Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2661
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2661
06 Dec 2023
 | 06 Dec 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

AMOC Stability Amid Tipping Ice Sheets: The Crucial Role of Rate and Noise

Sacha Sinet, Peter Ashwin, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

Abstract. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has recently been categorised as core tipping element, for it is believed to be prone to critical transition under climate change, implying drastic consequences on a planetary scale. Moreover, the AMOC is strongly coupled to polar ice sheets via meltwater fluxes. On one hand, most studies agree on the fact that a collapse of the Greenland ice sheet would result in a weakening of AMOC. On the other hand, the consequences of a collapse of the West Antarctica ice sheet are less well understood. However, some studies suggest that meltwater originating from the Southern Hemisphere is able to stabilize the AMOC. Using a conceptual model of the AMOC and a minimal parameterization of ice sheet collapse, we investigate the origin and relevance of this stabilization effect in both the deterministic and stochastic cases. While a substantial stabilization is found in both cases, we find that important rate and noise-induced effects result in bifurcation-induced tipping approaches to be inaccurate for predicting the AMOC stability.

Sacha Sinet, Peter Ashwin, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

Status: open (until 15 Mar 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2661', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jan 2024 reply
Sacha Sinet, Peter Ashwin, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

Model code and software

AMOC Stability Amid Tipping Ice Sheets: The Crucial Role of Rate and Noise [Software] S. Sinet https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10090807

Sacha Sinet, Peter Ashwin, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra

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Short summary
Some components of the Earth system may irreversibly collapse under global warming. Among them, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), the Greenland ice sheet and West Antarctica ice sheet are of utmost importance for maintaining the present-day climate. In a simplified model, we show that both the rate of ice melting and the natural variability linked to freshwater fluxes over the Atlantic Ocean drastically affect how an ice sheet collapse impacts the AMOC stability.