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The simulation of Antarctic sea ice in the Hadley Centre Climate Model (HadCM3)

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An assessment is presented of the extent and variability of Antarctic sea ice in the non-flux-corrected version of the Hadley Centre's coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model (HadCM3). The results are based on a 100 year segment of a long control run of the model with the sea ice being compared to ice extents and concentrations derived from passive microwave satellite data. Over the year as a whole, the model ice extent (the area with >15% ice concentration) is 91% of that determined from satellite imagery, but, not surprisingly, the regional-scale distribution differs from the observed. Throughout the year there is too much ice near 90° E, which is believed to be present as a result of incorrect ocean currents near Kerguelen. In contrast to the satellite data, there is too little ice to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula as a result of anomalously northerly atmospheric flow, compared to observations. During the winter the sea-ice concentrations in the model are too high, possibly as a result of the simple representation of the sea ice, which does not simulate complex dynamical interactions within the pack. The annual cycle of sea-ice advance/retreat in the model has a phase error, with the winter sea-ice maximum extent being too late by about 1 month.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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