Scientists have been warning the world about climate change, glacier melting and rising sea level for a long time now. However, they realised there were inconsistencies within the models used by them to predict this climate-change effect. Now, they have come up with the latest ice-sheet model simulations and the results are scary.
Ice-sheet models are an essential tool in making predictions regarding the future of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. A study will be posted in the online journal Cryosphere, revealing about the ice-sheet models used so far. Some models predicted 9cm global rise in the sea-level from Greenland’s melted ice, if current greenhouse gas emissions remain the same. However, with the Antarctica’s ice-sheet models, results are disputed.
Computer simulations are a standard research tool in many industrial as well as scientific sectors.
While it is handy for mechanical engineers and other mechanic sectors, it’s a little challenging for ice-sheet modellers. This happens for two reasons:
– They need to use an actual ice sheet. None of the computer simulations of the lab can be naturally reproduced.
– Key parameters are still unknown. There is so much left undiscovered about both Greenland and Antarctica and the effect of their land topography on the movement of ice.
To check the quality of their models, ice-sheet modellers have no other option, but to directly compare it with the models of other researchers.
With this in mind, a collaborative project was commenced six years ago. With a variety of Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheet models, researchers from 36 institutes compared their respective simulations. Two different climate scenarios were simulated by each to predict global sea-level rise for the next hundred years.
Staring from 2015 to 2100, the models were fed atmospheric and ocean data. These data sets were retrieved from climate models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5).
These models were used to prepare the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report.
Talking about the conclusion, SciTechDaily mentions that the previous models had underestimated Greenland’s contribution to global sea-level rise.