• Aagaard, K., , L. K. Coachman, , and E. Carmack, 1981: On the halocline of the Arctic Ocean. Deep-Sea Res., 28A, 529545.

  • Abbot, D. S., , and E. Tziperman, 2008: Sea ice, high-latitude convection, and equable climates. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L03702, doi:10.1029/2007GL032286.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Akitomo, K., 1999: Open-ocean deep convection due to thermobaricity: 1. Scaling argument. J. Geophys. Res., 104 (C3), 52255234.

  • Armour, K., , I. Eisenman, , E. Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, , K. McCusker, , and C. M. Bitz, 2011: The reversibility of sea ice loss in a state-of-the-art climate model. Geophys. Res. Lett.,38, L16705, doi:10.1029/2011GL048739.

  • Budyko, M. I., 1969: The effect of solar radiation variations on the climate of the earth. Tellus, 21, 611619.

  • Comiso, J. C., , and F. Nishio, 2008: Trends in the sea ice cover using enhanced and compatible AMSR-E, SSM/I, and SMMR data. J. Geophys. Res., 113, C02S07, doi:10.1029/2007JC004257.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eisenman, I., 2010: Geographic muting of changes in the Arctic sea ice cover. Geophys. Res. Lett.,37, L16501, doi:10.1029/2010GL043741.

  • Eisenman, I., 2012: Factors controlling the bifurcation structure of sea ice retreat. J. Geophys. Res.,117, D01111, doi:10.1029/2011JD016164.

  • Eisenman, I., , and J. S. Wettlaufer, 2009: Nonlinear threshold behavior during the loss of Arctic sea ice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 2832.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hibler, W. D., 1979: A dynamic thermodynamic sea ice model. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 9, 815846.

  • Holland, M. M., , C. M. Bitz, , and B. Tremblay, 2006: Future abrupt reductions in the summer Arctic sea ice. Geophys. Res. Lett.,33, L23503, doi:10.1029/2006GL028024.

  • Holland, M. M., , C. M. Bitz, , B. Tremblay, , and D. Bailey, 2008: The role of natural versus forced change in future rapid summer arctic ice loss. Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications, Geophys. Monogr., Vol. 180, Amer. Geophys. Union, 133–150.

  • Jungclaus, J. H., and Coauthors, 2006: Ocean circulation and tropical variability in the coupled model ECHAM5/MPI-OM. J. Climate, 19, 39523972.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Li, C., , J.-S. von Storch, , and J. Marotzke, 2013: Deep-ocean heat uptake and equilibrium climate response. Climate Dyn.,40, 1071–1086.

  • Lindsay, R. W., , and J. Zhang, 2005: The thinning of the Arctic sea ice 1988–2003: Have we passed a tipping point? J. Climate, 18, 48794894.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marsland, S. J., , H. Haak, , J. H. Jungclaus, , M. Latif, , and F. Roeske, 2003: The Max-Planck-Institute global ocean/sea ice model with orthogonal curvilinear coordinates. Ocean Modell., 5, 91127.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McPhee, M. G., 2003: Is thermobaricity a major factor in Southern Ocean ventilation? Antarct. Sci., 15, 153160.

  • North, G. R., 1990: Multiple solutions in energy balance climate models. Global Planet. Change, 82, 225235.

  • Notz, D., 2009: The future of ice sheets and sea ice: Between reversible retreat and unstoppable loss. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 20 59020 595.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Notz, D., , and J. Marotzke, 2012: Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat. Geophys. Res. Lett.,39, L08502, doi:10.1029/2012GL051094.

  • Notz, D., , F. A. Haumann, , H. Haak, , J. H. Jungclaus, , and J. Marotzke, 2013: Arctic sea-ice evolution as modeled by Max Planck Institute for Meteorology's Earth System Model. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst.,doi:10.1002/jame.20016, in press.

  • Ridley, J. K., , J. Lowe, , and D. Simonin, 2008: The demise of Arctic sea ice during stabilisation at high greenhouse gas concentrations. Climate Dyn., 30, 333341.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ridley, J. K., , J. Lowe, , and H. T. Hewitt, 2012: How reversible is sea ice loss? Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 193198.

  • Roeckner, E., and Coauthors, 2003: The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5. Part I: Model description. Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie Rep. 349, 127 pp.

  • Roeckner, E., and Coauthors, 2006: Sensitivity of simulated climate to horizontal and vertical resolution in the ECHAM5 atmosphere model. J. Climate, 19, 37713791.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sellers, W. D., 1969: A global climate model based on the energy balance of the earth-atmosphere system. J. Appl. Meteor., 8, 392400.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Semtner, A. J., 1976: A model for the thermodynamic growth of sea ice in numerical investigations of climate. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 6, 379389.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Serreze, M. C., , and J. A. Francis, 2006: The Arctic amplification debate. Climatic Change, 76, 241264.

