This session explores improvements in our understanding and quantification of past, present and future ice sheet and sea-level changes. We invite contributions about the following topics:

How to improve the reliability of the projections using observations (paleo and present), models and model intercomparison exercises (ISMIP6, and others); assessment of uncertainties and probability distributions of the ice sheets' contribution to sea level change; emerging processes; feedbacks coming from interactions between components (ice sheets, ocean, atmosphere, solid earth). We focus on the present and future (multi-centennial) Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, but paleo-studies are encouraged if they shed a light on the mentioned topics.

This session is related to both ISMASS (http://www.climate-cryosphere.org/activities/groups/ismass) and ISMIP6 (http://www.climate-cryosphere.org/activities/targeted/ismip6).

Public information:
There will be a chat during our session giving each presenter about 5 min. to answer questions.
The schedule is divided into more ISMASS and ISMIP6 related topics and will follow the following time line (which is fluently adapted if presenters are not present):
14:00 - 14:05 Introduction to the chat
14:05 - 14:10 D2555 Ben Galton-Fenzi - Progress towards coupling ice sheet and ocean models
14:10 - 14:15 D2566 Petra Langebroek - Tipping Points in Antarctic Climate Components (TiPACCs)
14:15 - 14:20 D2572 Nadine Wieters - Modular AWI-CM: An Earth System Model (ESM) prototype using the esm-interface library for a modular ESM coupling approach
14:20 - 14:25 D2558 Jon Bamber - Interpretation and Analysis of Projected Ice Sheet Contributions from a Structured Expert Judgement
14:25 - 14:30 D2557 Andrew Shepherd - Trends and projections in ice sheet mass balance
14:30 - 14:35 D2562 Yijing Lin - Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance over the past decade from 2005 to 2016
14:35 - 14:40 D2569 Johanna Beckmann - How will the Greenland Ice Sheet develop under Extreme Melt Events?
14:40 - 14:45 D2565 Leo van Kampenhout - A regional atmospheric warming threshold for irreversible Greenland ice sheet mass loss
14:45 - 14:50 D2561 Christiaan van Dalum - Evaluation of a new snow albedo scheme in RACMO2 for the Greenland ice sheet
14:50 - 14:55 D2553 Charlotte Lang - Comparison of the surface mass and energy balance of CESM and MAR forced by CESM over Greenland: present and future
14:55 - 15:00 D2554 Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson - Basal Melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet: The Invisible Mass Budget Term
15:00 - 15:05 D2551 Heiko Goelzer - The future sea-level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet: a multi-model ensemble study of ISMIP6
15:05 - 15:10 D2560 Tony Payne - Contrasting contributions to future sea level under CMIP5 and CMIP6 scenarios from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
15:10 - 15:15 D2552 Tamsin Edwards - Quantifying uncertainties in the land ice contribution to sea level from ISMIP6 and GlacierMIP
15:15 - 15:20 D2568 Helene Seroussi - ISMIP6 Antarctica: a multi-model ensemble of the Antarctic ice sheet evolution over the 21st century
15:20 - 15:25 D2571 Martin Rückamp - Sensitivity of Greenland ice sheet projections to spatial resolution in higher-order simulations: the AWI contribution to ISMIP6-Greenland using ISSM
15:25 - 15:30 D2573 Thomas Kleiner - ISMIP6 Future Projections for Antarctica performed using the AWI PISM ice sheet model
15:30 - 15:35 D2570 Konstanze Haubner - Changes on Totten glacier dependent on oceanic forcing based on ISMIP6
15:35 - 15:40 D2556 Ronja Reese - The role of history and strength of the oceanic forcing in sea-level projections from Antarctica with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model

note: ISMASS and ISMIP6 homepages have been moved and are now available here:

Co-organized by CL4/OS1, co-sponsored by CliC
Convener: Frank Pattyn | Co-conveners: Konstanze HaubnerECSECS, Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, Helene Seroussi, Donald SlaterECSECS
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

Files for download

Session materials Download all presentations (111MB)

Chat time: Thursday, 7 May 2020, 14:00–15:45

Chairperson: Donald Slater
D2551 |
Heiko Goelzer and the The ISMIP6 team

The Greenland ice sheet is one of the largest contributors to global-mean sea-level rise today and is expected to continue to lose mass as the Arctic continues to warm. The two predominant mass loss mechanisms are increased surface meltwater runoff and mass loss associated with the retreat of marine-terminating outlet glaciers. In this paper we use a large ensemble of Greenland ice sheet models forced by output from a representative subset of CMIP5 global climate models to project ice sheet changes and sea-level rise contributions over the 21st century. The simulations are part of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6). We estimate the sea-level contribution together with uncertainties due to future climate forcing, ice sheet model formulations and ocean forcing for the two greenhouse gas concentration scenarios RCP8.5 and RCP2.6. The results indicate that the Greenland ice sheet will continue to lose mass in both scenarios until 2100 with contributions of 89 ± 51 mm and 31 ± 16 mm to sea-level rise for RCP8.5 and RCP2.6, respectively. The largest mass loss is expected from the southwest of Greenland, which is governed by surface mass balance changes, continuing what is already observed today. Because the contributions are calculated against a unforced control experiment, these numbers do not include any committed mass loss, i.e. mass loss that would occur over the coming century if the climate forcing remained constant. Under RCP8.5 forcing, ice sheet model uncertainty explains an ensemble spread of 40 mm, while climate model uncertainty and ocean forcing uncertainty account for a spread of 36 mm and 19 mm, respectively. Apart from those formally derived uncertainty ranges, the largest gap in our knowledge is about the physical understanding and implementation of the calving process, i.e. the interaction of the ice sheet with the ocean.

