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Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation

Abstract.

 The contribution of glacier melt, including the Greenland ice-sheet, to sea-level change since AD 1865 is estimated on the basis of modelled sensitivity of glacier mass balance to climate change and historical temperature data. Calculations are done in a regionally differentiated manner to overcome the inhomogeneity of the global distribution of glaciers. A distinction is made between changes in summer temperature and in temperature over the rest of the year. Our best estimate of the ice melt in the period 1865–1990 in terms of sea-level change equivalent is 5.7 cm (2.7 cm for glaciers and 3.0 cm for the Greenland ice-sheet). Additional calculations show that simpler methods, like using annual or even global mean temperature anomaly give estimates that differ by up to 55%. Consequently, a regionally differentiating approach is advised for making projections of glacier melt with GCM output.

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Received: 6 December 1996/Accepted: 30 May 1997

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Zuo, Z., Oerlemans, J. Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation. Climate Dynamics 13, 835–845 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s003820050200

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Keywords

  • Climate Change
  • Mass Balance
  • Temperature Data
  • Summer Temperature
  • Global Distribution