Publications of Alexandra-Jane Henrot
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See detailModelling the Middle Miocene climate with PLASIM and CARAIB
Henrot, Alexandra ULiege

Scientific conference (2010, October)

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See detailImproving the classification of plant functional types in dynamic vegetation modelling for the Neogene
Favre, Eric ULiege; François, Louis ULiege; Utescher, Torsten et al

Poster (2010, May)

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See detailResponse of the European ecosystems to climate change: a modeling approach for the 21st century
Dury, Marie ULiege; Warnant, Pierre; François, Louis ULiege et al

Poster (2010, April)

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See detailEuropean vegetation evolution during the Holocene simulated by Planet Simulator and CARAIB
Haberkorn, K.; Fraedrich, K.; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege et al

Poster (2010, April)

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See detailEffects of CO2, continental distribution, topography and vegetation changes on the climate at the Middle Miocene: a model study
Henrot, Alexandra ULiege; François, Louis ULiege; Favre, Eric ULiege et al

in Climate of the Past (2010), 6

The Middle Miocene was one of the last warm periods of the Neogene, culminating with the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO, approximatively 17–15 Ma). Several proxy-based reconstructions support ... [more ▼]

The Middle Miocene was one of the last warm periods of the Neogene, culminating with the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO, approximatively 17–15 Ma). Several proxy-based reconstructions support warmer and more humid climate during the MMCO. The mechanisms responsible for the warmer climate at the MMCO and particularly the role of the atmospheric carbon dioxide are still highly debated. Here we carried out a series of sensitivity experiments with the model of intermediate complexity Planet Simulator, investigating the contributions of the absence of ice on the continents, the opening of the Central American and Eastern Tethys Seaways, the lowering of the topography on land, the effect of various atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the vegetation feedback. Our results show that a higher than present-day CO2 concentration is necessary to generate a warmer climate at all latitudes at the Middle Miocene, in agreement with the terrestrial proxy reconstructions which suggest high atmospheric CO2 concentrations at the MMCO. Nevertheless, the changes in sea-surface conditions, the lowering of the topography on land and the vegetation feedback also produce significant local warming that may, locally, even be stronger than the CO2 induced temperature increases. The lowering of the topography leads to a more zonal atmospheric circulation and allows the westerly flow to continue over the lowered Plateaus at mid-latitudes. The reduced height of the Tibetan Plateau notably prevents the development of a monsoon-like circulation, whereas the reduction of elevations of the North American and European reliefs strongly increases precipitation from northwestern to eastern Europe. The changes in vegetation cover contribute to maintain and even to intensify the warm and humid conditions produced by the other factors, suggesting that the vegetation-climate interactions could help to improve the model-data comparison. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of Climate Change on Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystems
François, Louis ULiege; Favre, E.; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULiege et al

Conference (2009, June)

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See detailMiddle Miocene climate and vegetation modelling with PLASIM and CARAIB
Henrot, Alexandra ULiege; François, Louis ULiege; Favre, Eric ULiege et al

Conference (2009, April 21)

In a long-term climatic cooling trend, the Middle Miocene represents one of the last warm periods of the Neogene, culminating with the Miocene Climatic Optimum, MCO (17-15 My). Palynological studies ... [more ▼]

In a long-term climatic cooling trend, the Middle Miocene represents one of the last warm periods of the Neogene, culminating with the Miocene Climatic Optimum, MCO (17-15 My). Palynological studies suggest that the warmer climatic conditions prevailing during the MCO allowed warm forests to expand poleward of the subtropical zone, with evergreen forests proliferating in North America and Europe (Jimenez-Moreno and Suc, 2007, Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 253: 208-225). In this work, we used the Planet Simulator (Fraedrich et al., 2005, Meteorol. Z. 14: 299-304 and 305-314), an Earth system model of intermediate complexity, to carry out several simulation experiments, where we have assessed the effects of the absence of ice on the continents, the opening of the Central American and Eastern Tethys seaways, the lowering of the topography on land and the effect of various atmospheric CO2 concentrations, in agreement with the values reported in the litterature. We then produced several vegetation distributions, using the dynamic vegetation model CARAIB (Galy et al., 2008, Quat. Sci. Rev. 27: 1396-1409), to analyse if the climatic forcings considered are sufficient to explain the expansion of warmer forest types to higher latitudes. Our results indicate that an increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration, higher than the present-day one, is necessary to allow subtropical forest types to expand poleward. This result agrees with recent paleo-atmospheric CO2 reconstruction from stomatal frequency analysis, which suggests 500 ppmv of CO2 during the MCO. However, the required warming may be due to processes not considered in our setup (e.g. full oceanic circulation or other greenhouse gases). [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of land surface properties and atmospheric CO2 on the Last Glacial Maximum climate: a factor separation analysis
Henrot, Alexandra ULiege; François, Louis ULiege; Brewer, S. et al

in Climate of the Past (2009), 5(2), 183-202

Many sensitivity studies have been carried out, using climate models of different degrees of complexity to test the climate response to Last Glacial Maximum boundary conditions. Here, instead of adding ... [more ▼]

