WorldWideScience

Sample records for antarctic ice sheet

  1. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is a major player in the Earth’s climate system and is by far the largest depository of fresh water on the planet. Ice stored in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) contains enough water to raise sea level by about 58 m, and ice loss from Antarctica contributed significantly...... Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model (Shaffer 2014) is forced by reconstructed time series of Antarctic temperature, global sea level and ocean subsurface temperature over the last two glacial cycles. In this talk a modelling work of the Antarctic ice sheet over most of the Cenozoic era using...... the DAIS model will be presented. G. Shaffer (2014) Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1803‐1818...

  2. Global dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2002-01-01

    The total mass budget of the Antarctic ice sheet is studied with a simple axi-symmetrical model. The ice-sheet has a parabolic profile resting on a bed that slopes linearly downwards from the centre of the ice sheet into the ocean. The mean ice velocity at the grounding line is assumed to be proport

  3. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    OpenAIRE

    Naish, T.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; Powell, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Levy, R.; ANDRILL Science Management Office, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA; Wilson, G.; University of Otago, Department of Geology, PO Box 56, Leith Street, Dunedin, Otago 9001, New Zealand; Scherer, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Talarico, F.; Universita` di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze delle Terra, Via Laterina 8, I-53100 Siena, Italy; Krissek, L.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Niessen, F.; Alfred Wegener Institute, Department of Geosciences, Postfach 12 01 6, Am Alten Hafen 26, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany; Pompilio, M.; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione Pisa, Pisa, Italia; Wilson, T.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Carter, L.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; DeConto, R.; Department of Geosciences, 233 Morrell Science Centre, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9297, USA; Huybers, P.; Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Massachusetts 02138, USA; McKay, R.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington - New Zealand; Pollard, D.; Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, 2217 Earth-Engineering Science Bldg, University Park, PA 16802, USA

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records frommicrofossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth’s orbital geometry control the ice ages1, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles2. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the ‘warmer-than- present’ early-Pliocene epoch (̃5–3Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possibl...

  4. Antarctic Ice Sheet and Radar Altimetry: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Frédérique Rémy; Soazig Parouty

    2009-01-01

    International audience Altimetry is probably one of the most powerful tools for ice sheet observation. Our vision of the Antarctic ice sheet has been deeply transformed since the launch of the ERS1 satellite in 1991. With the launch of ERS2 and Envisat, the series of altimetric observations now provides 19 years of continuous and homogeneous observations that allow monitoring of the shape and volume of ice sheets. The topography deduced from altimetry is one of the relevant parameters reve...

  5. A model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

    Numerical modelling of ice sheets and glaciers has become a useful tool in glaciological research. A model described here deals with the vertical mean ice velocity, is time dependent, computes bedrock adjustment and uses an empirical diagnostic relationship to derive the distribution of ice thicknes

  6. Antarctic ice volume for the last 740 ka calculated with a simple ice sheet model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2005-01-01

    Fluctuations in the volume of the Antarctic ice sheet for the last 740 ka are calculated by forcing a simple ice sheet model with a sea-level history (from a composite deep sea δ18O record) and a temperature history (from the Dome C deuterium record). Antarctic ice volume reaches maximum values of a

  7. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, T.; Powell, R.; Levy, R.; Wilson, G.; Scherer, R.; Talarico, F.; Krissek, L.; Niessen, F.; Pompilio, M.; Wilson, T.; Carter, L.; DeConto, R.; Huybers, P.; McKay, R.; Pollard, D.; Ross, J.; Winter, D.; Barrett, P.; Browne, G.; Cody, R.; Cowan, E.; Crampton, J.; Dunbar, G.; Dunbar, N.; Florindo, F.; Gebhardt, C.; Graham, I.; Hannah, M.; Hansaraj, D.; Harwood, D.; Helling, D.; Henrys, S.; Hinnov, L.; Kuhn, G.; Kyle, P.; Laufer, A.; Maffioli, P.; Magens, D.; Mandernack, K.; McIntosh, W.; Millan, C.; Morin, R.; Ohneiser, C.; Paulsen, T.; Persico, D.; Raine, I.; Reed, J.; Riesselman, C.; Sagnotti, L.; Schmitt, D.; Sjunneskog, C.; Strong, P.; Taviani, M.; Vogel, S.; Wilch, T.; Williams, T.

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (???5-3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, ???40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to ???3??C warmer than today and atmospheric CO 2 concentration was as high as ???400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7 m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3 m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt under conditions of elevated CO2. ??2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  8. Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, M.; Stocchi, P.; van der Heydt, A.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2014-01-01

    During the Cenozoic the Antarctic continent experienced large fluctuations in ice-sheet volume. We investigate the effects of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on Southern Ocean circulation for the first continental scale glaciation of Antarctica (~ 34 Myr) by combining solid Earth and ocean dynami

  9. Antarctic ice rises and rumples : Their properties and significance for ice-sheet dynamics and evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matsuoka, Kenichi; Hindmarsh, Richard C A; Moholdt, Geir; Bentley, Michael J.; Pritchard, Hamish D.; Brown, Joel; Conway, Howard; Drews, Reinhard; Durand, Gaël; Goldberg, Daniel; Hattermann, Tore; Kingslake, Jonathan; Lenaerts, Jan T M; Martín, Carlos; Mulvaney, Robert; Nicholls, Keith W.; Pattyn, Frank; Ross, Neil; Scambos, Ted; Whitehouse, Pippa L.

    2015-01-01

    Locally grounded features in ice shelves, called ice rises and rumples, play a key role buttressing discharge from the Antarctic Ice Sheet and regulating its contribution to sea level. Ice rises typically rise several hundreds of meters above the surrounding ice shelf; shelf flow is diverted around

  10. Windblown Pliocene diatoms and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Reed P.; DeConto, Robert M.; Pollard, David; Alley, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Marine diatoms in tillites along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) have been used to suggest a diminished East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) during Pliocene warm periods. Updated ice-sheet modelling shows significant Pliocene EAIS retreat, creating marine embayments into the Wilkes and Aurora basins that were conducive to high diatom productivity and rapid accumulation of diatomaceous sediments. Here we show that subsequent isostatic uplift exposed accumulated unconsolidated marine deposits to wind erosion. We report new atmospheric modelling utilizing Pliocene climate and derived Antarctic landscapes indicating that prevailing mid-altitude winds transported diatoms towards the TAMs, dominantly from extensive emerged coastal deposits of the Aurora Basin. This result unifies leading ideas from competing sides of a contentious debate about the origin of the diatoms in the TAMs and their link to EAIS history, supporting the view that parts of the EAIS are vulnerable to relatively modest warming, with possible implications for future sea-level rise. PMID:27649516

  11. Commitments to future retreat of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert; Pollard, David

    2016-04-01

    The agreement reached at the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change is aimed at limiting future increases in global mean temperature below 2°C. Here, we use a continental ice sheet/shelf model with new treatments of meltwater-enhanced calving (hydrofracturing) and marine terminating ice-cliffs, to explore future commitments to sea-level rise given limits of global mean warming between 1 and 3°C. In this case, ice-sheet model physics are calibrated against past ice-sheet response to temperatures warmer than today. The ice-sheet model is coupled to highly resolved atmosphere and ocean-model components, with imposed limits on future warming designed to mimic the idealized limits discussed at COP21. Both the short and long-term potential rise in global mean sea level are discussed in light of the range of allowances agreed in Paris. We also explore the sensitivity of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to plausible ranges of atmospheric versus ocean warming consistent with global mean temperatures between 1 and 3°C; and the resulting long-term commitments to sea-level rise over the coming centuries and millennia.

  12. Holocene accumulation and ice flow near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutnik, Michelle R.; Fudge, T. J.; Conway, Howard; Waddington, Edwin D.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Cuffey, Kurt M.; Buizert, Christo; Taylor, Kendrick C.

    2016-05-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Core (WDC) provided a high-resolution climate record from near the Ross-Amundsen Divide in Central West Antarctica. In addition, radar-detected internal layers in the vicinity of the WDC site have been dated directly from the ice core to provide spatial variations in the age structure of the region. Using these two data sets together, we first infer a high-resolution Holocene accumulation-rate history from 9.2 kyr of the ice-core timescale and then confirm that this climate history is consistent with internal layers upstream of the core site. Even though the WDC was drilled only 24 km from the modern ice divide, advection of ice from upstream must be taken into account. We evaluate histories of accumulation rate by using a flowband model to generate internal layers that we compare to observed layers. Results show that the centennially averaged accumulation rate was over 20% lower than modern at 9.2 kyr before present (B.P.), increased by 40% from 9.2 to 2.3 kyr B.P., and decreased by at least 10% over the past 2 kyr B.P. to the modern values; these Holocene accumulation-rate changes in Central West Antarctica are larger than changes inferred from East Antarctic ice-core records. Despite significant changes in accumulation rate, throughout the Holocene the regional accumulation pattern has likely remained similar to today, and the ice-divide position has likely remained on average within 5 km of its modern position. Continent-scale ice-sheet models used for reconstructions of West Antarctic ice volume should incorporate this accumulation history.

  13. Mass Balance Changes and Ice Dynamics of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babonis, G. S.; Csatho, B.; Schenk, T.

    2016-06-01

    During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser altimetry data, acquired by NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat) and airborne laser campaigns, such as Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS). For detecting changes in ice sheet elevations we have developed the Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC) method. It computes elevation changes of small surface patches by keeping the surface shape constant and considering the absolute values as surface elevations. We report about important upgrades of earlier results, for example the inclusion of local ice caps and the temporal extension from 1993 to 2014 for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for a comprehensive reconstruction of ice thickness and mass changes for the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

  14. Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pritchard, H.D.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Fricker, H.A.; Vaughan, D.G.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Padman, L.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate prediction of global sea-level rise requires that we understand the cause of recent, widespread and intensifying1,2 glacier acceleration along Antarctic ice-sheet coastal margins3. Atmospheric and oceanic forcing have the potential to reduce the thickness and extent of floating ice shelves,

  15. Antarctic ice sheet GLIMMER model test and its simplified model on 2-dimensional ice flow

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xueyuan Tang; Zhanhai Zhang; Bo Sun; Yuansheng Li; Na Li; Bangbing Wang; Xiangpei Zhang

    2008-01-01

    The 3-dimensional finite difference thermodynamic coupled model on Antarctic ice sheet, GLIMMER model, is described. An ide-alized ice sheet numerical test was conducted under the EISMINT-I benchmark, and the characteristic curves of ice sheets under steady state were obtained. Based on this, this model was simplified from a 3-dimensional one to 2-dimensional one. Improvement of the dif-ference method and coordinate system was proposed. Evolution of the 2-dimensional ice flow was simulated under coupled temperature field conditions. The results showed that the characteristic curves deriving from the conservation of the mass, momentum and energy agree with the results of ice sheet profile simulated with GLIMMER model and with the theoretical results. The application prospect of the simplified 2-dimensional ice flow model to simulate the relation of age-depth-accumulation in Dome A region was discussed.

  16. Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat not ice-sheet collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Max D; Sime, Louise C; Singarayer, Joy S; Tindall, Julia C; Bunch, Pete; Valdes, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that sea-level rise during the last interglacial implies retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The prevalent hypothesis is that the retreat coincided with the peak Antarctic temperature and stable water isotope values from 128,000 years ago (128 ka); very early in the last interglacial. Here, by analysing climate model simulations of last interglacial WAIS loss featuring water isotopes, we show instead that the isotopic response to WAIS loss is in opposition to the isotopic evidence at 128 ka. Instead, a reduction in winter sea ice area of 65±7% fully explains the 128 ka ice core evidence. Our finding of a marked retreat of the sea ice at 128 ka demonstrates the sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice extent to climate warming. PMID:27526639

  17. Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat not ice-sheet collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Max D; Sime, Louise C; Singarayer, Joy S; Tindall, Julia C; Bunch, Pete; Valdes, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that sea-level rise during the last interglacial implies retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The prevalent hypothesis is that the retreat coincided with the peak Antarctic temperature and stable water isotope values from 128,000 years ago (128 ka); very early in the last interglacial. Here, by analysing climate model simulations of last interglacial WAIS loss featuring water isotopes, we show instead that the isotopic response to WAIS loss is in opposition to the isotopic evidence at 128 ka. Instead, a reduction in winter sea ice area of 65±7% fully explains the 128 ka ice core evidence. Our finding of a marked retreat of the sea ice at 128 ka demonstrates the sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice extent to climate warming.

  18. Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat not ice-sheet collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Max D.; Sime, Louise C.; Singarayer, Joy S.; Tindall, Julia C.; Bunch, Pete; Valdes, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that sea-level rise during the last interglacial implies retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The prevalent hypothesis is that the retreat coincided with the peak Antarctic temperature and stable water isotope values from 128,000 years ago (128 ka); very early in the last interglacial. Here, by analysing climate model simulations of last interglacial WAIS loss featuring water isotopes, we show instead that the isotopic response to WAIS loss is in opposition to the isotopic evidence at 128 ka. Instead, a reduction in winter sea ice area of 65±7% fully explains the 128 ka ice core evidence. Our finding of a marked retreat of the sea ice at 128 ka demonstrates the sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice extent to climate warming. PMID:27526639

  19. Combustion of available fossil-fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, R.; Levermann, A.; Ridgwell, A.; Caldeira, K.

    2015-12-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 meters in global sea-level rise. Here we show in simulations with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil-fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil-fuel emissions of 10 000 GtC, Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 meters per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West- and East Antarctica results in a threshold-increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.

  20. A Palaeohydrological Shift during Neogene East Antarctic Ice Sheet Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees-Owen, R. L.; Newton, R.; Ivanovic, R. F.; Francis, J.; Tindall, J. C.; Riding, J. B.

    2015-12-01

    The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important driver of global climate, playing a particular role in governing albedo and atmospheric circulation (eg. Singh et al., 2013). Recent evidence from marine sediment and terrestrial glaciovolcanic sequences suggests that the EAIS underwent periodic retreat and collapse in response to warmer climates during the late Neogene (14 to 3 million years ago). Mummified prostrate trees recovered from palaeosols at Oliver Bluffs in the Beardmore Glacier region, Transantarctic Mountains (85° S), represent a rare insight into the terrestrial palaeoclimate during one of these periods of retreat. Prostrate trees are an understudied but useful tool for interrogating endmember (e.g. periglacial) environments at high altitudes and latitudes. We present exciting new palaeoclimate data from the sequence at Oliver Bluffs. δ18O analysis of tree ring cellulose suggests that Antarctic summer palaeoprecipitation was enriched relative to today (-25 to -5‰ for ancient, -35 to -20‰ for modern); consistent with our isotope-enabled general circulation model simulations. The MBT/CBT palaeothermometer gives a summer temperature of 3-6ºC, consistent with other palaeobotanical climate indices. These geological and model data have wide-ranging implications for our understanding of the hydrological cycle during this time period. We present data suggesting that changes in moisture recycling and source region indicate a markedly different hydrological cycle.

  1. Firn compaction modelling of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallenberg, Bianca; Tregoning, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Satellite altimetry missions detect elevation changes in ice sheets that are not only related to variations in ice mass balance, but also to snow densification. The compaction of snow induces a change in thickness but not in mass and therefore has to be removed from the altimetry measurements when estimating mass loss from height changes. The densification of snow is time dependent and varies with temperature, accumulation rate and depth. Different types of densification processes occur in Antarctica due to the climatic differences from warm and moist coastal areas to a cold and dry desert in the Antarctic interior. The intermediate product between snow and ice is called firn and the transition from snow to ice is a slow process that can take up to millennia in some areas. During the compression snow grains undergo different stages with a density change from around 300 kg/m3 for fresh snow to around 900 kg/m3 for glacier ice. The change in density with temperature and depth is not well known and can only be compared with some snow pits that have been taken at a few locations in Antarctica, thus the density profile is of great importance. The lack of data complicates the generation of an accurate firn compaction model and so far only a few models have been established about expected firn densification processes in Antarctica. We present a time-dependent firn compaction model for Antarctica based on the standard heat-transfer equation after Paterson (1994)* for the temperature profile, and the concept of firn compaction after Zwally & Li (2002)*. By incorporating a time-dependent accumulation rate, our numerical multilayer model considers not only existing snow layers but also freshly deposited accumulation at the surface as a new introduced layer. The initial density profile as been obtained by spinning up the model until the entire firn layer is refreshed. We compare our results with previous firn compaction models and available in-situ measurements of snow pits

  2. Climate Model Dependency and Understanding the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Warm Late Pliocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Aisling; de Boer, Bas; Bernales, Jorge; Hunter, Stephen; Haywood, Alan

    2016-04-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals of Earth history is fundamentally important. A warm period in the Late Pliocene (3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise should be expected from both the Greenland ice sheet and the West and East Antarctic ice sheets based on palaeo sea-level reconstructions and geological evidence. Following a five year international project PLISMIP (Pliocene Ice Sheet Modeling Intercomparison Project) we present the final set of results which quantify uncertainty in climate model-based predictions of the Antarctic ice sheet. In this study we use an ensemble of climate model forcings within a multi-ice sheet model framework to assess the climate (model) dependency of large scale features of the Antarctic ice sheet. Seven coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models are used to derive surface temperature, precipitation and oceanic forcing that drive three ice sheet models (over the grounded and floating domain). Similar to results presented over Greenland, we show that the reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet is sensitive to which climate model is used to provide the forcing field. Key areas of uncertainty include West Antarctica, the large subglacial basins of East Antarctica and the overall thickness of the continental interior of East Antarctica. We relate the results back to geological proxy data, such as those relating to exposure rates which provide information on potential ice sheet thickness. Finally we discuss as to whether the choice of modelling framework (i.e. climate model and ice sheet model used) or the choice of boundary conditions causes the greatest uncertainty in ice sheet reconstructions of the warm Pliocene.

  3. Concentration and environmental significance of lead in surface snow of Antarctic ice sheet (III)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    秦大河; 任贾文; 孙俊英; 陈瓞延; 文克玲; 李良权

    1995-01-01

    Lead as an ultra-trace heavy metal becomes one of popular topics in glaciochemistry of the Antarctic ice sheet, because of its very low concertration (pg·g-1) and background and its sensitivity to the quality of the environment. The lead concentration of surface snow of the Antarctic ice sheet (corresponding to modern precipitation) applying LEAF technique by Chinese scholars has systematically been studied for the first time in the world. The distribution principle of lead concentration of surface snow of the Antarctic ice sheet is "low in the west and high in the east" along the route of 1990 International Trans-Antarctic Expedition (ITAE). The concentration of lead in East Antarctica is 2 - 3 fold higher than that in Larsen ice shelf and Antarctic Peninsula, which majorly results from the activity of pre-Soviet Antarctic Expedition The concentration of lead in Larsen ice shelf and Antarctic Peninsula can be regarded as the background value of modern precipitation of the Antarctic ice sheet in the en

  4. Polythermal modelling of steady states of the Antarctic ice sheet in comparison with the real world

    OpenAIRE

    Hansen, I.; Greve, Ralf

    1996-01-01

    An approach to simulate the present Antarctic ice sheet with respect to its thermomechanical behaviour and the resulting features is made with the three-dimensional polythermal ice-sheet model designed by Greve and Hutter. It treats zones of cold and temperate ice as different materials with their own properties and dynamics. This is important becausc an underlying layer of temperate ice can influence the ice sheet as a whole, e.g. the cold ice may slide upon the less viscous binary ice-water...

  5. Response of the Antarctic ice sheet to ocean forcing using the POPSICLES coupled ice sheet-ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, D. F.; Asay-Davis, X.; Price, S. F.; Cornford, S. L.; Maltrud, M. E.; Ng, E. G.; Collins, W.

    2014-12-01

    We present the response of the continental Antarctic ice sheet to sub-shelf-melt forcing derived from POPSICLES simulation results covering the full Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Southern Ocean spanning the period 1990 to 2010. Simulations are performed at 0.1 degree (~5 km) ocean resolution and ice sheet resolution as fine as 500 m using adaptive mesh refinement. A comparison of fully-coupled and comparable standalone ice-sheet model results demonstrates the importance of two-way coupling between the ice sheet and the ocean. The POPSICLES model couples the POP2x ocean model, a modified version of the Parallel Ocean Program (Smith and Gent, 2002), and the BISICLES ice-sheet model (Cornford et al., 2012). BISICLES makes use of adaptive mesh refinement to fully resolve dynamically-important regions like grounding lines and employs a momentum balance similar to the vertically-integrated formulation of Schoof and Hindmarsh (2009). Results of BISICLES simulations have compared favorably to comparable simulations with a Stokes momentum balance in both idealized tests like MISMIP3D (Pattyn et al., 2013) and realistic configurations (Favier et al. 2014). POP2x includes sub-ice-shelf circulation using partial top cells (Losch, 2008) and boundary layer physics following Holland and Jenkins (1999), Jenkins (2001), and Jenkins et al. (2010). Standalone POP2x output compares well with standard ice-ocean test cases (e.g., ISOMIP; Losch, 2008) and other continental-scale simulations and melt-rate observations (Kimura et al., 2013; Rignot et al., 2013). A companion presentation, "Present-day circum-Antarctic simulations using the POPSICLES coupled land ice-ocean model" in session C027 describes the ocean-model perspective of this work, while we focus on the response of the ice sheet and on details of the model. The figure shows the BISICLES-computed vertically-integrated ice velocity field about 1 month into a 20-year coupled Antarctic run. Groundling lines are shown in green.

  6. Response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to a climatic warming: a model study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

    It is generally believed that the increasing C02 content of the atmosphere will lead to a substantial climatic warming in the polar regions. In this study the effect of consequent changes in the ice accumulation rate over the Antarctic Ice Sheet is investigated by means of a numerical ice flow model

  7. Dynamic Antarctic ice sheet during the early to mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, Edward; DeConto, Robert M.; Pollard, David; Levy, Richard H.

    2016-03-01

    Geological data indicate that there were major variations in Antarctic ice sheet volume and extent during the early to mid-Miocene. Simulating such large-scale changes is problematic because of a strong hysteresis effect, which results in stability once the ice sheets have reached continental size. A relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 concentrations indicated by proxy records exacerbates this problem. Here, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the early to mid-Miocene Antarctic ice sheet because of three developments in our modeling approach. (i) We use a climate-ice sheet coupling method utilizing a high-resolution atmospheric component to account for ice sheet-climate feedbacks. (ii) The ice sheet model includes recently proposed mechanisms for retreat into deep subglacial basins caused by ice-cliff failure and ice-shelf hydrofracture. (iii) We account for changes in the oxygen isotopic composition of the ice sheet by using isotope-enabled climate and ice sheet models. We compare our modeling results with ice-proximal records emerging from a sedimentological drill core from the Ross Sea (Andrill-2A) that is presented in a companion article. The variability in Antarctic ice volume that we simulate is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of 0.52-0.66‰, or a sea level equivalent change of 30-36 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 and 500 ppm and a changing astronomical configuration. This result represents a substantial advance in resolving the long-standing model data conflict of Miocene Antarctic ice sheet and sea level variability.

  8. Dynamic Antarctic ice sheet during the early to mid-Miocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, Edward; DeConto, Robert M; Pollard, David; Levy, Richard H

    2016-03-29

    Geological data indicate that there were major variations in Antarctic ice sheet volume and extent during the early to mid-Miocene. Simulating such large-scale changes is problematic because of a strong hysteresis effect, which results in stability once the ice sheets have reached continental size. A relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 concentrations indicated by proxy records exacerbates this problem. Here, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the early to mid-Miocene Antarctic ice sheet because of three developments in our modeling approach. (i) We use a climate-ice sheet coupling method utilizing a high-resolution atmospheric component to account for ice sheet-climate feedbacks. (ii) The ice sheet model includes recently proposed mechanisms for retreat into deep subglacial basins caused by ice-cliff failure and ice-shelf hydrofracture. (iii) We account for changes in the oxygen isotopic composition of the ice sheet by using isotope-enabled climate and ice sheet models. We compare our modeling results with ice-proximal records emerging from a sedimentological drill core from the Ross Sea (Andrill-2A) that is presented in a companion article. The variability in Antarctic ice volume that we simulate is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of 0.52-0.66‰, or a sea level equivalent change of 30-36 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 and 500 ppm and a changing astronomical configuration. This result represents a substantial advance in resolving the long-standing model data conflict of Miocene Antarctic ice sheet and sea level variability.

  9. Future Antarctic bed topography and its implications for ice sheet dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Adhikari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A~recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS is generally losing its mass since the last glacial maximum (LGM. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves. We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS. We find that the past loading is relatively less important than future loading on the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years 2100 and 2500 AD, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay approaches roughly 45 mm yr−1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is associated with the flattening of reverse bed, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote the stability to marine portions of the ice sheet in future.

  10. Future Antarctic Bed Topography and Its Implications for Ice Sheet Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Surendra; Ivins, Erik R.; Larour, Eric Y.; Seroussi, Helene L.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Nowicki, S.

    2014-01-01

    The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) has generally been losing its mass since the Last Glacial Maximum. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace, primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves.We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS.We find that past loading is relatively less important than future loading for the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years AD 2100 and 2500, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay will approach roughly 45mmyr-1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is generally associated with the flattening of reverse bed slope, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL) towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote stability in marine portions of the ice sheet in the future.

  11. Simulating a dynamic Antarctic ice sheet in the early to middle Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, Edward; DeConto, Robert; Pollard, David; Levy, Richard

    2016-04-01

    A variety of sources of geological data suggest that there were major variations in Antarctic ice sheet volume and extent during the early to middle Miocene. Simulating such large-scale changes is problematic due to a strong hysteresis effect, which results in limited retreat of the terrestrial ice sheet once it has reached continental size. A relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 concentrations shown by proxy records exacerbates this problem. Here we use a new asynchronous climate-ice sheet coupling method, using a high-resolution atmospheric component, to account for ice sheet-climate feedbacks. Accounting for these processes results in increased retreat when compared with standard offline simulations. Combined with recently proposed mechanisms for ice retreat into deep subglacial basins, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the Miocene Antarctic ice sheet. This variability is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of 0.52 - 0.66 ‰, or a sea level equivalent change of 30 - 36 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 - 500 ppm and a changing astronomical configuration. This result represents a substantial advance in resolving the long-standing model-data conflict of Miocene Antarctic ice sheet and sea level variability, and provides a mechanistic explanation for new ice-proximal records emerging from sedimentological drill cores.

  12. Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry 1992 to 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Cornejo, Helen; Giovinetto, Mario; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2003-01-01

    A major uncertainty in understanding the causes of the current rate of sea level rise is the potential contributions from mass imbalances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Estimates of the current mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet are derived from surface- elevation changes obtained from 9 years of ERS - 1 & 2 radar altimeter data. Elevation time-series are created from altimeter crossovers among 90-day data periods on a 50 km grid to 81.5 S. The time series are fit with a multivariate linear/sinusoidal function to give the average rate of elevation change (dH/dt). On the major Rome-Filchner, Ross, and Amery ice shelves, the W d t are small or near zero. In contrast, the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula and along the West Antarctic coast appear to be thinning significantly, with a 23 +/- 3 cm per year surface elevation decrease on the Larsen ice shelf and a 65 +/- 4 cm per year decrease on the Dotson ice shelf. On the grounded ice, significant elevation decreases are obtained over most of the drainage basins of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica and inland of Law Dome in East Antarctica. Significant elevation increases are observed within about 200 km of the coast around much of the rest of the ice sheet. Farther inland, the changes are a mixed pattern of increases and decreases with increases of a few centimeters per year at the highest elevations of the East Antarctic plateau. The derived elevation changes are combined with estimates of the bedrock uplift from several models to provide maps of ice thickness change. The ice thickness changes enable estimates of the ice mass balances for the major drainage basins, the overall mass balance, and the current contribution of the ice sheet to global sea level change.

  13. Interhemispheric coupling, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and warm Antarctic interglacials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Holden

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Ice core evidence indicates that even though atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed ~300 ppm at any point during the last 800 000 years, East Antarctica was at least ~3–4 °C warmer than preindustrial (CO2~280 ppm in each of the last four interglacials. During the previous three interglacials, this anomalous warming was short lived (~3000 years and apparently occurred before the completion of Northern Hemisphere deglaciation. Hereafter, we refer to these periods as "Warmer than Present Transients" (WPTs. We present a series of experiments to investigate the impact of deglacial meltwater on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC and Antarctic temperature. It is well known that a slowed AMOC would increase southern sea surface temperature (SST through the bipolar seesaw and observational data suggests that the AMOC remained weak throughout the terminations preceding WPTs, strengthening rapidly at a time which coincides closely with peak Antarctic temperature. We present two 800 kyr transient simulations using the Intermediate Complexity model GENIE-1 which demonstrate that meltwater forcing generates transient southern warming that is consistent with the timing of WPTs, but is not sufficient (in this single parameterisation to reproduce the magnitude of observed warmth. In order to investigate model and boundary condition uncertainty, we present three ensembles of transient GENIE-1 simulations across Termination II (135 000 to 124 000 BP and three snapshot HadCM3 simulations at 130 000 BP. Only with consideration of the possible feedback of West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS retreat does it become possible to simulate the magnitude of observed warming.

  14. Rapid Access Ice Drill: A New Tool for Exploration of the Deep Antarctic Ice Sheets and Subglacial Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodge, J. W.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will penetrate the Antarctic ice sheets in order to core through deep ice, the glacial bed, and into bedrock below. This new technology will provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and their subglacial geology. Currently in construction, RAID is a mobile drilling system capable of making several long boreholes in a single field season in Antarctica. RAID is interdisciplinary and will allow access to polar paleoclimate records in ice >1 Ma, direct observation at the base of the ice sheets, and recovery of rock cores from the ice-covered East Antarctic craton. RAID uses a diamond rock-coring system as in mineral exploration. Threaded drill-pipe with hardened metal bits will cut through ice using reverse circulation of Estisol for pressure-compensation, maintenance of temperature, and removal of ice cuttings. Near the bottom of the ice sheet, a wireline bottom-hole assembly will enable diamond coring of ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. Once complete, boreholes will be kept open with fluid, capped, and made available for future down-hole measurement of thermal gradient, heat flow, ice chronology, and ice deformation. RAID will also sample for extremophile microorganisms. RAID is designed to penetrate up to 3,300 meters of ice and take sample cores in less than 200 hours. This rapid performance will allow completion of a borehole in about 10 days before moving to the next drilling site. RAID is unique because it can provide fast borehole access through thick ice; take short ice cores for paleoclimate study; sample the glacial bed to determine ice-flow conditions; take cores of subglacial bedrock for age dating and crustal history; and create boreholes for use as an observatory in the ice sheets. Together, the rapid drilling capability and mobility of the drilling system, along with ice-penetrating imaging methods, will provide a unique 3D picture of the interior Antarctic ice sheets.

  15. A Maturing Tephra Record in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    Tephra layers found in many Antarctic ice cores range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). A well-defined ash layer is found at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WAIS Divide core, containing 20 um ash shards that are chemically correlated to the the Pleaides volcanoes, in northern Victoria Land. This tephra layer correlates to one found in a Siple Dome (B) ice core (97.2 to 97.7 m depth) and in the Taylor Dome ice core (79.2 m depth). Deeper parts of the WAIS Divide ice core correspond to a time interval of abundant regional volcanism, represented by the large number of visible dust bands and cloudy layers in the core (A. Orsi, pers. comm., 2010). A distinct "visible brown layer" at a depth of 1586.363 m. (8.279 Ky BP preliminary age) is very likely to be from a major eruption of the West Antarctic volcano Mt. Takahe (8.2±5.4 , Wilch et al., 1999). This layer is found at a depth of 503.58-503.87 m in the Siple Dome A core (SMDA) corresponding to 8.167-8.181 Ky before 1950, and almost certainly to a visible layer identified and analyzed in the Byrd ice core at 788 m (Palais et al., 1988). A visible double layer at 1741.246 m (9.57 KyBP preliminary age) may correspond to a very distinct tephra layer in the SDMA core at a depth of around 550 m (corresponding to an age of around 9.7 Ky before 1950). This layer is derived from the West Antarctic stratovolcano, Mt. Berlin. In the segment of WAIS Divide ice core between 2251 and 2557 m depth (15.2 to 20.6 preliminary age), numerous dust bands and cloudy layers are reported in the ice. This corresponds to the age of ice in the Byrd Core that contained many volcanic layers (Gow and Williamson, 1971), and also an interval in the SDMA where numerous distinct tephra layers associated with highly explosive eruptions of Mt. Berlin were found. Detailed

  16. Projecting Antarctic ice discharge using response functions from SeaRISE ice-sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Levermann

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The largest uncertainty in projections of future sea-level change still results from the potentially changing dynamical ice discharge from Antarctica. While ice discharge can alter through a number of processes, basal ice-shelf melting induced by a warming ocean has been identified as a major if not the major cause for possible additional ice flow across the grounding line. Here we derive dynamic ice-sheet response functions for basal ice-shelf melting using experiments carried out within the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE intercomparison project with five different Antarctic ice-sheet models. As used here these response functions provide separate contributions for four different Antarctic drainage regions. Under the assumptions of linear-response theory we project future ice-discharge for each model, each region and each of the four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP using oceanic temperatures from 19 comprehensive climate models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, CMIP-5, and two ocean models from the EU-project Ice2Sea. Uncertainty in the climatic forcing, the oceanic response and the ice-model differences is combined into an uncertainty range of future Antarctic ice-discharge induced from basal ice-shelf melt. The additional ice-loss (Table 6 is clearly scenario-dependent and results in a median of 0.07 m (66%-range: 0.04–0.10 m; 90%-range: −0.01–0.26 m of global sea-level equivalent for the low-emission RCP-2.6 scenario and yields 0.1 m (66%-range: 0.06–0.14 m; 90%-range: −0.01–0.45 m for the strongest RCP-8.5. If only models with an explicit representation of ice-shelves are taken into account the scenario dependence remains and the values change to: 0.05 m (66%-range: 0.03–0.08 m for RCP-2.6 and 0.07 m (66%-range: 0.04–0.11 m for RCP-8.5. These results were obtained using a time delay between the surface warming signal and the subsurface oceanic warming as observed in the CMIP-5 models

  17. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Studinger, M.; Ferraccioli, F.; Damaske, D.; Finn, C.; Braaten, D. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Jordan, T. A.; Corr, H.; Elieff, S.; Frearson, N.; Block, A. E.; Rose, K.

    2009-12-01

    Models of the onset of glaciation in Antarctica routinely document the early growth of the ice sheet on the summit of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in the center of the East Antarctic Craton. While ice sheet models replicate the formation of the East Antarctic ice sheet 35 million years ago, the age, evolution and structure of the Gamburtsev Mountains remain completely unresolved. During the International Polar Year scientists from seven nations have launched a major collaborative program (AGAP) to explore the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried by the East Antarctic ice sheet and bounded by numerous subglacial lakes. The AGAP umbrella is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary effort and includes aerogeophysics, passive seismology, traverse programs and will be complimented by future ice core and bedrock drilling. A major new airborne data set including gravity; magnetics; ice thickness; SAR images of the ice-bed interface; near-surface and deep internal layers; and ice surface elevation is providing insights into a more dynamic East Antarctica. More than 120,000 km of aerogeophysical data have been acquired from two remote field camps during the 2008/09 field season. AGAP effort was designed to address several fundamental questions including: 1) What role does topography play in the nucleation of continental ice sheets? 2) How do tectonic processes control the formation, distribution, and stability of subglacial lakes? The preliminary analysis of this major new data set indicated these 3000m high mountains are deeply dissected by a dendritic system. The northern margin of the mountain range terminates against the inland extent of the Lambert Graben. Evidence of the onset of glaciation is preserved as cirques and U shaped valleys along the axis of the uplifted massifs. The geomorphology reflects the interaction between the ice sheet and the Gamburtsev Mountains. Bright reflectors in the radar data in the deep valleys indicate the presence of water that has

  18. Final Report. Coupled simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/ocean interactions using POP and CISM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar Storm [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potdam (Germany)

    2015-12-30

    The project performed under this award, referred to from here on as CLARION (CoupLed simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/Ocean iNteractions), included important advances in two models of ice sheet and ocean interactions. Despite its short duration (one year), the project made significant progress on its three major foci. First, together with collaborator Daniel Martin at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), I developed the POPSICLES coupled ice sheet-ocean model to the point where it could perform a number of pan-Antarctic simulations under various forcing conditions. The results were presented at a number of major conferences and workshops worldwide, and are currently being incorporated into two manuscripts in preparation.

  19. Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Dustin M; Blankenship, Donald D; Young, Duncan A; Quartini, Enrica

    2014-06-24

    Heterogeneous hydrologic, lithologic, and geologic basal boundary conditions can exert strong control on the evolution, stability, and sea level contribution of marine ice sheets. Geothermal flux is one of the most dynamically critical ice sheet boundary conditions but is extremely difficult to constrain at the scale required to understand and predict the behavior of rapidly changing glaciers. This lack of observational constraint on geothermal flux is particularly problematic for the glacier catchments of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet within the low topography of the West Antarctic Rift System where geothermal fluxes are expected to be high, heterogeneous, and possibly transient. We use airborne radar sounding data with a subglacial water routing model to estimate the distribution of basal melting and geothermal flux beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. We show that the Thwaites Glacier catchment has a minimum average geothermal flux of ∼ 114 ± 10 mW/m(2) with areas of high flux exceeding 200 mW/m(2) consistent with hypothesized rift-associated magmatic migration and volcanism. These areas of highest geothermal flux include the westernmost tributary of Thwaites Glacier adjacent to the subaerial Mount Takahe volcano and the upper reaches of the central tributary near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core drilling site. PMID:24927578

  20. Using blue-ice moraines to constrain elevation changes of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the southern Ellsworth Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, David; Woodward, John; Dunning, Stuart; Hein, Andy; Marrero, Shasta; Le-Brocq, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Observations in the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet have not yet allowed the dating of elevated glacier trimlines and associated deposits in the Ellsworth Mountains. This uncertainty limits the value of models of changing ice-sheet configuration, volume and, by extension, sea level during glacial cycles and earlier. Here we present the emerging results of a study into the origin and evolution of blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range, southern Ellsworth Mountains, and begin to unravel the long record of ice-sheet history they hold. Our findings so far are: (a) Ground Penetrating Radar shows that the blue-ice moraines are equilibrium forms bringing basal debris to the ice surface; the compressive ice flow is caused by enhanced ablation at the mountain foot. (b) Moraines are concentrated in embayments that focus katabatic winds and their location is largely controlled by topography. (c) The elevated blue-ice moraines in the southern Ellsworth Mountains hold a continuous record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet history going back 600,000 years; so far we have not found evidence of de-glacial intervals. (d) Thinning since the LGM (~40 ka?) is blue-ice moraine formation.

  1. Impacts of marine instability across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on Southern Ocean dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, Steven J.; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Turney, Christian S. M.

    2016-09-01

    Recent observations and modelling studies have demonstrated the potential for rapid and substantial retreat of large sectors of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). This has major implications for ocean circulation and global sea level. Here we examine the effects of increasing meltwater from the Wilkes Basin, one of the major marine-based sectors of the EAIS, on Southern Ocean dynamics. Climate model simulations reveal that the meltwater flux rapidly stratifies surface waters, leading to a dramatic decrease in the rate of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) formation. The surface ocean cools but, critically, the Southern Ocean warms by more than 1 °C at depth. This warming is accompanied by a Southern Ocean-wide "domino effect", whereby the warming signal propagates westward with depth. Our results suggest that melting of one sector of the EAIS could result in accelerated warming across other sectors, including the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Thus, localised melting of the EAIS could potentially destabilise the wider Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  2. Development and Applications of Dome A-DEM in Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jiying; WEN Jiahong; WANG Yafeng; WANG Weili; Beata M CATHSO; Kenneth C JEZEK

    2007-01-01

    Dome A, the highest dome of East Antarctic Ice Sheet, is being an area focused by international Antarctic community after Chinese Antarctic Expedition finally reached there in 2005, and with the ongoing International Polar Year (IPY) during August 2007. In this paper two data processing methods are used together to generate two 100-m cell size digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Dome A region (Dome A-DEM) by using Cokriging method to interpolate the ICESat GLAS data, with Ihde-DEM as a constraint. It provides fundamental data to glaciological and geophysical investigation in this area. The Dome A-DEM was applied to determining the ice-sheet surface elevations and coordinates of the south and north summits, defining boundaries of basins and ice flowlines, deducing subglacial topography, and mapping surface slope and aspect in Dome A region. The DEM shows there are two (north and south) summits in Dome A region. The coordinate and the surface elevation of the highest point (the north summit) are 80°21'29.86"S, 77°21'50.29"E and 4092.71±1.43m, respectively. The ice thickness and sub-ice bedrock elevation at north summit are 2420m and 1672m, respectively. Dome A region contains four drainage basins that meet together near the south summit. Ice flowlines, slope and aspect in detail are also derived using the DEM.

  3. Present-day Circum-Antarctic Simulations using the POPSICLES Coupled Ice Sheet-Ocean Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asay-Davis, X.; Martin, D. F.; Price, S. F.; Maltrud, M. E.; Collins, W.

    2014-12-01

    We present POPSICLES simulation results covering the full Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Southern Ocean spanning the period 1990 to 2010. Simulations are performed at 0.1o (~5 km) ocean resolution and with adaptive ice-sheet model resolution as fine as 500 m. We compare time-averaged melt rates below a number of major ice shelves with those reported by Rignot et al. (2013) as well as other recent studies. We also present seasonal variability and decadal trends in submarine melting from several Antarctic regions. Finally, we explore the influence on basal melting and system dynamics resulting from two different choices of climate forcing: a "normal-year" climatology and the CORE v. 2 forcing data (Large and Yeager 2008).POPSICLES couples the POP2x ocean model, a modified version of the Parallel Ocean Program (Smith and Gent, 2002), and the BISICLES ice-sheet model (Cornford et al., 2012). POP2x includes sub-ice-shelf circulation using partial top cells (Losch, 2008) and boundary layer physics following Holland and Jenkins (1999), Jenkins (2001), and Jenkins et al. (2010). Standalone POP2x output compares well with standard ice-ocean test cases (e.g., ISOMIP; Losch, 2008) and other continental-scale simulations and melt-rate observations (Kimura et al., 2013; Rignot et al., 2013). BISICLES makes use of adaptive mesh refinement and a 1st-order accurate momentum balance similar to the L1L2 model of Schoof and Hindmarsh (2009) to accurately model regions of dynamic complexity, such as ice streams, outlet glaciers, and grounding lines. Results of BISICLES simulations have compared favorably to comparable simulations with a Stokes momentum balance in both idealized tests (MISMIP-3D; Pattyn et al., 2013) and realistic configurations (Favier et al. 2014).A companion presentation, "Response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to ocean forcing using the POPSICLES coupled ice sheet-ocean model" in session C024 covers the ice-sheet response to these melt rates in the coupled simulation

  4. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary climate transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeotti, Simone; DeConto, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Stocchi, Paolo; Florindo, Fabio; Pagani, Mark; Barrett, Peter; Bohaty, Steven M; Lanci, Luca; Pollard, David; Sandroni, Sonia; Talarico, Franco M; Zachos, James C

    2016-04-01

    About 34 million years ago, Earth's climate cooled and an ice sheet formed on Antarctica as atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) fell below ~750 parts per million (ppm). Sedimentary cycles from a drill core in the western Ross Sea provide direct evidence of orbitally controlled glacial cycles between 34 million and 31 million years ago. Initially, under atmospheric CO2 levels of ≥600 ppm, a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS), restricted to the terrestrial continent, was highly responsive to local insolation forcing. A more stable, continental-scale ice sheet calving at the coastline did not form until ~32.8 million years ago, coincident with the earliest time that atmospheric CO2 levels fell below ~600 ppm. Our results provide insight into the potential of the AIS for threshold behavior and have implications for its sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentrations above present-day levels. PMID:27034370

  5. Sea-level feedback lowers projections of future Antarctic Ice-Sheet mass loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya; Pollard, David; Holland, David

    2015-11-10

    The stability of marine sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in a warming climate has been identified as the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise. Sea-level fall near the grounding line of a retreating marine ice sheet has a stabilizing influence on the ice sheets, and previous studies have established the importance of this feedback on ice age AIS evolution. Here we use a coupled ice sheet-sea-level model to investigate the impact of the feedback mechanism on future AIS retreat over centennial and millennial timescales for a range of emission scenarios. We show that the combination of bedrock uplift and sea-surface drop associated with ice-sheet retreat significantly reduces AIS mass loss relative to a simulation without these effects included. Sensitivity analyses show that the stabilization tends to be greatest for lower emission scenarios and Earth models characterized by a thin elastic lithosphere and low-viscosity upper mantle, as is the case for West Antarctica.

  6. Impact of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet interactions on climate sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goelzer, H.; Huybrechts, P. [Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Earth System Sciences and Departement Geografie, Brussels (Belgium); Loutre, M.F.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T. [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Georges Lemaitre Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), Earth and Life Institute, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Mouchet, A. [Universite de Liege, Laboratoire de Physique Atmospherique et Planetaire, Liege (Belgium)

    2011-09-15

    We use the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM to show the effect of coupling interactive ice sheets on the climate sensitivity of the model on a millennial time scale. We compare the response to a 2 x CO{sub 2} warming scenario between fully coupled model versions including interactive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet models and model versions with fixed ice sheets. For this purpose an ensemble of different parameter sets have been defined for LOVECLIM, covering a wide range of the model's sensitivity to greenhouse warming, while still simulating the present-day climate and the climate evolution over the last millennium within observational uncertainties. Additional freshwater fluxes from the melting ice sheets have a mitigating effect on the model's temperature response, leading to generally lower climate sensitivities of the fully coupled model versions. The mitigation is effectuated by changes in heat exchange within the ocean and at the sea-air interface, driven by freshening of the surface ocean and amplified by sea-ice-related feedbacks. The strength of the effect depends on the response of the ice sheets to the warming and on the model's climate sensitivity itself. The effect is relatively strong in model versions with higher climate sensitivity due to the relatively large polar amplification of LOVECLIM. With the ensemble approach in this study we cover a wide range of possible model responses. (orig.)

  7. The Antarctic Ice Sheet, Sea Ice, and the Ozone Hole: Satellite Observations of how they are Changing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2012-01-01

    Antarctica is the Earth's coldest and highest continent and has major impacts on the climate and life of the south polar vicinity. It is covered almost entirely by the Earth's largest ice sheet by far, with a volume of ice so great that if all the Antarctic ice were to go into the ocean (as ice or liquid water), this would produce a global sea level rise of about 60 meters (197 feet). The continent is surrounded by sea ice that in the wintertime is even more expansive than the continent itself and in the summertime reduces to only about a sixth of its wintertime extent. Like the continent, the expansive sea ice cover has major impacts, reflecting the sun's radiation back to space, blocking exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, and providing a platform for some animal species while impeding other species. Far above the continent, the Antarctic ozone hole is a major atmospheric phenomenon recognized as human-caused and potentially quite serious to many different life forms. Satellites are providing us with remarkable information about the ice sheet, the sea ice, and the ozone hole. Satellite visible and radar imagery are providing views of the large scale structure of the ice sheet never seen before; satellite laser altimetry has produced detailed maps of the topography of the ice sheet; and an innovative gravity-measuring two-part satellite has allowed mapping of regions of mass loss and mass gain on the ice sheet. The surrounding sea ice cover has a satellite record that goes back to the 1970s, allowing trend studies that show a decreasing sea ice presence in the region of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas, to the west of the prominent Antarctic Peninsula, but increasing sea ice presence around much of the rest of the continent. Overall, sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased at an average rate of about 17,000 square kilometers per year since the late 1970s, as determined from satellite microwave data that can be collected under both light and

  8. A Microbial Community in Sediments Beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet, Ice Stream C (Kamb)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, M.; Han, S.; Foo, W.; Bui, D.; Lanoil, B.

    2004-12-01

    In 2000, an ice-drilling project focusing on the "sticky spot" of Ice Stream C recovered cores of sub-glacial sediments from beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. We have characterized several chemical and microbiological parameters of the sole intact sediment core. Pore waters extracted from these sediments were brackish and some were supersaturated with respect to calcite. Ion chromatography demonstrated the presence of several organic acids at low, but detectable, levels in the pore water. DAPI direct cell counts were approximately 107 cells g-1. Aerobic viable plate counts were much lower than direct cell counts; however, they were two orders of magnitude higher on plates incubated at low temperature (4 ° C; 3.63 x 105 CFU ml-1) than at higher temperatures (ca. 22° C; 1.5 x 103 CFU ml-1); no colonies were detected on plates incubated anaerobically at either temperature. 16S rDNA clone library analysis indicates extremely limited bacterial diversity in these samples: six phylogenetic clades were detected. The three dominant bacterial phylogenetic clades in the clone libraries (252 clones total) were most closely related to Thiobacillus thioparus (180 clones), Polaromonas vacuolata (34 clones), and Gallionella ferruginea (35 clones) and their relatives; one clone each represented the other three phylogenetic clades (most closely related to Ralstonia pickettii, Lysobacter antibioticus, and Xylella fastidiosa, respectively). These sequences match closely with sequences previously obtained from other subglacial environments in Alaska, Ellesmere Island, Canada and New Zealand. Implications of this microbial community to subglacial chemistry and microbial biogeography will be discussed.