How to cite: Goelzer, H. and the The ISMIP6 team: The future sea-level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet: a multi-model ensemble study of ISMIP6, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2682, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2682, 2020.

D2552 |
| Highlight
Tamsin Edwards and the ISMIP6, GlacierMIP and friends

The land ice contribution to global mean sea level has not yet been predicted for the latest generation of socio-economic scenarios, nor with coordinated assessment of uncertainties from the various computer models involved (climate, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and global glaciers). Two recent projects generated a large suite of projections but used previous generation scenarios and climate models and could not fully explore uncertainties. Here we estimate probability distributions for their projections, using statistical emulation, and find uncertainty does not diminish if greenhouse gas concentrations are reduced: the sea level contribution of land ice is 28 [5, 57] cm from 2015 to 2100 under no mitigation (median and 90% range), and 16 [-5, 46] cm under very stringent mitigation. Greenland is projected to contribute around 2.5 cm/ºC of global warming, and Alaskan and Arctic glaciers a total of around 2 cm/ºC, but Antarctic uncertainties are too large to determine temperature-dependence. Knowing future global mean temperature exactly for a given socio-economic scenario would reduce the uncertainty for glaciers by up to two thirds (6 cm) but have little effect for ice sheets. Quantifying how ice sheet margins respond to ocean warming would reduce uncertainty by up to one third (Antarctica 15 cm; Greenland 7 cm). The remaining uncertainty for a given scenario is dominated by the climate and glaciological models themselves. Improved modelling and observations of polar regions, rather than global warming and glaciers, would therefore have the greatest effect in reducing uncertainty in future sea level rise.

How to cite: Edwards, T. and the ISMIP6, GlacierMIP and friends: Quantifying uncertainties in the land ice contribution to sea level from ISMIP6 and GlacierMIP, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11241, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11241, 2020.

D2553 |
Charlotte Lang, Charles Amory, Alison Delhasse, Stefan Hofer, Christoph Kittel, Leo van Kampenhout, William Lipscomb, and Xavier Fettweis

We have compared the surface mass (SMB) and energy balance of the Earth System model (ESM) CESM (Community Earth System Model) with those of the regional climate model (RCM) MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) forced by CESM over the present era (1981 — 2010) and the future (2011 — 2100 with SSP585 scenario).

Until now, global climate models (GCM) and ESMs forcing RCMs such as MAR didn’t include a module able to simulate snow and energy balance at the surface of a snow pack like the SISVAT module of MAR and were therefore not able to simulate the SMB of an ice sheet. Evaluating the added value of an RCM compared to a GCM could only be done by comparing atmospheric outputs (temperature, wind, precipitation …) in both models. CESM is the first ESM including a land model capable of simulating the surface of an ice sheet and thus to directly compare the SMB of an RCM and an ESM the first time.

Our results show that, if the SMB and is components are very similar in CESM and MAR over the present era, they quickly start to diverge in our future projection, the SMB of MAR decreasing more than that of CESM. This difference in SMB evolution is almost exclusively explained by a much larger increase of the melter runoff in MAR compared to CESM whereas the temporal evolution of snowfall, rainfall and sublimation is comparable in both runs.

How to cite: Lang, C., Amory, C., Delhasse, A., Hofer, S., Kittel, C., van Kampenhout, L., Lipscomb, W., and Fettweis, X.: Comparison of the surface mass and energy balance of CESM and MAR forced by CESM over Greenland: present and future, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18037, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18037, 2020.

D2554 |
Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson, Anne Munck Solgaard, Kenneth D. Mankoff, Jason E. Box, Michele Citterio, William T. Colgan, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Niels J. Korsgaard, Baptiste Vandecrux, Douglas Benn, Ian Hewitt, and Robert S. Fausto

The Greenland ice sheet has been one of largest sources of sea-level rise since the early 2000s. The total mass balance of the ice sheet is typically determined using one of the following methods: estimates of ice volume change from satellite altimetry, measurements of changes in gravity, and by considering the difference between solid ice discharge and surface mass balance (often referred to as the input–output method). In spite of an overall agreement between the different methods, uncertainties remain regarding the relative contribution from individual processes, and to date the basal melt has never been explicitly included in total mass balance estimates. Here, we present the first estimate of the contribution from basal melting to the total mass balance. We partition the basal melt into three terms; melt caused by frictional heat, geothermal heat and viscous heat dissipation, respectively. Combined, the three terms contribute approximately 25 Gt per year of basal melt to the total mass loss equivalent to 5% of the average solid ice discharge (average value of 1986-2018 discharge). This is equivalent to the ice discharge from the entire northeastern sector. We find that basal melting also accounts for between 5% and 30% of observed thinning in most major glacier outlets. Over our observation period (winter 2017/18), close to 2/3 of the basal melt is due to frictional heating from fast moving ice. This term is expected to increase in the future, as ice streams are likely to expand and speed up in response to rising temperatures.

