Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise
IceSheets and ice2sea: estimating the future contribution of continental ice to future sea-level rise
What is the IceSheets programme about?
As the world gets warmer, ice sheets (glaciers) on Greenland and the Antartic will start to melt. In fact this is already happening. As the ice sheets melt, they will release a huge amount of water in the oceans causing sea level rise and all the problems associated with this.
Researchers are now making more accurate measurements of how fast the ice sheets will melt and how much water this would release. This information will be used by policy makers.
What will the IceSheets programme do?
IceSheets aims to:
- improve understanding of the factors that control how fast ice sheets move and evolve
- build and apply a robust mathematical and numerical framework for computer simulation of ice sheet change and sea-level rise
- determine current glacial change in the critical areas of the polar ice sheets
- establish improved histories of ice sheet change to provide context and constraint for future projections
- provide robust simulations of ice sheet change.
What is the ice2sea programme about?
Ice2sea is a science programme that is funded by the European Union Framework-7 scheme. Ice2sea will improve projections of the contribution of ice to future sea-level rise.
What will the ice2sea programme do?
- study ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica
- measure changes in continental ice mass using satellites
- develop and implement ice sheet/glacier models to generate detailed projections of the contribution of continental ice to sea-level rise over the next 200 years.
Specifically, ice2sea will provide:
- Improved understanding of the key processes that control how glacial systems respond to atmospheric and oceanic climate change.
- New methods to predict global sea-level rise based on improved models of the response of ice sheets and mountain glaciers to climate change.
- Updated assessments of the likely contribution of ice melting to sea level rise over the next 200 years, based on two emissions scenarios.
- A clearer view of where the uncertainties in predicting future sea-level rise are, and how these may be reduced in future.
What tools will be available?
- The results will be available to scientists, policy-makers and the general public, which will include clear indications of the sources of uncertainty.
Who will benefit?
Ice2sea will provide policy makers with the information they require on future sea level rise, including input to the up-coming Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This report is due to be finalised in late 2012, with publication planned for early 2013.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
Start and end dates: 01/03/2009 to 31/05/2013