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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 9, 881-903, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-881-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 9, 881-903, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-881-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 06 May 2015

Research article | 06 May 2015

Simulating the Antarctic ice sheet in the late-Pliocene warm period: PLISMIP-ANT, an ice-sheet model intercomparison project

B. de Boer1,2, A. M. Dolan3, J. Bernales4,5, E. Gasson6, H. Goelzer7, N. R. Golledge8,9, J. Sutter10, P. Huybrechts7, G. Lohmann10, I. Rogozhina4, A. Abe-Ouchi11, F. Saito12, and R. S. W. van de Wal2 B. de Boer et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 3School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 4Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 5Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 6Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
  • 7Earth System Sciences & Departement Geografie, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
  • 8Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 9GNS Science, Avalon, 5011 Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • 10Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 11Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, 277-8568, Japan
  • 12Department of Integrated Climate Change Projection Research, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan

Abstract. In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals in Earth history is of fundamental importance. The late Pliocene warm period (also known as the PRISM interval: 3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise should be expected from both the Greenland ice sheet and the West and East Antarctic ice sheets based on palaeo sea-level reconstructions. Here, we present results from simulations of the Antarctic ice sheet by means of an international Pliocene Ice Sheet Modeling Intercomparison Project (PLISMIP-ANT). For the experiments, ice-sheet models including the shallow ice and shelf approximations have been used to simulate the complete Antarctic domain (including grounded and floating ice). We compare the performance of six existing numerical ice-sheet models in simulating modern control and Pliocene ice sheets by a suite of five sensitivity experiments. We include an overview of the different ice-sheet models used and how specific model configurations influence the resulting Pliocene Antarctic ice sheet. The six ice-sheet models simulate a comparable present-day ice sheet, considering the models are set up with their own parameter settings. For the Pliocene, the results demonstrate the difficulty of all six models used here to simulate a significant retreat or re-advance of the East Antarctic ice grounding line, which is thought to have happened during the Pliocene for the Wilkes and Aurora basins. The specific sea-level contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet at this point cannot be conclusively determined, whereas improved grounding line physics could be essential for a correct representation of the migration of the grounding-line of the Antarctic ice sheet during the Pliocene.

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We present results from simulations of the Antarctic ice sheet by means of an intercomparison project with six ice-sheet models. Our results demonstrate the difficulty of all models used here to simulate a significant retreat or re-advance of the East Antarctic ice grounding line. Improved grounding-line physics could be essential for a correct representation of the migration of the grounding line of the Antarctic ice sheet during the Pliocene.
We present results from simulations of the Antarctic ice sheet by means of an intercomparison...
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