  9. Heterogeneous Heat Flow and Groundwater Effects on East Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooch, B. T.; Soderlund, K. M.; Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    We present the results numerical models describing the potential contributions groundwater and heterogeneous heat sources might have on ice dynamics. A two-phase, 1D hydrothermal model demonstrates the importance of groundwater flow in heat flux advection near the ice-bed interface. Typical, conservative vertical groundwater volume fluxes on the order of +/- 1-10 mm/yr can alter vertical heat flux by +/- 50-500 mW/m2 that could produce considerable volumes of meltwater depending on basin geometry and geothermal heat production. A 1D hydromechanical model demonstrates that during ice advance groundwater is mainly recharged into saturated sedimentary aquifers and during retreat groundwater discharges into the ice-bed interface, potentially contributing to subglacial water budgets on the order of 0.1-1 mm/yr during ice retreat. A map of most-likely elevated heat production provinces, estimated sedimentary basin depths, and radar-derived bed roughness are compared together to delineate areas of greatest potential to ice sheet instability in East Antarctica. Finally, a 2D numerical model of crustal fluid and heat flow typical to recently estimated sedimentary basins under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is coupled to a 2.5D Full Stokes ice sheet model (with simple basal hydrology) to test for the sensitivity of hydrodynamic processes on ice sheet dynamics. Preliminary results show that the enhanced fluid flow can dramatically alter the basal heating of the ice and its temperature profile, as well as, the sliding rate, which heavily alter ice dynamics.

  10. Origin of spherule samples recovered from antarctic ice sheet-Terrestrial or extraterrestrial?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekimoto, Shun; Takamiya, Koichi; Shibata, Seiichi [Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Osaka (Japan); Kobayashi, Takayuki [College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University, Tokyo (Japan); Ebihara, Mitsuru [Dept. of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo (Japan)

    2016-04-15

    Thirty-eight spherules from the Antarctic ice sheet were analyzed using neutron activation analysis under two different conditions to investigate their origin. In almost all of these spherules, the contents of iron, cobalt, and manganese were determined to be 31% to 88%, 17 mg/kg to 810 mg/kg, and 0.017% to 7%, respectively. A detectable iridium content of 0.84 mg/kg was found in only one spherule, which was judged to be extraterrestrial in origin. A comparison of elemental compositions of the Antarctic spherules analyzed in this study with those of deep-sea sediment spherules and those of terrestrial materials revealed that most of the Antarctic spherules except for the sample in which iridium was detected could not be identified as extraterrestrial in origin.

  11. Advances in Measuring Antarctic Sea-Ice Thickness and Ice-Sheet Elevations with ICESat Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) has been measuring elevations of the Antarctic ice sheet and sea-ice freeboard elevations with unprecedented accuracy. Since February 20,2003, data has been acquired during three periods of laser operation varying from 36 to 54 days, which is less than the continuous operation of 3 to 5 years planned for the mission. The primary purpose of ICESat is to measure time-series of ice-sheet elevation changes for determination of the present-day mass balance of the ice sheets, study of associations between observed ice changes and polar climate, and estimation of the present and future contributions of the ice sheets to global sea level rise. ICESat data will continue to be acquired for approximately 33 days periods at 3 to 6 month intervals with the second of ICESat's three lasers, and eventually with the third laser. The laser footprints are about 70 m on the surface and are spaced at 172 m along-track. The on-board GPS receiver enables radial orbit determinations to an accuracy better than 5 cm. The orbital altitude is around 600 km at an inclination of 94 degrees with a 8-day repeat pattern for the calibration and validation period, followed by a 91 -day repeat period for the rest of the mission. The expected range precision of single footprint measurements was 10 cm, but the actual range precision of the data has been shown to be much better at 2 to 3 cm. The star-tracking attitude-determination system should enable footprints to be located to 6 m horizontally when attitude calibrations are completed. With the present attitude calibration, the elevation accuracy over the ice sheets ranges from about 30 cm over the low-slope areas to about 80 cm over areas with slopes of 1 to 2 degrees, which is much better than radar altimetry. After the first period of data collection, the spacecraft attitude was controlled to point the laser beam to within 50 m of reference surface tracks over the ice sheets. Detection of ice

  12. The neglect of cliff instability can underestimate warming period melting in Antarctic ice sheet models

    CERN Document Server

    Ruckert, Kelsey L; Pollard, Dave; Guan, Yawen; Wong, Tony E; Forest, Chris E; Keller, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    The response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) to changing climate forcings is an important driver of sea-level changes. Anthropogenic climate changes may drive a sizeable AIS tipping point response with subsequent increases in coastal flooding risks. Many studies analyzing flood risks use simple models to project the future responses of AIS and its sea-level contributions. These analyses have provided important new insights, but they are often silent on the effects of potentially important processes such as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI) or Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI). These approximations can be well justified and result in more parsimonious and transparent model structures. This raises the question how this approximation impacts hindcasts and projections. Here, we calibrate a previously published AIS model, which neglects the effects of MICI, using a combination of observational constraints and a Bayesian inversion method. Specifically, we approximate the effects of missing MICI by comparing ou...

  13. Geochemical characteristics and zones of surface snow on east Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KANG Jiancheng; LIU Leibao; QIN Dahe; WANG Dali; WEN Jiahong; TAN Dejun; LI Zhongqin; LI Jun; ZHANG Xiaowei

    2004-01-01

    The surface-snow geochemical characteristics are discussed on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, depending on the stable isotopes ratios of oxygen and hydrogen, concentration of impurities (soluble-ions and insoluble micro-particle) in surface snow collected on the ice sheet. The purpose is to study geochemical zones on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and to research sources and transportation route of the water vapor and the impurities in surface snow. It has been found that the ratio coefficients, as S1, d1 in the equation δD = S1δ18O + d1, are changed near the elevation 2000 m on the ice sheet. The weight ratio of Cl(-)/Na+ at the area below the elevation of 2000 m is close to the ratio in the sea salt; but it is about 2 times that of the sea salt, at the inland area up to the elevation of 2000 m. The concentrations of non-sea-salt Ca2+ ion (nssCa2+) and fine-particle increase at the interior up to the elevation 2000 m. At the region below the elevation of 2000 m, the impurity concentration is decreasing with the elevation increasing. Near coastal region, the surface snow has a high concentration of impurity, where the elevation is below 800 m. Combining the translating processes of water-vapor and impurities, it suggests that the region up to the elevation 2000 m is affected by large-scale circulation with longitude-direction, and that water-vapor and impurities in surface snow come from long sources. The region below the elevation 2000 m is affected by some strong cyclones acting at peripheral region of the ice sheet, and the sources of water and impurities could be at high latitude sea and coast. The area below elevation 800 m is affected by local coastal cyclones.

  14. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco

    2016-03-29

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (∼280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (∼500 ppm) atmospheric CO2 These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene. PMID:26903644

  15. Ice-dynamical constraints on the existence and impact of subglacial volcanism on West Antarctic ice sheet stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Stefan W.; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2006-12-01

    Subglacial volcanism in West Antarctica may play a crucial role in the dynamics and stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Evidence supporting the existence of an individual subglacial volcanic center (Mt. Casertz) in the upper catchments of Whillans and Kamb Ice Stream (WIS and KIS), comes from a comparison of ice sheet modeling results with measured ice velocities. Lubrication of an area, which otherwise should be frozen to its bed, is best explained by basal melt water generated in the vicinity of Mt. Casertz. The estimated melt water production of Mt. Casertz corresponds to ~8 % of the total melt water production in the two catchments. This would be sufficient to offset basal freezing in the dormant KIS, relubricating its bed and potentially causing a restart. Near future volcanic activity changes are speculative, but would have far reaching implications on the dynamics and stability of the WAIS requiring further investigation.

  16. Decadal-Scale Response of the Antarctic Ice sheet to a Warming Ocean using the POPSICLES Coupled Ice Sheet-Ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, D. F.; Asay-Davis, X.; Cornford, S. L.; Price, S. F.; Ng, E. G.; Collins, W.

    2015-12-01

    We present POPSICLES simulation results covering the full Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Southern Ocean spanning the period from 1990 to 2010. We use the CORE v. 2 interannual forcing data to force the ocean model. Simulations are performed at 0.1o(~5 km) ocean resolution with adaptive ice sheet resolution as fine as 500 m to adequately resolve the grounding line dynamics. We discuss the effect of improved ocean mixing and subshelf bathymetry (vs. the standard Bedmap2 bathymetry) on the behavior of the coupled system, comparing time-averaged melt rates below a number of major ice shelves with those reported in the literature. We also present seasonal variability and decadal melting trends from several Antarctic regions, along with the response of the ice shelves and the consequent dynamic response of the grounded ice sheet.POPSICLES couples the POP2x ocean model, a modified version of the Parallel Ocean Program, and the BISICLES ice-sheet model. POP2x includes sub-ice-shelf circulation using partial top cells and the commonly used three-equation boundary layer physics. Standalone POP2x output compares well with standard ice-ocean test cases (e.g., ISOMIP) and other continental-scale simulations and melt-rate observations. BISICLES makes use of adaptive mesh refinement and a 1st-order accurate momentum balance similar to the L1L2 model of Schoof and Hindmarsh to accurately model regions of dynamic complexity, such as ice streams, outlet glaciers, and grounding lines. Results of BISICLES simulations have compared favorably to comparable simulations with a Stokes momentum balance in both idealized tests (MISMIP-3d) and realistic configurations.The figure shows the BISICLES-computed vertically-integrated grounded ice velocity field 5 years into a 20-year coupled full-continent Antarctic-Southern-Ocean simulation. Submarine melt rates are painted onto the surface of the floating ice shelves. Grounding lines are shown in green.

  17. West Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics recorded in Plio-Pleistocene strata of the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loth, A. S.; Bartek, L. R.; Luyendyk, B. P.; Wilson, D. S.

    2008-12-01

    Within the 100,000 square kilometer Eastern Basin of the Ross Sea, a 290 km section, oriented parallel to depostional dip along with 10 intersecting seismic sections that are oriented parallel to depositional strike were analyzed. Using Single-Channel Seismic (SCS) data from three different seismic surveys (NBP 0306, PD9022, and NBP 9308) 36 Plio-Pleistocene sequences were correlated across the basin from the modern ice shelf edge to the contemporary shelf break. Few of the sequences are continuous across the shelf, the majority of the sequences are of limited lateral extent. The facies within the sequences were analyzed to determine ice sheet behavior at the time of deposition. Three distinct depositional environments were interpreted based upon variations in the reflection attributes within the seismic data. Subglacial facies have a spectrum of reflection attributes from reflection-free to parallel, low-amplitude, discontinuous facies. The Grounding Line Zone facies are characterized by high amplitude, mildly discontinuous reflections. Proglacial environments are distinguished by parallel, high amplitude, continuous reflection packages. The facies distribution within many of the sequences consists of Subglacial facies in updip locales, Grounding Line Zone facies widely distributed across the shelf, and Proglacial facies present at downdip sites. The facies distribution within the sequences provides a record of the variation of the extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) throughout the Plio-Pleistocene. Not all sequences have a consecutive facies relationship, which may have resulted from several causes: 1) changes in the flow of the WAIS, 2) interplay between the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) with the WAIS, or 3) additional grounding of the WAIS on paleobasin highs. Understanding the short-lived glacial events, whether they are a function of non-deposition or cannibalization of previous deposits, provides insight into the dynamics of marine based ice

  18. Flow speed within the Antarctic ice sheet and its controls inferred from satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthern, Robert J.; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Williams, C. Rosie

    2015-07-01

    Accurate dynamical models of the Antarctic ice sheet with carefully specified initial conditions and well-calibrated rheological parameters are needed to forecast global sea level. By adapting an inverse method previously used in electric impedance tomography, we infer present-day flow speeds within the ice sheet. This inversion uses satellite observations of surface velocity, snow accumulation rate, and rate of change of surface elevation to estimate the basal drag coefficient and an ice stiffness parameter that influences viscosity. We represent interior ice motion using a vertically integrated approximation to incompressible Stokes flow. This model represents vertical shearing within the ice and membrane stresses caused by horizontal stretching and shearing. Combining observations and model, we recover marked geographical variations in the basal drag coefficient. Relative changes in basal shear stress are smaller. No simple sliding law adequately represents basal shear stress as a function of sliding speed. Low basal shear stress predominates in central East Antarctica, where thick insulating ice allows liquid water at the base to lubricate sliding. Higher shear stress occurs in coastal East Antarctica, where a frozen bed is more likely. Examining Thwaites glacier in more detail shows that the slowest sliding often coincides with elevated basal topography. Differences between our results and a similar adjoint-based inversion suggest that inversion or regularization methods can influence recovered parameters for slow sliding and finer scales; on broader scales we recover a similar pattern of low basal drag underneath major ice streams and extensive regions in East Antarctica that move by basal sliding.

  19. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

    As continental ice from Antartica reaches the grounding line and begins to float, its underside melts into the ocean. Results obtained with satellite radar interferometry reveal that bottom melt rates experienced by large outlet glaciers near their grounding lines are far higher than generally assumed.

  20. Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Vizcaino, Miren; Fyke, Jeremy; van Kampenhout, Leo; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2016-09-01

    We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean-atmosphere-land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of {˜ }1° in the past, present and future (1850-2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131 {Gt year^{-1}}, which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 {Gt year^{-1}} per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet's edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.

  1. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C A

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers. PMID:26580020

  2. Large-Ensemble modeling of last deglacial and future variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Chang, Won; Applegate, Patrick; Haran, Murali

    2015-04-01

    Recent observations of thinning and retreat of the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers identify the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) sector of West Antarctica as particularly vulnerable to future climate change. To date, most future modeling of these glaciers has been calibrated using recent and modern observations. As an alternate approach, we apply a hybrid 3-D ice sheet-shelf model to the last deglacial retreat of Antarctica, making use of geologic data from ~20,000 years BP to present, focusing on the ASE but including other sectors of Antarctica. Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large-Ensemble statistical techniques, performing sets of ~500 to 1000 runs with varying model parameters. The model is run for the last 40 kyrs on 10 to 20-km grids, both on continental domains and also on nested domains over West Antarctica. Various types of objective scores for each run are calculated using reconstructed past grounding lines, relative sea level records, measured uplift rates, and cosmogenic elevation-age data. Runs are extended into the future few millennia using RCP scenarios. The goal is to produce calibrated probabilistic ranges of model parameter values and quantified envelopes of future ice retreat. Preliminary results are presented for Large Ensembles with (i) Latin HyperCube sampling in high-dimensional parameter space, using statistical emulators and Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, and (ii) dense "factorial" sampling with a smaller number of parameters. Different ways of combining the types of scores listed above are explored. One robust conclusion is that for the warmer future RCP scenarios, most reasonable parameter combinations produce retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior. Recently proposed mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure accelerate future West Antarctic retreat, and later produce retreat into East Antarctic basins.

  3. High geothermal heat flux measured below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Andrew T; Mankoff, Kenneth D; Tulaczyk, Slawek M; Tyler, Scott W; Foley, Neil

    2015-07-01

    The geothermal heat flux is a critical thermal boundary condition that influences the melting, flow, and mass balance of ice sheets, but measurements of this parameter are difficult to make in ice-covered regions. We report the first direct measurement of geothermal heat flux into the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), below Subglacial Lake Whillans, determined from the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of sediment under the lake. The heat flux at this site is 285 ± 80 mW/m(2), significantly higher than the continental and regional averages estimated for this site using regional geophysical and glaciological models. Independent temperature measurements in the ice indicate an upward heat flux through the WAIS of 105 ± 13 mW/m(2). The difference between these heat flux values could contribute to basal melting and/or be advected from Subglacial Lake Whillans by flowing water. The high geothermal heat flux may help to explain why ice streams and subglacial lakes are so abundant and dynamic in this region.

  4. Cenozoic ice sheet history from East Antarctic Wilkes Land continental margin sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escutia, C.; De Santis, L.; Donda, F.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Brancolini, Giuliano; Eittreim, S.L.

    2005-01-01

    The long-term history of glaciation along the East Antarctic Wilkes Land margin, from the time of the first arrival of the ice sheet to the margin, through the significant periods of Cenozoic climate change is inferred using an integrated geophysical and geological approach. We postulate that the first arrival of the ice sheet to the Wilkes Land margin resulted in the development of a large unconformity (WL-U3) between 33.42 and 30 Ma during the early Oligocene cooling climate trend. Above WL-U3, substantial margin progradation takes place with early glacial strata (e.g., outwash deposits) deposited as low-angle prograding foresets by temperate glaciers. The change in geometry of the prograding wedge across unconformity WL-U8 is interpreted to represent the transition, at the end of the middle Miocene "climatic optimum" (14-10 Ma), from a subpolar regime with dynamic ice sheets (i.e., ice sheets come and go) to a regime with persistent but oscillatory ice sheets. The steep foresets above WL-U8 likely consist of ice proximal sediments (i.e., water-lain till and debris flows) deposited when grounded ice-sheets extended into the shelf. On the continental rise, shelf progradation above WL-U3 results in an up-section increase in the energy of the depositional environment (i.e., seismic facies indicative of more proximal turbidite and of bottom contour current deposition from the deposition of the lower WL-S5 sequence to WL-S7). Maximum rates of sediment delivery to the rise occur during the development of sequences WL-S6 and WL-S7, which we infer to be of middle Miocene age. During deposition of the two uppermost sequences, WL-S8 and WL-S9, there is a marked decrease in the sediment supply to the lower continental rise and a shift in the depocenters to more proximal areas of the margin. We believe WL-S8 records sedimentation during the final transition from a dynamic to a persistent but oscillatory ice sheet in this margin (14-10 Ma). Sequence WL-S9 forms under a polar

  5. Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Shaffer, G.

    2014-01-01

    The DCESS (Danish Center for Earth System Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model is presented. Model hindcasts of Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) sea level equivalent are forced by reconstructed Antarctic temperatures, global mean sea level and high-latitude, ocean subsurface temperatures, the latter calculated using the DCESS model forced by reconstructed global mean atmospheric temperatures. The model is calibrated by comparing such hindcasts for different model configurations w...

  6. Cascading water underneath Wilkes Land, East Antarctic Ice Sheet, observed using altimetry and digital elevation models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Flament

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe a major subglacial lake drainage close to the ice divide in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, and the subsequent cascading of water underneath the ice sheet toward the coast. To analyze the event, we combined altimetry data from several sources and bedrock data. We estimated the total volume of water that drained from Lake CookE2 by differencing digital elevation models (DEM derived from ASTER and SPOT5 stereo-imagery. With 5.2 ± 0.5 km3, this is the largest single subglacial drainage event reported so far in Antarctica. Elevation differences between ICESat laser altimetry and the SPOT5 DEM indicate that the discharge lasted approximately 2 yr. A 13-m uplift of the surface, corresponding to a refilling of about 0.64 ± 0.32 km3, was observed between the end of the discharge in October 2008 and February 2012. Using Envisat radar altimetry, with its high 35-day temporal resolution, we monitored the subsequent filling and drainage of connected subglacial lakes located downstream. In particular, a transient temporal signal can be detected within the theoretical 500-km long flow paths computed with the BEDMAP2 data set. The volume of water traveling in this wave is in agreement with the volume that drained from Lake CookE2. These observations contribute to a better understanding of the water transport beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  7. The influence of continental shelf bathymetry on Antarctic Ice Sheet response to climate forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J.; Mullally, Dan; Golledge, Nicholas R.

    2016-07-01

    We investigated whether shelf-depth changes would have influenced Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) response to climate forcing using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). The simulations confirm that this would have indeed been the case. For the last-glacial-cycle (LGC) type forcing we prescribed, a modern-like polar AIS surrounded by shallow and intermediate bathymetries experiences rapid grounding-line advance early during the transition from interglacial to glacial forcing. This is in contrast to our baseline simulation of AIS response on the currently overdeepened bathymetry, which showed the expected gradual advance of grounding lines to the same climatic forcing. In the simulation, the more-positive mass balance for the shallower bathymetry is primarily a result of significantly lower calving fluxes from smaller-area ice shelves. On the basis of these results, we suggest that shelf bathymetry is an important boundary condition that should be considered when reconstructing AIS behavior since at least the middle Miocene. We note that caution should be used when applying these concepts because the particular way in which AIS mass balance is altered by shelf depth depends on how the changes in accumulation and ablation at the marine terminations combine with accumulation and ablation on land.

  8. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLA12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice sheet...

  9. Evidence for a substantial West Antarctic ice sheet contribution to meltwater pulses and abrupt global sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D.; Woodward, J.; Winter, K.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A.; Rootes, C.; Rivera, A.; Millman, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last deglaciation (21,000 to 7,000years ago) global sea level rise was punctuated by several abrupt meltwater spikes triggered by the retreat of ice sheets and glaciers world-wide. However, the debate regarding the relative timing, geographical source and the physical mechanisms driving these rapid increases in sea level has catalyzed debate critical to predicting future sea level rise and climate. Here we present a unique record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation change derived from the Patriot Hills blue ice area, located close to the modern day grounding line of the Institute Ice Stream in the Weddell Sea Embayment. Combined isotopic signatures and gas volume analysis from the ice allows us to develop a record of local ice sheet palaeo-altitude that is assessed against independent regional high-resolution ice sheet modeling studies, allowing us to demonstrate that past ice sheet elevations across this sector of the WSE were considerably higher than those suggested by current terrestrial reconstructions. We argue that ice in the WSE had a significant influence on both pre and post LGM sea level rise including MWP-1A (~14.6 ka) and during MWP-1B (11.7-11.6 ka), reconciling past sea level rise and demonstrating for the first time that this sector of the WAIS made a significant and direct contribution to post LGM sea level rise.

  10. Tectonics, Microbes and Ice: Subglacial volcanism as a generator for microbial habitat beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, M. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Carter, S. P.

    2010-12-01

    Glaciological processes under ice masses, including ice sheets provide sustainable habitat for microbes, forming an aquatic environment through basal melting and providing nutrients and energy from bedrock comminution. In all subglacial settings investigated to date, viable microbes have been documented. Tectonic activity beneath ice masses, including volcanism is associated with an elevated heat flux, leading to enhanced basal ice melt and may also be accompanied by hydrothermal fluids, often rich in reduced metals including Fe and gases such as CO2, H2 and H2S that are potential chemical energy sources for microbes. However, the importance of subglacial volcanism beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in terms of increasing both water and chemical energy fluxes remains unknown despite evidence for subglacial volcanic features and enhanced heat flux. The role of subglacial volcanism in supporting subglacial microbial communities has been documented in Icelandic caldera lake systems, indicating crustal carbon and energy sources, could support a microbial ecosystem independent of photosynthetic carbon. Further, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from WAIS subglacial sediments suggests that organisms with Fe and S oxidizing metabolisms may be important members of the microbial community in these environments. Given the abundance and interconnectivity of water beneath the WAIS, the distribution of volcanism relative to the subglacial hydrologic catchments could have a significant role in contributing to the water and chemical energy fluxes for downstream environments. Therefore, tectonics may modulate the critical hydrologic and geochemical balance that determines subglacial microbial habitat distribution. We will present potential biological implications of an updated geophysical and hydrological context for West Antarctica’s Whillans and Kamb ice streams with an emphasis on selecting targets for further characterization.

  11. Quaternary Antarctic ice-sheet fluctuations and Southern Ocean palaeoceanography: natural variability studies at the Antarctic CRC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In its first three years, the Antarctic Co-operative Research Centre's Natural Variability Program has focussed research effort on understanding changes in the extent of the East Antarctic ice sheet, the sedimentary processes and biogeochemical cycles affecting shelf sedimentation and the palaeoceanography of the Southern Ocean. Seismic data from the Prydz trough-mouth fan indicate that it contains a high-resolution time series of the Plio-Pleistocene activity of the Lambert Glacier system. The fan has been prograding from the eastern side of Prydz Bay at least since the Miocene and it contains Plio-Pleistocene sediments, which are 0.8-1.2 s TWT thick beneath the current shelf break. Radiocarbon dating of shelf sediments indicates that deposition of a Holocene siliceous mud and ooze layer N as initiated at about 10 ka BP on the Mac Robertson Shelf, which is interpreted as coinciding with the retreat of an expanded ice sheet from the shelf break. Geochemical analyses of sediment cores from the Mac Robertson Shelf suggest significant differences in sediment accumulation between the inner and outer shelf during the Holocene. In contrast, results for a core from the inner shelf suggest an approximately 7-fold increase in average sediment accumulation rate from the mid to late Holocene, with roughly comparable increases in the accumulation of both biogenic and lithogenic material. Palaeoceanographic studies of the Southern Ocean, using planktonic foraminifera, diatoms and alkenone unsaturation ratios, indicate larger sea surface temperature amplitudes over wider areas of the Southern Ocean during the last glacial maximum than previously suggested by CLIMAP. Our studies offer the possibility of improvements to reconstructed glacial boundary conditions, with wider areal coverage, greater reliability of estimates, and the opportunity for estimation of seasonal dynamics. The cores under study contain, essentially, no biogenic carbonates, precluding use of δ18O stratigraphy

  12. Mass Balance of the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for 2003-2008 are derived from ICESat laser altimetry and compared with estimates for 1992-2002 derived from ERS radar altimetry. The net mass balance of 3 drainage systems (Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd) for 2003-2008 is a loss of 100 Gt/yr, which increased from a loss of 70 Gt/yr for the earlier period. The DS including the Bindschadler and MacAyeal ice streams draining into the Ross Ice Shelf has a mass gain of 11 Gt/yr for 2003-2008, compared to an earlier loss of 70 Gt/yr. The DS including the Whillans and Kamb ice streams has a mass gain of 12 Gt/yr, including a significant thickening on the upper part of the Kamb DS, compared to a earlier gain of 6 Gt/yr (includes interpolation for a large portion of the DS). The other two DS discharging into the Ronne Ice Shelf and the northern Ellsworth Coast have a mass gain of 39 Gt/yr, compared to a gain of 4 Gt/yr for the earlier period. Overall, the increased losses of 30 Gt/yr in the Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd DSs are exceeded by increased gains of 59 Gt/yr in the other 4 DS. Overall, the mass loss from the West Antarctic ice sheet has decreased to 38 Gt/yr from the earlier loss of 67 Gt/yr, reducing the contribution to sea level rise to 0.11 mm/yr from 0.19 mm/yr

  13. Preliminary research on the transmission path of nssSO2-4- and NO-3 in Antarctic ice sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The main sources of nssSO24- and NO-3 were summarized in this paper. By analyzing the spatial distribution features of major ions in Antarctic ice sheet and studying on the different time of the same volcanic event recorded by different ice cores from different regions in Antarctica, this paper intends to study the transmission path of nssSO24- and NO-3. Results show that nssSO24- and NO-3 are transmitted to the ice sheet through long distance and high altitude. The procedure of the transmission is that nssSO24- and NO-2 are transmitted to the level between the top of troposphere and the bottom of stratosphere, then subsided to the ice sheet surface and spread to other regions.

  14. Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992 - 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Published mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) lie between approximately +50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009, which span a range equivalent to 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar-altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (+28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. Although recent reports of large and accelerating rates of mass loss from GRACE=based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion. We find that the extrapolation used in the published IOM estimates for the 15 % of the periphery for which discharge velocities are not observed gives twice the rate of discharge per unit of associated ice-sheet area than the 85% faster-moving parts. Our calculations show that the published extrapolation overestimates the ice discharge by 282 Gt/yr compared to our assumption that the slower moving areas have 70% as much discharge per area as the faster moving parts. Also, published data on the time-series of discharge velocities and accumulation/precipitation do not support mass output increases or input decreases with time, respectively. Our modified IOM estimate, using the 70% discharge assumption and substituting input from a field-data compilation for input from an atmospheric model over 6% of area, gives a loss of only 13 Gt/year (versus 136 Gt/year) for the period around 2000. Two ERS-based estimates, our modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 to 2005 lie in a narrowed range of +27 to - 40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992-2001 is - 47 Gt

  15. Uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains and the bedrock beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Brink, U.S.; Hackney, R.I.; Bannister, S.; Stern, T.A.; Makovsky, Y.

    1997-01-01

    In recent years the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), the largest noncontractional mountain belt in the world, have become the focus of modelers who explained their uplift by a variety of isostatic and thermal mechanisms. A problem with these models is a lack of available data to compare with model predictions. We report here the results of a 312-km-long geophysical traverse conducted in 1993/1994 in the hinterland of the TAM. Using detailed subglacial topography and gravity measurements, we confirm the origin of the TAM as a flexural uplift of the edge of East Antarctica. Using an elastic model with a free edge, we can jointly fit the topography and the gravity with a plate having an elastic thickness of 85 ?? 15 km and a preuplift elevation of 700 ?? 50 m for East Antarctica. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that the uplift is coincident with a relatively minor tectonic event of transtensional motion between East and West Antarctica during the Eocene rather than the Late Cretaceous rifting event that created the Ross Embayment. We suggest that this transtensional motion caused the continuous plate to break, which created an escarpment that significantly increased the rates of erosion and exhumation. Results from the geophysical traverse also extend our knowledge of the bedrock geology from the exposures within the TAM to the ice covered interior. Our interpretation suggests that the Ferrar flood basalts extend at least 100 km westward under the ice. The Beacon Supergroup of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments thins gradually under the ice and its reconstructed thickness is reminiscent of profiles of foreland basins. Finally, there is no indication in the gravity field for an incomplete rebound due to significant melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet since the last glacial period.

  16. A 3-D model for the Antarctic ice sheet: a sensitivity study on the glacial-interglacial contrast

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, Philippe

    1990-01-01

    On the longer climatic time scales, changes in the elevation and extent of the Antarctic ice sheet have an important role in modulating global atmospheric andoceanographic processes, and contribute significantly to world-wide sea levels. In this paper, a 3-D time-dependent thermomechanical model for the entire icesheet is presented that is subsequently used to examine the effects of glacial-interglacial shifts in environmental boundary conditions on its geometry. Themodel takes into account a...

  17. Overview and Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in more recent reports lie between approximately ?50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009. The 300 Gt/year range is approximately 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (?28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. We also modify the IOM estimate using (1) an alternate extrapolation to estimate the discharge from the non-observed 15% of the periphery, and (2) substitution of input from a field data compilation for input from an atmospheric model in 6% of area. The modified IOM estimate reduces the loss from 136 Gt/year to 13 Gt/year. Two ERS-based estimates, the modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 2005 lie in a narrowed range of ?27 to -40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992 2001 is -47 Gt/year for West Antarctica, ?16 Gt/year for East Antarctica, and -31 Gt/year overall (?0.1 mm/year SLE), not including part of the Antarctic Peninsula (1.07% of the AIS area). Although recent reports of large and increasing rates of mass loss with time from GRACE-based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion

  18. A view of Antarctic ice-sheet evolution from sea-level and deep-sea Isotope Changes During the Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K.G.; Wright, J.D.; Katz, M.E.; Browning, J.V.; Cramer, B.S.; Wade, B.S.; Mizintseva, S.F.

    2007-01-01

    The imperfect direct record of Antarctic glaciation has led to the delayed recognition of the initiation of a continentsized ice sheet. Early studies interpreted initiation in the middle Miocene (ca 15 Ma). Most current studies place the first ice sheet in the earliest Oligocene (33.55 Ma), but there is physical evidence for glaciation in the Eocene. Though there are inherent limitations in sea-level and deep-sea isotope records, both place constraints on the size and extent of Late Cretaceous to Cenozoic Antarctic ice sheets. Sealevel records argue that small- to medium-size (typically 10-12 × 106 km3

  19. Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Cava

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available While occurrences of wavelike motion in the stable boundary layer due to the presence of a significant restoring buoyancy force are rarely disputed, their modalities and interaction with turbulence remain a subject of active research. In this work, the characteristics of gravity waves and their impact on flow statistics, including turbulent fluxes, are presented using data collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of gravity waves because of persistent conditions of strong atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavelike motion have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The nature and characteristic of the dominant wavy motions are investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. Moreover, a multi-resolution decomposition has been applied to separate gravity waves from turbulent fluctuations in case of a sufficiently defined spectral gap. Statistics computed after removing wavy disturbances highlight the large impact of gravity waves on second order turbulent quantities including turbulent flux calculations.

  20. GLIMMER Antarctic Ice Sheet Model,an experimental research of moving boundary condition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tang Xueyuan; Sun Bo; Zhang Zhanhai; Li Yuansheng; Yang Qinghua

    2008-01-01

    A 3 D coupled ice sheet model,GLIMMER model is introduced,and an idealized ice sheet experiment under the EISMINT 1 criterion of moving boundary condition is presented.The results of the experiment reveal that for a steady state ice sheet profile the characteristic curves describe the process of evolution which are accordant with theoretical estimates.By solving the coupled thermodynamics equations of ice sheet,one may find the characteristic curves which derived from the conservation of the mass,energy and momentum to the ice flow profile.At the same time,an agreement,approximate to the GLIMMER case and the confirmed theoretical results,is found.Present study is explorihg work to introduceand discuss the handicaps of EISMINT criterion and GLIMMER,and prospect a few directions of the GLIMMER model.

  1. Oceanic an climatic consequences of a sudden large-scale West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarff, Katie; Green, Mattias; Schmittner, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Atmospheric warming is progressing to the point where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will experience an elevated rate of discharge. The current discharge rate of WAIS is around 0.005Sv, but this rate will most likely accelerate over this century. The input of freshwater, in the form of ice, may have a profound effect on oceanic circulation systems, including potentially reducing the formation of deep water in the Southern Ocean and thus triggering or enhancing the bipolar seesaw. Using UVic - an intermediate complexity ocean-climate model - we investigate how various hosing rates from the WAIS will impact of the present and future ocean circulation and climate. These scenarios range from observed hosing rates (~0.005Sv) being applied for 100 years, to a total collapse of the WAIS over the next 100 years (the equivalent to a0.7Sv hosing). We show that even the present day observed rates can have a significant impact on the ocean and atmospheric temperatures, and that the bipolar seesaw may indeed be enhanced by the Southern Ocean hosing. Consequently, there is a speed-up of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) early on during the hosing, which leads to a warming over the North Atlantic, and a subsequent reduction in the MOC on centennial scales. The larger hosing cases show more dramatic effects with near-complete shutdowns of the MOC during the hosing. Furthermore, global warming scenarios based on the IPCC "business as usual" scenario show that the atmospheric warming will change the response of the ocean to Southern Ocean hosing and that the warming will dominate the perturbation. The potential feedback between changes in the ocean stratification in the scenarios and tidally driven abyssal mixing via tidal conversion is also explored.

  2. Gravity Waves characteristics and their impact on turbulent transport above an Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cava, Daniela; Giostra, Umberto; Katul, Gabriel

    2016-04-01

    Turbulence within the stable boundary layer (SBL) remains a ubiquitous feature of many geophysical flows, especially over glaciers and ice-sheets. Although numerous studies have investigated various aspects of the boundary layer motion during stable atmospheric conditions, a unified picture of turbulent transport within the SBL remains elusive. In a strongly stratified SBL, turbulence generation is frequently associated with interactions with sub-meso scale motions that are often a combination of gravity waves (GWs) and horizontal modes. While some progress has been made in the inclusion of GW parameterisation within global models, description and parameterisation of the turbulence-wave interaction remain an open question. The discrimination between waves and turbulence is a focal point needed to make progress as these two motions have different properties with regards to heat, moisture and pollutant transport. In fact, the occurrence of GWs can cause significant differences and ambiguities in the interpretation of turbulence statistics and fluxes if not a priori filtered from the analysis. In this work, the characteristics of GW and their impact on turbulent statistics were investigated using wind velocity components and scalars collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of GW because of persistent conditions of strongly stable atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavy motions have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The GWs nature and features have been investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. The detected waves were frequently characterised by variable amplitude and period; moreover, they often produced non-stationarity and large intermittency in turbulent fluctuations that can significantly alter the estimation of turbulence statistics in general and fluxes in particular. A multi

  3. Could a new ice core offer an insight into the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last interglacial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulvaney, R.; Hindmarsh, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Vaughan et al., in their 2011 paper 'Potential Seaways across West Antarctica' (Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 12, Q10004, doi:10.1029/2011GC003688), offer the intriguing prospect that substantial ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the previous interglacial period might have resulted in the opening of a seaway between the Weddell Sea and the Amundsen Sea. One of their potential seaways passes between the south western corner of the present Ronne Ice Shelf and the Pine Island Bay, through what is currently the course of the Rutford Ice Stream, between the Ellsworth Mountains and the Fletcher Promontory. To investigate whether this seaway could have existed (and to recover a paleoclimate and ice sheet history from the Weddell Sea), a team from the British Antarctic Survey and the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement drilled an ice core from a close to a topographic dome in the ice surface on the Fletcher Promontory in January 2012, reaching the bedrock at 654.3m depth from the surface. The site was selected to penetrate directly through the centre of a Raymond cupola observed in internal radar reflections from the ice sheet, with the intention that this would ensure we obtained the oldest ice available from the Fletcher Promontory. The basal ice sheet temperature measured was -18°C, implying the oldest ice would not have melted away from the base, while the configuration of the Raymond cupola in the radar horizons suggested stability in the ice dome topography during the majority of the Holocene. Our hypothesis is that chemical analysis of the ice core will reveal whether the site was ever relatively close to open sea water or ice shelf in the Rutford channel 20 km distant, rather than the current 700 km distance to sea ice/open water in either the Weddell Sea or the Amundsen Sea. While we do not yet have the chemistry data to test this hypothesis, in this poster we will discuss whether there is in reality any potential local

  4. A consistent data set of Antarctic ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and global bathymetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Timmermann

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates in ocean general circulation models depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry. Existing global or pan-Antarctic topography data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional surveys and maps into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-min bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography (ALBMAP bedrock topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. The position of the merging line is individually chosen in different sectors in order to capture the best of both data sets. High-resolution gridded data for ice shelf topography and cavity geometry of the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves, and for Pine Island Glacier are carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI, British Antarctic Survey (BAS and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO, gridded, and blended into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-min Refined Topography data set (RTopo-1 contains self-consistent maps for upper and lower ice surface heights, bedrock topography, and surface type (open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, bare land surface. The data set is available in NetCDF format from the PANGAEA database at doi:10.1594/pangaea.741917.

  5. Late Miocene-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification linked to Antarctic ice-sheet growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, Hong; Roberts, Andrew P.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Liu, Xiaodong; Rohling, Eelco J.; Shi, Zhengguo; An, Zhisheng; Zhao, Xiang

    2016-06-01

    Environmental conditions in one of Earth's most densely populated regions, East Asia, are dominated by the monsoon. While Quaternary monsoon variability is reasonably well understood, pre-Quaternary monsoon variability and dynamics remain enigmatic. In particular, little is known about potential relationships between northern hemispheric monsoon response and major Cenozoic changes in Antarctic ice cover. Here we document long-term East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) intensification through the Late Miocene-Pliocene (∼8.2 to 2.6 Ma), and attribute this to progressive Antarctic glaciation. Our new high-resolution magnetic records of long-term EASM intensification come from the Late Miocene-Pliocene Red Clay sequence on the Chinese Loess Plateau; we identify underlying mechanisms using a numerical climate-model simulation of EASM response to an idealized stepwise increase in Antarctic ice volume. We infer that progressive Antarctic glaciation caused intensification of the cross-equatorial pressure gradient between an atmospheric high-pressure cell over Australia and a low-pressure cell over mid-latitude East Asia, as well as intensification of the cross-equatorial sea-surface temperature (SST) gradient. These combined atmospheric and oceanic adjustments led to EASM intensification. Our findings offer a new and more global perspective on the controls behind long-term Asian monsoon evolution.

  6. Global estimates of the impact of a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: An application of FUND

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholls, R J; Tol, R.S.J.; Vafeidis, A.T.

    2008-01-01

    The threat of an abrupt and extreme rise in sea level is widely discussed in the media, but little understood in practise, including the likely impacts of such a rise. This paper explores for the first time the global impacts of extreme sea-level rise, triggered by a hypothetical collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). As the potential contributions remain uncertain, a wide range of scenarios are explored: WAIS contributions to sea-level rise of between 0.5m/century up to 5m/century....

  7. Boundary conditions of an active West Antarctic subglacial lake: implications for storage of water beneath the ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Siegert

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeat-pass IceSat altimetry has revealed 124 discrete surface height changes across the Antarctic Ice Sheet, interpreted to be caused by subglacial lake discharges (surface lowering and inputs (surface uplift. Few of these active lakes have been confirmed by radio-echo sounding (RES despite several attempts (notable exceptions are Lake Whillans and three in the Adventure Subglacial Trench. Here we present targeted RES and radar altimeter data from an "active lake" location within the upstream Institute Ice Stream, into which 0.12 km3 of water is calculated to have flowed between October 2003 and February 2008. We use a series of transects to establish an accurate appreciation of the influences of bed topography and ice-surface elevation on water storage potential. The location of surface height change is over the downslope flank of a distinct topographic hollow, where RES reveals no obvious evidence for deep (> 10 m water. The regional hydropotential reveals a sink coincident with the surface change, however. Governed by the location of the hydrological sink, basal water will likely "drape" over existing topography in a manner dissimilar to subglacial lakes where flat strong specular RES reflections are measured. The inability of RES to detect the active lake means that more of the Antarctic ice sheet bed may contain stored water than is currently appreciated. Variation in ice surface elevation datasets leads to significant alteration in calculations of the local flow of basal water indicating the value of, and need for, high resolution RES datasets in both space and time to establish and characterise subglacial hydrological processes.

  8. Mid-Holocene pulse of thinning in the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Andrew S.; Marrero, Shasta M.; Woodward, John; Dunning, Stuart A.; Winter, Kate; Westoby, Matthew J.; Freeman, Stewart P. H. T.; Shanks, Richard P.; Sugden, David E.

    2016-08-01

    Establishing the trajectory of thinning of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) since the last glacial maximum (LGM) is important for addressing questions concerning ice sheet (in)stability and changes in global sea level. Here we present detailed geomorphological and cosmogenic nuclide data from the southern Ellsworth Mountains in the heart of the Weddell Sea embayment that suggest the ice sheet, nourished by increased snowfall until the early Holocene, was close to its LGM thickness at 10 ka. A pulse of rapid thinning caused the ice elevation to fall ~400 m to the present level at 6.5-3.5 ka, and could have contributed 1.4-2 m to global sea-level rise. These results imply that the Weddell Sea sector of the WAIS contributed little to late-glacial pulses in sea-level rise but was involved in mid-Holocene rises. The stepped decline is argued to reflect marine downdraw triggered by grounding line retreat into Hercules Inlet.

  9. An Improved Method for Modeling Spatial Distribution of δD in Surface Snow over Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yetang; HOU Shugui; Bjorn GRIGHOLM; SONG Linlin

    2009-01-01

    Using the recent compilation of the isotopic composition data of surface snow of Antarctic ice sheet, we proposed an improved interpolation method of δD, which utilizes geographical factors (i.e., latitude and altitude) as the primary predictors and incorporates inverse distance weighting (IDW) technique. The method was applied to a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) to produce a grid map of multi-year mean δD values with 1km spatial resolution for Antarctic& The mean absolute deviation between observed and estimated data in the map is about 5.4‰, and the standard deviation is 9‰. The resulting δD pattern resembles well known characteristics such as the depletion of the heavy isotopes with increasing latitude and distance from coast line, but also reveals the complex topographic effects.

  10. Distribution and characteristics of overdeepenings beneath the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets: Implications for overdeepening origin and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, H.; Swift, D. A.; Clark, C. D.; Livingstone, S. J.; Cook, S. J.

    2016-09-01

    Glacier bed overdeepenings are ubiquitous in glacier systems and likely exert significant influence on ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology, and ice stability. Understanding of overdeepening formation and evolution has been hampered by an absence of quantitative empirical studies of their distribution and morphology, with process insights having been drawn largely from theoretical or numerical studies. To address this shortcoming, we first map the distribution of potential overdeepenings beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets using a GIS-based algorithm that identifies closed-contours in the bed topography and then describe and analyse the characteristics and metrics of a subset of overdeepenings that pass further quality control criteria. Overdeepenings are found to be widespread, but are particularly associated with areas of topographically laterally constrained ice flow, notably near the ice sheet margins where outlet systems follow deeply incised troughs. Overdeepenings also occur in regions of topographically unconstrained ice flow (for example, beneath the Siple Coast ice streams and on the Greenland continental shelf). Metrics indicate that overdeepening growth is generally allometric and that topographic confinement of ice flow in general enhances overdeepening depth. However, overdeepening depth is skewed towards shallow values - typically 200-300 m - indicating that the rate of deepening slows with overdeepening age. This is reflected in a decline in adverse slope steepness with increasing overdeepening planform size. Finally, overdeepening long-profiles are found to support headward quarrying as the primary factor in overdeepening development. These observations support proposed negative feedbacks related to hydrology and sediment transport that stabilise overdeepening growth through sedimentation on the adverse slope but permit continued overdeepening planform enlargement by processes of headward erosion.

  11. Large ensemble modeling of last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Pollard

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ~ 20 000 years. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree quite well with the more advanced techniques, but only for a large ensemble with full factorial parameter sampling. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds. Each run is extended 5000 years into the "future" with idealized ramped climate warming. In the majority of runs with reasonable scores, this produces grounding-line retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior, and the analysis provides sea-level-rise envelopes with well defined parametric uncertainty bounds.

  12. Large ensemble modeling of last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Chang, W.; Haran, M.; Applegate, P.; DeConto, R.

    2015-11-01

    A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ~ 20 000 years. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree quite well with the more advanced techniques, but only for a large ensemble with full factorial parameter sampling. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds. Each run is extended 5000 years into the "future" with idealized ramped climate warming. In the majority of runs with reasonable scores, this produces grounding-line retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior, and the analysis provides sea-level-rise envelopes with well defined parametric uncertainty bounds.

  13. Warming, Contraction, and Freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water since the 1990s, with a Potential Ice-Sheet Melt Feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Gregory; Purkey, Sarah; Rintoul, Stephen; Swift, James

    2013-04-01

    We analyze changes in Antarctic Bottom Waters (AABW) around the deep Southern Ocean using repeat section data collected between 1981 and 2012. The international World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Hydrographic Program collected a global high-quality baseline of full-depth, accurate oceanographic transects in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the 2000s, some of these transects are being reoccupied, again through international collaboration, as part of GO-SHIP (The Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program). The average dates of the first and last data used to estimate these trends are circa 1991 and 2008. Temperature analyses reveal a nearly global-scale signature of warming in the abyssal ocean ventilated from the Antarctic. In the deep basins around Antarctica, AABW warmed at a rate of 0.02 to 0.05 °C per decade below 4000 m. In addition, the waters between 1000 and 4000 m within and south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current warmed at a rate of about 0.03 °C per decade. With this warming, cold, deep isotherms are sinking in the Southern Ocean. The 0 °C potential isotherm sinking rate is around 100 m per decade, implying a 8.2 (±2.6) Sv contraction rate of AABW, about 7% per decade. In addition to this contraction, AABW freshening is observed within the Indian and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean. The freshening signal is stronger closer to AABW sources. Its spatial pattern implies recent changes in AABW formation, perhaps partly owing to freshening of the shelf waters, which has been linked to increases in glacial ice sheet melt. The observed rate of water-mass freshening for AABW colder than 0°C in the Indian and Pacific Sectors of the Southern Ocean is about half of the estimated increase in mass lost by glacial ice sheets there in recent years. A positive feedback loop might link the AABW contraction and ice sheet melt-influenced freshening as follows: Increased ocean heat flux drives enhanced basal melt of floating ice shelves

  14. Recent sea-level contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Wingham, Duncan

    2007-03-16

    After a century of polar exploration, the past decade of satellite measurements has painted an altogether new picture of how Earth's ice sheets are changing. As global temperatures have risen, so have rates of snowfall, ice melting, and glacier flow. Although the balance between these opposing processes has varied considerably on a regional scale, data show that Antarctica and Greenland are each losing mass overall. Our best estimate of their combined imbalance is about 125 gigatons per year of ice, enough to raise sea level by 0.35 millimeters per year. This is only a modest contribution to the present rate of sea-level rise of 3.0 millimeters per year. However, much of the loss from Antarctica and Greenland is the result of the flow of ice to the ocean from ice streams and glaciers, which has accelerated over the past decade. In both continents, there are suspected triggers for the accelerated ice discharge-surface and ocean warming, respectively-and, over the course of the 21st century, these processes could rapidly counteract the snowfall gains predicted by present coupled climate models. PMID:17363663

  15. Future surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet and its influence on sea level change, simulated by a regional atmospheric climate model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van de Berg, W.J.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Rae, J.G.L.; van Meijgaard, E.

    2013-01-01

    A regional atmospheric climate model with multi-layer snow module (RACMO2) is forced at the lateral boundaries by global climate model (GCM) data to assess the future climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). Two different GCMs (ECHAM5 until 2100 and HadCM3 until 2200)

  16. Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance Estimates from 2003 TO 2015 Using Icesat and CRYOSAT-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Huan; Hai, Gang; Chen, Lei; Liu, Shijie; Liu, Jun; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    An assessment of Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance from 2003 to 2015 has been carried out using a combination of ICESat data from 2003 to 2009 and CryoSat-2 data from 2010 to 2015. Both data sets are of L2 and are currently processed separately using different models. First, a repeat-track processing method that includes terms accounting for the trend and the first order fit of topography is applied to repeat-track measurements of all ICESat Campaigns. It uses the Least Squares fitting of the model to all observations in a box of 500 m x 500 m. The estimated trends in these boxes are then averaged inside a 30 km x 30 km cell. Similarly, the cells are used to estimate basin and ice sheet level surface elevation change trends. Mass balance calculating is performed at the cell level by multiplying the ice density by the volume change and then extended to the basin and the ice sheet level. Second, in CryoSat-2 data processing we applied a model within a cell of 5 km x 5 km considering that CryoSat-2 does not maintain repeated tracks. In this model the elevation trend, and a higher order topography are solved in an iterative way using the least squares technique. The mass change is computed at the cell level in the same way as the ICESat data. GIA correction is applied for both ICESat and CryoSat-2 estimates. Detailed information about the data processing, elevation and mass balance changes, and comparison with other studies will be introduced.

