Pliocene Transient Climate modelling

The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will be significant contributors to sea-level rise during and beyond this century. A better understanding of the responses of the ice sheets to a warming climate is evidently needed to make more rigorous predictions of the impact of regional sea-level variations. The Late Pliocene (3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) was a warm interval in the history of the Earth that can be used to gain a better understanding of the response of the ice sheets to a warming climate with CO2 levels close to or higher than present.

Within this project, we will use an ice-sheet - sea-level numerical model and couple this to a high-end numerical climate model for the Late Pliocene to simulate the time-varying climate and ice volume simultaneously. With this modelling framework we will improve the understanding of the sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to the warmer than present day climate of the Late Pliocene, to reduce the uncertainties associated with future projections of sea-level change. Geological data of temperature, sea level and the extent of the ice sheets for the data-rich last glacial cycle will be integrated into the modelling framework to serve as a constraint on modelled sea-level change over the globe. Accordingly, combining models and data will reduce model uncertainties of sea-level change.

PLIOTRANS is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 660814.