Many sensitivity studies have been carried out, using climate models of different degrees of complexity to test the climate response to Last Glacial Maximum boundary conditions. Here, instead of adding the forcings successively as in most previous studies, we applied the separation method of U. Stein et P. Alpert 1993, in order to determine rigorously the different contributions of the boundary condition modifications, and isolate the pure contributions from the interactions among the forcings. We carried out a series of sensitivity experiments with the model of intermediate complexity Planet Simulator, investigating the contributions of the ice sheet expansion and elevation, the lowering of the atmospheric CO2 and of the vegetation cover change on the LGM climate. The separation of the ice cover and orographic contributions shows that the ice albedo effect is the main contributor to the cooling of the Northern Hemisphere, whereas orography has only a local cooling impact over the ice sheets. The expansion of ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere causes a disruption of the tropical precipitation, and a southward shift of the ITCZ. The orographic forcing mainly contributes to the disruption of the atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to a redistribution of the precipitation, but weakly impacts the tropics. The isolated vegetation contribution also induces strong cooling over the continents of the Northern Hemisphere that further affects the tropical precipitation and reinforce the southward shift of the ITCZ, when combined with the ice forcing. The combinations of the forcings generate many non-linear interactions that reinforce or weaken the pure contributions, depending on the climatic mechanism involved, but they are generally weaker than the pure contributions. Finally, the comparison between the LGM simulated climate and climatic reconstructions over Eurasia suggests that our results reproduce well the south-west to north-east temperature gradients over Eurasia. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling Late Miocene vegetation in Europe: results of the CARAIB model and comparison with palaeovegetation data
François, Louis ULiege; Utescher, T.; Favre et al

Conference (2008, September)

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See detailModelling Late Miocene vegetation in Europe: results of the CARAIB model and comparison with palaeovegetation data
Favre, E.; François, Louis ULiege; Utescher, T. et al

Poster (2008, April)

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See detailImpacts of vegetation changes on LGM climate
Henrot, Alexandra ULiege; François, Louis ULiege; Munhoven, Guy ULiege

Conference (2007, March 12)

The impacts of vegetation change on the climate at the Last Glacial Maximum are investigated with the Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity Planet Simulator and the dynamic vegetation model Caraib ... [more ▼]

The impacts of vegetation change on the climate at the Last Glacial Maximum are investigated with the Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity Planet Simulator and the dynamic vegetation model Caraib (CARbon Assimilation in the Biosphere). [less ▲]

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See detailAtmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Climate Over Phanerozoic Times
François, Louis ULiege; Lefèbvre, Vincent; Goddéris, Yves et al

Conference (2006, December)

The atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio has fluctuated widely over the Phanerozoic, according to the estimates from available proxy records. Because atmospheric CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, these fluctuations ... [more ▼]

The atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio has fluctuated widely over the Phanerozoic, according to the estimates from available proxy records. Because atmospheric CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, these fluctuations should have led to significant climatic variations. The "classical" view is indeed that atmospheric CO2 has been the main driver of the Earth's climate history. On long-term time scales, the atmospheric CO2 level is the result of the balance between CO2 inputs from volcanoes or oxidation of old organic carbon (kerogen) in exposed rocks and outputs through silicate weathering or organic carbon deposition. Existing model reconstructions of the Phanerozoic history of atmospheric CO2 are based on such budgets. Recent data and model experiments currently challenge these models. First, the carbon cycle may be more complex than represented in the earliest models. In particular, silicate weathering depends on numerous factors, which are not obvious to model or are poorly known over the Phanerozoic. Mountain uplift is one such factor, which has been much debated in the last decade. Lithology is another example: basalts weather much more rapidly than other silicate rocks and the emplacement of large basaltic areas on the continents may trigger glaciations. Continental configuration is also more important than previously thought, as indicated by recent model experiments on super-continent fragmentation coupling geochemical and climate models. Problems of "classical" Phanerozoic CO2 models are also well illustrated by the fact that the most recent estimates of CO2 degassing show very little variation between the Cretaceous and the present, a period when large changes in CO2 have occurred, whereas degassing is the most important forcing of CO2 evolution in long-term carbon cycle models. Second, CO2 is not the only driver of climate evolution. This obvious fact has largely been forgotten in Phanerozoic studies. What the proxies tell us on paleo-atmospheric CO2 is not always in line with what we know about paleoclimatic records. For instance, the proxies suggest relatively high CO2 levels during the Late Ordovician glaciations. Similarly, the Late Jurassic now appears to be colder than earlier thought, while again proxies suggest high atmospheric CO2 at that time. The mid-Miocene climate warming, which occurs simultaneously with a drop in CO2, provides another example. This latter change in CO2 is unanimously reflected in all proxies and, so, this decoupling between CO2 and climate cannot arise from uncertainties on the reconstructed CO2 levels or from dating problems, as might be the case of the former two examples. Other climatic drivers than CO2 clearly need to be considered. In this respect, vegetation- climate feedbacks have been completely disregarded in long-term climatic studies. Cenozoic cooling is, however, accompanied by a progressive transition from closed forests to more widespread grasslands and deserts on the continental areas, a change which must have had major impacts on the surface albedo and the water cycle. [less ▲]

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