Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2024-19
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2024-19
15 Mar 2024
 | 15 Mar 2024
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Antarctic climate response in Last-Interglacial simulations using the Community Earth System Model (CESM2)

Mira Berdahl, Gunter R. Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Esther C. Brady, Robert A. Tomas, Nathan M. Urban, Ian Miller, Harriet Morgan, and Eric J. Steig

Abstract. We examine results from two transient modelling experiments that simulate the Last Interglacial period (LIG) using the state-of-the-art Community Earth System Model (CESM2), with a focus on climate and ocean changes relevant to the possible collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet. The experiments simulate the early millennia of the LIG warm period using orbital forcing, greenhouse gas concentrations and vegetation appropriate for 127 ka; in the first case (127 ka) no other changes are made; in the second case (127 kaFW), we include a 0.2 Sv freshwater forcing in the North Atlantic. Both are compared with a pre-industrial control simulation (piControl). In the 127 ka simulation, the global average temperature is only marginally warmer (0.004 °C) than in the piControl. When freshwater forcing is added (127 kaFW), there is surface cooling in the NH and warming in the SH, consistent with the bipolar seesaw effect. Near the Antarctic ice sheet, the 127 ka simulation generates notable ocean warming (up to 0.4 °C) at depths below 200 m compared to the piControl. In contrast, the addition of freshwater in the North Atlantic in the 127 kaFW run results in a multi-millennial sustained cooling in the subsurface ocean near the Antarctic ice sheet. We explore the physical processes that lead to this new result and discuss implications for climate forcing of Antarctic ice sheet mass loss during the LIG.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Mira Berdahl, Gunter R. Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Esther C. Brady, Robert A. Tomas, Nathan M. Urban, Ian Miller, Harriet Morgan, and Eric J. Steig

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2024-19', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 May 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Mira Berdahl, 10 Jul 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2024-19', Anonymous Referee #2, 13 May 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Mira Berdahl, 10 Jul 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on cp-2024-19', Joel B. Pedro, 24 May 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Mira Berdahl, 10 Jul 2024
Mira Berdahl, Gunter R. Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Esther C. Brady, Robert A. Tomas, Nathan M. Urban, Ian Miller, Harriet Morgan, and Eric J. Steig
Mira Berdahl, Gunter R. Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Esther C. Brady, Robert A. Tomas, Nathan M. Urban, Ian Miller, Harriet Morgan, and Eric J. Steig

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Short summary
Studying climate conditions near the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) during Earth’s past warm periods informs us about how global warming may influence AIS ice loss. Using a global climate model, we investigate climate conditions near the AIS during the Last Interglacial (129 to 116 kyr ago), a period with warmer global temperatures and higher sea level than today. We identify the orbital and freshwater forcings that could cause ice loss and probe the mechanisms that lead to warmer climate conditions.