89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 5:15 PM
Can melting Greenland Ice Sheet cool global climate
Room 129A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Aixue Hu, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and G. Meehl and W. Han
Here we assess the potential effect of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and global climate in the 21st century using National Center for Atmospheric Research's Community Climate System Model version 3 with prescribed rate of ice sheet melting. Our study show that a melting of the ice sheet with a rate up to 0.02 Sv (2 mm/yr sea level equivalent) would not alter AMOC much in comparison to the simulation without the effect of the Greenland Ice Sheet melting. When the melting rate exceeds 0.05 Sv, the AMOC is altered significantly. Although this change in AMOC would not make the global cooler by the end of the 21st century than the late 20th century, it does make the climate a few degrees less warm in the northern high latitudes, especially in the Barents Sea region.

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