Since more than a decade, most publications have put forward the primary role of atmospheric CO2 for explaining the Eocene Oligocene transition while diminishing the potential for the gateways to play a major role. Here we investigate the role of the Drake Passage opening on the Antarctica ice-sheet using a new modelling system including the Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model (FOAM), the high resolution atmospheric model LMDz and the ice-sheet model GRISLI. Using a set of boundary conditions, i.e. atmospheric CO2 level, orbital parameters and continental configuration, FOAM provides SSTs required to run LMDz, which is then used to simulate ice-sheet over Antarctica with GRISLI. As demonstrated by Lefebvre et al. (2012), the opening of southern oceanic gateways does not trigger the onset of the ACC for CO2 typical of the late Eocene (>840 ppm). A cooler background climatic state such as the one prevalent at the end of the Oligocene is required to simulate a well-developed ACC. Here, we show that the formation of the East Antarctica ice-sheet triggers the onset of the ACC in FOAM. Changes in oceanographic conditions have a significative impact on the atmospheric circulation simulated by LMDz, which in turn influence the ice-sheet geometry. In particular, we show that the ACC may have triggered the onset of West Antarctica ice-sheet through a feedback loop including multiple interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean and the Antarctica ice-sheet. The sensitivity of our results to unconstrained parameters such as those fixing the ablation / freezing below the ice-shelves but also to the topography of the Antarctica (Wilson et al., 2012) will be presented. Ref.: Deciphering the role of southern gateways and carbon dioxide on the onset of the ACC, Lefebvre V. et al., vol. 27, Paleoceanography, 2012 Antarctic topography at the Eocene - Oligocene boundary, Wilson D.S. et al., vol. 335, P-cubed, 2012.
EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- April 2013