UC Irvine
Isabella Velicogna

Ice Sheet Mass Balance

Glacier and Ice Caps Mass Balance

Sea level Rise

Terrestrial Water Storage and Impact on Vegetation Growth
Sea Level Rise
Develop new methodologies to calculate the spatial and temporal pattern of regional sea level rise.

Sea level rise is a topic of high societal and scientific importance. Considerable uncertainty remains in the determination of future sea level change as a result of large uncertainties in predicting the contribution of melting ice sheets (IPCC AR4). Moreover, the spatial pattern of sea level change is complex and depends upon the relative balance at any given location of the different contributors. While thermal expansion and ocean and atmospheric dynamics introduce large variability in regional sea level, if the mass fluxes from mountain glaciers and ice sheets become large enough, the associated static patterns of sea level change will clearly dominate.

We are applying numerical tools of elastic response of the Earth to calculate the sea level fingerprints of melting ice sheets, and how they impact the spatial and temporal patterns of regional sea level rise. For reconstructive studies, we base our analysis on direct observations of melting ice sheets with GRACE. For predictive studies, instead of looking at extreme scenarios of ice sheet collapse, we are part of a JPL/UCI team that is developing a methodology based on observed trends and outputs from novel numerical ice sheet models.

2010-2013 NASA ROSES-09 InterDisciplinary Science (IDS)-Program, ‘Regional pattern of sea level change from the melting of the Greenland, Antarctic and Patagonia ice sheets derived from combined InSAR ice motion, reconstructed surface mass balance and GRACE time-variable gravity’, Co-P.I.

2011 – Church J, White NJ, Konikow LF, Domingues CM, Cogley JG, Rignot E, Gregory J, van den Broeke M, Monaghan A., Velicogna I., ‘Revisiting the Earth’s sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008’. Geophys. Res. Lett., VOL. 38, L18601, doi:10.1029/2011GL048794. Frontier Article.

2010 –Tamisiea M.E. , Hill W.M., Ponte R.M., Davis J.L. , Velicogna I., ‘Impact of self- attraction and loading on the annual cycle in sea level’. J. Geophys. Res., VOL. 115, C07004, doi:10.1029/2010JB007530.