Applying the Community Ice Sheet Model to evaluate PMIP3 LGM climatologies over the North American ice sheets

Climate Dynamics
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Abstract

We apply the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM2) to determine the extent to which the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) temperature and precipitation climatologies from the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project 3 (PMIP3) simulations support the large North American ice sheets that were prescribed as a boundary condition. We force CISM2 with eight PMIP3 general circulation models (GCMs), and an additional model, GENMOM. Seven GCMs simulate LGM climatologies that support positive surface mass balances of the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets (LIS, CIS) consistent with where ice was prescribed in the GCMs. Two GCMs simulate July temperatures that are too warm to support the ice sheets. Four of the nine CISM2 simulations support ice sheets in Beringia, in absence of prescribed ice in the driving GCMs and in disagreement with geologic evidence that indicates the area remained ice-free during the LGM. We test the sensitivity of our results to a range of snow and ice positive degree-day factors, daily, monthly, and climatological temperature and precipitation inputs, and we evaluate the role of albedo and snow in the simulations. Areas with perennial snow in the GCM simulations correspond well to the presence of ice in the CISM2 simulation. GCMs with unrealistically low surface albedos over the LIS yield simulations that fail to simulate realistic ice sheets.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Applying the Community Ice Sheet Model to evaluate PMIP3 LGM climatologies over the North American ice sheets
Series title Climate Dynamics
DOI 10.1007/s00382-019-04663-x
Edition Online First
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center