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Sea ice evolution over the 20th and 21st centuries as simulated by current AOGCMs
Arzel, O.; Fichefet, T.; Goosse, H. (2006). Sea ice evolution over the 20th and 21st centuries as simulated by current AOGCMs. Ocean Modelling 12(3-4): 401-415.
In: Ocean Modelling. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 1463-5003; e-ISSN 1463-5011, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 231408 [ OMA ]


Authors  Top 
  • Arzel, O.
  • Fichefet, T., more
  • Goosse, H., more

    Outputs from simulations performed with current atmosphere-ocean general circulation models for the Fourth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4) are used to investigate the evolution of sea ice over the 20th and 21st centuries. We first use the results from the "Climate of the 20th Century Experiment" to assess the ability of these models to reproduce the observed sea ice cover changes over the periods 1981-2000 and 1951-2000. The projected sea ice changes over the 21st century in response to the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios A I B are then examined. Overall, there is a large uncertainty in simulating the present-day sea ice coverage and thickness and in predicting sea ice changes in both hemispheres. Over the period 1981-2000, we find that the multimodel average sea ice extent agrees reasonably well with observations in both hemipsheres despite the wide differences between the models. The largest uncertainties appear in the Southern Hemisphere. The climate change projections over the 21st century reveal that the annual mean sea ice extent decreases at similar rates in both hemispheres, and that the reduction in annual mean sea ice volume is about twice that of sea ice extent reduction in the Northern Hemisphere, in agreement with earlier studies. We show that the amplitude of the seasonal cycle of sea ice extent increases in both hemispheres in a warming climate, with a larger magnitude in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, it appears that the seasonal cycle of ice extent is more affected than the one of ice volume. By the end of the 21st century, half of the model population displays an ice-free Arctic Ocean in late summer.

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