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Probabilistic parameterisation of the surface mass balance–elevation feedback in regional climate model simulations of the Greenland ice sheet

Authors: Edwards, T.; Fettweis, Xavier; Gagliardini, O.; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Goelzer, H.; Gregory, J.; Hoffman, M.; +6 Authors

Probabilistic parameterisation of the surface mass balance–elevation feedback in regional climate model simulations of the Greenland ice sheet

Abstract

We present a new parameterisation that relates surface mass balance (SMB: the sum of surface accumulation and surface ablation) to changes in surface elevation of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) for the MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional: Fettweis, 2007) regional climate model. The motivation is to dynamically adjust SMB as the GrIS evolves, allowing us to force ice sheet models with SMB simulated by MAR while incorporating the SMB–elevation feedback, without the substantial technical challenges of coupling ice sheet and climate models. This also allows us to assess the effect of elevation feedback uncertainty on the GrIS contribution to sea level, using multiple global climate and ice sheet models, without the need for additional, expensive MAR simulations. We estimate this relationship separately below and above the equilibrium line altitude (ELA, separating negative and positive SMB) and for regions north and south of 77° N, from a set of MAR simulations in which we alter the ice sheet surface elevation. These give four "SMB lapse rates", gradients that relate SMB changes to elevation changes. We assess uncertainties within a Bayesian framework, estimating probability distributions for each gradient from which we present best estimates and credibility intervals (CI) that bound 95% of the probability. Below the ELA our gradient estimates are mostly positive, because SMB usually increases with elevation: 0.56 (95% CI: −0.22 to 1.33) kg m−3 a−1 for the north, and 1.91 (1.03 to 2.61) kg m−3 a−1 for the south. Above the ELA, the gradients are much smaller in magnitude: 0.09 (−0.03 to 0.23) kg m−3 a−1 in the north, and 0.07 (−0.07 to 0.59) kg m−3 a−1 in the south, because SMB can either increase or decrease in response to increased elevation. Our statistically founded approach allows us to make probabilistic assessments for the effect of elevation feedback uncertainty on sea level projections (Edwards et al., 2014).

Country
Belgium
Keywords

Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences, Physique, chimie, mathématiques & sciences de la terre, Earth sciences & physical geography, Sciences de la terre & géographie physique

32 references, page 1 of 4

4 Bamber, J. L., Layberry, R. L., and Gogenini, S. P.: A new ice thickness and bed data set for the Greenland ice sheet 1: measurement, data reduction, and errors, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 33773-33780, 2001. [OpenAIRE]

Edwards, T. L., Fettweis, X., Gagliardini, O., Gillet-Chaulet, F., Goelzer, H., Gregory, J. M., Hoffman, M., Huybrechts, P., Payne, A. J., Perego, M., Price, S., Quiquet, A., and Ritz, C.: Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance-elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet, The Cryosphere, 8, 195-208, doi:10.5194/tc-8-195-2014, 2014. [OpenAIRE]

Ettema, J., van den Broeke, M. R., van Meijgaard, E., van de Berg, W. J., Bamber, J. L., Box, J. E., and Bales, R. C.: Higher surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by highresolution climate modeling, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L12501, doi:10.1029/2009GL038110, 2009.

Fettweis, X.: Reconstruction of the 1979-2006 Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR, The Cryosphere, 1, 21-40, doi:10.5194/tc-1-21-2007, 2007.

Fettweis, X., Gallée, H., Lefebre, L., and van Ypersele, J.-P.: Greenland surface mass balance simulated by a regional climate model and comparison with satellite derived data in 1990-1991, Clim. Dynam., 24, 623-640, 2005.

Fettweis, X., Tedesco, M., van den Broeke, M., and Ettema, J.: Melting trends over the Greenland ice sheet (1958-2009) from spaceborne microwave data and regional climate models, The Cryosphere, 5, 359-375, doi:10.5194/tc-5-359-2011, 2011.

Fettweis, X., Franco, B., Tedesco, M., van Angelen, J. H., Lenaerts, J. T. M., van den Broeke, M. R., and Gallée, H.: Estimating the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR, The Cryosphere, 7, 469-489, doi:10.5194/tc-7-469-2013, 2013. [OpenAIRE]

Franco, B., Fettweis, X., Lang, C., and Erpicum, M.: Impact of spatial resolution on the modelling of the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance between 1990-2010, using the regional climate model MAR, The Cryosphere, 6, 695-711, doi:10.5194/tc6-695-2012, 2012.

Goelzer, H., Huybrechts, P., Fürst, J. J., Nick, F. M., Andersen, M. L., Edwards, T. L., Fettweis, X., Payne, A. J., and Shannon, S. R.: Sensitivity of Greenland ice sheet projections to model formulations, J. Glaciol., 59, 733-749, doi:10.3189/2013JoG12J182, 2013. [OpenAIRE]

Gordon, C., Cooper, C., Senior, C. A., Banks, H., Gregory, J. M., Johns, T. C., Mitchell, J., and Wood, R. A.: The simulation of SST, sea ice extents and ocean heat transports in a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments, Clim. Dynam., 16, 147-168, 2000.

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    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
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Funded by
EC| ICE2SEA
Project
ICE2SEA
Ice2sea - estimating the future contribution of continental ice to sea-level rise
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 226375
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | ENV
,
NSF| Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)
Project
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 0424589
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Geosciences | Division of Polar Programs
iis
Related to Research communities
European Marine Science
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