Kinematic first-order calving law implies potential for abrupt ice-shelf retreat

Published: May 1, 2012 by The PISM Authors

   
Title Kinematic first-order calving law implies potential for abrupt ice-shelf retreat
Authors Anders Levermann and others
Venue The Cryosphere
Location Antarctic ice shelves

Observed large-scale disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves has moved their fronts closer towards grounded ice, accelerating ice-sheet discharge and contributing to global sea-level rise. Here we describe the first-order large-scale kinematic contribution to calving which is consistent with large-scale observation. This calving law depends only on local ice properties which are, however, determined by the full topography of the ice shelf. Simulations in PISM-PIK using the parameterization reproduces multiple stable fronts as observed for the Larsen A and B Ice Shelves, including abrupt transitions between them. We also find multiple stable states of the Ross Ice Shelf.

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