How to cite: Karlsson, N. B., Solgaard, A. M., Mankoff, K. D., Box, J. E., Citterio, M., Colgan, W. T., Kjeldsen, K. K., Korsgaard, N. J., Vandecrux, B., Benn, D., Hewitt, I., and Fausto, R. S.: Basal Melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet: The Invisible Mass Budget Term, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6943, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6943, 2020.

D2555 |
Ben Galton-Fenzi, Rupert Gladstone, Chen Zhao, David Gwyther, John Moore, and Thomas Zwinger

With recent developments in the modelling of Antarctica and its interactions with the ocean several coupled model frameworks now exist.  This talk will focus on presenting the Framework for Ice Sheet - Ocean Coupling (FISOC), developed to provide a flexible platform for performing coupled ice sheet - ocean modelling experiments. We present progress and preliminary results using FISOC to couple the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) with Elmer/Ice, a full-Stokes ice sheet model. Idealised experiments have been used that also contribute to the WCRP Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP).  A recent focus is on testing emergent behaviour of the coupled system and the model numerics. The talk will outline future technological applications and developments conducted as part of a broader international consortium effort. These efforts include coupling to sub-glacial hydrology, sea ice and atmospheres to form a complete system-downscaling technology from which to examine the influence of future climate on ice sheet evolution and hence sea level and global climate impacts. Developments to apply the technology to the Greenland Ice Sheet are presently underway.

How to cite: Galton-Fenzi, B., Gladstone, R., Zhao, C., Gwyther, D., Moore, J., and Zwinger, T.: Progress towards coupling ice sheet and ocean models, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11738, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11738, 2020.

D2556 |
Ronja Reese, Anders Levermann, Torsten Albrecht, Hélène Seroussi, and Ricarda Winkelmann

Mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet constitutes the largest uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise. Ocean-driven melting underneath the floating ice shelves and subsequent acceleration of the inland ice streams is the major reason for currently observed mass loss from Antarctica and is expected to become more important in the future. Here we show that for projections of future mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, it is essential (1) to better constrain the sensitivity of sub-shelf melt rates to ocean warming, and (2) to include the historic trajectory of the ice sheet. In particular, we find that while the ice-sheet response in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model is comparable to the median response of models in three Antarctic Ice Sheet Intercomparison projects – initMIP, LARMIP-2 and ISMIP6 – conducted with a range of ice-sheet models, the projected 21st century sea-level contribution differs significantly depending on these two factors. For the highest emission scenario RCP8.5, this leads to projected ice loss ranging from 1.4 to 4.3 cm of sea-level equivalent in the ISMIP6 simulations where the sub-shelf melt sensitivity is comparably low, opposed to a likely range of 9.2 to 35.9 cm using the exact same initial setup, but emulated from the LARMIP-2 experiments with a higher melt sensitivity based on oceanographic studies. Furthermore, using two initial states, one with and one without a previous historic simulation from 1850 to 2014, we show that while differences between the ice-sheet configurations in 2015 are marginal, the historic simulation increases the susceptibility of the ice sheet to ocean warming, thereby increasing mass loss from 2015 to 2100 by about 50%. Our results emphasize that the uncertainty that arises from the forcing is of the same order of magnitude as the ice-dynamic response for future sea-level projections.

How to cite: Reese, R., Levermann, A., Albrecht, T., Seroussi, H., and Winkelmann, R.: The role of history and strength of the oceanic forcing in sea-level projections from Antarctica with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20029, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20029, 2020.

D2557 |
Andrew Shepherd and the The IMBIE Team

In recent decades, the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets have been major contributors to global sea-level rise and are expected to be so in the future. Although increases in glacier flow and surface melting have been driven by oceanic and atmospheric warming, the degree and trajectory of today’s imbalance remain uncertain. Here we compare and combine 26 individual satellite records of changes in polar ice sheet volume, flow and gravitational potential to produce a reconciled estimate of their mass balance. Since the early 1990’s, ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland have caused global sea-levels to rise by 18.4 millimetres, on average, and there has been a sixfold increase in the volume of ice loss over time. Of this total, 41 % (7.6 millimetres) originates from Antarctica and 59 % (10.8 millimetres) is from Greenland. In this presentation, we compare our reconciled estimates of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass change to IPCC projection of sea level rise to assess the model skill in predicting changes in ice dynamics and surface mass balance.  Cumulative ice losses from both ice sheets have been close to the IPCC’s predicted rates for their high-end climate warming scenario, which forecast an additional 170 millimetres of global sea-level rise by 2100 when compared to their central estimate.

