CSDMS 2023: Patterns and Processes Across Scales

Predictability of future sea level rise assessed with a novel stochastic ice sheet model

Alexander Robel

Georgia Institute of Technology, United States

A range of Earth surface processes may drive rapid ice sheet retreat in the future, contributing to equally rapid global sea level rise. Though the pace of discovering these new feedback processes has accelerated in the past decade, predictions of future evolution of ice sheets are still subject to considerable uncertainty, originating from unknown future carbon emissions, and poorly understood ice sheet processes. In this talk, I explain why sea level rise projections past the next few decades are so uncertain, and how we are developing new stochastic ice sheet modeling methods to reduce uncertainty in projections, and the limits of uncertainty reduction. I also discuss the ongoing debate over whether uncertainty is important to consider at all in developing sea level projections that are usable by coastal planners.

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Coastal Vulnerability Initiative