RICE Project Overview
The potential for rapid deglaciation of West Antarctica remains a primary uncertainty in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions for 21st Century sea level rise. The recent and unpredicted collapse of multiple ice shelves and rapid acceleration of discharge of Antarctic ice suggests that dynamical responses to warming play a more significant role than is currently understood and captured in coupled climate-ice sheet models. The RICE Project is an international partnership seeking to understand past, present, and future changes of the Ross Ice Shelf, a major drainage pathway of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
RICE aims to provide an annually resolved ice core record for the past 20,000 years and beyond, when global temperatures increased by 6°C to preindustrial temperatures, global sea level rose by ~120 m (394 ft), and the Ross Ice Shelf grounding line retreated over 1,000 km (620 miles). Most of the Ross Ice Shelf retreat occurred when global sea level had already reached modern levels. For this reason, the precise correlation between increasing air and ocean temperatures, and the velocity and characteristics of the ice shelf retreat, provides a unique opportunity to determine accurately the sensitivity of the Ross Ice Shelf to warming.
Research Publication Highlight:
Two of the RICE team recently submitted their dissertations for examination.
Andrea Tuohy submitted here thesis, XXX
Peter Neff submitted his thesis, XXX