How to cite: Shepherd, A. and the The IMBIE Team: Trends and projections in ice sheet mass balance, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20660, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20660, 2020.

D2558 |
Willy Aspinall, Roger Cooke, Bob Kopp, Jon Bamber, and Michael Oppenheimer

Despite considerable advances in process understanding, numerical modeling and the quality of the observational record of ice sheet contributions to sea level rise (SLR) since the last IPCC report (AR5), severe limitations remain in the predictive capability of numerical modeling approaches. In this context, the potential contribution of the ice sheets remains the largest uncertainty in projecting future SLR beyond mid-century. Various approaches, including Monte Carlo ensemble emulator simulations, probabilistic or plausibility methods, and Semi Empirical Models have been used in attempts to address these limitations. To explore and quantify the uncertainties in ice sheet projections since the AR5, a Structured Expert Judgement (SEJ) elicitation – involving 23 experts from North America and Europe - was undertaken in 2018; this allowed us to derive a numerically-formalised pooling of cogent uncertainty judgements.

The results of the SEJ indicated that estimates, particularly for probabilities beyond the likely range used in the AR5 (i.e. 17th-83rd percentile), have grown since the AR5. The SEJ results indicated a 5% probability that global mean sea level could exceed 2 m by 2100, for a business-as-usual temperature scenario, with the ice sheets contributing 178 cm. The study elicited contributions for three processes - ice dynamics, accumulation and runoff - for each of the three ice sheets covering Greenland, West and East Antarctica. Here, we investigate how these three main physical processes influence the long upper tails in the probability density functions for the integrated contributions of each ice sheet.  To interpret the findings, we draw on process-based rationales provided by the experts, which relate ice sheet SLR contributions to ocean and atmospheric forcing and to internal instabilities, and discuss our higher total SLR estimates in relation to earlier studies.

How to cite: Aspinall, W., Cooke, R., Kopp, B., Bamber, J., and Oppenheimer, M.: Interpretation and Analysis of Projected Ice Sheet Contributions from a Structured Expert Judgement, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5747, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5747, 2020.

D2559 |
Xavier Fettweis and the The GrSMBMIP team

The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass loss has been accelerating at a rate of about 20 +/- 10 Gt/yr2 since the end of the 1990's, with around 60% of this mass loss directly attributed to enhanced surface meltwater runoff. However, in the climate and glaciology communities, different approaches exist on how to model the different surface mass balance (SMB) components using: (1) complex physically-based climate models which are computationally expensive; (2) intermediate complexity energy balance models; (3) simple and fast positive degree day models which base their inferences on statistical principles and are computationally highly efficient. Additionally, many of these models compute the SMB components based on different spatial and temporal resolutions, with different forcing fields as well as different ice sheet topographies and extents, making inter-comparison difficult. In the GrIS SMB model intercomparison project (GrSMBMIP) we address these issues by forcing each model with the same data (i.e., the ERA-Interim reanalysis) except for two global models for which this forcing is limited to the oceanic conditions, and at the same time by interpolating all modelled results onto a common ice sheet mask at 1 km horizontal resolution for the common period 1980-2012. The SMB outputs from 13 models are then compared over the GrIS to (1) SMB estimates using a combination of gravimetric remote sensing data from GRACE and measured ice discharge, (2) ice cores, snow pits, in-situ SMB observations, and (3) remotely sensed bare ice extent from MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Our results reveal that the mean GrIS SMB of all 13 models has been positive between 1980 and 2012 with an average of 340 +/- 112 Gt/yr, but has decreased at an average rate of -7.3 Gt/yr2 (with a significance of 96%), mainly driven by an increase of 8.0 Gt/yr2 (with a significance of 98%) in meltwater runoff. Spatially, the largest spread among models can be found around the margins of the ice sheet, highlighting the need for accurate representation of the GrIS ablation zone extent and processes driving the surface melt. In addition, a higher density of in-situ SMB observations is required, especially in the south-east accumulation zone, where the model spread can reach 2 mWE/yr due to large discrepancies in modelled snowfall accumulation. Overall, polar regional climate models (RCMs) perform the best compared to observations, in particular for simulating precipitation patterns. However, other simpler and faster models have biases of same order than RCMs with observations and remain then useful tools for long-term simulations. It is also interesting to note that the ensemble mean of the 13 models produces the best estimate of the present day SMB relative to observations, suggesting that biases are not systematic among models. Finally, results from MAR forced by ERA5 will be added in this intercomparison to evaluate the added value of using this new reanalysis as forcing vs the former ERA-Interim reanalysis (used in SMBMIP). 

How to cite: Fettweis, X. and the The GrSMBMIP team: GrSMBMIP: Intercomparison of the modelled 1980-2012 surface mass balance over the Greenland Ice sheet, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10792, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10792, 2020.

