Future response of Antarctic Continental Shelf temperatures to ice shelf basal melting and calving

Thomas, Max, Ridley, Jeff K., Smith, Inga J., Stevens, David P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7283-4405, Holland, Paul R. and Mackie, Shona (2023) Future response of Antarctic Continental Shelf temperatures to ice shelf basal melting and calving. Geophysical Research Letters, 50 (18). ISSN 0094-8276

[thumbnail of Thomas_2023_GeophysicalResearchLetters]
PDF (Thomas_2023_GeophysicalResearchLetters) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1MB) | Preview


We investigate feedbacks between subsurface continental shelf ocean temperatures and Antarctic glacial melt using a coupled climate model. The model was forced with SSP5-8.5 and an uncoupled projection of basal melt and calving fluxes. SSP5-8.5 forcing with fixed pre-industrial glacial melt warms all continental shelves, such that historically “cool” and “fresh” shelves transition to “warm.” Additional glacial melt, added at depth, cools the Eastern Ross, Amundsen, and Bellingshausen seas, suggesting a negative feedback on basal melt—a novel result for a coarse resolution coupled model. From the Weddell Sea, along East Antarctica, and into the western Ross Sea—where continental shelves transition to a “warm” state—additional glacial melt increases temperatures at the continental shelf sea floor, suggesting a positive feedback. The sign of the glacial melt–subsurface temperature feedback is critically dependent on continental shelf properties, climate state, and the vertical distribution of glacial melt inputs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgments: MT and IJS were supported by the Deep South National Science Challenge (MBIE contract number C01X1412) and the Antarctic Science Platform (University of Otago subcontract 19424 from VUW's ASP Project 4 contract with Antarctica New Zealand through MBIE SSIF Programmes Investment contract number ANTA1801). The authors acknowledge use of New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) high performance computing facilities, consulting support, and training services. New Zealand's national facilities are provided by NeSI and funded jointly by NeSI's collaborator institutions and through MBIE's Research Infrastructure programme. JR was supported by the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme funded by DBEIS and Defra. Thanks to Jonny Williams (NIWA) for help setting up and working with the model. Open access publishing facilitated by University of Otago, as part of the Wiley - University of Otago agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians.
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 08:30
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 00:10
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93046
DOI: 10.1029/2022GL102101


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item