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  • Bitz, C.M., J. K. Ridley, M. M. Holland, and H. Cattle, 2008: 20th and 21st century Arctic Climate in Global Climate Models. The ACSYS Decade and Beyond, edited by P. Lemke. In press.

We review the history of global climate model (GCM) development with
regard to Arctic climate beginning with the ACSYS era. This was a time
of rapid improvement in many models. We focus on those aspects of the
Arctic climate system that are most likely to amplify the Arctic
response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing in the 20th and 21st
centuries. Lessons from past GCM modeling and the most likely
near-future model developments are discussed.
We present highlights of GCM simulations from the new
Hadley Center Global Environmental Model (HadGEM1) and the Community
Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3), which we compare to a
multi-model ensemble mean from the models that participated in the
World Climate Research Programme's third Coupled Model Intercomparison
Project (CMIP3). We discuss some ways that the selected models
capture the late 20th century Arctic climate even better than the
CMIP3 model mean. These models have considerably larger climate
change in the Arctic than the CMIP3 model mean by mid 21st century.
Thus the surface warms by about 50% more on average north of 75N
in the selected models than in the CMIP3 model mean, which amounts to
more than three times the global average warming. The sea ice thins
and retreats 50-100% more in the selected models than in the CMIP3
model mean. Further, the oceanic transport of heat into the Arctic
increases much more in the selected models than in other CMIP3 models
and contributes to the larger climate change.

Full Article: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~bitz/Bitz_etal2008.pdf

Last Updated: 2008-08-21

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