D2560 |
Tony Payne, Sophie Nowicki, and Heiko Goelzer and the ISMIP6 team

Projections of sea level contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets rely on atmospheric and oceanic drivers obtained from climate models.  The Earth System Models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) generally project greater future warming compared to the previous CMIP5 effort. Here we use four CMIP6 models and a selection of CMIP5 models under two future climate scenarios to force multiple ice sheet models as part of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6). We find that the projected sea level contribution at 2100 from the multi ice sheet models under the CMIP6 scenarios falls within the CMIP5 range for the Antarctic ice sheet but is significantly increased for the Greenland ice sheet.  

How to cite: Payne, T., Nowicki, S., and Goelzer, H. and the ISMIP6 team: Contrasting contributions to future sea level under CMIP5 and CMIP6 scenarios from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11667, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11667, 2020.

D2561 |
Christiaan van Dalum, Willem Jan van de Berg, Stef Lhermitte, and Michiel van den Broeke

Snow and ice albedo schemes in present day climate models often lack a sophisticated radiation penetration scheme and are limited to a broadband albedo. In this study, we evaluate a new snow albedo scheme in the regional climate model RACMO2 that uses the two-stream radiative transfer in snow model TARTES and the spectral-to-narrowband albedo module SNOWBAL for the Greenland ice sheet. Additionally, the bare ice albedo parameterization has been updated. The snow and ice albedo output of the updated version of RACMO2, referred to as RACMO2.3p3, is evaluated using PROMICE and K-transect in-situ data and MODIS remote-sensing observations. Generally, the RACMO2.3p3 albedo is in very good agreement with satellite observations, leading to a domain-averaged bias of only -0.012. Some discrepancies are, however, observed for regions close to the ice margin. Compared to the previous iteration RACMO2.3p2, the albedo of RACMO2.3p3 is considerably higher in the bare ice zone during the ablation season, as atmospheric conditions now alter the bare ice albedo. For most other regions, however, the albedo of RACMO2.3p3 is lower due to spectral effects, radiation penetration, snow metamorphism or a delayed firn-ice transition. Furthermore, a white-out effect during cloudy conditions is captured and the snow albedo shows a low sensitivity to low soot concentrations. The surface mass balance of RACMO2.3p3 compares well with observations. Subsurface heating, however, now leads to increased melt and refreezing in south Greenland, changing the snow structure.

How to cite: van Dalum, C., van de Berg, W. J., Lhermitte, S., and van den Broeke, M.: Evaluation of a new snow albedo scheme in RACMO2 for the Greenland ice sheet, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15261, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15261, 2020.

D2562 |
Yijing Lin

Global warming has become a world concerned issue which draws increasingly attention of the scientific community. Sea-level rise is an important indicator of Global warming as it integrates many factors of climate change including ice sheet melting.  The accurate assessment of the Antarctic ice sheet mass balance is applied to deeply explore the impact of minor change in Antarctic ice sheet on sea level rise. Based on multi-source remote sensing product, we finely estimated the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet and discussed dynamics and climatological causes of the fluctuations from 2005 to 2015 by IOM (Input-Output-Method).

In our study, the calculation method of ice flux on the grounding line is improved. We also precisely evaluate the ice flux as an output component. The result shows that: (1) The Antarctic ice sheet was continuously losing mass during the period of 2005-2016. (2) The mass loss of the Antarctic ice sheet was dominated by West Antarctica when East Antarctica was in a positive mass balance, but some basins also occurred significant mass loss. The Antarctic peninsula fluctuated in a state of zero balance. (3) The change in the mass balance of the ice sheet was dominated by the surface mass balance as a whole, and was mainly affected by the interannual variation of climatological factors. From a small-scale perspective, ice shelf thinning and glacier calving causes the change of ice flux on the grounding line. That change leads to the severe mass loss in the region it happened. Therefore the mass loss in the year of the disintegration event happened increases.

How to cite: Lin, Y.: Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance over the past decade from 2005 to 2016 , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12835, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12835, 2020.

D2563 |
Chao Yue, Liyun Zhao, and John C. Moore

      The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) surface melt-water runoff dominates recent ice mass loss under global warming. We present runoff simulations during 1950-2500 over GrIS under RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) 4.5, RCP8.5 and their extensions scenarios using three modified degree-day models, forced with five CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project) Earth System Models (CanESM2, BNU-ESM, HadGEM2-ES, MIROC-ESM and MIROC-ESM-CHEM). The degree-day factors are tuned at two sites on Greenland to best match the results by surface energy and mass balance model SEMIC. The modeled SMB over Greenland by modified degree-day models agree well with SEMIC in 21th century, then is applied to do projections for the 2100-2500 period. We also consider equilibrium line altitude evolution, surface topography changes and runoff-elevation feedback in the post-2100 simulations. The ensemble mean projected GrIS runoff is equivalent to sea-level rise of 7 cm (RCP4.5) and 10 cm (RCP8.5) by the end of the 21st century relative to the period 1950-2005, and 25cm (RCP4.5) and 121cm (RCP8.5) by 2500. Runoff-elevation feedback increases extra runoff of 7% (RCP4.5, RCP8.5) by 2100 and 23% (RCP4.5) and 22% (RCP8.5) by 2500. Sensitivity experiments show that 150% and 200% snowfall in post-2100 period would lead to 10% and 20% runoff increase under RCP4.5, 5% and 10% for RCP8.5, respectively.

