In the field stories

Ice sheets may add 40 centimetres to sea levels

If greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica could together contribute about 40 centimetres of global sea level rise by the year 2100. Notably, this is beyond the amount that has already been set in motion by Earth’s warming climate.

The new prediction is produced by an international effort. Led by NASA (USA), the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6) has brought together more than 60 leading scientists representing a range of disciplines and 36 international institutions.

The project uses Elmer/Ice, an Open Source Software for Ice Sheet, Glaciers and Ice Flow Modelling. Elmer/Ice is an add-on package to Elmer, which is a multi-physics Finite Element Model suite mainly developed by the Finnish national research and education network CSC.

“Ice creeps along an inclined surface like a very viscous drop of honey. Elmer/Ice is one of the few ice flow models that does not apply simplification to the governing equations of highly viscous fluid flow and hence is a highly accurate but computationally expensive tool to perform simulations as given in this study,” explains Thomas Zwinger, CSC.

Submitted by Morten Anderson

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