[en] The atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) used for the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) are evaluated for the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) current climate modelling. The most efficient AOGCMs are chosen by comparison between the 1970-1999 outputs of the Climate of the twentieth Century experiment (20C3M) and reanalyses (ECMWF, NCEP/NCAR). This comparison reveals that surface parameters such as temperature and precipitation are highly correlated to the atmospheric circulation (500 hPa geopotential height) and its interannual variability (North Atlantic oscillation). The outputs of the three most efficient AOGCMs are then used to assess the changes planned by three IPCC greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (SRES) for the 2070-2099 period. Future atmospheric circulation changes should dampen the west-to-east circulation (zonal flow) and should enhance the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). As a consequence, this provides more heat and moisture to the GrIS, increasing temperature on the whole ice sheet and precipitation on the north-eastern region. It is also shown that the GrIS surface mass balance (SMB) anomalies from the SRES A1B scenario are about -300 km³/yr with respect to the 1970-1999 period, leading to 5 cm of global sea-level rise (SLR) for the end of the 21st century. This work helps to choose the boundaries conditions for AOGCMs downscaled future projections.
Laboratoire de Climatologie et Topoclimatologie
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS