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Impact of prescribed Arctic sea ice thickness in simulations of the present and future climate

Gerhard Krinner 1 Annette Rinke 2, 3 Klaus Dethloff 2, 3 Irina V. Gorodetskaya 4 
LGGE - Laboratoire de glaciologie et géophysique de l'environnement, Department of Bentho-pelagic processes, Abteilung Klinische Sozialmedizin, Berufs- und Umweltdermatologie
Abstract : This paper describes atmospheric general circulation model climate change experiments in which the Arctic sea-ice thickness is either fixed to 3 m or somewhat more realistically parameterized in order to take into account essentially the spatial variability of Arctic sea-ice thickness, which is, to a first approximation, a function of ice type (perennial or seasonal). It is shown that, both at present and at the end of the twenty-first century (under the SRES-A1B greenhouse gas scenario), the impact of a variable sea-ice thickness compared to a uniform value is essentially limited to the cold seasons and the lower troposphere. However, because first-year ice is scarce in the Central Arctic today, but not under SRES-A1B conditions at the end of the twenty-first century, and because the impact of a sea-ice thickness reduction can be masked by changes of the open water fraction, the spatial and temporal patterns of the effect of sea-ice thinning on the atmosphere differ between the two periods considered. As a consequence, not only the climate simulated at a given period, but also the simulated Arctic climate change over the twenty-first century is affected by the way sea-ice thickness is prescribed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 7:20:44 PM
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Gerhard Krinner, Annette Rinke, Klaus Dethloff, Irina V. Gorodetskaya. Impact of prescribed Arctic sea ice thickness in simulations of the present and future climate. Climate Dynamics, Springer Verlag, 2010, 35 (4), pp.619-633. ⟨10.1007/s00382-009-0587-7⟩. ⟨insu-00420861⟩



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