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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2022
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2022
  3. Abstract. Palaeoclimate simulations improve our understanding ofthe climate, inform us about the performance of climate models in adifferent climate scenario, and help to identify robust features of theclimate system. Here, we analyse Arctic warming in an ensemble of 16simulations of the mid-Pliocene Warm Period (mPWP), derived from thePliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 (PlioMIP2). The PlioMIP2 ensemble simulates Arctic (60–90∘ N) annual meansurface air temperature (SAT) increases of 3.7 to 11.6 ∘Ccompared to the pre-industrial period, with a multi-model mean (MMM) increase of7.2 ∘C. The Arctic warming amplification ratio relative to globalSAT anomalies in the ensemble ranges from 1.8 to 3.1 (MMM ismore »2.3). Sea iceextent anomalies range from −3.0 to -10.4×106 km2, with a MMManomaly of -5.6×106 km2, which constitutes a decrease of 53 %compared to the pre-industrial period. The majority (11 out of 16) of models simulatesummer sea-ice-free conditions (≤1×106 km2) in their mPWPsimulation. The ensemble tends to underestimate SAT in the Arctic whencompared to available reconstructions, although the degree of underestimationvaries strongly between the simulations. The simulations with the highestArctic SAT anomalies tend to match the proxy dataset in its current formbetter. The ensemble shows some agreement with reconstructions of sea ice,particularly with regard to seasonal sea ice. Large uncertainties limit theconfidence that can be placed in the findings and the compatibility of thedifferent proxy datasets. We show that while reducing uncertainties in thereconstructions could decrease the SAT data–model discord substantially,further improvements are likely to be found in enhanced boundary conditionsor model physics. Lastly, we compare the Arctic warming in the mPWP toprojections of future Arctic warming and find that the PlioMIP2 ensemblesimulates greater Arctic amplification than CMIP5 future climate simulationsand an increase instead of a decrease in Atlantic Meridional OverturningCirculation (AMOC) strength compared topre-industrial period. The results highlight the importance of slow feedbacks inequilibrium climate simulations, and that caution must be taken when usingsimulations of the mPWP as an analogue for future climate change.« less
  4. Abstract. Projection of the contribution of ice sheets to sea level change as part ofthe Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) takes the formof simulations from coupled ice sheet–climate models and stand-alone icesheet models, overseen by the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project forCMIP6 (ISMIP6). This paper describes the experimental setup forprocess-based sea level change projections to be performed with stand-aloneGreenland and Antarctic ice sheet models in the context of ISMIP6. TheISMIP6 protocol relies on a suite of polar atmospheric and oceanicCMIP-based forcing for ice sheet models, in order to explore the uncertaintyin projected sea level change due to futuremore »emissions scenarios, CMIPmodels, ice sheet models, and parameterizations for ice–ocean interactions.We describe here the approach taken for defining the suite of ISMIP6stand-alone ice sheet simulations, document the experimental framework andimplementation, and present an overview of the ISMIP6 forcing to beused by participating ice sheet modeling groups.« less
  5. Abstract. The Pliocene epoch has great potential to improve ourunderstanding of the long-term climatic and environmental consequences of an atmospheric CO2 concentration near ∼400 parts permillion by volume. Here we present the large-scale features of Plioceneclimate as simulated by a new ensemble of climate models of varyingcomplexity and spatial resolution based on new reconstructions ofboundary conditions (the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2;PlioMIP2). As a global annual average, modelled surface air temperaturesincrease by between 1.7 and 5.2 ∘C relative to the pre-industrial erawith a multi-model mean value of 3.2 ∘C. Annual mean totalprecipitation rates increase by 7 % (range: 2 %–13 %). On average, surface airmore »temperature (SAT) increases by 4.3 ∘C over land and 2.8 ∘C over the oceans. There is a clear pattern of polar amplification with warming polewards of 60∘ N and 60∘ S exceeding the global mean warming by a factor of 2.3. In the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, meridional temperature gradients are reduced, while tropical zonal gradients remain largely unchanged. There is a statistically significant relationship between a model's climate response associated with a doubling in CO2 (equilibrium climate sensitivity; ECS) and its simulated Pliocene surface temperature response. The mean ensemble Earth system response to a doubling of CO2 (including ice sheet feedbacks) is 67 % greater than ECS; this is larger than the increase of 47 % obtained from the PlioMIP1 ensemble. Proxy-derived estimates of Pliocene sea surface temperatures are used to assess model estimates of ECS and give an ECS range of 2.6–4.8 ∘C. This result is in general accord with the ECS range presented by previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports.« less
  6. Abstract. Ice flow models of the Antarctic ice sheet are commonly used to simulate its future evolution inresponse to different climate scenarios and assess the mass loss that would contribute tofuture sea level rise. However, there is currently no consensus on estimates of the future massbalance of the ice sheet, primarily because of differences in the representation of physicalprocesses, forcings employed and initial states of ice sheet models. This study presentsresults from ice flow model simulations from 13 international groups focusing on the evolutionof the Antarctic ice sheet during the period 2015–2100 as part of the Ice Sheet ModelIntercomparison formore »CMIP6 (ISMIP6). They are forced with outputs from a subset of models from theCoupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), representative of the spread in climatemodel results. Simulations of the Antarctic ice sheet contribution to sea level rise in responseto increased warming during this period varies between −7.8 and 30.0 cm of sea level equivalent(SLE) under Representative ConcentrationPathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario forcing. These numbers are relative to a control experiment withconstant climate conditions and should therefore be added to the mass loss contribution underclimate conditions similar to present-day conditions over the same period. The simulated evolution of theWest Antarctic ice sheet varies widely among models, with an overall mass loss, up to 18.0 cm SLE, in response to changes in oceanic conditions. East Antarctica mass change varies between −6.1 and8.3 cm SLE in the simulations, with a significant increase in surface mass balance outweighingthe increased ice discharge under most RCP 8.5 scenario forcings. The inclusion of ice shelfcollapse, here assumed to be caused by large amounts of liquid water ponding at the surface ofice shelves, yields an additional simulated mass loss of 28 mm compared to simulations without iceshelf collapse. The largest sources of uncertainty come from the climate forcing, the ocean-induced melt rates, thecalibration of these melt rates based on oceanic conditions taken outside of ice shelf cavitiesand the ice sheet dynamic response to these oceanic changes. Results under RCP 2.6 scenario basedon two CMIP5 climate models show an additional mass loss of 0 and 3 cm of SLE on average compared tosimulations done under present-day conditions for the two CMIP5 forcings used and displaylimited mass gain in East Antarctica.« less
  7. Water-stable isotopes in polar ice cores are a widely used temperature proxy in paleoclimate reconstruction, yet calibration remains challenging in East Antarctica. Here, we reconstruct the magnitude and spatial pattern of Last Glacial Maximum surface cooling in Antarctica using borehole thermometry and firn properties in seven ice cores. West Antarctic sites cooled ~10°C relative to the preindustrial period. East Antarctic sites show a range from ~4° to ~7°C cooling, which is consistent with the results of global climate models when the effects of topographic changes indicated with ice core air-content data are included, but less than those indicated with themore »use of water-stable isotopes calibrated against modern spatial gradients. An altered Antarctic temperature inversion during the glacial reconciles our estimates with water-isotope observations.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 4, 2022