  • Stammerjohn, S. E., , D. G. Martinson, , R. C. Smith, , X. Yuan, , and D. Rind, 2008: Trends in Antarctica annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño–Southern Oscillation and southern annular mode variability. J. Geophys. Res., 113, C03S90, doi:10.1029/2007JC004269.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stouffer, R. J., 2004: Time scales of climate response. J. Climate, 17, 209217.

  • Stroeve, J. C., , M. C. Serreze, , M. M. Holland, , J. E. Kay, , J. Malanik, , and A. P. Barrett, 2012: The Arctic's rapidly shrinking sea ice cover: A research synthesis. Climatic Change, 110, 10051027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tietsche, S., , D. Notz, , J. H. Jungclaus, , and J. Marotzke, 2011: Recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice. Geophys. Res. Lett.,38, L02707, doi:10.1029/2010GL045698.

  • Valcke, S., , D. Caubel, , and L. Terray, 2003: OASIS3 Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice Soil user's guide. CERFACS Tech. Rep. TR/CMGC/03/69, 85 pp.

  • Vinnikov, K. Y., and Coauthors, 1999: Global warming and Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent. Science, 286, 19341937.

  • Winton, M., 2006: Does the Arctic sea ice have a tipping point? Geophys. Res. Lett.,33, L23504, doi:10.1029/2006GL028017.

  • Winton, M., 2008: Sea ice–albedo feedback and nonlinear Arctic climate change. Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications, Geophys. Monogr., Vol. 180, Amer. Geophys. Union, 111–131.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 123 123 50
PDF Downloads 29 29 14

The Transient versus the Equilibrium Response of Sea Ice to Global Warming

View More View Less
  • 1 Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, and International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2 Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3 Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, and International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling, Hamburg, Germany
  • 4 Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
© Get Permissions
Restricted access

Abstract

To examine the long-term stability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, idealized simulations are carried out with the climate model ECHAM5/Max Planck Institute Ocean Model (MPI-OM). Atmospheric CO2 concentration is increased over 2000 years from preindustrial levels to quadrupling, is then kept constant for 5940 years, is afterward decreased over 2000 years to preindustrial levels, and is finally kept constant for 3940 years.

Despite these very slow changes, the sea ice response significantly lags behind the CO2 concentration change. This lag, which is caused by the ocean's thermal inertia, implies that the sea ice equilibrium response to increasing CO2 concentration is substantially underestimated by transient simulations. The sea ice response to CO2 concentration change is not truly hysteretic and is in principle reversible.

The authors find no lag in the evolution of Arctic sea ice relative to changes in annual-mean Northern Hemisphere surface temperature. The summer sea ice cover changes linearly with respect to both CO2 concentration and temperature, while the Arctic winter sea ice cover shows a rapid transition to a very low sea ice coverage. This rapid transition of winter sea ice is associated with a sharply enhanced ice–albedo feedback and a sudden onset of convective-cloud feedback in the Arctic.

The Antarctic sea ice cover retreats continuously without any rapid transition during the warming. Compared to Arctic sea ice, Antarctic sea ice shows a much more strongly lagged response to changes in CO2 concentration. It even lags behind the surface temperature change, which is caused by a different response of ocean deep convection during the warming and the cooling periods.

Corresponding author address: Chao Li, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: chao.li@zmaw.de

Abstract

To examine the long-term stability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, idealized simulations are carried out with the climate model ECHAM5/Max Planck Institute Ocean Model (MPI-OM). Atmospheric CO2 concentration is increased over 2000 years from preindustrial levels to quadrupling, is then kept constant for 5940 years, is afterward decreased over 2000 years to preindustrial levels, and is finally kept constant for 3940 years.

Despite these very slow changes, the sea ice response significantly lags behind the CO2 concentration change. This lag, which is caused by the ocean's thermal inertia, implies that the sea ice equilibrium response to increasing CO2 concentration is substantially underestimated by transient simulations. The sea ice response to CO2 concentration change is not truly hysteretic and is in principle reversible.

The authors find no lag in the evolution of Arctic sea ice relative to changes in annual-mean Northern Hemisphere surface temperature. The summer sea ice cover changes linearly with respect to both CO2 concentration and temperature, while the Arctic winter sea ice cover shows a rapid transition to a very low sea ice coverage. This rapid transition of winter sea ice is associated with a sharply enhanced ice–albedo feedback and a sudden onset of convective-cloud feedback in the Arctic.

The Antarctic sea ice cover retreats continuously without any rapid transition during the warming. Compared to Arctic sea ice, Antarctic sea ice shows a much more strongly lagged response to changes in CO2 concentration. It even lags behind the surface temperature change, which is caused by a different response of ocean deep convection during the warming and the cooling periods.

Corresponding author address: Chao Li, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: chao.li@zmaw.de
Save