick Ludwig
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Short summary
The statistics and characteristics of cyclones over the North Atlantic and Europe are analysed for Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate conditions. LGM extreme cyclones were more frequent and characterised by less precipitation and stronger wind speeds than Pre-Industrial analogues. These results agree with the view of a colder and drier Europe during LGM, with little vegetation and affected by frequent dust storms, leading to the built-up of thick loess deposits in Europe.
The statistics and characteristics of cyclones over the North Atlantic and Europe are analysed...
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