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Cenozoic global ice-volume and temperature simulations with 1-D ice-sheet models forced by benthic 18O records

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Variations in global ice volume and temperature over the Cenozoic era have been investigated with a set of one-dimensional (1-D) ice-sheet models. Simulations include three ice sheets representing glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere, i.e. in Eurasia, North America and Greenland, and two separate ice sheets for Antarctic glaciation. The continental mean Northern Hemisphere surface-air temperature has been derived through an inverse procedure from observed benthic 18O records. These data have yielded a mutually consistent and continuous record of temperature, global ice volume and benthic 18O over the past 35 Ma. The simple 1-D model shows good agreement with a comprehensive 3-D ice-sheet model for the past 3 Ma. On average, differences are only 1.0°C for temperature and 6.2 m for sea level. Most notably, over the 35 Ma period, the reconstructed ice volume–temperature sensitivity shows a transition from a climate controlled by Southern Hemisphere ice sheets to one controlled by Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Although the transient behaviour is important, equilibrium experiments show that the relationship between temperature and sea level is linear and symmetric, providing limited evidence for hysteresis. Furthermore, the results show a good comparison with other simulations of Antarctic ice volume and observed sea level.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2010

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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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