18 Jun 2024
 | 18 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Probabilistic projections of the Amery Ice Shelf catchment, Antarctica, under high ice-shelf basal melt conditions

Sanket Jantre, Matthew J. Hoffman, Nathan M. Urban, Trevor Hillebrand, Mauro Perego, Stephen Price, and John D. Jakeman

Abstract. Antarctica's Lambert Glacier drains about one-sixth of the ice from the East Antarctica Ice Sheet and is considered stable due to the strong buttressing provided by the Amery Ice Shelf. While previous projections of the sea-level contribution from this sector of the ice sheet have predicted significant mass loss only with near complete removal of the ice shelf, the ocean warming necessary for this was deemed unlikely. Recent climate projections through 2300 indicate that sufficient ocean warming is a distinct possibility after 2100. This work explores the impact of parametric uncertainty on projections of the Lambert-Amery system's (hereafter "Amery sector") response to abrupt ocean warming through Bayesian calibration of a perturbed-parameter ice-sheet model ensemble. We address the computational cost of uncertainty quantification for ice-sheet model projections via statistical emulation, which employs surrogate models for fast and inexpensive parameter space exploration while retaining critical features of the high-fidelity simulations. To this end, we build Gaussian process (GP) emulators from simulations of the Amery sector at medium resolution (4–20 km mesh) using the MPAS-Albany Land Ice (MALI) model. We consider six input parameters that control basal friction, ice stiffness, calving, and ice-shelf basal melting. From these, we generate 200 perturbed input parameter initializations using space-filling Sobol sampling. For our end-to-end probabilistic modeling workflow, we first train emulators on the simulation ensemble then calibrate the input parameters using observations of the mass balance, grounding line movement, and calving front movement with priors assigned via expert knowledge. Next, we use MALI to project a subset of simulations to 2300 using ocean and atmosphere forcings from a climate model for both low and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. From these simulation outputs, we build multivariate emulators by combining GP regression with principal component dimension reduction to emulate multivariate sea-level contribution time series data from the MALI simulations. We then use these emulators to propagate uncertainty from model input parameters to predictions of glacier mass loss to 2300, demonstrating that the calibrated posterior distributions have both greater mass loss and reduced variance than the uncalibrated prior distributions. Parametric uncertainty is large enough through about 2130 that the two projections under different emissions scenarios are indistinguishable from one another. However, after rapid ocean warming in the first half of the twenty-second century, the projections become statistically distinct within decades. Overall, this study demonstrates an efficient Bayesian calibration and uncertainty propagation workflow for ice-sheet model projections and identifies the potential for large sea-level rise contributions from the Amery sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet after 2100 under high greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

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Sanket Jantre, Matthew J. Hoffman, Nathan M. Urban, Trevor Hillebrand, Mauro Perego, Stephen Price, and John D. Jakeman

Status: open (until 30 Jul 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1677', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Jul 2024 reply
Sanket Jantre, Matthew J. Hoffman, Nathan M. Urban, Trevor Hillebrand, Mauro Perego, Stephen Price, and John D. Jakeman
Sanket Jantre, Matthew J. Hoffman, Nathan M. Urban, Trevor Hillebrand, Mauro Perego, Stephen Price, and John D. Jakeman


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Short summary
We investigate potential sea-level rise from Antarctica's Lambert Glacier, previously thought stable but now at risk from ocean warming by 2100. Combining statistical methods with limited supercomputer simulations, we calibrated our ice-sheet model using three observables. We find that under high greenhouse gas emissions, glacier retreat could raise sea levels by 46 to 133 mm by 2300. This study highlights the need to improve observations to reduce uncertainty in ice-sheet model projections.