Causes of the Little Ice Age

Co-Author: Alan Robock
Co-Author: Joanna Slawinska
The Little Ice Age was probably caused by large volcanic eruptions, with additional influences from solar variability. As Gifford Miller, Bette Otto-Bliesner, and colleagues showed, some simulations with CESM forced by large volcanic eruptions in the second half of the 13th Century pushed the climate into a cold state that persisted for centuries while other runs, with the same model and forcing but different initial conditions, did not. We will investigate the response of each of the ensemble members to these and other forcings, and examine processes in the North Atlantic and Arctic that may have produced this shift in climate states. We will also conduct additional shorter simulations branching off from the LME runs to study these processes.