Unavoidable future increase in West Antarctic ice-shelf melting over the twenty-first century

Kaitlin A. Naughten*, Paul R. Holland, Jan De Rydt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Ocean-driven melting of floating ice-shelves in the Amundsen Sea is currently the main process controlling Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level rise. Using a regional ocean model, we present a comprehensive suite of future projections of ice-shelf melting in the Amundsen Sea. We find that rapid ocean warming, at approximately triple the historical rate, is likely committed over the twenty-first century, with widespread increases in ice-shelf melting, including in regions crucial for ice-sheet stability. When internal climate variability is considered, there is no significant difference between mid-range emissions scenarios and the most ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement. These results suggest that mitigation of greenhouse gases now has limited power to prevent ocean warming that could lead to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1228
Number of pages7
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume13
Issue number11
Early online date23 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

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