Hysteresis and feedback of ice sheet response
Friday, 19 December 2014: 2:55 PM
Investigating the response of ice sheets to climatic forcings in the past by climate-ice sheet modelling is important for understanding the ice sheets’ change. The 100-kyr cycle of the large Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and fast termination of the glacial cycle are the prominent pattern known from paleoclimate records. We simulate the past glacial cycles with an ice sheet model, IcIES in combination with a general circulation model, MIROC, using the time series of insolation and atmospheric CO2. Feedback processes between ice sheet and atmosphere such as the ice albedo feedback, the elevation-mass balance feedback, desertification effect and stationary wave feedback are analyzed. We show that the threshold of termination of the glacial cycles can be explained by the pattern of the hysteresis of ice sheet change, i.e. multiple steady states of the ice sheets under climatic forcings. We find that slope of the upper branch of the multiple equilibria curve for Laurentide ice volumes is fundamental for the observed glacial patterns. Finally, we discuss the similarity and difference between the hysteresis structure of ice sheets variation for Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland.