Reduced ice loss from Greenland under stratospheric aerosol injection

J. C. Moore, R. Greve, C. Yue, T. Zwinger, F. Gillet-Chaulet and L. Zhao


We use two ice dynamic model driven by changes in surface mass balance to estimate the sea level rise contribution from the Greenland ice sheet under the IPCC RCP4.5, RCP8.5 and GeoMIP G4 scenarios. The G4 scenario adds 5 Tg/yr sulfate aerosols to the equatorial lower stratosphere (equivalent of 1/4 the 1991 Mt Pinatubo SO2 emission rate) to the IPCC RCP4.5 scenario which itself approximates to the Paris NDC greenhouse gas emission commitments. Over the 2020-2089 period mass loss under G4 is about 38% that under RCP4.5. Ice lost by calving under both G4 and RCP4.5 is reduced in future as the termini of many southeast Greenland outlets retreat onto higher bedrock. Glaciers with large low-lying catchments in the west, north and northeast of Greenland (e.g. Jakobshavn, 79N, Zachariae Isstrøm, and Petermann glaciers), drain more ice from the ice-sheet interior under RCP4.5 than under G4.

Geophysical Research Letters (submitted).

Last modified: 2021-01-11