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Predicted present-day evolution patterns of ice thickness and bedrock elevation over Greenland and Antarctica

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Huybrechts, P. and Le Meur, E. (1999): Predicted present-day evolution patterns of ice thickness and bedrock elevation over Greenland and Antarctica , Polar Research, 18 (2), pp. 299-306 .
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Abstract:

The paper presents a discussion of evolution patterns of present-day changes of ice thickness, surface elevation, and bedrock elevation over the Greenlandand Antarctic continents. These patterns were obtained from calculations with dynamic 3-D thermomechanic ice sheet models which were coupled to aself-gravitating spherical visco-elastic Earth model. The experiments were initialized with simulations over the last two glacial cycles and subsequentlyanalyzed over the last 200 years to obtain the present evolution. The calculations brought to light that the Antarctic ice sheet is still adjusting to the lastglacial-interglacial transition yielding a decreasing ice volume and a rising bedrock elevation of the order of several cm per year. The Greenland ice sheet, onthe other hand, was found to be close to a stationary state with a mean thickness change of only a few mm per year. However, the calculations revealed largespatial differences. Patterns over Greenland are characterized by a small thickening over the ice-sheet interior and a general thinning of the ablation areatogether with a concomitant concentric pattern of rising bedrock elevations around the Greenland margin and a small sinking below central Greenland. InAntarctica, almost all of the changes are concentrated in the West Antarctic ice sheet, which is still retreating at both the Weddell and Ross Sea margins. Overmost of both ice sheets, the surface elevation trend is dominated by ice thickness changes rather than by bedrock elevation changes.

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