Core Project: Geophysical Causes of Present-Day Global Sea Level Rise
This project is designed to directly address the CWC question, "Does human intervention have the potential to push the climate system such that abrupt changes become more frequent, intense and rapid?" through a comprehensive undertaking of the interdisciplinary science of global sea level change. The primary purpose of the Core Project is to bring together experts to form a team within The Ohio State University to:
- Advance the interdisciplinary science of sea level change resulting from anthropogenic warming
- develop an innovative cyber-infrastructure system for dissemination scientific of results to toad in mitigation of sea level rise hazards for the world's low-lying regions.
This project will reduce uncertainties in the sea level budget and near-future sea level change by addressing the following open scientific questions:
- Can we resolve the controversy of whether there is a present-day (1990s – present) accelerated sea level rise, which would be an indication of anthropogenic warming?
- Can we explain, with high confidence, each of the plausible geophysical sources influencing sea level change, and reconcile with observed sea level rise?
- Can we better constrain the physical processes governing ice sheet sensitivity to climate forcing, to improve the prediction of ice-sheet contribution to near-future sea level rise under anthropogenic warming?
Recent work and accomplishments include:
Quantification of ice sheet mass balance and its sensitivity to climate change
The recent, rapid and unpredicted increase in the rates of mass-loss from Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets point to our current lack of understanding of the physical processes that control ice sheet sensitivity to climate and ice sheet contribution to sea level change.
Dr. Jason Box and Dr. Ian Howat are currently developing two time-lapse camera systems to be installed in May 2009 beside a key Greenland glacier. The objective is to image the break-up of sea ice near the glacier calving front (the location where icebergs break off). Ian Howat has ordered innovative low-cost GPS receivers developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to be deployed on high-risk areas of the glacier.
Global sea level observations and geophysical analysis
5 publications and 10 presentations
Quantifying sea level rise hazards
Solicited Microsoft Virtual Earth for funding to build an interface showing sea level rise hazards and visualizations.
- Public highlights
- Jason Box and Ian Howat appeared in the March 24th NOVA/National Geographic television documentary, Extreme Ice.
- Box and Howat's field activities were featured in a new documentary, "Long live global warming" presented an the Paris Polar Film Festival.
- Box was featured on Greenland National News "Qanorooq" on May 28, 2008. View video clip
- Members participated in the McCormick Climate Change Conference held last October for 28 journalists from across the country.
School of Earth Sciences
College of Math and Physical Sciences
Polar Meteorology Group
Byrd Polar Research Center
Glacier Dynamics Group
Byrd Polar Research Center