Ocean-forced evolution of the Amundsen Sea catchment, West Antarctica, by 2100

Alanna V. Alevropoulos-Borrill*, Isabel J. Nias, Antony J. Payne, Nicholas R. Golledge, Rory J. Bingham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


The response of ice streams in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) to future climate forcing is highly uncertain. Here we present projections of 21st century response of ASE ice streams to modelled local ocean temperature change using a subset of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) simulations. We use the BISICLES adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) ice sheet model, with high-resolution grounding line resolving capabilities, to explore grounding line migration in response to projected sub-ice-shelf basal melting. We find a contribution to sea level rise of between 2.0 and 4.5&thinsp;cm by 2100 under RCP8.5 conditions from the CMIP5 subset, where the mass loss response is linearly related to the mean ocean temperature anomaly. To account for uncertainty associated with model initialization, we perform three further sets of CMIP5-forced experiments using different parameterizations that explore perturbations to the prescription of initial basal melt, the basal traction coefficient and the ice stiffening factor. We find that the response of the ASE to ocean temperature forcing is highly dependent on the parameter fields obtained in the initialization procedure, where the sensitivity of the ASE ice streams to the sub-ice-shelf melt forcing is dependent on the choice of parameter set. Accounting for ice sheet model parameter uncertainty results in a projected range in sea level equivalent contribution from the ASE of between <span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">-0.02</span> and 12.1&thinsp;cm by the end of the 21st century..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1258
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


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