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

Uncertainties in Greenland ice sheet evolution and related sea-level projections until 2100

Charlotte Rahlves1,3, Heiko Goelzer1,3, Petra Langebroek1,3, and Andreas Born2,3
Charlotte Rahlves et al.
  • 1NORCE, Norwegian Research Centre, Norway (
  • 2University of Bergen, Norway
  • 3Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway

The Greenland ice sheet is currently one of the main contributors to sea-level rise and mass loss from the ice sheet is expected to continue under increasing Arctic warming. Since sea-level rise is threatening coastal communities worldwide, reducing uncertainties in projections of future sea-level contribution from the Greenland ice sheet is of high importance. In this study we address the response of the ice sheet to future climate change. We determine rates of sea-level contribution that can be expected from the ice sheet until 2100 by performing an ensemble of standalone ice sheet simulations with the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM). The ice sheet is initialized to resemble the presently observed geometry by inverting for basal friction. We examine a range of uncertainties, associated to stand alone ice sheet modeling by prescribing forcing from various global circulations models (GCMs) for different future forcing scenarios (shared socioeconomic pathways, SSPs). Atmospheric forcing is downscaled with the regional climate model MAR. The response of marine terminating outlet glaciers to ocean forcing is represented by a retreat parameterization and sampled by considering different sensitivities. Furthermore, we investigate how the initialization of the ice sheet with forcing from different global circulation models affects the projected rates of sea-level contribution. In addition, sensitivity of the results to the grid spacing of the ice sheet model is assessed. The observed historical mass loss is generally well reproduced by the ensemble. The projections yield a sea-level contribution in the range of 70 to 230 mm under the SSP5-8.5 scenario until 2100. Climate forcing constitutes the largest source of uncertainty for projected sea-level contribution, while differences due to the initial state of the ice sheet and grid resolution are minor.



How to cite: Rahlves, C., Goelzer, H., Langebroek, P., and Born, A.: Uncertainties in Greenland ice sheet evolution and related sea-level projections until 2100, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7020,, 2023.