  17. A one-dimensional heat transfer model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and modeling of snow temperatures at Dome A, the summit of Antarctic Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    A vertical one-dimensional numerical model for heat transferring within the near-surface snow layer of the Antarctic Ice Sheet was developed based on simplified parameterizations of associated physical processes for the atmosphere, radiation, and snow/ice systems. Using the meteorological data of an automatic weather station (AWS) at Dome A (80°22′S, 70°22′E), we applied the model to simulate the seasonal temperature variation within a depth of 20 m. Comparison of modeled results with observed snow temperatures at 4 measurement depths (0.1, 1, 3, 10 m) shows good agreement and consistent seasonal variations. The model results reveal the vertical temperature structure within the near-surface snow layer and its seasonal variance with more details than those by limited measurements. Analyses on the model outputs of the surface energy fluxes show that: 1) the surface energy balance at Dome A is characterized by the compensation between negative net radiation and the positive sensible fluxes, and 2) the sensible heat is on average transported from the atmosphere to the snow, and has an evident increase in spring. The results are considered well representative for the highest interior Antarctic Plateau.

  18. Geoologic controls on the architecture of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's basal interface: New results from West and East Antarctica from long range geophysics (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Richter, T.; Aitken, A.; Siegert, M. J.; Roberts, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    The ice-rock interface underlying the Antarctic Ice Sheet was shaped by interactions between underlying gondwanan geology and the overlying ice sheet. The ice sheet now preserves from sedimentary infill an incredibly rugged terrain which now plays a critical role in shaping subglacial hydrology, and thus shape ice sheet behavior. This terrain can by imaged through aerogeophysical means, in particular through ice penetrating radar, while airborne potential fields measurements provide insight into the geological framework that controlled erosion. Over the post IPY era, the density of airborne coverage is only now reaching the point where small scale structure can be identified and placed in context. Of particular importance is understanding the formation of focused erosional valleys, 30-50 km wide, representing now buried subglacial fjords. After initial data from the GIMBLE project in West Antarctica, and five years of sustained long range ICECAP surveys over East Antarctica , we now have a better view of the diversity of these features. The local erosion of these valleys, often cutting through significant topographic barriers, irregularly samples the underlying geology, provided a complex story in the sediment to the Antarctic margin. These valleys now provide the subglacial conduits for significant ice sheet catchments, in particular for subglacial water, including the inland catchments of DeVicq, Thwaites, and Pine Island Glaciers in West Antarctica, and Denman Glacier, Totten Glacier, Byrd Glacier and Cook Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. We find that these features, now sometimes hundreds of kilometers inland of the modern grounding line, often nucleate on or are aligned with structure inherited from the assembly of the Antarctic continent. While many of these features currently host active outlet glaciers or their tributaries, some do not, implying avenues for ice sheet change. In West Antarctica, we find a new deep connection between the coast and interior basin

  19. Negative magnetic anomaly over Mt. Resnik, a subaerially erupted volcanic peak beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Finn, C.; Morse, D.L.; Blankenship, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    Mt. Resnik is one of the previously reported 18 subaerially erupted volcanoes (in the West Antarctic rift system), which have high elevation and high bed relief beneath the WAIS in the Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey. Mt. Resnik lies 300 m below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS); it has 1.6 km topographic relief, and a conical form defined by radar ice-sounding of bed topography. It has an associated complex negative magnetic anomaly revealed by the CWA survey. We calculated and interpreted magnetic models fit to the Mt. Resnik anomaly as a volcanic source comprising both reversely and normally magnetized (in the present field direction) volcanic flows, 0.5-2.5-km thick, erupted subaerially during a time of magnetic field reversal. The Mt. Resnik 305-nT anomaly is part of an approximately 50- by 40-km positive anomaly complex extending about 30 km to the west of the Mt. Resnik peak, associated with an underlying source complex of about the same area, whose top is at the bed of the WAIS. The bed relief of this shallow source complex has a maximum of only about 400 m, whereas the modeled source is >3 km thick. From the spatial relationship we interpret that this source and Mt Resnik are approximately contemporaneous. Any subglacially (older?) erupted edifices comprising hyaloclastite or other volcanic debris, which formerly overlaid the source to the west, were removed by the moving WAIS into which they were injected as is the general case for the ???1000 volcanic centers at the base of the WAIS. The presence of the magnetic field reversal modeled for Mt. Resnik may represent the Bruhnes-Matayama reversal at 780 ka (or an earlier reversal). There are ???100 short-wavelength, steep-gradient, negative magnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), or about 10% of the approximately 1000 short-wavelength, shallow-source, high-amplitude (50- >1000 nT) "volcanic" magnetic anomalies in the CWA survey. These

  20. Origin and fate of Lake Vostok water frozen to the base of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Robin E; Studinger, Michael; Tikku, Anahita A; Clarke, Garry K C; Gutner, Michael M; Meertens, Chuck

    2002-03-21

    The subglacial Lake Vostok may be a unique reservoir of genetic material and it may contain organisms with distinct adaptations, but it has yet to be explored directly. The lake and the overlying ice sheet are closely linked, as the ice-sheet thickness drives the lake circulation, while melting and freezing at the ice-sheet base will control the flux of water, biota and sediment through the lake. Here we present a reconstruction of the ice flow trajectories for the Vostok core site, using ice-penetrating radar data and Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of surface ice velocity. We find that the ice sheet has a significant along-lake flow component, persistent since the Last Glacial Maximum. The rates at which ice is frozen (accreted) to the base of the ice sheet are greatest at the shorelines, and the accreted ice layer is subsequently transported out of the lake. Using these new flow field and velocity measurements, we estimate the time for ice to traverse Lake Vostok to be 16,000-20,000 years. We infer that most Vostok ice analysed to date was accreted to the ice sheet close to the western shoreline, and is therefore not representative of open lake conditions. From the amount of accreted lake water we estimate to be exported along the southern shoreline, the lake water residence time is about 13,300 years. PMID:11907573

  1. Simulating the Antarctic ice sheet in the late-Pliocene warm period: PLISMIP-ANT, an ice-sheet model intercomparison project

    OpenAIRE

    B. de Boer; Dolan, A. M.; Bernales, J.; Gasson, E.; Goelzer, H.; Golledge, N.R.; Sutter, J.; P. Huybrechts; G. Lohmann; I. Rogozhina; A. Abe-Ouchi; Saito, F.; R. S. W. van de Wal

    2015-01-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals in Earth history is of fundamental importance. The Late-Pliocene warm period (also known as the PRISM interval: 3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise shoul...

  2. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data (HDF5) V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLAH12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice...

  3. Breakup of Pack Ice, Antarctic Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Breakup of Pack Ice along the periphery of the Antarctic Ice Shelf (53.5S, 3.0E) produced this mosaic of ice floes off the Antarctic Ice Shelf. Strong offshore winds, probably associated with strong katabatic downdrafts from the interior of the continent, are seen peeling off the edges of the ice shelf into long filamets of sea ice, icebergs, bergy bits and growlers to flow northward into the South Atlantic Ocean. 53.5S, 3.0E

  4. Influence of Antarctic Ice Sheet Lowering on the Southern Hemisphere Climate: Model Experiments Mimicking the Mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justino, Flavio; Stordal, Frode

    2013-04-01

    those conditions induced by anomalous AIS topographic forcing. Based on different climate simulations of the present day and conducted with distinct Antarctic ice sheet topography, it is found that the reduction of the AIS induces warming of the Southern Hemisphere and reduces the meridional thermal gradient. Consequently, the transient low level eddy heat flux and the eddy momentum flux are reduced causing the reduced transport of heat from the mid-latitudes to the pole. The stationary flow and transient wave anomalies generate changes in the SSTs which modify the rate of deep water formation, strengthening the formation of the Antarctic Bottom Water. Substantial changes are predicted to occur in the atmospheric and oceanic heat transport and a comparison between the total heat transport of the atmosphere-ocean system, as simulated by the current and the reduced AIS runs, shows that the reduction of the Antarctic ice sheet height leads to reduced Southern Hemisphere poleward and increased equatorward heat transport. Further, these results yield reduced storm track activities and baroclinicity.

  5. Comparison of Surface Elevation Changes of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Radar and Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Barbieri, Kristine; DiMarzio, John P.; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    A primary purpose of satellite altimeter measurements is determination of the mass balances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and changes with time by measurement of changes in the surface elevations. Since the early 1990's, important measurements for this purpose have been made by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and CryoSat and a laser altimeter on ICESat. One principal factor limiting direct comparisons between radar and laser measurements is the variable penetration depth of the radar signal and the corresponding location of the effective depth of the radar-measured elevation beneath the surface, in contrast to the laser-measured surface elevation. Although the radar penetration depth varies significantly both spatially and temporally, empirical corrections have been developed to account for this effect. Another limiting factor in direct comparisons is caused by differences in the size of the laser and radar footprints and their respective horizontal locations on the surface. Nevertheless, derived changes in elevation, dHldt, and time-series of elevation, H(t), have been shown to be comparable. For comparisons at different times, corrections for elevation changes caused by variations in the rate offrrn compaction have also been developed. Comparisons between the H(t) and the average dH/dt at some specific locations, such as the Vostok region of East Antarctic, show good agreement among results from ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and ICESat. However, Greenland maps of dHidt from Envisat and ICESat for the same time periods (2003-2008) show some areas of significant differences as well as areas of good agreement. Possible causes of residual differences are investigated and described.

  6. Terrestrial evidence of melting of the Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial period

    OpenAIRE

    Sawagaki, Takanobu; Hirakawa,Kazuomi

    2002-01-01

    Antarctica at the close of a millennium : proceedings of the 8th international symposium on Antarctic earth sciences, Wellington, New Zealand, July 1999, Edited by: J.A. Gamble, D.N.B. Skinner, and S. Henrys (Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin, 35), ISBN: 1-877264-06-7, pp.404-414

  7. Computing the volume response of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet to warming scenarios to 2200

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudon, E.; Moore, J.C.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.A.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Kohler, J.; Isaksson, E.

    2013-01-01

    An ice core extracted from Holtedahlfonna ice cap, western Spitsbergen, record spanning the period 1700–2005, was analyzed for major ions. The leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) component is correlated with an index of summer melt (log([Na+]/[Mg2+]) from 1850 and shows that almost 50% of th

  8. Use of high frequency radiometer and altimeter on board AMSU-B, AMSR-E and Altika/SARAL for observations of the Antarctic ice sheet surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adodo, Fifi; Picard, Ghislain; Remy, Frederique

    2016-04-01

    Snow surface properties quickly evolved according to local weather conditions, therefore are climate change indicator. These snow surface properties such as grain size, density, accumulation rate etc... are very important for evaluation and monitoring of the impact of global warming on the polar ice sheet. In order to retrieve these snowpack properties, we explore the high frequency microwave radiometer variable( Brightness Temperature (Tb)) on the Antarctic ice sheet on-board AMSU-B , AMSR-E in combination with the ALTIKA altimeter (37GHz) waveform parameters (Backscatter coefficient, Trailing edge Slope(TeS) and Leading edge Width(LeW)). We compare the radiometer brightness temperature to calculations with the DMRT- ML radiative transfer model which simulates brightness temperature in vertical and horizontal polarizations. With some assumptions, this combination allows a good retrieval of snowpack properties. We showed positive trend of the grains size on the Antarctic plateau especially at Dome C during the two last decades. This work will provide a higher accuracy of the estimation of snowpack surfaces properties and contribute to monitoring the ice sheet surface mass balance, well constraining of meteorological and glaciological models.

  9. Analysis of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    If protoplanets formed from 10 to 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals in a runaway accretion process prior to their oligarchic growth into the terrestrial planets, it is only logical to ask where these planetesimals may have formed in order to assess the initial composition of the Earth. We have used Weidenschilling's model for the formation of comets (1997) to calculate an efficiency factor for the formation of planetesimals from the solar nebula, then used this factor to calculate the feeding zones that contribute to material contained within 10, 15 and 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals at 1 A.V. as a function of nebular mass. We find that for all reasonable nebular masses, these planetesimals contain a minimum of 3% water as ice by mass. The fraction of ice increases as the planetesimals increase in size and as the nebular mass decreases, since both factors increase the feeding zones from which solids in the final planetesimals are drawn. Is there really a problem with the current accretion scenario that makes the Earth too dry, or is it possible that the nascent Earth lost significant quantities of water in the final stages of accretion?

  10. Reconstruction of changes in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larter, Robert D.; Anderson, John B.; Graham, Alastair G. C.; Gohl, Karsten; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Jakobsson, Martin; Johnson, Joanne S.; Kuhn, Gerhard; Nitsche, Frank O.; Smith, James A.; Witus, Alexandra E.; Bentley, Michael J.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Ehrmann, Werner; Klages, Johann P.; Lindow, Julia; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.; Spiegel, Cornelia

    2014-09-01

    Marine and terrestrial geological and marine geophysical data that constrain deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) of the sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) draining into the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea have been collated and used as the basis for a set of time-slice reconstructions. The drainage basins in these sectors constitute a little more than one-quarter of the area of the WAIS, but account for about one-third of its surface accumulation. Their mass balance is becoming increasingly negative, and therefore they account for an even larger fraction of current WAIS discharge. If all of the ice in these sectors of the WAIS were discharged to the ocean, global sea level would rise by ca 2 m. There is compelling evidence that grounding lines of palaeo-ice streams were at, or close to, the continental shelf edge along the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea margins during the last glacial period. However, the few cosmogenic surface exposure ages and ice core data available from the interior of West Antarctica indicate that ice surface elevations there have changed little since the LGM. In the few areas from which cosmogenic surface exposure ages have been determined near the margin of the ice sheet, they generally suggest that there has been a gradual decrease in ice surface elevation since pre-Holocene times. Radiocarbon dates from glacimarine and the earliest seasonally open marine sediments in continental shelf cores that have been interpreted as providing approximate ages for post-LGM grounding-line retreat indicate different trajectories of palaeo-ice stream recession in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea embayments. The areas were probably subject to similar oceanic, atmospheric and eustatic forcing, in which case the differences are probably largely a consequence of how topographic and geological factors have affected ice flow, and of topographic influences on snow accumulation and warm water inflow across the continental

  11. Ice sheet in peril

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2016-01-01

    Earth's large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are major contributors to sea level change. At present, the Greenland Ice Sheet (see the photo) is losing mass in response to climate warming in Greenland (1), but the present changes also include a long-term response to past climate transitions....... On page 590 of this issue, MacGregor et al. (2) estimate the mean rates of snow accumulation and ice flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past 9000 years based on an ice sheet-wide dated radar stratigraphy (3). They show that the present changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet are partly an ongoing...... response to the last deglaciation. The results help to clarify how sensitive the ice sheet is to climate changes....

  12. Ice sheet in peril

    OpenAIRE

    Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2016-01-01

    Earth's large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are major contributors to sea level change. At present, the Greenland Ice Sheet (see the photo) is losing mass in response to climate warming in Greenland (1), but the present changes also include a long-term response to past climate transitions. On page 590 of this issue, MacGregor et al. (2) estimate the mean rates of snow accumulation and ice flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past 9000 years based on an ice sheet-wide dated radar ...

  13. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet – the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary – are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74 % abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19 % is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7 % of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from ±52 m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to ±502 m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma uncertainties of surface elevations of ±3.6, ±9.6, ±11.4, ±30 and ±100 m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2 ± 71.3 m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line

  14. Getting around Antarctica: New High-Resolution Mappings of the Grounded and Freely-Floating Boundaries of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Created for the International Polar Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.; Choi, H.; Wichlacz, A.; Bingham, R.; Bohlander, J.; Brunt, K.; Corr, H.; Drews, R.; Fricker, H.; Hall, M.; Hindmarsh, R.; Kohler, J.; Padman, L.; Rack, W.; Rotschkly, G.; Urbini, S.; Vornberger, P.; Young, N.

    2011-01-01

    Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet - the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary - are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74% abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19% is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7% of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma) accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from +/- 52m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to +/- 502m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma) uncertainties of surface elevations of +/-3.6, +/-9.6, +/-11.4, +/-30 and +/-100m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2+/-71.3m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line from the grounded ice

  15. The aeromagnetic method as a tool to identify Cenozoic magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a review; Thiel subglacial volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). The aeromagnetic method has been the most useful geophysical tool for identification of subglacial volcanic rocks, since 1959–64 surveys, particularly combined with 1978 radar ice-sounding. The unique 1991–97 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey covering 354,000 km2 over the WAIS, (5-km line-spaced, orthogonal lines of aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, and aerogravity measurements), still provides invaluable information on subglacial volcanic rocks, particularly combined with the older aeromagnetic profiles. These data indicate numerous 100–>1000 nT, 5–50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over an area greater than 1.2 × 106 km2, mostly from subglacial volcanic sources. I interpreted the CWA anomalies as defining about 1000 “volcanic centers” requiring high remanent normal magnetizations in the present field direction. About 400 anomaly sources correlate with bed topography. At least 80% of these sources have less than 200 m relief at the WAIS bed. They appear modified by moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (about 25 Ma). Exposed volcanoes in the WARS are The present rapid changes resulting from global warming, could be accelerated by subglacial volcanism.

  16. Radiostratigraphy and age structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    OpenAIRE

    MacGregor, JA; Fahnestock, MA; Catania, GA; Paden, JD; Prasad Gogineni, S; Young, SK; Rybarski, SC; Mabrey, AN; Wagman, BM; Morlighem, M.

    2015-01-01

    Several decades of ice-penetrating radar surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have observed numerous widespread internal reflections. Analysis of this radiostratigraphy has produced valuable insights into ice sheet dynamics and motivates additional mapping of these reflections. Here we present a comprehensive deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected over Greenland by The University of Kansas between 1993 and 2013. T...

  17. A Prediction of Increase in Subglacial Volcanism Beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) as Future Deglaciation Caused by Ocean Circulation Proceeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, J. C.; LeMasurier, W. E.

    2015-12-01

    Many decades of aeromagnetic surveying (e.g. Behrendt, 1964; 2013; and others) over the West Antarctic Ice sheet (WAIS) have shown >1000 high amplitude, shallow source magnetic anomalies interpreted as as indicating subglacial volcanic centers of late Cenozoic age to presently active. Similar anomalies exist over exposed volcanic rocks bordering the WAIS in places.Recent papers (e.g. Wouters et al., 2015; Paolo, et al.; 2015 and others) based on satellite altimetry have shown dramatic thinning and retreat of ice shelves, particularly those bordering the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas, caused by melting from circulation of warming sea water. Previous workers have shown that when ice shelves collapse, the ice streams previously dammed by them accelerate an order of magnitude higher velocity, and surface elevation decreases. GRACE satellite interpretations (e.g. Velicogna et al., and others) indicate mass loss of WAIS in recent years.The bed elevation beneath the WAIS deepens inland from the Amundsen and Bellingshausen coasts, although high relief volcanic topography is present in a number of areas beneath the ice.Crowley et a. (2015) have shown that glacial cycles may drive production of oceanic crust by lowering pressure in the mantle resulting in increased melting and magma production. Increased volcanism due to deglaciation in Iceland has apparently produced increased in volcanic activity there. Deglaciation of the Norwegian continental shelf has resulted in faulting of the sea floor and similar faulting has been reported of the Ross Sea shelf following deglaciation there.I suggest here that as the WAIS collapses in the future resulting from climate change, an increase in volcanic activity beneath the ice might be expected. This may provide a feedback mechanism for increase in ice melting.

  18. Major collapse event of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Pliocene%东南极冰盖上新世大规模退缩事件

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘小汉; 韦利杰; 黄费新; 方爱民; 琚宜太; 李潇丽; 周学君

    2013-01-01

    The multi-disciplinary study of past ice surface elevations in the Grove Mountains of interior East Antarctica provide direct land based data on the behaviour of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Pliocene. The glacial geology,the ages of cold desert soils,the depositional environment of younger moraine sedimentary boulders and their spore pollen assemblages combine to imply a possible significant shrinkage of the ice sheet before the Middle Pliocene Epoch,with the ice sheet margin retreating south of the Grove Mountains( -400 km south from its present coastal position). Exposure age measurements of bedrock indicate that the elevation of the ice surface in the Grove Mountains region subsequently rose at about Mid-Pliocene to at least 400 m higher than today's levels. The ice surface then progressively lowered, with some minor fluctuations. Middle to Late Pleistocene exposure ages found on the lowest samples,at the ice/bedrock contact line, indicate a long period with ice surface elevations was kept at current level or complex fluctuation history during the Quaternary Epoch. Such event of Antarctic ice sheet collapse should correspond with some of huge tectonic events in north hemisphere in global scale,such as the Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean region.%笔者近年对东南极内陆格罗夫山(Grove Mountains)开展了上新世以来冰盖表面波动的综合研究,运用冰川地质、地貌、土壤、沉积岩、孢粉组合及宇宙核素等各种方法手段,提出东南极大冰盖形成以后并非稳定演化至今,而在上新世早期时发生过大规模退缩,其前缘至少曾经退缩到格罗夫山地区,距现今冰盖边缘约400 km.之后,冰盖又迅速膨胀,到距今2.3 Ma时,冰面至少超过现今高度约400 m.以后冰面缓慢平稳下降,至1.6 Ma时,东南极冰盖进入第四纪振荡期,但重新上升的冰面再也没有超过现今高度的100 m以上.东南极冰盖大规模消融事件在全球尺度上也

  19. Ice sheet hydrology from observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Peter (Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ-, Stockholm (Sweden))

    2010-11-15

    The hydrological systems of ice sheets are complex. Our view of the system is split, largely due to the complexity of observing the systems. Our basic knowledge of processes have been obtained from smaller glaciers and although applicable in general to the larger scales of the ice sheets, ice sheets contain features not observable on smaller glaciers due to their size. The generation of water on the ice sheet surface is well understood and can be satisfactorily modeled. The routing of water from the surface down through the ice is not complicated in terms of procat has been problematic is the way in which the couplings between surface and bed has been accomplished through a kilometer of cold ice, but with the studies on crack propagation and lake drainage on Greenland we are beginning to understand also this process and we know water can be routed through thick cold ice. Water generation at the bed is also well understood but the main problem preventing realistic estimates of water generation is lack of detailed information about geothermal heat fluxes and their geographical distribution beneath the ice. Although some average value for geothermal heat flux may suffice, for many purposes it is important that such values are not applied to sub-regions of significantly higher fluxes. Water generated by geothermal heat constitutes a constant supply and will likely maintain a steady system beneath the ice sheet. Such a system may include subglacial lakes as steady features and reconfiguration of the system is tied to time scales on which the ice sheet geometry changes so as to change pressure gradients in the basal system itself. Large scale re-organization of subglacial drainage systems have been observed beneath ice streams. The stability of an entirely subglacially fed drainage system may hence be perturbed by rapid ice flow. In the case of Antarctic ice streams where such behavior has been observed, the ice streams are underlain by deformable sediments. It is

  20. Large ensemble modeling of the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; Chang, Won; Haran, Murali; Applegate, Patrick; DeConto, Robert

    2016-05-01

    A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ˜ 20 000 yr. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. The analyses provide sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds, but the simple averaging method only provides robust results with full-factorial parameter sampling in the large ensemble. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree well with the more advanced techniques. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds.

  1. Land Ice: Greenland & Antarctic ice mass anomaly

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Data from NASA's Grace satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica (left chart) has been...

  2. Global ice sheet modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The University of Maine conducted this study for Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) as part of a global climate modeling task for site characterization of the potential nuclear waste respository site at Yucca Mountain, NV. The purpose of the study was to develop a global ice sheet dynamics model that will forecast the three-dimensional configuration of global ice sheets for specific climate change scenarios. The objective of the third (final) year of the work was to produce ice sheet data for glaciation scenarios covering the next 100,000 years. This was accomplished using both the map-plane and flowband solutions of our time-dependent, finite-element gridpoint model. The theory and equations used to develop the ice sheet models are presented. Three future scenarios were simulated by the model and results are discussed

  3. The Elementary Marine Ice Sheet Model (EMISM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2015-04-01

    behaviour is in line with recent model simulations of Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier systems. We perform a series of sensitivity experiments with EMISM and compare results to recent model intercomparisons of the Antarctic ice sheet (e.g., SeaRISE, Favier et al. (2013)). Future developments include the implementation of a variant of the coupled SSA/SIA to account for ice stream flow, upstream of grounding lines.

  4. Varying depositional environments across the Oligocene-Miocene boundary and their relevance for East Antarctic ice sheet history: IODP Site U1356, Wilkes Land margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salabarnada, Ariadna; Escutia, Carlota; Nelson, Hans; Damuth, John E.; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2014-05-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled seven sites in two transects across the Wilkes Land (WL) margin of Antarctica. The objective was to obtain a long-term record of the Cenozoic Antarctic glaciation in response to climatic changes, including major transitions. Our work focuses on the study of nearly 300 meters of Oligocene-early Miocene sediments from Site 1356 (cores 42R to 72R) located on a channel levee in the lower continental rise. Shipboard core descriptions reported these sediments to consist of strongly bioturbated claystone and calcareous claystone with Zoophycos or Nereites ichnofacies. Subordinate lithofacies include: 1) laminated silty claystones, 2) convoluted claystones, sandstones and conglomerates; 3) mudstones and sandstones, with a few dispersed to common clasts; and 4) graded or cross-laminated siltstones and sandstones. Based on our study of facies associations in the cores, we differentiate 3 major sedimentary phases, representing important changes in the depositional environments off the WL margin. During the early-late Oligocene, sediments record deposition in a deep-water setting, with bottom currents reworking hemipelagic sediments. Late Oligocene sedimentary processes are dominated by successive fine- to coarse-grained debris-flow mass transport deposits. In the early Miocene, turbidites and hemipelagic sedimentation, characteristic of levee deposition, dominate. With this interpretation of sedimentary environments, plus the correlation between Site U1356 and seismic reflection profiles at the site and vicinity, we can begin to link the relation between along-slope and down-slope processes to the evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  5. Carbon dioxide effects research and assessment program. Environmental and societal consequences of a possible CO/sub 2/-induced climate change: volume II, part I. Response of the West Antarctic ice sheet to CO/sub 2/-induced climatic warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bentley, C.

    1982-04-01

    The paper proposes a research plan to deal with the question of what the response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would be to a rise in global temperatures caused by an anthropogenic CO/sub 2/ buildup in the atmosphere. The plan is designed to answer the following questions: (1) how fast is the ice mass changing now, and why; (2) how will the boundary conditions that affect the ice sheet respond to an atmospheric temperature change and how are those boundary conditions changing now; (3) what will be the response of the ice sheet to changes in boundary conditions; and (4) what can be learned by analogy with what has happened in the past. (ACR)

  6. Radar altimetry measurements over antarctic ice sheet: A focus on antenna polarization and change in backscatter problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remy, F.; Flament, T.; Blarel, F.; Benveniste, J.

    2012-10-01

    In this paper, we investigate the impact of the error due to the penetration of the altimetric wave within the snowpack. The phenomenon has two different impacts. The first one, due to temporal change in snow characteristics, affects the ice sheet volume trend as derived from altimetric series. The second one, because of both the anisotropy of the ice sheet surface properties and of the linear antenna polarization, introduces a difference in measurements at crossover points. These two phenomena are the cause of what are probably the most critical limitations to the interpretation of long-term altimetric series in term of mass balance and to the comparison between or data fusion of different missions. Moreover, they will lead to the largest error when comparing data from EnviSat with data from CryoSat, because of the different orbits, or with data from AltiKa, because of the different radar frequencies. We show that waveform distortions due to snow characteristics fluctuation are complex. In the central part of the East Antarctica, the height and the leading edge width fluctuations vary together while elsewhere, height fluctuations may occur with no variations in the waveform shape, mostly during winter. As a consequence, these induced errors cannot be corrected with solely the help of the backscatter: waveform shape parameters are also needed. They are however not enough to fully correct these two errors. We propose an empirical correction for these effects. We show that crossover differences may be significantly reduced to up 22 cm. In terms of volume change, the estimation may vary up to 4 cm/yr at cross-overs depending on the correction used and is reduced in average to 2.3 cm/yr with our correction. The difference between the height trends estimated with both corrections is weak in average but may locally reach 5 cm/yr with a clear geographical pattern.

  7. The Physics of Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassis, J. N.

    2008-01-01

    The great ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are vast deposits of frozen freshwater that contain enough to raise sea level by approximately 70 m if they were to completely melt. Because of the potentially catastrophic impact that ice sheets can have, it is important that we understand how ice sheets have responded to past climate changes and…

  8. Evidence for the Late Cenozoic Antarctic Ice Sheet evolution and bottom current dynamics in the central-western Ross Sea outer margin, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sookwan; De Santis, Laura; Kuk Hong, Jong; Cottlerle, Diego; Petronio, Lorenzo; Colizza, Ester; Bergamasco, Andrea; Kim, Young-Gyun; Kang, Seung-Goo; Kim, Hyoungjun; Kim, Suhwan; Wardell, Nigel; Geletti, Riccardo; McKay, Robert; Jin, Young Keun; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2016-04-01

    Sedimentary records in polar continental margins provide clues for understanding paleo-depositional environments, related to ice sheet evolution and bottom-water current dynamics, during times of past climate and global sea level changes. Previous seismostratigraphic studies of the Ross Sea embayment, Antarctica, illustrated its general stratigraphic framework and the distribution of glacial sedimentary features over the continental shelf, since the onset of Antarctic ice-sheets at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (~34.0 Ma). In contrast, there are a fewer studies for the outer continental margin, where continuous sedimentary deposits generally preserve the record of past climate cycles with minimum hiatus, comparing to the inner- and mid-continental shelf, where grounding ice streams eroded most of the sediments. Here we present a seismostratigraphic analysis of 2-D multichannel seismic reflection profiles, from the Central Basin located in the central-western Ross Sea outer margin. A glacial prograding wedge developed at the mouth of the Joides Basin since early-middle Miocene times (RSU4: ~14.0 Ma). And the Central Basin was filled with stacked debris-flow deposits and turbidites. The sediment depocenter shifted from the Central Basin toward the slope in the Pliocene (after RSU2: ~3.3 Ma). Pliocene foreset beds are steep and pinch out at the base of the continental slope. Bottom current controlled sediment drifts well developed since the middle Miocene, along the western slope of the central Basin and on the basement highs These areas are far from the mouth of the Joides trough, where most of the glacial sediment is deposited, and they are also more elevated than the basinal areas, where gravity flow maximum thickness accumulated. Along the western slope of the central Basin and over the basement highs, the signature in the sediments of the action of bottom current reworking and shaping the sea floor can be then clearly recognized. We present the sediment drifts

  9. Change Analysis of Antarctic Ice Shelves Based on Multiple Remote Sensing Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yixiang; Weng, Hexia; Lv, Da; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is well known as the most sensitive and key issue in the global climate change research and is playing a more and more important role for the global sea level change. Measurement of changes in area and mass of the Antarctic ice sheet is critically important and has been made by using different remote sensing technologies and ground exploration data. Sequential mapping of Antarctic boundaries provides a simple and direct method for measuring the area and volume if ice sheet or ice shelves advances or retreats in the Antarctic coasts. Our results show that the total ice shelf area is retreated between 1963 and 2009. However, the trend for each ice shelf is quite different.

  10. Oligocene environmental changes on the Wilkes Land margin in response to a developing East Antarctic ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Houben, A. J. P.; Bijl, P.K; Brinkhuis, H.; Bendle, J.A.; J. Pross; Stickley, C.E.; Olney, M.; Röhl, U.; Tauxe, L.; S. M. Bohaty; Schouten, S.; Ebbing, A.P.J.; Sangiorgi, F.; Stocchi, P.; Vermeersen, B.

    2011-01-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled several sites on the Wilkes Land margin of East Antarctica in Jan.–Feb. 2010. The principle objective of the cruise was to obtain a better understanding of the Cenozoic cryospheric evolution of Antarctica, in conjunction with the dating of major regional seismic unconformities WL-U3 thru U8. Unconformity WL-U3 was suggested to be related to the inception of Antarctic glaciation during the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (~34 Ma). Changes in biotic assemblages distinctl...

  11. Mass change detection in Antarctic ice sheet using ICESat block analysis techniques from 2003~2008%基于ICESat块域分析法探测2003~2008年南极冰盖质量变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    史红岭; 陆洋; 杜宗亮; 贾路路; 张子占; 周春霞

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, the ICESat laser altimetry data is used to obtain an estimate of the mass balance of Antarctic ice sheet from February 2003 to March 2008. The time series of elevation change in Antarctic ice sheet are derived by the block crossover analysis using the ICESat nadir ground track, and the calculation of the campaign basis is discussed. A least square regression of crossover difference is applied to calculate the average elevation change trend and the seasonal cycle, and then the mass changes of Antarctic ice sheet are estimated by combining the elevation change rate with the surface firn density model. The result shows that seasonal cycle signals are obvious in Antarctic ice sheet height changes, and the average annual amplitude is about 2.21 cm. On the coast of the Antarctica continent, there are significant thinning and thickening, especially near the Amundsen Sea embayment of west Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula. Considering the influence of GIA (three public GIA models), our best estimate of the mass change in Antarctic ice sheet is about -82~-73Gt/yr. For the ICESat, the ice sheet surface firn density model and the GIA model are the main factors in the mass change estimates.%利用2003~2008年间的ICESat卫星激光测高数据,通过块域交叉点分析提取南极大陆冰盖表面高程变化信息,同时探讨了卫星激光测高不同任务间的系统偏差,结合冰盖地表粒雪密度模型探测南极大陆冰盖质量变化,并对其原因做了初步分析.结果显示南极大陆冰盖高度变化具有明显的年周期信号,平均周年振幅为2.21 cm.在南极大陆的边缘,存在着明显的消融和增长,尤其是在西南极阿蒙森海湾附近的冰川和南极半岛.利用目前常用的三种不同的冰后回弹模型,计算得到南极大陆冰盖整体平均质量变化趋势约为-82~-73 Gt/yr.在由ICESat高度变化到质量变化过程中,冰盖地表粒雪密度和冰后回弹模型的不确定性是

  12. On sea level - ice sheet interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya Alissa

    grounding-line migration. Finally, I confirm the universality of this conclusion in a more realistic setting by coupling a 3-D, Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) model to a global sea-level model and simulating the evolution of the AIS over the last 40,000 years.

  13. Antarctic ice volume and deep-sea temperature during the last 50 Myr: a model study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2004-01-01

    A simple quasi-analytical model is used to study the sensitivity of the Antarctic ice sheet to climate change. The model is axisymmetrical and has a profile that only depends on the ice-sheet radius. The climatic conditions are represented by three parameters: the altitude of the runoff line, the ac

  14. Resolving Trends in Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Loss and Glacio-isostatic Adjustment Through Spatio-temporal Source-separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, J. L.; Schoen, N.; Zammit-Mangion, A.; Rougier, J.; Flament, T.; Luthcke, S. B.; Petrie, E. J.; Rémy, F.

    2013-12-01

    There remains considerable inconsistency between different methods and approaches for determining ice mass trends for Antarctica from satellite observations. There are three approaches that can provide near global coverage for mass trends: altimetry, gravimetry and mass budget calculations. All three approaches suffer from a source separation problem where other geophysical processes limit the capability of the method to resolve the origin and magnitude of a mass change. A fourth approach, GPS vertical motion, provides localised estimates of mass change due to elastic uplift and an indirect estimate of GIA. Each approach has different source separation issues and different spatio-temporal error characteristics. In principle, it should be possible to combine the data and process covariances to minimize the uncertainty in the solution and to produce robust, posterior errors for the trends. In practice, this is a challenging problem in statistics because of the large number of degrees of freedom, the variable spatial and temporal sampling between the different observations and the fact that some processes remain under-sampled, such as firn compaction. Here, we present a novel solution to this problem using the latest methods in statistical modelling of spatio-temporal processes. We use Bayesian hierarchical modelling and employ stochastic partial differential equations to capture our physical understanding of the key processes that influence our observations. Due to the huge number of observations involved (> 10^8) methods are required to reduce the dimensionality of the problem and care is required in treatment of the observations as they are not independent. Here, we focus mainly on the results rather than the full suite of methods and we present time evolving fields of surface mass balance, ice dynamic-driven mass loss, and firn compaction for the period 2003-2009, derived from a combination of ICESat, ENVISAT, GRACE, InSAR, GPS and regional climate model output

  15. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Raphael, Marilyn; Rousset, Clément; Vivier, Frédéric; Moreau, Sébastien; Delille, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice. First, Antarctic sea ice proves generally warmer than in the Arctic, in particular during winter, where differences reach up to ~10°C. Second, the seasonality of temperature is different among the two hemispheres: Antarctic ice temperatures are 2-3°C higher in spring than they are in fall, whereas the opposite is true in the Arctic. These two key differences are supported by the available ice core and mass balance buoys temperature observations, and can be attributed to differences in air temperature and snow depth. As a result, the ice is found to be habitable and permeable over much larger areas and much earlier in late spring in the Antarctic as compared with the Arctic, which consequences on biogeochemical exchanges in the sea ice zone remain to be evaluated.

  16. Rewriting Ice Sheet "Glacier-ology"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.

    2006-12-01

    The revolution in glaciology driven by the suite of increasingly sophisticated satellite instruments has been no more extreme than in the area of ice dynamics. Years ago, glaciologists were (probably unwittingly) selective in what properties of mountain glaciers were also applied to ice sheets. This reinforced the view that they responded slowly to their environment. Notions of rapid response driven by the ideas of John Mercer, Bill Budd and Terry Hughes were politely rejected by the centrists of mainstream glaciological thought. How the tables have turned--and by the ice sheets themselves, captured in the act of rapidly changing by modern remote sensors! The saw-toothed record of sea-level change over past glacial-interglacial cycles required the existence of rapid ice loss processes. Satellite based observations, supported by hard-earned field observations have extended the time scale over which ice sheets can suddenly change to ever shorter intervals: from centuries, to decades, to years to even minutes. As changes continue to be observed, the scientific community is forced to consider new or previously ignored processes to explain these observations. The penultimate goal of ice-sheet dynamics is to credibly predict the future of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In this important endeavor, there is no substitute for our ability to observe. Without the extensive data sets provided by remote sensing, numerical models can be neither tested nor improved. The impact of remote sensing on our existing ability to predict the future must be compared to our probable state of knowledge and ability were these data never collected. Among many satellite observed phenomena we would be largely or wholly ignorant of are the recent acceleration of ice throughout much of coastal Greenland; the sudden disintegration of multiple ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula; and the dramatic thinning and acceleration of the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica. These

  17. ISMIP6: Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowicki, Sophie; Payne, Tony; Larour, Eric; Abe Ouchi, Ayako; Goelzer, Heiko; Gregory, Jonathan; Lipscomb, William; Seroussi, Helene; Shepherd, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    The sea level projections made by the glaciological community as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process have often been out of phase with the projections considered by the wider Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) community. For instance in AR5, the ice2sea and SeaRISE (Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution) ice sheet projects predominantly worked with AR4 scenarios, while the CMIP5 community used new future scenarios. As the next phase of CMIP is being designed (CMIP6), an effort for ice sheet models to be better integrated in the CMIP6 initiative has been proposed to the CMIP panel. We present the framework for the new effort, ISMIP6, the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6. The primary goal of ISMIP6 is to improve projections of sea level rise via improved projections of the evolution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets under a changing climate, along with a quantification of associated uncertainties (including uncertainty in both climate forcing and ice-sheet response). This goal requires an evaluation of AOGCM climate over and surrounding the ice sheets; analysis of simulated ice-sheet response from standalone models forced "offline" with CMIP AOGCM outputs and, where possible, with coupled ice sheet-AOGCM models; and experiments with standalone ice sheet models targeted at exploring the uncertainty associated with ice sheets physics, dynamics and numerical implementation. A secondary goal is to investigate the role of feedbacks between ice sheets and climate in order to gain insight into the impact of increased mass loss from the ice sheets on regional and global sea level, and of the implied ocean freshening on the coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation. These goals map into both Cryosphere and Sea-Level Rise Grand Challenges relevant to Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) and the World Climate Research Program (WCRP).

  18. Reconstructing ice-sheet accumulation rates at ridge B, East Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Leysinger Vieli, G. J.-M. C.; Siegert, M.J.; Payne, A.J.

    2004-01-01

    Understanding how ice sheets responded to past climate change is fundamental to forecasting how they will respond in the future. Numerical models calculating the evolution of ice sheets depend upon accumulation data, which are principally available from ice cores. Here, we calculate past rates of ice accumulation using internal layering. The englacial structure of the East Antarctic ice divide at ridge B is extracted from airborne ice-penetrating radar. The isochronous surfaces are dated at t...

  19. Ice rises: The double role of imprinting and archiving ice-dynamics at the sheet-shelf boundary of Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Drews, Reinhard; Eisen, Olaf; Martin, Carlos; Steinhage, Daniel; Pattyn, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Almost three-quarters of the Antarctic ice-sheet boundary is in contact with the ocean. Floating ice shelves extend the continental ice seawards and provide an interface for the interaction of ice and ocean. Ice rises are grounded features embedded within ice-shelves. They typically develop a local ice-flow regime which on the one hand buttresses the large-scale ice flow from the Antarctic continent, and on the other hand may stabilize the grounding-line position on a inland facing bedrock sl...

  20. Microbial mercury methylation in Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gionfriddo, Caitlin M; Tate, Michael T; Wick, Ryan R; Schultz, Mark B; Zemla, Adam; Thelen, Michael P; Schofield, Robyn; Krabbenhoft, David P; Holt, Kathryn E; Moreau, John W

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of mercury onto sea ice and circumpolar sea water provides mercury for microbial methylation, and contributes to the bioaccumulation of the potent neurotoxin methylmercury in the marine food web. Little is known about the abiotic and biotic controls on microbial mercury methylation in polar marine systems. However, mercury methylation is known to occur alongside photochemical and microbial mercury reduction and subsequent volatilization. Here, we combine mercury speciation measurements of total and methylated mercury with metagenomic analysis of whole-community microbial DNA from Antarctic snow, brine, sea ice and sea water to elucidate potential microbially mediated mercury methylation and volatilization pathways in polar marine environments. Our results identify the marine microaerophilic bacterium Nitrospina as a potential mercury methylator within sea ice. Anaerobic bacteria known to methylate mercury were notably absent from sea-ice metagenomes. We propose that Antarctic sea ice can harbour a microbial source of methylmercury in the Southern Ocean. PMID:27670112

  1. Using ice-penetrating radars to date ice-rise formation and Late Holocene ice-sheet retreat in the Ronne Ice Shelf region, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, Jonathan; Hindmarsh, Richard; King, Edward; Corr, Hugh

    2015-04-01

    The history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the region currently occupied by the Ronne Ice Shelf is poorly known. This reflects a lack of accessible recently deglaciated surfaces, which prohibits conventional paleo glaciological techniques that can provide evidence of past ice-sheet extent and retreat, for example ocean coring or exposure-dating of geological material. We use a glaciological technique, Raymond Effect Dating, to constrain the retreat of the ice sheet through the Ronne Ice Shelf region. During two Antarctic field seasons, we used a pulse-echo ice-penetrating radar to image the base and internal stratigraphy of four ice rises - areas of grounded ice containing ice divides. Towing the radar with skidoos, we conducted over 2000 km of surveys on the Skytrain, Korff, Henry and Fowler Ice Rises and the ice shelf between them. We also used a step-frequency radar called pRES to measure the vertical ice flow in the vicinity of each ice divide. Isochronal ice layers imaged during the surveys deforming in a predictable way with ice flow, meaning that their shape contains information about past ice flow. Directly beneath ice divides the downward motion of the ice is impeded by an ice-dynamical phenomenon called the Raymond Effect. This causes layers beneath the divides to form 'Raymond Arches' that grow over time. We will present the data and simulate the growth of the Raymond Arches using our pRES-measured vertical ice velocities and date the onset of ice-divide flow at each ice rise by comparing the size of simulated arches to the arches imaged during our radar surveys. We consider the main sources of uncertainty associated with these ice-rise formation dates and discuss what they can tell us about the retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet through this region during the last few thousand years.

  2. Ice Sheets and the Anthropocene

    OpenAIRE

    Wolff, Eric W.

    2014-01-01

    Ice could play a role in identifying and defining the Anthropocene. The recurrence of northern hemisphere glaciation and the stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet are both potentially vulnerable to human impact on the environment. However, only a very long hiatus in either would be unusual in the context of the Quaternary Period, requiring the definition of a geological boundary. Human influence can clearly be discerned in several ice-core measurements. These include a sharp boundary in radioa...

  3. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove [Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden); Rodhe, Lars [Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2007-03-15

    This report summarizes the theoretical knowledge on water flow in and beneath glaciers and ice sheets and how these theories are applied in models to simulate the hydrology of ice sheets. The purpose is to present the state of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, identify the gaps in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology. Many general concepts in hydrology and hydraulics are applicable to water flow in glaciers. However, the unique situation of having the liquid phase flowing in conduits of the solid phase of the same material, water, is not a commonly occurring phenomena. This situation means that the heat exchange between the phases and the resulting phase changes also have to be accounted for in the analysis. The fact that the solidus in the pressure-temperature dependent phase diagram of water has a negative slope provides further complications. Ice can thus melt or freeze from both temperature and pressure variations or variations in both. In order to provide details of the current understanding of water flow in conjunction with deforming ice and to provide understanding for the development of ideas and models, emphasis has been put on the mathematical treatments, which are reproduced in detail. Qualitative results corroborating theory or, perhaps more often, questioning the simplifications made in theory, are also given. The overarching problem with our knowledge of glacier hydrology is the gap between the local theories of processes and the general flow of water in glaciers and ice sheets. Water is often channelized in non-stationary conduits through the ice, features which due to their minute size relative to the size of glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to incorporate in spatially larger models. Since the dynamic response of ice sheets to global warming is becoming a key issue in, e.g. sea-level change studies, the problems of the coupling between the hydrology of an ice sheet and its dynamics is steadily gaining interest. New work is emerging

  4. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report summarizes the theoretical knowledge on water flow in and beneath glaciers and ice sheets and how these theories are applied in models to simulate the hydrology of ice sheets. The purpose is to present the state of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, identify the gaps in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology. Many general concepts in hydrology and hydraulics are applicable to water flow in glaciers. However, the unique situation of having the liquid phase flowing in conduits of the solid phase of the same material, water, is not a commonly occurring phenomena. This situation means that the heat exchange between the phases and the resulting phase changes also have to be accounted for in the analysis. The fact that the solidus in the pressure-temperature dependent phase diagram of water has a negative slope provides further complications. Ice can thus melt or freeze from both temperature and pressure variations or variations in both. In order to provide details of the current understanding of water flow in conjunction with deforming ice and to provide understanding for the development of ideas and models, emphasis has been put on the mathematical treatments, which are reproduced in detail. Qualitative results corroborating theory or, perhaps more often, questioning the simplifications made in theory, are also given. The overarching problem with our knowledge of glacier hydrology is the gap between the local theories of processes and the general flow of water in glaciers and ice sheets. Water is often channelized in non-stationary conduits through the ice, features which due to their minute size relative to the size of glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to incorporate in spatially larger models. Since the dynamic response of ice sheets to global warming is becoming a key issue in, e.g. sea-level change studies, the problems of the coupling between the hydrology of an ice sheet and its dynamics is steadily gaining interest. New work is emerging

  5. Response of the ice sheets to fluctuating temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bøgeholm Mikkelsen, Troels; Grinsted, Aslak; Ditlevsen, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Forecasting the future sea level relies on accurate modeling of the response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to changing tempera- tures. Using coupled climate and ice sheet models long time forecasting is often made computationally feasible by running the ice sheet model in off-line mode, such that the temperature and precipitation fields govern- ing the mass balance of the ice sheets are taken to be constant over time. As the temperature and precipitation fluctuates, the asymmetry in the typical time scales for accumulation and ablation would result in a bias in the resulting mass balance of the ice sheet. We show that the steady state of the ice sheet is biased toward larger size of the ice sheet, if the short time scale fluctuations in temperature are not taken into account. This could potentially imply that the critical global temperature increase for ice sheet collapse is overestimated, thus the risk of collapse in a given climate change scenario underestimated. Our results highlight the need to consider the variability and not only the mean of the forcing of the mass balance of the ice sheet. We estimate that the effect of temperature variability on surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet in recent ensemble forecasting should be adjusted downward by as much as 10 percent of the present day observed value, if assuming a 2 degree warming. We are thus closer to a potential tipping point, than previously anticipated. Many predicted scenarios of the future climate show an increased variability in temperature over much of the Earth. In light of the findings presented here, it is important to gauge the extent to which this increased variability will further influence climate change.

  6. Contributions of GPS occultations to Antarctica ice sheet mass balance studies

    OpenAIRE

    S. J. Ge; Shum, C.K.; Jens Wickert

    2002-01-01

    Antarctica is the coldest, stormiest and the most remote continent on Earth. Nearly 75% of the world's fresh water is trapped in the Antarctic ice sheets, which could significantly raise the global sea level if the ice sheets would melt. The continental ice sheet mass balance budget remains one of the largest uncertainties in the understanding of the causes of global sea level rise. Advanced gravity mapping satellite missions, such as CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE, are anticipated to provide signi...

  7. Feedbacks between ice and ocean dynamics at the West Antarctic Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in future global warming scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, Sebastian; Timmermann, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    The ice flow at the margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is moderated by large ice shelves. Their buttressing effect substantially controls the mass balance of the WAIS and thus its contribution to sea level rise. The stability of these ice shelves results from the balance of mass gain by accumulation and ice flow from the adjacent ice sheet and mass loss by calving and basal melting due to the ocean heat flux. Recent results of ocean circulation models indicate that warm circumpolar water of the Southern Ocean may override the submarine slope front of the Antarctic Continent and boost basal ice shelf melting. In particular, ocean simulations for several of the IPCC's future climate scenarios demonstrate the redirection of a warm coastal current into the Filchner Trough and underneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf within the next decades. In this study, we couple the finite elements ocean circulation model FESOM and the three-dimensional thermomechanical ice flow model RIMBAY to investigate the complex interactions between ocean and ice dynamics at the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. We focus on the impact of a changing ice shelf cavity on ocean dynamics as well as the feedback of the resulting sub-shelf melting rates on the ice shelf geometry and implications for the dynamics of the adjacent marine-based Westantarctic Ice Sheet. Our simulations reveal the high sensitivity of grounding line migration to ice-ocean interactions within the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and emphasize the importance of coupled model studies for realistic assessments of the Antarctic mass balance in future global warming scenarios.

