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Quantifying spatio-temporal boundary condition uncertainty for the deglaciation

Presented by: 
James Salter University of Exeter
Thursday 8th March 2018 - 16:00 to 16:45
INI Seminar Room 1
Ice sheet models are currently unable to reproduce the retreat of the North American ice sheet through the last deglaciation, due to the large uncertainty in the boundary conditions. To successfully calibrate such a model, it is important to vary both the input parameters and the boundary conditions. These boundary conditions are derived from global climate model simulations, and hence the biases from the output of these models are carried through to the ice sheet output, restricting the range of ice sheet output that is possible. Due to the expense of running global climate models for the required 21,000 years, there are only a small number of such runs available; hence it is difficult to quantify the boundary condition uncertainty. We develop a methodology for generating a range of plausible boundary conditions, using a low-dimensional basis representation for the spatio-temporal input required. We derive this basis by combining key patterns, extracted from a small climate model ensemble of runs through the deglaciation, with sparse spatio-temporal observations. Varying the coefficients for the chosen basis vectors and ice sheet parameters simultaneously, we run ensembles of the ice sheet model. By emulating the ice sheet output, we history match iteratively and rule out combinations of the ice sheet parameters and boundary condition coefficients that lead to implausible deglaciations, reducing the uncertainty due to the boundary conditions.
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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons