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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-188
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-188
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 04 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Remapping of Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance anomalies for large ensemble sea-level change projections

Heiko Goelzer1,2, Brice P. Y. Noel1, Tamsin L. Edwards3, Xavier Fettweis4, Jonathan M. Gregory5,6, William H. Lipscomb7, Roderik S. W. van de Wal1,8, and Michiel R. van den Broeke1 Heiko Goelzer et al.
  • 1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 2Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3Department of Geography, King’s College, London, UK
  • 4Laboratory of Climatology, Department of Geography, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 6Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
  • 7Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 8Geosciences, Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Future sea-level change projections with process-based standalone ice sheet models are typically driven with surface mass balance (SMB) forcing derived from climate models. In this work we address the problems arising from a mismatch of the modelled ice sheet geometry with the one used by the climate model. We present a method to apply SMB forcing from climate models to a wide range of Greenland ice sheet models with varying and temporally evolving geometries. In order to achieve that, we translate a given SMB anomaly field as a function of absolute location, to a function of surface elevation for 25 regional drainage basins, which can then be applied to different modelled ice sheet geometries. The key feature of the approach is the non-locality of this remapping process. The method reproduces the original forcing data closely when remapped to the original geometry. When remapped to different modelled geometries it produces a physically meaningful forcing with smooth and continuous SMB anomalies across basin divides. The method considerably reduces non-physical biases that would arise by applying the SMB anomaly derived for the observed geometry directly to a large range of modelled ice sheet model geometries.

Heiko Goelzer et al.
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Short summary
Future sea-level change projections with process-based ice sheet models are typically driven with surface mass balance forcing derived from climate models. In this work we address the problems arising from a mismatch of the modelled ice sheet geometry with the one used by the climate model. The proposed remapping method reproduces the original forcing data closely when applied to the original geometry and produces a physically meaningful forcing when applied to different modelled geometries.
Future sea-level change projections with process-based ice sheet models are typically driven...
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