A major uncertainty in Antarctica's contribution to future sea-level rise is the ice sheet response timescales to ocean warming. Totten Glacier drains a region containing 3.9 m global sea level equivalent and has been losing mass over recent decades. We use an ice sheet model coupled to an ice-shelf cavity combined ocean box and plume model to investigate Totten's response to variable ocean forcing. Totten's grounding line is stable for a limited range of ocean temperatures near current observations (i.e., −0.95°C to −0.75°C), with topography influencing the discharge periodicity. For increases of ≥0.2°C in temperatures beyond this range, grounding line retreat occurs. Variable ocean forcing can reduce retreat relative to constant forcing, and different variability amplitudes can cause centennial-scale delays in retreat through interactions with topography. Our results highlight the need for long-term ocean state observations and to include forcing variability in ice sheet model simulations of future change.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Geophysical Research Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 28 May 2021|
- ice sheet model
- ocean variability
- Totten Glacier