Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Ice-sheet mass balance at the Last Glacial Maximum from the GENESIS version 2 global climate model

  • Starley L. Thompson (a1) and David Pollard (a1)

Abstract

At the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 21000 years ago (21 ka BP), the overall mass balance of the Laurentide and Eurasian ice sheets should have been close to zero, since their rate of change of total ice volume was approximately zero at that time. The surface mass balance should have been zero or positive to balance any iceberg/iceshelf discharge and basal melting, but could not have been strongly negative. In principle this can be tested by global climate model (GCM) simulations with prescribed ice-sheet extents and topography.

We describe results from a suite of 21 ka BP simulations using a new GCM (GENESIS version 2.0.a), with sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) prescribed from GLIMAP (1981) and predicted by a mixed-layer ocean model, and with ice sheets prescribed from both the ICE-4G (Peltier, 1994) and CLIMAP (1981) reconstructions. This GCM is well suited for ice-sheet mass-balance studies because (i) the surface can be represented at a finer resolution than the atmospheric GCM, (ii) an elevation correction accounts for spectral distortions of the atmospheric GCM topography, (iii) a simple post-processing correction for the refreezing of meltwater is applied, and (iv) the model's precipitation and mass balances for present-day Greenland and Antarctica are realistic. However, for all reasonable combinations of SSTs and ice-sheet configurations, the predicted annual surface mass balances of the LGM Laurentide and Eurasian ice sheets are implausibly negative. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed, including increased ice-age aerosols, higher CLIMAP-like ice-sheet profiles in the few thousand years preceding the LGM, and a surface of the southern Laurentide just before the LGM to produce fleetingly the ICE-4G profile at 21 ka BP.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Ice-sheet mass balance at the Last Glacial Maximum from the GENESIS version 2 global climate model
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Ice-sheet mass balance at the Last Glacial Maximum from the GENESIS version 2 global climate model
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Ice-sheet mass balance at the Last Glacial Maximum from the GENESIS version 2 global climate model
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Anderson, T. L. and Charlson, R. J.. 1990. Ice-age dust and sea salt. Nature, 345(6274), 393.
Bard, E., Hamelin, B.. Fairbanks, R.G. and Zindler, A.. 1990. Calibration of the 14C time-scale over the past 30,000 years using mass spectrometric U-Th ages from Barbados corals. Nature, 345 (6274), 405410.
Berger, A. 1978. Long-term variations of daily insolation and Quaternary climatic changes. J. Atmos. Sci., 35(12), 23622367.
Bond, G. and 6 others. 1993. Correlations between climate records from North Atlantic sediments and Greenland ice. Nature, 365(6442), 143147.
Broccoli, A. J. and Manabe, S.. 1993. Climate model studies of interactions between ice sheets and the atmosphere–ocean system. In Peltier, W. R., ed. Ice in the climate system. Berlin, etc., Springer-Verlag, 271290. (NATO ASI Series 1: Global Environmental Change 12.)
Broccoli, A. J. and Marciniak, E. P.. 1996. Comparing simulated glacial climate and paleodala: a re-examination. Paleoeeanography, 11(1), 314.
Broecker, W. S. 1994. Massive iceberg discharges as triggers for global climate change. Nature, 372(6505), 421424.
Clark, P. U. 1994. Unstable behavior of the Laurentide ice sheet over deforming sediment and its implications for climate change. Quut Res., 41(1), 1925.
Clark, P. U. 1995. Fast glacier flow oxer soft beds. Science, 267(5194), 4344.
Clark, P. U. and 15 others. 1993. Initiation and development of the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets following the last interglaciation. Quat. Sci. Rev., 12 (2), 79114.
CLIMAP Project Members. 1981. Seasonal reconstructions of the Earth's surface at the last glacial maximum. Boulder, CO, Geological Society of America. (Map Chart MC-36.)
Demon, G. H. and Hughes, T.J., eds. 1981. The last great ice sheets. New York. etc., JohnWiley and Sons.
Dyke, A. S. and Prest, V. K.. 1987. Late Wisconsinan and Holoccnc history of the Laurentide ice sheet. Géogr. Phys. Quat., 41 (2), 237263.
Fairbanks, R. G. 1989. A 17,000-year glacio-eustatic sea level record: influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep-ocean circulation. Nature, 342(6250), 637642.
Flato, G. M. and Hibler, W. D. III. 1992. Modeling pack ice as a cavitating fluid. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 22(6), 626651.
Guilderson, T. P., Fairbanks, R. G. and Rubenstone, J. L.. 1994. Tropical temperature variations since 20,000 years ago: modulating interhemispheric climate change. Science, 263, 663665.
