Regional Sea Level Sensitivity to Antarctic Ice Sheet Change

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Carsten Ludwigsen


Postdoctoral Fellow


University of Tasmania


DKK 624,004




Internationalisation Fellowships


The Antarctic Ice Sheet has the potenital to rise sea levels with several meters in the coming 100 years and will then be the largest contributor to future sea level change. In this project, we will use novel Antarctic Ice Sheet models to predict its impact on sea level change along worlds coastlines. The approach makes sure to include all known possible scenarios for the Antarctic Ice Sheet and thus provide estimates with a full set of possible outcomes with an associated likelihood, i.e. the confidence of each prediction, for all coastal locations on earth.


The Antarctic Ice Sheet is not only the potentially largest contributor to sea level change, but also the most uncertain. Presently, sea level change mostly originates from ice loss from glaciers, Greenland and ocean expansion due to warmer ocean and only to a minor degree (less than 10%) comes from change of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. This is believed to change drastically in the future, and we need to know the possible consequences of an accelerating ice loss of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.


In collaboration with the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science located in Hobart, Tasmania, novel ice models will be investigated with a special focus on large glaciers vulnerability towards a warming ocean, which can lead to rapid and large scale ice losses. By using statistical methods, estimates of the probability of these events to happen will propagate into calculations of the local sea level change at world's coastlines. Thereby will the predicted sea level change also reflect the possible extreme ice loss events of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, that are not considered in present coastal sea level projections.

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