Assessing the contribution of internal climate variability to anthropogenic changes in ice sheet volume

C. Y. Tsai, C. E. Forest, and D. Pollard

Geophysical Research Letters (28 June 2017)

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073443

Understanding ice sheet response to different sources of uncertainty in projecting the climate is essential for assessing long-term risk of sea level rise (SLR). The impact of uncertainty caused by internal climate variability (ICV) on future ice sheet changes has not been assessed explicitly. Here we estimate how ICV affects ice sheet projections using a three-dimensional ice sheet model driven by climate fields from two large ensembles of climate model simulations differing in initial climate states. We find that ICV causes approximately 2 mm uncertainty in the estimated SLR due to Greenland ice sheet mass loss during 1992–2011, which is nearly double the observational uncertainty. Additionally, SLR differences due to ICV are about 17

keywords: climate modeling; climate change ensemble; internal variability; ice sheet modeling; ice sheet; sea-level changes; 0726 Ice sheets; 0798 Modeling; 1627 Coupled models of the climate system; 1641 Sea level change; 3305 Climate change and variability; sea level changes

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