While geological evidence provides the clearest means to evaluate past Antarctic ice sheet change, quantification of the processes by which such change occurred can only be done through modelling. Continental-scale ice sheet modelling has been used extensively to understand how past ice sheets have responded to environmental forcing. Such work has revealed how past ice-sheet configurations are possible glaciologically and climatically, and the rates at which changes can occur. The past 10 years have seen considerable advances in numerical ice-sheet modelling, the data used to force and calibrate them, and in the identification of the glaciological processes needed to improve them. As a result, several studies have improved our understanding of how and why the Antarctic ice sheet has changed since its initiation ~34 Ma, with key episodes being the Pliocene, Pleistocene and Last Glacial Maximum. Here we review some of these advances as a guide to how ice sheet modelling is helping to shape our knowledge of how Antarctica responds to external forcing.
Hub Contributors: Nick Golledge
See the article here.