Response of Antarctic Sea Ice to Uniform Atmospheric Temperature Increases

  1. James E. Hansen and
  2. Taro Takahashi
  1. Claire L. Parkinson and
  2. Robert A. Bindschadler

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM029p0254

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

How to Cite

Parkinson, C. L. and Bindschadler, R. A. (1984) Response of Antarctic Sea Ice to Uniform Atmospheric Temperature Increases, in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity (eds J. E. Hansen and T. Takahashi), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM029p0254

Author Information

  1. Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904047

Online ISBN: 9781118666036

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Keywords:

  • Climatology—Congresses;
  • Geophysics—Congresses;
  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction—Congresses

Summary

The effect on Antarctic sea ice of hypothetical atmospheric temperature increases is simulated using a thermodynamic/dynamic sea-ice model. The various responses of the modeled ice cover to temperature changes are calculated by running the model with mean-monthly climatological air temperatures as a standard case and then with all temperatures uniformly increased by −1 K, +1 K, +3 K, and +5 K in four subsequent model runs. The results show noticeable regional differences in the response of the ice cover, with a hemispherically-averaged winter ice-edge retreat rate of 1.4 degrees of latitude for each 1 K increase in atmospheric temperatures. These retreat rates are non-linear with respect to temperature change, the sensitivity of the position of the ice edge decreasing as temperatures are further increased. This non-linearity in the response of the ice edge occurs in the response of other ice variables as well, including the total ice area and total ice volume at maximum ice extent. These areas and volumes decrease by roughly half with a 5 K temperature increase. By comparison, for the peak summer period, a 3 K temperature increase suffices to eliminate all ice except in the Amundsen and western Weddell Seas. Another result of warming the atmosphere is an increase in the temporal asymmetry in the simulated annual cycle of the ice cover, showing longer periods of ice growth and shorter periods of ice decay.