  8. Sea-level response to abrupt ocean warming of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise increases steadily. A fundamental question remains whether the ice discharge will lead to marine ice sheet instability (MISI) and collapse of certain sectors of the ice sheet or whether ice loss will increase linearly with the warming trends. Therefore, we employ a newly developed ice sheet model of the Antarctic ice sheet, called f.ETISh (fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model) to simulate ice sheet response to abrupt perturbations in ocean and atmospheric temperature. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid (SSA/SIA) ice sheet model including ice shelves. Although vertically integrated, thermomechanical coupling is ensured through a simplified representation of ice sheet thermodynamics based on an analytical solution of the vertical temperature profile, including strain heating and horizontal advection. The marine boundary is represented by a flux condition either coherent with power-law basal sliding (Pollard & Deconto (2012) based on Schoof (2007)) or according to Coulomb basal friction (Tsai et al., 2015), both taking into account ice-shelf buttressing. Model initialization is based on optimization of the basal friction field. Besides the traditional MISMIP tests, new tests with respect to MISI in plan-view models have been devised. The model is forced with stepwise ocean and atmosphere temperature perturbations. The former is based on a parametrised sub-shelf melt (limited to ice shelves), while the latter is based on present-day mass balance/surface temperature and corrected for elevation changes. Surface melting is introduced using a PDD model. Results show a general linear response in mass loss to ocean warming. Nonlinear response due to MISI occurs under specific conditions and is highly sensitive to the basal conditions near the grounding line, governed by both the initial conditions and the basal sliding/deformation model. The Coulomb friction model leads to significantly higher

  9. Tropical pacing of Antarctic sea ice increase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D. P.

    2015-12-01

    One reason why coupled climate model simulations generally do not reproduce the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent may be that their internally generated climate variability does not sync with the observed phases of phenomena like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and ENSO. For example, it is unlikely for a free-running coupled model simulation to capture the shift of the PDO from its positive to negative phase during 1998, and the subsequent ~15 year duration of the negative PDO phase. In previously presented work based on atmospheric models forced by observed tropical SSTs and stratospheric ozone, we demonstrated that tropical variability is key to explaining the wind trends over the Southern Ocean during the past ~35 years, particularly in the Ross, Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas, the regions of the largest trends in sea ice extent and ice season duration. Here, we extend this idea to coupled model simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) in which the evolution of SST anomalies in the central and eastern tropical Pacific is constrained to match the observations. This ensemble of 10 "tropical pacemaker" simulations shows a more realistic evolution of Antarctic sea ice anomalies than does its unconstrained counterpart, the CESM Large Ensemble (both sets of runs include stratospheric ozone depletion and other time-dependent radiative forcings). In particular, the pacemaker runs show that increased sea ice in the eastern Ross Sea is associated with a deeper Amundsen Sea Low (ASL) and stronger westerlies over the south Pacific. These circulation patterns in turn are linked with the negative phase of the PDO, characterized by negative SST anomalies in the central and eastern Pacific. The timing of tropical decadal variability with respect to ozone depletion further suggests a strong role for tropical variability in the recent acceleration of the Antarctic sea ice trend, as ozone depletion stabilized by late 1990s, prior to the most

  10. A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R; A, Geruo;

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good...... agreement between different satellite methods--especially in Greenland and West Antarctica--and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -142 ± 49, +14...... ± 43, -65 ± 26, and -20 ± 14 gigatonnes year(-1), respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 ± 0.20 millimeter year(-1) to the rate of global sea-level rise....

  11. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R.; Geruo, A.; Barletta, Valentia R.; Bentley, Mike J.; Bettadpur, Srinivas; Briggs, Kate H.; Bromwich, David H.; Forsberg, Rene; Galin, Natalia; Horwath, Martin; Jacobs, Stan; Joughin, Ian; King, Matt A.; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Li, Jilu; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.; Luckman, Adrian; Luthcke, Scott B.; McMillan, Malcolm; Meister, Rakia; Milne, Glenn; Mouginot, Jeremie; Muir, Alan; Nicolas,Julien P.; Paden, John; Payne, Antony J.; Pritchard, Hamish; Rignot, Eric; Rott, Helmut; Sorensen, Louise Sandberg; Scambos, Ted A.; Yi, Dohngui; Zwally, H. Jay

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods-especially in Greenland and West Antarctica-and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -142 plus or minus 49, +14 plus or minus 43, -65 plus or minus 26, and -20 plus or minus 14 gigatonnes year(sup -1), respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 plus or minus 0.20 millimeter year(sup -1) to the rate of global sea-level rise.

  12. Milankovitch solar rdiation variations and ice age ice sheet sizes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The fluctuations in the size of ice age ice sheets are caclulated using glacier mechanics and the Milankovitch solar radiation variations. The calculations are greatly simplified by considering only two-dimensional ice sheets with profiles that would be appropriate if ice obeyed the flow law of a perfectly plastic solid. The solar radiation variations seem to be large enough to account for ice ages. (author)

  13. Greenland Ice Sheet Retreat Since the Little Ice Age

    OpenAIRE

    Beitch, Marci Jillian

    2014-01-01

    Late 20th century and 21st century satellite imagery of the perimeter of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) provide high resolution observations of the ice sheet margins. Examining changes in ice margin positions over time yield measurements of GrIS area change and rates of margin retreat. However, longer records of ice sheet margin change are needed to establish more accurate predictions of the ice sheet's future response to global conditions. In this study, the trimzone, the area of deglaciated...

  14. A technique for generating consistent ice sheet initial conditions for coupled ice-sheet/climate models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available A new technique for generating ice sheet preindustrial 1850 initial conditions for coupled ice-sheet/climate models is developed and demonstrated over the Greenland Ice Sheet using the Community Earth System Model (CESM. Paleoclimate end-member simulations and ice core data are used to derive continuous surface mass balance fields which are used to force a long transient ice sheet model simulation. The procedure accounts for the evolution of climate through the last glacial period and converges to a simulated preindustrial 1850 ice sheet that is geometrically and thermodynamically consistent with the 1850 preindustrial simulated CESM state, yet contains a transient memory of past climate that compares well to observations and independent model studies. This allows future coupled ice-sheet/climate projections of climate change that include ice sheets to integrate the effect of past climate conditions on the state of the Greenland Ice Sheet, while maintaining system-wide continuity between past and future climate simulations.

  15. Experimental design for three interrelated Marine Ice-Sheet and Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asay-Davis, X. S.; Cornford, S. L.; Durand, G.; Galton-Fenzi, B. K.; Gladstone, R. M.; Gudmundsson, G. H.; Hattermann, T.; Holland, D. M.; Holland, D.; Holland, P. R.; Martin, D. F.; Mathiot, P.; Pattyn, F.; Seroussi, H.

    2015-11-01

    Coupled ice sheet-ocean models capable of simulating moving grounding lines are just becoming available. Such models have a broad range of potential applications in studying the dynamics of marine ice sheets and tidewater glaciers, from process studies to future projections of ice mass loss and sea level rise. The Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP) is a community effort aimed at designing and coordinating a series of model intercomparison projects (MIPs) for model evaluation in idealized setups, model verification based on observations, and future projections for key regions in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Here we describe computational experiments constituting three interrelated MIPs for marine ice sheet models and regional ocean circulation models incorporating ice shelf cavities. These consist of ice sheet experiments under the Marine Ice Sheet MIP third phase (MISMIP+), ocean experiments under the ice shelf-ocean MIP second phase (ISOMIP+) and coupled ice sheet-ocean experiments under the MISOMIP first phase (MISOMIP1). All three MIPs use a shared domain with idealized bedrock topography and forcing, allowing the coupled simulations (MISOMIP1) to be compared directly to the individual component simulations (MISMIP+ and ISOMIP+). The experiments, which have qualitative similarities to Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf and the adjacent region of the Amundsen Sea, are designed to explore the effects of changes in ocean conditions, specifically the temperature at depth, on basal melting and ice dynamics. In future work, differences between model results will form the basis for evaluation of the participating models.

  16. Subglacial hydrology indicates a major shift in dynamics of the West Antarctic Ross Ice Streams within the next two centuries

    OpenAIRE

    Goeller, S.; V. Helm; Thoma, M; Grosfeld, K.

    2015-01-01

    The mass export of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is dominated by fast flowing ice streams. Understanding their dynamics is a key to estimate the future integrity of the WAIS and its contributions to global sea level rise. This study focuses on the Ross Ice Streams (RIS) at the Siple Coast. In this sector, observations reveal a high variability of ice stream pathways and velocities which is assumed to be driven by subglacial hydrology...

  17. Greenland Radar Ice Sheet Thickness Measurements

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Two 150-MHz coherent radar depth sounders were developed and flown over the Greenland ice sheet to obtain ice thickness measurements in support of PARCA...

  18. What Darkens the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    OpenAIRE

    Tedesco, M.; Doherty, S; Warren, S; Tranter, M.; J. Stroeve; Fettweis, Xavier; Alexander, P.

    2015-01-01

    Most of the massive ice sheet that covers roughly four fifths of Greenland melts at the surface in summer. As long as the ice sheet regains its mass in the winter, this is not catastrophic. However, if the ice sheet melted entirely, sea levels would rise by more than 7 meters, with obvious and severe consequences for human civilization. Not surprisingly, scientists are working hard to determine if and when the ice sheet will transition (or if it has already transitioned) from a stable sta...

  19. Spatial-temporal characters of Antarctic sea ice variation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ma Lijuan; Lu Longhua; Bian Lingen

    2004-01-01

    Using sea ice concentration dataset covering the period of 1968-2002 obtained from the Hadley Center of UK, this paper investigates characters of Antarctic sea ice variations .The finding demonstrates that the change of mean sea-ice extent is almost consistent with that of sea-ice area, so sea-ice extent can be chosen to go on this research. The maximum and the minimum of Antarctic sea ice appear in September and February respectively. The maximum and the maximal variation of sea ice appear in Weddell Sea and Ross Sea, while the minimum and the minimal variation of sea-ice appear in Antarctic Peninsula. In recent 35 years, as a whole, Antarctic sea ice decreased distinctly. Moreover, there are 5 subdivision characteristic regions considering their different variations. Hereinto, the sea-ice extent of Weddell Sea and Ross Sea regions extends and area increases, while the sea-ice extent of the other three regions contracts and area decreases. They are all of obvious 2-4 years and 5-7 years significant oscillation periods. It is of significance for further understanding the sea-ice-air interaction in Antarctica region and discussing the relationship between sea-ice variation and atmospheric circulation.

  20. Comparing ice discharge through West Antarctic Gateways: Weddell vs. Amundsen Sea warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Future changes in Antarctic ice discharge will be largely controlled by the fate of the floating ice shelves, which exert a back-stress onto Antarctica's marine outlet glaciers. Ice loss in response to warming of the Amundsen Sea has been observed and investigated as a potential trigger for the marine ice-sheet instability. Recent observations and simulations suggest that the Amundsen Sea Sector might already be unstable which would have strong implications for global sea-level rise. At the same time, regional ocean projections show much stronger warm-water intrusion into ice-shelf cavities in the Weddell Sea compared to the observed Amundsen warming. Here we present results of numerical ice sheet modelling with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM which show that idealized, step-function type ocean warming in the Weddell Sea leads to more immediate ice discharge with a higher sensitivity to small warming levels than the same warming in the Amundsen Sea. This is consistent with the specific combination of bedrock and ice topography in the Weddell Sea Sector which results in an ice sheet close to floatation. In response to even slight ocean warming, ice loss increases rapidly, peaks and declines within one century. While the cumulative ice loss in the Amundsen Sea Sector is of similar magnitude after five centuries of continued warming, ice loss increases at a slower pace and only for significantly higher warming levels. Although there is more marine ice stored above sea level in close vicinity of the grounding line compared to the Weddell Sea Sector, the ice sheet is farther from floatation and the grounding line initially retreats more slowly.

  1. Holocene deceleration of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Colgan, William T; Fahnestock, Mark A; Morlighem, Mathieu; Catania, Ginny A; Paden, John D; Gogineni, S Prasad

    2016-02-01

    Recent peripheral thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet is partly offset by interior thickening and is overprinted on its poorly constrained Holocene evolution. On the basis of the ice sheet's radiostratigraphy, ice flow in its interior is slower now than the average speed over the past nine millennia. Generally higher Holocene accumulation rates relative to modern estimates can only partially explain this millennial-scale deceleration. The ice sheet's dynamic response to the decreasing proportion of softer ice from the last glacial period and the deglacial collapse of the ice bridge across Nares Strait also contributed to this pattern. Thus, recent interior thickening of the Greenland Ice Sheet is partly an ongoing dynamic response to the last deglaciation that is large enough to affect interpretation of its mass balance from altimetry. PMID:26912699

  2. Discussing Progress in Understanding Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herraiz Borreguero, Laura; Mottram, Ruth; Cvijanovic, Ivana

    2010-11-01

    Advanced Climate Dynamics Course 2010: Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions; Lyngen, Norway, 8-19 June 2010; Sea level rise is one of many expected consequences of climate change, with accompanying complex social and economic challenges. Major uncertainties in sea level rise projections relate to the response of ice sheets to sea level rise and the key role that interactions with the ocean may play. Recognizing that probably no comprehensive curriculum currently exists at any single university that covers this novel and interdisciplinary subject, the Advanced Climate Dynamics Courses (ACDC) team brought together a group of 40 international students, postdocs, and lecturers from diverse backgrounds to provide an overview and discussion of state-of-the-art research into ocean-ice sheet interactions and to propose research priorities for the next decade. Among the key issues addressed were small-scale processes near the Antarctic ice shelves and Greenland outlet glaciers. These are fast changing components in the climate system, often related to large-scale forcings (atmospheric teleconnections and oceanic circulation). Progress in understanding and modeling is hampered by the range of scales involved, the lack of observations, and the difficulties in constraining, initializing, and providing adequate boundary conditions for ice sheet and ocean models.

  3. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Ivins, E. R.

    2015-12-01

    for the second phase of IMBIE, including the project organisation, the work programme and schedule, the main science goals, and its current status, and reviews the recent and historical contributions that the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have made to global sea level rise.

  4. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The boundary of grounded ice and the location of ice transitioning to a freely floating state are mapped at 15-m resolution around the entire continent of Antarctica. These data products are produced by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74% of it abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19% is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7% of the boundary are land terminations with bare rock. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models: two created from the input ICESat laser altimetry and Landsat data, two from stereo satellite imagery, and two from compilations of primarily radar altimetry. Elevation selection and an assignment of confidence in the elevation value are based on agreement with ICESat elevation values and shape of the surface inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the freely-floating boundary (called the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line from the grounding line only weakly matches a prediction based on beam theory. Airborne data are used to validate the technique of grounding line mapping, elevation selection and ice thickness derivation. The mapped products along with the customized software to generate them and a variety of intermediate products are available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

  5. Balance velocities of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joughin, I.; Fahnestock, M.; Ekholm, Simon;

    1997-01-01

    We present a map of balance velocities for the Greenland ice sheet. The resolution of the underlying DEM, which was derived primarily from radar altimetery data, yields far greater detail than earlier balance velocity estimates for Greenland. The velocity contours reveal in striking detail......, the balance map is useful for ice-sheet modelling, mass balance studies, and field planning....

  6. A Comparative Study of Antarctic Arctic and Himalayan Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. C. Pathak

    1989-07-01

    Full Text Available Arctic, Antarctic and inaccessible lofty regions of Himalayas,which are geographically diverse areas and have been a constant source of inspiration, envisages a challenging field of study 'by early adventurers and scientists of the world. Characteristics of ice obtained at Arctic and Antarctic do not possess similar properties. Even thesalient properties of snow and ice of western and central Himalayas vary due to its differing free water content. A study has been carriedout based on recent Antarctic Expedition by Indian scientists and the data gathered along litha-tectonic regions of Himalayas and their characteristics have been compared, wkich brings out stratigraphic and metamorphic characteristics of the ice and snow. In the present paper,an analysis of the ice and snow properties of Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan regions has been presented.

  7. Testing of SIR (a transformable robotic submarine) in Lake Tahoe for future deployment at West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding lines of Siple Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. D.; Scherer, R. P.; Griffiths, I.; Taylor, L.; Winans, J.; Mankoff, K. D.

    2011-12-01

    A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has been custom-designed and built by DOER Marine to meet scientific requirements for exploring subglacial water cavities. This sub-ice rover (SIR) will explore and quantitatively document the grounding zone areas of the Ross Ice Shelf cavity using a 3km-long umbilical tether by deployment through an 800m-long ice borehole in a torpedo shape, which is also its default mode if operational failure occurs. Once in the ocean cavity it transforms via a diamond-shaped geometry into a rectangular form when all of its instruments come alive in its flight mode. Instrumentation includes 4 cameras (one forward-looking HD), a vertical scanning sonar (long-range imaging for spatial orientation and navigation), Doppler current meter (determine water current velocities), multi-beam sonar (image and swath map bottom topography), sub-bottom profiler (profile sub-sea-floor sediment for geological history), CTD (determine salinity, temperature and depth), DO meter (determine dissolved oxygen content in water), transmissometer (determine suspended particulate concentrations in water), laser particle-size analyzer (determine sizes of particles in water), triple laser-beams (determine size and volume of objects), thermistor probe (measure in situ temperatures of ice and sediment), shear vane probe (determine in situ strength of sediment), manipulator arm (deploy instrumentation packages, collect samples), shallow ice corer (collect ice samples and glacial debris), water sampler (determine sea water/freshwater composition, calibrate real-time sensors, sample microbes), shallow sediment corer (sample sea floor, in-ice and subglacial sediment for stratigraphy, facies, particle size, composition, structure, fabric, microbes). A sophisticated array of data handling, storing and displaying will allow real-time observations and environmental assessments to be made. This robotic submarine and other instruments will be tested in Lake Tahoe in September, 2011 and

  8. Deep Radiostratigraphy of the East Antarctic Plateau: Connecting the Dome C and Vostok Ice Core Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavitte, Marie G. P.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Parrenin, Frederic; Lemeur, Emmanuel; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Siegert, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Several airborne radar-sounding surveys are used to trace internal reflections around the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C and Vostok ice core sites. Thirteen reflections, spanning the last two glacial cycles, are traced within 200 km of Dome C, a promising region for million-year-old ice, using the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics High-Capacity Radar Sounder. This provides a dated stratigraphy to 2318 m depth at Dome C. Reflection age uncertainties are calculated from the radar range precision and signal-to-noise ratio of the internal reflections. The radar stratigraphy matches well with the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) radar stratigraphy obtained independently. We show that radar sounding enables the extension of ice core ages through the ice sheet with an additional radar-related age uncertainty of approximately 1/3-1/2 that of the ice cores. Reflections are extended along the Byrd-Totten Glacier divide, using University of Texas/Technical University of Denmark and MCoRDS surveys. However, core-to-core connection is impeded by pervasive aeolian terranes, and Lake Vostok's influence on reflection geometry. Poor radar connection of the two ice cores is attributed to these effects and suboptimal survey design in affected areas. We demonstrate that, while ice sheet internal radar reflections are generally isochronal and can be mapped over large distances, careful survey planning is necessary to extend ice core chronologies to distant regions of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  9. Impact of ice sheet meltwater fluxes on the climate evolution at the onset of the Last Interglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goelzer, Heiko; Huybrechts, Philippe; Loutre, Marie-France; Fichefet, Thierry

    2016-08-01

    Large climate perturbations occurred during the transition between the penultimate glacial period and the Last Interglacial (Termination II), when the ice sheets retreated from their glacial configuration. Here we investigate the impact of ice sheet changes and associated freshwater fluxes on the climate evolution at the onset of the Last Interglacial. The period from 135 to 120 kyr BP is simulated with the Earth system model of intermediate complexity text">LOVECLIM v.1.3 with prescribed evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland ice sheet, and the other Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Variations in meltwater fluxes from the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets lead to North Atlantic temperature changes and modifications of the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. By means of the interhemispheric see-saw effect, variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation also give rise to temperature changes in the Southern Hemisphere, which are additionally modulated by the direct impact of Antarctic meltwater fluxes into the Southern Ocean. Freshwater fluxes from the melting Antarctic ice sheet lead to a millennial timescale oceanic cold event in the Southern Ocean with expanded sea ice as evidenced in some ocean sediment cores, which may be used to constrain the timing of ice sheet retreat.

  10. Impact of ice sheet meltwater fluxes on the climate evolution at the onset of the Last Interglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goelzer, Heiko; Huybrechts, Philippe; Loutre, Marie-France; Fichefet, Thierry

    2016-08-01

    Large climate perturbations occurred during the transition between the penultimate glacial period and the Last Interglacial (Termination II), when the ice sheets retreated from their glacial configuration. Here we investigate the impact of ice sheet changes and associated freshwater fluxes on the climate evolution at the onset of the Last Interglacial. The period from 135 to 120 kyr BP is simulated with the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM v.1.3 with prescribed evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland ice sheet, and the other Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Variations in meltwater fluxes from the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets lead to North Atlantic temperature changes and modifications of the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. By means of the interhemispheric see-saw effect, variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation also give rise to temperature changes in the Southern Hemisphere, which are additionally modulated by the direct impact of Antarctic meltwater fluxes into the Southern Ocean. Freshwater fluxes from the melting Antarctic ice sheet lead to a millennial timescale oceanic cold event in the Southern Ocean with expanded sea ice as evidenced in some ocean sediment cores, which may be used to constrain the timing of ice sheet retreat.

  11. Ice sheet topography by satellite altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, R.L.; Campbell, W.J.; Ramseier, R.O.; Stanley, H.R.; Zwally, H.J.

    1978-01-01

    The surface elevation of the southern Greenland ice sheet and surface features of the ice flow are obtained from the radar altimeter on the GEOS 3 satellite. The achieved accuracy in surface elevation is ???2 m. As changes in surface elevation are indicative of changes in ice volume, the mass balance of the present ice sheets could be determined by repetitive mapping of the surface elevation and the surface could be monitored to detect surging or significant changes in ice flow. ?? 1978 Nature Publishing Group.

  12. Past ice-sheet behaviour: retreat scenarios and changing controls in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halberstadt, Anna Ruth W.; Simkins, Lauren M.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Anderson, John B.

    2016-05-01

    Studying the history of ice-sheet behaviour in the Ross Sea, Antarctica's largest drainage basin can improve our understanding of patterns and controls on marine-based ice-sheet dynamics and provide constraints for numerical ice-sheet models. Newly collected high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data, combined with two decades of legacy multibeam and seismic data, are used to map glacial landforms and reconstruct palaeo ice-sheet drainage. During the Last Glacial Maximum, grounded ice reached the continental shelf edge in the eastern but not western Ross Sea. Recessional geomorphic features in the western Ross Sea indicate virtually continuous back-stepping of the ice-sheet grounding line. In the eastern Ross Sea, well-preserved linear features and a lack of small-scale recessional landforms signify rapid lift-off of grounded ice from the bed. Physiography exerted a first-order control on regional ice behaviour, while sea floor geology played an important subsidiary role. Previously published deglacial scenarios for Ross Sea are based on low-spatial-resolution marine data or terrestrial observations; however, this study uses high-resolution basin-wide geomorphology to constrain grounding-line retreat on the continental shelf. Our analysis of retreat patterns suggests that (1) retreat from the western Ross Sea was complex due to strong physiographic controls on ice-sheet drainage; (2) retreat was asynchronous across the Ross Sea and between troughs; (3) the eastern Ross Sea largely deglaciated prior to the western Ross Sea following the formation of a large grounding-line embayment over Whales Deep; and (4) our glacial geomorphic reconstruction converges with recent numerical models that call for significant and complex East Antarctic ice sheet and West Antarctic ice sheet contributions to the ice flow in the Ross Sea.

  13. Analogue modelling of the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice sheets grounded below sea-level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corti, Giacomo; Zeoli, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The sudden breakup of ice shelves is expected to result in significant acceleration of inland glaciers, a process related to the removal of the buttressing effect exerted by the ice shelf on the tributary glaciers. This effect has been tested in previous analogue models, which however applied to ice sheets grounded above sea level (e.g., East Antarctic Ice Sheet; Antarctic Peninsula and the Larsen Ice Shelf). In this work we expand these previous results by performing small-scale laboratory models that analyse the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice streams draining an ice sheet grounded below sea level (e.g., the West Antarctic Ice Sheet). The analogue models, with dimensions (width, length, thickness) of 120x70x1.5cm were performed at the Tectonic Modelling Laboratory of CNR-IGG of Florence, Italy, by using Polydimethilsyloxane (PDMS) as analogue for the flowing ice. This transparent, Newtonian silicone has been shown to well approximate the rheology of natural ice. The silicone was allowed to flow into a water reservoir simulating natural conditions in which ice streams flow into the sea, terminating in extensive ice shelves which act as a buttress for their glaciers and slow their flow. The geometric scaling ratio was 10(-5), such that 1cm in the models simulated 1km in nature; velocity of PDMS (a few mm per hour) simulated natural velocities of 100-1000 m/year. Instability of glacier flow was induced by manually removing a basal silicone platform (floating on water) exerting backstresses to the flowing analogue glacier: the simple set-up adopted in the experiments isolates the effect of the removal of the buttressing effect that the floating platform exerts on the flowing glaciers, thus offering insights into the influence of this parameter on the flow perturbations resulting from a collapse event. The experimental results showed a significant increase in glacier velocity close to its outlet following ice shelf breakup, a process similar to what

  14. Geophysical constraints on the dynamics and retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet as a paleobenchmark for models of marine ice sheet deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Andreassen, Karin; Bjarnadóttir, Lilja R.; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Winsborrow, Monica C. M.; Noormets, Riko; Polyak, Leonid; Auriac, Amandine; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-12-01

    Our understanding of processes relating to the retreat of marine-based ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and tidewater-terminating glaciers in Greenland today, is still limited. In particular, the role of ice stream instabilities and oceanographic dynamics in driving their collapse are poorly constrained beyond observational timescales. Over numerous glaciations during the Quaternary, a marine-based ice sheet has waxed and waned over the Barents Sea continental shelf, characterized by a number of ice streams that extended to the shelf edge and subsequently collapsed during periods of climate and ocean warming. Increasing availability of offshore and onshore geophysical data over the last decade has significantly enhanced our knowledge of the pattern and timing of retreat of this Barents Sea ice sheet (BSIS), particularly so from its Late Weichselian maximum extent. We present a review of existing geophysical constraints that detail the dynamic evolution of the BSIS through the last glacial cycle, providing numerical modelers and geophysical workers with a benchmark data set with which to tune ice sheet reconstructions and explore ice sheet sensitivities and drivers of dynamic behavior. Although constraining data are generally spatially sporadic across the Barents and Kara Seas, behaviors such as ice sheet thinning, major ice divide migration, asynchronous and rapid flow switching, and ice stream collapses are all evident. Further investigation into the drivers and mechanisms of such dynamics within this unique paleo-analogue is seen as a key priority for advancing our understanding of marine-based ice sheet deglaciations, both in the deep past and in the short-term future.

  15. New eyes in the sky measure glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, Hugh; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Barry, Roger G.; Bindschadler, Robert; Bishop, Michael P.; MacKinnon, David; Ohmura, Atsumu; Raup, Bruce; Antoninetti, Massimo; Bamber, Jonathan; Braun, Mattias; Brown, Ian; Cohen, Denis; Copland, Luke; DueHagen, Jon; Engeset, Rune V.; Fitzharris, Blair; Fujita, Koji; Haeberli, Wilfried; Hagen, Jon Oue; Hall, Dorothy; Hoelzle, Martin; Johansson, Maria; Kaab, Andi; Koenig, Max; Konovalov, Vladimir; Maisch, Max; Paul, Frank; Rau, Frank; Reeh, Niels; Rignot, Eric; Rivera, Andres; De Ruyter de Wildt, Martiyn; Scambos, Ted; Schaper, Jesko; Scharfen, Greg; Shroder, Jack; Solomina, Olga; Thompson, David; van der Veen, Kees; Wohlleben, Trudy; Young, Neal

    2000-01-01

    The mapping and measurement of glaciers and their changes are useful in predicting sea-level and regional water supply, studying hazards and climate change [Haeberli et al., 1998],and in the hydropower industry Existing inventories cover only about 67,000 of the world's estimated 160,000 glaciers and are based on data collected over 50 years or more [e.g.,Haeberli et al., 1998]. The data available have proven that small ice bodies are disappearing at an accelerating rate and that the Antarctic ice sheet and its fringing ice shelves are undergoing unexpected, rapid change. According to many glaciologists, much larger fluctuations in land ice—with vast implications for society—are possible in the coming decades and centuries due to natural and anthropogenic climate change [Oppenheimer, 1998].

  16. MAGIC-DML: Mapping/Measuring/Modeling Antarctic Geomorphology & Ice Change in Dronning Maud Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, Irina; Bernales, Jorge; Newall, Jennifer; Stroeven, Arjen; Harbor, Jonathan; Glasser, Neil; Fredin, Ola; Fabel, Derek; Hättestrand, Class; Lifton, Nat

    2016-04-01

    Reconstructing and predicting the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change is one of the major challenges facing the Earth Science community. There are critical gaps in our knowledge of past changes in ice elevation and extent in many regions of East Antarctica, including a large area of Dronning Maud Land. An international Swedish-UK-US-Norwegian-German project MAGIC-DML aims to reconstruct the timing and pattern of ice surface elevation (thus ice sheet volume) fluctuations since the mid-Pliocene warm period on the Dronning Maud Land margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. A combination of remotely sensed geomorphological mapping, field investigations, surface exposure dating and numerical modelling are being used in an iterative manner to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of the glacial history of Dronning Maud Land. Here we present the results from the first phase of this project, which involves high-resolution numerical simulations of the past glacial geometries and mapping of the field area using historic and recent aerial imagery together with a range of satellite acquired data.

  17. Geophysical constraints on the dynamics and retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet as a palaeobenchmark for models of marine icesheet deglaciation

    OpenAIRE

    Patton, Henry; Andreassen, Karin; Bjarnadóttir, Lilja Rún; Dowdeswell, J.A.; Winsborrow, Monica; Noormets, Riko; Polyak, Leonid; Auriac, A.; Hubbard, Alun Lloyd

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of processes relating to the retreat of marine-based ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and tidewater-terminating glaciers in Greenland today, is still limited. In particular, the role of ice-stream instabilities and oceanographic dynamics in driving their collapse are poorly constrained beyond observational timescales. Over numerous glaciations during the Quaternary, a marine-based ice sheet has waxed and waned over the Barents Sea continental s...

  18. INVESTIGATION ON MASS CHANGE OF ICE SHEET IN ANTARCTIC FROM GRACE TIME-VARIABLE GRAVITY DATA%基于GRACE时变重力场反演南极冰盖质量变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李军海; 刘焕玲; 文汉江; 朱广彬; 方爱平

    2011-01-01

    利用UTCSR发布的GRACE Level-2 RL04版本2003-01-2008-08月的重力场模型估计南极冰盖质量变化.由于GRACE提供的C20项不准确,利用SLR测得的C20项进行替换.对于经度方向上出现的条纹状信号,采用去相关滤波处理.选择去掉其中某一个月的位模型重新反演南极冰盖质量变化,发现相同区域的质量变化率并没有发生很大的变化.联合得到的位模型、滤波技术以及ICE-5G冰后回弹模型观测到的西南极Amundsen地区和南极半岛的冰盖质量消融现象,其等效水高变化分别为-5.28±0.95 cm/a、-1.82±0.77 cm/a;而Ronne冰架以及东部Enderby地区冰盖质量在增加,分别为1.42±0.69cm/a、1.43±0.72 cm/a.与已有研究结果比较发现:西南极冰盖质量在加速融化,而Ronne冰架以及东部Enderby地区冰盖等效水高变化率没有发生大的变化.%The rates of Antarctic ice mass change have been estimated by use of the gravity solutions from GRACE level-2 RL04 for the period of January 2003 to August 2008 released by UTCSR. Because C20 of GRACE is not accurate enough, C20 from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) is adopted instead. The decorrelation filter technique is used for the stripe shape signal presenting in the longitude direction. Antarctic ice mass change rates are investigated again when the gravity in some one month has been chosen to get rid of, and the results are that the rates of Antarctic ice mass do not change a lot in the same area. Gravity model, filtering technique and ICE-5G postglacial rebound model are combined to observe the ice loss in the west Amundsen Sea Embayment and the northern Antarctic Peninsula, the rates are -5.28 ±0.95 cm/a and -1.82 ±0.77cm/a respectively. Whereas ice mass rates in Southern Ronne Ice Shelf and Enderby land in east Antarctic are positive, and the rates are 1.42 ± 0.69 cm/a and 1.43 ± 0.72 cm/a respectively. Compared with the existing research results, the mass in the west Amundsen Sea

  19. Definition of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Variation Index

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Hongxia; Liu Na; Pan Zengdi; Zhang Qinghua

    2004-01-01

    It is well known that varying of the sea ice not only in the Antarctic but also in the Arctic has an active influence on the globe atmosphere and ocean. In order to understand the sea ice variation in detail, for the first time, an objective index of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice variation is defined by projecting the monthly sea ice concentration anomalies poleward of 20°N or 20°S onto the EOF (empirical orthogonal function)-1 spatial pattern. Comparing with some work in former studies of polar sea ice, the index has the potential for clarifying the variability of sea ice in northern and southern high latitudes.

  20. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Changes and Impacts (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

    The extent of springtime Arctic perennial sea ice, important to preconditioning summer melt and to polar sunrise photochemistry, continues its precipitous reduction in the last decade marked by a record low in 2012, as the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) was conducted around Barrow, Alaska, to investigate impacts of sea ice reduction on photochemical processes, transport, and distribution in the polar environment. In spring 2013, there was further loss of perennial sea ice, as it was not observed in the ocean region adjacent to the Alaskan north coast, where there was a stretch of perennial sea ice in 2012 in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. In contrast to the rapid and extensive loss of sea ice in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has a trend of a slight increase in the past three decades. Given the significant variability in time and in space together with uncertainties in satellite observations, the increasing trend of Antarctic sea ice may arguably be considered as having a low confidence level; however, there was no overall reduction of Antarctic sea ice extent anywhere close to the decreasing rate of Arctic sea ice. There exist publications presenting various factors driving changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. After a short review of these published factors, new observations and atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological, and geological mechanisms contributed to different behaviors of sea ice changes in the Arctic and Antarctic are presented. The contribution from of hydrologic factors may provide a linkage to and enhance thermal impacts from lower latitudes. While geological factors may affect the sensitivity of sea ice response to climate change, these factors can serve as the long-term memory in the system that should be exploited to improve future projections or predictions of sea ice changes. Furthermore, similarities and differences in chemical impacts of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice changes are discussed. Understanding sea ice changes and

  1. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tricht, K; Lhermitte, S; Lenaerts, J T M; Gorodetskaya, I V; L'Ecuyer, T S; Noël, B; van den Broeke, M R; Turner, D D; van Lipzig, N P M

    2016-01-12

    The Greenland ice sheet has become one of the main contributors to global sea level rise, predominantly through increased meltwater runoff. The main drivers of Greenland ice sheet runoff, however, remain poorly understood. Here we show that clouds enhance meltwater runoff by about one-third relative to clear skies, using a unique combination of active satellite observations, climate model data and snow model simulations. This impact results from a cloud radiative effect of 29.5 (±5.2) W m(-2). Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, the Greenland ice sheet responds to this energy through a new pathway by which clouds reduce meltwater refreezing as opposed to increasing surface melt directly, thereby accelerating bare-ice exposure and enhancing meltwater runoff. The high sensitivity of the Greenland ice sheet to both ice-only and liquid-bearing clouds highlights the need for accurate cloud representations in climate models, to better predict future contributions of the Greenland ice sheet to global sea level rise.

  2. Antarctic ice-rafted detritus (IRD) in the South Atlantic: Indicators of iceshelf dynamics or ocean surface conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Simon H.H.; Hodell, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Ocean sediment core TN057-13PC4/ODP1094, from the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, contains elevated lithogenic material in sections representing the last glacial period compared to the Holocene. This ice-rafted detritus is mainly comprised of volcanic glass and ash, but has a significant input of what was previously interpreted as quartz during peak intervals (Kanfoush et al., 2000, 2002). Our analysis of these clear mineral grains indicates that most are plagioclase, and that South Sandwich Islands is the predominant source, similar to that inferred for the volcanic glass (Nielsen et al., in review). In addition, quartz and feldspar with possible Antarctic origin occur in conjunction with postulated episodes of Antarctic deglaciation. We conclude that while sea ice was the dominant ice rafting agent in the Polar Frontal Zone of the South Atlantic during the last glacial period, the Holocene IRD variability may reflect Antarctic ice sheet dynamics.

  3. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Aschwanden, Andy; Bjørk, Anders A.;

    2015-01-01

    Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance...

  4. A multivariate analysis of Antarctic sea ice since 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magalhaes Neto, Newton de; Evangelista, Heitor [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Tanizaki-Fonseca, Kenny [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Dept. Analise Geoambiental, Inst. de Geociencias, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Penello Meirelles, Margareth Simoes [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)/Geomatica, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Garcia, Carlos Eiras [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Laboratorio de Oceanografia Fisica, Rio Grande, RS (Brazil)

    2012-03-15

    Recent satellite observations have shown an increase in the total extent of Antarctic sea ice, during periods when the atmosphere and oceans tend to be warmer surrounding a significant part of the continent. Despite an increase in total sea ice, regional analyses depict negative trends in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea and positive trends in the Ross Sea. Although several climate parameters are believed to drive the formation of Antarctic sea ice and the local atmosphere, a descriptive mechanism that could trigger such differences in trends are still unknown. In this study we employed a multivariate analysis in order to identify the response of the Antarctic sea ice with respect to commonly utilized climate forcings/parameters, as follows: (1) The global air surface temperature, (2) The global sea surface temperature, (3) The atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, (4) The South Annular Mode, (5) The Nino 3, (6) The Nino (3 + 4, 7) The Nino 4, (8) The Southern Oscillation Index, (9) The Multivariate ENSO Index, (10) the Total Solar Irradiance, (11) The maximum O{sub 3} depletion area, and (12) The minimum O{sub 3} concentration over Antarctica. Our results indicate that western Antarctic sea ice is simultaneously impacted by several parameters; and that the minimum, mean, and maximum sea ice extent may respond to a separate set of climatic/geochemical parameters. (orig.)

  5. Models for polythermal ice sheets and glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Ian; Schoof, Christian

    2016-04-01

    The dynamics of ice-sheets and glaciers depend sensitively on their thermal structure. Many ice masses are polythermal, containing both cold ice, with temperature below the melting point, and temperate ice, with temperature at the melting point. The temperate ice is really an ice-water mixture, with water produced at grain boundaries by dissipative heating. Although the water content is typically small, it can have an important effect on ice dynamics; water content controls ice viscosity, and internal meltwater percolation affects hydrology. Locations where this may be important are in the enhanced shear layer at the base of fast-flowing outlet glaciers, and in the shear margins of ice streams. In this study, we present a simplified model to describe the temperature and water-content of polythermal ice masses, accounting for the possibility of gravity- and pressure-driven water drainage according to Darcy's law. The model is based on the principle of energy conservation and the theory of viscous compaction. Numerical solutions are described and a number of illustrative test problems presented. The model is compared with existing methods in the literature, including enthalpy gradient methods, to which it reduces under certain conditions. Based on the results of our analysis, we suggest a modified enthalpy method that allows for drainage under gravity but that can be relatively easily implemented in ice-sheet models.

  6. Mapping and Assessing Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone, the Pack Ice and Coastal Polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne; Jenouvrier, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore mapping their spatial extent, seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biological active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of different ice types to the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent data record for assessing different ice types. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depends strongly on what sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Polynya area is also larger in the NASA Team algorithm, and the timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These differences lead to different relationships between sea ice characteristics and biological processes, as illustrated here with the breeding success of an Antarctic seabird.

  7. Ice sheet anisotropy measured with polarimetric ice sounding radar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    For polar ice sheets, valuable stress and strain information can be deduced from crystal orientation fabrics (COF) and their prevailing c-axis alignment. Polarimetric radio echo sounding is a promising technique to measure the anisotropic electromagnetic propagation and reflection properties...... associated with COFs. In this paper, fully polarimetric P-band data acquired with the airborne POLARIS system near the ice divide of the Greenland ice sheet are analyzed. Based on a simple electromagnetic model, these data are interpreted, and a pronounced birefringence is found....

  8. Measurements of 36Cl in Antarctic meteorites and Antarctic ice using a Van de Graaff accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosmic-ray produced 36Cl(tsub(1/2) = 3.0 X 105 years) has been measured in four Antarctic meteorites and one sample of Antarctic ice using a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator as an ultrasensitive mass spectrometer with the extremely low background level of 36Cl/Cl -16. Results from this ion counting technique (applied here to extraterrestrial materials for the first time) are used to support a two-stage irradiation model for the Yamato-7301and Allan Hills-76008 meteorites and to show a long terrestrial age (0.7 +- 0.1 m.y.) for Allan Hills-77002. Yamato-7304 has a terrestrial age of less than 0.1 m.y. The 36Cl content of the Antarctic ice sample from the Yamato Mountain area implies that the age of the ice cap at this site is less than one 36Cl half-life. (Auth.)

  9. Full-depth englacial vertical ice-sheet velocities measured using phase-sensitive radar

    OpenAIRE

    Kingslake, Jonathan; Hindmarsh, Richard C.A.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna; Conway, Howard; Corr, Hugh F.J.; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Martin, Carlos; King, Edward C.; Mulvaney, Robert; Pritchard, Hamish D.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a geophysical technique to measure englacial vertical velocities through to the beds of ice sheets without the need for borehole drilling. Using a ground-based phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (pRES) during seven Antarctic field seasons, we measure the temporal changes in the position of englacial reflectors within ice divides up to 900 m thick on Berkner Island, Roosevelt Island, Fletcher Promontory and Adelaide Island. Recorded changes in reflector positions yield 'full-depth'...

  10. Regional Changes in the Sea Ice Cover and Ice Production in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal polynyas around the Antarctic continent have been regarded as sea ice factories because of high ice production rates in these regions. The observation of a positive trend in the extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite era has been intriguing in light of the observed rapid decline of the ice extent in the Arctic. The results of analysis of the time series of passive microwave data indicate large regional variability with the trends being strongly positive in the Ross Sea, strongly negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas and close to zero in the other regions. The atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is controlled mainly by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the marginal ice zone around the continent shows an alternating pattern of advance and retreat suggesting the presence of a propagating wave (called Antarctic Circumpolar Wave) around the circumpolar region. The results of analysis of the passive microwave data suggest that the positive trend in the Antarctic sea ice cover could be caused primarily by enhanced ice production in the Ross Sea that may be associated with more persistent and larger coastal polynyas in the region. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate-of-increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 per year. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3/year, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. In addition to the possibility of changes in SAM, modeling studies have also indicated that the ozone hole may have a role in that it causes the deepening of the lows in the western Antarctic region thereby causing strong winds to occur offthe Ross-ice shelf.

  11. Geophysical evidence of a Large Igneous Province (LIP) in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), and its potential influence on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, J. C.

    2010-12-01

    The WAIS flows through the volcanically active WARS. The inland rift shoulder ranges from 4-5 km elevation, (5-7 km relief, the greatest in the world); it is coincident with the Transantarctic Mountains from northern Victoria land bordering the Ross Sea, south along the west and south side of the Ross Ice Shelf to the Horlick Mountains. It forms the boundary between East and West Antarctica in this area, but diverges to the Ellsworth Mountains and forms the inland boundary of the WAIS and WARS there. Throughout the WARS shoulder to the Horlick Mountains, exposures of mostly late Cenozoic alkaline volcanic rocks are reported, as is the case in the coastal Marie Byrd Land area on the Southern Ocean aide of the WARS. The Transantarctic Mountains, continue at a much lower elevation (2000-750 m) to form the boundary between East and West Antarctica in the Filchner Ice Shelf area. Aeromagnetic and radar ice-sounding surveys over the WAIS indicated numerous high-amplitude (100->1000 nT),5-50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over a very extensive area (>500,000 km2 ) that has been interpreted as evidence of mostly subglacial volcanic eruptions (“volcanic centers”). Behrendt et al, (2005, 2008) interpreted these anomalies as >1000 "volcanic centers" requiring high remanent normal (and at least 10% reversed) magnetizations in the present field direction. These data were interpreted to show that >80% of the anomaly sources at the bed of the WAIS, were modified by the moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (~25 Ma). Several active volcanoes have shown evidence of eruption through the WAIS and several other active volcanoes are present beneath the WAIS. Although exposed volcanoes surrounding the WAIS extend in age to ~34 Ma., Mt Erebus (Takahe (1000 volcanic, magnetic-anomaly sources are active today, subglacial volcanism may still have a significant effect on the dynamics of the WAIS. Active subglacial volcanism was interpreted from aerogeophysical

  12. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, J.;

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change...... estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and thus have a significant impact on the estimate of the volume...... change. Our results show that adding Airborne Topographic Mapper and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor data to the ICESat data increases the catchment-wide estimate of ice volume loss by 11%, mainly due to an improved volume loss estimate along the ice sheet margin. Furthermore, our results show...

  13. Continental Ice Sheets and the Planetary Radiation Budget

    OpenAIRE

    Oerlemans, J.

    1980-01-01

    The interaction between continental ice sheets and the planetary radiation budget is potentially important in climate-sensitivity studies. A simple ice-sheet model incorporated in an energybalance climate model provides a tool for studying this interaction in a quantitative way. Experiments in which the ice-sheet model is coupled step by step to the climate model show that ice sheets hardly affect the zonal mean radiation balance because the albedo feedback due to sea ice and snow cover is do...

  14. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by changes in insolation and ENSO variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Etourneau, J.; Collins, L.G.; Willmott, V.; Barbara, L.; Leventer, A.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Bianchini, A.; Klein, V.; Crosta, X.; Massé, G.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes

  15. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    compaction on ice sheet scales. The modeling objectives are multiple and aim at estimating the contribution from the firn to the observed volume change of the GrIS and to the diffusion of stable water isotopes. The firn modeling then provides crucial information on total mass balance of the Gr...... to the applied forcing, despite different initial states. Together, the firn and ice-sheet modeling studies suggest that the GrIS is not in balance with the present climate, and further mass loss should be expected.......Firn is defined as snow that has survived a melt season and provides the link between the high-frequency variability of the atmosphere to the ”slower” reacting ice sheet.In this thesis, firn is described by a theoretical and statistical approach to accommodate the variability in observed firn...

  16. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, John; Korsgaard, Niels J.; KjæR, Kurt H.; BjøRk, Anders A.; Hurkmans, Ruud; Broeke, Michiel R.; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Angelen, Jan H.

    2013-02-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003-2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and thus have a significant impact on the estimate of the volume change. Our results show that adding Airborne Topographic Mapper and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor data to the ICESat data increases the catchment-wide estimate of ice volume loss by 11%, mainly due to an improved volume loss estimate along the ice sheet margin. Furthermore, our results show a significant acceleration in mass loss at elevations above 1200 m. Both the improved mass loss estimate along the ice sheet margin and the acceleration at higher elevations have implications for predictions of the elastic adjustment of the lithosphere caused by present-day ice mass changes. Our study shows that the use of ICESat data alone to predict elastic uplift rates biases the predicted rates by several millimeters per year at GPS locations along the northwestern coast.

  17. A numerical study of cyclic behaviour of polar ice sheets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1983-01-01

    Possible cyclic behaviour of polar ice sheets is studied with a numerical ice-flow model. The model includes a calculation of bedrock adjustment and temperature field in the ice sheet. Basal water is traced and affects ice-mass discharge. Relaxation oscillations occur only for low ice-accumulation r

  18. Ice sheet systems and sea level change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E. J.

    2015-12-01

    Modern views of ice sheets provided by satellites, airborne surveys, in situ data and paleoclimate records while transformative of glaciology have not fundamentally changed concerns about ice sheet stability and collapse that emerged in the 1970's. Motivated by the desire to learn more about ice sheets using new technologies, we stumbled on an unexplored field of science and witnessed surprising changes before realizing that most were coming too fast, soon and large. Ice sheets are integrant part of the Earth system; they interact vigorously with the atmosphere and the oceans, yet most of this interaction is not part of current global climate models. Since we have never witnessed the collapse of a marine ice sheet, observations and exploration remain critical sentinels. At present, these observations suggest that Antarctica and Greenland have been launched into a path of multi-meter sea level rise caused by rapid climate warming. While the current loss of ice sheet mass to the ocean remains a trickle, every mm of sea level change will take centuries of climate reversal to get back, several major marine-terminating sectors have been pushed out of equilibrium, and ice shelves are irremediably being lost. As glaciers retreat from their salty, warm, oceanic margins, they will melt away and retreat slower, but concerns remain about sea level change from vastly marine-based sectors: 2-m sea level equivalent in Greenland and 23-m in Antarctica. Significant changes affect 2/4 marine-based sectors in Greenland - Jakobshavn Isb. and the northeast stream - with Petermann Gl. not far behind. Major changes have affected the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica since the 1980s. Smaller yet significant changes affect the marine-based Wilkes Land sector of East Antarctica, a reminder that not all marine-based ice is in West Antarctica. Major advances in reducing uncertainties in sea level projections will require massive, interdisciplinary efforts that are not currently in place

  19. Numerical simulations of the Cordilleran ice sheet through the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguinot, Julien; Rogozhina, Irina; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Margold, Martin; Kleman, Johan

    2016-03-01

    After more than a century of geological research, the Cordilleran ice sheet of North America remains among the least understood in terms of its former extent, volume, and dynamics. Because of the mountainous topography on which the ice sheet formed, geological studies have often had only local or regional relevance and shown such a complexity that ice-sheet-wide spatial reconstructions of advance and retreat patterns are lacking. Here we use a numerical ice sheet model calibrated against field-based evidence to attempt a quantitative reconstruction of the Cordilleran ice sheet history through the last glacial cycle. A series of simulations is driven by time-dependent temperature offsets from six proxy records located around the globe. Although this approach reveals large variations in model response to evolving climate forcing, all simulations produce two major glaciations during marine oxygen isotope stages 4 (62.2-56.9 ka) and 2 (23.2-16.9 ka). The timing of glaciation is better reproduced using temperature reconstructions from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores than from regional oceanic sediment cores. During most of the last glacial cycle, the modelled ice cover is discontinuous and restricted to high mountain areas. However, widespread precipitation over the Skeena Mountains favours the persistence of a central ice dome throughout the glacial cycle. It acts as a nucleation centre before the Last Glacial Maximum and hosts the last remains of Cordilleran ice until the middle Holocene (6.7 ka).

