Publication Abstracts

Ullman et al. 2015

Ullman, D.J., A.E. Carlson, F.S. Anslow, A.N. LeGrande, and J.M. Licciardi, 2015: Laurentide ice-sheet instability during the last deglaciation. Nature Geosci., 8, no. 7, 534-537, doi:10.1038/ngeo2463.

Changes in the amount of summer incoming solar radiation (insolation) reaching the Northern Hemisphere are the underlying pacemaker of glacial cycles. However, not all rises in boreal summer insolation over the past 800,000 years resulted in deglaciation to present-day ice volumes, suggesting that there may be a climatic threshold for the disappearance of land-based ice. Here we assess the surface mass balance stability of the Laurentide ice sheet — the largest glacial ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere-during the last deglaciation (24,000 to 9,000 years ago). We run a surface energy balance model with climate data from simulations with a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model for key time slices during the last deglaciation. We find that the surface mass balance of the Laurentide ice sheet was positive throughout much of the deglaciation, and suggest that dynamic discharge was mainly responsible for mass loss during this time. Total surface mass balance became negative only in the early Holocene, indicating the transition to a new state where ice loss occurred primarily by surface ablation. We conclude that the Laurentide ice sheet remained a viable ice sheet before the Holocene and began to fully deglaciate only once summer temperatures and radiative forcing over the ice sheet increased by 6-7°C and 16-20 W/m2, respectively, relative to full glacial conditions.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Ullman, D. J. and Carlson, A. E. and Anslow, F. S. and LeGrande, A. N. and Licciardi, J. M.},
  title={Laurentide ice-sheet instability during the last deglaciation},
  journal={Nature Geosci.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ul03000d
AU  - Ullman, D. J.
AU  - Carlson, A. E.
AU  - Anslow, F. S.
AU  - LeGrande, A. N.
AU  - Licciardi, J. M.
PY  - 2015
TI  - Laurentide ice-sheet instability during the last deglaciation
JA  - Nature Geosci.
VL  - 8
IS  - 7
SP  - 534
EP  - 537
DO  - 10.1038/ngeo2463
ER  -

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