effect of the greenland ice sheet on the moc and future climate preliminary results
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Effect of the Greenland Ice Sheet on the MOC and Future Climate: Preliminary Results. Aixue Hu and Gerald A. Meehl. Climate and Global Dynamics Division National Center for Atmospheric Research. Introduction:. Thomas et al., 2006. Konrad Steffen and Russell Huff, 2005. Luthcke et al., 2006.

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effect of the greenland ice sheet on the moc and future climate preliminary results

Effect of the Greenland Ice Sheet on the MOC and Future Climate: Preliminary Results

Aixue Hu and Gerald A. Meehl

Climate and Global Dynamics Division

National Center for Atmospheric Research

slide2

Introduction:

Thomas et al., 2006

Konrad Steffen and Russell Huff, 2005

Luthcke et al., 2006

slide3

How fast can Greenland Icesheet melt away?

0 2.7 4.6 5.8 6.5 6.8 Sea Level (m)

2 mm/yr

4.5 mm/yr

3.2 mm/yr

1.2 mm/yr

0.5 mm/yr

4XCO2 PI, Ridley et al., 2005

Alley et al., 2005

model and experiments
CAM3 with T42 horizontally and 26 levels vertically

POP with 1 degree horizontally and 40 levels vertically

CSIM5

CLM3

Climate forcing: A1B

Model and Experiments

Experiments: Six simulations: 1, standard A1B; 2. A1B with 0.01 Sv Greenland melting flux; 3. A1B with Greenland melting flux only added in summer months (May-Oct.); 4. A1B with 0.01 Sv Greenland Melting flux increasing 1% per year till 2100; 5. same as 4, but 3% per year; 6. same as 4, but 7% per year till 2050.

slide5

27 mm/yr

17 mm/yr

2 mm/yr

1 mm/yr

0.05

slide6

Changes of the MOC and MHT

A rate of the Greenland Ice Sheet melting up to 0.02 Sv would not alter the MOC significantly in the next two centuries in comparison to the changes of the MOC due to greenhouse gas induced warming. However, if the rate of the Greenland Ice Sheet melting is 0.05 Sv or greater, the weakening of the MOC is significantly larger than that induced by greenhouse gas warming only. The change of the MHT is proportion to the MOC.

slide7

20 yr mean surface temperature anomaly to the end of the 20th century

(2090-2109) – (1980-1999)

(2180-2199) – (1980-1999)

1% ramp

3% ramp

7% ramp

slide8

Global mean surface temperature anomaly

0.01_ann: 0.0006

0.01_sum: 0.018

1% ramp: 0.008

3% ramp: -0.08

7% ramp: -0.29

slide9

Surface temperature anomaly relative to the same period of standard A1B run

2090-2109

2180-2199

1% ramp

3% ramp

7% ramp

slide10

Precipitation anomaly relative to the same period of standard A1B run

2090-2109

2180-2199

1% ramp

3% ramp

7% ramp

slide12

Summary

  • A rate of Greenland ice sheet melting less than 0.05 Sv may not significantly alter the strength of the MOC, however, a melting rate above 0.05 Sv could change the MOC significantly.
  • With a high rate of Greenland Ice sheet melting, the dramatically weakened MOC would not reverse the trend of the surface temperature increase due greenhouse gas effect in comparison to late 20th century, except in the subpolar North Atlantic region.
  • Compare to the standard A1B simulation, simulations with a stronger rate of ice sheet melting reduces the warming in the Northern Hemisphere, this reduction is up to a few degrees in the Pan-Arctic region.
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