  20. Iron biogeochemistry in Antarctic pack ice during SIPEX-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannuzel, Delphine; Chever, Fanny; van der Merwe, Pier C.; Janssens, Julie; Roukaerts, Arnout; Cavagna, Anne-Julie; Townsend, Ashley T.; Bowie, Andrew R.; Meiners, Klaus M.

    2016-09-01

    Our study quantified the spatial and temporal distribution of Fe and ancillary biogeochemical parameters at six stations visited during an interdisciplinary Australian Antarctic marine science voyage (SIPEX-2) within the East Antarctic first-year pack ice zone during September-October 2012. Unlike previous studies in the area, the sea ice Chlorophyll a, Particulate Organic Carbon and Nitrogen (POC and PON) maxima did not occur at the ice/water interface because of the snow loading and dynamic processes under which the sea ice formed. Iron in sea ice ranged from 0.9 to 17.4 nM for the dissolved (0.2 μm) fraction. Our results highlight that the concentration of particulate Fe in sea ice was highest when approaching the continent. The high POC concentration and high particulate iron to aluminium ratio in sea ice samples demonstrate that 71% of the particulate Fe was biogenic in composition. Our estimated Fe flux from melting pack ice to East Antarctic surface waters over a 30 day melting period was 0.2 μmol/m2/d of DFe, 2.7 μmol/m2/d of biogenic PFe and 1.3 μmol/m2/d of lithogenic PFe. These estimates suggest that the fertilization potential of the particulate fraction of Fe may have been previously underestimated due to the assumption that it is primarily lithogenic in composition. Our new measurements and calculated fluxes indicate that a large fraction of the total Fe pool within sea ice may be bioavailable and therefore, effective in promoting primary productivity in the marginal ice zone.

  1. Measuring Ice Sheet Height with ICESat-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, K.; Smith, B.; Neumann, T.; Hancock, D.

    2015-12-01

    ICESat-2 is NASA's next-generation laser altimeter, designed to measure changes in ice sheet height and sea ice freeboard. Over the ice sheets, it will use a continuous repeat-track pointing strategy to ensure that it accurately measures elevation changes along a set of reference tracks. Over most of the area of Earth's ice sheets, ICESat-2 will provide coverage with a track-to-track spacing better than ~3 km. The onboard ATLAS instrument will use a photon-counting approach to provide a global geolocated photon point cloud, which is then converted into surface-specific elevation data sets. In this presentation, we will outline our strategy for taking the low-level photon point cloud and turning it into measurements posted at 20 m along-track for a set of pre-defined reference points by (1) selecting groups of photon events (PEs) around each along-track point, (2) refining the initial PE selection by fitting selected PEs with an along-track segment model and eliminating outliers to the model, (3) applying histogram-based corrections to the surface height based on the residuals to the along-track segment model, (4) calculate error estimates based on estimates of relative contributions of signal and noise PEs to the observed PE count, and (5) determining the final location and surface height of the along-track segment. These measurements are then corrected for short-scale (100-200 m) across-track surface topography around the reference points to develop a time series of land ice heights. The resulting data products will allow us to measure ice sheet elevation change with a point-for-point accuracy of a few centimeters over Earth's ice sheets.

  2. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff

    OpenAIRE

    Van Tricht, K.; S. Lhermitte; J. T. M. Lenaerts; Gorodetskaya, I. V.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Noël, B.; van den Broeke, M. R.; D. D. Turner; N. P. M. van Lipzig

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has become one of the main contributors to global sea level rise, predominantly through increased meltwater runoff. The main drivers of Greenland ice sheet runoff, however, remain poorly understood. Here we show that clouds enhance meltwater runoff by about one-third relative to clear skies, using a unique combination of active satellite observations, climate model data and snow model simulations. This impact results from a cloud radiative effect of 29.5 (±5.2)Wm-2. Co...

  3. Antarctic Sea Ice Patterns and Its Relationship with Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.

    2015-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice concentration fields show a strong seasonal and interannual variation closely tied to changes in climate patterns. The Ross, Amundsen, Bellingshausen, and Weddell Seas during Summer-Autumn and the Southern Ocean regions north of these areas during Winter-Spring have the greatest sea ice variability. Principal components analysis in T- mode, Varimax-rotated applied on Antarctic monthly sea ice concentration anomaly (SICA) fields for 1979-2015 (NASA Team algorithm data sets available at nsidc.org) revealed the main spatial characteristics of Antarctic sea ice patterns and their relationship with atmospheric circulation. This analysis yielded five patterns of sea ice for winter-spring and three patterns for summer-autumn, each of which has a positive and negative phase. To understand the links between the SICA patterns and climate, we extracted the mean pressure and temperature fields for the months with high loadings (positive or negative) of the sea ice patterns. The first pattern of winter-spring sea ice concentration is a dipole structure between the Drake Passage and northern regions of the Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas and, the South Atlantic Ocean. The negative phase shows a strong negative SICA over the Atlantic basin. This pattern can be associated with to the atmospheric structures related to a positive SAM index and a wave-3 arrangement around the continent. That is, a strong negative pressure anomaly centered over the Bellingshausen Sea accompanied by three positive pressure anomalies in middle-latitudes. For summer-autumn, the first pattern shows two strong positive SICA areas, in the eastern Weddell Sea and the northwestern Ross Sea. A negative SICA covers the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas and northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula. This pattern, frequently seen in summers since 2008, is associated with cool conditions over the Weddell Sea but warmer temperatures and high surface air pressure west, north and northwest of the Peninsula.

  4. East Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics between 5.2 and 0 Ma from a high-resolution terrigenous particle size record, ODP Site 1165, Prydz Bay-Cooperation Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passchier, S.

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses a 5.2-0 Ma high-resolution terrigenous particle size record recovered from a sediment drift off East Antarctica. The particle size properties of Hole 1165B are interpreted in the context of previously acquired data on a continental shelf to slope transect drilled by ODP Leg 188 in Prydz Bay and the Cooperation Sea. The new data indicate that the Lambert ice stream stayed predominantly landward of the shelf break in the early Pliocene (5.2-3.5 Ma) with periods of ice sheet recession on land. The middle Pliocene (3.5-3.1 Ma) is characterized as major ice expansion during glacials with deposition of laminated clays from meltwater plumes on the continental rise, alternating with periods of ice recession. A change in sedimentary facies and a decrease in sedimentation rates occurred at ~3.1 Ma indicating a more retreated Lambert Glacier. Between 2.5 and 1 Ma the ice stream was generally stable and had become cold-based with ice flow in a glacial trough extending to the shelf break. Three-four large pulses of coarse-grained glacigenic debris mark the record at ~1 Ma. These are interpreted as extensive calving due to decoupling of the marine terminus from its bed in response to Northern Hemisphere deglaciations and associated sea level rises.

  5. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeh, N.

    1984-01-01

    Mass balance equation for glaciers; areal distribution and ice volumes; estimates of actual mass balance; loss by calving of icebergs; hydrological budget for Greenland; and temporal variations of Greenland mass balance are examined.

  6. Overview of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance and Dynamics from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2010-01-01

    The primary purpose of the ICESat mission was to determine the present-day mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, identify changes that may be occurring in the surface-mass flux and ice dynamics, and estimate their contributions to global sea-level rise. Although ICESat's three lasers were planned to make continuous measurements for 3 to 5 years, the mission was re-planned to operate in 33-day campaigns 2 to 3 times each year following failure of the first laser after 36 days. Seventeen campaigns were conducted with the last one in the Fall of 2009. Mass balance maps derived from measured ice-sheet elevation changes show that the mass loss from Greenland has increased significantly to about 170 Gt/yr for 2003 to 2007 from a state of near balance in the 1990's. Increased losses (189 Gt/yr) from melting and dynamic thinning are over seven times larger'than increased gains (25 gt/yr) from precipitation. Parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula are losing mass at an increasing rate, but other parts of West Antarctica and the East Antarctic ice sheet are gaining mass at an increasing rate. Increased losses of 35 Gt/yr in Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd.Coast are more than balanced by gains in base of Peninsula and ice stream C, D, & E systems. From the 1992-2002 to 2003-2007 period, the overall mass balance for Antarctica changed from a loss of about 60 Gt/yr to near balance or slightly positive.

  7. The Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, P.; Howat, I. M.; Ahn, Y.; Porter, C.; McFadden, E. M.

    2010-12-01

    The recent expansion of observational capacity from space has revealed dramatic, rapid changes in the Earth’s ice cover. These discoveries have fundamentally altered how scientists view ice-sheet change. Instead of just slow changes in snow accumulation and melting over centuries or millennia, important changes can occur in sudden events lasting only months, weeks, or even a single day. Our understanding of these short time- and space-scale processes, which hold important implications for future global sea level rise, has been impeded by the low temporal and spatial resolution, delayed sensor tasking, incomplete coverage, inaccessibility and/or high cost of data available to investigators. New cross-agency partnerships and data access policies provide the opportunity to dramatically improve the resolution of ice sheet observations by an order of magnitude, from timescales of months and distances of 10’s of meters, to days and meters or less. Advances in image processing technology also enable application of currently under-utilized datasets. The infrastructure for systematically gathering, processing, analyzing and distributing these data does not currently exist. Here we present the development of a multi-institutional, multi-platform observatory for rapid ice change with the ultimate objective of helping to elucidate the relevant timescales and processes of ice sheet dynamics and response to climate change. The Rapid Ice Sheet Observatory (RISCO) gathers observations of short time- and space-scale Cryosphere events and makes them easily accessible to investigators, media and general public. As opposed to existing data centers, which are structured to archive and distribute diverse types of raw data to end users with the specialized software and skills to analyze them, RISCO focuses on three types of geo-referenced raster (image) data products in a format immediately viewable with commonly available software. These three products are (1) sequences of images

  8. Sediment fluxes of an Antarctic palaeo-ice stream system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Kelly; Larter, Robert; Smith, James; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter

    2016-04-01

    New marine-geophysical data (multibeam bathymetry, high-resolution acoustic profiles) acquired in 2014 have been integrated with heritage multichannel seismic-reflection and deep-tow boomer profiles from Anvers-Hugo Trough, western Antarctic Peninsula. From these datasets we have identified seismic facies relating to ice-stream advance and flow, ice-stream retreat, and post-glacial sedimentation processes. We identify multiple subglacial seismic units forming MSGL and other streamlined landforms at a variety of size scales. This may be indicative of multiple generations of ice-flow through the confluent ice-stream system. We also calculate the sediment volumes of a series of grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) located on the outer and mid-shelf that were produced during several stillstands in the trough as the grounded ice margin retreated through the system during deglaciation around c. 15-13 ka (from published core chronologies). Based on these volumes we consider the likely rates of subglacial sediment delivery by the Anvers Trough palaeo-ice stream and compare these to inferred flux rates from other palaeo- and modern Antarctic ice streams. In addition, we map the post-glacial glacimarine sediment package in the trough. Large mapped sediment thicknesses of this unit across the trough are consistent with high post-glacial sediment accumulation rates reported from cores acquired in the Anvers-Hugo Trough system. Previous authors have attributed this to exceptionally high primary productivity in a calving-bay re-entrant settings produced as ice retreated across the shelf on this part of the Antarctic margin.

  9. A balanced water layer concept for subglacial hydrology in large scale ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available There is currently no doubt about the existence of a wide-spread hydrological network under the Antarctic ice sheet, which lubricates the ice base and thus leads to increased ice velocities. Consequently, ice models should incorporate basal hydrology to obtain meaningful results for future ice dynamics and their contribution to global sea level rise. Here, we introduce the balanced water layer concept, covering two prominent subglacial hydrological features for ice sheet modeling on a continental scale: the evolution of subglacial lakes and balance water fluxes. We couple it to the thermomechanical ice-flow model RIMBAY and apply it to a synthetic model domain inspired by the Gamburtsev Mountains, Antarctica. In our experiments we demonstrate the dynamic generation of subglacial lakes and their impact on the velocity field of the overlaying ice sheet, resulting in a negative ice mass balance. Furthermore, we introduce an elementary parametrization of the water flux–basal sliding coupling and reveal the predominance of the ice loss through the resulting ice streams against the stabilizing influence of less hydrologically active areas. We point out, that established balance flux schemes quantify these effects only partially as their ability to store subglacial water is lacking.

  10. A balanced water layer concept for subglacial hydrology in large-scale ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available There is currently no doubt about the existence of a widespread hydrological network under the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which lubricates the ice base and thus leads to increased ice velocities. Consequently, ice models should incorporate basal hydrology to obtain meaningful results for future ice dynamics and their contribution to global sea level rise. Here, we introduce the balanced water layer concept, covering two prominent subglacial hydrological features for ice sheet modeling on a continental scale: the evolution of subglacial lakes and balance water fluxes. We couple it to the thermomechanical ice-flow model RIMBAY and apply it to a synthetic model domain. In our experiments we demonstrate the dynamic generation of subglacial lakes and their impact on the velocity field of the overlaying ice sheet, resulting in a negative ice mass balance. Furthermore, we introduce an elementary parametrization of the water flux–basal sliding coupling and reveal the predominance of the ice loss through the resulting ice streams against the stabilizing influence of less hydrologically active areas. We point out that established balance flux schemes quantify these effects only partially as their ability to store subglacial water is lacking.

  11. Polar ice-sheet contributions to sea level during past warm periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, A.

    2015-12-01

    Recent sea-level rise has been dominated by thermal expansion and glacier loss, but the contribution from mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is expected to exceed other contributions under future sustained warming. Due to limitations of existing ice sheet models and the lack of relevant analogues in the historical record, projecting the timing and magnitude of polar ice sheet mass loss in the future remains challenging. One approach to improving our understanding of how polar ice-sheet retreat will unfold is to integrate observations and models of sea level, ice sheets, and climate during past intervals of warmth when the polar ice sheets contributed to higher sea levels. A recent review evaluated the evidence of polar ice sheet mass loss during several warm periods, including interglacials during the mid-Pliocene warm period, Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11, 5e (Last Interglacial), and 1 (Holocene). Sea-level benchmarks of ice-sheet retreat during the first of these three periods, when global mean climate was ~1 to 3 deg. C warmer than preindustrial, are useful for understanding the long-term potential for future sea-level rise. Despite existing uncertainties in these reconstructions, it is clear that our present climate is warming to a level associated with significant polar ice-sheet loss in the past, resulting in a conservative estimate for a global mean sea-level rise of 6 meters above present (or more). This presentation will focus on identifying the approaches that have yielded significant advances in terms of past sea level and ice sheet reconstruction as well as outstanding challenges. A key element of recent advances in sea-level reconstructions is the ability to recognize and quantify the imprint of geophysical processes, such as glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and dynamic topography, that lead to significant spatial variability in sea level reconstructions. Identifying specific ice-sheet sources that contributed to higher sea levels

  12. Antarctic Sea Ice Variability and Trends, 1979-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, C. L.; Cavalieri, D. J.

    2012-01-01

    In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978 - December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17,100 +/- 2,300 square km/yr. Much of the increase, at 13,700 +/- 1,500 square km/yr, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of -8,200 +/- 1,200 square km/yr. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-year period 1979-2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9,100 +/- 6,300 square km/yr in February to a high of 24,700 +/- 10,000 square km/yr in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  13. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  14. Validation of the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge Basal Stress Boundary in the South Eastern Region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.

    2015-12-01

    The largest ice shelf in Antarctic, Ross Ice Shelf, was investigated over the years of (1970-2015). Near the basal stress boundary between the ice shelf and the West Antarctic ice sheet, ice velocity ranges from a few meters per year to several hundred meters per year in ice streams. Most of the drainage from West Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf flows down two major ice streams, each of which discharges more than 20 km3 of ice each year. Along with velocity changes, the warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm water into contact with the ice shelf. This process can cause melting over a period of time and eventually cause breakup of ice shelf. With changes occurring over many years a validation is needed for the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) basal stress boundary created in 2003. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rates in just one year. Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. During the research, the team completed study on the Ross Ice Shelf located on the south western coast of the Antarctic. The study included a validation of the ABSB vs. the natural basal stress boundary (NBSB) along the Ross Ice Shelf. The ASAID BSB was created in 2003 by a team of researchers headed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. The point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the

  15. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has (like the Arctic instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but the magnitudes of the two trends differ, and in some cases these differences allow inferences about the corresponding changes in sea ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  16. First geomorphological record and glacial history of an inter-ice stream ridge on the West Antarctic continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klages, J. P.; Kuhn, G.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Smith, J. A.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K.

    2013-02-01

    Inter-ice stream areas cover significant portions of Antarctica's formerly glaciated shelves, but have been largely neglected in past geological studies because of overprinting by iceberg scours. Here, we present results of the first detailed survey of an inter-ice stream ridge from the West Antarctic continental shelf. Well-preserved sub- and proglacial bedforms on the seafloor of the ridge in the eastern Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) provide new insights into the flow dynamics of this sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the Last Glacial cycle. Multibeam swath bathymetry and PARASOUND acoustic sub-bottom profiler data acquired across a mid-shelf bank, between the troughs of the Pine Island-Thwaites (PITPIS) and Cosgrove palaeo-ice streams (COPIS), reveal large-scale ribbed moraines, hill-hole pairs, terminal moraines, and crevasse-squeeze ridges. Together, these features form an assemblage of landforms that is entirely different from that in the adjacent ice-stream troughs, and appears to be unique in the context of previous studies of Antarctic seafloor geomorphology. From this assemblage, the history of ice flow and retreat from the inter-ice stream ridge is reconstructed. The bedforms indicate that ice flow was significantly slower on the inter-ice stream ridge than in the neighbouring troughs. While terminal moraines record at least two re-advances or stillstands of the ice sheet during deglaciation, an extensive field of crevasse-squeeze ridges indicates ice stagnation subsequent to re-advancing ice, which deposited the field of terminal moraines in the NE. The presented data suggest that the ice flow behaviour on the inter-ice stream ridge was substantially different from that in the adjacent troughs. However, newly obtained radiocarbon ages on two sediment cores recovered from the inter-ice stream ridge suggest a similar timing in the deglaciation of both areas. This information closes an important gap in the understanding of past WAIS

  17. The Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, K. R.; Beaudoin, B. C.; Butler, R.; Clinton, J. F.; Dahl-Jensen, T.; Ekstrom, G.; Giardini, D.; Govoni, A.; Hanka, W.; Kanao, M.; Larsen, T.; Lasocki, S.; McCormack, D. A.; Mykkeltveit, S.; Nettles, M.; Agostinetti, N. P.; Stutzmann, E.; Tsuboi, S.; Voss, P.

    2010-12-01

    The GreenLand Ice Sheet monitoring Network (GLISN) is an international, broadband seismic capability for Greenland, being installed and implemented through the collaboration of Denmark, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and USA. GLISN is a real-time sensor array of seismic stations to enhance and upgrade the performance of the sparse Greenland seismic infrastructure for detecting, locating, and characterizing glacial earthquakes and other cryo-seismic phenomena, and contributing to our understanding of Ice Sheet dynamics. Complementing data from satellites, geodesy, and other sources, and in concert with these technologies, GLISN will provide a powerful tool for detecting change, and will advance new frontiers of research in the glacial systems; the underlying geological and geophysical processes affecting the Greenland Ice Sheet; interactions between oceans, climate, and the cryosphere; and other multidisciplinary areas of interest to geoscience and climate dynamics. The glacial processes that induce seismic events (internal deformation, sliding at the base, disintegration at the calving front, drainage of supra-glacial lakes) are all integral to the overall dynamics of glaciers, and seismic observations of glaciers therefore provide a quantitative means for monitoring changes in their behavior over time. Long-term seismic monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet will contribute to identifying possible unsuspected mechanisms and metrics relevant to ice sheet collapse, and will provide new constraints on Ice Sheet dynamic processes and their potential roles in sea-level rise during the coming decades. GLISN will provide a new, fiducial reference network in and around Greenland for monitoring these phenomena in real-time, and for the broad seismological study of Earth and earthquakes. The 2010 summer field season saw the installation or upgrade of 9 stations in the GLISN network. Sites visited under the GLISN project include Station Nord (NOR

  18. Simulations of the Scandinavian ice sheet and its subsurface conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boulton, G.S.; Caban, P.; Hulton, N. [Edinburgh Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept of Geology and Geophysics

    1999-12-01

    An ice sheet model has been applied to an approximate flow line through the area of the Fennoscandian ice sheet. The modelled ice sheet fluctuations have been matched with stratigraphic evidence of Weichselian ice sheet fluctuation in order to simulate ice sheet attributes through time along the flowline. The model predicts extensive melting at the base of the ice sheet. This output has been used as an input to a simplified model of hydrogeology along the southern flank of the ice sheet so as to reconstruct patterns of subglacial groundwater flow. The output from the model is also used to estimate patterns of subglacial stress and strain. Results suggest that large scale subglacial groundwater catchment are formed which were quite differentin extent from modern catchment; that fossil subglacial groundwaters should be found at sampling depths; and much fracturing in shallow bedrock in Sweden could be glacially generated.

  19. Uncertainty in Ice Crystal Orientation Distributions in Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Michael; Waddington, Edwin

    2016-04-01

    Crystal-orientation fabrics in polar ice sheets have a strong influence on ice flow due to the plastic anisotropy of ice. Crystal orientations evolve primarily in response to applied strain, but are also affected by temperature, impurities, interactions with neighbors, and other factors. While the evolution of each ice crystal is physically deterministic, in limited samples, such as those from ice-core thin sections, measured samples are stochastic due to sampling error. Even in continuum representations from models, crystal orientation distribution functions (ODFs) can be treated as stochastic due to uncertainties in how they developed. Here, we present results on the statistics of crystal orientation fabrics. We show a first-order estimate of the sampling distribution of fabric eigenvalues and fabric eigenvectors from ice-core thin sections. We also analyze uncertainty in electron backscatter diffraction measurements. In addition to sampling error, the strain histories of fabrics are generally poorly constrained, and may have varied in unknown ways through time. Nearby layers in ice sheets can also experience different strain histories due to inherent variabilities such as transient flow, or differences in impurities. This means that the continuum ODF itself can be treated as stochastic, because it depends on an effectively-stochastic unknown strain-history. To explore this, we analyze the effects of strain and vorticity variability on the evolution of the continuum ice-crystal ODF. We recast Jeffery's equation for the evolution of the ODF as a stochastic differential equation, with vorticity and strain perturbed by Gaussian processes. From this, we run a Monte-Carlo ensemble to determine likely bounds of true continuum ODF variability in response to random perturbations of strain and vorticity.

  20. Reconstructing the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet during the last deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisling, Benjamin; DeConto, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Today, some outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) are rapidly retreating and may mobilize large volumes of interior ice in the coming centuries. The last period that saw such dramatic, sustained retreat of the GrIS was the last deglaciation, when the ice sheet retreated from its Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) extent. Previous studies have used relative sea level observations to constrain changes in ice thickness and retreat timing during the deglaciation (e.g. Fleming and Lambert 2004, Simpson et al. 2009, Lecavalier et al. 2014). Here we build on these studies by isolating the drivers of ice-sheet retreat, and their spatial and temporal dynamics, during this period. Inclusion of ice-cliff failure and hydrofracturing parameterizations in our model has resulted in a better fit to paleodata for the Antarctic ice sheet, but this modeling approach has not been applied to the GrIS. Here we use a three-dimensional hybrid SSA/SIA ice-sheet model (Pollard et al. 2015) at 10km resolution over Greenland to simulate the last deglaciation. Boundary conditions for the last glacial maximum produce an LGM ice sheet with 3.81 meters sea level equivalent (m s.l.e.) of additional ice. The LGM ice sheet advances to the shelf-break in west, south, and east Greenland with an expansive ice shelf extending across Davis Strait. Applying modern atmospheric and oceanic forcing to the LGM ice sheet yields 1.25 and 1.09 m s.l.e. of melt, respectively, and 1.72 m s.l.e. for both. Ocean warming initially results in a higher rate and magnitude of retreat, but increased surface evaporation over open water results in additional accumulation that offsets losses in 10 kyr simulations. Here, we test the sensitivity of the magnitude of deglacial ice-sheet retreat to uncertainty in bedrock elevation and basal slding coefficients, the applied climate forcing, and the mass balance scheme (positive degree-day or energy balance). We also implement a deglacial climate forcing based on recently

  1. Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. O. Holt

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available George VI Ice Shelf (GVIIS is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, a region where several ice shelves have undergone rapid breakup in response to atmospheric and oceanic warming. We use a combination of optical (Landsat, radar (ERS 1/2 SAR and laser altimetry (GLAS datasets to examine the response of GVIIS to environmental change and to offer an assessment on its future stability. The spatial and structural changes of GVIIS (ca. 1973 to ca. 2010 are mapped and surface velocities are calculated at different time periods (InSAR and optical feature tracking from 1989 to 2009 to document changes in the ice shelf's flow regime. Surface elevation changes are recorded between 2003 and 2008 using repeat track ICESat acquisitions. We note an increase in fracture extent and distribution at the south ice front, ice-shelf acceleration towards both the north and south ice fronts and spatially varied negative surface elevation change throughout, with greater variations observed towards the central and southern regions of the ice shelf. We propose that whilst GVIIS is in no imminent danger of collapse, it is vulnerable to ongoing atmospheric and oceanic warming and is more susceptible to breakup along its southern margin in ice preconditioned for further retreat.

  2. ICESat/GLAS 矩形切片分析2003年2月~2008年10月南极冰盖高程变化%Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation Changes Estimated by Rectangular Segment from ICESAT/GLAS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王斌; 周雪峰; 丁进选; 王学海; 赵文峰

    2013-01-01

    1969考拉首次提出卫星测高的构想,随后便被广泛的应用于高精度地测定南极冰盖高程变化、质量均衡和全球海平面变化的研究之中。本文采用2003年2月~2008年10月共14期数据专门对极地冰盖高程的周年变化进行研究,基于激光光斑交叉重叠方法数据量少的不足,设计提出沿轨切向长510 m,沿轨法向长390 m的矩形片段,并将可能影响高程变化的主要因素归结为地表坡度、季节性影响、高程变化,并组成时间序列,进行最小二乘间接平差,与交叉重叠方法估计冰盖高程变化相比,显著地增加了研究区的有效数据量,提高解算成果的精度和增强模型的可靠性。实验证明,该方法对分析南极冰盖高程周年变化是有效的。%Koala has proposed the idea of satellite altimetry in 1969 at first ,which has widely used in high-precision determination of the Antarctic ice sheet elevation change ,mass balance and global sea level change research .In this pa-per,a total of 14 data from February 2003 to October 2008 has been devoted to the research of the anniversary of the po-lar ice sheet elevation change ,which has been designed along the track 510 meter,across the track 390 meter,because of the lack of data in the method of overlap footprint .It has fully considered that Surface slope ,seasonal changes ,elevation changes composted the time series ,and then used the method of the least-squares adjustment .Compared to the overlaping footprint method ,data would been increased signficantly for the study area ,accuracy of the results would been improved and the reliability of the model would also been enhanced .It has showed that this method of analysis of the Antarctic ice sheet elevation annual change was effective .

  3. Pan-ice-sheet glacier terminus change in East Antarctica reveals sensitivity of Wilkes Land to sea-ice changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Bertie W J; Stokes, Chris R; Jamieson, Stewart S R

    2016-05-01

    The dynamics of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers are an important component of ice-sheet mass balance. Using satellite imagery for the past 40 years, we compile an approximately decadal record of outlet-glacier terminus position change around the entire East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) marine margin. We find that most outlet glaciers retreated during the period 1974-1990, before switching to advance in every drainage basin during the two most recent periods, 1990-2000 and 2000-2012. The only exception to this trend was in Wilkes Land, where the majority of glaciers (74%) retreated between 2000 and 2012. We hypothesize that this anomalous retreat is linked to a reduction in sea ice and associated impacts on ocean stratification, which increases the incursion of warm deep water toward glacier termini. Because Wilkes Land overlies a large marine basin, it raises the possibility of a future sea level contribution from this sector of East Antarctica. PMID:27386519

  4. Subglacial hydrology indicates a major shift in dynamics of the West Antarctic Ross Ice Streams within the next two centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The mass export of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS is dominated by fast flowing ice streams. Understanding their dynamics is a key to estimate the future integrity of the WAIS and its contributions to global sea level rise. This study focuses on the Ross Ice Streams (RIS at the Siple Coast. In this sector, observations reveal a high variability of ice stream pathways and velocities which is assumed to be driven by subglacial hydrology. We compute subglacial water pathways for the present-day ice sheet and verify this assumption by finding high correlations between areas of enhanced basal water flow and the locations of the RIS. Moreover, we reveal that the ice flow velocities of the individual ice streams are correlated with the sizes of the water catchment areas draining underneath. The future development of the subglacial hydraulic environment is estimated by applying ice surface elevation change rates observed by ICESat and CryoSat-2 to the present-day ice sheet geometry and thus assessing prognostic basal pressure conditions. Our simulations consistently indicate that a major hydraulic tributary of the Kamb and Whillans Ice Stream (KIS and WIS will be redirected underneath the Bindschadler Ice Stream (BIS within the next two centuries. The water catchment area feeding underneath the BIS is estimated to grow by about 50 % while the lower part of the stagnated KIS becomes increasingly separated from its upper hydraulic tributaries. We conclude, that this might be a continuation of the subglacial hydraulic processes which caused the past stagnation of the KIS. The simulated hydraulic rerouting is also capable to explain the observed deceleration of the WIS and indicates a possible future acceleration of the BIS accompanied by an increased ice drainage of the corresponding ice sheet interior.

  5. Ice Sheet System Model as Educational Entertainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, G.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the importance of polar ice sheets and their role in the evolution of Sea Level Rise (SLR), as well as Climate Change, is of paramount importance for policy makers as well as the public and schools at large. For example, polar ice sheets and glaciers currently account for 1/3 of the SLR signal, a ratio that will increase in the near to long-term future, which has tremendous societal ramifications. Consequently, it is important to increase awareness about our changing planet. In our increasingly digital society, mobile and web applications are burgeoning venues for such outreach. The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is a software that was developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech/NASA, in collaboration with University of California Irvine (UCI), with the goal of better understanding the evolution of polar ice sheets. It is a state-of-the-art framework, which relies on higher-end cluster-computing to address some of the aforementioned challenges. In addition, it is a flexible framework that can be deployed on any hardware; in particular, on mobile platforms such as Android or iOS smart phones. Here, we look at how the ISSM development team managed to port their model to these platforms, what the implications are for improving how scientists disseminate their results, and how a broader audience may familiarize themselves with running complex climate models in simplified scenarios which are highly educational and entertaining in content. We also look at the future plans toward a web portal fully integrated with mobile technologies to deliver the best content to the public, and to provide educational plans/lessons that can be used in grades K-12 as well as collegiate under-graduate and graduate programs.

  6. Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chylek, P. [Space and Remote Sensing Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mail Stop D436, Los Alamos, NM 87545, and Department of Physics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM (United States); Box, J.E. [Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Lesins, G. [Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS (Canada)

    2004-07-01

    The Greenland coastal temperatures have followed the early 20th century global warming trend. Since 1940, however, the Greenland coastal stations data have undergone predominantly a cooling trend. At the summit of the Greenland ice sheet the summer average temperature has decreased at the rate of 2.2C per decade since the beginning of the measurements in 1987. This suggests that the Greenland ice sheet and coastal regions are not following the current global warming trend. A considerable and rapid warming over all of coastal Greenland occurred in the 1920s when the average annual surface air temperature rose between 2 and 4C in less than ten years (at some stations the increase in winter temperature was as high as 6C). This rapid warming, at a time when the change in anthropogenic production of greenhouse gases was well below the current level, suggests a high natural variability in the regional climate. High anti correlations (r = -0.84 to -0.93) between the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) index and Greenland temperature time series suggest a physical connection between these processes. Therefore, the future changes in the NAO and Northern Annular Mode may be of critical consequence to the future temperature forcing of the Greenland ice sheet melt rates.

  7. Comprehensive spatiotemporal glacier and ice sheet velocity measurements from Landsat 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Twila; Fahnestock, Mark; Scambos, Ted; Klinger, Marin; Haran, Terry

    2015-04-01

    Combining newly developed software with Landsat 8 image returns, we are now producing broad-coverage ice velocity measurements on weekly to monthly scales across ice sheets and glaciers. Using new image-to-image cross correlation software, named PyCorr, we take advantage of the improved radiometric resolution of the Landsat 8 panchromatic band to create velocity maps with sub-pixel accuracy. Landsat 8's 12-bit radiometric resolution supports measurement of ice flow in uncrevassed regions based on persistent sastrugi patterns lasting weeks to a few months. We also leverage these improvements to allow for ice sheet surface roughness measurements. Landsat 8's 16-day repeat orbit and increased image acquisition across the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets supports development of seasonal to annual ice sheet velocity mosaics with full coverage of coastal regions. We also create time series for examining sub-seasonal change with near real time processing in areas such as the Amundsen Sea Embayment and fast flowing Greenland outlet glaciers. In addition, excellent geolocation accuracy enables velocity mapping of smaller ice caps and glaciers, which we have already applied in Alaska and Patagonia. Finally, PyCorr can be used for velocity mapping with other remote sensing imagery, including high resolution WorldView satellite data.

  8. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John Thomas; Brigham-Grette, Julia;

    2010-01-01

    -sheet changes. In contrast, there are no documented major ice-sheet changes that occurred independent of temperature changes. Moreover, snowfall has increased when the climate warmed, but the ice sheet lost mass nonetheless; increased accumulation in the ice sheet's center has not been sufficient to counteract......Paleoclimatic records show that the Greenland Ice Sheet consistently has lost mass in response to warming, and grown in response to cooling. Such changes have occurred even at times of slow or zero sea-level change, so changing sea level cannot have been the cause of at least some of the ice...... increased melting and flow near the edges. Most documented forcings and ice-sheet responses spanned periods of several thousand years, but limited data also show rapid response to rapid forcings. In particular, regions near the ice margin have responded within decades. However, major changes of central...

  9. Future sea-level rise from tidewater and ice-shelf tributary glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schannwell, Clemens; Barrand, Nicholas E.; Radić, Valentina

    2016-11-01

    Iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers contribute significant amounts to global sea-level rise (SLR) from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). Owing to ongoing ice dynamical changes (collapse of buttressing ice shelves), these contributions have accelerated in recent years. As the AP is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, further ice dynamical adjustment (increased ice discharge) is expected over the next two centuries. In this paper, the first regional SLR projection of the AP from both iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers in response to ice-shelf collapse is presented. An ice-sheet model forced by temperature output from 13 global climate models (GCMs), in response to the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP8.5), projects AP contribution to SLR of 28 ± 16 to 32 ± 16 mm by 2300, partitioned approximately equally between contributions from tidewater glaciers and ice-shelf tributary glaciers. In the RCP4.5 scenario, sea-level rise projections to 2300 are dominated by tidewater glaciers (∼8-18 mm). In this cooler scenario, 2.4 ± 1 mm is added to global sea levels from ice-shelf tributary drainage basins as fewer ice-shelves are projected to collapse. Sea-level projections from ice-shelf tributary glaciers are dominated by drainage basins feeding George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for ∼70% of simulated SLR. Combined total ice dynamical SLR projections to 2300 from the AP vary between 11 ± 2 and 32 ± 16 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE), depending on the emission scenario used. These simulations suggest that omission of tidewater glaciers could lead to a substantial underestimation of the ice-sheet's contribution to regional SLR.

  10. Extraction of Ice Sheet Layers from Two Intersected Radar Echograms Near Neem Ice Core in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, S.; Muller, J.-P.

    2016-06-01

    Accumulation of snow and ice over time result in ice sheet layers. These can be remotely sensed where there is a contrast in electromagnetic properties, which reflect variations of the ice density, acidity and fabric orientation. Internal ice layers are assumed to be isochronous, deep beneath the ice surface, and parallel to the direction of ice flow. The distribution of internal layers is related to ice sheet dynamics, such as the basal melt rate, basal elevation variation and changes in ice flow mode, which are important parameters to model the ice sheet. Radar echo sounder is an effective instrument used to study the sedimentology of the Earth and planets. Ice Penetrating Radar (IPR) is specific kind of radar echo sounder, which extends studies of ice sheets from surface to subsurface to deep internal ice sheets depending on the frequency utilised. In this study, we examine a study site where folded ice occurs in the internal ice sheet south of the North Greenland Eemian ice drilling (NEEM) station, where two intersected radar echograms acquired by the Multi-channel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) employed in the NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) mission imaged this folded ice. We propose a slice processing flow based on a Radon Transform to trace and extract these two sets of curved ice sheet layers, which can then be viewed in 3-D, demonstrating the 3-D structure of the ice folds.

  11. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Rennermalm

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with more than half of these attributed to surface meltwater runoff. However, the magnitudes of englacial storage, firn retention, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain less understood, partly due to a scarcity of in situ measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runoff and proglacial river discharge between 2008 and 2010 near Kangerlussuaq, southwestern Greenland were used to establish sub- and englacial meltwater storage for a small ice sheet watershed (36–64 km2. This watershed lacks significant potential meltwater storage in firn, surface lakes on the ice sheet and in the proglacial area, and receives limited proglacial precipitation. Thus, ice sheet surface runoff not accounted for by river discharge can reasonably be attributed to retention in sub- and englacial storage. Evidence for meltwater storage within the ice sheet includes (1 characteristic dampened daily river discharge amplitudes relative to ice sheet runoff; (2 three cold-season river discharge anomalies at times with limited ice sheet surface melt, demonstrating that meltwater may be retained up to 1–6 months; (3 annual ice sheet watershed runoff is not balanced by river discharge, and while near water budget closure is possible as much as 54% of melting season ice sheet runoff may not escape to downstream rivers; (4 even the large meltwater retention estimate (54% is equivalent to less than 1% of the ice sheet volume, which suggests that storage in en- and subglacial cavities and till is plausible. While this study is the first to provide evidence for meltwater retention and delayed release within the Greenland ice sheet, more information is needed to establish how widespread this is along the Greenland ice sheet perimeter.

  12. Climatic conditions for modelling the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets throughout the ice age cycle

    OpenAIRE

    Abe-Ouchi, A; Segawa, T.; Saito, F

    2007-01-01

    The ice sheet-climate interaction as well as the climatic response to orbital parameters and atmospheric CO2 content are examined in order to drive an ice sheet model throughout an ice age cycle. Feedback processes between ice sheet and atmosphere are analyzed by numerical experiments using a high resolution General Circulation Model (GCM) under different conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum. Among the proposed processes, the ice albedo feedback, the elevation-mass ba...

  13. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet on multiple timescales is investigated. These range from annual/decadal scale variations of ice surface heights and cyclic drainage patterns of ice-dammed lakes to long-term response of the ice sheet margin during the past 300,000 years. The results presented here show...... that the ice margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet responds highly dynamic and variable to climate change and oceanic forcing, with behavior additionally being governed by regional/local settings, e.g. topographical settings such as low-lying/mountainous areas and the presence or absence of deep fjords or shelf...

  14. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boulton, G. S.; Zatsepin, S.; Maillot, B. [Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom). Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

    2001-03-01

    The large-scale pattern of subglacial groundwater flow beneath European ice sheets was analysed in a previous report. It was based on a two-dimensional flowline model. In this report, the analysis is extended to three dimensions by exploring the interactions between groundwater and tunnel flow. A theory is developed which suggests that the large-scale geometry of the hydraulic system beneath an ice sheet is a coupled, self-organising system. In this system the pressure distribution along tunnels is a function of discharge derived from basal meltwater delivered to tunnels by groundwater flow, and the pressure along tunnels itself sets the base pressure which determines the geometry of catchments and flow towards the tunnel. The large-scale geometry of tunnel distribution is a product of the pattern of basal meltwater production and the transmissive properties of the bed. The tunnel discharge from the ice margin of the glacier, its seasonal fluctuation and the sedimentary characteristics of eskers are largely determined by the discharge of surface meltwater which penetrates to the bed in the terminal zone. The theory explains many of the characteristics of esker systems and can account for tunnel valleys. It is concluded that the large-scale hydraulic regime beneath ice sheets is largely a consequence of groundwater/tunnel flow interactions and that it is essential similar to non-glacial hydraulic regimes. Experimental data from an Icelandic glacier, which demonstrates measured relationships between subglacial tunnel flow and groundwater flow during the transition from summer to winter seasons for a modern glacier, and which support the general conclusions of the theory is summarised in an appendix.

  15. Reconstructing the last Irish Ice Sheet 2: a geomorphologically-driven model of ice sheet growth, retreat and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Sarah L.; Clark, Chris D.

    2009-12-01

    The ice sheet that once covered Ireland has a long history of investigation. Much prior work focussed on localised evidence-based reconstructions and ice-marginal dynamics and chronologies, with less attention paid to an ice sheet wide view of the first order properties of the ice sheet: centres of mass, ice divide structure, ice flow geometry and behaviour and changes thereof. In this paper we focus on the latter aspect and use our new, countrywide glacial geomorphological mapping of the Irish landscape (>39 000 landforms), and our analysis of the palaeo-glaciological significance of observed landform assemblages (article Part 1), to build an ice sheet reconstruction yielding these fundamental ice sheet properties. We present a seven stage model of ice sheet evolution, from initiation to demise, in the form of palaeo-geographic maps. An early incursion of ice from Scotland likely coalesced with local ice caps and spread in a south-westerly direction 200 km across Ireland. A semi-independent Irish Ice Sheet was then established during ice sheet growth, with a branching ice divide structure whose main axis migrated up to 140 km from the west coast towards the east. Ice stream systems converging on Donegal Bay in the west and funnelling through the North Channel and Irish Sea Basin in the east emerge as major flow components of the maximum stages of glaciation. Ice cover is reconstructed as extending to the continental shelf break. The Irish Ice Sheet became autonomous (i.e. separate from the British Ice Sheet) during deglaciation and fragmented into multiple ice masses, each decaying towards the west. Final sites of demise were likely over the mountains of Donegal, Leitrim and Connemara. Patterns of growth and decay of the ice sheet are shown to be radically different: asynchronous and asymmetric in both spatial and temporal domains. We implicate collapse of the ice stream system in the North Channel - Irish Sea Basin in driving such asymmetry, since rapid

  16. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the little ice age: The Antarctic ice core record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recently, ice core records from both hemispheres, in conjunction with other proxy records (e.g., tree rings, speleothems and corals), have shown that the Little Ice Age (LIA) was spatially extensive, extending to the Antarctic. This paper examines the temporal and spatial characteristics of the dust and δ18O information from Antarctic ice cores. Substantial differences exist in the records. For example, a 550- year record of δ18O and dust concentrations from Siple Station, Antarctica suggests that warmer, less dusty conditions prevailed from A.D. 1600 to 1830. Alternately, dust and δ118O data from South Pole Station indicate that opposite conditions (e.g., cooler and more dusty) were prevalent during the LIA. Three additional Antarctic δ18O records are integrated with the Siple and South Pole histories for a more comprehensive picture of LIA conditions. The records provide additional support for the LIA temperature opposition between the Antarctic Peninsula region and East Antarctica. In addition, periods of strongest LIA cooling are not temporally synchronous over East Antarctica. These strong regional differences demonstrate that a suite of spatially distributed, high resolution ice core records will be necessary to characterize the LIA in Antarctica

  17. Synchronicity between ice retreat and phytoplankton bloom in circum-Antarctic polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yun; Ji, Rubao; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Jin, Meibing; Stroeve, Julienne

    2016-03-01

    Phytoplankton in Antarctic coastal polynyas has a temporally short yet spatially variant growth window constrained by ice cover and day length. Using 18-year satellite measurements (1997-2015) of sea ice and chlorophyll concentrations, we assessed the synchronicity between the spring phytoplankton bloom and light availability, taking into account the ice cover and the incident solar irradiance, for 50 circum-Antarctic coastal polynyas. The synchronicity was strong (i.e., earlier ice-adjusted light onset leads to earlier bloom and vice versa) in most of the western Antarctic polynyas but weak in a majority of the eastern Antarctic polynyas. The west-east asymmetry is related to sea ice production rate: the formation of many eastern Antarctic polynyas is associated with strong katabatic wind and high sea ice production rate, leading to stronger water column mixing that could damp phytoplankton blooms and weaken the synchronicity.

  18. Thermodynamics of slush and snow-ice formation in the Antarctic sea-ice zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jutras, Mathilde; Vancoppenolle, Martin; Lourenço, Antonio; Vivier, Frédéric; Carnat, Gauthier; Madec, Gurvan; Rousset, Clément; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2016-09-01

    Snow over Antarctic sea ice is often flooded by brine or seawater, particularly in spring, forming slush and snow ice. Here, we evaluate the representation of the thermodynamics of slush and snow-ice formation in large-scale sea-ice models, using laboratory experiments (NaCl solutions poured into grated ice in an isolated container). Scaling analysis highlights latent heat as the main term of the energy budget. The temperature of the new sea ice immediately after flooding is found very close to the saltwater freezing point, whereas its bulk salinity is typically > 20 g / kg. Large-scale sea-ice models faithfully represent such physics, yet the uncertainty on the origin of flooding saltwater impacts the calculated new ice temperature, because of the different salinities of seawater and brine. The laboratory experiments also suggest a potential limitation to the existing physical representations of flooding: for brine fractions > 60 %, ice crystals start floating upon saltwater. Natural sea-ice observations suggest that the isolated system assumption holds for a few hours at most, after which rapid heat and salt exchanges mostly destroy the initial flooding signature on temperature and salinity. A small footprint on ice salinity remains however, natural snow ice is found 3-5 g/kg more saline than other forms of sea ice.

  19. Satellite Observations of Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness and Volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtz, Nathan; Markus, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    We utilize satellite laser altimetry data from ICESat combined with passive microwave measurements to analyze basin-wide changes in Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume over a 5 year period from 2003-2008. Sea ice thickness exhibits a small negative trend while area increases in the summer and fall balanced losses in thickness leading to small overall volume changes. Using a five year time-series, we show that only small ice thickness changes of less than -0.03 m/yr and volume changes of -266 cu km/yr and 160 cu km/yr occurred for the spring and summer periods, respectively. The calculated thickness and volume trends are small compared to the observational time period and interannual variability which masks the determination of long-term trend or cyclical variability in the sea ice cover. These results are in stark contrast to the much greater observed losses in Arctic sea ice volume and illustrate the different hemispheric changes of the polar sea ice covers in recent years.

  20. Experimental design for three interrelated marine ice sheet and ocean model intercomparison projects: MISMIP v. 3 (MISMIP +), ISOMIP v. 2 (ISOMIP +) and MISOMIP v. 1 (MISOMIP1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar S.; Cornford, Stephen L.; Durand, Gaël; Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin K.; Gladstone, Rupert M.; Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; Hattermann, Tore; Holland, David M.; Holland, Denise; Holland, Paul R.; Martin, Daniel F.; Mathiot, Pierre; Pattyn, Frank; Seroussi, Hélène

    2016-07-01

    Coupled ice sheet-ocean models capable of simulating moving grounding lines are just becoming available. Such models have a broad range of potential applications in studying the dynamics of marine ice sheets and tidewater glaciers, from process studies to future projections of ice mass loss and sea level rise. The Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP) is a community effort aimed at designing and coordinating a series of model intercomparison projects (MIPs) for model evaluation in idealized setups, model verification based on observations, and future projections for key regions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Here we describe computational experiments constituting three interrelated MIPs for marine ice sheet models and regional ocean circulation models incorporating ice shelf cavities. These consist of ice sheet experiments under the Marine Ice Sheet MIP third phase (MISMIP+), ocean experiments under the Ice Shelf-Ocean MIP second phase (ISOMIP+) and coupled ice sheet-ocean experiments under the MISOMIP first phase (MISOMIP1). All three MIPs use a shared domain with idealized bedrock topography and forcing, allowing the coupled simulations (MISOMIP1) to be compared directly to the individual component simulations (MISMIP+ and ISOMIP+). The experiments, which have qualitative similarities to Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf and the adjacent region of the Amundsen Sea, are designed to explore the effects of changes in ocean conditions, specifically the temperature at depth, on basal melting and ice dynamics. In future work, differences between model results will form the basis for the evaluation of the participating models.

  1. Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langen, Peter Lang; Solgaard, Anne Munck; Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2012-01-01

    The build-up of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from ice-free conditions is studied in an ice sheet model (ISM) driven by fields from an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) to demonstrate the importance of coupling between the two components. Experiments where the two are coupled off......-line are augmented by one where an intermediate ice sheet configuration is coupled back to the GCM. Forcing the ISM with GCM fields corresponding to the ice-free state leads to extensive regrowth which, however, is halted when the intermediate recoupling step is included. This inhibition of further growth is due...... to a Föhn effect of moist air parcels being lifted over the intermediate ice sheet and arriving in the low-lying Greenland interior with high temperatures. This demonstrates that two-way coupling between the atmosphere and the ice sheet is essential for understanding the dynamics and that large scale...

  2. Greenland Ice sheet mass balance from satellite and airborne altimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Bevis, M. G.; Wahr, J. M.;

    Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is dominated by loss in the marginal areas. Dynamic induced ice loss and its associated ice surface lowering is often largest close to the glacier calving front and may vary from rates of tens of meters per years to a few meters per year over relatively...... short distances. Hence, high spatial resolution data are required to accurately estimate volume changes. Here, we estimate ice volume change rate of the Greenland ice sheet using data from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter during 2003-2009 and CryoSat-2 data during 2010...

