Ice sheet modelling: goals, progress and challenges ahead


Ice sheet modelling: goals, progress and challenges ahead


Poul Christofferson (@Poul) (UTas)



Weston Theatre (and online). See the main workshop help topic for zoom details.





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Note: This topic is part of the 2023 ACCESS Community Workshop main session

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Hello Poul - Thanks for your talk. I think the single biggest issue around the low-confidence projections is to do with if and when ice sheets/shelves will collapse (disintegrate) . The IPCC scenarios are all based on continuum models that produced the medium-confidence projections and therefore can’t include this process - abrupt collapse cant be simulated. These fracture processes are also essentially chaotic and unpredictable. The elephant in the room (to my mind) is fracture and collapse and how to include these to improve the low-confidence future projections.

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Thanks @bgf - I’ll tag @Poul here to reply!

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Hi @bgf

Thanks! Good point. I agree ice shelf fracture is very important and not yet incorporated. It can be simulated on continuum models with full stokes solution and prescribed from crevasse penetration criteria (surface down + bottom up). Comparison to observations (Greenland) is quite good, but it’s is expensive computationally. It is another process which is really important, but hard to implement in large scale models. But my sense of direction of that high end SLR scenarios will be coming from regional models where we can incorporate more processes.