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Overview

The iGlass consortium* aims to better understand the processes of ice-sheet and sea-level response to climatic forcing, using data from the recent geological past.

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Rationale:

Existing sea-level rise projections do not account for the longer-term changes in global land-based ice volume. Although this ice-sheet contribution to sea-level change develops over decades to centuries, its long-term impact is large and virtually irreversible. It therefore dominates the uncertainty in future sea-level projections.

Aims:

Quantify sea-level variation during interglacial periods (warm periods in between ice ages)
Quantify relationships between global ice volume and climatological control processes.

Approach:

Acquisition of new sea-level data
Geophysical modelling of vertical land movements and gravitational effects, which cause deviations of regional sea level from the global mean trend
Investigation of climate/ice-sheet/sea-level interactions using both observations and modelling, to reveal the underlying processes.

Outcome:

Synthesis and identification of the processes that control the land-ice component of sea-level rise. This will be used to improve projections of plausible future sea-level change and especially the H++ ‘extreme rise’ scenario.

* Supported by the Natural Environment Research Council.

 

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