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The Antarctic Peninsula's widespread glacier retreat and ice shelf collapse have been attributed to atmospheric and oceanic warming. Following the initial post-collapse period of retreat, several former tributary glaciers of the Larsen A and B ice shelves have been slowly re-advancing for more than a decade. Here, we use a flowline model of Crane Glacier to gauge the sensitivity of former tributary glaciers to future climate change following this period of long-term dynamic adjustment. The glacier's long-term geometry and speed changes are similar to those of other former Larsen A and B tributaries, suggesting that Crane Glacier is a reasonable representation of regional dynamics. For the unperturbed climate simulations, discharge remains nearly unchanged in 2018–2100, indicating that dynamic readjustment to shelf collapse took ~15 years. Despite large uncertainties in Crane Glacier's past and future climate forcing, a wide range of future climate scenarios leads to a relatively modest range in grounding line discharge (0.8–1.5 Gt a−1) by 2100. Based on the model results for Crane, we infer that although former ice shelf tributaries may readvance following collapse, similar to the tidewater glacier cycle, their dynamic response to future climate perturbations should be less than their response to ice shelf collapse.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.