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Quantifying the impact of bedrock topography uncertainty on 100-year Pine Island Glacier projections
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  • Andreas Wernecke,
  • Tamsin Edwards,
  • Philip B. Holden,
  • Neil Robert Edwards,
  • Stephen L Cornford
Andreas Wernecke
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Corresponding Author:andreas.wernecke@mpimet.mpg.de

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Tamsin Edwards
King's College London, King's College London
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Philip B. Holden
Open University, Open University
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Neil Robert Edwards
The Open University, The Open University
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Stephen L Cornford
Swansea University, Swansea University
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The predicted Antarctic contribution to global-mean sea-level rise is one of the most uncertain among all major sources. Partly this is because of instability mechanisms of the ice flow over deep basins. Errors in bedrock topography can substantially impact the resilience of glaciers against such instabilities. Here we analyze the Pine Island Glacier topography to derive a statistical model representation. Our model allows for inhomogeneous and statistically dependent uncertainties and avoids unnecessary smoothing from spatial averaging or middle-of-the-road interpolation. A set of topographic fields is generated which properly represents the topographic uncertainty in our ice sheet model simulations with lower and upper end climate forcings. The bedrock uncertainty alone creates a 5% to 25% uncertainty in the predicted 100-year sea level rise contributions. Ice sheet model simulations on this new set are consistent with simulations on the frequently used BedMachine topography but diverge from Bedmap2 simulations.
28 Mar 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 6. 10.1029/2021GL096589