Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-86
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Impact of asymmetric uncertainties in ice sheet dynamics on regional sea level projections
Renske de Winter1, Thomas J. Reerink2, Aimée B. A. Slangen3, Hylke de Vries4, Tamsin Edwards5, and Roderik S. W. Van de Wal2 1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
3Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Estuarine & Delta Systems (EDS), Yerseke, The Netherlands and Utrecht University, The Netherlands
4Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, The Netherlands
5Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Abstract. Currently a paradigm shift is made from global averaged to spatially variable sea level change (SLC) projections. Traditionally, the contribution from ice sheet mass loss to SLC is considered to be symmetrically distributed. However, several assessments suggest that the probability distribution of dynamical ice sheet mass loss is asymmetrically distributed towards higher SLC values. Here we show how asymmetric probability distributions of dynamical ice sheet mass loss impact the high-end uncertainties of regional SLC projections across the globe. For this purpose we use distributions of dynamical ice sheet mass loss presented by Church et al. (2013), De Vries and Van de Wal (2015) and Ritz et al. (2015). The global average median can be 0.18 m higher compared to symmetric distributions based on IPCC-AR5, however the change in the global average 95th percentile SLC is considerably larger with a shift of 0.32 m. Locally the 90th, 95th and 97.5th SLC percentiles exceed +1.4, +1.6 and +1.8 m. The high-end percentiles of SLC projections are highly sensitive to the precise shape of the probability distributions of dynamical ice sheet mass loss. The shift towards higher values is of importance for coastal safety strategies as they are based on the high-end percentiles of projections.

Citation: de Winter, R., Reerink, T. J., Slangen, A. B. A., de Vries, H., Edwards, T., and Van de Wal, R. S. W.: Impact of asymmetric uncertainties in ice sheet dynamics on regional sea level projections, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-86, in review, 2017.
Renske de Winter et al.
Renske de Winter et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 505 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
389 97 19 505 3 20

Views and downloads (calculated since 03 Apr 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 03 Apr 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 505 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 501 with geography defined and 4 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1

Saved

Discussed

Latest update: 17 Oct 2017
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Sea level changes are expected to be not globally uniform, but to vary regionally. Furthermore, it was found that the high-end contributions to sea level change due to dynamical mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are asymmetrically towards high sea level change values. The impact of these asymmetric uncertainties is studied compared to the symmetric IPCC approach. Based on these calculations we conclude that the 97.5 percentile might regionally increase by 0.54 m.
Sea level changes are expected to be not globally uniform, but to vary regionally. Furthermore,...
Share