A one-dimensional model for the interaction between continental-scale ice sheets and atmospheric stationary waves
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The great continental ice sheets of the Pleistocene represented a significant topographic obstacle to the westerly winds in northern midlatitudes. This work explores how consequent changes in the atmospheric stationary wave pattern might have affected the shape and growth of the ice sheets themselves. A one dimensional (1-D) model is developed which permits an examination of the types and magnitudes of the feedbacks that might be expected. When plausible temperature perturbations are introduced at the ice-sheet margin which are proportional to the stationary wave amplitude, the equilibrium shape of the ice sheet is significantly altered, and depends on the sign of the perturbation. The proposed feedback also affects the response of the ice sheet to time-varying climate forcing. The results suggest that the evolution of a continental-scale ice sheet with a land-based margin may be significantly determined by the changes it induces in the atmospheric circulation.
KeywordsPleistocene Atmospheric Circulation Wave Amplitude Stationary Wave Westerly Wind
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