Climate Change Research ›› 2022, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (1): 1-11.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2021.247

• Special Section on the Sixth Assessment Report of IPCC: WGI • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The predictability, irreversibility and deep uncertainty of cryospheric change

XIAO Cun-De1(), YANG Jiao2, ZHANG Tong1, SU Bo1, WANG Lei1, XU Qian2, YAN Zhan1, HAO Hai-Rui1, HUANG Yi1   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2 State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2021-10-18 Revised:2021-11-06 Online:2022-01-30 Published:2021-11-10


The IPCC AR6 Working Group I gives new understandings of the predictability, irreversibility and deep uncertainty of various elements of the climate system. This paper summarizes the above three aspects of cryospheric changes in global and regional scales. In general, on the hemispheric and global scales, regardless of the emission scenario, all cryospheric elements could have certain predictability in the 21st century, i.e., they all change in the direction of melting or degradation, mostly irreversible. However, on the regional scale, short time scales and long-term commitment, different cryospheric elements may exhibit large internal variability, poor predictability and even deep uncertainty.

Key words: Cryosphere, IPCC AR6, Interpretation, Knowledge advances, Knowledge gaps

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