IceBed- Quantifying ice sheet response to variations in initial bedrock topography

Project Department: Uni Research Climate (group: Climate Variability) period: 01.10.13 - 30.06.17

About the project

IceBed aims at quantifying the effect of initial bedrock topography on ice sheet volume, extent and stability, and related sea level variations (objective 1). The project also intends to improve our understanding of atmospheric CO2-ice sheet interactions by assessing CO2 thresholds required for glacial inception on various bedrock topographies (objective 2). This knowledge will be applied to the much-debated early onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation under high Eocene/Oligocene CO2 levels. IceBed will analyse the probability of such an early onset by elevating the initial bedrock topography (objective 3). These objectives will be achieved by using the three-dimensional ice sheet model SICOPOLIS, for which a climate-forcing module converting CO2 and insolation to surface energy and mass balances will be developed. A set of hypothetical, but realistic initial bedrock topographies will be designed and used as model boundary condition. The elevated initial bedrock topography required for the Northern Hemisphere glaciation simulations will be derived from geodynamic model results. IceBed combines the disciplines of ice sheet and climate modelling with geology and geodynamics. It will advance these fields and additionally produces information essential for future global sea level projections and hydrocarbon exploration offshore Norway. IceBed also gives the applicant the opportunity to engage in popular dissemination activities, increase her publication record and enlarge her scientific and industrial network, thereby promoting the gender balance in these male dominated research fields. The transfer of scientific knowledge and skills, expansion of international cooperation (with the University of Bristol, United Kingdom) and development of new interdisciplinary methods associated with this project is highly beneficial for the ongoing excellence of Norwegian research