The response of Arctic sea ice to global change.

Lemke, Peter, Harder, Markus and Hilmer, Michael (2000) The response of Arctic sea ice to global change. Climatic Change, 46 . pp. 277-287. DOI 10.1023/A:1005695109752.

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The sea ice-covered polar oceans have received wider attention recently for two reasons. Firstly, the global conveyor belt circulation of the ocean is believed to be forced in the North and South Atlantic through deep water formation, which to a large degree is controlled by the variations of the sea ice margin and especially by the sea ice export to lower latitudes. Secondly, CO2 response experiments with coupled climate models show an enhanced warming in polar regions for increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Whether this large response in high latitudes is due to real physical feedback processes or to unrealistic simplifications of the sea ice model component remains to be determined. Coupled climate models generally use thermodynamic sea ice models or sea ice models with oversimplified dynamics schemes. Realistic dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice models are presently implemented only at a few modeling centers. Sensitivity experiments with thermodynamic and dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice models show that the more sophisticated models are less sensitive to perturbations of the atmospheric and oceanic boundary conditions. Because of the importance of the role of sea ice in mediating between atmosphere and ocean an improved representation of sea ice in global climate models is required. This paper discusses present sea ice modeling as well as the sensitivity of the sea ice cover to changes in the atmospheric boundary conditions. These numerical experiments indicate that the sea ice follows a smooth response function: sea ice thickness and export change by 2% of the mean value per 1 Wm-2 change of the radiative forcing.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2019 12:58

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