skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance–elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet

Abstract

We apply a 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) to projections of future climate change using five ice sheet models (ISMs). 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. The additional sea level contribution due to the SMB–elevation feedback averaged over five ISM projections for ECHAM5 and three for HadCM3 is 4.3% (best estimate; 95% credibility interval 1.8–6.9%) at 2100, and 9.6% (best estimate; 95% credibility interval 3.6–16.0%) at 2200. 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. Our method is novel in sea level projections because we propagate three types of modelling uncertainty – GCM and ISM structural uncertainties, and elevation feedback parameterisation uncertainty –more » along the causal chain, from SRES scenario to sea level, within a coherent experimental design and statistical framework. The relative contributions to uncertainty depend on the timescale of interest. At 2100, the GCM uncertainty is largest, but by 2200 both the ISM and parameterisation uncertainties are larger. We also perform a perturbed parameter ensemble with one ISM to estimate the shape of the projected sea level probability distribution; our results indicate that the probability density is slightly skewed towards higher sea level contributions.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [5];  [1];  [8]; ORCiD logo [7];  [4];  [4]
  1. Bristol Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Geographical Sciences
  2. Univ. of Liege, (Belgium). Dept. of Geography, Lab. of Climatology
  3. Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement, Saint-Martin-d’Hères (France); Inst. Univ. de France, Paris (France)
  4. Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement, Saint-Martin-d’Hères (France)
  5. Vrije Univ., Brussel (Belgium). Earth System Sciences & Dept. Geografie
  6. Univ. of Reading, Reading (United Kingdom). NCAS-Climate, Dept. of Meteorology; The Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  7. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics Group
  8. Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States). Dept. of Scientific Computing
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF); Univ. of California, Oakland, CA (United States); UT-Battelle LLC/ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1565255
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Cryosphere (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1994-0424
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Physical Geography; Geology

Citation Formats

Edwards, T. L., Fettweis, X., Gagliardini, O., Gillet-Chaulet, F., Goelzer, H., Gregory, J. M., Hoffman, M., Huybrechts, P., Payne, A. J., Perego, M., Price, S., Quiquet, A., and Ritz, C. Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance–elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.5194/tc-8-195-2014.
Edwards, T. L., Fettweis, X., Gagliardini, O., Gillet-Chaulet, F., Goelzer, H., Gregory, J. M., Hoffman, M., Huybrechts, P., Payne, A. J., Perego, M., Price, S., Quiquet, A., & Ritz, C. Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance–elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet. United States. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-8-195-2014
Edwards, T. L., Fettweis, X., Gagliardini, O., Gillet-Chaulet, F., Goelzer, H., Gregory, J. M., Hoffman, M., Huybrechts, P., Payne, A. J., Perego, M., Price, S., Quiquet, A., and Ritz, C. 2014. "Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance–elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet". United States. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-8-195-2014. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1565255.
@article{osti_1565255,
title = {Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance–elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet},
author = {Edwards, T. L. and Fettweis, X. and Gagliardini, O. and Gillet-Chaulet, F. and Goelzer, H. and Gregory, J. M. and Hoffman, M. and Huybrechts, P. and Payne, A. J. and Perego, M. and Price, S. and Quiquet, A. and Ritz, C.},
abstractNote = {We apply a 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) to projections of future climate change using five ice sheet models (ISMs). 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. The additional sea level contribution due to the SMB–elevation feedback averaged over five ISM projections for ECHAM5 and three for HadCM3 is 4.3% (best estimate; 95% credibility interval 1.8–6.9%) at 2100, and 9.6% (best estimate; 95% credibility interval 3.6–16.0%) at 2200. 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. Our method is novel in sea level projections because we propagate three types of modelling uncertainty – GCM and ISM structural uncertainties, and elevation feedback parameterisation uncertainty – along the causal chain, from SRES scenario to sea level, within a coherent experimental design and statistical framework. The relative contributions to uncertainty depend on the timescale of interest. At 2100, the GCM uncertainty is largest, but by 2200 both the ISM and parameterisation uncertainties are larger. We also perform a perturbed parameter ensemble with one ISM to estimate the shape of the projected sea level probability distribution; our results indicate that the probability density is slightly skewed towards higher sea level contributions.},
doi = {10.5194/tc-8-195-2014},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1565255}, journal = {The Cryosphere (Online)},
issn = {1994-0424},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 40 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Ice-sheet model sensitivities to environmental forcing and their use in projecting future sea level (the SeaRISE project)
journal, January 2013


Effect of higher-order stress gradients on the centennial mass evolution of the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2013


