Researchers uncover errors in Arctic Ocean climate models

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(ORDO NEWS) — Norwegian and American scientists compared the results of calculations of climate models of the Arctic Ocean with the results of real observations and identified errors.

This applies to forecasts, descriptions of the structure of the ocean layers, as well as the nature of the movement of deep water flows.

“At this point in time, we simply cannot give a reliable estimate of how fast Arctic sea ice is melting.

This is a very serious problem – if governments and organizations around the world plan to use existing models to make forecasts, then these models need to be significantly adjusted and improved. “, – said a researcher at the University of Gothenburg (Norway) Celine Eze, whose words are quoted by the press service of the university.

The Arctic and Antarctic remain among the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change. In recent years, average temperatures in their territory have already increased by 6-7 degrees.

According to Eze and her colleagues, further ice melting, as climatologists show, will lead to serious changes in the circulation of currents and irreversible changes in the climate of the entire planet.

Guided by this idea, Norwegian and American researchers for the first time analyzed in detail how accurately existing climate models reproduce the key properties of the Arctic Ocean.

To do this, scientists combined all the observational data that were conducted in the waters of ten key regions of the Arctic between 1970 and 2017 during various expeditions, networks of autonomous buoys, as well as satellite and aircraft measurement programs.

These regions included the Fram Strait, the main gateway to the Arctic for the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Then the scientists compared the results of these long-term observations of the temperature of surface and deep waters, as well as the nature of the movement of currents and the structure of the layers of the Arctic Ocean, with the results of calculations obtained using 14 popular modern models of the Earth‘s climate.

The analysis carried out by the researchers showed that the predictions of all the studied models differed greatly from reality.

“The models we studied significantly underestimate the consequences of global warming.

In reality, the relatively warm layers of water in the seas of the Arctic warm up even more than the models indicate, and at the same time they are located closer to the sea ice than the calculation results predict.

This indicates that that the Arctic ice is actually melting faster than the models suggest,” Eze explained.

According to her, one of the biggest problems for existing climate models is that they greatly underestimate the amount of warm water entering the Arctic through the Fram Strait, and also they incorrectly calculate the structure of water layers and the nature of the movement of currents in the eastern Arctic.

As a result, their forecasts become too inaccurate to be used in practice without significant model adjustments, the scientists concluded.


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