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  • 1.
    Liakka, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    The mutual interaction between the time-mean atmospheric circulation and continental-scale ice sheets2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Geomorphological evidence of glaciations exist for the Last Glacial Maximum (about 20 kyr ago). At this time, both North America and Eurasia were covered by extensive ice sheets which are both absent today. However, the temporal and spatial evolution of the ice sheets from the previous interglacial up to the fully-glaciated conditions at LGM is still unresolved and remains a vexing question in climate dynamics.

    The evolution of ice sheets is essentially controlled by the prevailing climate conditions. On glacial time-scales, the climate is shaped the by the orbital variations of the Earth, but also by internal feedbacks within the climate system. In particular, the ice sheets themselves have the potential to change the climate within they evolve. This thesis focuses on the interactions between ice sheets and the time-mean atmospheric circulation (stationary waves). It is studied how the stationary waves, which are forced by the ice-sheet topography, influence ice-sheet evolution through changing the near-surface air temperature.

    In this thesis, it is shown that the degree of linearity of the atmospheric response controls to what extent the stationary waves can reorganise the structure of ice sheet. Provided that the response is linear, the stationary waves constitute a leading-order feedback, which serves to increase the volume and deform the shape of ice sheets. If the stationary-wave response to ice-sheet topography is nonlinear in character, the impact on the ice-sheet evolution tends to be weak. However, it is further shown that the amplitude of the nonlinear topographical response, and hence its effect on the ice-sheet evolution, can be significantly enhanced if thermal cooling over the ice sheets is taken into account.

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