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The stratigraphy 36 is based on recent sediment using multi-core sections and strategic 14 C ages situated at each major SOT shifts, thus giving us confidence on the timing of the main changes. Several studies reported an intensification and southward migration of SWW during the same period of time 41 , 42 , 43 , as illustrated for instance by pollen records in Patagonia 41 , South America Fig.
Building on modern observations, we suggest that this reorganization in the wind fields, including the strengthening and poleward displacement of the convergence zone between the SWW and the northward winds, promoted the upwelling and intrusion of warm deep waters on the EAP continental shelf. Our assumption is consistent with some recent findings in the Amundsen Sea, in southwestern Antarctic Peninsula, where the ice shelf shrinkage during the early Holocene has been similarly attributed to CDW shoaling driven by a more southern position of the SWW during the early Holocene Moreover, episodic peaks in SOT throughout the Holocene, resulting from additional supply or warming or both of deep water, which may have prevented the ice shelf from re-expanding during colder atmospheric phases, thus causing its progressive disintegration.
Estimating the impact of such an ocean warming on the ice shelf basal melting throughout the Holocene is not straightforward as it depends on many complex processes. Nevertheless, an order of magnitude including large uncertainties can be obtained using a simple parameterization We assume a linear relationship between basal ice shelf melting and ocean temperature If instead we take the surface of the s EAP ice shelves for which we have a reasonable estimate around 12, km 2 when summing up the Larsen A and B and the Prince Gustav Channel ice shelf area , this would correspond to an average melt rate of the ice shelf of about 2.
This clearly appears sufficient to have a large impact on ice shelf dynamics, especially as parameterizations using simple linear relations between ocean temperature and melting 45 likely provide a lower estimate Therefore, although both ocean and atmosphere thermal forcing impacts on ice shelf instability, we conclude that, during the ocean warming phases, the SOT must have played a major role on controlling the regional ice shelf retreat. In the light of these new findings, we scrutinize the evolution of the SAT and SOT in projections from 26 climate models in order to anticipate the possible evolution of the ice caps of the Antarctic Peninsula during the next century.
We averaged the results of the different model simulations, thus filtering out most of the model internal variability, which allows to retrieve the forced temperature signal considered as the main response to potential anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The thick lines represent the ensemble mean. The overlaps correspond to one standard deviation of the ensemble. For the RCP2. Placing these results in a Holocene context, regional temperatures variations suggest that the RCP2. In comparison, for the RCP8. Since features such as wind-driven ocean circulation, sea-ice cover or the amount and distribution of the freshwater released to the ocean though ice-melt still need to be improved in climate models 49 , 50 , the warming of ocean temperature may be subdued in model projections.
Consequently, the impact of changes in the wind forcing 17 on the shoaling and further penetration of the warm deep waters on the continental shelf remains potentially underestimated. Thus, the future of the EAP ice shelf may be possibly more marked than projected. Would such a predicted warming affect the whole Weddell Sea region, its impact on the surrounding ice sheets and glaciers would be marked for sea-level rise. The quality of reanalysis is relatively low before in the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere as few data were assimilated in this region due to the lack of observations.
There is no observation data for the sub-superficial waters covering the last decades and century. We acknowledge that the reanalyses data that we use to reconstruct the wind-driven forcing on the SOT in this study are therefore relatively uncertain but should be robust enough to mirror the penetration of the WDW at least over the last decades The definition of the Ekman pumping used is:. GLORYS produces monthly global ocean reanalysis at eddy-permitting resolution from to 18 , while EN4 generates monthly data that covers the period between and GLORYS reanalysis is based on the ocean and sea-ice general circulation model NEMO in the ORCA configuration forced by surface boundary conditions derived from atmospheric ECMWF reanalysis, and on the assimilation of in situ temperature and salinity profiles observations as well as sea surface temperature from satellite measurements and sea-level anomalies obtained from satellite altimetry This proxy is based on the relative distribution of Thaumarchaeotal isoprenoid glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers GDGTs suitable for reconstructing SOT in the polar oceans 37 , 38 , The SOT anomalies have been computed by subtracting 1.
Alternative indices based on GDGTs i. The inter-annual variability seems slightly tamed in surface compared to deeper depth ranges.
The main difference between the two reanalyses resides in that GLORYS integrates more layers than EN4 and therefore allows a better assessment of the temperatures through the water column. In contrast, the deeper waters are warmer owing to the influential circulation of the relatively warm modified WDW. In this way, refining the existing calibration is fundamental and beneficial for future investigations around Antarctica at any timescales. Sub-ice shelf melting should ideally be estimated using an ocean model coupled to an ice shelf model in order to represent the ocean circulation in the cavity beneath the shelf, the processes controlling the melting and the feedback between this melt and circulation.
This is unfortunately impossible at the scales investigated here, first of all because the precise topography of the ice shelves is largely unknown. We thus rely on a very simple parameterization 45 , used for instance in ice sheet modeling 60 , assuming a basic linear relationship between ice shelf melting and SOT We assume 45 that A eff can be estimated from the length of the ice shelf front before the major collapses i.
Given that this parameterization tends to underestimate the calculated melting 46 , this means that the values provided here, already large in terms of contribution, represents a lower bound.
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Moreover, although the Larsen C seems to not be primarily impacted by the summer SOT as recently evidenced 61 , due to the limited impact of the wind forcing i. We investigate projections from 26 climate models Fig. Our selection includes the models providing for both scenarios the physical parameters that we analyzed here, i.
All data produced by this study are available from the corresponding author johan. Hansen, J. Global surface temperature change.
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Rignot, E. Ice-shelf melting around Antarctica. Science , — Cook, A. Overview of areal changes of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past 50 years.
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