  3. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    A. K. Rennermalm; Smith, L. C.; V. W. Chu; Box, J. E.; Forster, R.R.; van den Broeke, M.

    2012-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with approximately half of these attributed to increased surface meltwater runoff. However, controls on ice sheet water release, and the magnitude of englacial storage, firn densification, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain poorly understood. This problem is amplified by scant hydrometerological measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runof...

  4. Laser altimetry reveals complex pattern of Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Csatho, Beata M.; Schenk, Anton F.; van der Veen, Cornelis J.;

    2014-01-01

    Significance We present the first detailed reconstruction of surface elevation changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet from NASA’s laser altimetry data. Time series at nearly 100,000 locations allow the characterization of ice sheet changes at scales ranging from individual outlet glaciers to larger...... to climate forcing, strongly enforcing the need for continued monitoring at high spatial resolution and for improving numerical ice sheet models....

  5. Pre-LGM Northern Hemisphere ice sheet topography

    OpenAIRE

    J. Kleman; J. Fastook; K. Ebert; Nilsson, J.; R Caballero

    2013-01-01

    We here reconstruct the paleotopography of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the glacial maxima of marine isotope stages (MIS) 5b and 4.We employ a combined approach, blending geologically based reconstruction and numerical modeling, to arrive at probable ice sheet extents and topographies for each of these two time slices. For a physically based 3-D calculation based on geologically derived 2-D constraints, we use the University of Maine Ice Sheet Model (UMISM) to calcu...

  6. Greenland ice sheet motion insensitive to exceptional meltwater forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedstone, Andrew J; Nienow, Peter W; Sole, Andrew J; Mair, Douglas W F; Cowton, Thomas R; Bartholomew, Ian D; King, Matt A

    2013-12-01

    Changes to the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet can be forced by various mechanisms including surface-melt-induced ice acceleration and oceanic forcing of marine-terminating glaciers. We use observations of ice motion to examine the surface melt-induced dynamic response of a land-terminating outlet glacier in southwest Greenland to the exceptional melting observed in 2012. During summer, meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet surface accesses the ice sheet bed, lubricating basal motion and resulting in periods of faster ice flow. However, the net impact of varying meltwater volumes upon seasonal and annual ice flow, and thus sea level rise, remains unclear. We show that two extreme melt events (98.6% of the Greenland ice sheet surface experienced melting on July 12, the most significant melt event since 1889, and 79.2% on July 29) and summer ice sheet runoff ~3.9 σ above the 1958-2011 mean resulted in enhanced summer ice motion relative to the average melt year of 2009. However, despite record summer melting, subsequent reduced winter ice motion resulted in 6% less net annual ice motion in 2012 than in 2009. Our findings suggest that surface melt-induced acceleration of land-terminating regions of the ice sheet will remain insignificant even under extreme melting scenarios.

  7. GRACE反演南极冰盖质量变化的高斯与Wiener滤波比较%Comparison of Gaussian and Wiener filter by investigation on mass rates of ice sheet in Antarctic from GRACE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李军海; 文汉江; 刘焕玲; 朱广彬

    2012-01-01

    本文利用UTCSR 2003年1月到2008年8月间的GRACE Level-2 RL04重力场模型估计了南极冰盖质量变化.计算过程中分别采用高斯和Wiener滤波两种平滑方法,分别采用22、43和65个月重力场模型计算Wiener滤波信号与噪声函数,得出以下结论:在实际的计算过程中需要具体计算Wiener滤波平滑因子值,65个月GRACE重力场模型计算得到的Wiener滤波权值非常接近于平滑半径为540km高斯滤波权值;采用两种不同的滤波方法在相同区域质量变化率基本相同.%Gravity solutions from GRACE level-2 RL04 released by UTCSR for the period January 2003 to August 2008 were used to estimate the rates of Antarctic ice mass change. The Gaussian and Wiener filtering smoothing method were used respectively during the process. The signal and noise function of Wiener filtering were calculated respectively by 22, 43 and 65 months time gravity model, and the result was that the model signal and noise functions relate to the selected time period. Therefore smoothing factor values of Wiener filter need to be calculated during the process. The weights of Gaussian filter and Wiener filter computed by 65 GRACE gravity solutions were computed and it was very close to the Gaussian smoothing radius of 540km. The ice mass rates in the west Antartic Amundsen and the east Antartic Enderby land were computed and the mass rates at the same area were almost the same using the two different filtering methods.

  8. Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone and Pack Ice in Observations and NCAR CESM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Campbell, G. G.; Holland, M. M.; Landrum, L.

    2015-12-01

    Sea ice around Antarctica reached another record high extent in September 2014, recording a maximum extent of more than 20 million km2 for the first time since the modern satellite data record began in October 1978. This follows previous record maxima in 2012 and 2013, resulting in an overall increase in Antarctic September sea ice extent of 1.3% per decade since 1979. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the increasing trends, such as anomalous short-term wind patterns that both grow and spread out the ice, and freshening of the surface ocean layer from increased melting of floating ice from the continent. These positive trends in Antarctic sea ice are at odds with climate model forecasts that suggest the sea ice should be declining in response to increasing greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone depletion. While the reasons for the increases in total extent remain poorly understood, it is likely that these changes are not just impacting the total ice extent, but also the distribution of pack ice, the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas, with important ramifications for phytoplankton productivity that in turn impact zooplankton, fish, sea birds and marine mammals. This study evaluates changes in the distribution of the pack ice, polynyas and the marginal ice zone around Antarctica from two sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and the Bootstrap. These results are further compared with climate model simulations from the CESM large ensemble output. Seasonal analysis of the different ice types using NASA Team and Bootstrap shows that during ice advance, the ice advances as pack ice, with a seasonal peak in September (broader peak for Bootstrap), and as the pack ice begins to retreat, it first converts to a wide area of MIZ, that reaches its peak around November (NASA Team) or December (Bootstrap). CESM also shows a similar seasonal cycle, with a peak in the pack ice in August, and a December/January peak in the MIZ. Seasonal variability and trends are

  9. Decadal trends in the Antarctic sea ice extent ultimately controlled by ice-ocean feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Goosse

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The large natural variability of the Antarctic sea ice is a key characteristic of the system that might be responsible for the small positive trend in sea ice extent observed since 1979. In order to gain insight in the processes responsible for this variability, we have analysed in a control simulation performed with a coupled climate model a strong positive ice-ocean feedback that amplifies sea ice variations. When sea ice concentration increases in a region, in particular close to the ice edge, the mixed layer depth tends to decrease. This can be caused by a net inflow of ice and thus of freshwater that stabilizes the water column. Another stabilizing mechanism at interannual time scales that appears more widespread in our simulation is associated with the downward salt transport due to the seasonal cycle of ice formation: brine is released in winter when ice is formed and mixed over a deep layer while the freshwater flux caused by ice melting is included in a shallow layer, resulting in a net vertical transport of salt. Because of this stronger stratification due to the presence of sea ice, more heat is stored at depth in the ocean and the vertical oceanic heat flux is reduced, which contributes to maintain a higher ice extent. This positive feedback is not associated with a particular spatial pattern. Consequently, the spatial distribution of the trend in ice concentration is largely imposed by the wind changes that can provide the initial perturbation. A positive freshwater flux could alternatively be the initial trigger but the amplitude of the final response of the sea ice extent is finally set up by the amplification related to ice-ocean feedback. Initial conditions have also an influence as the chance to have a large increase in ice extent is higher if starting from a state characterized by a low value.

  10. Surface elevation changes of the greenland ice sheet - results from ESA'S ice sheet CCI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna; Khvorostovky, Kirill; Meister, Rakia;

    2013-01-01

    In order to ensure long-term climate data records for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), ESA have launched the Climate Change Initiative (CCI). This work presents the preliminary steps towards the Ice Sheet CCI's surface elevation change (SEC) derivation using radar altimeter data. In order to find the...... most optimal method, a Round Robin exercise was conducted in which the scientific community was asked to provide their best SEC estimate over the Jakobshavn Isbr drainage basin. The participants used both repeat-track (RT), overlapping footprints, and the cross-over (XO) methods, and both ICESat laser...... and Envisat radar altimeter data were used. Based on this and feedback sheets describing their methods we found that a combination of the RT and XO techniques yielded the best results. In the following, the obtained results will be presented and discussed....

  11. Ice sheet runoff and Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Ian; Wolff, Eric; Fowler, Andrew; Clark, Chris; Evatt, Geoff; Johnson, Helen; Munday, David; Rickaby, Ros; Stokes, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Many northern hemisphere climate records, particularly those from around the North Atlantic, show a series of rapid climate changes that recurred on centennial to millennial timescales throughout most of the last glacial period. These Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) sequences are observed most prominently in Greenland ice cores, although they have a global signature, including an out of phase Antarctic signal. They consist of warming jumps of order 10°C, occurring in typically 40 years, followed generally by a slow cooling (Greenland Interstadial, GI) lasting between a few centuries and a few millennia, and then a final rapid temperature drop into a cold Greenland Stadial (GS) that lasts for a similar period. Most explanations for D-O events call on changes in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation strength, and the majority of such explanations use changes in freshwater delivery from ice sheets as a trigger. Many have relied on large inputs of freshwater from singular events (such as lake outbursts or iceberg armadas) to push the AMOC into its cold state. However the evidence for such events at the right time in each cycle is sparse. Here we investigate mechanisms that would arise from a change in the rate of ice sheet runoff, which would be a natural feedback from each rapid warming or cooling event. Recent work has suggested that AMOC is most easily disrupted by freshwater delivered through the Arctic. We investigate whether the proposed AMOC changes could have occurred as part of a natural oscillation, in which runoff from the Laurentide ice sheet into the Arctic is controlled by temperature around the North Atlantic. The Arctic buffers the salinity changes, but under warm conditions, high runoff eventually leads to water entering the North Atlantic with low enough salinity to switch AMOC into its weaker state. Under the colder conditions now prevailing, the Arctic is starved of runoff, and the salinity rises until a further switch occurs. Contrary to many

  12. Capabilities and performance of Elmer/Ice, a new-generation ice sheet model

    OpenAIRE

    O. Gagliardini; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F; Durand, G.; L. Favier; B. de Fleurian; R. Greve; Malinen, M.; Martín, C.; Råback, P.; Ruokolainen, J.; Sacchettini, M.; M. Schäfer; Seddik, H; Thies, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report concluded that ice sheet flow models, in their current state, were unable to provide accurate forecast for the increase of polar ice sheet discharge and the associated contribution to sea level rise. Since then, the glaciological community has undertaken a huge effort to develop and improve a new generation of ice flow models, and as a result a significant number of new ice sheet models have emerged. Among them is the parallel f...

  13. Microwave emissivity of fresh water ice--Lake ice and Antarctic ice pack--Radiative transfer simulations versus satellite radiances

    CERN Document Server

    Mills, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Microwave emissivity models of sea ice are poorly validated empirically. Typical validation studies involve using averaged or stereotyped profiles of ice parameters against averaged radiance measurements. Measurement sites are rarely matched and even less often point-by-point. Because of saline content, complex permittivity of sea ice is highly variable and difficult to predict. Therefore, to check the validity of a typical, plane-parallel, radiative-transfer-based ice emissivity model, we apply it to fresh water ice instead of salt-water ice. Radiance simulations for lake ice are compared with measurements over Lake Superior from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on EOS (AMSR-E). AMSR-E measurements are also collected over Antarctic icepack. For each pixel, a thermodynamic model is driven by four years of European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data and the resulting temperature profiles used to drive the emissivity model. The results suggest that the relatively simple ...

  14. Meltwater flood landforms created beneath a Miocene ice sheet, Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, D.; Denton, G.

    2005-12-01

    We illustrate spectacular meltwater landforms associated with an ice sheet that overrode the Transantarctic Mountains in southern Victoria Land around 14 million years ago. Subglacial channels systems commonly originate near divides and converge downhill toward the northeast. One channel system in the Convoy Range is more than 30 km long and drops about 1000 m in elevation. High-elevation divides in sandstone cols show ice sculpturing, with flow toward the northeast. Bedrock in leeside slopes and platforms is commonly stripped of unconsolidated deposits and bears corrugations, potholes, plunge pools and scabland. We conclude that a major Antarctic Ice Sheet submerged the area as it flowed northeastward toward the outer Antarctic continental shelf. The meltwater landforms and scabland with preserved patches of regolith are best explained by the breaching of cold-based ice on the mountain rim by subglacial meltwater outbursts. Melt from warm-based ice, along with subglacial lakes trapped upstream of the mountain rim, are possible sources of the meltwater necessary to form the channel systems and scablands.

  15. The 2014 high record of Antarctic sea ice extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massonnet, Francois; Guemas, Virginie; Fuckar, Neven; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    In September 2014, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded the symbolic level of 20 million km²for the first time since 1978, when reliable satellite measurements became available. After the successive records of 2012 and 2013, sea ice extent in 2014 once again reinforced the positive trend observed since the late 1970s. We conduct here a dedicated study to elucidate the origins of a major, and perhaps the most intriguing, event that happened at our Poles recently. Observations, reanalyses and model results all point towards the important role of winds in modifying near-surface heat advection patterns around Antarctica. The role of pre-conditioning (summer conditions) is found to be of lesser importance. Finally, we find no evidence that anomalous freshwater forcing (from atmospheric or continental origin) could have explained the record extent of 2014.

  16. Mountain building and the initiation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck; Bonow, Johan; Langen, Peter Lang;

    2013-01-01

    by mapping the two main steps in the landscape that resulted from the two uplift phases. Ice sheet initiation is studied using the topography before uplift and after each phase of uplift by applying different forcing conditions relevant for the late Cenozoic, which was characterised by long-term cooling....... Under conditions that are colder than the present, the ice can overcome the Föhn effect, flow into the interior and form a coherent ice sheet. The results thus indicate that the Greenland Ice Sheet of today is a relict formed under colder conditions. The modelling results are consistent......The effects of a new hypothesis about mountain building in Greenland on ice sheet initiation are investigated using an ice sheet model in combination with a climate model. According to this hypothesis, low-relief landscapes near sea level characterised Greenland in Miocene times until two phases...

  17. Antarctic winter mercury and ozone depletion events over sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerentorp Mastromonaco, M.; Gårdfeldt, K.; Jourdain, B.; Abrahamsson, K.; Granfors, A.; Ahnoff, M.; Dommergue, A.; Méjean, G.; Jacobi, H.-W.

    2016-03-01

    During atmospheric mercury and ozone depletion events in the springtime in polar regions gaseous elemental mercury and ozone undergo rapid declines. Mercury is quickly transformed into oxidation products, which are subsequently removed by deposition. Here we show that such events also occur during Antarctic winter over sea ice areas, leading to additional deposition of mercury. Over four months in the Weddell Sea we measured gaseous elemental, oxidized, and particulate-bound mercury, as well as ozone in the troposphere and total and elemental mercury concentrations in snow, demonstrating a series of depletion and deposition events between July and September. The winter depletions in July were characterized by stronger correlations between mercury and ozone and larger formation of particulate-bound mercury in air compared to later spring events. It appears that light at large solar zenith angles is sufficient to initiate the photolytic formation of halogen radicals. We also propose a dark mechanism that could explain observed events in air masses coming from dark regions. Br2 that could be the main actor in dark conditions was possibly formed in high concentrations in the marine boundary layer in the dark. These high concentrations may also have caused the formation of high concentrations of CHBr3 and CH2I2 in the top layers of the Antarctic sea ice observed during winter. These new findings show that the extent of depletion events is larger than previously believed and that winter depletions result in additional deposition of mercury that could be transferred to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  18. PHOTOPROTECTION OF SEA-ICE MICROALGAL COMMUNITIES FROM THE EAST ANTARCTIC PACK ICE(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrou, Katherina; Hill, Ross; Doblin, Martina A; McMinn, Andrew; Johnson, Robert; Wright, Simon W; Ralph, Peter J

    2011-02-01

    All photosynthetic organisms endeavor to balance energy supply with demand. For sea-ice diatoms, as with all marine photoautotrophs, light is the most important factor for determining growth and carbon-fixation rates. Light varies from extremely low to often relatively high irradiances within the sea-ice environment, meaning that sea-ice algae require moderate physiological plasticity that is necessary for rapid light acclimation and photoprotection. This study investigated photoprotective mechanisms employed by bottom Antarctic sea-ice algae in response to relatively high irradiances to understand how they acclimate to the environmental conditions presented during early spring, as the light climate begins to intensify and snow and sea-ice thinning commences. The sea-ice microalgae displayed high photosynthetic plasticity to increased irradiance, with a rapid decline in photochemical efficiency that was completely reversible when placed under low light. Similarly, the photoprotective xanthophyll pigment diatoxanthin (Dt) was immediately activated but reversed during recovery under low light. The xanthophyll inhibitor dithiothreitol (DTT) and state transition inhibitor sodium fluoride (NaF) were used in under-ice in situ incubations and revealed that nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) via xanthophyll-cycle activation was the preferred method for light acclimation and photoprotection by bottom sea-ice algae. This study showed that bottom sea-ice algae from the east Antarctic possess a high level of plasticity in their light-acclimation capabilities and identified the xanthophyll cycle as a critical mechanism in photoprotection and the preferred means by which sea-ice diatoms regulate energy flow to PSII. PMID:27021712

  19. A moving point approach to model shallow ice sheets: a study case with radially-symmetrical ice sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Bonan

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Predicting the evolution of ice sheets requires numerical models able to accurately track the migration of ice sheet continental margins or grounding lines. We introduce a physically-based moving point approach for the flow of ice sheets based on the conservation of local masses. This allows the ice sheet margins to be tracked explicitly and the waiting time behaviours to be modelled efficiently. A finite difference moving point scheme is derived and applied in a simplified context (continental radially-symmetrical shallow ice approximation. The scheme, which is inexpensive, is validated by comparing the results with moving-margin exact solutions and steady states. In both cases the scheme is able to track the position of the ice sheet margin with high precision.

  20. Recent increase in Antarctic Peninsula ice core uranium concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potocki, Mariusz; Mayewski, Paul A.; Kurbatov, Andrei V.; Simões, Jefferson C.; Dixon, Daniel A.; Goodwin, Ian; Carleton, Andrew M.; Handley, Michael J.; Jaña, Ricardo; Korotkikh, Elena V.

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the distribution of airborne uranium is important because it can result in both chemical and radiological toxicity. Ice cores offer the most robust reconstruction of past atmospheric levels of toxic substances. Here we present the first sub-annually dated, continuously sampled ice core documenting change in U levels in the Southern Hemisphere. The ice core was recovered from the Detroit Plateau, northern Antarctic Peninsula, in 2007 by a joint Brazilian-Chilean-US team. It displays a significant increase in U concentration that coincides with reported mining activities in the Southern Hemisphere, notably Australia. Raw U concentrations in the Detroit Plateau ice core increased by as much as 102 between the 1980s and 2000s accompanied by increased variability in recent years. Decadal mean U concentrations increased by a factor of ∼3 from 1980 to 2007, reaching a mean of 205 pg/L from 2000 to 2007. The fact that other terrestrial source dust elements such as Ce, La, Pr, and Ti do not show a similar increase and that the increased U concentrations are enriched above natural crustal levels, supports an anthropogenic source for the U as opposed to a change in atmospheric circulation.

  1. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John T.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Clarke, G.K.C.; Cuffey, Kurt M.; Fitzpatrick, J.J.; Funder, S.; Marshall, S.J.; Miller, G.H.; Mitrovica, J.X.; Muhs, D.R.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Polyak, L.; White, J.W.C.

    2010-01-01

    Paleoclimatic records show that the GreenlandIce Sheet consistently has lost mass in response to warming, and grown in response to cooling. Such changes have occurred even at times of slow or zero sea-level change, so changing sea level cannot have been the cause of at least some of the ice-sheet changes. In contrast, there are no documented major ice-sheet changes that occurred independent of temperature changes. Moreover, snowfall has increased when the climate warmed, but the ice sheet lost mass nonetheless; increased accumulation in the ice sheet's center has not been sufficient to counteract increased melting and flow near the edges. Most documented forcings and ice-sheet responses spanned periods of several thousand years, but limited data also show rapid response to rapid forcings. In particular, regions near the ice margin have responded within decades. However, major changes of central regions of the ice sheet are thought to require centuries to millennia. The paleoclimatic record does not yet strongly constrain how rapidly a major shrinkage or nearly complete loss of the ice sheet could occur. The evidence suggests nearly total ice-sheet loss may result from warming of more than a few degrees above mean 20th century values, but this threshold is poorly defined (perhaps as little as 2 °C or more than 7 °C). Paleoclimatic records are sufficiently sketchy that the ice sheet may have grown temporarily in response to warming, or changes may have been induced by factors other than temperature, without having been recorded.

  2. Continental Ice Sheets and the Planetary Radiation Budget

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1980-01-01

    The interaction between continental ice sheets and the planetary radiation budget is potentially important in climate-sensitivity studies. A simple ice-sheet model incorporated in an energybalance climate model provides a tool for studying this interaction in a quantitative way. Experiments in which

  3. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Rennermalm

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with approximately half of these attributed to increased surface meltwater runoff. However, controls on ice sheet water release, and the magnitude of englacial storage, firn densification, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain poorly understood. This problem is amplified by scant hydrometerological measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runoff and proglacial river discharge determined between 2008 and 2010 for three sites near Kangerlussuaq, western Greenland were used to establish the water budget for a small ice sheet watershed. The water budget could not be closed in the three years, even when uncertainty ranges were considered. Instead between 12% and 53% of ice sheet surface runoff is retained within the glacier each melt year (time between onset of ice sheet runoff in two consecutive years. Evidence of the ice sheet summer meltwater escaping during the cold-season suggests that the Greenland ice sheet cryo-hydrologic system may remain active year round.

  4. Interactions between ice sheets, climate and the solid Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, J. van den

    2007-01-01

    The melting of ice sheets in response to increasing temperatures is an important contribution to present day sea level rise. To predict the amount of sea level rise and to assess its impact on populated coastal regions, an increased understanding of the physical processes governing ice sheets is ess

  5. Ice-age Ice-sheet Rheology: Constraints from the Last Glacial Maximum Form of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, W. Richard; Goldsby, David L.; Kohlstedt, David L.; Tarasov, Lev

    2000-01-01

    State-ot-the-art thermomechanical models of the modern Greenland ice and the ancient Laurenticle ice sheet that covered Canada at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) are not able to explain simultaneously the observed forms of these cryospheric structures when the same, anisotropy-enhanced, version of the conventional Glen flow law is employed to describe their rheology. The LGM Laurenticle ice sheet. predicted to develop in response to orbital climate forcing, is such that the ratio of its thickness to its horizontal extent is extremely large compared to the aspect ratio inferred on the basis of surface-geomorphological and solid-earth-geophysical constraints. We show that if the Glen flow law representation of the rheology is replaced with a new rheology based upon very high quality laboratory measurements of the stress-strain-rate relation, then the aspect ratios of both the modern Greenland ice sheet and the Laurenticle ice sheet, that existed at the LGM, are simultaneously explained with little or no retuning of the flow law.

  6. Seasonal climate information preserved in West Antarctic ice core water isotopes: relationships to temperature, large-scale circulation, and sea ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuettel, Marcel; Steig, Eric J.; Ding, Qinghua [University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Quaternary Research Center, Seattle, WA (United States); Monaghan, Andrew J. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Battisti, David S. [University of Washington, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2012-10-15

    As part of the United States' contribution to the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE), a network of precisely dated and highly resolved ice cores was retrieved from West Antarctica. The ITASE dataset provides a unique record of spatial and temporal variations of stable water isotopes ({delta}{sup 18}O and {delta}D) across West Antarctica. We demonstrate that, after accounting for water vapor diffusion, seasonal information can be successfully extracted from the ITASE cores. We use meteorological reanalysis, weather station, and sea ice data to assess the role of temperature, sea ice, and the state of the large-scale atmospheric circulation in controlling seasonal average water isotope variations in West Antarctica. The strongest relationships for all variables are found in the cores on and west of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide and during austral fall. During this season positive isotope anomalies in the westernmost ITASE cores are strongly related to a positive pressure anomaly over West Antarctica, low sea ice concentrations in the Ross and Amundsen Seas, and above normal temperatures. Analyses suggest that this seasonally distinct climate signal is due to the pronounced meridional oriented circulation and its linkage to enhanced sea ice variations in the adjacent Southern Ocean during fall, both of which also influence local to regional temperatures. (orig.)

  7. On underwater sound reflection from layered ice sheets

    CERN Document Server

    Hobæk, Halvor

    2016-01-01

    Reflection of sound from ice sheets floating on water is simulated using Thomson and Haskell's method of matrix propagation. The reflection coefficient is computed as a function of incidence angle and frequency for selected ice parameters of a uniform sheet and two layered ice sheets. At some incidence angles and frequencies the reflection coefficient has very low values. It is shown that this is related to generation of Lamb waves in the ice. The matrix propagation method also provides a dispersion equation for a plate loaded with fluid on one side and vacuum on the other. Finally the concept of beam displacement is briefly discussed.

  8. Isostasy in Greenland - deglaciation of an ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Funder, Svend Visby

    The large continental ice sheets left a legacy of isostatic upheaval, which is generally aligned in a rather simple pattern consisting of a dome of uplift with its maximum at the centre of the former ice sheet. Owing to the incomplete deglaciation the isostatic signal left by the LGM ice sheet...... in Greenland is not simple, but composed of several domes with high uplift separated by swales with low uplift. This pattern, which reflects both unloading after LGM and reloading during Neoglacial ice sheet growth, shows that different sectors of the ice sheet responded differently to Holocene warming...... and subsequent cooling where such factors as local climate, topography, and general drainage conditions modified the effect of the overall temperature signal. We present an updated model of the Holocene isostatic uplift in Greenland based on a compilation of c.700 field observations from all parts of the country...

  9. Antarctic climate variability from ice core records over the last two millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braida, Martina; Stenni, Barbara; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Dreossi, Giuliano; Oerter, Hans; Selmo, Enricomaria; Severi, Mirko; Goosse, Hugues; Mezgec, Karin

    2013-04-01

    The climate of the past can be successfully investigated through the study of polar ice sheets. Paleotemperature reconstructions from Antarctic ice cores are based on water isotope profiles, thanks to the existing relationship between δ18O (or δD) and the temperature at the site. Here we present the climate record of the past 2000 years resulting from the stable isotope analysis of the ice core drilled at Talos Dome in East Antarctica from 2003 to 2007 in the framework of the European TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE) project. Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E; 2315 m; -41°C) is an ice dome on the edge of the East Antarctic plateau. The snow accumulation rate of the site (80 kg m-2 yr-1) allows extracting high-resolution data for the past millennia. The main moisture sources of snow precipitation at this near-coastal site are located in the Indian Ocean and the Ross Sea. Isotopic analyses of TALDICE detailed (10 cm) samples have been performed in the framework of the ESF-HOLOCLIP project, whose main objective is to integrate the ice core, the marine core and the modeling data to investigate the climate variability of the high latitude southern hemisphere over the Holocene. The isotopic record obtained from the TALDICE ice core is here compared with a shallow firn core (89 m long) previously drilled at Talos Dome, at a 5 km distance, and covering the past 800 years. The two isotopic records are stacked to reduce the stratigraphic noise and compared with other available isotopic records from Antarctica to highlight common trends and regional variability in the climatic signal over the past two millennia. We compare the data with a simulation performed with a three-dimensional earth system model of intermediate complexity (LOVECLIM) with and without data assimilation. Considering the δ18O profile from the TALDICE ice core and comparing it with the ones from the other available records we can observe common negative isotopic anomalies in the period from about 1450 to

  10. Fully coupled ice sheet-earth system model: How does the Greenlandic ice sheet interact in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodehacke, C.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Vizcaino, M.

    2012-04-01

    As ice sheets belong to the slowest climate components, they are usually not interactively coupled in current climate models. Therefore, long-term climate projections are incomplete and only the consideration of ice sheet interactions allows tackling fundamental questions, such as how do ice sheets modify the reaction of the climate systems under a strong CO2 forcing? The earth system model MPI-ESM, with the atmosphere model ECHAM6 and ocean model MPIOM, is coupled to the modified ice sheet model PISM. This ice sheet model, which is developed at the University of Fairbanks, represents the ice sheet of Greenland at a horizontal resolution of 10 km. The coupling is performed by calculating the surface mass balance based on 6-hourly atmospheric data to determine the boundary condition for the ice sheet model. The response of the ice sheet to this forcing, which includes orographic changes and fresh water fluxes, are passed back to the ESM. In contrast to commonly used strategies, we use a mass conserving scheme and do therefore neither apply flux corrections nor utilize anomaly coupling. Under a strong CO2 forcing a disintegrating Greenlandic ice sheet contributes to a rising sea level and has the potential to alter the formation of deep water masses in the adjacent formation sites Labrador Sea and Nordic Seas. We will present results for an idealized forcing with a growing atmospheric CO2 concentration that rises by 1% per year until four-times the pre-industrial level has been reached. We will discuss the reaction of the ice sheet and immediate responses of the ocean to ice loss.

  11. Monitoring southwest Greenland's ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordret, Aurélien; Mikesell, T Dylan; Harig, Christopher; Lipovsky, Bradley P; Prieto, Germán A

    2016-05-01

    The Greenland ice sheet presently accounts for ~70% of global ice sheet mass loss. Because this mass loss is associated with sea-level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/year, the development of improved monitoring techniques to observe ongoing changes in ice sheet mass balance is of paramount concern. Spaceborne mass balance techniques are commonly used; however, they are inadequate for many purposes because of their low spatial and/or temporal resolution. We demonstrate that small variations in seismic wave speed in Earth's crust, as measured with the correlation of seismic noise, may be used to infer seasonal ice sheet mass balance. Seasonal loading and unloading of glacial mass induces strain in the crust, and these strains then result in seismic velocity changes due to poroelastic processes. Our method provides a new and independent way of monitoring (in near real time) ice sheet mass balance, yielding new constraints on ice sheet evolution and its contribution to global sea-level changes. An increased number of seismic stations in the vicinity of ice sheets will enhance our ability to create detailed space-time records of ice mass variations. PMID:27386524

  12. Climate variability and ice-sheet dynamics during the last three glaciations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrochta, Stephen P.; Crowley, Thomas J.; Channell, James E. T.; Hodell, David A.; Baker, Paul A.; Seki, Arisa; Yokoyama, Yusuke

    2014-11-01

    A composite North Atlantic record from DSDP Site 609 and IODP Site U1308 spans the past 300,000 years and shows that variability within the penultimate glaciation differed substantially from that of the surrounding two glaciations. Hematite-stained grains exhibit similar repetitive down-core variations within the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 8 and 4-2 intervals, but little cyclic variability within the MIS 6 section. There is also no petrologic evidence, in terms of detrital carbonate-rich (Heinrich) layers, for surging of the Laurentide Ice Sheet through the Hudson Strait during MIS 6. Rather, very high background concentration of iceberg-rafted debris (IRD) indicates near continuous glacial meltwater input that likely increased thermohaline disruption sensitivity to relatively weak forcing events, such as expanded sea ice over deepwater formation sites. Altered (sub)tropical precipitation patterns and Antarctic warming during high orbital precession and low 65°N summer insolation appear related to high abundance of Icelandic glass shards and southward sea ice expansion. Differing European and North American ice sheet configurations, perhaps aided by larger variations in eccentricity leading to cooler summers, may have contributed to the relative stability of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the Hudson Strait region during MIS 6.

  13. Modeling the Fracture of Ice Sheets on Parallel Computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waisman, Haim [Columbia University; Tuminaro, Ray [Sandia National Labs

    2013-10-10

    The objective of this project was to investigate the complex fracture of ice and understand its role within larger ice sheet simulations and global climate change. This objective was achieved by developing novel physics based models for ice, novel numerical tools to enable the modeling of the physics and by collaboration with the ice community experts. At the present time, ice fracture is not explicitly considered within ice sheet models due in part to large computational costs associated with the accurate modeling of this complex phenomena. However, fracture not only plays an extremely important role in regional behavior but also influences ice dynamics over much larger zones in ways that are currently not well understood. To this end, our research findings through this project offers significant advancement to the field and closes a large gap of knowledge in understanding and modeling the fracture of ice sheets in the polar regions. Thus, we believe that our objective has been achieved and our research accomplishments are significant. This is corroborated through a set of published papers, posters and presentations at technical conferences in the field. In particular significant progress has been made in the mechanics of ice, fracture of ice sheets and ice shelves in polar regions and sophisticated numerical methods that enable the solution of the physics in an efficient way.

  14. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Gunter

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating reprocessed data sets over a longer period of time, and now include a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes. A range of different GRACE gravity models were evaluated, as well as a new ICESat surface height trend map computed using an overlapping footprint approach. When the GIA models created from the combination approach were compared to in-situ GPS ground station displacements, the vertical rates estimated showed consistently better agreement than existing GIA models. In addition, the new empirically derived GIA rates suggest the presence of strong uplift in the Amundsen Sea and Philippi/Denman sectors, as well as subsidence in large parts of East Antarctica. The total GIA mass change estimates for the entire Antarctic ice sheet ranged from 53 to 100 Gt yr−1, depending on the GRACE solution used, and with an estimated uncertainty of ±40 Gt yr−1. Over the time frame February 2003–October 2009, the corresponding ice mass change showed an average value of −100 ± 44 Gt yr−1 (EA: 5 ± 38, WA: −105 ± 22, consistent with other recent estimates in the literature, with the mass loss mostly concentrated in West Antarctica. The refined approach presented in this study shows the contribution that such data combinations can make towards improving estimates of present day GIA and ice mass change, particularly with respect to determining more reliable uncertainties.

  15. The last Scandinavian ice sheet in northwestern Russia: ice flow patterns and decay dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demidov, L.; Houmark-Nielsen, Michael; Kjær, Kurt Henrik;

    2006-01-01

    the main ice sheet. During the Lateglacial warming, disintegration and melting took place in a 200-600 km wide zone along the northeastern rim of SIS associated with thick Quaternary accumulations. Deglaciation occurred through aerial downwasting within large fields of dead ice developed during......Advance of the Late Weichselian (Valdaian) Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) in northwestern Russia took place after a period of periglacial conditions. Till of the last SIS, Bobrovo till, overlies glacial deposits from the previous Barents and Kara Sea ice sheets and marine deposits of the Last...... in Russia than previously outlined and the time of termination at 18-16 cal. kyr BP was almost 10 kyr delayed compared to the southwestern part of the ice sheet. We argue that the lithology of the ice sheets' substrate, and especially the location of former proglacial lake basins, influenced the dynamics...

  16. Permafrost-ice-sheet interactions during the Quaternary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willeit, Matteo; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2016-04-01

    Permafrost influences a number of processes which are relevant for local and global climate. For example, it is well known that permafrost plays an important role in global carbon and methane cycles. Less is known about the interaction between permafrost and ice sheets. We recently included a permafrost module in the Earth system model CLIMBER-2 to explore the coupled Northern Hemisphere (NH) permafrost-ice-sheet evolution during the Quaternary. The model has been shown to perform generally well at reproducing present-day permafrost extent and thickness. Modelled permafrost extent at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) agrees well with reconstructions and previous modeling estimates. In a previous study we showed that over the last glacial cycle permafrost has a relatively modest impact on simulated NH ice sheet volume except at LGM, when including permafrost increases ice volume by about 15 m sea level equivalent in our model. This is explained by a delayed melting of the ice base from below by the geothermal heat flux when the ice sheet sits on a porous sediment layer and permafrost has to be melted first. Permafrost affects ice sheet dynamics only when ice extends over areas covered by thick sediments, which is the case at LGM. In transient model simulations of the "40 kyr world" of the early Pleistocene we show that when all continents are covered by a thick sediment layer the response of ice volume to the obliquity component of orbital forcing is enhanced while the response to precession is dampened. We therefore argue that permafrost could have played a role for ice sheet evolution when all continents were covered by a thick sediment layer, as was likely the case in the early Pleistocene before the sediment layer was gradually eroded by expanding ice sheets over parts of northern Canada and Scandinavia.

  17. Tropical tales of polar ice: evidence of Last Interglacial polar ice sheet retreat recorded by fossil reefs of the granitic Seychelles islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Andrea; Webster, Jody M.; Zwartz, Dan; Lambeck, Kurt; Wohlfarth, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    In the search for a record of eustatic sea level change on glacial-interglacial timescales, the Seychelles ranks as one of the best places on the planet to study. Owing to its location with respect to the former margins of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets that wax and wane on orbital cycles, the local-or relative-sea level history is predicted to lie within a few meters of the globally averaged eustatic signal during the Last Interglacial period. We have surveyed and dated Last Interglacial fossil corals to ascertain peak sea level and hence infer maximum retreat of polar ice sheets during this time interval. We observe a pattern of gradually rising sea level in the Seychelles between ˜129 and 125 thousand years ago (ka), with peak eustatic sea level attained after 125 ka at 7.6 ± 1.7 m higher than present. After accounting for thermal expansion and loss of mountain glaciers, this sea-level budget would require ˜5-8 m of polar ice sheet contribution, relative to today's volume, of which only ˜2 m came from the Greenland ice sheet. This result clearly identifies the Antarctic ice sheet as a significant source of melt water, most likely derived from one of the unstable, marine-based sectors in the West and/or East Antarctic ice sheet. Furthermore, the establishment of a +5.9 ± 1.7 m eustatic sea level position by 128.6 ± 0.8 ka would require that partial AIS collapse was coincident with the onset of the sea level highstand.

  18. Observational Evidence of a Hemispheric-wide Ice-ocean Albedo Feedback Effect on Antarctic Sea-ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nihashi, Sohey; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of ice-ocean albedo feedback (a kind of ice-albedo feedback) on sea-ice decay is demonstrated over the Antarctic sea-ice zone from an analysis of satellite-derived hemispheric sea ice concentration and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-40) atmospheric data for the period 1979-2001. Sea ice concentration in December (time of most active melt) correlates better with the meridional component of the wind-forced ice drift (MID) in November (beginning of the melt season) than the MID in December. This 1 month lagged correlation is observed in most of the Antarctic sea-ice covered ocean. Daily time series of ice , concentration show that the ice concentration anomaly increases toward the time of maximum sea-ice melt. These findings can be explained by the following positive feedback effect: once ice concentration decreases (increases) at the beginning of the melt season, solar heating of the upper ocean through the increased (decreased) open water fraction is enhanced (reduced), leading to (suppressing) a further decrease in ice concentration by the oceanic heat. Results obtained fi-om a simple ice-ocean coupled model also support our interpretation of the observational results. This positive feedback mechanism explains in part the large interannual variability of the sea-ice cover in summer.

  19. The Ice Core Data Gateway: The one stop gateway to ice core data held at the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC), the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, and the Arctic System Science's Data Coordination Center (ADCC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, R.; Scambos, T.; Eakin, M.; Anderson, D.; McNeave, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Ice Core Data Gateway archives and distributes physical and geochemical data from ice cores collected in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Typical data sets include age-depth relationships, oxygen and hydrogen isotope concentrations, major element chemistry, accumulation rates and pollen. The data are in general presented as ASCII files with a short text metadata description. The archive is designed to provide access to ice core data sets over the long term, thereby making them available for comparison with future data: a critical component of change detection studies. By facilitating broad data access, the center promotes interdisciplinary scientific research. Investigators are encouraged to contribute data sets derived from ice cores to the Ice Core Data Gateway. Data center staff will work with you to compile data set documentation prior to making the data available to users. Contributing scientists are given prominent recognition in the documentation, and while the data center answers technical questions about format, citations for usage, etc., it can refer scientific questions to contributors if requested. Contributing your data to the Ice Core Data Gateway and associated data centers directly supports to NSF Office of Polar Programs Guidelines and Award Conditions for Scientific Data (http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?opp991). This effort is being coordinated with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Initiative and U.S. component of the International Trans Antarctic Science Expedition (ITASE), and includes data from the Arctic System Science Program's Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core.

  20. Reconstructing the temperature regime of the Weichselian ice sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmlund, P. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography

    1997-04-01

    Areas in Sweden are described, where the ice could have been at the pressure melting point during the last ice age. In order to calculate probable degrees of glacial erosion, estimates on the time of ice coverage and the temperature distribution in time are combined data on erosion rates from present day glaciers. An estimate of the extent of ice cover can be made using the proxy temperature record from the Greenland ice cores and a model of the ice sheet. Adding the estimations on climate and ice sheet shape outlined in this contribution, to erosion figures we may conclude that the crucial areas for glaciation erosion are within the mountains and where the present Baltic and the Gulf of Bothnia are situated. At these sites erosion rates of some tens of meters may have occurred. In inland northern Sweden and inland southern Sweden the potential for glacial erosion seems to be small. 14 refs.

  1. Seasonal Greenland Ice Sheet ice flow variations in regions of differing bed and surface topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sole, A. J.; Livingstone, S. J.; Rippin, D. M.; Hill, J.; McMillan, M.; Quincey, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to future sea-level rise is uncertain. Observations reveal the important role of basal water in controlling ice-flow to the ice sheet margin. In Greenland, drainage of large volumes of surface meltwater to the ice sheet bed through moulins and hydrofracture beneath surface lakes dominates the subglacial hydrological system and provides an efficient means of moving mass and heat through the ice sheet. Ice surface and bed topography influence where meltwater can access the bed, and the nature of its subsequent flow beneath the ice. However, no systematic investigation into the influence of topographic variability on Greenland hydrology and dynamics exists. Thus, physical processes controlling storage and drainage of surface and basal meltwater, and the way these affect ice flow are not comprehensively understood. This presents a critical obstacle in efforts to predict the future evolution of the GrIS. Here we present high-resolution satellite mapping of the ice-surface drainage network (e.g. lakes, channels and moulins) and measurements of seasonal variations in ice flow in south west Greenland. The region is comprised of three distinct subglacial terrains which vary in terms of the amplitude and wavelength and thus the degree to which basal topography is reflected in the ice sheet surface. We find that the distribution of surface hydrological features is related to the transfer of bed topography to the ice sheet surface. For example, in areas of thinner ice and high bed relief, moulins occur more frequently and are more uniformly dispersed, indicating a more distributed influx of surface-derived meltwater to the ice sheet bed. We investigate the implications of such spatial variations in surface hydrology on seasonal ice flow rates.

  2. Evidence for the former existence of a thicker ice sheet on the Vestfjella nunataks in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lintinen, P.

    1996-06-01

    Full Text Available Vestfjella (73-74°S, 13-16°W is a 130 km long nunatak range in western Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica, and its northern and southern ends are situated close to the present ice sheet grounding-line. Striations and lodgement till on nunatak Basen indicate that the northernmost Vestfjella nunataks were formerly covered by a thicker Antarctic ice sheet. Striations on the summit ridge of nunatak Plogen indicate that the minimum change in ice thickness has been 700 m at the present ice sheet grounding-line. The relatively uniform oldest striation direction on different nunatak summits and the altitude of Plogen, which is less than 200 m lower than the highest Vestfjella summits, indicates that the whole of Vestfjella may have been covered by an ice sheet. Oxidation of till surface stones and an increased clay fraction in the upper part of the till layer were the only indications of soil formation on Basen. The unweathered nature of the Basen lodgement till indicate a relatively young age for deglaciation. This conclusion is also supported by age determinations and sedimentological data obtained from Weddell Sea sediments by Norwegian researchers, suggesting that a grounded ice sheet extended to the shelf edge at around 21 ka B.P. However the age of the glaciation which covered Basen and Plogen and the subsequent deglaciation is not based on precise dates and therefore the late Wisconsinan/Weichselian age is only a working hypothesis.

  3. Uncertainty Quantification for Large-Scale Ice Sheet Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghattas, Omar [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)

    2016-02-05

    This report summarizes our work to develop advanced forward and inverse solvers and uncertainty quantification capabilities for a nonlinear 3D full Stokes continental-scale ice sheet flow model. The components include: (1) forward solver: a new state-of-the-art parallel adaptive scalable high-order-accurate mass-conservative Newton-based 3D nonlinear full Stokes ice sheet flow simulator; (2) inverse solver: a new adjoint-based inexact Newton method for solution of deterministic inverse problems governed by the above 3D nonlinear full Stokes ice flow model; and (3) uncertainty quantification: a novel Hessian-based Bayesian method for quantifying uncertainties in the inverse ice sheet flow solution and propagating them forward into predictions of quantities of interest such as ice mass flux to the ocean.

  4. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    A. K. Rennermalm; Smith, L. C.; V. W. Chu; Box, J. E.; Forster, R.R.; Van De Broeke, M. R.; van As, D.; S. E. Moustafa

    2013-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with more than half of these attributed to surface meltwater runoff. However, the magnitudes of englacial storage, firn retention, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global ocean remain less understood, partly due to a scarcity of in situ measurements. Here, ice sheet surface meltwater runoff and proglacial river discharge between 2008 and 2010 near Kangerlussuaq, sou...

  5. Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: thermodynamics and atmospheric drivers

    OpenAIRE

    Box, J. E.; X. Fettweis; J. C. Stroeve; Tedesco, M.; Hall, D.K.; Steffen, K.

    2012-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass loss has accelerated in the past decade responding to combined glacier discharge and surface melt water runoff increases. During summer, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface primarily by albedo, is the dominant factor governing surface melt variability in the ablation area. Using satellite observations of albedo and melt extent with calibrated regional climate model output, we determine the spatial dependence and quantitative impact of the ice sheet...

  6. The signature analysis of summer Antarctic sea-ice distribution by ship-based sea-ice observation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Based on the Chinese 19th National Antarctic Research Expedition,we carried out ship-based Antarctic sea-ice observa-tion on icebreaker Xue Long using Antarctic sea-ice process and climate (ASPeCt) criteria during austral summer.Sea-ice distribution data were obtained along nearly 6,500 km of the ship’s track.The measurement parameters included sea-ice thickness,sea-ice concentration,snow thickness,and floe size.Analysis showed the presence of the large spatial varia-tions of the observed sea-ice characteristics.Sea-ice concentration varied between 0 and 80 percent and reached its peak value in Weddell Sea because of the specific dynamical process affecting in summer sea-ice melting.There are large areas of open water along the study section.Sea ice and the upper snow thickness of the section varied between 10 cm and 210 cm and 2 cm and 80 cm,respectively,and each reaches its peak values near Amery ice shelf.The floe size varied from less than 10 cm and the maximum of more than 2,000 km along the section.

  7. Ice age aerosol content from east Antarctic ice core samples and past wind strength

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The possible link between the aerosol content from the 905 deep Dome C ice core (East Antartica) which spans some 32,000 yr (Lorius et al. Nature; 280:644 (1979)) and climate, is considered. No evidence of major global or local volcanic activity was found though large marine and continental inputs (respectively 5 and 20 times higher than present) were observed at the end of the last Glacial stage. It is considered that they reflect glacial age climate with stronger atmospheric circulation, enhanced aridity and faster aerosol transport towards the Antarctic continent. (U.K.)

  8. Layer disturbances and the radio-echo free zone in ice sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Drews

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Radio-echo sounding of the Antarctic and Greenlandic ice sheets often reveals a layer in the lowest hundreds of meters above bedrock more or less free of radio echoes, known as the echo-free zone (EFZ. The cause of this feature is unclear, so far lacking direct evidence for its origin. We compare echoes around the EPICA drill site in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, with the microstructural and dielectrical properties of the EPICA-DML ice core. We find that echoes disappear in the depth range, where the coherency of the layers is lost due to disturbances caused by the ice flow. At the drill site, the EFZ onset at ~2100 m marks a boundary, below which the ice core may have experienced flow induced disturbances on various scales. The dating of the climate record becomes increasingly difficult below 1900 m, until correlation with the Dome C record is lost below 2417 m depth. The onset also indicates changing rheology which needs to be accounted for in the modeling of ice sheet dynamics.

  9. Interpretation of Ice Sheet Stratigraphy: a Radio - Sounding Study of the Dyer Plateau, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weertman, Bruce Randall

    Determining the flow history of ice sheets is an issue central to glaciology. Stratigraphic ice horizons provide the only known natural markers for inferring velocity at depth. Stratigraphy can be detected by radio-echo sounding (RES, also called radar) and dated by coring, which together determine the age field in the ice. In this thesis it is shown for the first time how ice flow can be deduced from stratigraphy. As a first step a method is given for the deduction of the spatial pattern of accumulation from shallow dated stratigraphy. The effects of densification and horizontal divergence are determined. It is then shown how, and when, internal motion can be deduced from dated stratigraphy. A theory is developed to deduce streamlines assuming steady-state flow and mass conservation. The theory does not require rheological assumptions or a spatial accumulation rate pattern. The theory can be used to determine internal deformation rates, accumulation rate history and whether or not observed stratigraphy is consistent with steady-state flow. As part of a collaborative program involving the British Antarctic Survey, the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Polar Ice Coring Office and the University of Washington, the author has used a newly devised RES system to measure the geometry of internal stratigraphy and ice thickness on the Dyer Plateau Ice Sheet, Antarctic Peninsula. RES -determined stratigraphy was dated by comparison to ice core stratigraphy. A prominent shallow RES horizon probably associated with the eruption of Tambora (1815) was used for estimating the spatial accumulation rate pattern. The estimated pattern is consistent with the pattern measured from burial markers indicating that the new method is accurate and that the recent accumulation rate pattern is not different from the 175 year average. An analysis of ice core stratigraphy indicates that over the past 500 years the accumulation rate has varied and over the past 50 years has had an increasing

  10. Supraglacial bacterial community structures vary across the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cameron, Karen A.; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D.;

    2016-01-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across t...

  11. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John Thomas; Brigham-Grette, Julia;

    2010-01-01

    Paleoclimatic records show that the Greenland Ice Sheet consistently has lost mass in response to warming, and grown in response to cooling. Such changes have occurred even at times of slow or zero sea-level change, so changing sea level cannot have been the cause of at least some of the ice-shee...

