Modeling the Arctic Freshwater System and its integration in the global system: Lessons learned and future challenges
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Reason for embargo
Numerous components of the Arctic freshwater system (atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and terrestrial hydrology) have experienced large changes over the past few decades, and these changes are projected to amplify further in the future. Observations are particularly sparse, in both time and space, in the polar regions. Hence, modeling systems have been widely used and are a powerful tool to gain understanding on the functioning of the Arctic freshwater system and its integration within the global Earth system and climate. Here we present a review of modeling studies addressing some aspect of the Arctic freshwater system. Through illustrative examples, we point out the value of using a hierarchy of models with increasing complexity and component interactions, in order to dismantle the important processes at play for the variability and changes of the different components of the Arctic freshwater system and the interplay between them. We discuss past and projected changes for the Arctic freshwater system and explore the sources of uncertainty associated with these model results. We further elaborate on some missing processes that should be included in future generations of Earth system models and highlight the importance of better quantification and understanding of natural variability, among other factors, for improved predictions of Arctic freshwater system change.
The first two authors have contributed equally to the publication. The Arctic Freshwater Synthesis has been sponsored by the World Climate Research Programme’s Climate and the Cryosphere project (WCRP-CliC), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). C.L. acknowledges support from the UK Natural Environment Research Council. M.M.H. acknowledges support from NSF PLR-1417642. D.M.L. is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy BER, as part of its Climate Change Prediction Program, Cooperative Agreement DE-FC03-97ER62402/A010, and NSF grants AGS-1048996, PLS-1048987, and PLS-1304220. J.A.S. is supported by Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/J019585/1. Y.D. is supported by Environment Canada’s Northern Hydrology program. We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modeling groups for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. The CMIP data and CESM-LE data are available through the relevant Web data portals
This is the final version of the article. Available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol 121, doi:10.1002/2015JG003120.