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Title: Antarctic Ice‐Sheet Meltwater Reduces Transient Warming and Climate Sensitivity Through the Sea‐Surface Temperature Pattern Effect

Coupled global climate models (GCMs) generally fail to reproduce the observed sea‐surface temperature (SST) trend pattern since the 1980s. The model‐observation discrepancies may arise in part from the lack of realistic Antarctic ice‐sheet meltwater input in GCMs. Here we employ two sets of CESM1‐CAM5 simulations forced by anomalous Antarctic meltwater fluxes over 1980–2013 and through the 21st century. Both show a reduced global warming rate and an SST trend pattern that better resembles observations. The meltwater drives surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and the tropical southeast Pacific, in turn increasing low‐cloud cover and driving radiative feedbacks to become more stabilizing (corresponding to a lower effective climate sensitivity). These feedback changes can contribute as substantially as ocean heat uptake efficiency changes in reducing the global warming rate. Accurately projecting historical and future warming thus requires improved representation of Antarctic meltwater and its impacts.

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Award ID(s):
1752796 2203543
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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