How sensitive are doubled CO2 simulations to GCM control-run sea ice thickness and extent? This issue is examined in a series of 10 control-run simulations with different sea ice and corresponding doubled CO2 simulations. Results show that with increased control-run sea ice coverage in the Southern Hemisphere, temperature sensitivity with climate change is enhanced, while there is little effect on temperature sensitivity of (reasonable) variations in control-run sea ice thickness. In the Northern Hemisphere the situation is reversed: sea ice thickness is the key parameter, while (reasonable) variations in control-run sea ice coverage are of less importance. In both cases, the quantity of sea ice that can be removed in the warmer climate is the determining factor. Overall, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice coverage change had a larger impact on global temperature, because Northern Hemisphere sea ice was sufficiently thick to limit its response to doubled CO2, and sea ice changes generally occurred at higher latitudes, reducing the sea ice-albedo feedback. In both these experiments and earlier ones in which sea ice was not allowed to change, the model displayed a sensitivity of similar to 0.02 degrees C global warming per percent change in Southern Hemisphere sea ice coverage.
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