Changes in Antarctic surface conditions and potential for ice shelf hydrofracturing from 1850 to 2200

Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Amory, Charles; Kittel, Christoph; Durand, Gaël

A mixed statistical-physical approach is used to emulate the spatio-temporal variability of the Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance and runoff of a regional climate model. We demonstrate the ability of this simple method to extend existing MAR simulations to other periods, scenarios or climate models, that were not originally processed through the regional climate model. This method is useful to quickly populate ensembles of surface mass balance and runoff which are needed to constrain ice sheet model ensembles.

After correcting the distribution of equilibrium climate sensitivity of 16 climate models, we find a likely contribution of surface mass balance to sea level rise of 0.4 to 2.2 cm from 1900 to 2010, and -3.4 to -0.1 cm from 2100 to 2099 under the SSP1-2.6 scenario, versus -4.4 to -1.4 cm under SSP2-4.5 and -7.8 to -4.0 cm under SSP5-8.5. Based on a more limited and uncorrected ensemble, we find a considerable uncertainty in the contribution to sea level from 2000 to 2200: between -10 and -1 cm in SSP1-2.6 and between -33 and +6 cm in SSP5-8.5.

Based on a runoff criteria in our reconstructions, we identify the emergence of surface conditions prone to hydrofracturing. A majority of ice shelves could remain safe from hydrofracturing under the SSP1-2.6 scenario, but all the Antarctic ice shelves could be prone to hydrofracturing before 2130 under the SSP5-8.5 scenario.

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Jourdain, Nicolas C. / Amory, Charles / Kittel, Christoph / et al: Changes in Antarctic surface conditions and potential for ice shelf hydrofracturing from 1850 to 2200. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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