- The climate during the Late Miocene and the Mid Miocene is warmer and more humid than today in agreement with the fossil record and marine proxy data.
- The meridional temperature gradient decreases with increased atmospheric CO2.
- Heat transport changes in the coupled atmosphere/ocean system nearly compensate each other (Fig. 2).
- Reduction of the gradient is mainly due to local changes in the mid and hig-latitudes owing to vegetation and ice-albedo changes.
- Regional vegetation changes such as the appearance of the Sahara desert are 'climatic global players' (Fig. 3).
- The fully coupled atmosphere/ocean system is more sensitive to Miocene boundary changes than idealized model approaches, comprising ocean and atmosphere/slab ocean models. This highlights the role of interactive atmosphere-ocean feedbacks within the coupled system and the importance of three-dimensional ocean changes on the thermal response.
- Warmer climates in the geological past can be reconciled with lower CO2 concentrations than today.
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