How to cite: Yue, C., Zhao, L., and Moore, J. C.: Greenland Ice Sheet surface runoff projections to AD2500 using degree-day model, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7865, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7865, 2020.

D2564 |
Rory Bingham and Julien Bodart

Interannual variations associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation can alter the surface-pressure distribution and moisture transport over Antarctica, potentially affecting the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to sea level. Here, we combine satellite gravimetry with auxiliary atmospheric datasets to investigate interannual ice-mass changes during the extreme 2015-16 El Niño. Enhanced precipitation during this event contributed positively to the mass of the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctic ice sheets, with the mass gain on the peninsula being unprecedented within GRACE’s observational record. Over the coastal basins of East Antarctica, the precipitation-driven mass loss observed in recent years was arrested, with pronounced accumulation over Terre Adélie dominating this response. Little change was observed over Central Antarctica where, after a brief pause, enhanced mass-loss due to weakened precipitation continued. Overall, precipitation changes over this period were sufficient to temporarily offset Antarctica’s usual (approximately 0.4 mm yr-1) contribution to global mean sea level rise.

How to cite: Bingham, R. and Bodart, J.: The Impact of the Extreme 2015-16 El Niño on the Mass Balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2900, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2900, 2020.

D2565 |
Michiel van den Broeke, Brice Noël, Leo van Kampenhout, and Willem-Jan van de Berg

The mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS, units Gt per year) equals the surface mass balance (SMB) minus solid ice discharge across the grounding line. As the latter is definite positive, an important threshold for irreversible GrIS mass loss occurs when long-term average SMB becomes negative. For this to happen, runoff (mainly meltwater, some rain) must exceed mass accumulation (mainly snowfall minus sublimation). Even for a single year, this threshold has not been passed since at least 1958, the first year with reliable estimates of SMB components, although recent years with warm summers (e.g. 2012 and 2019) came close. Simply extrapolating the recent (1991-present) negative SMB trend into the future suggests that the SMB = 0 threshold could be reached before ~2040, but such predictions are extremely uncertain given the very large interannual SMB variability, the relative brevity of the time series and the uncertainty in future warming. In this study we use a cascade of models, extensively evaluated with in-situ and remotely sensed (GRACE) SMB observations, to better constrain the future regional warming threshold for the 5-year average GrIS SMB to become negative. To this end, a 1950-2100 climate change run with the global model CESM2 (app. 100 km resolution) was dynamically downscaled using the regional climate model RACMO2 (app. 11 km), which in turn was statistically downscaled to 1 km resolution. The result is a threshold regional Greenland warming of close to 4 degrees. We then use a range of CMIP5 and CMIP6 global climate models to translate the regional value into a global warming threshold for various warming scenarios, including its timing this century. We find substantial differences, ranging from stabilization before the threshold is reached in the RCP/SSP2.6 scenarios with a limited but still significant sea-level rise contribution (< 5 cm by 2100) to an imminent crossing of the warming threshold for the RCP/SSP8.5 scenarios with substantial and ever-growing contributions to sea level rise (> 10 cm by 2100). These results stress the need for strong mitigation to avoid irreversible GrIS mass loss. We finish by discussing the caveats and uncertainties of our approach.

How to cite: van den Broeke, M., Noël, B., van Kampenhout, L., and van de Berg, W.-J.: A regional atmospheric warming threshold for irreversible Greenland ice sheet mass loss, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19032, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19032, 2020.

D2566 |
Petra Langebroek, Svein Østerhus, and TiPACCs Consortium

Recently, several of the West Antarctic ice shelves have experienced thinning driven by ocean-induced basal melting. The consequent reduction in buttressing of the Antarctic ice sheet causes an increase in the discharge of the grounded ice into the ocean.

In our new Horizon 2020 project “Tipping Points in Antarctic Climate Components” (TiPACCs) we address these processes by assessing the possible switch from “cold” to “warm” Antarctic continental shelf seas (tipping point 1) and the possible shift in the stability regime of the Antarctic ice sheet from a stable to an unstable configuration (tipping point 2). Investigating the coupled ocean-ice system, the tipping points and their feedbacks, will provide insight into the threat of abrupt and large sea-level rise. In TiPACCs we use a suite of state-of-the-art ocean circulation and ice sheet models, in stand-alone and coupled set-up. The proximity of the simulated tipping points will be determined by existing remote sensing and in-situ observations. The possibility that the tipping points were crossed during the Last Interglacial will be investigated and allow for a better understanding of how the ocean-ice system works during warmer than present-day conditions.

This EGU contribution will present the ideas, the planned work, and the consortium of TiPACCs.

