Future Climatic Changes: Are We Entering an Exceptionally Long Interglacial?
- Cite this article as:
- Loutre, M.F. & Berger, A. Climatic Change (2000) 46: 61. doi:10.1023/A:1005559827189
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Various experiments have been conducted using theLouvain-la-Neuve two-dimensional Northern Hemisphereclimate model (LLN 2-D NH) to simulate climate for thenext 130 kyr into the future. Simulations start withvalues representing the present-day NorthernHemisphere ice sheet, using different scenarios forfuture CO2 concentrations. The sensitivity of themodel to the initial size of the Greenland ice sheet,and to possible impacts of human activities, has alsobeen tested. Most of the natural scenarios indicatethat: (i) the climate is likely to experience a longlasting (∼50 kyr) interglacial; (ii) the next glacialmaximum is expected to be most intense at around 100kyr after present (AP), with a likely interstadial at∼60 kyr AP; and (iii) after 100 kyr AP continentalice rapidly melts, leading to an ice volume minimum 20kyr later. However, the amplitude and, to a lesserextent, the timing of future climatic changes dependon the CO2 scenario and on the initial conditionsrelated to the assumed present-day ice volume.According to our modelling experiments, man'sactivities over the next centuries may significantlyaffect the ice-sheet's behaviour for approximately thenext 50 kyr. Finally, the existence of thresholds inCO2 and insolation, earlier shown to besignificant for the past, is confirmed to be alsoimportant for the future.