EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sensitivity of future projections of ice sheet retreat to initial conditions

Tijn Berends1, Jorjo Bernales1, Caroline van Calcar1,2, and Roderik van de Wal1,3
Tijn Berends et al.
  • 1Utrecht University, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Physics and Astronomy, Utrecht, Netherlands (
  • 2Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • 3Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are expected to experience substantial mass loss in the case of unmitigated anthropogenic climate change. The exact rate of future mass loss under high warming scenarios remains uncertain, depending strongly on physical quantities that are difficult to constrain from observations, such as basal sliding and sub-shelf melt. We apply a novel model initialisation protocol, that combines elements from existing approaches such as the equilibrium spin-up, basal inversion, and palaeo spin-up, to models of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. We show the results in term of sea-level projections including the uncertainties, under different warming scenarios, following the ISMIP6 protocol.

This abstract is a companion to “On the initialisation of ice sheet models: equilibrium assumptions, thermal memory, and present-day states” by Bernales et al. We hope that, if both abstracts are lucky enough to be accepted, the conveners can program the two talks in sequence.

How to cite: Berends, T., Bernales, J., van Calcar, C., and van de Wal, R.: Sensitivity of future projections of ice sheet retreat to initial conditions, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14236,, 2023.