GCM-simulated hydrology in the Arctic during the past 21,000 years

Benjamin Felzer, Starley L. Thompson, David Pollard, Jon C. Bergengren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Paleoclimates from Arctic Lakes and Estuaries (PALE) project has chosen to conduct high resolution data-model comparisons for the Arctic region at 21 and 10 (calendar) ka BP. The model simulations for 21, 10, and 0 ka BP were conducted with the GENESIS 2.0 GCM. The 10 ka BP simulation was coupled to the EVE vegetation model. The primary boundary conditions differing from present at 21 ka BP were the northern hemisphere ice sheets and lower CO2, and at 10 ka BP were the orbital insolation and smaller northern hemisphere ice sheets. The purpose of this article is to discuss the hydrological consequences of these simulations. At the Last Glacial Maximum (21 ka BP) the large ice sheets over North America and Eurasia and the lower CO2 levels produced a colder climate than present, with less precipitation throughout the Arctic, except where circulation was altered by the ice sheets. At 10 ka BP greater summer insolation resulted in a wanner and wetter Beringia, but conditions remained cold and dry in the north Atlantic sector, in the vicinity of the remnant ice sheets. Less winter insolation at 10 ka BP resulted in colder and drier conditions throughout the Arctic. Precipitation - evaporation generally correlated with precipitation except where changes in the surface type (ice sheets, vegetation at 10 ka BP, or sea level at 21 ka BP) caused large changes in the evaporation rate. The primary hydrological differences (from present) at 21 and 10 ka BP correlated with the temperature differences, which were a direct result of the large-scale boundary condition changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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