The Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 3177-3241, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in TC.
Past and future sea-level change from the surface mass balance of glaciers
B. Marzeion, A. H. Jarosch, and M. Hofer
Center of Climate and Cryopshere, Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract. We present a model of the global surface mass balance of glaciers, based on the reconstruction and projection of the surface mass balance of all the world's individual glaciers. The model is validated using a leave-one-glacier-out cross validation scheme using 3997 observed surface mass balances of 255 glaciers, and against 756 geodetically observed, temporally integrated volume and surface area changes of 341 glaciers. Between 1902 and 2009, the world's glaciers are reconstructed to have lost mass corresponding to 114 ± 5 mm sea level equivalent (SLE). During the 21st century, they are projected to loose additionally between 148 ± 35 mm SLE (scenario RCP26), 166 ± 42 mm SLE (scenario RCP45), 175 ± 40 mm SLE (scenario RCP60), to 217 ± 47 mm SLE (scenario RCP85). Based on the extended RCP scenarios, glaciers are projected to approach a new equilibrium towards the end of the 23rd century, after having lost between 248 ± 66 mm SLE (scenario RCP26), 313 ± 50 mm SLE (scenario RCP45), to 424 ± 46 mm SLE (scenario RCP85). Up until approximately 2100, ensemble uncertainty within each scenario is the biggest source of uncertainty for the future glacier mass loss; after that, the difference between the scenarios takes over as the biggest source of uncertainty. Rates of mass loss are projected to peak between 2050 and 2100, depending on the scenario.

Citation: Marzeion, B., Jarosch, A. H., and Hofer, M.: Past and future sea-level change from the surface mass balance of glaciers, The Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 3177-3241, doi:10.5194/tcd-6-3177-2012, 2012.
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