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The dynamic response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to multiple-century climatic warming
Huybrechts, P.; de Wolde, J. (1999). The dynamic response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to multiple-century climatic warming. J. Clim. 12(8): 2169-2188.<2169:TDROTG>2.0.CO;2
In: Journal of Climate. American Meteorological Society: Boston, MA. ISSN 0894-8755, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 244250 [ OMA ]

Authors  Top 
  • Huybrechts, P., more
  • de Wolde, J.

    New calculations were performed to investigate the combined response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to a range of climatic warming scenarios over the next millennium. Use was made of fully dynamic 3D thermomechanic ice sheet models, which were coupled to a two-dimensional climate model. The experiments were initialized with simulations over the last two glacial cycles to estimate the present evolution and were subsequently forced with temperature scenarios resulting from greenhouse emission scenarios which assume equivalent CO2 increases of two, four, and eight times the present (1990 a.d.) value by the year 2130 a.d. and a stabilization after that. The calculations brought to light that during the next century (short-term effect), the background evolution trend would dominate the response of the Antarctic ice sheet but would be negligible for the Greenland ice sheet. On that timescale, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would roughly balance one another for the middle scenario (similar to the IPCC96 IS92a scenario), with respective contributions to the worldwide sea level stand on the order of about ±10 cm. On the longer term, however, both ice sheets would contribute positively to the worldwide sea level stand and the most important effect would come from melting on the Greenland ice sheet. Sensitivity experiments highlighted the role of ice dynamics and the height–mass-balance feedback on the results. It was found that ice dynamics cannot be neglected for the Greenland ice sheet, not even on a century timescale, but becomes only important for Antarctica on the longer term. The latter is related to an increased outflow of ice into the ice shelves and to the grounding-line retreat of the west Antarctic ice sheet, which are both found to be sensitive to basal melting below ice shelves and the effective viscosity of the ice shelves. Stretching parameters to their limits yielded a combined maximum rate of sea level rise of 85 cm century-1, of which 60 cm would originate from the Greenland ice sheet alone.

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