Elmer/Ice News

Uncertainty in SMB and projections of sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet

smb ice2seaA new parameterisation of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) feedback between surface mass balance (SMB: the sum of surface accumulation and surface ablation) and surface elevation in the MAR regional climate model (Edwards et al., 2014) is applied to projections of future climate change using five ice sheet models (ISMs), among them Elmer/Ice. The MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional: Fettweis, 2007) climate projections are for 2000–2199, forced by the ECHAM5 and HadCM3 global climate models (GCMs) under the SRES A1B emissions scenario.

In all results the elevation feedback is significantly positive, amplifying the GrIS sea level contribution relative to the MAR projections in which the ice sheet topography is fixed: the lower bounds of our 95% credibility intervals (CIs) for sea level contributions are larger than the "no feedback" case for all ISMs and GCMs.

Edwards, T. L., X. Fettweis, O. Gagliardini, F. Gillet-Chaulet, H. Goelzer, J.M. Gregory, M. Hoffman, P. Huybrechts, A.J. Payne, M. Perego, S. Price, A. Quiquet and C. Ritz, 2013. Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance–elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet, The Cryosphere, 8, 195-208, doi:10.5194/tc-8-195-2014. [link to paper]

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