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Impacts of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheet melt on future Köppen climate zone changes simulated by an atmospheric and oceanic general circulation model

Abstract : Climate change studies in recent decades have been based on Global Climate Models (GCMs), and the changes in the distribution of climatic regions over time extracted from these models can be represented using the Köppen climatic classification system, which predicts the global distribution of biomes based on monthly precipitation and average temperatures. In this study, the Köppen classification is used to evaluate the impacts of the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets on GCM simulation results, on regional and global scales. To assess the impacts of accelerated ice sheet melting, an approach is utilized which is based on numerical simulations from the IPSL-CM5A-LR GCM; here, freshwater is introduced near the ice sheets and is superimposed on the RCP8.5 scenario. The changes in the distribution of the Köppen climatic regions under various scenarios (a historical run from observations, RCP8.5, and various examples of polar ice sheet melting) and comparisons between them reveal that major changes will occur on the global scale during the period 2041–2060. The analysis of group shifts within the Köppen classification system reveals that when freshwater from Greenland or Antarctica is introduced into the ocean, the inter-tropical belt undergoes greater change than it does under the RCP8.5 scenario. A focus on sub-group shifts within the Koppen classification system shows that changes in precipitation have major impacts on the climate in the Southern Hemisphere. Further, the changes are more drastic if the freshwater originates from Greenland than from Antarctica or from both locations. However, changes in temperature strongly impact the climate in the Northern Hemisphere and are significantly affected by the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. This study highlights the importance of considering ice sheet melting in the modeling of future global climate.
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Contributor : Dimitri Defrance <>
Submitted on : Sunday, May 10, 2020 - 12:19:29 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 3:49:07 AM

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Dimitri Defrance, Thibault Catry, Amélie Rajaud, Nadine Dessay, Benjamin Sultan. Impacts of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheet melt on future Köppen climate zone changes simulated by an atmospheric and oceanic general circulation model. Applied Geography, Elsevier, 2020, 119, pp.102216. ⟨10.1016/j.apgeog.2020.102216⟩. ⟨ird-02568787⟩

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