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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 24 Jul 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 24 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Simulating interactive ice sheets in the multi-resolution AWI-ESM 1.2: A case study using SCOPE 1.0

Paul Gierz1, Lars Ackermann1, Christian B. Rodehacke1,2, Uta Krebs-Kanzow1, Christian Stepanek1, Dirk Barbi1, and Gerrit Lohmann1,3 Paul Gierz et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Abstract. Interactions between the climate and the cryosphere have the potential to induce strong non-linear transitions in the Earth's climate. These interactions influence both the atmospheric circulation, by changing the ice sheet's geometry, as well as the oceanic circulation, by modification of the water mass properties. Furthermore, the waxing and waning of large continental ice sheets influences the global albedo, altering the energy balance of the Earth System and inducing climate-ice sheet feedbacks on a global scale as evident in Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. To date, few fully comprehensive models exist, that do not only contain a coupled atmosphere/land/ocean component, but also consider interactive cryosphere physics. Yet, on glacial-interglacial and tectonic time scales, as well as in the Anthropocene, ice sheets are not in equilibrium with the climate, and prescribed fixed ice sheet representations in the model can principally be only an approximation to reality. Only climate models, that contain interactive ice sheets, can produce simulations of the Earth's climate which include all feedbacks and processes related to atmosphere-land-ocean-ice interactions. Previous fully coupled models were limited either by low spatial resolution or an incomplete representation of ice sheet processes, such as iceberg calving, surface ablation processes, and ocean/ice-shelf interactions. Here, we present the newly developed AWI-Earth System Model (AWI-ESM), which tackles some of these problems. Our modelling toolbox is based on the AWI-climate model, including atmosphere and vegetation components suitable for paleoclimate studies, a multi-resolution global ocean component which can be refined to simulate regions of interest at high resolution, and an ice sheet component suitable for simulating both ice sheet and ice shelf dynamics and thermodynamics. We describe the currently implemented coupling between these components, present first results for the Mid-Holocene and Last Interglacial, and introduce further ideas for scientific applications for both future and past climate states with a focus on the Northern Hemisphere. Finally, we provide an outlook on the potential of such fully coupled Earth System models in improving representation of climate-ice sheet feedbacks in future paleoclimate studies with this model.

Paul Gierz et al.

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Paul Gierz et al.

Paul Gierz et al.


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Latest update: 28 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In this study, we describe the SCOPE coupler, which is used connect the ECHAM6/JSBACH/FESOM1.4 climate model to the PISM 1.1.4 ice sheet model. This system is used to simulate IPCC scenarios projected for the future, and several warm periods in the past; the mid Holocene and the Last Interglacial. Our new model allows us to simulate the ice sheet’s response to changes in the climatic conditions, providing a new avenue of investigation over the previous models, which keep the cryosphere fixed.
In this study, we describe the SCOPE coupler, which is used connect the ECHAM6/JSBACH/FESOM1.4...