Climate Dynamics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

A sensitivity experiment for the removal of Arctic sea ice with the French spectral general circulation model

  • J. F. Royer
  • S. Planton
  • M. Déqué


Sea ice has a major influence on climate in high latitudes. In this paper we analyzed the impact of removal of Arctic sea-ice cover on the climate simulated by a T42 20-level version of the French spectral model “Emeraude”. The control experiment was the second winter of an annual cycle simulation of the present climate. In the perturbed simulation the Arctic sea-ice cover was replaced by open ocean maintained at the freezing temperature of sea water. The zonal mean patterns of the model response were found to be in good agreement with earlier simulations of Fletcher et al. and Warshaw and Rapp. The atmospheric warming, caused by the increase of upward fluxes of sensible and latent heat and of longwave radiation from the ice-free ocean surface, is largely limited to the high latitudes poleward of 70° N and the lower half of the troposphere and leads to a surface pressure decrease and a precipitation increase over this area. We also analyze the geographical distribution of the response and the mechanisms that can explain the simulated cooling over Eurasia in relation to the energy budget at the surface. Finally, we discuss the reduction of cloud cover over the ice-free Arctic, which was an unexpected result of our simulation, and conclude that further studies are necessary to resolve the question of cumulus convection and cloud process parameterization in high latitudes.


High Latitude General Circulation Model Eurasia Longwave Radiation Cumulus Convection 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Royer
    • 1
  • S. Planton
    • 1
  • M. Déqué
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (DMN)Toulouse CédexFrance

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