How to cite: Langebroek, P., Østerhus, S., and Consortium, T.: Tipping Points in Antarctic Climate Components (TiPACCs), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10941, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10941, 2020.

D2567 |
Stefan Hofer, Charlotte Lang, Charles Amory, Christoph Kittel, Alison Delhasse, Andrew Tedstone, Patrick Alexander, Robin Smith, and Xavier Fettweis

Future climate projections show a marked increase in Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) runoff
during the 21st century, a direct consequence of the Polar Amplification signal. Regional
climate models (RCMs) are a widely used tool to downscale ensembles of projections from
global climate models (GCMs) to assess the impact of global warming on GrIS melt and
sea level rise contribution. Initial results of the CMIP6 GCM model intercomparison
project have revealed a greater 21st century temperature rise than in CMIP5 models.
However, so far very little is known about the subsequent impacts on the future GrIS
surface melt and therefore sea level rise contribution. Here, we show that the total GrIS
melt during the 21st century almost doubles when using CMIP6 forcing compared to the
previous CMIP5 model ensemble, despite an equal global radiative forcing of +8.5 W/m2
in 2100 in both RCP8.5 and SSP58.5 scenarios. The total GrIS sea level rise contribution
from surface melt in our high-resolution (15 km) projections is 17.8 cm in SSP58.5, 7.9 cm
more than in our RCP8.5 simulations, despite the same radiative forcing. We identify a
+1.7°C greater Arctic amplification in the CMIP6 ensemble as the main driver behind the
presented doubling of future GrIS sea level rise contribution

How to cite: Hofer, S., Lang, C., Amory, C., Kittel, C., Delhasse, A., Tedstone, A., Alexander, P., Smith, R., and Fettweis, X.: Doubling of future Greenland Ice Sheet surface melt revealed by the new CMIP6 high-emission scenario, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19502, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19502, 2020.

D2568 |
Helene Seroussi, Heiko Goelzer, and Mathieu Morlighem and the ISMIP6 Team

Ice flow models of the Antarctic ice sheet are commonly used to simulate its future evolution in response to differ- ent climate scenarios and inform on the mass loss that would contribute to future sea level rise. However, there is currently no consensus on estimated the future mass balance of the ice sheet, primarily because of differences in the representation of physical processes and the forcings employed. This study presents results from 18 simulations from 15 international groups focusing on the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet during the period 2015-2100, forced with different scenarios from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) representative of the spread in climate model results. The contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet in response to increased warming during this period varies between -7.8 and 30.0 cm of Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). The evolution of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet varies widely among models, with an overall mass loss up to 21.0 cm SLE in response to changes in oceanic conditions. East Antarctica mass change varies between -6.5 and 16.5 cm SLE, with a significant increase in surface mass balance outweighing the increased ice discharge under most RCP 8.5 scenario forcings. The inclusion of ice shelf collapse, here assumed to be caused by large amounts of liquid water ponding at the surface of ice shelves, yields an additional mass loss of 8 mm compared to simulations without ice shelf collapse. The largest sources of uncertainty come from the ocean-induced melt rates, the calibration of these melt rates based on oceanic conditions taken outside of ice shelf cavities and the ice sheet dynamic response to these oceanic changes. Results under RCP 2.6 scenario based on two CMIP5 AOGCMs show an overall mass loss of 10 mm SLE compared to simulations done under present-day conditions, with limited mass gain in East Antarctica.

How to cite: Seroussi, H., Goelzer, H., and Morlighem, M. and the ISMIP6 Team: ISMIP6 Antarctica: a multi-model ensemble of the Antarctic ice sheet evolution over the 21st century, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6309, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6309, 2020.

D2569 |
Johanna Beckmann, Alison Delhasse, and Ricarda Winkelmann


How to cite: Beckmann, J., Delhasse, A., and Winkelmann, R.: How will the Greenland Ice Sheet develop under Extreme Melt Events?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18721, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18721, 2020.

D2570 |
Konstanze Haubner, Sainan Sun, Lars Zipf, and Frank Pattyn

Totten glacier is draining 68% of the Aurora basin, East Antarctica, - an equivalent to 3.5m global sea level rise. Further, Totten’s thickness and velocity have been fluctuating during the last decades showing periodic speed-ups and thinning.

We investigate the effect of different ocean forcing on Totten glacier using the state-of-the-art ice sheet model BISICLES and based on the high-resolution data sets BedMachine Antarctica and REMA (Morlighem et al., 2019; Howat et al., 2019). Our simulations (2015-2100) are following the ISMIP6 setup and are based on CMIP5 & CMIP6 AOGCM outputs under RCP8.5 and RCP2.6. The contribution to sea level at 2100 varies between plus and minus 6mm. For all scenarios, we see thinning at the sides of Totten glacier in the slower flowing areas, but only climate models with sub-shelf melt rates that are at least 8m/a above the reference melt rates (1995 – 2017) lead to thinning and acceleration across Totten's grounding line. In agreement with ISMIP6 results, non-local quadratic melt rates adjusted to present day conditions at Pine island glacier, West Antarctica, results in the highest sub-shelf melt rates for all AOGCMs (up to 80m/a locally).

