Arctic sea ice in warm climates

Research Area: Fluid mechanics
Project Members:
Berger, M.B.
Brandefelt, J.
Sponsor: VR 

Project Description

Within the next century, the Arctic is expected to reach temperatures at least as warm as those of the last interglacial Eemian (130,000 to 114,000 years ago) and the Holocene Thermal Maximum (11,000 to 5,000 years ago). The purpose of this project is to use knowledge of past warm climates to constrain predictions of future responses of the climate system using state-of-the-art climate models and proxy records. The main objective is to investigate how state-of-the-art climate models simulate the response of the Arctic sea ice to changes in the forcing (solar insolation, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, ice sheet topography and albedo and meltwater from the remnant ice sheets) during the Holocene (the period since the last de-glaciation; the last ~11,000 years) and to compare this to available proxy data. Similarities and differences with future warming will be studied by comparing to IPCC projections. The main aim is to answer the following questions:
• Is the response of Artic sea ice to changes in the forcing different for changes in solar forcing (which varies over the year) than for changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (which is independent of season)?
• Are state-of-the-art climate models capable of simulating the evolution of Arctic sea ice extent recorded in Holocene proxy records?
The simulated Holocene climate will also be compared to the observational record of the past decades. Here we will address the questions:
• How does the simulated Holocene variability in the Arctic sea ice compare to the observed variability and recent rapid decline in Arctic sea ice?
• Is the simulated Holocene sea ice variability coupled to atmospheric circulation patterns such as the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific-North-American pattern or the Arctic Dipole pattern?

Publications related to the project


Internal Reports related to the project

YearTitleDocument Type