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Projected land ice contributions to twenty-first-century sea level rise

Edwards, TL, Nowicki, S, Marzeion, B, Hock, R, Goelzer, H, Seroussi, H, Jourdain, NC, Slater, DA, Turner, FE, Smith, CJ, McKenna, CM, Simon, E, Abe-Ouchi, A, Gregory, JM, Larour, E, Lipscomb, WH, Payne, AJ, Shepherd, A, Agosta, C, Alexander, P, Albrecht, T, Anderson, B, Asay-Davis, X, Aschwanden, A, Barthel, A, Bliss, A, Calov, R, Chambers, C, Champollion, N, Choi, Y, Cullather, R, Cuzzone, J, Dumas, C, Felikson, D, Fettweis, X, Fujita, K, Galton-Fenzi, BK, Gladstone, R, Golledge, NR, Greve, R, Hattermann, T, Hoffman, MJ, Humbert, A, Huss, M, Huybrechts, P, Immerzeel, W, Kleiner, T, Kraaijenbrink, P, Le clec'h, S, Lee, V, Leguy, GR, Little, CM, Lowry, DP, Malles, JH, Martin, DF, Maussion, F, Morlighem, M, O'Neill, JF, Nias, I, Pattyn, F, Pelle, T, Price, SF, Quiquet, A, Radic, V, Reese, R, Rounce, DR, Ruckamp, M, Sakai, A, Shafer, C, Schlegel, NJ, Shannon, S, Smith, RS, Straneo, F, Sun, S, Tarasov, L, Trusel, LD, Van Breedam, J, van de Wal, R, van den Broeke, M, Winkelmann, R, Zekollari, H, Zhao, C ORCID: 0000-0003-0368-1334, Zhang, T and Zwinger, T 2021 , 'Projected land ice contributions to twenty-first-century sea level rise' , Nature, vol. 593, no. 7857 , pp. 74-82 , doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03302-y.

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Abstract

The land ice contribution to global mean sea level rise has not yet been predicted1 using ice sheet and glacier models for the latest set of socio-economic scenarios, nor using coordinated exploration of uncertainties arising from the various computer models involved. Two recent international projects generated a large suite of projections using multiple models2,3,4,5,6,7,8, but primarily used previous-generation scenarios9 and climate models10, and could not fully explore known uncertainties. Here we estimate probability d istributions for these projections under the new scenarios11,12 using statistical emulation of the ice sheet and glacier models. We find that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would halve the land ice contribution to twenty-first-century sea level rise, relative to current emissions pledges. The median decreases from 25 to 13 centimetres sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2100, with glaciers responsible for half the sea level contribution. The projected Antarctic contribution does not show a clear response to the emissions scenario, owing to uncertainties in the competing processes of increasing ice loss and snowfall accumulation in a warming climate. However, under risk-averse (pessimistic) assumptions, Antarctic ice loss could be five times higher, increasing the median land ice contribution to 42 centimetres SLE under current policies and pledges, with the 95th percentile projection exceeding half a metre even under 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. This would severely limit the possibility of mitigating future coastal flooding. Given this large range (between 13 centimetres SLE using the main projections under 1.5 degrees Celsius warming and 42 centimetres SLE using risk-averse projections under current pledges), adaptation planning for twenty-first-century sea level rise must account for a factor-of-three uncertainty in the land ice contribution until climate policies and the Antarctic response are further constrained.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Edwards, TL and Nowicki, S and Marzeion, B and Hock, R and Goelzer, H and Seroussi, H and Jourdain, NC and Slater, DA and Turner, FE and Smith, CJ and McKenna, CM and Simon, E and Abe-Ouchi, A and Gregory, JM and Larour, E and Lipscomb, WH and Payne, AJ and Shepherd, A and Agosta, C and Alexander, P and Albrecht, T and Anderson, B and Asay-Davis, X and Aschwanden, A and Barthel, A and Bliss, A and Calov, R and Chambers, C and Champollion, N and Choi, Y and Cullather, R and Cuzzone, J and Dumas, C and Felikson, D and Fettweis, X and Fujita, K and Galton-Fenzi, BK and Gladstone, R and Golledge, NR and Greve, R and Hattermann, T and Hoffman, MJ and Humbert, A and Huss, M and Huybrechts, P and Immerzeel, W and Kleiner, T and Kraaijenbrink, P and Le clec'h, S and Lee, V and Leguy, GR and Little, CM and Lowry, DP and Malles, JH and Martin, DF and Maussion, F and Morlighem, M and O'Neill, JF and Nias, I and Pattyn, F and Pelle, T and Price, SF and Quiquet, A and Radic, V and Reese, R and Rounce, DR and Ruckamp, M and Sakai, A and Shafer, C and Schlegel, NJ and Shannon, S and Smith, RS and Straneo, F and Sun, S and Tarasov, L and Trusel, LD and Van Breedam, J and van de Wal, R and van den Broeke, M and Winkelmann, R and Zekollari, H and Zhao, C and Zhang, T and Zwinger, T
Keywords: global sea level rise, ISMIP6 Antarctica, ice sheet modelling
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0028-0836
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41586-021-03302-y
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Copyright © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited

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