Insights into spatial sensitivities of ice mass response to environmental change from the SeaRISE ice sheet modeling project I: Antarctica

S. Nowicki, R. A. Bindschadler, A. Abe-Ouchi, A. Aschwanden, E. Bueler, H. Choi, J. Fastook, G. Granzow, R. Greve, G. Gutowski, U. C. Herzfeld, C. Jackson, J. Johnson, C. Khroulev, E. Larour, A. Levermann, W. H. Lipscomb, M. A. Martin, M. Morlighem, B. R. Parizek, D. Pollard, S. F. Price, D. Ren, E. Rignot, F. Saito, T. Sato, H. Seddik, H. Seroussi, K. Takahashi, R. Walker and W. L. Wang


Atmospheric, oceanic, and subglacial forcing scenarios from the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) project are applied to six three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet models to assess Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity over a 500 year timescale and to inform future modeling and field studies. Results indicate (i) growth with warming, except within low-latitude basins (where inland thickening is outpaced by marginal thinning); (ii) mass loss with enhanced sliding (with basins dominated by high driving stresses affected more than basins with low-surface-slope streaming ice); and (iii) mass loss with enhanced ice shelf melting (with changes in West Antarctica dominating the signal due to its marine setting and extensive ice shelves; cf. minimal impact in the Terre Adelie, George V, Oates, and Victoria Land region of East Antarctica). Ice loss due to dynamic changes associated with enhanced sliding and/or sub-shelf melting exceeds the gain due to increased precipitation. Furthermore, differences in results between and within basins as well as the controlling impact of sub-shelf melting on ice dynamics highlight the need for improved understanding of basal conditions, grounding-zone processes, ocean-ice interactions, and the numerical representation of all three.

Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 118 (2), 1002-1024 (2013).

Last modified: 2013-08-21