Short-term volume changes of the Greenland ice sheet in response to doubled CO2 conditions

R. S. W. VAN DE WAL, M. WILD, J. DE WOLDE
2001 Tellus: Series B, Chemical and Physical Meteorology  
This paper focuses on the rô le of accumulation and cloudiness changes in the response of the Greenland ice sheet to global warming. Changes in accumulation or cloudiness were often neglected, or coupled to temperature changes. We used model output on temperature, precipitation and cloudiness from a GCM (ECHAM4 T106). The GCM output was used to drive the Greenland model that exists of a vertically averaged ice flow model, coupled to a 1D surface energy balance model that calculates the
more » ... ulates the ablation. Variables are temperature, accumulation and cloudiness. Sensitivity experiments with this model show that changes in accumulation are very important for the ice sheet mass balance, whereas cloudiness is of secondary importance. If the Greenland model is forced by the GCM output, the Greenland model is found to contribute 70% less to sea level rise after 70 years than is indicated by the results presented in the IPCC report. This large discrepancy is mainly due to the fact that the enhanced ablation is strongly compensated by increased accumulation. Comparing the result obtained here with changes in mass balance derived directly from the same general circulation model, indicates a 20% larger contribution to sea level. This increase is due to changes in ice flow, and a different method for the ablation calculation.
doi:10.1034/j.1600-0889.2001.01095.x fatcat:abdu6o54czg23ch364g6y6ygqy