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Title: Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

Here, we present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean–atmosphere–land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of ~1° in the past, present and future (1850–2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131Gtyear –1, which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 Gtyear –1 per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet’s edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Utrecht Univ., Utrecht (The Netherlands)
  2. Delft Univ. of Technology, Delft (The Netherlands)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-21974
Journal ID: ISSN 0930-7575
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Climate Dynamics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 47; Journal Issue: 5-6; Journal ID: ISSN 0930-7575
Publisher:
Springer-Verlag
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; computer science; planetary sciences; Antarctic; ice sheets; surface mass balance; climate modelling; sea level; climate change
OSTI Identifier:
1352361