Initial results of the SeaRISE numerical experiments with the models SICOPOLIS and IcIES for the Greenland ice sheet



SeaRISE (Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution) is a US-led multi-model community effort to predict the likely range of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise over the next few hundred years under global warming conditions. The Japanese ice-sheet modelling community is contributing to SeaRISE with two large-scale, dynamic/thermodynamic models: SICOPOLIS and IcIES. Here we discuss results for the Greenland ice sheet, obtained using both models under the forcings (surface temperature and precipitation scenarios) defined by the SeaRISE effort. A crucial point for meaningful simulations into the future is to obtain initial conditions that are close to the observed state of the present-day ice sheet. This is achieved by proper tuning during model spin-up from the last glacial/interglacial cycle to today. Experiments over 500 years indicate that both models are more sensitive (exhibit a larger rate of ice-sheet mass loss) to future climate warming (based on the A1B emission scenario) than to a doubling in the basal sliding speed. Ice-sheet mass loss varies between the two models by a factor of ~2 for sliding experiments and a factor of ~3 for climate-warming experiments, highlighting the importance of improved constraints on the parameterization of basal sliding and surface mass balance in ice-sheet models.

Annals of Glaciology 52 (58), 23-30 (2011).

Last modified: 2011-01-19