Sea-ice-free Arctic during the Last Interglacial supports fast future loss

Guarino, Maria-Vittoria and Sime, Louise C. and Schröeder, David and Malmierca-Vallet, Irene and Rosenblum, Erica and Ringer, Mark and Ridley, Jeff and Feltham, Danny and Bitz, Cecilia and Steig, Eric J. and Wolff, Eric and Stroeve, Julienne and Sellar, Alistair (2020) Sea-ice-free Arctic during the Last Interglacial supports fast future loss. Nature Climate Change. ISSN 1758-678X DOI

[img] Text
18887_2_merged_1594159790_asaccepted.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (3MB)
[img] Text
18887_2_supp_182760_qcdfmf_convrt_asaccepted.pdf - Supplemental Material

Download (4MB)
Official URL:


The Last Interglacial (LIG), a warmer period 130,000–116,000 years before present, is a potential analogue for future climate change. Stronger LIG summertime insolation at high northern latitudes drove Arctic land summer temperatures 4–5 °C higher than in the pre-industrial era. Climate model simulations have previously failed to capture these elevated temperatures, possibly because they were unable to correctly capture LIG sea-ice changes. Here, we show that the latest version of the fully coupled UK Hadley Center climate model (HadGEM3) simulates a more accurate Arctic LIG climate, including elevated temperatures. Improved model physics, including a sophisticated sea-ice melt-pond scheme, result in a complete simulated loss of Arctic sea ice in summer during the LIG, which has yet to be simulated in past generations of models. This ice-free Arctic yields a compelling solution to the long-standing puzzle of what drove LIG Arctic warmth and supports a fast retreat of future Arctic summer sea ice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2020AREP; IA76
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Climate Change
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 17:45
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 01:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

About cookies