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AMOC Stabilization under the Interaction with Tipping Polar Ice Sheets
  • Sacha Sinet,
  • Henk A. Dijkstra,
  • Anna S. von der Heydt
Sacha Sinet
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University

Corresponding Author:s.a.m.sinet@uu.nl

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Henk A. Dijkstra
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht
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Anna S. von der Heydt
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University
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Abstract

Several large-scale components of the climate system may undergo a rapid transition as critical
conditions are exceeded. These tipping elements are also dynamically coupled, allowing for
a global domino effect under global warming. Here we focus on such cascading events involving
the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), the West Antarctica Ice Sheet (WAIS) and the Atlantic Meridional
Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Using a conceptual model, we study the combined tipping
behavior due to three dominant feedbacks: the marine ice sheet instability for the WAIS, the
height-surface mass balance feedback for the GIS and the salt-advection feedback for the AMOC. We
show that, in a realistic parameter range of the model, a tipping of the WAIS can inhibit cascading events by preserving the AMOC stability.