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Volume 12, issue 10 | Copyright
The Cryosphere, 12, 3097-3121, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 02 Oct 2018

Research article | 02 Oct 2018

Simulation of the future sea level contribution of Greenland with a new glacial system model

Reinhard Calov1, Sebastian Beyer1,2,3, Ralf Greve4, Johanna Beckmann1, Matteo Willeit1, Thomas Kleiner2, Martin Rückamp2, Angelika Humbert2,3, and Andrey Ganopolski1 Reinhard Calov et al.
  • 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Member of the Leibniz Association, P.O. Box 601203, 14412 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 3University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Abstract. We introduce the coupled model of the Greenland glacial system IGLOO 1.0, including the polythermal ice sheet model SICOPOLIS (version 3.3) with hybrid dynamics, the model of basal hydrology HYDRO and a parameterization of submarine melt for marine-terminated outlet glaciers. The aim of this glacial system model is to gain a better understanding of the processes important for the future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level rise under future climate change scenarios. The ice sheet is initialized via a relaxation towards observed surface elevation, imposing the palaeo-surface temperature over the last glacial cycle. As a present-day reference, we use the 1961–1990 standard climatology derived from simulations of the regional atmosphere model MAR with ERA reanalysis boundary conditions. For the palaeo-part of the spin-up, we add the temperature anomaly derived from the GRIP ice core to the years 1961–1990 average surface temperature field. For our projections, we apply surface temperature and surface mass balance anomalies derived from RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios created by MAR with boundary conditions from simulations with three CMIP5 models. The hybrid ice sheet model is fully coupled with the model of basal hydrology. With this model and the MAR scenarios, we perform simulations to estimate the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea level rise until the end of the 21st and 23rd centuries. Further on, the impact of elevation–surface mass balance feedback, introduced via the MAR data, on future sea level rise is inspected. In our projections, we found the Greenland ice sheet to contribute between 1.9 and 13.0cm to global sea level rise until the year 2100 and between 3.5 and 76.4cm until the year 2300, including our simulated additional sea level rise due to elevation–surface mass balance feedback. Translated into additional sea level rise, the strength of this feedback in the year 2100 varies from 0.4 to 1.7cm, and in the year 2300 it ranges from 1.7 to 21.8cm. Additionally, taking the Helheim and Store glaciers as examples, we investigate the role of ocean warming and surface runoff change for the melting of outlet glaciers. It shows that ocean temperature and subglacial discharge are about equally important for the melting of the examined outlet glaciers.

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Short summary
We present RCP 4.5 and 8.5 projections for the Greenland glacial system with the new glacial system model IGLOO 1.0, which incorporates the ice sheet model SICOPOLIS 3.3, a model of basal hydrology and a parameterization of submarine melt of outlet glaciers. Surface temperature and mass balance anomalies from the MAR climate model serve as forcing delivering projections for the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level rise and submarine melt of Helheim and Store outlet glaciers.
We present RCP 4.5 and 8.5 projections for the Greenland glacial system with the new glacial...