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

The influence of temperature variability on the Greenland ice sheet

Mikkel Lauritzen1, Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir2, Nicholas Rathmann1, Aslak Grinsted1, Brice Noël3, and Christine Hvidberg1
Mikkel Lauritzen et al.
  • 1Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (
  • 2Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 3Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

The projected contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise in response to future warming relies upon the state of the present-day ice sheet, and one of the main contributors to uncertainties in projections is due to uncertainties in the initial state of the simulated ice sheet. A previous study showed that including the inter-annual climate variability in an idealized ice sheet model leads to an increased mass loss rate, but the effect on the Greenland ice sheet is not known. Here we present a study using the PISM model to quantify the influence of inter-annual variability in climate forcing on the Greenland ice sheet. 
We construct an ensemble of climate-forcing fields that account for inter-annual variability in temperature using reanalysis data products from RACMO and NOAA-CIRES, and we investigate the steady state and the sensitivity of the simulated Greenland ice sheet under these different scenarios.
We find that the steady state volume decreases by 0.24-0.38% when forced with a variable temperature forcing compared to a constant temperature forcing, corresponding to 21.7±5.0 mm of sea level rise, and the response to abrupt warming is 0.03-0.21 mm SLE a-1 higher depending on climate scenario. The northern basins are particularly sensitive with a change in volume of 1.2-0.9%. Our results emphasize the importance of including climate variability in projections of future mass loss.

How to cite: Lauritzen, M., Aðalgeirsdóttir, G., Rathmann, N., Grinsted, A., Noël, B., and Hvidberg, C.: The influence of temperature variability on the Greenland ice sheet, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7507,, 2023.