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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(4), 1311-1333;

Effect of Vegetation on the Late Miocene Ocean Circulation

Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bussestr. 24, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
MARUM, Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, P.O. Box 330440, 28334 Bremen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nathalie Fagel
Received: 9 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paleoceanography)
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We examine the role of the vegetation cover and the associated hydrological cycle on the deep ocean circulation during the Late Miocene (~10 million years ago). In our simulations, an open Central American gateway and exchange with fresh Pacific waters leads to a weak and shallow thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean which is consistent with most other modeling studies for this time period. Here, we estimate the effect of a changed vegetation cover on the ocean general circulation using atmospheric circulation model simulations for the late Miocene climate with 353 ppmv CO2 level. The Late Miocene land surface cover reduces the albedo, the net evaporation in the North Atlantic catchment is affected and the North Atlantic water becomes more saline leading to a more vigorous North Atlantic Deep Water circulation. These effects reveal potentially important feedbacks between the ocean circulation, the hydrological cycle and the land surface cover for Cenozoic climate evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean circulation; Late Miocene; hydrological cycle; Central American gateway ocean circulation; Late Miocene; hydrological cycle; Central American gateway

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lohmann, G.; Butzin, M.; Bickert, T. Effect of Vegetation on the Late Miocene Ocean Circulation. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 1311-1333.

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