Nonautonomous instability of climate models

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Mathematics

Abstract

The Atlantic Ocean's Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) transports large amounts of heat from low latitudes into the North Atlantic, where it is given up to the atmosphere and plays a critical role in maintaining the relatively mild climate of western Europe. How would we know if the AMOC was approaching such a tipping point, and are there 'safe' pathways towards an eventual target climate that minimise the chance of crossing one? Key questions for the project are: (a) showing that the simple model captures the essential dynamics of AMOC thresholds that are seen in GCM experiments and (b) developing and using novel mathematical methods for nonautonomous dynamical systems to analyse AMOC thresholds for various climate change pathways. The project will use rate-dependent theory to analyse when tipping can occur, and possible climate stabilisation pathways that reduce the chance of tipping. This project will complement an existing EPSRC-funded (EP/T018178/1) collaboration with the Met Office, the University of Reading and Imperial College London. The student will have opportunities to closely work with the partner on analysis of GCM runs and design of GCM experiments.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T518049/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2406089 Studentship EP/T518049/1 01/10/2020 31/05/2024 Ruth Chapman