Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Increased warm water intrusions could cause mass loss in East Antarctica during the next 200 years

Jordan, James R.; Miles, B.W.J.; Gudmundsson, G.H.; Jamieson, S.S.R.; Jenkins, A.; Stokes, C.R.

Increased warm water intrusions could cause mass loss in East Antarctica during the next 200 years Thumbnail


James R. Jordan

B.W.J. Miles

G.H. Gudmundsson

A. Jenkins


The East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) is currently surrounded by relatively cool water, but climatic shifts have the potential to increase basal melting via intrusions of warm modified Circumpolar Deep Water (mCDW) onto the continental shelf. Here we use an ice sheet model to show that under the current ocean regime, with only limited intrusions of mCDW, the EAIS will likely gain mass over the next 200 years due to the increased precipitation from a warming atmosphere outweighing increased ice discharge due to ice-shelf melting. However, if the ocean regime were to become dominated by greater mCDW intrusions, the EAIS would have a negative mass balance, contributing up to 48 mm of SLE over this time period. Our modelling finds George V Land to be particularly at risk to increased ocean induced melting. With warmer oceans, we also find that a mid range RCP4.5 emissions scenario is likely to result in a more negative mass balance than a high RCP8.5 emissions scenario, as the relative difference between increased precipitation due to a warming atmosphere and increased ice discharge due to a warming ocean is more negative in the mid range RCP4.5 emission scenario.


Jordan, J. R., Miles, B., Gudmundsson, G., Jamieson, S., Jenkins, A., & Stokes, C. (2023). Increased warm water intrusions could cause mass loss in East Antarctica during the next 200 years. Nature Communications, 14(1), Article 1825.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 22, 2023
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jun 16, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 19, 2023
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 1
Article Number 1825


Published Journal Article (3.4 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

You might also like

Downloadable Citations