A high-end sea level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic ice sheet mass loss

D.M. Le Bars, S.S. Drijfhout, Hylke de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The potential for break-up of Antarctic ice shelves by hydrofracturing and following ice cliff instability might be important for future ice dynamics. One recent study suggests that the Antarctic ice sheet could lose a lot more mass during the 21st century than previously thought. This increased mass-loss is found to strongly depend on the emission scenario and thereby on global temperature change. We investigate the impact of this new information on high-end global sea level rise projections by developing a probabilistic process-based method. It is shown that uncertainties in the projections increase when including the temperature dependence of Antarctic mass loss and the uncertainty in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) model ensemble. Including these new uncertainties we provide probability density functions for the high-end distribution of total global mean sea level in 2100 conditional on emission scenario. These projections provide a probabilistic context to previous extreme sea level scenarios developed for adaptation purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number044013
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • sea level rise
  • antarctica
  • probabilistic projections
  • extreme pathways
  • high-end projections

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