Ice-sheet losses track high-end sea-level rise projections

Observed ice-sheet losses track the upper range of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report sea-level predictions, recently driven by ice dynamics in Antarctica and surface melting in Greenland. Ice-sheet models must account for short-term variability in the atmosphere, oceans and climate to accurately predict sea-level rise.

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Fig. 1: Observed and predicted sea-level contribution from Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheet mass change.
Fig. 2: Observed and predicted annual rates of sea-level rise from Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheet mass change and their individual ice dynamic and surface mass components.

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Acknowledgements

This work is an outcome of the Ice-sheet Mass Balance Inter-Comparison Exercise (IMBIE) supported by the ESA Climate Change Initiative and the NASA Cryosphere Program. T.S. was funded by the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling through a Natural Environment Research Council (cpom300001) grant, and A.E.H. was funded by a NERC Fellowship (NE/R012407/1). R.M. acknowledges the support of the ESA CCI+ for Greenland ice-sheet under ESA-ESRIN contract number 4000104815/11/I-NB and the Danish State through the National Centre for Climate Research (NCKF). We thank the European Space Agency, National Aeronautics Space Administration and the German Aerospace Centre for provision of satellite data, without which this study would not have been possible. We also thank A. Shepherd for leading IMBIE, which produced the reconciled observations of ice-sheet mass change, and for useful discussions during the course of this study. The satellite data used here are freely available at http://imbie.org/data-downloads/, and IPCC sea-level rise projections can be downloaded from http://www.climatechange2013.org/report/full-report.

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Slater, T., Hogg, A.E. & Mottram, R. Ice-sheet losses track high-end sea-level rise projections. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 879–881 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0893-y

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