PROcesses, drivers, Prediction: modeling the History and Evolution of Thwaites

Principal investigator

Thwaites Glacier, in West Antarctica, has been accelerating and widening over the past three decades. How fast Thwaites will disintegrate or how quickly it will find a new stable state have become some of the most important questions of the future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its contribution to sea level rise over the next century and beyond.  PROPHET will rely on three independent numerical models of ice flow, coupled to an ocean circulation model to (1) improve our understanding of the interactions between the ice and the bedrock, (2) analyze how sensitive the glacier is to external changes, such as changes in ocean-induced melt under its floating extension or calving front position, (3) assess the processes that may lead to a collapse of Thwaites, and, most importantly, (4) forecast future ice loss of Thwaites. By providing predictions based on a suite of coupled ice-ocean models, PROPHET will also assess the uncertainty in model projections.>