Projections of global glacier melt under low-end warming scenarios

2017 - 2019

Glaciers store less than 1 % of the ice on Earth. Nevertheless, melting glaciers are responsible for about one third of current rates of sea-level rise, and glaciers have very likely been more important for 20th century sea-level rise than thermal expansion and mass loss of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Additionally, glaciers change the seasonal availability of water in many drainage basins and influence geohazards in high mountain settings. Glaciers respond to climate change with a delay of decades to centuries. This implies that part of the future glacier melt is a response to past climate change. Therefore, even is global temperature rise will be limited to 1.5°C above preindustrial values, glaciers can be expected to continue to melt. However, there are no quantitative estimates on the future development of glaciers on the global scale under such low warming scenarios. We will provide these projections and analyse their results with respect to sea-level rise.

Funding Agency: 
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Funding Amount: 
€170 559