Delayed Antarctic sea-ice decline in high-resolution climate change simulations


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Thomas.Rackow [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Despite global warming and Arctic sea-ice loss, on average the Antarctic sea-ice extent has not declined since 1979 when satellite data became available. In contrast, climate model simulations tend to exhibit strong negative sea-ice trends for the same period. This Antarctic sea-ice paradox leads to low confidence in 21st-century sea-ice projections. Here we present multi-resolution climate change projections that account for Southern Ocean mesoscale eddies. The high-resolution configuration simulates stable September Antarctic sea-ice extent that is not projected to decline until the mid-21st century. We argue that one reason for this finding is a more realistic ocean circulation that increases the equatorward heat transport response to global warming. As a result, the ocean becomes more efficient at moderating the anthropogenic warming around Antarctica and hence at delaying sea-ice decline. Our study suggests that explicitly simulating Southern Ocean eddies is necessary for providing Antarctic sea-ice projections with higher confidence.



Item Type
Article
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Primary Division
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Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Peer revision
Peer-reviewed, Web of Science / Scopus
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
55749
DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-28259-y

Cite as
Rackow, T. , Danilov, S. , Goessling, H. , Hellmer, H. , Sein, D. , Semmler, T. , Sidorenko, D. and Jung, T. (2022): Delayed Antarctic sea-ice decline in high-resolution climate change simulations , Nature Communications, 13 (637) . doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28259-y


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Funded by
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/641727


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