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Brian E. J. Rose and John Marshall


Several extensions of energy balance models (EBMs) are explored in which (i) sea ice acts to insulate the atmosphere from the ocean and (ii) ocean heat transport is allowed to have some meridional structure controlled by the wind, with minima at which the ice edge can rest. These new models support multiple stable ice edges not found in the classical EBM and a hysteresis loop capable of generating abrupt warming as the ice edge “jumps” from mid- to high latitudes. The new equilibria are demonstrated in two classes of model, in which the wind stress is either specified externally or generated interactively. Wind stress is computed by introducing a dynamical constraint into the EBM to represent the simultaneous meridional transport of energy and angular momentum in the atmosphere. This wind stress is used to drive ocean gyres, with associated structure in their meridional heat transport, so that the atmosphere and ocean are coupled together both thermally and mechanically.

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