  12. Representing Greenland ice sheet freshwater fluxes in climate models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, Jan T M; Le Bars, Dewi; Van Kampenhout, Leo; Vizcaino, Miren; Enderlin, Ellyn M.; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2015-01-01

    Here we present a long-term (1850-2200) best estimate of Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) freshwater runoff that improves spatial detail of runoff locations and temporal resolution. Ice discharge is taken from observations since 2000 and assumed constant in time. Surface meltwater runoff is retrieved from

  13. Detailed ice loss pattern in the northern Antarctic Peninsula: widespread decline driven by ice front retreats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Scambos

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, 3 a−1 and 24.9 ± 7.8 Gt a−1. This mass loss is compatible with recent gravimetric assessments, but it implies that almost all the gravimetry-inferred loss lies in the nAP sector. Mass loss is highest for eastern glaciers affected by major ice shelf collapses in 1995 and 2002, where twelve glaciers account for 60% of the total imbalance. However, losses at smaller rates occur throughout the nAP, and at high and low elevation, despite increased snow accumulation along the western coast and at high elevations. We interpret the widespread mass loss to be driven by decades of ice front retreats on both sides of the nAP, and by the propagation of kinematic waves triggered at the fronts into the interior.

  14. Cryosphere Science Outreach using the Ice Sheet System Model and a Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, D. L. C.; Halkides, D. J.; Larour, E. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the role of Cryosphere Science within the larger context of Sea Level Rise is both a technical and educational challenge that needs to be addressed if the public at large is to trulyunderstand the implications and consequences of Climate Change. Within this context, we propose a new approach in which scientific tools are used directly inside a mobile/website platform geared towards Education/Outreach. Here, we apply this approach by using the Ice Sheet System Model, a state of the art Cryosphere model developed at NASA, and integrated within a Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory, with the goal is to outreach Cryospherescience to K-12 and College level students. The approach mixes laboratory experiments, interactive classes/lessons on a website, and a simplified interface to a full-fledged instance of ISSM to validate the classes/lessons. This novel approach leverages new insights from the Outreach/Educational community and the interest of new generations in web based technologies and simulation tools, all of it delivered in a seamlessly integrated web platform. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory undera contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere Science Program.

  15. Coupling of climate models and ice sheet models by surface mass balance gradients: application to the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Helsen

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available It is notoriously difficult to couple surface mass balance (SMB results from climate models to the changing geometry of an ice sheet model. This problem is traditionally avoided by using only accumulation from a climate model, and parameterizing the meltwater run-off as a function of temperature, which is often related to surface elevation (Hs. In this study, we propose a new strategy to calculate SMB, to allow a direct adjustment of SMB to a change in ice sheet topography and/or a change in climate forcing. This method is based on elevational gradients in the SMB field as computed by a regional climate model. Separate linear relations are derived for ablation and accumulation, using pairs of Hs and SMB within a minimum search radius. The continuously adjusting SMB forcing is consistent with climate model forcing fields, also for initially non-glaciated areas in the peripheral areas of an ice sheet. When applied to an asynchronous coupled ice sheet – climate model setup, this method circumvents traditional temperature lapse rate assumptions. Here we apply it to the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS. Experiments using both steady-state forcing and glacial-interglacial forcing result in realistic ice sheet reconstructions.

  16. Impact of the El Nino on the Variability of the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈锦年; 褚健婷; 徐兰英

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the spreading way in the southern hemisphere that anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is analysed and then impact of El Nino on the variability of the Antarctic sea ice extent is investigated by using a dataset from 1970 to 2002. The analysis result show that in El Nino event the anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is poleward propagation yet the westward propagation along southern equator current hasn 't been discovered . The poleward propagation time of the anomalous warm water is about 1 year or so. El Nino event has a close relationship with the sea ice extent in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula. After El Nino appears , there is a lag of two years that the sea ice in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausea sea, especially in the Antarctic peninsula decreases obviously. The processes that El Nino has influence with Antarctic sea ice extent is the warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific poleward propagation along off the coast of southern America and cause the anomalous temperature raise in near pole and then lead the sea ice in Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula to decrease where the obvious decrease of the sea ice since 80 'decade has close relation to the frequently appearance of El Nino.

  17. Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutt, J.; Barratt, I.; Domack, E.; Scheidat, M.

    2011-01-01

    The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The

  18. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is a key element of the climate system and has now been monitored through satellite observations for over three and a half decades. The satellite observations reveal considerable information about polar ice and its changes since the late 1970s, including a prominent downward trend in Arctic sea ice coverage and a much lesser upward trend in Antarctic sea ice coverage, illustrative of the important fact that climate change entails spatial contrasts. The decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic corresponds well with contemporaneous Arctic warming and exhibits particularly large decreases in the summers of 2007 and 2012, influenced by both preconditioning and atmospheric conditions. The increasing ice coverage in the Antarctic is not as readily explained, but spatial differences in the Antarctic trends suggest a possible connection with atmospheric circulation changes that have perhaps been influenced by the Antarctic ozone hole. The changes in the polar ice covers and the issues surrounding those changes have many commonalities with broader climate changes and their surrounding issues, allowing the sea ice changes to be viewed in some important ways as a microcosm of global climate change.

  19. Ice calving and deformation from Antarctic Ice margins using RISAT-1 circular polarization SAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaprasad, P.; Rajak, D. R.; Singh, R. K.; Oza, S. R.; Sharma, R.; Kumar, R.

    2014-11-01

    In the present study, quantification of spatial and temporal changes has been carried out between Indian Antarctic Research station Bharati and Amery ice shelf by monitoring the ice margins using RISAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Spatio-temporal change detection was carried out by comparing the feature's geographic locations from geometrically rectified SAR data from RISAT-1 (Dec. 2013), Radarsat-2 (Feb. 2013), and Antarctic Mapping Mission products of Radarsat-1 (1997 & 2000). We report large scale disintegrations at two prominent glacier tongues namely Polar Record Glacier (PRG) and Polar Times Glacier(PTG). The results are verified against in-situ ground observations made during Summer period of 33rd ISEA (Dec. 2013-Feb. 2014) and MODIS images from NSIDC archive. Polar Record Glacier Tongue (PRGT) was drastically deformed by 135.8 km2 and Polar Times Glacier Tongue (PTGT) was partly calved by ~195.6 km2 and moved away by ~23 km especially between February and December 2013.

  20. Extent of Low-accumulation 'Wind Glaze' Areas on the East Antarctic Plateau: Implications for Continental Ice Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, Theodore A.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Haran, T.; Bohlander, J.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Jezek, K.; Long, D.; Urbini, S.; Farness, K.; Neumann, T.; Albert, M.; Winther, J.-G.

    2012-01-01

    Persistent katabatic winds form widely distributed localized areas of near-zero net surface accumulation on the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) plateau. These areas have been called 'glaze' surfaces due to their polished appearance. They are typically 2-200 square kilometers in area and are found on leeward slopes of ice-sheet undulations and megadunes. Adjacent, leeward high-accumulation regions (isolated dunes) are generally smaller and do not compensate for the local low in surface mass balance (SMB). We use a combination of satellite remote sensing and field-gathered datasets to map the extent of wind glaze in the EAIS above 1500m elevation. Mapping criteria are derived from distinctive surface and subsurface characteristics of glaze areas resulting from many years of intense annual temperature cycling without significant burial. Our results show that 11.2 plus or minus 1.7%, or 950 plus or minus 143 x 10(exp 3) square kilometers, of the EAIS above 1500m is wind glaze. Studies of SMB interpolate values across glaze regions, leading to overestimates of net mass input. Using our derived wind-glaze extent, we estimate this excess in three recent models of Antarctic SMB at 46-82 Gt. The lowest-input model appears to best match the mean in regions of extensive wind glaze.

  1. Generation of a new Greenland Ice Sheet Digital Elevation Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagarajan, Sudhagar; Csatho, Beata M; Schenk, Anton F;

    Currently available Digital Elevation Models(DEMs) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) were originally derived from radar altimetry data, e.g. Bamber (Bamber et al., 2001) and later improved by photoclinometry to fill the regions between orbits (Scambos and Haran, 2002). The elevation error...... of these DEMs is a few meters in the higher part (above 2000 m) of the ice sheet, but it can be as much as 50-100 meters in marginal regions. The relatively low resolution and accuracy poses a problem, especially for ice sheet modeling. Although accurate elevation data have been collected by airborne...... and spaceborne laser altimetry (airborne: Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-present), Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor(LVIS) (2007,2009 and 2011); spaceborne: Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) (2003-2009)) and DEMs have been derived from stereo satellite imagery (e.g., SPOT (40 m), ASTER (15...

  2. Mapping of a Hydrological Ice Sheet Drainage Basin on the West Greenland Ice Sheet Margin from ERS-1/2 SAR Interferometry, Ice-Radar Measurement, and Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Bøggild, C.E.; Stenseng, L.;

    2002-01-01

    importance of the potential of the ice overburden pressure compared to the bedrock topography. The meltwater run-off for the basin delineations was modelled with an energy-balance model calibrated with observed ice-sheet ablation and compared to a 25 year time series of measured basin run-off. The standard......The hydrological ice-sheet basin draining into the Tasersiaq lake, West Greenland (66°13'N, 50°30'W), was delineated, First using standard digital elevation models (DEMs) for ice-sheet surface and bedrock, and subsequently using a new high-resolution dataset, with a surface DEM derived from repeat......-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a bedrock topography derived from an airborne 60 MHz ice-penetrating radar. The extent of the delineation was calculated from a water-pressure potential as a function of the ice-sheet surface and bedrock elevations and a hydraulic factor κ describing the relative...

  3. A record of Antarctic sea ice extent in the Southern Indian Ocean for the past 300 yr and its relationship with global mean temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Xiao

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The differing response of ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic to global average temperature change, over approximately the last three decades, highlights the importance of reconstructing long-term sea ice history. Here, using high-resolution ice core records of methanesulfonate (MS− from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Princess Elizabeth Land, we reconstruct southern Indian Ocean sea ice extent (SIE for the sector 70° E–100° E for the period 1708–2000 A.D. Annual MS− concentration positively correlates in this sector with satellite-derived SIE for the period 1973–2000 (P − record of proxy SIE shows multi-decadal variations, with large decreases occurring in two warm intervals during the Little Ice Age, and during the 1940s. However, after the 1980s there is a change in phase between Antarctic SIE and global temperature change, with both increasing. This paradox is probably attributable to the strong anomaly in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM in the recent three decades.

  4. Cooperation between the Nordic countries and Japan in advanced ice sheet and glacier modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Greve, Ralf; Zwinger, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    An ice sheet is a grounded ice body with an area greater than 50,000 km2. The only current ice sheets on Earth are in Antarctica and Greenland, while during the maximum of the last glacial period about 21,000 years ago the Laurentide ice sheet covered much of Canada and North America, the Fennoscandian ice sheet covered northern Europe and the Patagonian ice sheet covered southern South America. Smaller grounded ice bodies, depending on their size, are termed ice caps or glaciers, their numbe...

  5. Measurement of the fracture toughness of polycrystalline bubbly ice from an Antarctic ice core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Christmann

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The critical fracture toughness is a material parameter describing the resistance of a cracked body to further crack extension. It is an important parameter for simulating and predicting the breakup behavior of ice shelves from the calving of single icebergs to the disintegration of entire ice shelves over a wide range of length scales. The fracture toughness values are calculated with equations that are derived from an elastic stress analysis. Additionally, an X-ray computer tomography (CT scanner was used to identify the density as a function of depth. The critical fracture toughness of 91 Antarctic bubbly ice samples with densities between 840 and 870 kg m−3 has been determined by applying a four-point bending technique on single-edge v-notched beam samples. The examined ice core was drilled 70 m north of Kohnen Station, Dronnning Maud Land (75°00' S, 00°04' E; 2882 m. Supplementary data are available at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.835321.

  6. A new coupled ice sheet/climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI. The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet.

    A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  7. A new coupled ice sheet-climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model, that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI. The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet.

    A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  8. A new coupled ice sheet-climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fyke, J. G.; Weaver, A. J.; Pollard, D.; Eby, M.; Carter, L.; Mackintosh, A.

    2010-08-01

    The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model, that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM) and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI). The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB) field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT) biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet. A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  9. A new coupled ice sheet/climate model: description and sensitivity to model physics under Eemian, Last Glacial Maximum, late Holocene and modern climate conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fyke, J. G.; Weaver, A. J.; Pollard, D.; Eby, M.; Carter, L.; Mackintosh, A.

    2011-03-01

    The need to better understand long-term climate/ice sheet feedback loops is motivating efforts to couple ice sheet models into Earth System models which are capable of long-timescale simulations. In this paper we describe a coupled model that consists of the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM) and the Pennsylvania State University Ice model (PSUI). The climate model generates a surface mass balance (SMB) field via a sub-gridded surface energy/moisture balance model that resolves narrow ice sheet ablation zones. The ice model returns revised elevation, surface albedo and ice area fields, plus coastal fluxes of heat and moisture. An arbitrary number of ice sheets can be simulated, each on their own high-resolution grid and each capable of synchronous or asynchronous coupling with the overlying climate model. The model is designed to conserve global heat and moisture. In the process of improving model performance we developed a procedure to account for modelled surface air temperature (SAT) biases within the energy/moisture balance surface model and improved the UVic ESCM snow surface scheme through addition of variable albedos and refreezing over the ice sheet. A number of simulations for late Holocene, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and Eemian climate boundary conditions were carried out to explore the sensitivity of the coupled model and identify model configurations that best represented these climate states. The modelled SAT bias was found to play a significant role in long-term ice sheet evolution, as was the effect of refreezing meltwater and surface albedo. The bias-corrected model was able to reasonably capture important aspects of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, including modern SMB and ice distribution. The simulated northern Greenland ice sheet was found to be prone to ice margin retreat at radiative forcings corresponding closely to those of the Eemian or the present-day.

  10. In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. P. Grosvenor

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In-situ aircraft observations of ice crystal concentrations in Antarctic clouds are presented for the first time. Orographic, layer and wave clouds around the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice shelf regions were penetrated by the British Antarctic Survey's Twin Otter aircraft, which was equipped with modern cloud physics probes. The clouds studied were mostly in the free troposphere and hence ice crystals blown from the surface are unlikely to have been a major source for the ice phase. The temperature range covered by the experiments was 0 to −21 °C. The clouds were found to contain supercooled liquid water in most regions and at heterogeneous ice formation temperatures ice crystal concentrations (60 s averages were often less than 0.07 l−1, although values up to 0.22 l−1 were observed. Estimates of observed aerosol concentrations were used as input into the DeMott et al. (2010 ice nuclei (IN parameterisation. The observed ice crystal number concentrations were generally in broad agreement with the IN predictions, although on the whole the predicted values were higher. Possible reasons for this are discussed and include the lack of IN observations in this region with which to characterise the parameterisation, and/or problems in relating ice concentration measurements to IN concentrations. Other IN parameterisations significantly overestimated the number of ice particles. Generally ice particle concentrations were much lower than found in clouds in middle latitudes for a given temperature.

    Higher ice crystal concentrations were sometimes observed at temperatures warmer than −9 °C, with values of several per litre reached. These were attributable to secondary ice particle production by the Hallett Mossop process. Even in this temperature range it was observed that there were regions with little or no ice that were dominated by supercooled liquid water. It is likely that in some cases this was due to a

  11. Model studies of the effects of global warming and Antarctic sea ice changes on Antarctic and global climates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The authors discuss the results obtained in three experiments by changing the global ocean temperatures and the concentration and distribution of Antarctic sea ice in a General Circulation Model of July climate, with a view to determining the local and global impacts of Antarctic sea ice variations alone, as distinct with those coupled with global scale temperature changes which may be associated with global warming. In all cases there were significant changes in the upward flux of sensible heat over the sea ice zone associated with the reductions of sea ice. The response of weaker westerlies between 40 and 65 degree S was common to all three experiments. Their analyses suggest that a significant proportion of this is a response to the change in sea ice concentration alone. (Not surprisingly, further north of this region most of the changes induced in the wind structure in the global forcing experiment can be seen as due unambiguously to the differential changes in ocean temperatures.). This weakening of the westerlies means there is less mechanical forcing of the ocean in this region. From this they suggest that when consideration is given to the possible impact of feedbacks not considered in these experiments, sea ice changes alone, and particularly those in the Southern Hemisphere, have the potential to induce changes on a hemispheric scale

  12. Improving Surface Mass Balance Over Ice Sheets and Snow Depth on Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Lora Suzanne; Box, Jason; Kurtz, Nathan

    2013-01-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) over ice sheets and snow on sea ice (SOSI) are important components of the cryosphere. Large knowledge gaps remain in scientists' abilities to monitor SMB and SOSI, including insufficient measurements and difficulties with satellite retrievals. On ice sheets, snow accumulation is the sole mass gain to SMB, and meltwater runoff can be the dominant single loss factor in extremely warm years such as 2012. SOSI affects the growth and melt cycle of the Earth's polar sea ice cover. The summer of 2012 saw the largest satellite-recorded melt area over the Greenland ice sheet and the smallest satellite-recorded Arctic sea ice extent, making this meeting both timely and relevant.

  13. Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, H W; Flower, B P; Quinn, T M; Hollander, D J; Guilderson, T P

    2005-10-02

    A leading hypothesis to explain abrupt climate change during the last glacial cycle calls on fluctuations in the margin of the North American Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS), which may have routed freshwater between the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and North Atlantic, affecting North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) variability and regional climate. Paired measurements of {delta}O and Mg/Ca of foraminiferal calcite from GOM sediments reveal five episodes of LIS meltwater input from 28-45 thousand years ago (ka) that do not match the millennial-scale Dansgaard-Oeschger (D/O) warmings recorded in Greenland ice. We suggest that summer melting of the LIS may occur during Antarctic warming and likely contributed to sea-level variability during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3).

  14. A spurious jump in the satellite record: is Antarctic sea ice really expanding?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Eisenman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent estimates indicate that the Antarctic sea ice cover is expanding at a statistically significant rate with a magnitude one third as large as the rapid rate of sea ice retreat in the Arctic. However, during the mid-2000s, with several fewer years in the observational record, the trend in Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be considerably smaller and statistically indistinguishable from zero. Here, we show that the increase in the reported trend occurred primarily due to the effect of a previously undocumented change in the way the satellite sea ice observations are processed for the widely-used Bootstrap algorithm dataset, rather than a physical increase in the rate of ice advance. Although our analysis does not definitively identify whether this undocumented change introduced an error or removed one, the resulting difference in the trends suggests that a substantial error exists in either the current dataset or the version that was used prior to the mid-2000s, and numerous studies that have relied on these observations should be reexamined to determine the sensitivity of their results to this change in the dataset. Furthermore, a number of recent studies have investigated physical mechanisms for the observed expansion of the Antarctic sea ice cover. The results of this analysis raise the possibility that this expansion may be a spurious artifact of an error in the satellite observations, and that the actual Antarctic sea ice cover may not be expanding at all.

  15. Effect of the glacial rebound on elevation changes deduced from the ice core records in Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    It is important to investigate the behavior of the Greenland ice sheet in Quaternary for elucidating the future sea-level rise due to glacial melting. In order to reconstruct the elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet throughout the Holocene, δ18O data obtained from ice cores were recently used (Vinther et al., 2009). Vinther et al. (2009) also indicated that the Greenland ice sheet elevation changes inferred from ice core records show a significantly greater elevation reduction than th...

  16. Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholls, K.W.; Abrahamsen, E.P.; Buck, J.J.H.; P. A. Dodd; Goldblatt, C.; Griffiths, G; K. J. Heywood; Hughes, N.E.; Kaletzky, A.; Lane-Serff, G.F.; McPhail, S.D.; Millard, N. W.; Oliver, K. I. C.; Perrett, J; Price, M. R.

    2006-01-01

    The cavities beneath Antarctic ice shelves are among the least studied regions of the World Ocean, yet they are sites of globally important water mass transformations. Here we report results from a mission beneath Fimbul Ice Shelf of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The data reveal a spatially complex oceanographic environment, an ice base with widely varying roughness, and a cavity periodically exposed to water with a temperature significantly above the surface freezing point. The result...

  17. Incorporation of iron and organic matter into young Antarctic sea ice during its initial growth stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Janssens

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study reports concentrations of iron (Fe and organic matter in young Antarctic pack ice and during its initial growth stages in situ. Although the importance of sea ice as an Fe reservoir for oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean has been clearly established, the processes leading to the enrichment of Fe in sea ice have yet to be investigated and quantified. We conducted two in situ sea-ice growth experiments during a winter cruise in the Weddell Sea. Our aim was to improve the understanding of the processes responsible for the accumulation of dissolved Fe (DFe and particulate Fe (PFe in sea ice, and of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, extracellular polymeric substances, inorganic macro-nutrients (silicic acid, nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and ammonium, chlorophyll a and bacteria. Enrichment indices, calculated for natural young ice and ice newly formed in situ, indicate that during Antarctic winter all of the measured forms of particulate matter were enriched in sea ice compared to underlying seawater, and that enrichment started from the initial stages of sea-ice formation. Some dissolved material (DFe and ammonium was also enriched in the ice but at lower enrichment indices than the particulate phase, suggesting that size is a key factor for the incorporation of impurities in sea ice. Low chlorophyll a concentrations and the fit of the macro-nutrients (with the exception of ammonium with their theoretical dilution lines indicated low biological activity in the ice. From these and additional results we conclude that physical processes are the dominant mechanisms leading to the enrichment of DFe, PFe, organic matter and bacteria in young sea ice, and that PFe and DFe are decoupled during sea-ice formation. Our study thus provides unique quantitative insight into the initial incorporation of impurities, in particular DFe and PFe, into Antarctic sea ice.

  18. Representing grounding-line dynamics in Antarctic ice-sheet models/Représentation de la dynamique de la ligne d’ancrage dans les modèles cryosphériques antarctiques

    OpenAIRE

    Docquier, David

    2013-01-01

    Since the mid-20th century, global average temperatures have dramatically risen mostly due to the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The effects of this recent global warming are already evident and could be exacerbated in the near future if no real action is taken. Recent ice loss in West Antarctica, monitored by satellite measurements and other techniques, gives cause for concern in such a warming world. A major part of this loss has been driven by warm water m...

  19. DMSP and DMS cycling within Antarctic sea ice during the winter-spring transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damm, E.; Nomura, D.; Martin, A.; Dieckmann, G. S.; Meiners, K. M.

    2016-09-01

    This study describes within-ice concentrations of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), its degradation product dimethylsulphide (DMS), as well as nutrients and chlorophyll a, that were sampled during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment-2 (SIPEX-2) in 2012. DMSP is a methylated substrate produced in large amounts annually by ice-associated microalgae, while DMS plays a significant role in carbon and sulphur cycling in the Southern Ocean. In the East Antarctic study area between 115-125°E and 64-66°S, ice and slush cores, brine, under-ice seawater and zooplankton (Antarctic krill) samples were collected at 6 ice stations. The pack-ice was characterised by high snow loading which initiated flooding events and triggered nutrient supply to the sea-ice surface, while variation in ice conditions influenced sea-ice permeability. This ranged from impermeable surface and middle sections of the sea ice, to completely permeable ice cores at some stations. Chlorophyll a maxima shifted from the sea-ice surface horizon at the first station to the sea ice bottom layer at the last station. Highest DMSP concentrations were detected in brine samples at the sea-ice surface, reflecting a mismatch with respect to the distribution of chlorophyll a. Our data suggest enhanced DMSP production by sea-ice surface algal communities and its release into brine during freezing and melting, which in turn is coupled to flooding events early in the season. A time-cycle of DMS production by DMSP degradation and DMS efflux is evident at the sea ice-snow interface when slush is formed during melt. Seawater under the ice contained only low concentrations of DMSP and DMS, even when brine drainage was evident and the sea ice became permeable. We postulate that in situ grazing by zooplankton may act as sink for the DMSP produced early in the season.

  20. Ice Sheet Roughness Estimation Based on Impulse Responses Acquired in the Global Ice Sheet Mapping Orbiter Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niamsuwan, N.; Johnson, J. T.; Jezek, K. C.; Gogineni, P.

    2008-12-01

    The Global Ice Sheet Mapping Orbiter (GISMO) mission was developed to address scientific needs to understand the polar ice subsurface structure. This NASA Instrument Incubator Program project is a collaboration between Ohio State University, the University of Kansas, Vexcel Corporation and NASA. The GISMO design utilizes an interferometric SAR (InSAR) strategy in which ice sheet reflected signals received by a dual-antenna system are used to produce an interference pattern. The resulting interferogram can be used to filter out surface clutter so as to reveal the signals scattered from the base of the ice sheet. These signals are further processed to produce 3D-images representing basal topography of the ice sheet. In the past three years, the GISMO airborne field campaigns that have been conducted provide a set of useful data for studying geophysical properties of the Greenland ice sheet. While topography information can be obtained using interferometric SAR processing techniques, ice sheet roughness statistics can also be derived by a relatively simple procedure that involves analyzing power levels and the shape of the radar impulse response waveforms. An electromagnetic scattering model describing GISMO impulse responses has previously been proposed and validated. This model suggested that rms-heights and correlation lengths of the upper surface profile can be determined from the peak power and the decay rate of the pulse return waveform, respectively. This presentation will demonstrate a procedure for estimating the roughness of ice surfaces by fitting the GISMO impulse response model to retrieved waveforms from selected GISMO flights. Furthermore, an extension of this procedure to estimate the scattering coefficient of the glacier bed will be addressed as well. Planned future applications involving the classification of glacier bed conditions based on the derived scattering coefficients will also be described.

  1. Capabilities and performance of Elmer/Ice, a new-generation ice sheet model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Gagliardini

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report concluded that ice sheet flow models, in their current state, were unable to provide accurate forecast for the increase of polar ice sheet discharge and the associated contribution to sea level rise. Since then, the glaciological community has undertaken a huge effort to develop and improve a new generation of ice flow models, and as a result a significant number of new ice sheet models have emerged. Among them is the parallel finite-element model Elmer/Ice, based on the open-source multi-physics code Elmer. It was one of the first full-Stokes models used to make projections for the evolution of the whole Greenland ice sheet for the coming two centuries. Originally developed to solve local ice flow problems of high mechanical and physical complexity, Elmer/Ice has today reached the maturity to solve larger-scale problems, earning the status of an ice sheet model. Here, we summarise almost 10 yr of development performed by different groups. Elmer/Ice solves the full-Stokes equations, for isotropic but also anisotropic ice rheology, resolves the grounding line dynamics as a contact problem, and contains various basal friction laws. Derived fields, like the age of the ice, the strain rate or stress, can also be computed. Elmer/Ice includes two recently proposed inverse methods to infer badly known parameters. Elmer is a highly parallelised code thanks to recent developments and the implementation of a block preconditioned solver for the Stokes system. In this paper, all these components are presented in detail, as well as the numerical performance of the Stokes solver and developments planned for the future.

  2. Effect of Cd on GSH and GSH-related enzymes of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L existing in Antarctic ice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Yu; MIAO Jin-lai; LI Guang-you; WANG Quan-fu; KAN Guang-feng; WANG Guo-dong

    2005-01-01

    Glutathione(GSH) and GSH-related enzymes play a great role in protecting organisms from oxidative damage. The GSH level and GSH-related enzymes activities were investigated as well as the growth yield and malonyldialdehyde(MDA) content in the Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L exposure to the different cadmium concentration in this paper. The results showed that the higher concentration Cd inhibited the growth of ICE-L significantly and Cd would induce formation of MDA. At the same time, it is clear that GSH level, glutathione peroxidases(GPx) activity and glutathione S-transferases(GST), activity were higher in ICE-L exposed to Cd than the control. But GR activity dropped notably when ICE-L were cultured in the medium containing Cd. Increase of GSH level, GPx and GST activities acclimate to oxidative stress induced by Cd and protect Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L from toxicity caused by Cd exposure. These parameters may be used to assess the biological impact of Cd in the Antarctic pole region environment.

  3. OSL ages in central Norway support a MIS 2 interstadial (25-20 ka) and a dynamic Scandinavian ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Timothy F.; Olsen, Lars; Murray, Andrew

    2012-06-01

    Recent work has suggested that the Scandinavian ice sheet was much more dynamic than previously believed, and its western marine-based margin can provide an analogue to the rapid-paced fluctuations and deglaciation observed at the margins of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. In this study we used a complimentary dating technique, OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating), to support the existence of the Trofors interstadial in central Norway; an ice-free period that existed from ˜25 to 20 ka recorded at multiple sites throughout Norway (cf. Andøya interstadial) and that divides the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) into two stadials. OSL signal component analysis was used to optimize data analysis, and internal (methodological) tests show the results to be of good quality. Both large and small aliquots gave consistent OSL ages (22.3 ± 1.7 ka, n = 7) for sub-till glaciofluvial/fluvial sediments at the Langsmoen stratigraphic site, and an apparent old age (˜100 ka) for a poorly-bleached sample of glaciolacustrine sediment at the nearby stratigraphically-related Flora site. Eight radiocarbon ages of sediment from the Flora site gave consistent ages (20.9 ± 1.6 cal ka BP) that overlap within 1σ with OSL ages from the nearby Langsmoen site. The similarity in age within and between these stratigraphically-related sites and using different geochronological techniques strongly suggests that this area was ice-free around ˜21 or 22 ka. The existence of the Trofors interstadial along with other interstadials during the Middle and Late Weichselian (MIS 3 and MIS 2) indicates that not only the western margin, but the whole western part of the Scandinavian ice sheet, from the ice divide to the ice margin was very dynamic. These large changes in the ice margin and accompanying drawdown of the ice surface would have affected the eastern part of the ice sheet as well.

  4. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Khan, S. A.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA’s Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mai...

  5. Greenland Ice sheet mass balance from satellite and airborne altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, S. A.; Bevis, M. G.; Wahr, J. M.; Wouters, B.; Sasgen, I.; van Dam, T. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Hanna, E.; Huybrechts, P.; Kjaer, K.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Bjork, A. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is dominated by loss in the marginal areas. Dynamic induced ice loss and its associated ice surface lowering is often largest close to the glacier calving front and may vary from rates of tens of meters per years to a few meters per year over relatively short distances. Hence, high spatial resolution data are required to accurately estimate volume changes. Here, we estimate ice volume change rate of the Greenland ice sheet using data from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter during 2003-2009 and CryoSat-2 data during 2010-2012. To improve the volume change estimate we supplement the ICESat and CryoSat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) during 2003-2012 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) during 2007-2012. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and therefore significantly improve the estimate of the total volume change. Furthermore, we divide the GrIS into six major drainage basins and provide volume loss estimates during 2003-2006, 2006-2009 and 2009-2012 for each basin and separate between melt induced and dynamic ice loss. In order to separate dynamic ice loss from melt processes, we use SMB values from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) and SMB values from a positive degree day runoff retention model (Janssens & Huybrechts 2000, Hanna et al. 2011 JGR, updated for this study). Our results show increasing SMB ice loss over the last decade, while dynamic ice loss increased during 2003-2009, but has since been decreasing. Finally, we assess the estimated mass loss using GPS observations from stations located along the edge of the GrIS and measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravity mission. Hanna, E., et al. (2011), Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance 1870 to 2010 based on Twentieth Century Reanalysis, and links with global climate forcing, J. Geophys. Res

  6. SPICE: Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benveniste, Jérôme; Escolà, Roger; Roca, Mònica; Ambrózio, Américo; Restano, Marco; McMillan, Malcolm; Escorihuela, Maria Jose; Shepherd, Andrew; Thibaut, Pierre; Remy, Frederique

    2016-07-01

    Since the launch of ERS-1 in 1991, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a near continuous record of ice sheet elevation change, yielding estimates of ice sheet mass imbalance at the scale of individual ice sheet basins. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which limits their capacity to make reliable measurements in areas of complex topographic terrain. In recent years, progress has been made towards improving ground resolution, through the implementation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or Delay-Doppler, techniques. In 2010, the launch of CryoSat-2 by the European Space Agency heralded the start of a new era of SAR altimetry, although full SAR coverage of the polar ice sheets will only be achieved with the launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite in February 2016. Because of the heritage of SAR altimetry provided by CryoSat-2, current SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized and evaluated for water and sea ice surfaces. This leaves several outstanding issues related to the development and evaluation of SAR altimetry for ice sheets, including improvements to SAR processing algorithms and SAR altimetry waveform retracking procedures. Here we will present interim results from SPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets), a 2 year project that focuses on the expected performance of Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry over the Polar ice sheets. The project, which began in September 2015 and is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, aims to contribute to the development and understanding of ice sheet SAR altimetry through the emulation of Sentinel-3 data from dedicated CryoSat SAR acquisitions made at several sites in Antarctica and Greenland. More specifically, the project aims to (1) evaluate and improve the current Delay-Doppler processing and SAR waveform retracking

  7. High export of dissolved silica from the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meire, L.; Meire, P.; Struyf, E.; Krawczyk, D. W.; Arendt, K. E.; Yde, J. C.; Juul Pedersen, T.; Hopwood, M. J.; Rysgaard, S.; Meysman, F. J. R.

    2016-09-01

    Silica is an essential element for marine life and plays a key role in the biogeochemistry of the ocean. Glacial activity stimulates rock weathering, generating dissolved silica that is exported to coastal areas along with meltwater. The magnitude of the dissolved silica export from large glacial areas such as the Greenland Ice Sheet is presently poorly quantified and not accounted for in global budgets. Here we present data from two fjord systems adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet which reveal a large export of dissolved silica by glacial meltwater relative to other macronutrients. Upscaled to the entire Greenland Ice Sheet, the export of dissolved silica equals 22 ± 10 Gmol Si yr-1. When the silicate-rich meltwater mixes with upwelled deep water, either inside or outside Greenland's fjords, primary production takes place at increased silicate to nitrate ratios. This likely stimulates the growth of diatoms relative to other phytoplankton groups.

  8. The suppression of Antarctic bottom water formation by melting ice shelves in Prydz Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G D; Herraiz-Borreguero, L; Roquet, F; Tamura, T; Ohshima, K I; Fukamachi, Y; Fraser, A D; Gao, L; Chen, H; McMahon, C R; Harcourt, R; Hindell, M

    2016-01-01

    A fourth production region for the globally important Antarctic bottom water has been attributed to dense shelf water formation in the Cape Darnley Polynya, adjoining Prydz Bay in East Antarctica. Here we show new observations from CTD-instrumented elephant seals in 2011-2013 that provide the first complete assessment of dense shelf water formation in Prydz Bay. After a complex evolution involving opposing contributions from three polynyas (positive) and two ice shelves (negative), dense shelf water (salinity 34.65-34.7) is exported through Prydz Channel. This provides a distinct, relatively fresh contribution to Cape Darnley bottom water. Elsewhere, dense water formation is hindered by the freshwater input from the Amery and West Ice Shelves into the Prydz Bay Gyre. This study highlights the susceptibility of Antarctic bottom water to increased freshwater input from the enhanced melting of ice shelves, and ultimately the potential collapse of Antarctic bottom water formation in a warming climate.

  9. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Antonio B; Putzke, Jair

    2013-09-01

    This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications. PMID:24068084

  10. The suppression of Antarctic bottom water formation by melting ice shelves in Prydz Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G. D.; Herraiz-Borreguero, L.; Roquet, F.; Tamura, T.; Ohshima, K. I.; Fukamachi, Y.; Fraser, A. D.; Gao, L.; Chen, H.; McMahon, C. R.; Harcourt, R.; Hindell, M.

    2016-08-01

    A fourth production region for the globally important Antarctic bottom water has been attributed to dense shelf water formation in the Cape Darnley Polynya, adjoining Prydz Bay in East Antarctica. Here we show new observations from CTD-instrumented elephant seals in 2011-2013 that provide the first complete assessment of dense shelf water formation in Prydz Bay. After a complex evolution involving opposing contributions from three polynyas (positive) and two ice shelves (negative), dense shelf water (salinity 34.65-34.7) is exported through Prydz Channel. This provides a distinct, relatively fresh contribution to Cape Darnley bottom water. Elsewhere, dense water formation is hindered by the freshwater input from the Amery and West Ice Shelves into the Prydz Bay Gyre. This study highlights the susceptibility of Antarctic bottom water to increased freshwater input from the enhanced melting of ice shelves, and ultimately the potential collapse of Antarctic bottom water formation in a warming climate.

  11. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kjeldsen, K.K.; Khan, S.A.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change est

  12. Evaluating Antarctic sea ice predictability at seasonal to interannual timescales in global climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, Sylvain; Fichefet, Thierry; Goosse, Hugues; Zunz, Violette; Tietsche, Steffen; Day, Jonny; Hawkins, Ed

    2016-04-01

    Unlike the rapid sea ice losses reported in the Arctic, satellite observations show an overall increase in Antarctic sea ice extent over recent decades. Although many processes have already been suggested to explain this positive trend, it remains the subject of current investigations. Understanding the evolution of the Antarctic sea ice turns out to be more complicated than for the Arctic for two reasons: the lack of observations and the well-known biases of climate models in the Southern Ocean. Irrespective of those issues, another one is to determine whether the positive trend in sea ice extent would have been predictable if adequate observations and models were available some decades ago. This study of Antarctic sea ice predictability is carried out using 6 global climate models (HadGEM1.2, MPI-ESM-LR, GFDL CM3, EC-Earth V2, MIROC 5.2 and ECHAM 6-FESOM) which are all part of the APPOSITE project. These models are used to perform hindcast simulations in a perfect model approach. The predictive skill is estimated thanks to the PPP (Potential Prognostic Predictability) and the ACC (Anomaly Correlation Coefficient). The former is a measure of the uncertainty of the ensemble while the latter assesses the accuracy of the prediction. These two indicators are applied to different variables related to sea ice, in particular the total sea ice extent and the ice edge location. This first model intercomparison study about sea ice predictability in the Southern Ocean aims at giving a general overview of Antarctic sea ice predictability in current global climate models.

  13. GREENLAND ICE SHEET CHANGES FROM SPACE USING LASER, RADAR AND

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Stenseng, Lars; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard;

    2010-01-01

    The Greenland cryosphere is undergoing rapid changes, and these are documented by remote sensing from space. In this paper, an inversion scheme is used to derive mass changes from gravity changes observed by GRACE, and to derive the mean annual mass loss for the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is...... estimated to be 204 Gt/yr for the period 2002-2010. NASA’s laser altimetry satellite ICESat has provided elevation estimates of the ice sheet since January 2003. In order to be able to compare GRACE and ICESat derived results, the ICESat volume change must be converted into a mass change estimate. Therefore...

  14. Groundwater flow modelling under ice sheet conditions. Scoping calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaquet, O.; Namar, R. (In2Earth Modelling Ltd (Switzerland)); Jansson, P. (Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden))

    2010-10-15

    The potential impact of long-term climate changes has to be evaluated with respect to repository performance and safety. In particular, glacial periods of advancing and retreating ice sheet and prolonged permafrost conditions are likely to occur over the repository site. The growth and decay of ice sheets and the associated distribution of permafrost will affect the groundwater flow field and its composition. As large changes may take place, the understanding of groundwater flow patterns in connection to glaciations is an important issue for the geological disposal at long term. During a glacial period, the performance of the repository could be weakened by some of the following conditions and associated processes: - Maximum pressure at repository depth (canister failure). - Maximum permafrost depth (canister failure, buffer function). - Concentration of groundwater oxygen (canister corrosion). - Groundwater salinity (buffer stability). - Glacially induced earthquakes (canister failure). Therefore, the GAP project aims at understanding key hydrogeological issues as well as answering specific questions: - Regional groundwater flow system under ice sheet conditions. - Flow and infiltration conditions at the ice sheet bed. - Penetration depth of glacial meltwater into the bedrock. - Water chemical composition at repository depth in presence of glacial effects. - Role of the taliks, located in front of the ice sheet, likely to act as potential discharge zones of deep groundwater flow. - Influence of permafrost distribution on the groundwater flow system in relation to build-up and thawing periods. - Consequences of glacially induced earthquakes on the groundwater flow system. Some answers will be provided by the field data and investigations; the integration of the information and the dynamic characterisation of the key processes will be obtained using numerical modelling. Since most of the data are not yet available, some scoping calculations are performed using the

  15. Groundwater flow modelling under ice sheet conditions. Scoping calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The potential impact of long-term climate changes has to be evaluated with respect to repository performance and safety. In particular, glacial periods of advancing and retreating ice sheet and prolonged permafrost conditions are likely to occur over the repository site. The growth and decay of ice sheets and the associated distribution of permafrost will affect the groundwater flow field and its composition. As large changes may take place, the understanding of groundwater flow patterns in connection to glaciations is an important issue for the geological disposal at long term. During a glacial period, the performance of the repository could be weakened by some of the following conditions and associated processes: - Maximum pressure at repository depth (canister failure). - Maximum permafrost depth (canister failure, buffer function). - Concentration of groundwater oxygen (canister corrosion). - Groundwater salinity (buffer stability). - Glacially induced earthquakes (canister failure). Therefore, the GAP project aims at understanding key hydrogeological issues as well as answering specific questions: - Regional groundwater flow system under ice sheet conditions. - Flow and infiltration conditions at the ice sheet bed. - Penetration depth of glacial meltwater into the bedrock. - Water chemical composition at repository depth in presence of glacial effects. - Role of the taliks, located in front of the ice sheet, likely to act as potential discharge zones of deep groundwater flow. - Influence of permafrost distribution on the groundwater flow system in relation to build-up and thawing periods. - Consequences of glacially induced earthquakes on the groundwater flow system. Some answers will be provided by the field data and investigations; the integration of the information and the dynamic characterisation of the key processes will be obtained using numerical modelling. Since most of the data are not yet available, some scoping calculations are performed using the

  16. The extreme melt across the Greenland ice sheet in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Hall, D. K.; Mote, T. L.; Tedesco, M.; Albert, M. R.; Keegan, K.; Shuman, C. A.; DiGirolamo, N. E.; Neumann, G.

    2012-10-01

    The discovery of the 2012 extreme melt event across almost the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet is presented. Data from three different satellite sensors - including the Oceansat-2 scatterometer, the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder - are combined to obtain composite melt maps, representing the most complete melt conditions detectable across the ice sheet. Satellite observations reveal that melt occurred at or near the surface of the Greenland ice sheet across 98.6% of its entire extent on 12 July 2012, including the usually cold polar areas at high altitudes like Summit in the dry snow facies of the ice sheet. This melt event coincided with an anomalous ridge of warm air that became stagnant over Greenland. As seen in melt occurrences from multiple ice core records at Summit reported in the published literature, such a melt event is rare with the last significant one occurring in 1889 and the next previous one around seven centuries earlier in the Medieval Warm Period. Given its rarity, the 2012 extreme melt across Greenland provides an exceptional opportunity for new studies in broad interdisciplinary geophysical research.

  17. Spring–summer albedo variations of Antarctic sea ice from 1982 to 2009

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study examined the spring–summer (November, December, January and February) albedo averages and trends using a dataset consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data for the entire Antarctic sea ice region and for five longitudinal sectors around Antarctica: the Weddell Sea (WS), the Indian Ocean sector (IO), the Pacific Ocean sector (PO), the Ross Sea (RS) and the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea (BS). Time series data of the sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures were used to analyse their relations to the albedo. The results indicated that the sea ice albedo increased slightly during the study period, at a rate of 0.314% per decade, over the Antarctic sea ice region. The sea ice albedos in the PO, the IO and the WS increased at rates of 2.599% per decade (confidence level 99.86%), 0.824% per decade and 0.413% per decade, respectively, and the steepest increase occurred in the PO. However, the sea ice albedo in the BS decreased at a rate of −1.617% per decade (confidence level 95.05%) and was near zero in the RS. The spring–summer average albedo over the Antarctic sea ice region was 50.24%. The highest albedo values were mainly found on the continental coast and in the WS; in contrast, the lowest albedo values were found on the outer edge of the sea ice, the RS and the Amery Ice Shelf. The average albedo in the western Antarctic sea ice region was distinctly higher than that in the east. The albedo was significantly positively correlated with sea ice concentration (SIC) and was significantly negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (SST); these scenarios held true for all five longitudinal sectors. Spatially, the higher surface albedos follow the higher SICs and lower SST patterns. The increasing albedo means that Antarctic sea ice region reflects more solar radiation and absorbs less, leading to a decrease in temperature and much snowfall on sea ice, and further resulted in an increase in albedo. Conversely, the decreasing

  18. Antarctic icebergs melt over the Southern Ocean : Climatology and impact on sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Le Sommer, Julien; Durand, Gael; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Madec, Gurvan; Mathiot, Pierre; Tournadre, Jean

    2016-08-01

    Recent increase in Antarctic freshwater release to the Southern Ocean is suggested to contribute to change in water masses and sea ice. However, climate models differ in their representation of the freshwater sources. Recent improvements in altimetry-based detection of small icebergs and in estimates of the mass loss of Antarctica may help better constrain the values of Antarctic freshwater releases. We propose a model-based seasonal climatology of iceberg melt over the Southern Ocean using state-of-the-art observed glaciological estimates of the Antarctic mass loss. An improved version of a Lagrangian iceberg model is coupled with a global, eddy-permitting ocean/sea ice model and compared to small icebergs observations. Iceberg melt increases sea ice cover, about 10% in annual mean sea ice volume, and decreases sea surface temperature over most of the Southern Ocean, but with distinctive regional patterns. Our results underline the importance of improving the representation of Antarctic freshwater sources. This can be achieved by forcing ocean/sea ice models with a climatological iceberg fresh-water flux.

  19. Large-scale Modeling of the Greenland Ice Sheet on Long Timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck

    this threshold towards colder temperatures in line with a recent study, but the new threshold value depends on the choice of method. It was found using the adaptive patterns that the Greenland ice sheet can reform under present-day conditions. A further study where additional coupling between the ice-sheet model......, and it is thus bistable under present day conditions. The Greenland ice sheet in the Pliocene is also studied, and the great variability in ice-sheet size during the period is demonstrated. The effects of a new hypothesis abot mountain building in Greenland on ice-sheet initiation are also investigated......The stability of the Greenland ice sheet has global implications through sea level. Even smaller reductions in ice-sheet size can raise sea level enough to lead to complications for societies worldwide. In this work, the stability and evolution of the Greenland ice sheet on long timescales...

  20. Physicochemical control of bacterial and protist community composition and diversity in Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torstensson, Anders; Dinasquet, Julie; Chierici, Melissa; Fransson, Agneta; Riemann, Lasse; Wulff, Angela

    2015-10-01

    Due to climate change, sea ice experiences changes in terms of extent and physical properties. In order to understand how sea ice microbial communities are affected by changes in physicochemical properties of the ice, we used 454-sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes to examine environmental control of microbial diversity and composition in Antarctic sea ice. We observed a high diversity and richness of bacteria, which were strongly negatively correlated with temperature and positively with brine salinity. We suggest that bacterial diversity in sea ice is mainly controlled by physicochemical properties of the ice, such as temperature and salinity, and that sea ice bacterial communities are sensitive to seasonal and environmental changes. For the first time in Antarctic interior sea ice, we observed a strong eukaryotic dominance of the dinoflagellate phylotype SL163A10, comprising 63% of the total sequences. This phylotype is known to be kleptoplastic and could be a significant primary producer in sea ice. We conclude that mixotrophic flagellates may play a greater role in the sea ice microbial ecosystem than previously believed, and not only during the polar night but also during summer when potential food sources are abundant.

  1. In situ expression of eukaryotic ice-binding proteins in microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlig, Christiane; Kilpert, Fabian; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Kegel, Jessica U; Krell, Andreas; Mock, Thomas; Valentin, Klaus; Beszteri, Bánk

    2015-11-01

    Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) have been isolated from various sea-ice organisms. Their characterisation points to a crucial role in protecting the organisms in sub-zero environments. However, their in situ abundance and diversity in natural sea-ice microbial communities is largely unknown. In this study, we analysed the expression and phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic IBP transcripts from microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. IBP transcripts were found in abundances similar to those of proteins involved in core cellular processes such as photosynthesis. Eighty-nine percent of the IBP transcripts grouped with known IBP sequences from diatoms, haptophytes and crustaceans, but the majority represented novel sequences not previously characterized in cultured organisms. The observed high eukaryotic IBP expression in natural eukaryotic sea ice communities underlines the essential role of IBPs for survival of many microorganisms in communities living under the extreme conditions of polar sea ice. PMID:25885562

  2. The impact of the North American ice sheet on the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last glacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Liakka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Modeling studies show that the massive ice sheet expanding over the North American and Eurasian continents in the last glacial cycle has a large impact on the atmospheric stationary waves and thus yielded a glacial climate distinctly different from the present. However, to what extent the two ice sheets influenced each others growth trajectories remains largely unexplored. In this study we investigate how ice sheets in North America influence the downstream evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet, using a thermomechanical ice-sheet model forced by climate data from snapshot simulations of three distinctly different phases of the last glacial cycle: the Marine Isotope Stages 5b, 4 and 2 (LGM. Our results suggest that changes in the North American paleo-topography may have had a large influence on evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet. In the MIS4 and LGM experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet migrates westward towards the Atlantic sector – largely consistent with geological data and contemporary ice-sheet reconstructions – due to a low wavenumber stationary wave response, which yields a cooling in Europe and a warming in northeastern Siberia. The expansion of the North American ice sheet between MIS4 and LGM amplifies the Siberian warm anomaly, which limits the glaciation there and may therefore help to explain the progressive westward migration of the Eurasian ice sheet over this time period. While the Eurasian ice sheet in the MIS4 and LGM experiments appears to be in equilibrium with the simulated climate conditions, the MIS5b climate forcing is too warm to grow an ice sheet. First-order sensitivity experiments suggest that most of the MIS5b ice sheet was established during preceding colder stages.

  3. Moulin distribution and formation on the southwest Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, V. W.; Smith, L. C.; Gleason, C. J.; Yang, K.; Poinar, K.; Joughin, I.; Pitcher, L. H.

