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  • Raper, S.C.B. and R.J. Braithwaite, 2006: Low sea level rise projections from mountain glaciers and icecaps under global warming. Nature, 439, 311-313, doi:10.1038.

The mean sea level has been projected to rise in the 21st century as
a result of global warming1. Such projections of sea level change
depend on estimated future greenhouse emissions and on differing
models, but model-average results from a mid-range scenario
(A1B) suggests a 0.387-m rise by 2100 (refs 1, 2). The largest
contributions to sea level rise are estimated to come from thermal
expansion (0.288 m) and the melting of mountain glaciers and
icecaps (0.106 m), with smaller inputs from Greenland (0.024 m)
and Antarctica (20.074 m)1. Here we apply a melt model3 and a
geometric volume model4 to our lower estimate of ice volume57
and assess the contribution of glaciers to sea level rise, excluding
those in Greenland and Antarctica. We provide the first separate
assessment of melt contributions from mountain glaciers and
icecaps, as well as an improved treatment of volume shrinkage.We
find that icecaps melt more slowly than mountain glaciers,
whose area declines rapidly in the 21st century, making glaciers
a limiting source for ice melt. Using two climate models, we
project sea level rise due to melting of mountain glaciers and
icecaps to be 0.046 and 0.051mby 2100, about half that of previous
projections1,8.


Last Updated: 2006-03-30

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