Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise

  title={Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise},
  author={Robert M. DeConto and David D. Pollard},
Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics—including… 
Minimal East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat onto land during the past eight million years
Analysis of cosmogenic isotopes from a marine sediment core shows that much of the land-based East Antarctic Ice Sheet has remained stable for the past eight million years, including during the warm Pliocene epoch.
Early Last Interglacial ocean warming drove substantial ice mass loss from Antarctica
A blue-ice record of ice sheet and environmental change from the Weddell Sea Embayment at the periphery of the marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), which is underlain by major methane hydrate reserves is reported.
Ice retreat in Wilkes Basin of East Antarctica during a warm interglacial
Data indicate that during one of the warmest Pleistocene interglacials, the ice sheet margin at the Wilkes Basin retreated to near the precipitate location, about 700 kilometres inland from the current position of the ice margin, which—assuming current ice volumes—would have contributed about 3 to 4 metres13 to global sea levels.
The Paris Climate Agreement and future sea-level rise from Antarctica.
The results demonstrate the possibility that rapid and unstoppable sea-level rise from Antarctica will be triggered if Paris Agreement targets are exceeded, and show that with global warming limited to 2 degrees Celsius or less, Antarctic ice loss will continue at a pace similar to today's throughout the twenty-first century.
Ice sheets, glaciers, and sea level
The sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet to glacial–interglacial oceanic forcing
Abstract. Observations suggest that during the last decades the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has experienced a gradually accelerating mass loss, in part due to the observed speed-up of several of
Rising Seas in California — An Update on Sea-Level Rise Science
  • G. Griggs
  • Environmental Science
    World Scientific Encyclopedia of Climate Change
  • 2017
Global mean sea level (GMSL) has risen by about 18 cm (7 inches) since 1900. Most of this rise is attributed to a combination of the thermal expansion of a warming global ocean and the loss of land
Sensitivity of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to +2 °C (SWAIS 2C)
Abstract. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) presently holds enough ice to raise global sea level by 4.3 m if completely melted. The unknown response of the WAIS to future warming remains a
Antarctic climate and ice sheet configuration during a peak-warmth Early Pliocene interglacial
The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more


Modelling West Antarctic ice sheet growth and collapse through the past five million years
A combined ice sheet/ice shelf model capable of high-resolution nesting with a new treatment of grounding-line dynamics and ice-shelf buttressing is used to simulate Antarctic ice sheet variations over the past five million years, indicating a long-term trend from more frequently collapsed to more glaciated states.
Quantification of the Greenland ice sheet contribution to Last Interglacial sea level rise
During the Last Interglacial period ( 130-115 thousand years ago) the Arctic climate was warmer than to- day, and global mean sea level was probably more than 6.6 m higher. However, there are large
Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods
This work concludes that during recent interglacial periods, small increases in global mean temperature and just a few degrees of polar warming relative to the preindustrial period resulted in ≥6 m of GMSL rise, which is currently not possible to make a precise estimate of peak G MSL during the Pliocene.
Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations
It is suggested that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers of marine-ice-sheet instability.
Sea-level feedback lowers projections of future Antarctic Ice-Sheet mass loss
A coupled ice sheet–sea-level model is used to investigate the impact of the feedback mechanism on future AIS retreat over centennial and millennial timescales for a range of emission scenarios and shows that the combination of bedrock uplift and sea-surface drop associated with ice-sheet retreat significantly reduces AIS mass loss.
Interhemispheric coupling, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and warm Antarctic interglacials
Abstract. Ice core evidence indicates that even though atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed ~300 ppm at any point during the last 800 000 years, East Antarctica was at least ~3–4 °C warmer
Strong Sensitivity of Pine Island Ice-Shelf Melting to Climatic Variability
Observations and numerical modeling reveal large fluctuations in the ocean heat available in the adjacent bay and enhanced sensitivity of ice-shelf melting to water temperatures at intermediate depth, as a seabed ridge blocks the deepest and warmest waters from reaching the thickest ice.
Future sea-level rise from Greenland’s main outlet glaciers in a warming climate
A glacier flow model is presented that includes a fully dynamic treatment of marine termini and is used to simulate behaviour of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, which collectively drain about 22 per cent of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Ice sheet sources of sea level rise and freshwater discharge during the last deglaciation
We review and synthesize the geologic record that constrains the sources of sea level rise and freshwater discharge to the global oceans associated with retreat of ice sheets during the last
The role of ocean thermal expansion in Last Interglacial sea level rise
A compilation of paleoceanographic data and a coupled atmosphere‐ocean climate model were used to examine global ocean surface temperatures of the Last Interglacial (LIG) period, and to produce the