Analytical estimate of the critical global-warming level for the Antarctic ice sheet mass gain-to-loss transition

Mokhov, I.; Malyshkin, A.
January 2011
Doklady Earth Sciences;Jan2011, Vol. 436 Issue 1, p155
Academic Journal
We suggested a relatively simple model describing changes in the total balance of the ice sheet mass due to global climate change. Taking into account the basic mechanisms behind change in the ice sheet mass and their relations with temperature, we obtained a nonlinear analytical dependence of the ice sheet thickness on the global near-surface temperature. The behavior of the ice sheet can be split into six regimes. Implementation of some regime or another depends essentially on the initial (present-day) value of the mass balance and the sensitivity parameters of precipitation and ice melt to the temperature. Based on this model, we obtained an analytical estimate of the critical level in global warming, in excess of which the regime of the Antarctic ice sheet gain due to snow accumulation changes to sheet degradation due to more intense growth in ice melting.


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