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Quantifying the impact of bedrock topography uncertainty in Pine Island Glacier projections for this century
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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:[email protected]

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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 projected 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 spatially dependent uncertainties and avoids unnecessary smoothing from spatial averaging or interpolation. A set of topography realizations is generated representing our best estimate of the topographic uncertainty in ice sheet model simulations. The bedrock uncertainty alone creates a 5% to 25% uncertainty in the predicted sea level rise contribution at year 2100, depending on friction law and climate forcing. Pine Island Glacier simulations on this new set are consistent with simulations on the BedMachine reference topography but diverge from Bedmap2 simulations.
28 Mar 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 6. 10.1029/2021GL096589