The small ice cap instability in diffusive climate models. Academic Article uri icon


  • Simple climate models employing diffusive heat transport and ice cap albedo feedback have equilibrium solutions with no stable ice cap smaller than a certain finite size. For the usual parameters used in these models the minimum cap has a radius of about 20o on a great circle. This paper explains why the phenomenon occurs in these models by solving them in physically appealing way. Mathematical detail is provided as well as a discussion of why the various mechanisms previously introduced to eliminate the phenomenon work. Finally, a discussion of the relevance of these results to nature is presented.-from Author

published proceedings

  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • North, G. R.

citation count

  • 121

complete list of authors

  • North, GR

publication date

  • January 1984