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Publication Date
10 December 2018

The Signature of Ozone Depletion in Recent Antarctic Precipitation Change: A Study With the Community Earth System Model



Although precipitation is a primary control on Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) mass balance, long‐term historical AIS precipitation trends and their underlying external climate drivers remain inconclusive. In this study, we use a novel pair of climate model ensembles to identify a simulated spatial signature of ozone depletion‐forced AIS precipitation change. Distinct areas of little change or precipitation decrease, arising from interaction between ozone depletion‐forced atmospheric circulation changes and ice sheet topography, are outweighed by large‐scale precipitation increases. This signature bears notable similarities to a new ice core‐based reconstruction of AIS accumulation change and yields a significant increase in annual integrated precipitation (38 ± 10 Gt/year over the 1986–2005 period or 51 ± 11 Gt/year over the 1991–2005 period). Remarkably, this simulated ozone depletion‐forced precipitation change is of a similar absolute magnitude to recent observed AIS mass loss trends and as a consequence, it may play a role in dampening recent AIS sea level rise contributions.

“The Signature Of Ozone Depletion In Recent Antarctic Precipitation Change: A Study With The Community Earth System Model”. 2018. Geophysical Research Letters 45: 12,931-12,939. doi:10.1029/2018GL078608.
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