Scientists from ice2sea contribute to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

Set up in response to concerns that projections on future sea-level rise were not precise enough, the European Commission’s FP7 funded ice2sea programme has increased certainty in this vital area of research and given the IPCC more reliable data for its latest report.

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered in 2007 highlighted lack of clarity surrounding the contribution of ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctica) as the largest uncertainty in projections of future global sea-level rise.

Since 2007, the international community of scientists has been working hard to address these uncertainties with the ice2sea programme at the forefront of this effort.

The programme comprises participants in 24 institutes across Europe and overseas and has undertaken analyses of field and satellite data to improve understandings of the contribution of glaciers and ice sheets to recent sea-level rise. It has also enhanced the development of process-based models that have delivered projections of glacier and ice-sheet change, as well as sea-level rise.

The many scientific advances achieved by ice2sea, have been detailed in around 160 research papers published in the peer-reviewed journals by ice2sea participants and our collaborators.

We hope that our published research has assisted in providing a strong scientific underpinning for the preparation of the newly published IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

Section ‘E6′ of the Summary for Policy makers states that:

“Confidence in projections of global mean sea level rise has increased since the AR4 because of the improved physical understanding of the components of sea level, the improved agreement of process-based models with observations, and the inclusion of ice-sheet dynamical changes.”

This is a direct consequence of the work of the ice2sea project, amongst others.

In addition, acting individual experts, many ice2sea participants have contributed directly to the writing teams of WGI and WGII of the IPCC.

With Working Group I of the IPCC having delivered its Summary for Policymakers ice2sea scientists are excited to examine the complete scientific assessment and integrated sea-level projections developed by the IPCC.

As the WGI AR5 SPM is released, ice2sea experts across our partner nations will be available to provide comment on recent scientific developments, and to provide scientific perspective on its content and significance.

Scientists from ice2sea participating in the IPCC report include the programme’s coordinator Professor David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey who is coordinating lead author for Chapter 4.

The programme has more than 20 other scientists who have acted as authors in the report, from countries across the EU including The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark and the UK. Those contributions have involved coordinating lead authorship of chapters 4, 13 and 14, as well as lead authorship of Chapter 12 and involvement in Chapters 10 and 11.


If you wish to speak to any of our scientist please contact Paul B Holland, ice2sea communications manager, at the British Antarctic Survey: Email,; Tel, +44 (0)1223 221226, +44(0)774022229.

Notes for editors:

Ice2sea brings together the EU’s scientific and operational expertise from 24 leading institutions across Europe and beyond.  Improved projections of the contribution of ice to sea-level rise produced by this major European-funded programme (grant agreement 226375) has informed the fifth IPCC report.  In 2007, the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted ice-sheets as the most significant remaining uncertainty in projections of sea-level rise.  Understanding about the crucial ice-sheet effects was “too limited to assess their likelihood or provide a best estimate of an upper bound for sea-level rise.”

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