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Antarctic ice volume and deep-sea temperature during the last 50 Myr: a model study

By J. Oerlemans


A simple quasi-analytical model is used to study the sensitivity of the Antarctic ice sheet to\ud climate change. The model is axisymmetrical and has a profile that only depends on the ice-sheet radius.\ud The climatic conditions are represented by three parameters: the altitude of the runoff line, the\ud accumulation rate above the runoff line, and the balance gradient below the runoff line. The ice sheet\ud may extend into the sea. At the grounding line the ice velocity is assumed to be proportional to the\ud water depth. For this set-up, an explicit algebraic expression for the total mass budget of the ice sheet\ud can be derived. After calibration of the model with respect to the present-day ice sheet, equilibrium\ud states are studied for a wide range of temperatures. The model predicts a maximum ice volume (+3.4%)\ud for a temperature that is 2.5 K above the present value. For a temperature increase of 7 K, mass loss by\ud runoff and calving are about the same. In this case the ice volume is about 82% of the current value. The\ud ice-sheet model is used to correct the Cenozoic deep-sea temperature record (δ\ud 18O record from benthic\ud foraminifera in ocean sediments) for Antarctic ice volume. The model is forced with the oxygen isotope\ud record, which is then corrected for the calculated ice volume. Therefore, the resulting deep-sea\ud temperature and Antarctic ice-volume curves are mutually consistent. It is concluded that for the last\ud 35_106 years the δ\ud 18O record truly is a mixed temperature/ice-volume record, in which the\ud contributions from these parameters have the same order of magnitude

Topics: Natuur- en Sterrenkunde
Year: 2004
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