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Sensitivity of the North Atlantic Climate to Greenland Ice Sheet Melting During the Last Interglacial : Volume 7, Issue 4 (31/08/2011)

By Bakker, P.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003985630
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 39
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Sensitivity of the North Atlantic Climate to Greenland Ice Sheet Melting During the Last Interglacial : Volume 7, Issue 4 (31/08/2011)  
Author: Bakker, P.
Volume: Vol. 7, Issue 4
Language: English
Subject: Science, Climate, Past
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Renssen, H., Van Meerbeeck, C. J., & Bakker, P. (2011). Sensitivity of the North Atlantic Climate to Greenland Ice Sheet Melting During the Last Interglacial : Volume 7, Issue 4 (31/08/2011). Retrieved from

Description: Section Climate Change and Landscape Dynamics, Department of Earth Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During the Last Interglacial (LIG; ~130 thousand years BP), part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) melted under the influence of a warmer than present-day climate. However, the impact of this melting on the LIG climate in the North Atlantic region is unknown. Using the LOVECLIM earth system model of intermediate complexity we have systematically tested the sensitivity of the LIG climate to increased freshwater runoff from the GIS. Moreover, additional experiments have been performed to investigate the impact of an idealized reduction of both altitude and extent of the GIS on the LIG climate. By comparing the simulated deep ocean circulation with proxy-based reconstructions, the most realistic simulated climate could be discerned. The resulting climate is characterized by a shutdown of deep convection in the Labrador Sea and a subsequent cooling here by ~6 °C and ~2 °C over the southern part of Baffin Island and the North Atlantic Ocean between 40° N and 60° N. The reduction of altitude and extent of the GIS results in a local warming of up to 6 °C and a reduction in deep convection and accompanying cooling in the Nordic Seas. Combining model results and proxy-based reconstructions enabled us to constrain the possible melt rate of the GIS to a flux between 0.052 Sv and 0.13 Sv. A further comparison of simulated summer temperatures with both continental and oceanic proxy-records reveals that the partial melting of the GIS during the LIG could have delayed maximum summer temperatures in the western part of the North Atlantic region relative to the insolation maximum.

Sensitivity of the North Atlantic climate to Greenland Ice Sheet melting during the Last Interglacial

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