Clouds Dominate Uncertainties in Predicting Greenland Ice Melt

The Greenland ice sheet at sunset © Research team University of Bristol

New research led by climate scientists from the University of Bristol suggests that the representation of clouds in climate models is as, or more, important than the amount of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to projecting future Greenland ice sheet melt.

Recent research shows that the whole of the Greenland ice sheet could be gone within the next thousand years, raising global sea level by more than seven meters.

However, most of the predictions about the future of the Greenland ice sheet focus on the impact of different greenhouse gas emission scenarios on its evolution and sea level commitment.

New research published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that in a warming world, cloud microphysics play as an important role as greenhouse gases and, for high emission scenarios, dominate the uncertainties in projecting the future melting of the ice sheet.

Read the full article here

© S. Hofer, A. Tedstone, X. Fettweis and J. Bamber/University of Bristol

Further information – Paper:
‘Cloud microphysics and circulation anomalies control differences in future Greenland melt’ by S. Hofer, A. Tedstone, X. Fettweis and J. Bamber in Nature Climate Change