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expert reaction to modelling study of Antarctic/Greenland ice sheets and sea level rise

A study published in Nature Communications models changing Antarctic/Greenland ice sheets and future sea-level projections.


Dr Robin Smith, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading, said:

“Our ability to model the Earth’s changing ice sheets is not only key to determining future sea level rise, but also to understanding the risks around catastrophic “tipping” events across our climate system.  The authors of this new study are part of an important new movement pushing the boundaries of how ice sheets and their often neglected interactions with the rest of the Earth system can be included in our projections of climate change and sea level. By including these interactions in their model they clearly demonstrate the possibility of triggering hugely damaging levels of sea-level rise even below the 2 degree threshold often used to define “safe” climate change.

“The models in this study are not as sophisticated as the separate, “uncoupled” climate and ice models more often used for century-scale projections of climate and sea-level rise so it’s crucial that developments such as theirs are brought into our state of the art climate models. Even though more work needs to be done to reduce the uncertainty in projections like these, this study clearly shows the importance of taking rapid action to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible to minimise the risks associated with the loss of major ice sheets.”



Future sea-level projections with a coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice-sheet model’ by name of first author et al. was published in Nature Communications at 4pm UK TIME on Tuesday 14 February 2023.

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-36051-9



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