|This is my second review for the paper "Influence of fast ice on future ice shelf melting in the Totten Glacier area, East Antarctica" by Van Achter et al. (egusphere-2022-94). I appreciate the authors for performing additional experiments (WARM_noAtm and WARM_noOce) to respond to my previous review comments. The results from these experiments are very helpful for understanding the findings in this study. However, after reading the revised manuscript, I have almost the same concerns as the previous review.|
(Major) The abstract ends with the sentence, "This highlights the importance of including a representation of fast ice to simulate realistic ice shelf melt rate increase in East Antarctica under warming conditions.", and the second half of the abstract comes from the results in Table 2. Again, I think the conclusion is quite misleading. Because there is no pronounced difference in the future ice-shelf basal melting between the numerical experiments with and without the fast ice representation, and the difference in the ice-shelf basal melting is only found in the present-day condition. The manuscript in the present form gives the readers an impression that fast ice representation can control the future ice-shelf basal melting.
(Major) L205-209 and Figure A3.
I don't think that the stronger ASC in your model suppresses heat exchange across shelf breaks. In fact, Figure 7 clearly shows warm water intrusion across the shelf breaks, and furthermore, there are no differences in ice-shelf melting after three years in Fig A3. Related to this comment, the horizontal axis of Fig. A3 should extend to 20 years to be consistent with the other figures.
(Major) Although there is a phrase "..., with particular focus on the ASC changes and their origins", I couldn't find how the ASC is changed. In the previous review, I suggested some analyses in the climate model results to understand the forcing/boundary conditions for the regional model, but the authors' response was "beyond the scope of this research". How can your readers (including me) understand the ASC changes?
Although I appreciate the additional experiments, I don't think that it is good enough to add the figures without any text/explanation. I suggest the authors integrate the figures in the Appendix into the main body and carefully restructure the contents.
Some other comments
L31-32 "In this region, the surface covered by ..."
What is the surface? ocean surface? fast-ice surface?
It is not clear how you performed the 20-year spinup.
It is not clear how long you performed for WARM_noAtm and WARM_noOce.
Please use the rounded numbers for the horizontal axis (e.g.,-66.0, -65.0 etc.).
Can you plot the boundary between fast ice and sea ice in winter? Since high sea-ice production areas (coastal polynyas) are formed at the edge of fast ice/coastline/ice front, showing the fast-ice edge would be helpful in understanding the difference in sea-ice production in Fig. 5.
It seems to me that the gyre intensification originated from the stronger ASC and the enhanced transport across shelf breaks between 120-125E in Fig. 6b. Some analysis on Warm_noOce would be helpful to separate the roles of the fast ice and lateral advection.
What latitude range do you use for the quantitative comparison?
Finally, I still think the results in this paper are interesting and worth publishing in The Cryosphere if they are carefully explained.