EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Self-adaptive Laurentide Ice Sheet evolution towards the Last Glacial Maximum

Lu Niu, Gregor Knorr, Uta Krebs-Kanzow, Paul Gierz, and Gerrit Lohmann
Lu Niu et al.
  • Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Climate Sciences, Bremerhaven, Germany (

Northern Hemisphere summer insolation is regarded as a main control factor of glacial-interglacial cycles. However, internal feedbacks between ice sheets and other climate components are non-negligible. Here we apply a state-of-the-art Earth system model (AWI-ESM) asynchronously coupled to the ice sheet model PISM, focusing on the period when ice sheet grows from an intermediate state (Marine isotope stage 3, around 38 k) to a maximum ice sheet state (the Last Glacial Maximum). Our results show that initial North American ice sheet differences at 38 k are erased by feedbacks between atmospheric circulation and ice sheet geometry that modulate the ice sheet development during this period. Counter-intuitively, moisture transported from the North Atlantic warm pool during summer is the main controlling factor for the ice sheet advance. A self-adaptative mechanism is proposed in the development of a fully-grown NA ice sheet which indicates how the Earth system stabilizes itself via interactions between different Earth System components.

How to cite: Niu, L., Knorr, G., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Gierz, P., and Lohmann, G.: Self-adaptive Laurentide Ice Sheet evolution towards the Last Glacial Maximum, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14412,, 2023.