Cryosphere Lecture 7

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Impact of climate on ice
Direct impacts - gain/loss of mass, Indirect impacts (surface meltwater)
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Ocean control on major ice sheet extent
Driven by changes in atmosphere / wind?
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Ice sheet change (climate driven) impact on ocean circulation
=> Impact of ice on climate through ocean circulation change
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Demonstrates sensitivity of one aspect of the climate system to the other
=> Dynamic system!
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RCP2.6
V.Low baseline And heavy mitigation, Medium (cropland and pasture), Medium-low
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RCP4.5
V.low baseline, Or heavy mitigation, V.Low (cropland and pasture), Medium
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RCP6
Med. Baseline, Or some mitigation, Medium cropland, very low pasture, Medium
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RCP8.5
High Baseline, Medium (cropland and pasture), Medium-high
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The future? – Greenland Ice Sheet
Increasingly negative surface mass balance (mass loss) Dynamic (marine driven) retreat ongoing Up to ~ 0.2 m sea level equivalent over the next decade
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The future? – Antarctic Ice Sheet
Increasingly positive surface mass balance Potential for large dynamically driven mass loss Up to ~ 0.2 m sea level equivalent over the next decade
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Uncertainty in climate forcing
RCPs are “scenarios” rather than “predictions”
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Natural variability / internal regulation
Marine driven thinning a function of NAO / SO? Zwally effect Lower winter velocity offsets summer increase? (Sole et al., 2013) Marine ice sheet instability Ice stream thermal feedback mechanism might lead to a velocity decrease? Changes in geotherma
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Uncertainty in models
Process representation Parameter uncertainty Input data uncertainty/ lack of data
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The cryosphere is complex & difficult to predict!
We don’t fully understand all the processes going on as yet Danger of extrapolating long term trends from short term data Important that we do understand the cryosphere more fully!
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Card 2

Front

Ocean control on major ice sheet extent

Back

Driven by changes in atmosphere / wind?

Card 3

Front

Ice sheet change (climate driven) impact on ocean circulation

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Demonstrates sensitivity of one aspect of the climate system to the other

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

RCP2.6

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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