18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change


A Model Ensemble Assessment of the Enhancement of Arctic Warming by Sea Ice Retreat

Colin P. Murray, IARC, Fairbanks, AK; and J. E. Walsh

Five global climate models are used to estimate the local enhancement of Arctic warming attributable to sea ice retreat in B2-scenario greenhouse simulations. The models show a wide range of ice retreat, resulting in a corresponding range in the enhancement of warming. The enhancement is highly seasonal, varying locally from essentially zero in the summer to several degrees Celsius in the late autumn and early winter. Its magnitude increases with the threshold decline in ice concentration used to define retreat because higher thresholds better isolate the warming enhancement signal over ice retreat areas. A threshold of 20% ensures that all models in this study have enough ice retreat area to sample the enhancement because all start with ice concentrations at least that high over substantial northern hemisphere areas. All estimates are lower bounds because they do not account for advective effects.

Poster Session 3, Climate Modeling and Diagnostic Studies
Thursday, 2 February 2006, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM, Exhibit Hall A2

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