A Pluridisciplinary Study of the Impact of Future Ice Sheets Instability on Sea Level Rise, Climate Changes, Migrations and Energy Supply

Monday, 15 December 2014
Gilles Ramstein1, Dimitri Defrance1, Christophe Dumas1, Sylvie Charbit1, François Gemenne2,3, Jean-Paul Vanderlinden2,4, Sandra Bouneau5 and Sylvain David5, (1)LSCE CEA/CNRS, Gif Sur Yvette, France, (2)Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, CEARC, Guyancourt, France, (3)Université de Liège, CEDEM, Liège, Belgium, (4)Observatoire de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Guyancourt, France, (5)CNRS/IN2P3/ Université Paris Sud 11, Institut de Physique Nucléaire, Orsay, France
From paleoclimate data and GCM models simulations, we learnt that, when ice sheets are unstable, they produce large surges of icebergs that cover North Atlantic and produce global climate instability through atmosphere and ocean dynamics. Indeed, these instabilities are associated with a cold (glacial) context. In a warming world, it appears that the two remaining ice sheets (Antarctica and Greenland) are becoming unstable. The probability of abrupt ice sheet changes is therefore to be investigated. In comparison with predicted AR5 sea level rise (SLR) (28 to 82 cm), such a fast melting could add a contribution of 2 to 5 meters, which corresponds to the sea level rise estimate of glacial instability (Heinrich events). The aim of this presentation is to describe consistent sea level and climate simulations.

We define 3 scenarios, the sea level rise is produced by the melting of about third of the Greenland, or the disappearance of West Antarctica, or finally a mixture of both ice sheets melting. We first analyze, using IPSL OAGCM, the climatic impact. Indeed, superimposed to direct sea level rise, climate changes has drastic consequences in North Atlantic (Europe and east of North America) due to the thermohaline circulation breakdown. Moreover, when freshwater is injected into North Atlantic, far field effects on the location and amplitude of Asian Monsoon have been shown with its drastic decrease. The second step of this multidisciplinary study is to quantify the impact of the sea level rise and the climatic changes on populations migration, with a focus on Southern Asia with a prospective migration of several hundreds of people. In a third step, we intend to simulate the reorganization of power supply to adapt to the expected new distribution of population, using a quantitative energy model (COSIME).

Here, we show the climate response to the 3 investigated climate scenarios and the response in terms of migration, which is huge due to the very large part of the population living in coastal areas.