Implementation of the Jacobian-free Newton–Krylov method for solving the first-order ice sheet momentum balance
journal, July 2011


Consistent approximations and boundary conditions for ice-sheet dynamics from a principle of least action
journal, January 2010


Higher surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by high-resolution climate modeling
journal, January 2009


Sensitivity of Greenland Ice Sheet Projections to Model Formulations
journal, January 2013


Greenland flow variability from ice-sheet-wide velocity mapping
journal, January 2010


Sensitivity of a Greenland ice sheet model to atmospheric forcing fields
journal, January 2012


The ERA-40 re-analysis
journal, October 2005


Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP
journal, January 2012


Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance: evaluating simulations and making projections with regional climate models
journal, January 2012


The treatment of meltwater retention in mass-balance parameterizations of the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2000


A new bed elevation dataset for Greenland
journal, January 2013


Surface mass balance model intercomparison for the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2013


Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise
journal, August 2013


Future projections of the Greenland ice sheet energy balance driving the surface melt
journal, January 2013


A continuum–mechanical formulation for shallow polythermal ice sheets
journal, May 1997

  • Greve, Ralf
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 355, Issue 1726
  • https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.1997.0050

Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade
journal, May 2011


Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea-level rise from a new-generation ice-sheet model
journal, January 2012


The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment
journal, February 2010


An assessment of key model parametric uncertainties in projections of Greenland Ice Sheet behavior
journal, January 2012


Modeling the evolution of Antarctic ice sheet over the last 420,000 years: Implications for altitude changes in the Vostok region
journal, December 2001


A modern solver interface to manage solution algorithms in the Community Earth System Model
journal, February 2012


The first complete inventory of the local glaciers and ice caps on Greenland
journal, January 2012


A multiresolution method for climate system modeling: application of spherical centroidal Voronoi tessellations
journal, November 2008


Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance 1870 to 2010 based on Twentieth Century Reanalysis, and links with global climate forcing: GREENLAND ICE SHEET MASS BALANCE
journal, December 2011


The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system
journal, April 2011


Shallow shelf approximation as a “sliding law” in a thermomechanically coupled ice sheet model
journal, January 2009


The Glimmer community ice sheet model
journal, January 2009


Parallel finite-element implementation for higher-order ice-sheet models
journal, January 2012


Improved convergence and stability properties in a three-dimensional higher-order ice sheet model
journal, January 2011


Coupling of climate models and ice sheet models by surface mass balance gradients: application to the Greenland Ice Sheet
journal, January 2012


Significant contribution of insolation to Eemian melting of the Greenland ice sheet
journal, September 2011


Works referencing / citing this record:

Optimal initial conditions for coupling ice sheet models to Earth system models: PEREGO ET AL.
journal, September 2014


Long‐term projections of sea‐level rise from ice sheets
journal, January 2020


A Review of Recent Updates of Sea-Level Projections at Global and Regional Scales
journal, June 2016


Ice flux evolution in fast flowing areas of the Greenland ice sheet over the 20th and 21st centuries
journal, March 2017


Dynamic simulations of Vatnajökull ice cap from 1980 to 2300
journal, December 2019


An Overview of Interactions and Feedbacks Between Ice Sheets and the Earth System
journal, June 2018


Observing and Modeling Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance
journal, June 2019


Assessing Uncertainty in the Dynamical Ice Response to Ocean Warming in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica
journal, October 2019


Committed sea-level rise under the Paris Agreement and the legacy of delayed mitigation action
journal, February 2018


Quantifying climate feedbacks in polar regions
journal, May 2018


The effect of overshooting 1.5 °C global warming on the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2018


MPAS-Albany Land Ice (MALI): a variable-resolution ice sheet model for Earth system modeling using Voronoi grids
journal, January 2018


A rapidly converging initialisation method to simulate the present-day Greenland ice sheet using the GRISLI ice sheet model (version 1.3)
journal, January 2019


ATAT 1.1, the Automated Timing Accordance Tool for comparing ice-sheet model output with geochronological data
journal, January 2019


Comparison of adjoint and nudging methods to initialise ice sheet model basal conditions
journal, January 2016


Design and results of the ice sheet model initialisation experiments initMIP-Greenland: an ISMIP6 intercomparison
journal, January 2018


Simulation of the future sea level contribution of Greenland with a new glacial system model
journal, January 2018


The GRISLI ice sheet model (version 2.0): calibration and validation for multi-millennial changes of the Antarctic ice sheet
journal, January 2018


Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6) contribution to CMIP6
journal, January 2016