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Global warming due to loss of large ice masses and Arctic summer sea ice

Authors
/persons/resource/Nico.Wunderling

Wunderling,  Nico
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/willeit

Willeit,  Matteo
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Donges

Donges,  Jonathan Friedemann
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Ricarda.Winkelmann

Winkelmann,  Ricarda
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Citation

Wunderling, N., Willeit, M., Donges, J. F., Winkelmann, R. (in press): Global warming due to loss of large ice masses and Arctic summer sea ice. - Nature Communications.


Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_24581
Abstract
Several large-scale cryosphere elements such as the Arctic summer sea ice, the mountain glaciers, the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet have changed substantially during the last century due to anthropogenic global warming. However, the impacts of their possible future disintegration on global mean temperature (GMT) and climate feedbacks have not yet been comprehensively evaluated. Here, we quantify this response using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. Overall, we find a median additional global warm-ing of 0.43 ˝C (interquartile range: 0.39´0.46 ˝C) at a CO2 concentration of 400 ppm. Most of this response (55%) is caused by albedo changes, but lapse rate together with water vapour (30%) and cloud feedbacks (15%) also con-tribute significantly. While a decay of the ice sheets would occur on centen-nial to millennial time scales, the Arctic might become ice-free during summer within the 21st century. Our findings imply an additional increase of the GMT on intermediate to long time scales.