Impact of Antarctic Meltwater Forcing on East Asian Climate Under Greenhouse Warming

Publication Year
2020

Type

Journal Article
Abstract

In recent decades, Antarctic ice sheet/shelf melting has been accelerated, releasing freshwater into the Southern Ocean. It has been suggested that the meltwater flux could lead to cooling in the Southern Hemisphere, which would retard global warming and further induce a northward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). In this study, we use experimental ensemble climate simulations to show that Antarctic meltwater forcing has distinct regional climate impacts over the globe, leading in particular to regional warming in East Asia, which offsets the global cooling effect by the meltwater forcing. It is suggested that Antarctic meltwater forcing leads to a negative precipitation anomaly in the Western North Pacific (WNP) via cooling in the tropics and the northward shift of the ITCZ. This suppressed convection in WNP induces an anticyclonic flow over the North Pacific, which leads to regional warming in East Asia. This hypothesis is supported by analyses of interensemble spread and long‐term control simulations.

Journal
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
47
Issue
21
Pages
e2020GL089951
Date Published
November 2020
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