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Project - Evolution of the Greenland ice sheet from the LGM into the next centuries


This projects aims to improve current estimates of mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet by coupling an Earth System model (EC-Earth) in time slice mode to an ice sheet model (ANICE), where the surface mass balance, in particular the ablation is calibrated against results from a regional climate model (RACMO), which has much better skills with respect to ablation calculations than a GCM. Changes in geometry/topography of the ice sheet and their effect on the mass balance are accounted for by a new spatial mass balance gradient approach. The ice sheet model includes the full coupling of the sea level equation enabling relative sea level calculations and the feedback of changing sea level on the dynamics of the ice sheet. Runs are performed from the LGM into the next centuries in order to capture the current and future imbalance, including transient effects, and validate the model with spatial and temporal bedrock uplift and sea level observations. External results from dedicated outlet glacier models are used to quantify the impact of changes in outlet glaciers on the total mass balance of the entire ice sheet. Runs for the next centuries will be based on the CMIP5 results from The EC-Earth model.

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Michiel M. Helsen, Roderik S. W. van de Wal, et al., 2017. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth. The Cryosphere 11 (4), 1949-1965

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