Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios

Luke D. Trusel, Karen E. Frey, Sarah B. Das, Kristopher B. Karnauskas, Peter Kuipers Munneke, Erik Van Meijgaard, Michiel R. Van Den Broeke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ice shelves modulate Antarctic contributions to sea-level rise and thereby represent a critical, climate-sensitive interface between the Antarctic ice sheet and the global ocean. Following rapid atmospheric warming over the past decades, Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have progressively retreated, at times catastrophically. This decay supports hypotheses of thermal limits of viability for ice shelves via surface melt forcing. Here we use a polar-adapted regional climate model and satellite observations to quantify the nonlinear relationship between surface melting and summer air temperature. Combining observations and multimodel simulations, we examine melt evolution and intensification before observed ice shelf collapse on the Antarctic Peninsula. We then assess the twenty-first-century evolution of surface melt across Antarctica under intermediate and high emissions climate scenarios. Our projections reveal a scenario-independent doubling of Antarctic-wide melt by 2050. Between 2050 and 2100, however, significant divergence in melt occurs between the two climate scenarios. Under the high emissions pathway by 2100, melt on several ice shelves approaches or surpasses intensities that have historically been associated with ice shelf collapse, at least on the northeast Antarctic Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-932
Number of pages6
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

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ice shelf
twenty first century
trajectory
melt
climate
global ocean
regional climate
ice sheet
climate modeling
viability
air temperature
warming
melting
divergence
summer
simulation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Trusel, L. D., Frey, K. E., Das, S. B., Karnauskas, K. B., Kuipers Munneke, P., Van Meijgaard, E., & Van Den Broeke, M. R. (2015). Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios. Nature Geoscience, 8(12), 927-932. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2563
Trusel, Luke D. ; Frey, Karen E. ; Das, Sarah B. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Kuipers Munneke, Peter ; Van Meijgaard, Erik ; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R. / Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios. In: Nature Geoscience. 2015 ; Vol. 8, No. 12. pp. 927-932.
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Trusel, LD, Frey, KE, Das, SB, Karnauskas, KB, Kuipers Munneke, P, Van Meijgaard, E & Van Den Broeke, MR 2015, 'Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios', Nature Geoscience, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 927-932. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2563

Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios. / Trusel, Luke D.; Frey, Karen E.; Das, Sarah B.; Karnauskas, Kristopher B.; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Van Meijgaard, Erik; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.

In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, No. 12, 01.12.2015, p. 927-932.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Trusel LD, Frey KE, Das SB, Karnauskas KB, Kuipers Munneke P, Van Meijgaard E et al. Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios. Nature Geoscience. 2015 Dec 1;8(12):927-932. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2563