Harvey, L. D. D. 1988. Climatic impact of ice-age aerosols. Nature, 334(6180), 333335.
Hyde, W. T. and Peltier, W. R.. 1993. Effect of altered boundary conditions on GCM studies of the climate of the last glacial maximum. Geophys. Res. Lett., 20(10), 939942.
Imbrie, J. and 8 others. 1984. The orbital theory of Pleistocene climate: support from a revised chronology of the marine δ18O record. In Berger, A., Imbrie, J., Hays, J., Kukla, G. and Saltzman, B., eds. Milankovitch and climate: understanding the response to astronomical forcing. Part 1. Dordrecht etc., D. Reidel Publishing Co., 269305. (NATO ASI Series C: Mathematical and Physical Sciences 126.)
Joussaume, S., Webb, R. S. and Taylor, K.. 1993. The Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP). In Anderson, D.M., ed. Global paleoenviromnental data: a report from the workshop sponsored by Past Global Changes (PAGES), August 1993. Bern, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, 97100.
Kennett, J. P. and Shackleton, N. J.. 1975. Laurentide ice sheet meltwater recorded in Gulf of Mexico deep-sea cores. Science, 188(4184), 147150.
MacAyeal, D. R. 1993. Binge/purge oscillations of the Laurentide ice sheet as a cause of the North Atlantic's Heinrich events. Paleoeeanography, 8(6), 775784.
Manabe, S. and Broccoli, A. J.. 1985. The influence of continental ice sheets on the climate of an ice age. J. Geophys. Res., 90(D1), 21672190.
Meier, M. F. 1993. Ice, climate, and sea level: do we know what is happening? In Peltier, W. R., ed. lee in the climate system. Berlin, etc.. Springer-Verlag. 141160. (NATO ASI Scries I: Global Environmental Change 12.)
Mitrovica, J. X. and Davis, J. L.. 1995. The influence of a finite glacial phase on predictions of post-glacial isostatic adjustment. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 136, 343361.
Peltier, W. R. 1994. Ice age paleotopography. Science, 265(5169), 195201.
Peltier, W. R. and Marshall, S.. 1995. Coupled energy-balance/ice-sheet model simulations of the glacial cycle: a possible connection between terminations and terrigenous dust. J. Geophys. Res., 100(D7), 14,26914,289.
Pfeffer, W.T., Meier, M. F. and Illangasekare, T. H.. 1991. Retention of Greenland runoff by refreezing: implications for projected future sea level change. J. Geophys. Res., 96(C12), 22,11722,124.
Pollard, D. and Thompson, S. L.. 1994. Sea-ice dynamics and CO2 sensitivity in a global climate model. Atmosphere-Ocean, 32(2), 449467.
Pollard, D. and Thompson, S. L.. 1995. Use of a land-surface-transfer scheme (LSX) in a global climate model: the response to doubling stomatal resistance. Global and Planetary Change, 10, 129161.
Pollard, D. and Thompson, S. L.. 1997. Driving a high-resolution dynamic ice-sheet model with GCM climate: ice-sheet initiation at 116 000 BP. Ann. Glaciol., 25 (see paper in this volume).
Pollard, D. and Thompson, S.L.. In press. Climate and ice-sheet mass balance at the last glacial maximum from the GENESIS version 2 global climate model. Quat. Sci. Rev.
Rind, D. 1987. Components of the ice age circulation. J. Geophys. Res., 92 (D4). 42414281.
Rind, D. and Peteet, D. M.. 1985. Terrestrial conditions at the last glacial maximum and CLIMAP sea-surface temperature estimates: are they consistent? Quat. Res., 242(1), 122.
Ruddiman, W. F. and , Jr, eds. 1987. North America and adjacent oceans during the last deglanation. Boulder, CO, Geological Society of America. (The Geology of North America Vol. K-3.)
Schlesinger, M. E. and Verbitsky, M.. 1996. Simulation of glacial onset with a coupled atmosphere general circulation/mixed-layer ocean ice-sheet/asthenosphere model. Paleoclimates, 2, 179201.
Shackleton, N. J. 1987. Oxygen isotopes, ice volume and sea level. Quat. Sei. Rev., 6(3-4), 183190.
Shea, D.J., Trenberth, K. E. and Reynolds, R.W.. 1992. A global monthly sea surface temperature climatology. J. Climate, 5(9), 9871001.
Thompson, S.L. and Pollard, D.. 1995a. A global climate model (GENESIS) with a land-surface-transfer scheme (LSX). Part 1. Present-day climate. J. Climate. 8, 732761.
Thompson, S. L. and Pollard, D.. 1995b. A global climate model (GENESIS) with a land-surface-transfer scheme (LSX). Part 2. CO2 sensitivity. J. Climate, 8, 11041121.
Thompson, S. L. and Pollard, D.. 1997. Greenland and Antarctic mass balances for present and doubled atmospheric CO2 from the GENESIS version 2 global climate model. J Climate, 10, 871900.
Van der Veen, C.J. 1991. State of balance of the cryosphere. Rev. Geophys., 29(3), 433455.
Warrick, R. A. and Oerlemans, J.. 1990. Sea level rise. In Houghton, J.T., Jenkins, G.J. and Ephraums, J. J., eds. Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 257281.
Warrick, R. A., Le Provost, C., Meier, M. F., Oerlemans, J. and Woodworth, P. L.. 1996. Change in sea level. In Houghton, J.T., Meira Filho, L. G., Callander, B. A., Harris, N., Kattenberg, A. and Maskell, K.. eds. Climate change 1995: the science of climate change. Cambridge, etc., Cambridge University Press, 359406.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed