The gravitationally consistent sea-level fingerprint of future terrestrial ice loss
Article first published online: 13 FEB 2013
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 482–486, 16 February 2013
How to Cite
2012), The gravitationally consistent sea-level fingerprint of future terrestrial ice loss, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 482–486, doi:10.1029/2012GL053000., , and (
- Issue published online: 3 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 13 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 23 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 17 JUL 2012
- European Commission's 7th Framework Program. Grant Number: 226375
- future sea level change;
- terrestrial ice loss
 We solve the sea-level equation to investigate the pattern of the gravitationally self-consistent sea-level variations (fingerprints) corresponding to modeled scenarios of future terrestrial ice melt. These were obtained from separate ice dynamics and surface mass balance models for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and by a regionalized mass balance model for glaciers and ice caps. For our mid-range scenario, the ice melt component of total sea-level change attains its largest amplitude in the equatorial oceans, where we predict a cumulative sea-level rise of ~ 25 cm and rates of change close to 3 mm/yr from ice melt alone by 2100. According to our modeling, in low-elevation densely populated coastal zones, the gravitationally consistent sea-level variations due to continental ice loss will range between 50 and 150% of the global mean. This includes the effects of glacial-isostatic adjustment, which mostly contributes across the lateral forebulge regions in North America. While the mid range ocean-averaged elastic-gravitational sea-level variations compare with those associated with thermal expansion and ocean circulation, their combination shows a complex regional pattern, where the former component dominates in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and the latter in the Arctic Ocean.