The Antarctic Ice Sheet Large Ensemble (AISLENS) Project: Assessing the Role of Climate Variability in Past and Future Ice Sheet Mass Loss
Uncertainty in projections of future sea level rise comes, in part, from ice sheet melting under the influence of unpredictable variations in ocean and atmospheric temperature near ice sheets. The Antarctic Ice Sheet Large Ensemble (AISLENS) Project will estimate the range of possible Antarctic Ice Sheet melt during the recent past and over the next several centuries that could result from such climate variations. The graduate student will develop computational methods using statistical and machine learning approaches to generate plausible realizations of Antarctic climate forcing from output from the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) developed by the Department of Energy, under past and future emissions scenarios. These realizations of variable climate will be used to force the MPAS Albany Land Ice (MALI) model, a state-of-the-art model of ice flow in the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Ultimately, the AISLENS Project will include hundreds of simulations of Antarctic ice sheet evolution from 1950 to 2300 forced by these realizations of climate, including snowfall on the ice sheet and surface melt from fluctuating oceanic and atmospheric temperatures. The graduate student will then use these simulations to analyze the evolution of uncertainty in the future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Such analyses provide a range of plausible estimates of the ice sheet contribution to future sea level rise and are used by coastal communities to plan infrastructure and development which accounts for these changes in their coastline and water table.
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