Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Future climate response to Antarctic Ice Sheet melt caused by anthropogenic warming

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Science Advances  23 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 39, eaaz1169
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1169
  • Fig. 1 Freshwater forcing quantities and salinity response.

    (A) Spatially distributed, time-varying freshwater forcing from AIS discharge, which includes both the liquid meltwater and solid ice components, was input at the surface level around the continental margin. Forcing in September 2121 CE is shown here. (B) Combined liquid and solid forcing components are shown in relation to the global mean surface temperature in RCP8.5. Solid components are the dominant portion of the forcing, as seen in fig. S1. (C) Decadal (2121–2130) sea surface salinity anomaly based on the difference between RCP8.5FW and RCP8.5CTRL, reflecting the freshwater input during peak ice sheet retreat. (D) Same as in (B) except for RCP4.5.

  • Fig. 2 Sea ice response to freshwater forcing.

    (A) Time series of Southern Ocean sea ice area in February showing the extent of perennial sea ice in austral summer. Lower anthropogenic radiative forcing allows for a much greater sea ice area in the 22nd century in RCP4.5FW, despite a similar magnitude of freshwater forcing to that of RCP8.5FW. (B to E) February sea ice thickness decadally averaged for 2121–2130 for (B) RCP8.5FW, (C) RCP4.5FW, (D) RCP8.5CTRL, and (E) RCP4.5CTRL. Note the difference in scale for (D) and (E).

  • Fig. 3 Air and ocean temperatures.

    (A) SAT difference (RCP8.5FW minus RCP8.5CTRL), decadally averaged for 2121–2130, shows strong cooling throughout the Southern Ocean. (B) Same as in (A), but for RCP4.5FW minus RCP4.5CTRL. Note that the cooling is limited to the Southern Hemisphere. (C) Decadally averaged sea surface temperature (SST) difference (RCP8.5FW minus RCP8.5CTRL) for 2121–2130 showing Southern Ocean cooling spreading to the equator and parts of the Northern Hemisphere. (D) Same as in (C), except for RCP4.5FW minus RCP4.5CTRL. (E) Subsurface ocean temperature difference (RCP8.5FW minus RCP8.5CTRL) at 400-m water depth, representative of continental shelf depths at the mouth of ice shelf cavities. Warming is concentrated in the Ross Sea. (F) Same as in (E), but for RCP4.5FW minus RCP4.5CTRL, showing warming concentrated in the Weddell Sea.

  • Fig. 4 North Atlantic Ocean heat transport, AMOC, and global precipitation.

    (A) Time series of the AMOC strength in sverdrup (Sv). (B) Decadally averaged precipitation difference for 2121–2130 (RCP8.5FW minus RCP8.5CTRL). (C) Northward heat transport difference for 2121–2130 (RCP8.5FW minus RCP8.5CTRL). (D) Same as in (B), except for RCP4.5FW minus RCP4.5CTRL.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Future climate response to Antarctic Ice Sheet melt caused by anthropogenic warming

    Shaina Sadai, Alan Condron, Robert DeConto, David Pollard

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    This PDF file includes:

    • Figs. S1 to S9
    • Table S1

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