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  1. Meltwater and ice discharge from a retreating Antarctic Ice Sheet could have important impacts on future global climate. Here, we report on multi-century (present–2250) climate simulations performed using a coupled numerical model integrated under future greenhouse-gas emission scenarios IPCC RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, with meltwater and ice discharge provided by a dynamic-thermodynamic ice sheet model. Accounting for Antarctic discharge raises subsurface ocean temperatures by >1°C at the ice margin relative to simulations ignoring discharge. In contrast, expanded sea ice and 2° to 10°C cooler surface air and surface ocean temperatures in the Southern Ocean delay the increase of projected global meanmore »anthropogenic warming through 2250. In addition, the projected loss of Arctic winter sea ice and weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation are delayed by several decades. Our results demonstrate a need to accurately account for meltwater input from ice sheets in order to make confident climate predictions.« less
  2. Surface meltwater generated on ice shelves fringing the Antarctic Ice Sheet can drive ice-shelf collapse, leading to ice sheet mass loss and contributing to global sea level rise. A quantitative assessment of supraglacial lake evolution is required to understand the influence of Antarctic surface meltwater on ice-sheet and ice-shelf stability. Cloud computing platforms have made the required remote sensing analysis computationally trivial, yet a careful evaluation of image processing techniques for pan-Antarctic lake mapping has yet to be performed. This work paves the way for automating lake identification at a continental scale throughout the satellite observational record via a thoroughmore »methodological analysis. We deploy a suite of different trained supervised classifiers to map and quantify supraglacial lake areas from multispectral Landsat-8 scenes, using training data generated via manual interpretation of the results from k-means clustering. Best results are obtained using training datasets that comprise spectrally diverse unsupervised clusters from multiple regions and that include rock and cloud shadow classes. We successfully apply our trained supervised classifiers across two ice shelves with different supraglacial lake characteristics above a threshold sun elevation of 20°, achieving classification accuracies of over 90% when compared to manually generated validation datasets. The application of our trained classifiers produces a seasonal pattern of lake evolution. Cloud shadowed areas hinder large-scale application of our classifiers, as in previous work. Our results show that caution is required before deploying ‘off the shelf’ algorithms for lake mapping in Antarctica, and suggest that careful scrutiny of training data and desired output classes is essential for accurate results. Our supervised classification technique provides an alternative and independent method of lake identification to inform the development of a continent-wide supraglacial lake mapping product.« less
  3. Abstract. The use of a boundary-layer parameterization ofbuttressing and ice flux across grounding lines in a two-dimensionalice-sheet model is improved by allowing general orientations of thegrounding line. This and another modification to the model's grounding-lineparameterization are assessed in three settings: rectangular fjord-likedomains – the third Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (MISMIP+) and Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for plan view models (MISMIP3d) – and future simulations of West Antarcticice retreat under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)8.5-based climates. The new modifications are found tohave significant effects on the fjord-like results, which are now within theenvelopes of other models in themore »MISMIP+ and MISMIP3d intercomparisons. Incontrast, the modifications have little effect on West Antarctic retreat,presumably because dynamics in the wider major Antarctic basins areadequately represented by the model's previous simpler one-dimensionalformulation. As future grounding lines retreat across very deep bedrocktopography in the West Antarctic simulations, buttressing is weak anddeviatoric stress measures exceed the ice yield stress, implying thatstructural failure at these grounding lines would occur. We suggest thatthese grounding-line quantities should be examined in similar projections byother ice models to better assess the potential for future structuralfailure.« less
  4. Much of the knowledge of Antarctic Ice Sheet variations since its inception ∼34 Ma derives from marine sediments on the continental shelf, deposited in glacimarine or sub-ice environments by advancing and retreating grounded ice, and observed today by seismic profiling and coring. If coupled ice-sheet and sediment models can simulate these deposits explicitly, direct comparisons with the sediment record would help in linking it to Cenozoic ice and climate history. Here we apply an existing 3-D ice sheet and sediment model to the whole period of late Cenozoic Antarctic evolution. The ice-sheet model uses local parameterizations of grounding-line flux, ice-shelfmore »hydrofracture and ice cliff failure. The sediment model includes quarrying of bedrock, sub-ice transport, and marine deposition. Atmospheric and oceanic forcing is determined by uniform shifts to modern climatology in proportion to records of atmospheric CO2, deep-sea-core d18O, and orbital insolation variations. Initial ice-free bedrock topography can either be prescribed from geologic reconstructions for ∼34 Ma (Wilson et al., Palaeo3, 2011) or deduced in an iterative procedure fitting to observed modern topography and total sediment amounts. The model is run continuously from 40 Ma to the present, capturing post-Eocene Antarctic landscape evolution and off-shore sediment packages in a single self-consistent simulation. In order to make these long simulations feasible, the model resolution is very coarse, 80 km. However the ice model’s use of local parameterizations for fine-scale dynamical processes yields results that are not seriously degraded compared to finer resolutions in short tests. The primary goals are (1) to reproduce major recognized ice-sheet trends and fluctuations from the Eocene to today, and (2) to produce a 3-D model map of modern sediment deposits. "Strata" are tracked by recording times of deposition within the model sediment stacks, which can be compared with observed seismic profiles. Initial results are presented, and preliminary overall comparisons are made with observed sediment packages and the modern ice and bedrock state.« less