The ISMIP6 ocean melt scheme is based on a feedback given the simulated ice draft change: the thermal forcing of the ocean model is taken from the ocean layer closest to the bottom of the ice shelf at the current simulation step. Simulations not including this feedback lead to higher mass loss than the standard ISMIP6 scenario including the feedback.

How to cite: Haubner, K., Sun, S., Zipf, L., and Pattyn, F.: Changes on Totten glacier dependent on oceanic forcing based on ISMIP6, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9208, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9208, 2020.

D2571 |
Martin Rückamp, Heiko Goelzer, Thomas Kleiner, and Angelika Humbert

Projections of the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise include uncertainties primarily due to the imposed climate forcing and the initial state of the ice sheet model. Several state-of-the-art ice flow models are currently being employed on various grid resolutions to estimate future mass changes in the framework of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6). Here we investigate the sensitivity to grid resolution on centennial sea-level contributions from the Greenland ice sheet and study the mechanism at play. To this end, we employ the finite-element higher-order ice flow model ISSM and conduct experiments with four different horizontal resolutions, namely 4, 2, 1 and 0.75 km. We run the simulation based on the ISMIP6 core GCM MIROC5 under the high emission scenario RCP8.5 and consider both atmospheric and oceanic forcing in full and separate scenarios. Under the full scenarios, finer simulations unveil up to 5% more sea-level rise compared to the coarser resolution. The sensitivity depends on the magnitude of outlet glacier retreat, which is implemented as a series of retreat masks following the ISMIP6 protocol. Without imposed retreat under atmosphere-only forcing, the resolution dependency exhibits an opposite behaviour with about 5% more sea-level contribution in the coarser resolution. The sea-level contribution indicates a converging behaviour ≤ 1 km horizontal resolution. A driving mechanism for differences is the ability to resolve the bed topography, which highly controls ice discharge to the ocean. Additionally, thinning and acceleration emerge to propagate further inland in high resolution for many glaciers. A major response mechanism is sliding (despite no climate-induced hydrological feedback is invoked), with an enhanced feedback on the effective normal pressure N at higher resolution leading to a larger increase in sliding speeds under scenarios with outlet glacier retreat.

How to cite: Rückamp, M., Goelzer, H., Kleiner, T., and Humbert, A.: Sensitivity of Greenland ice sheet projections to spatial resolution in higher-order simulations: the AWI contribution to ISMIP6-Greenland using ISSM, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14565, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-14565, 2020.

D2572 |
Nadine Wieters, Dirk Barbi, and Luisa Cristini

Earth System Models (ESMs) are composed of different components, including submodels as well as whole domain models. Within such an ESM, these model components need to exchange information to account for the interactions between the different compartments. This exchange of data is the purpose of a “model coupler”.

Within the Advanced Earth System Modelling Capacity (ESM) project, a goal is to develop a modular framework that allows for a flexible ESM configuration. One approach is to implement purpose build model couplers in a more modular way.

For this purpose, we developed the esm-interface library, in consideration of the following objectives: (i) To obtain a more modular ESM, that allows model components and model couplers to be exchangeable; and (ii) to account for a more flexible coupling configuration of an ESM setup.

As a first application of the esm-interface library, we implemented it into the AWI Climate Model (AWI-CM) [Sidorenko et al., 2015] as an interface between the model components and the model coupler (OASIS3-MCT; Valcke [2013]). In a second step, we extended the esm-interface library for a second coupler (YAC; Hanke et al. [2016]).

In this presentation, we will discuss the general idea of the esm-interface library, it’s implementation in an ESM setup and show first results from the first modular prototype of AWI-CM.

How to cite: Wieters, N., Barbi, D., and Cristini, L.: Modular AWI-CM: An Earth System Model (ESM) prototype using the esm-interface library for a modular ESM coupling approach, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6990, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6990, 2020.

D2573 |
Thomas Kleiner, Jeremie Schmiedel, and Angelika Humbert

Ice sheets constitute the largest and most uncertain potential source of future sea-level rise. The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) brings together a consortium of international ice sheet and climate models to explore the contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to future sea-level rise.

We use the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM, pism-docs.org) to carry out spinup and projection simulations for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Our treatment of the ice-ocean boundary condition previously based on 3D ocean temperatures (initMIP-Antarctica) has been adopted to use the ISMIP6 parameterisation and 3D ocean forcing fields (temperature and salinity) according to the ISMIP6 protocol.

In this study, we analyse the impact of the choices made during the model initialisation procedure on the initial state. We present the AWI PISM results of the ISMIP6 projection simulations and investigate the ice sheet response for individual basins. In the analysis, we distinguish between the local and non-local ice shelf basal melt parameterisation.

How to cite: Kleiner, T., Schmiedel, J., and Humbert, A.: ISMIP6 Future Projections for Antarctica performed using the AWI PISM ice sheet model, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16948, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-16948, 2020.