Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1469
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1469
 
22 Dec 2022
22 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

An approach for projecting the timing of abrupt winter Arctic sea ice loss

Camille Hankel1 and Eli Tziperman1,2 Camille Hankel and Eli Tziperman
  • 1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138
  • 2School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Abstract. Abrupt and irreversible winter Arctic sea-ice loss may occur under anthropogenic warming due to the collapse of a sea-ice equilibrium at a threshold value of CO2, commonly referred to as a tipping point. Previous work has been unable to conclusively identify whether a tipping point in Arctic sea ice exists because fully-coupled climate models are too computationally expensive to run to equilibrium for many CO2 values. Here, we explore the deviation of sea ice from its equilibrium state under realistic rates of CO2 increase to demonstrate how a few time-dependent CO2 experiments can be used to predict the existence and timing of sea-ice tipping points without running the model to steady-state. This study highlights the inefficacy of using a single experiment with slow-changing CO2 to discover changes in the sea-ice steady-state, and provides an alternate method that can be developed for the identification of tipping points in realistic climate models.

Camille Hankel and Eli Tziperman

Status: open (until 21 Feb 2023)

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Camille Hankel and Eli Tziperman

Camille Hankel and Eli Tziperman

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Short summary
In this study, we propose a new, computationally feasible approach for identifying the existence and CO2 value of a possible "tipping point" in winter Arctic sea ice area – the point after which sea ice could undergo abrupt and irreversible loss. Our results will help us better predict and understand abrupt elements of climate change, which threaten the ability of human and ecological systems to adapt to a warming world.