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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 3, issue 3 | Copyright

Special issue: Modelling late Quaternary climate

Clim. Past, 3, 423-438, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-3-423-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  19 Jul 2007

19 Jul 2007

Climatic Conditions for modelling the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets throughout the ice age cycle

A. Abe-Ouchi1,2, T. Segawa2, and F. Saito2 A. Abe-Ouchi et al.
  • 1Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, 277-8568, Japan
  • 2Frontier Research Center for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 3173-25 Showamachi, Kanazawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 236-0001, Japan

Abstract. The ice sheet-climate interaction as well as the climatic response to orbital parameters and atmospheric CO2 concentration are examined in order to drive an ice sheet model throughout an ice age cycle. Feedback processes between ice sheet and atmosphere are analyzed by numerical experiments using a high resolution General Circulation Model (GCM) under different conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum. Among the proposed processes, the ice albedo feedback, the elevation-mass balance feedback and the desertification effect over the ice sheet were found to be the dominant processes for the ice-sheet mass balance. For the elevation-mass balance feedback, the temperature lapse rate over the ice sheet is proposed to be weaker than assumed in previous studies. Within the plausible range of parameters related to these processes, the ice sheet response to the orbital parameters and atmospheric CO2 concentration for the last glacial/interglacial cycle was simulated in terms of both ice volume and geographical distribution, using a three-dimensional ice-sheet model. Careful treatment of climate-ice sheet feedback is essential for a reliable simulation of the ice sheet changes during ice age cycles.

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