Limited impact of Thwaites Ice Shelf on future ice loss from Antarctica

Gudmundsson, Hilmar, Barnes, Jowan, Goldberg, D. N. and Morlighem, M. (2023) Limited impact of Thwaites Ice Shelf on future ice loss from Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 50 (11). e2023GL102880. ISSN 0094-8276

Geophysical Research Letters - 2023 - Gudmundsson - Limited Impact of Thwaites Ice Shelf on Future Ice Loss From Antarctica.pdf - Published Version
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Thwaites Ice Shelf (TWIS), the floating extension of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, is changing rapidly and may completely disintegrate in the near future. Any buttressing that the ice shelf provides to the upstream grounded Thwaites glacier will then be lost. Previously, it has been argued that this could lead to onset of dynamical instability and the rapid demise of the entire glacier. Here we provide the first systematic quantitative assessment of how strongly the upstream ice is buttressed by TWIS and how its collapse affects future projections. By modeling the stresses acting along the current grounding line, we show that they deviate insignificantly from the stresses after ice shelf collapse. Using three ice-flow models, we furthermore model the transient evolution of Thwaites Glacier and find that a complete disintegration of the ice shelf will not substantially impact future mass loss over the next 50 years.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work is from the PROPHET project, a component of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). Support from National Science Foundation (NSF: Grant 1739031) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC: Grants NE/S006745/1, NE/S006796/1, and NE/T001607/1). ITGC Contribution No. ITGC-104.
Subjects: F600 Geology
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2023 15:37
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 10:15

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