On freshwater-dependent bifurcations in box models of the interhemispheric thermohaline circulation [article]

S. Titz, T. Kuhlbrodt, S. Rahmstorf, U. Feudel, University, My
Conceptual box models of the interhemispheric thermohaline circulation are studied with respect to bifurcations. Freshwater fluxes are the main control parameters of the system: they determine the stable states and transitions between stable states of the large-scale thermohaline circulation. In this study of interhemispheric box models both numerical and analytical methods are used to investigate transition mechanisms of the thermohaline circulation. The box model examined first is an
more » ... irst is an interhemispheric four-box model. It is shown that the two bifurcations where the present THC can become unstable, the saddle-node and the Hopf bifurcation, depend in a different way on hemispheric freshwater fluxes. A reduction of the model variables leads to the conclusion that two fixed freshwater fluxes between three surface boxes are the model feature responsible for the bifurcation behavior found. The significance of the Hopf bifurcation for the stability of the thermohaline circulation is discussed.
doi:10.34657/3981 fatcat:6uz6kmwlkvfhxbui7phlttsy54