Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise

Sarah R. Shannon, Antony J. Payne, Ian D. Bartholomew, Michiel R. Van Den Broeke, Tamsin L. Edwards, Xavier Fettweis, Olivier Gagliardini, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Heiko Goelzer, Matthew J. Hoffman, Philippe Huybrechts, Douglas W.F. Mair, Peter W. Nienow, Mauro Perego, Stephen F. Price, C.J.P. Paul Smeets, Andrew J. Sole, Roderik S.W. Van De Wal, Thomas Zwinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We assess the effect of enhanced basal sliding on the flow and mass budget of the Greenland ice sheet, using a newly developed parameterization of the relation between meltwater runoff and ice flow. A wide range of observations suggest that water generated by melt at the surface of the ice sheet reaches its bed by both fracture and drainage through moulins. Once at the bed, this water is likely to affect lubrication, although current observations are insufficient to determine whether changes in subglacial hydraulics will limit the potential for the speedup of flow. An uncertainty analysis based on our best-fit parameterization admits both possibilities: continuously increasing or bounded lubrication. We apply the parameterization to four higher-order ice-sheet models in a series of experiments forced by changes in both lubrication and surface mass budget and determine the additional mass loss brought about by lubrication in comparison with experiments forced only by changes in surface mass balance. We use forcing from a regional climate model, itself forced by output from the European Centre Hamburg Model (ECHAM5) global climate model run under scenario A1B. Although changes in lubrication generate widespread effects on the flow and form of the ice sheet, they do not affect substantial net mass loss; increase in the ice sheet's contribution to sea-level rise from basal lubrication is projected by all models to be no more than 5% of the contribution from surface mass budget forcing alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14156-14161
Number of pages6
JournalPNAS
Volume110
Issue number35
Early online date12 Aug 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2013

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ice sheet
parameterization
climate modeling
ice flow
uncertainty analysis
meltwater
regional climate
sliding
global climate
mass balance
experiment
sea level rise
melt
drainage
runoff
hydraulics
water
budget
effect
loss

Cite this

Shannon, S. R., Payne, A. J., Bartholomew, I. D., Van Den Broeke, M. R., Edwards, T. L., Fettweis, X., ... Zwinger, T. (2013). Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise. PNAS, 110(35), 14156-14161. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212647110

Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise. / Shannon, Sarah R.; Payne, Antony J.; Bartholomew, Ian D.; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Fettweis, Xavier; Gagliardini, Olivier; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Goelzer, Heiko; Hoffman, Matthew J.; Huybrechts, Philippe; Mair, Douglas W.F.; Nienow, Peter W.; Perego, Mauro; Price, Stephen F.; Paul Smeets, C.J.P.; Sole, Andrew J.; Van De Wal, Roderik S.W.; Zwinger, Thomas.

In: PNAS, Vol. 110, No. 35, 27.08.2013, p. 14156-14161.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shannon, SR, Payne, AJ, Bartholomew, ID, Van Den Broeke, MR, Edwards, TL, Fettweis, X, Gagliardini, O, Gillet-Chaulet, F, Goelzer, H, Hoffman, MJ, Huybrechts, P, Mair, DWF, Nienow, PW, Perego, M, Price, SF, Paul Smeets, CJP, Sole, AJ, Van De Wal, RSW & Zwinger, T 2013, 'Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise', PNAS, vol. 110, no. 35, pp. 14156-14161. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212647110
Shannon SR, Payne AJ, Bartholomew ID, Van Den Broeke MR, Edwards TL, Fettweis X et al. Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise. PNAS. 2013 Aug 27;110(35):14156-14161. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212647110
Shannon, Sarah R. ; Payne, Antony J. ; Bartholomew, Ian D. ; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R. ; Edwards, Tamsin L. ; Fettweis, Xavier ; Gagliardini, Olivier ; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien ; Goelzer, Heiko ; Hoffman, Matthew J. ; Huybrechts, Philippe ; Mair, Douglas W.F. ; Nienow, Peter W. ; Perego, Mauro ; Price, Stephen F. ; Paul Smeets, C.J.P. ; Sole, Andrew J. ; Van De Wal, Roderik S.W. ; Zwinger, Thomas. / Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise. In: PNAS. 2013 ; Vol. 110, No. 35. pp. 14156-14161.
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