Past Antarctic ice sheet dynamics (PAIS) and implications for future sea-level change

The legacy of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s (SCAR) PAIS strategic research programme includes not only breakthrough scientific discoveries, but it is also the story of a long-standing deep collaboration amongst different multi-disciplinary researchers from many nations, to share scientific infrastructure and data, facilities, and numerical models, in order to address high priority questions regarding the evolution and behaviour of the Antarctic ice sheets (AIS). The PAIS research philosophy is based on data-data and data-model integration and intercomparison, and the development of ‘ice-to-abyss’ data transects and paleo-environmental, extending from the ice sheet interior to the deep sea. PAIS strives to improve understanding of AIS dynamics and to reduce uncertainty in model simulations of future ice loss and global sea level change, by studying warm periods of the geological past that are relevant to future climate scenarios. The multi-disciplinary approach fostered by PAIS represents its greatest strength. Eight years after the start of this programme, PAIS achievements have been high-profile and impactful, both in terms of field campaigns that collected unique data sets and samples, and in terms of scientific advances concerning past AIS dynamics, that have measurably improved understanding of ice sheet sensitivity in response to global warming. Here we provide an overview and synthesis of the new knowledge generated by the PAIS Programme and its implications for anticipating and managing the impacts of global sea-level rise.


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Authors: Colleoni, Florence, De Santis, Laura, Naish, Tim R., DeConto, Robert M., Escutia, Carlota, Stocchi, Paolo, Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele, Hochmuth, Katharina, Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter ORCIDORCID record for Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, van de Flierdt, Tina, Perez, Lara F. ORCIDORCID record for Lara F. Perez, Leitchenkov, German, Sangiorgi, Francesca, Jamieson, Stewart, Bentley, Michael J., Wilson, David J., PAIS Community, inc., Ferraccioli, Fausto ORCIDORCID record for Fausto Ferraccioli, Hindmarsh, Richard ORCIDORCID record for Richard Hindmarsh, Hodgson, Dominic A. ORCIDORCID record for Dominic A. Hodgson, Larter, Robert D. ORCIDORCID record for Robert D. Larter

Editors: Florindo, Fabio, Siegert, Martin, De Santis, Laura, Naish, Tim

On this site: Dominic Hodgson, Fausto Ferraccioli, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Lara Perez Miguel, Richard Hindmarsh, Robert Larter, Richard Hindmarsh
1 October, 2021
In: Florindo, Fabio, Siegert, Martin, De Santis, Laura, Naish, Tim (eds.). Antarctic Climate Evolution 2nd edition, Elsevier, 689-768.
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