Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Research article
25 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 25 Aug 2016

Persistence and variability of ice-stream grounding lines on retrograde bed slopes

Alexander A. Robel, Christian Schoof, and Eli Tziperman


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Short summary
Portions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet edge that rest on upward-sloping beds have the potential to collapse irreversibly and raise global sea level. Using a numerical model, we show that changes in the slipperiness of sediments beneath fast-flowing ice streams can cause them to persist on upward-sloping beds for hundreds to thousands of years before reversing direction. This type of behavior is important to consider as a possibility when interpreting observations of ongoing ice sheet change.