Ice sheet collapse affects ocean circulation

Authors


Abstract

[1] As Earth's climate warms and ice melts, freshwater input to oceans could weaken the large-scale Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which acts as an important conveyor of heat and has significant effects on climate. Green et al. used an intermediate complexity climate model to study how freshwater input to oceans can affect the meridional overturning circulation. They applied their model to the collapse of the Barents ice sheet about 140,000 years ago—the first study of this kind for the time period—which resulted in a huge influx of freshwater to the North Atlantic Ocean as large icebergs calved off of the ice sheet. (Paleoceanography, doi:10.1029/2010PA002088, 2011)

Ancillary