Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea level rise during the last interglacial period: a modelling study driven and constrained by ice core data 1UJF – Grenoble 1/CNRS, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE), UMR5183, Grenoble, 38041, France
12 Feb 2013
2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE)/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, UMR8212, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
3CNRM-GAME, URA CNRS-Météo-France 1357, Toulouse, France
*now at: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
**now at: Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
Received: 31 July 2012 – Published in Clim. Past Discuss.: 10 August 2012 Abstract. As pointed out by the forth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, IPCC-AR4 (Meehl et al., 2007), the contribution of the two major ice sheets,
Antarctica and Greenland, to global sea level rise, is a subject of key importance for the
scientific community. By the end of the next century, a 3–5 °C warming is expected in Greenland.
Similar temperatures in this region were reached during the last interglacial (LIG) period,
130–115 ka BP, due to a change in orbital configuration rather than to an anthropogenic forcing.
Ice core evidence suggests that the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) survived this warm period, but great
uncertainties remain about the total Greenland ice reduction during the LIG. Here we perform long-term
simulations of the GIS using an improved ice sheet model. Both the methodologies chosen to reconstruct
palaeoclimate and to calibrate the model are strongly based on proxy data. We suggest a relatively low
contribution to LIG sea level rise from Greenland melting, ranging from 0.7 to 1.5 m of sea level
equivalent, contrasting with previous studies. Our results suggest an important contribution of the
Antarctic ice sheet to the LIG highstand.
Revised: 18 January 2013 – Accepted: 21 January 2013 – Published: 12 February 2013
Citation: Quiquet, A., Ritz, C., Punge, H. J., and Salas y Mélia, D.: Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea level rise during the last interglacial period: a modelling study driven and constrained by ice core data, Clim. Past, 9, 353-366, doi:10.5194/cp-9-353-2013, 2013.