Seasonal Tidewater Glacier Terminus Oscillations Bias Multi‐Decadal Projections of Ice Mass Change

Felikson, D ORCID: 0000-0002-3785-5112, Nowicki, S ORCID: 0000-0001-6328-5590, Nias, I ORCID: 0000-0002-5657-8691, Morlighem, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-1310 and Seroussi, H ORCID: 0000-0001-9201-1644
(2022) Seasonal Tidewater Glacier Terminus Oscillations Bias Multi‐Decadal Projections of Ice Mass Change. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 127 (2).

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Numerical, process‐based simulations of tidewater glacier evolution are necessary to project future sea‐level change under various climate scenarios. Previous work has shown that nonlinearities in tidewater glacier and ice stream dynamics can lead to biases in simulated ice mass change in the presence of noisy forcings. Ice sheet modeling projections that are used in the IPCC Assessment Report 6 (AR6) utilize atmospheric and oceanic forcings at annual temporal resolution, omitting any higher frequency forcings. Here, we quantify the effect of seasonal (&lt;1 year) tidewater glacier terminus oscillations on decadal‐scale (30 years) mass change. We use an idealized geometry to mimic realistic tidewater glacier geometries and investigate the impact of the magnitude of seasonal oscillations, bed slope at the glacier terminus, and basal friction law. We find that omitting seasonal terminus motion results in biased mass change projections, with up to an 39% underestimate or 25% overestimate of mass loss when seasonality is neglected, depending on bed slope and magnitude of oscillations. The bias is most sensitive to the magnitude of the seasonal terminus oscillations and exhibits very little sensitivity to choice of friction law. Although omitting seasonal terminus motion may bias mass change projections of individual glaciers, further work is needed to investigate the impact on ice sheet mass change projections. In order to achieve this, seasonality in atmospheric and oceanic forcings must be adequately represented and observations of seasonal terminus positions and tidewater glacier thickness changes must be acquired to evaluate numerical models.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 13 Climate Action
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 15:19
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 17:08
DOI: 10.1029/2021jf006249
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