Antarctic ice sheet response to sudden and sustained ice-shelf collapse (ABUMIP)

Thomas.Kleiner [ at ]


Antarctica's ice shelves modulate the grounded ice flow, and weakening of ice shelves due to climate forcing will decrease their ‘buttressing’ effect, causing a response in the grounded ice. While the processes governing ice-shelf weakening are complex, uncertainties in the response of the grounded ice sheet are also difficult to assess. The Antarctic BUttressing Model Intercomparison Project (ABUMIP) compares ice-sheet model responses to decrease in buttressing by investigating the ‘end-member’ scenario of total and sustained loss of ice shelves. Although unrealistic, this scenario enables gauging the sensitivity of an ensemble of 15 ice-sheet models to a total loss of buttressing, hence exhibiting the full potential of marine ice-sheet instability. All models predict that this scenario leads to multi-metre (1–12 m) sea-level rise over 500 years from present day. West Antarctic ice sheet collapse alone leads to a 1.91–5.08 m sea-level rise due to the marine ice-sheet instability. Mass loss rates are a strong function of the sliding/friction law, with plastic laws cause a further destabilization of the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, East Antarctica. Improvements to marine ice-sheet models have greatly reduced variability between modelled ice-sheet responses to extreme ice-shelf loss, e.g. compared to the SeaRISE assessments.

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DOI 10.1017/jog.2020.67

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Sun, S. , Pattyn, F. , Simon, E. G. , Albrecht, T. , Cornford, S. , Calov, R. , Dumas, C. , Gillet-Chaulet, F. , Goelzer, H. , Golledge, N. R. , Greve, R. , Hoffman, M. J. , Humbert, A. , Kazmierczak, E. , Kleiner, T. , Leguy, G. R. , Lipscomb, W. H. , Martin, D. , Morlighem, M. , Nowicki, S. , Pollard, D. , Price, S. , Quiquet, A. , Seroussi, H. , Schlemm, T. , Sutter, J. , van de Wal, R. S. W. , Winkelmann, R. and Zhang, T. (2020): Antarctic ice sheet response to sudden and sustained ice-shelf collapse (ABUMIP) , Journal of Glaciology, 66 (260), pp. 891-904 . doi: 10.1017/jog.2020.67

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