Simulating the 128 ka Antarctic climate response to Northern Hemisphere ice sheet melting using the isotope-enabled HadCM3

Warmer than present Antarctic and Southern Ocean temperatures during the last interglacial, approximately 128,000 years ago, have been attributed to changes in north‐south ocean heat transport, causing opposing hemispheric temperature anomalies. We investigate the magnitude of Antarctic warming and Antarctic ice core isotopic enrichment in response to Northern Hemisphere meltwater input during the early last interglacial. A 1,600 year HadCM3 simulation driven by 0.25 Sv of meltwater input reproduces 50‐60 % of the peak Southern Ocean summer sea surface temperature anomaly, sea ice retreat and ice core isotope enrichment. We also find a robust increase in the proportion of cold season precipitation during the last interglacial, leading to lower isotopic values at the Antarctic ice core sites. These results suggest that a HadCM3 simulation including 0.25 Sv for 3,000‐4,000 years would reconcile the last interglacial observations, providing a potential solution for the last interglacial ‘missing heat’ problem.


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Authors: Holloway, Max D. ORCIDORCID record for Max D. Holloway, Sime, Louise C. ORCIDORCID record for Louise C. Sime, Singarayer, Joy S., Tindall, Julia C., Valdes, Paul J.

On this site: Louise Sime, Max Holloway
16 November, 2018
Geophysical Research Letters / 45
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