Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models
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Arctic Climate Change: Perspectives from Observations and Global Climate Models . David Lawrence NCAR With contributions from Andrew Slater, Marika Holland, Mark Serreze, Don Perovich. Observed global climate change. Spatial pattern of warming.

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Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Arctic Climate Change: Perspectives from Observationsand Global Climate Models

David Lawrence

NCAR

With contributions from Andrew Slater, Marika Holland, Mark Serreze, Don Perovich


Observed global climate change

Observed global climate change


Spatial pattern of warming

Spatial pattern of warming

Arctic warming at roughly twice the rate of the rest of the world


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Arctic sea ice is disappearing …

Stroeve et al. 2008


Glaciers are retreating

Glaciers are retreating …


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Greenland Ice Sheet is melting …

  • 16% increase in melt area between 1979 and 2002

  • new record in 2007 (60% increase in area)


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Sea level rise

from thermal expansion of ocean water and melting glaciers

  • Since 1993

  • Global sea level

  • has risen 43 mm

  • (1.7 inches)

  • 60% from expansion as ocean temp. rise

  • 40% from melting glaciers

  • Steve Nerem


And permafrost is degrading

IPA Permafrost Distribution Map

… and permafrost is degrading

Long term monitoring site in Quebec, Canada

1957

1983

2003

Continuous (90 – 100%)

Discontinuous (50 – 90%)

Sporadic (10 – 50%)

Isolated (0 – 10%)

Permafrost

Thermokarst Ponds

Fen Vegetation

Payette et al, 2004

Brown et al. 1998


Biomes are shifting tundra to shrublands

Biomes are shifting (tundra to shrublands) …

Shrub cover increasing at 1.2% per decade since 1950, 15% to 20% cover(Sturm et al. 2001, Tape et al. 2006)


And snowmen are melting

… and snowmen are melting …

Nation's Snowmen March Against Global Warming

January 25, 2006 | Issue 42-04

… Centigrade told the slowly melting snowcrowd that as recently as 15 years ago, the average life span of a snowperson built in late December was three weeks to a month. Today, that same snowperson has an average life span of two weeks.


Observed arctic climate change

Observed Arctic Climate Change

  • Snow cover decreasing

  • River runoff to Arctic Ocean increasing

  • Lake and wetland distributions changing

  • Growing season is getting longer

  • More frequent forest fires

  • Rapid coastal erosion

  • ….

See, e.g. Hinzman et al., Climatic Change, 2005

McGuire et al., Ann Rev Env Res, 2006

Serreze et al., Climatic Change, 2000

Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 2004, updated in 2008


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Global Climate Model

Peering into the future ….


Global climate models

Global Climate Models

Global Coupled

Ocean-Atmosphere-Land-Sea Ice model

Climate models are a lot like weather forecast models, but include interactive ocean, land, and sea-ice components, and can also account for changes in atmospheric constituents like greenhouse gases. They are used to study the earth's past, present and future climate states.


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

How does a global climate model work?

Land Model


Land surface model

Land-Surface Model

Rainfall

Canopy

evaporation

Transpiration

Stomatal conductance:

solar radiation, temp,

humidity deficit,

soil moisture, [CO2] …

Nitrogen fertilization

Photosynthesis model

Throughfall

Sublimation

Surface runoff

Soil evaporation

T1,

Soil hydrology

model

T2,

T3,

Runoff

Vertical water flow

Phase change

Sub-surface runoff

T10,

, T*, zo


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Model grids


Ncar community climate system model ccsm4

NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM4)

  • Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Land- Sea Ice-Carbon cycle model

  • 1oresolution (~60 sq. miles)

  • 30 minute time step

  • 31 atmosphere levels

  • 60 ocean levels

  • 15 ground layers

  • ~5 million grid boxes

  • ~1.5 million lines of computer code

  • Archive data (monthly, daily, hourly) for over 300 geophysical fields (in land model alone)


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

High resolution climate model output

CAM T340- Jim Hack

David Lawrence

National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulder, Colorado


History of climate model to earth system model development

History of Climate Model to Earth System Model Development

2000s

2010


Ccsm working groups

CCSM Working Groups

Chemistry

Climate

BioGeo

Chemistry

Atm

Model

Land

Model

Polar

Climate

Ocean

Model

Climate Change

PaleoClimate

Climate Variability

Development

Application


How do we evaluate and improve models

How do we evaluate and improve models?

Compare against observations; if comparison is poor, then something is wrong


Soil and snow water storage mam son

Soil (and snow) water storage (MAM − SON)

GRACE (obs)

CCSM4

CCSM3

GRACE satellite measures small changes in gravity which on seasonal timescales are due to variations in water storage

CCSM3 and CCSM4 data from

1870 and 1850 control

300 200 100 0 -100 -200 -300 (mm)


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

How do we use these models to study climate change?

Economists develop possible scenarios of population growth, economic growth, energy use, land use

Depending on the scenario, more or less greenhouse gas emissions


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Simulated global mean temperatures during last millenium and into 20th and 21st centuries

Ammann et al.


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Air Temperature: Typical “business as usual” scenario by 2100

Global mean warming of ~2.8oC (or ~5F);Much of land area warms by ~3.5oC (or ~6.3F)Arctic warms by ~7oC (or ~12.6F)


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Abrupt reductions in the September sea ice cover

September sea ice extent

Ice Extent ( 106 km2 )

SSMI observed

CCSM3

CCSM3 – smoothed

“Abrupt”

transition

Holland et al., 2006


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

…and on broader Arctic climate … in the 1970’s

D. Perovich, CRREL


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Not far from today…

D. Perovich, CRREL


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

3.5-fold increase in rate of warming over land during rapid sea ice loss

September Sea- ice Extent

Lawrence et al. 2008


Ccsm3 projections of degradation of near surface permafrost

CCSM3 Projections of Degradation of Near-Surface Permafrost

Lawrence and Slater, 2005


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Goal: Represent Arctic terrestrial climate-change feedbacksin the Community Climate System Model (CCSM)

Carbon

sequester

Global

warming

CO2

efflux

CH4

efflux

Permafrost

warms and

thaws

Enhanced

[nitrogen]

Expanded

wetlands

Arctic runoff

increases

Adapted from McGuire et al., 2006


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Bernhard Edmaier

National Geographic


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Bernhard Edmaier

National Geographic


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Bernhard Edmaier

National Geographic


Arctic climate change perspectives from observations and global climate models

Bernhard Edmaier

National Geographic


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