    2015-12-01

    River moulins represent a significant connection between surface meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet and subglacial drainage networks, where increased meltwater can enhance ice sliding dynamics. In this study, a new high-resolution moulin map is created from WorldView-1/2 imagery acquired during the 2012 record melt year for a 12,500 km2 area near Russell Glacier in southwest Greenland. A total of 1,236 moulins are mapped and categorized as being located: in crevasse fields, along a single ice fracture, within drained lake basins, or having no visible formation mechanism. We find the presence of moulins up to 1787 m elevation, with 11% of moulins found above 1600 m elevation: higher than previously mapped moulins and where glaciological theory suggests few moulins should form. Our study observes moulins in both extensional and compressional ice flow regimes (28% of moulins are found in areas of high extensional strain rate >0.005 yr-1), suggesting that strain rates are not a strong indicator of the likelihood for moulin formation. Overall, moulin density tends to increase with higher bed elevation, thinner ice, lower surface slope, higher velocity, and higher strain rate. In sum, moulins are most common in crevassed, thinner ice near the ice sheet edge, but significant quantities also develop at high elevations. This indicates that future inland expansion of melting may create hydrologic connections between the surface and the bed at higher elevations than previously thought.

  4. The present evolution of the Greenland ice sheet: an assessment by modelling

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, Philippe

    1994-01-01

    The present state of balance of the Greenland ice sheet is an important initial condition to assess the ice sheet's contribution to future sea levels. In this paperthis problem is investigated by first simulating the evolution of the ice sheet during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and subsequently analyzing the localthickness change which results for the present time. The 3-D, time-dependent ice sheet model includes thermomechanical coupling and the effect of thestiffness contrast betwee...

  5. Diagnostics of basal conditions - the formation of extensive zones of surface ribs in ice-sheets and streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Sergienko, Olga V.; Creyts, Timothy T.

    2015-04-01

    Most if not all current predictions of the evolution of ice-streams to changes induced by global change assume static basal conditions. This is a result of current restrictions in the remote sensing of the ice-sheet basal physical environment, which cannot resolve the small-scale phenomena believed to control the basal traction. The search therefore is on for observable structures or features that are the result of the operation of basal processes. Any successful theory of ice-sheet basal processes would need to be able to explain such phenomena associated with or caused by special properties of the basal environment. We present one class of these phenomena, and also present tentative hypotheses as to their formation. Using recent high-resolution observations of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets topography, the computed driving stress and the inferred basal traction reveal broad-scale organization in 5-20 km band-like patterns in both quantities. The similarity of patterns on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets suggests that the flow of ice sheets is controlled by the same fundamental processes operating at their base, which control ice sheet sliding and are highly variable on relatively short spatial and temporal scales. The formation mechanism for these bands contains information about the operation of the sub-glacial system. There are three possible, non-exclusive causes of these ribs which we examine from a theoretical and evidential point-of-view (i) They are the surface response to similar bands in the basal topography, whose regularity would equally require an explanation in terms of basal processes. (ii) They are translating surface waves in the ice, supported by membrane stress gradients rather than by gradients in the basal resistance. (iii) The ribs are due to the development of a band-like structure in the basal shear stress distribution that is the result of a pattern-forming instability in sub-glacial till and water flow, perhaps related to

  6. Potential groundwater and heterogeneous heat source contributions to ice sheet dynamics in critical submarine basins of East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooch, Brad T.; Young, Duncan A.; Blankenship, Donald D.

    2016-02-01

    We present the results of two numerical models describing contributions of groundwater and heterogeneous heat sources to ice dynamics directly relevant to basal processes in East Antarctica. A two-phase, one-dimensional hydrothermal model demonstrates the importance of groundwater flow in vertical heat flux advection near the ice-bed interface. Typical, conservative vertical components of groundwater volume fluxes (from either topographical gradients or vertically channeled flow) on the order of ±1-10 mm/yr can alter vertical heat flux by ±50-500 mW/m2 given parameters typical for the interior of East Antarctica. This heat flux has the potential to produce considerable volumes of meltwater depending on basin geometry and geothermal heat production. A one-dimensional hydromechanical model demonstrates that groundwater is mainly recharged into saturated, partially poroelastic (i.e., vertical stress only; not coupled to a deformation equation) sedimentary aquifers during ice advance. During ice retreat, groundwater discharges into the ice-bed interface, which may contribute to water budgets on the order of 0.1-1 mm/yr. We also present an estimated map of potentially heterogeneous heat flow provinces using radiogenic heat production data from East Antarctica and southern Australia, calculated sedimentary basin depths, and radar-derived bed roughness. These are overlaid together to delineate the areas of greatest potential effect from these modeled processes on the ice sheet dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  7. Estimating small-scale snow depth and ice thickness from total freeboard for East Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steer, Adam; Heil, Petra; Watson, Christopher; Massom, Robert A.; Lieser, Jan L.; Ozsoy-Cicek, Burcu

    2016-09-01

    Deriving the snow depth on Antarctic sea ice is a key factor in estimating sea-ice thickness distributions from space or airborne altimeters. Using a linear regression to model snow depth from observed 'total freeboard', or the snow/ice surface elevation relative to sea level is an efficient and promising method for the estimation of snow depth for instruments which only detect the uppermost surface of the sea-ice conglomerate (e.g. laser altimetry). However the Antarctic pack-ice zone is subject to substantial variability due to synoptic-scale weather forcing. Ice formation, motion and melt undergo large spatio-temporal variability throughout the year. In this paper we estimate snow depth from total freeboard for the ARISE (2003), SIPEX (2007) and SIPEX-II (2012) research voyages to the East Antarctic pack-ice zone. Using in situ data we investigate variability in snow depth and show that for East Antarctica, relationships between snow depth and total freeboard vary between each voyage. At a resolution of metres to tens of metres, we show how regression-based snow-depth models track total freeboard and generally over-estimate snow depth, especially on highly deformed sea ice and at sites where ice freeboard makes a substantial contribution to total freeboard. For a set of 3192 records we obtain an in situ mean snow depth of 0.21 m (σ = 0.19 m). Using a regression model derived from all in situ points we obtain the same mean, with a slightly lower variability (σ = 0.16 m). Using voyage-specific subsets of the data to derive regression models and estimate snow depth, mean snow depths ranged from 0.19 m (model derived from SIPEX observations) to 0.25 m (model derived from SIPEX-II observations). While small, these discrepancies impact ice thickness estimation using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. Mean in situ ice thickness for all samples is 1.44 m (σ = 1.19 m). Using empirical models for snow depth, ice thickness varies from 1.0 to 1.8 m with the best

  8. The Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    In this thesis we assess multiple aspects of the Greenland climate, including the surface energy and mass balance of the ice sheet for the contemporary and near future climate. For these purposes we used output of the extensively and well-evaluated regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2. The rela

  9. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rennermalm, A.K.; Smith, L.C.; Chu, V.W.; Box, J.E.; Forster, R.R.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van As, D.; Moustafa, S.E.

    2013-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with more than half of these attributed to surface meltwater runoff. However, the magnitudes of englacial storage, firn retention, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global

  10. The role of ice sheets in the pleistocene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

    Northern hemisphere ice sheets have played an important role in the climatic evolution of the Pleistocene. The characteristic time-scale of icesheet growth has the same order-of-magnitude as that for the orbital insolation variations. The interaction with the solid earth, the importance of the therm

  11. Greenland ice sheet melt from MODIS and associated atmospheric variability

    OpenAIRE

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Hall, Dorothy K; Shuman, Christopher A; Worthen, Denise L; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E

    2014-01-01

    Daily June-July melt fraction variations over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (2000–2013) are associated with atmospheric blocking forming an omega-shape ridge over the GIS at 500 hPa height. Blocking activity with a range of time scales, from synoptic waves breaking poleward (

  12. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss from GRACE Monthly Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René

    2010-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is currently experiencing a net mass loss. There are however large discrepancies between the published qualitative mass loss estimates, based on different data sets and methods. There are even large differences between the results based on the same data sources, as is the ...

  13. Supraglacial meltwater runoff from the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L. C.; Chu, V.; Yang, K.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Legleiter, C. J.; Gleason, C. J.; Pitcher, L. H.; Moustafa, S.; Overstreet, B. T.; Behar, A.; Tedesco, M.; Forster, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation summarizes collaborative field and remote sensing research studying Greenland ice sheet meltwater flux through supraglacial rivers flowing over its surface and in proglacial rivers that emerge along its edge. High-resolution visible/near-infrared WorldView-2 satellite images were acquired simultaneously with in situ measurements of river hydraulic properties, including flow velocities from autonomous GPS drifters and ADCP, bathymetric depth soundings, water surface slopes, and hydraulic roughness. High-resolution mapping of supraglacial lake and river depths across the ablation zone were enabled through calibration of WorldView-2 images with in situ field spectra and water depth soundings collected from an unmanned autonomous watercraft. Fusion of these satellite and in situ datasets permits quantitative estimation of meltwater flux flowing over the ice sheet surface and entering moulins, and in situ proglacial measurements enable estimation of total meltwater export leaving the ice sheet. Analysis suggests that these supra- and pro-glacial rivers represent critical pathways for transport of meltwater runoff from the ice sheet surface to the global ocean.

  14. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 kyr BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 kyr ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra from Malaysia and on accurately dated European stalagmites the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland Interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20.

    In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 kyr BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores.

    The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.

  15. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, A.; Bigler, M.; Blunier, T.; Clausen, H. B.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Fischer, H.; Fujita, S.; Goto-Azuma, K.; Johnsen, S. J.; Kawamura, K.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Kohno, M.; Parrenin, F.; Popp, T.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Schwander, J.; Seierstad, I.; Severi, M.; Steffensen, J. P.; Udisti, R.; Uemura, R.; Vallelonga, P.; Vinther, B. M.; Wegner, A.; Wilhelms, F.; Winstrup, M.

    2013-03-01

    The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI) 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP) and Antarctic (EDML) ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP) before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM-19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic

  16. Footprints of the Newly-Discovered Vela Supernova in Antarctic Ice Cores?

    OpenAIRE

    Burgess, C. P.; Zuber, K.

    1999-01-01

    The recently-discovered, nearby young supernova remnant in the southeast corner of the older Vela supernova remnant may have been seen in measurements of nitrate abundances in Antarctic ice cores. Such an interpretation of this twenty-year-old ice-core data would provide a more accurate dating of this supernova than is possible purely using astrophysical techniques. It permits an inference of the supernova4s ${}^{44}$Ti yield purely on an observational basis, without reference to supernova mo...

  17. Hindcasting to measure ice sheet model sensitivity to initial states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Aschwanden

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent observations of the Greenland ice sheet indicate rapid mass loss at an accelerating rate with an increasing contribution to global mean sea level. Ice sheet models are used for projections of such future contributions of ice sheets to sea level, but the quality of projections is difficult to measure directly. Realistic initial states are crucial for accurate simulations. To test initial states we use hindcasting, i.e. forcing a model with known or closely-estimated inputs for past events to see how well the output matches observations. By simulating the recent past of Greenland, and comparing to observations of ice thickness, ice discharge, surface speeds, mass loss and surface elevation changes for validation, we find that the short term model response is strongly influenced by the initial state. We show that the dynamical state can be mis-represented despite a good agreement with some observations, stressing the importance of using multiple observations. Some initial states generate good agreement with measured mass time series in the hindcast period, and good agreement with present-day kinematic fields. We suggest hindcasting as a methodology for careful validation of initial states that can be done before making projections on decadal to century time-scales.

  18. Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Predictions of marine ice-sheet behaviour require models that are able to robustly simulate grounding line migration. We present results of an intercomparison exercise for marine ice-sheet models. Verification is effected by comparison with approximate analytical solutions for flux across the grounding line using simplified geometrical configurations (no lateral variations, no effects of lateral buttressing. Unique steady state grounding line positions exist for ice sheets on a downward sloping bed, while hysteresis occurs across an overdeepened bed, and stable steady state grounding line positions only occur on the downward-sloping sections. Models based on the shallow ice approximation, which does not resolve extensional stresses, do not reproduce the approximate analytical results unless appropriate parameterizations for ice flux are imposed at the grounding line. For extensional-stress resolving "shelfy stream" models, differences between model results were mainly due to the choice of spatial discretization. Moving grid methods were found to be the most accurate at capturing grounding line evolution, since they track the grounding line explicitly. Adaptive mesh refinement can further improve accuracy, including fixed grid models that generally perform poorly at coarse resolution. Fixed grid models, with nested grid representations of the grounding line, are able to generate accurate steady state positions, but can be inaccurate over transients. Only one full-Stokes model was included in the intercomparison, and consequently the accuracy of shelfy stream models as approximations of full-Stokes models remains to be determined in detail, especially during transients.

  19. Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Predictions of marine ice-sheet behaviour require models that are able to robustly simulate grounding line migration. We present results of an intercomparison exercise for marine ice-sheet models. Verification is effected by comparison with approximate analytical solutions for flux across the grounding line using simplified geometrical configurations (no lateral variations, no effects of lateral buttressing. Unique steady-state grounding line positions exist for ice sheets on a downward sloping bed, while hysteresis occurs across an overdeepened bed, and stable steady state grounding line positions only occur on the downward-sloping sections. Models based on the shallow ice approximation, which does not resolve extensional stresses, do not reproduce the approximate analytical results unless appropriate parameterizations for ice flux are imposed at the grounding line. For extensional-stress resolving "shelfy stream" models, differences between model results were mainly due to the choice of spatial discretization. Moving grid methods were found to be the most accurate at capturing grounding line evolution, since they track the grounding line explicitly. Adaptive mesh refinement can further improve accuracy, including in fixed-grid models that generally perform poorly at coarse resolution. Fixed grid models with nested grid representations of the grounding line are able to generate accurate steady-state positions, but can be inaccurate over transients. Only one full Stokes model was included in the intercomparison, and consequently the accuracy of shelfy stream models as approximations of full Stokes models remains to be determined in detail, especially during transients.

  20. Full Stokes ice sheet model Elmer/Ice, and its application to regional drainage systems in Greenland and Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    For decades, approximations to the full Stokes equations – the set of partial differential equations describing ice dynamics have been the standard in numerical glaciology in applications to ice sheets. In particular, the shallow ice approximation (SIA) for grounded ice sheets and the shallow shelf approximation (SSA) for the floating ice shelves have been deployed in many applications (e.g., Greve and Blatter 2009). Based on the assumption of shallowness of the geometry, these approximations...

  1. Mapping and assessing variability in the Antarctic marginal ice zone, pack ice and coastal polynyas in two sea ice algorithms with implications on breeding success of snow petrels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne C.; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Campbell, G. Garrett; Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine

    2016-08-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore, mapping their spatial extent as well as seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biologically active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas in the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent record for assessing the proportion of the sea ice cover that is covered by each of these ice categories. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depend strongly on which sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap, and applies the same thresholds to the sea ice concentrations to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal that the seasonal cycle in the MIZ and pack ice is generally similar between both algorithms, yet the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Trends also differ, with the Bootstrap algorithm suggesting statistically significant trends towards increased pack ice area and no statistically significant trends in the MIZ. The NASA Team algorithm on the other hand indicates statistically significant positive trends in the MIZ during spring. Potential coastal polynya area and amount of broken ice within the consolidated ice pack are also larger in the NASA Team algorithm. The timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These

  2. Bio-optical properties of Antarctic pack ice in the early austral spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsen, Christian H.; Wirthlin, Eric D.; Momberg, Diane K.; Lewis, Michael J.; Ackley, Stephen F.

    2011-05-01

    Pack ice in the Bellingshausen Sea contained moderate to high stocks of microalgal biomass (3-10 mg Chl a m -2) spanning the range of general sea-ice microalgal microhabitats (e.g., bottom, interior and surface) during the International Polar Year (IPY) Sea Ice Mass Balance in the Antarctic (SIMBA) studies. Measurements of irradiance above and beneath the ice as well as optical properties of the microalgae therein demonstrated that absorption of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by particulates (microalgae and detritus) had a substantial influence on attenuation of PAR and irradiance transmission in areas with moderate snow covers (0.2-0.3 m) and more moderate effects in areas with low snow cover. Particulates contributed an estimated 25 to 90% of the attenuation coefficients for the first-year sea ice at wavelengths less than 500 nm. Strong ultraviolet radiation (UVR) absorption by particulates was prevalent in the ice habitats where solar radiation was highest—with absorption coefficients by ice algae often being as large as that of the sea ice. Strong UVR-absorption features were associated with an abundance of dinoflagellates and a general lack of diatoms—perhaps suggesting UVR may be influencing the structure of some parts of the sea-ice microbial communities in the pack ice during spring. We also evaluated the time-varying changes in the spectra of under-ice irradiances in the austral spring and showed dynamics associated with changes that could be attributed to coupled changes in the ice thickness (mass balance) and microalgal biomass. All results are indicative of radiation-induced changes in the absorption properties of the pack ice and highlight the non-linear, time-varying, bio-physical interactions operating within the Antarctic pack ice ecosystem.

  3. Acclimation of Antarctic Chlamydomonas to the sea-ice environment: a transcriptomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenlin; Wang, Xiuliang; Wang, Xingna; Sun, Chengjun

    2016-07-01

    The Antarctic green alga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L was isolated from sea ice. As a psychrophilic microalga, it can tolerate the environmental stress in the sea-ice brine, such as freezing temperature and high salinity. We performed a transcriptome analysis to identify freezing stress responding genes and explore the extreme environmental acclimation-related strategies. Here, we show that many genes in ICE-L transcriptome that encoding PUFA synthesis enzymes, molecular chaperon proteins, and cell membrane transport proteins have high similarity to the gens from Antarctic bacteria. These ICE-L genes are supposed to be acquired through horizontal gene transfer from its symbiotic microbes in the sea-ice brine. The presence of these genes in both sea-ice microalgae and bacteria indicated the biological processes they involved in are possibly contributing to ICE-L success in sea ice. In addition, the biological pathways were compared between ICE-L and its closely related sister species, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. In ICE-L transcripome, many sequences homologous to the plant or bacteria proteins in the post-transcriptional, post-translational modification, and signal-transduction KEGG pathways, are absent in the nonpsychrophilic green algae. These complex structural components might imply enhanced stress adaptation capacity. At last, differential gene expression analysis at the transcriptome level of ICE-L indicated that genes that associated with post-translational modification, lipid metabolism, and nitrogen metabolism are responding to the freezing treatment. In conclusion, the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L is very useful for exploring the mutualistic interaction between microalgae and bacteria in sea ice; and discovering the specific genes and metabolism pathways responding to the freezing acclimation in psychrophilic microalgae.

  4. Acclimation of Antarctic Chlamydomonas to the sea-ice environment: a transcriptomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenlin; Wang, Xiuliang; Wang, Xingna; Sun, Chengjun

    2016-07-01

    The Antarctic green alga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L was isolated from sea ice. As a psychrophilic microalga, it can tolerate the environmental stress in the sea-ice brine, such as freezing temperature and high salinity. We performed a transcriptome analysis to identify freezing stress responding genes and explore the extreme environmental acclimation-related strategies. Here, we show that many genes in ICE-L transcriptome that encoding PUFA synthesis enzymes, molecular chaperon proteins, and cell membrane transport proteins have high similarity to the gens from Antarctic bacteria. These ICE-L genes are supposed to be acquired through horizontal gene transfer from its symbiotic microbes in the sea-ice brine. The presence of these genes in both sea-ice microalgae and bacteria indicated the biological processes they involved in are possibly contributing to ICE-L success in sea ice. In addition, the biological pathways were compared between ICE-L and its closely related sister species, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. In ICE-L transcripome, many sequences homologous to the plant or bacteria proteins in the post-transcriptional, post-translational modification, and signal-transduction KEGG pathways, are absent in the nonpsychrophilic green algae. These complex structural components might imply enhanced stress adaptation capacity. At last, differential gene expression analysis at the transcriptome level of ICE-L indicated that genes that associated with post-translational modification, lipid metabolism, and nitrogen metabolism are responding to the freezing treatment. In conclusion, the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L is very useful for exploring the mutualistic interaction between microalgae and bacteria in sea ice; and discovering the specific genes and metabolism pathways responding to the freezing acclimation in psychrophilic microalgae. PMID:27161450

  5. Achieving Textbook Multigrid Efficiency for Hydrostatic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Brown, Jed

    2013-03-12

    The hydrostatic equations for ice sheet flow offer improved fidelity compared with the shallow ice approximation and shallow stream approximation popular in today\\'s ice sheet models. Nevertheless, they present a serious bottleneck because they require the solution of a three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear system, as opposed to the two-dimensional system present in the shallow stream approximation. This 3D system is posed on high-aspect domains with strong anisotropy and variation in coefficients, making it expensive to solve with current methods. This paper presents a Newton--Krylov multigrid solver for the hydrostatic equations that demonstrates textbook multigrid efficiency (an order of magnitude reduction in residual per iteration and solution of the fine-level system at a small multiple of the cost of a residual evaluation). Scalability on Blue Gene/P is demonstrated, and the method is compared to various algebraic methods that are in use or have been proposed as viable approaches.

  6. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Price

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice–ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the south-western Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that in close proximity to ice shelves this influence should be considered universally when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  7. Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: thermodynamics and atmospheric drivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. Box

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Greenland ice sheet mass loss has accelerated in the past decade responding to combined glacier discharge and surface melt water runoff increases. During summer, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface primarily by albedo, is the dominant factor governing surface melt variability in the ablation area. Using satellite-derived surface albedo with calibrated regional climate modeled surface air temperature and surface downward solar irradiance, we determine the spatial dependence and quantitative impact of the ice sheet albedo feedback over 12 summer periods beginning in 2000. We find that, while albedo feedback defined by the change in net solar shortwave flux and temperature over time is positive over 97% of the ice sheet, when defined using paired annual anomalies, a second-order negative feedback is evident over 63% of the accumulation area. This negative feedback damps the accumulation area response to warming due to a positive correlation between snowfall and surface air temperature anomalies. Positive anomaly-gauged feedback concentrated in the ablation area accounts for more than half of the overall increase in melting when satellite-derived melt duration is used to define the timing when net shortwave flux is sunk into melting. Abnormally strong anticyclonic circulation, associated with a persistent summer North Atlantic Oscillation extreme since 2007, enabled three amplifying mechanisms to maximize the albedo feedback: (1 increased warm (south air advection along the western ice sheet increased surface sensible heating that in turn enhanced snow grain metamorphic rates, further reducing albedo; (2 increased surface downward shortwave flux, leading to more surface heating and further albedo reduction; and (3 reduced snowfall rates sustained low albedo, maximizing surface solar heating, progressively lowering albedo over multiple years. The summer net infrared and solar radiation for the high elevation accumulation area approached

  8. How might the North American ice sheet influence the Northwestern Eurasian climate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Beghin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available During the last glacial period (∼21 000 years ago, two continental-scale ice sheets covered the Canada and northern Europe. It is now widely acknowledged that these past ice sheets exerted a strong influence on climate by causing changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In turn, these changes may have impacted the development of the ice sheets themselves through a combination of different feedback mechanisms. The present study is designed to investigate the potential impact of the North American ice sheet on the surface mass balance (SMB of the Eurasian ice sheet through simulated changes in the past glacial atmospheric circulation. Using the LMDz5 atmospheric circulation model, we carried out twelve experiments run under constant Last Glacial Maximum (LGM conditions for insolation, greenhouse gases and ocean. In the all experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet is removed. The twelve experiments differ in the North American ice-sheet topography, ranging from a white and flat (present-day topography ice sheet to a full-size LGM ice sheet. This experimental design allows to disentangle the albedo and the topographic impacts of the North American ice sheet onto the climate. The results are compared to our baseline experiment where both the North American and the Eurasian ice sheets have been removed. In summer, we show that the only albedo effect of the American ice sheet modifies the pattern of planetary waves with respect to the no-ice sheet case, causing a cooling of the Eurasian region. By contrast, the atmospheric circulation changes induced by the topography of the North American ice sheet imply summer warming in Northwestern Eurasia. In winter, the Scandinavian and the Barents–Kara regions respond differently to the albedo effect: in response to atmospheric circulation changes, Scandinavia is warmed up and precipitation is more abundant whereas Barents–Kara area is cooled down, decreasing convection process and thus leading to less

  9. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grilli, R.; Marrocco, N.; Desbois, T. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Guillerm, C. [DT INSU CNRS, Bât. IPEV BP 74, Technopole Brest Iroise, 29280 Plouzané (France); Triest, J. [CNRS, LGGE, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Kerstel, E.; Romanini, D. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-15

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ{sup 2}H ) and CH{sub 4} concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10{sup −10} cm{sup −1} Hz{sup −1/2}, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH{sub 4} and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ{sup 2}H of H{sub 2}O within 1 min acquisition time.

  10. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ2H ) and CH4 concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10−10 cm−1 Hz−1/2, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH4 and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ2H of H2O within 1 min acquisition time

  11. Invited article: SUBGLACIOR: an optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilli, R; Marrocco, N; Desbois, T; Guillerm, C; Triest, J; Kerstel, E; Romanini, D

    2014-11-01

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ(2)H ) and CH4 concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10(-10) cm(-1) Hz(-1/2), corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH4 and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ(2)H of H2O within 1 min acquisition time. PMID:25430089

  12. Anomalously high arsenic concentration in a West Antarctic ice core and its relationship to copper mining in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwanck, Franciele; Simões, Jefferson C.; Handley, Michael; Mayewski, Paul A.; Bernardo, Ronaldo T.; Aquino, Francisco E.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic variability records are preserved in snow and ice cores and can be utilized to reconstruct air pollution history. The Mount Johns ice core (79°55‧S; 94°23‧W and 91.2 m depth) was collected from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the 2008/09 austral summer. Here, we report the As concentration variability as determined by 2137 samples from the upper 45 m of this core using ICP-SFMS (CCI, University of Maine, USA). The record covers approximately 125 years (1883-2008) showing a mean concentration of 4.32 pg g-1. The arsenic concentration in the core follows global copper mining evolution, particularly in Chile (the largest producer of Cu). From 1940 to 1990, copper-mining production increased along with arsenic concentrations in the MJ core, from 1.92 pg g-1 (before 1900) to 7.94 pg g-1 (1950). In the last two decades, environmental regulations for As emissions have been implemented, forcing smelters to treat their gases to conform to national and international environmental standards. In Chile, decontamination plants required by the government started operating from 1993 to 2000. Thereafter, Chilean copper production more than doubled while As emission levels declined, and the same reduction was observed in the Mount Johns ice core. After 1999, arsenic concentrations in our samples decreased to levels comparable to the period before 1900.

  13. Sedimentary record of ice divide migration and ice streams in the Keewatin core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodder, Tyler J.; Ross, Martin; Menzies, John

    2016-06-01

    The Aberdeen Lake region of central mainland Nunavut is a former core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that is characterized by streamlined glacial landforms classified into multiple crosscutting flow sets and near continuous till blanket. The presence of widespread till near the centre of the Keewatin Ice Dome raises questions about its origin. Detailed drillcore logging revealed a complex stratigraphy consisting of at least 6 till units, variably preserved across the study area. Till provenance analysis indicates deposition by near opposite-trending ice flow phases, interpreted as evidence of reconfiguration of the Keewatin Ice Divide. At the surface, large north-northwesterly aligned landforms are present across the study area. The till stratigraphy within these landforms indicates the same NNW ice flow phase is responsible for considerable till production. This ice flow phase is also correlated to a long regional dispersal train of erratics toward the Gulf of Boothia. The production of an extensive, thick (~ 12 m), till sheet during the NNW-trending ice flow phase occurred far from the ice margin at a time of extensive ice cover of mainland Nunavut, likely from an east-west oriented ice divide. A deglacial westerly trending ice flow phase formed small drumlins atop the larger NNW streamlined till ridges and deposited a surficial till unit that is too thin to mask the NNW flow set across the study area. It is proposed that the Boothia paleo-ice stream catchment area propagated deep into the Laurentide Ice Sheet and contributed to significant till production in this core region of the Keewatin Sector prior to the westerly ice flow shift. The apparent relationship between till thickness and the size of the associated or correlated drumlins, flow sets, and dispersal trains indicates complex erosion/deposition interplay is involved in the formation of streamlined subglacial landforms.

  14. Glaciological investigations on ice-sheet response in South Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayer, C.; Boeggild, C.E.; Podlech, S.; Olesen, O.B.; Ahlstroem, A.P. [Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen (Denmark); Krabill, W. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Lab. for Hydrospheric Processes, Wallops Island, VA (United States)

    2002-07-01

    The reaction of the world's large ice sheets to global climate change is still in the focus of scientific debate. Recent investigations have shown pronounced thinning in the southern part of the Greenland ice sheet (Inland Ice). In order to investigate the cause of the observed thinning and to judge the sensitivity of this part of the ice sheet a combined fieldwork, remote sensing and modelling project was designed. A glaciological transect was established in may 2001 on one of the main outlet glaciers in South Greenland, and the first data are now available. In addition, the history of the glacier variations during the last 40 years has been reconstructed. The conclusion of the investigations is that glacier variations in southern Greenland do not seem to be related only to climatic influence on the surface mass balance. Dynamic changes in ice-sheet geometry and basal conditions connected to climatic variations on a much longer timescale appear also to be significant. With the mass-balance transect in place, and also surveyed with laser altimetry, future changes in the study area can be mapped accurately and compared with the actual climatic and surface mass-balance data, which will allow discrimination between mass-balance effects and dynamic reactions. Climatic conditions during periods of recession of the past 40 years need to be investigated using climate data from nearby weather stations, or from climate proxy data. This compiled glacier history can be used as a benchmark for testing of the ice-dynamic model. (BA)

  15. Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, Karen E.; Scambos, Ted A.; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen Amanda

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's ice shelves provide resistance to the flow of grounded ice towards the ocean. If this resistance is decreased as a result of ice shelf thinning or disintegration, acceleration of grounded ice can occur, increasing rates of sea-level rise. Loss of ice shelf mass is accelerating, especially in West Antarctica, where warm seawater is reaching ocean cavities beneath ice shelves. Here we use satellite imagery, airborne ice-penetrating radar and satellite laser altimetry spanning the period from 2002 to 2014 to map extensive basal channels in the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica. The highest density of basal channels is found in West Antarctic ice shelves. Within the channels, warm water flows northwards, eroding the ice shelf base and driving channel evolution on annual to decadal timescales. Our observations show that basal channels are associated with the development of new zones of crevassing, suggesting that these channels may cause ice fracture. We conclude that basal channels can form and grow quickly as a result of warm ocean water intrusion, and that they can structurally weaken ice shelves, potentially leading to rapid ice shelf loss in some areas.

  16. 36Cl and 53Mn in Antarctic meteorites and 10Be-36Cl dating of Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosmic-ray-produced 53Mn (tsub(1/2)=3.7x106 years) has been measured in twenty Antarctic meteorites by neutron activation analysis. 36Cl (tsub(1/2)=3.0x105 years) has been measured in fourteen of these objects by tandem accelerator mass spectrometry. Cosmic ray exposure ages and terrestrial ages of the meteorites are calculated from these results and from gases. 14C (tsub(1/2)=5740 years) and 26Al(tsub(1/2)=7.2x105 years) data. The terrestrial ages range from 3x104 to 5x105 years. Many of the L3-Allan Hills chrondrites seem to be a single fall based on these results. In addition, 10Be (tsub(1/2)=1.6x106 years) and 36Cl have been measured in six Antarctic ice samples. The first measurements of 10Be/36Cl ratios in the ice core samples demonstrate a new dating method for ice. (orig.)

  17. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    OpenAIRE

    D. Thomas; Dieckmann, Gerhard

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensure...

  18. Consistent dating for Antarctic and Greenland ice cores

    OpenAIRE

    Lemieux-Dudon, Bénédicte; Blayo, Eric; Petit, Jean-Robert; Waelbroeck, Claire; Svensson, Anders; Ritz, Catherine; Barnola, Jean-Marc; Narcisi, Bianca Maria; PARRENIN, Frédéric

    2010-01-01

    International audience; We are hereby presenting a new dating method based on inverse techniques, which aims at calculating consistent gas and ice chronologies for several ice cores. The proposed method yields new dating scenarios simultaneously for several cores by making a compromise between the chronological information brought by glaciological modeling (i.e., ice flow model, firn densification model, accumulation rate model), and by gas and ice stratigraphic constraints. This method enabl...

  19. Ice core melt features in relation to Antarctic coastal climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaczmarska, M.; Isaksson, E.; Karlöf, L.; Brandt, O.; Winther, J.G.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Johnsen, S.J.

    2006-01-01

    Measurement of light intensity transmission was carried out on an ice core S100 from coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML). Ice lenses were observed in digital pictures of the core and recorded as peaks in the light transmittance record. The frequency of ice layer occurrence was compared with climate pro

  20. Generation of a new Greenland Ice Sheet Digital Elevation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagarajan, S.; Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; Babonis, G. S.; Scambos, T. A.; Haran, T. M.; Kjaer, K. H.; Korsgaard, N. J.

    2011-12-01

    Currently available Digital Elevation Models(DEMs) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) were originally derived from radar altimetry data, e.g. Bamber (Bamber et al., 2001) and later improved by photoclinometry to fill the regions between orbits (Scambos and Haran, 2002). The elevation error of these DEMs is a few meters in the higher part (above 2000 m) of the ice sheet, but it can be as much as 50-100 meters in marginal regions. The relatively low resolution and accuracy poses a problem, especially for ice sheet modeling. Although accurate elevation data have been collected by airborne and spaceborne laser altimetry (airborne: Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-present), Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor(LVIS) (2007,2009 and 2011); spaceborne: Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) (2003-2009)) and DEMs have been derived from stereo satellite imagery (e.g., SPOT (40 m), ASTER (15 m)), a high resolution, consistent DEM of GrIS is not yet available. This is due to various problems, such as different error sources in the data and different dates of data acquisition. In order to overcome these difficulties, we generated a multi-resolution DEM of GrIS, reflecting June 2008 conditions, by fusing a photoclinometry DEM, SPOT and ASTER DEMs as well as elevations from ICESat, ATM and LVIS laser altimetry. The new multi-resolution DEM has a resolution of 40 m x 40 m in the marginal ice sheet regions and 250 m elsewhere. The ice sheet margin is mapped from SPOT and Landsat imagery and SPOT DEMs are used to cover the complex topography of ice sheet marginal regions. The accuracy of SPOT DEMs is approximately ± 6 m except in the areas covered by clouds regions, where the SPOT elevations were replaced by ASTER DEMs. The ASTER DEMs were checked and improved by the DEM derived from aerial photography from the 1980s. A new photoclinometry DEM, derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery

  1. Snow depth on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice derived from autonomous (Snow Buoy) measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Arndt, Stefanie; Hendricks, Stefan; Heygster, Georg; Huntemann, Marcus; Katlein, Christian; Langevin, Danielle; Rossmann, Leonard; Schwegmann, Sandra

    2016-04-01

    The snow cover on sea ice received more and more attention in recent sea ice studies and model simulations, because its physical properties dominate many sea ice and upper ocean processes. In particular; the temporal and spatial distribution of snow depth is of crucial importance for the energy and mass budgets of sea ice, as well as for the interaction with the atmosphere and the oceanic freshwater budget. Snow depth is also a crucial parameter for sea ice thickness retrieval algorithms from satellite altimetry data. Recent time series of Arctic sea ice volume only use monthly snow depth climatology, which cannot take into account annual changes of the snow depth and its properties. For Antarctic sea ice, no such climatology is available. With a few exceptions, snow depth on sea ice is determined from manual in-situ measurements with very limited coverage of space and time. Hence the need for more consistent observational data sets of snow depth on sea ice is frequently highlighted. Here, we present time series measurements of snow depths on Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, recorded by an innovative and affordable platform. This Snow Buoy is optimized to autonomously monitor the evolution of snow depth on sea ice and will allow new insights into its seasonality. In addition, the instruments report air temperature and atmospheric pressure directly into different international networks, e.g. the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP). We introduce the Snow Buoy concept together with technical specifications and results on data quality, reliability, and performance of the units. We highlight the findings from four buoys, which simultaneously drifted through the Weddell Sea for more than 1.5 years, revealing unique information on characteristic regional and seasonal differences. Finally, results from seven snow buoys co-deployed on Arctic sea ice throughout the winter season 2015/16 suggest the great importance of local

  2. Impact of surface wind biases on the Antarctic sea ice concentration budget in climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, O.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T.; Holland, P. R.; Uotila, P.; Zunz, V.; Kimura, N.

    2016-09-01

    We derive the terms in the Antarctic sea ice concentration budget from the output of three models, and compare them to observations of the same terms. Those models include two climate models from the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and one ocean-sea ice coupled model with prescribed atmospheric forcing. Sea ice drift and wind fields from those models, in average over April-October 1992-2005, all exhibit large differences with the available observational or reanalysis datasets. However, the discrepancies between the two distinct ice drift products or the two wind reanalyses used here are sometimes even greater than those differences. Two major findings stand out from the analysis. Firstly, large biases in sea ice drift speed and direction in exterior sectors of the sea ice covered region tend to be systematic and consistent with those in winds. This suggests that sea ice errors in these areas are most likely wind-driven, so as errors in the simulated ice motion vectors. The systematic nature of these biases is less prominent in interior sectors, nearer the coast, where sea ice is mechanically constrained and its motion in response to the wind forcing more depending on the model rheology. Second, the intimate relationship between winds, sea ice drift and the sea ice concentration budget gives insight on ways to categorize models with regard to errors in their ice dynamics. In exterior regions, models with seemingly too weak winds and slow ice drift consistently yield a lack of ice velocity divergence and hence a wrong wintertime sea ice growth rate. In interior sectors, too slow ice drift, presumably originating from issues in the physical representation of sea ice dynamics as much as from errors in surface winds, leads to wrong timing of the late winter ice retreat. Those results illustrate that the applied methodology provides a valuable tool for prioritizing model improvements based on the ice concentration budget-ice drift biases-wind biases

  3. Detection of temperature and sea ice extent changes in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Some global climate models indicate that future global warming from increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases may be greatest in the polar regions, over areas where the sea ice cover is reduced. The reduction of sea ice area in the models also gives rise to a strong positive feedback to the warming. From the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration to date and the results of transient climate models, an estimate of the expected change in the Antarctic temperatures and sea ice extent can be made. The existing data for observed changes in temperatures of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean (extending back to ∼1956 and ∼1945 respectively) are analyzed along with the data of sea ice cover (commencing in 1973) to examine the extent to which the anticipated warming trends and sea ice decrease are being realized. In spite of high temporal and spatial variability, the data does support small significant trends of temperature increase and sea ice cover decrease compatible in magnitude to those expected as a consequence of atmospheric greenhouse gas increase. The seasonal cycle shows a delayed period of autumn-winter sea ice growth with a longer period of open water. This supports a mechanism for positive feedback between decreasing sea ice cover and increasing temperature

  4. Sea-level projections representing deeply uncertain ice-sheet contributions

    CERN Document Server

    Bakker, Alexander M R; Ruckert, Kelsey L; Keller, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Future sea-level rise poses nontrivial risks for many coastal communities. Managing these risks often relies on consensus projections like those provided by the IPCC. Yet, there is a growing awareness that the surrounding uncertainties may be much larger than typically perceived. Recently published sea-level projections appear widely divergent and highly sensitive to non-trivial model choices and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may be much less stable than previously believed, enabling a rapid disintegration. In response, some agencies have already announced to update their projections accordingly. Here, we present a set of probabilistic sea-level projections that approximate deeply uncertain WAIS contributions. The projections aim to inform robust decisions by clarifying the sensitivity to non-trivial or controversial assumptions. We show that the deeply uncertain WAIS contribution can dominate other uncertainties within decades. These deep uncertainties call for the development of robust adaptive strate...

  5. Evidence for link between modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice and underestimated westerly wind changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; Cai, Wenju; England, Matthew H.; Cowan, Tim

    2016-02-01

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea ice coverage increased over 1979-2013. However, the majority of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 models simulate a decline. Mechanisms causing this discrepancy have so far remained elusive. Here we show that weaker trends in the intensification of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind jet simulated by the models may contribute to this disparity. During austral summer, a strengthened jet leads to increased upwelling of cooler subsurface water and strengthened equatorward transport, conducive to increased sea ice. As the majority of models underestimate summer jet trends, this cooling process is underestimated compared with observations and is insufficient to offset warming in the models. Through the sea ice-albedo feedback, models produce a high-latitude surface ocean warming and sea ice decline, contrasting the observed net cooling and sea ice increase. A realistic simulation of observed wind changes may be crucial for reproducing the recent observed sea ice increase.

  6. Evidence for link between modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice and underestimated westerly wind changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; Cai, Wenju; England, Matthew H; Cowan, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea ice coverage increased over 1979-2013. However, the majority of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 models simulate a decline. Mechanisms causing this discrepancy have so far remained elusive. Here we show that weaker trends in the intensification of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind jet simulated by the models may contribute to this disparity. During austral summer, a strengthened jet leads to increased upwelling of cooler subsurface water and strengthened equatorward transport, conducive to increased sea ice. As the majority of models underestimate summer jet trends, this cooling process is underestimated compared with observations and is insufficient to offset warming in the models. Through the sea ice-albedo feedback, models produce a high-latitude surface ocean warming and sea ice decline, contrasting the observed net cooling and sea ice increase. A realistic simulation of observed wind changes may be crucial for reproducing the recent observed sea ice increase. PMID:26842498

  7. Greenland Ice Sheet: Increased coastal thinning

    OpenAIRE

    Krabill, W.; Hanna, E.; Huybrechts, Philippe; W. Abdalati; Cappelen, J.; Csatho, B.; Frederick, E; Manizade, S; Martin, C; Sonntag, J; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Yungel, J.

    2004-01-01

    Repeated laser-altimeter surveys and modelled snowfall/summer melt show average ice loss from Greenland between 1997 and 2003 was 80 ± 12 km3 yr, compared to about 60 km3 yr 1 for 1993/41998/9. Half of the increase was from higher summer melting, with the rest caused by velocities of some glaciers exceeding those needed to balance upstream snow accumulation. Velocities of one large glacier almost doubled between 1997 and 2003, resulting in net loss from its drainage basin by about 20 km of ic...

  8. Proteomic Alterations of Antarctic Ice Microalga Chlamydomonas sp. Under Low-Temperature Stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guang-Feng Kan; Jin-Lai Miao; Cui-Juan Shi; Guang-You Li

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga can survive and thrive in cold channels or pores in the Antarctic ice layer. In order to understand the adaptive mechanisms to low temperature, in the present study we compared two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) profiles of normal and low temperature-stressed Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cells. In addition, new protein spots induced by low temperature were identified with peptide mass fingerprinting based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and database searching. Well-resolved and reproducible 2-DE patterns of both normal and low temperature-stressed cells were acquired. A total of 626 spots was detected in control cells and 652 spots were detected in the corresponding low temperature-stressed cells. A total of 598 spots was matched between normal and stressed cells. Two newly synthesized proteins (a and b) in low temperature-stressed cells were characterized. Protein spot A (53 kDa, pI 6.0) was similar to isopropylmalate/homocitrate/citramalate synthases, which act in the transport and metabolism of amino acids. Protein spot b (25 kDa, pI 8.0) was related to glutathione S-transferase, which functions as a scavenger of active oxygen, free radicals, and noxious metabolites. The present study is valuable for the application of ice microalgae, establishing an ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. proteome database, and screening molecular biomarkers for further studies.

  9. Hydromechanical Failure Analysis Associated with Laurentide Ice Sheet Glaciations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Person, M. A.; Voller, V. R.

    2015-12-01

    Glacial loading by continental ice sheets has been linked to large (> M6) Late Pleistocene and Holocene seismicity in Scandinavia and North America along with sedimentary basin blowout features such as Lake Howe, Manitoba Canada and glacio-tectonic thrust structures. The specter of future glaciations is considered one of the most important factors to consider in siting of high-level nuclear wastes in Switzerland, Canada, and Sweden. To date, continental-scale analysis of crustal failure has focused on mechanical failure which has neglected the effects of pore pressure and permeability changes. We have developed a two-dimensional, Cartesian, elastic, plane strain control volume finite element (CVFEM) model to investigate the effect of pore pressure on the failure potential along a cross-sectional transect stretching from the Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Our analysis considers fluid flow and pore pressure eveolution within the upper 10km of the earths crust and mechanical deformation within at 100 km thick lithosphere. We imposed 4 cycles of glaciation of the Laurentide ice sheet during the Last Late Pleistocene. The geomechanical deformation is coupled to the fluid flow through time dependent changes in the mean normal stress. We have conducted a sensitivity study in which we have varied the permeability of the upper crust between a range of 10-20 to 10-14 m2. We solve a series of one-dimensional heat transfer equations to determine regions where the Laurentide ice sheet is wet based or frozen. A Mohr-Coulomb failure criteria was used to analyze the potential of seismicity and permeability changes along pre-existing critically stressed faults. Mechanically failure (neglecting pore pressure evolution, see Figure A attached) caused by ice sheet induced stress perturbation were found to be primarily concentrate in the forebulge region of the ice sheet with the effective Coulomb stress being 4.4 MPa. However, when pore pressure evolution is considered in the

  10. Source-specific diatom lipid biomarkers as proxies for Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belt, Simon

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice plays a key role in controlling global climate due its influence over heat and gas exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere. In addition, sea ice exerts a strong influence over the absorption of incoming radiation at the ocean surface as a result of its high reflectivity or albedo. Driven, in part, by the recent dramatic changes to sea ice cover in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, the development of proxies for sea ice has received growing attention over the last 10 years or so. Amongst these, some so-called highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) lipid biomarkers have attracted considerable interest, not least, because they are derived from certain diatoms that reside and bloom within the sea ice matrix itself, thus providing a more direct indication of sea ice presence compared with some other proxies. The signature HBI sea proxies are a mono-unsaturated HBI (IP25) for the Arctic and a di-unsaturated HBI (C25:2) for the Antarctic, with different source organisms for each. Although the variability in sedimentary abundances of IP25 and C25:2 in Arctic and Antarctic sediments generally reflect the corresponding changes in sea ice conditions, a more complete picture of reconstructing sea ice conditions likely requires a multi-proxy approach involving, for example, other lipid biomarkers that serve as proxy measures of nearby open water conditions or sea surface temperature. By adoption of such an approach, a research strategy aimed at improving estimates of sea ice concentrations or better definitions of sea ice conditions (e.g. marginal ice zone, polynyas, permanent ice cover) represents the next stage in lipid-based sea ice proxy development. This presentation will focus on recent developments and future plans that involve a multi-proxy approach to improving sea ice reconstruction. An understanding of sources, ecology and environmental fate of various HBIs and other diatom lipids will likely be key in shaping the future direction of lipid-based sea ice

  11. The Effect of Solar Forcing on the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Holocene - A Model Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bügelmayer, Marianne; Roche, Didier; Renssen, Hans

    2014-05-01

    . (2001): Persistent solar influence on North Atlantic climate during the Holocene. Science (New York, N.Y.), 294(5549), 2130-6. doi:10.1126/science.1065680 Bügelmayer, M., Roche, D.M., Renssen, H. (2014): How do icebergs affect the Greenland ice sheet under pre-industrial conditions? - A model study with a fully coupled ice sheet-climate model. The Cryosphere Discussions 8, 187-228. Haigh, J. D. (1996): The Impact of Solar Variability on Climate. Science, 272, 981-984. Jongma, J.I., Driesschaert, E., Fichefet, T., Goosse, H., Renssen, H., (2009): The effect of dynamic-thermodynamic icebergs on the Southern Ocean climate in a three-dimensional model. Ocean Modelling 26, 104-113. Renssen, H., Goosse, H., Muscheler, R., & Branch, R. (2006): Coupled climate model simulation of Holocene cooling events: oceanic feedback amplifies solar forcing. Climate of the Past, 2, 79-90. Ritz, C., Rommelaere, V. and Dumas, C.(2001): Modeling the evolution of Antarctic ice sheet over the last 420,000 years: Implications for altitude changes in the Vostok region, Journal of Geophysical Research, 106, 31943-31964, doi:10.1029/2001JD900232. Roche, D.M., Dumas, C., Bügelmayer, M., Charbit, S., Ritz, C. (2013): Adding a dynamical cryosphere into iLOVECLIM (version 1.0) - Part 1: Coupling with the GRISLI ice-sheet model, Geoscientific Model Development Discussion, 6, 5215-5249.

  12. Estimating the future ice sheet hydropower potential in Paakitsoq, Ilulissat, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Mottram, R.H.; Nielsen, C.;

    2008-01-01

    Meltwater running off the Greenland ice sheet yield significant hydropower potentials in catchments bordering the ice sheet, especially in West and South Greenland. Hydropower has been chosen as the most desired source of energy by the Greenland Home Rule, but recent changes in the Greenland ice...... sheet has emphasized the risk of sudden changes in catchment supply. In this study, we present a thorough investigation of hydropower feasibility at the Paakitsoq basin, near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The catchment is completely dominated by the Greenland ice sheet which provides large quantities...... of meltwater during the summer season. However, geometrical changes in the ice sheet, for example due to a retreat or an advance of the ice sheet margin, could change the hydrological catchment within the ice sheet. Such a change would have a devastating economical impact as a hydropower plant is a significant...

  13. Supraglacial bacterial community structures vary across the Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Karen A; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Schostag, Morten; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2016-02-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across the GrIS, using sequence analysis and quantitative PCR of 16S rRNA genes from co-extracted DNA and RNA. Communities were found to differ across the ice sheet, with 82.8% of the total calculated variation attributed to spatial distribution on a scale of tens of kilometers separation. Amplicons related to Sphingobacteriaceae, Pseudanabaenaceae and WPS-2 accounted for the greatest portion of calculated dissimilarities. The bacterial communities of ice and cryoconite were moderately similar (global R = 0.360, P = 0.002) and the sampled surface type (ice versus cryoconite) did not contribute heavily towards community dissimilarities (2.3% of total variability calculated). The majority of dissimilarities found between cryoconite 16S rRNA gene amplicons from DNA and RNA was calculated to be the result of changes in three taxa, Pseudanabaenaceae, Sphingobacteriaceae and WPS-2, which together contributed towards 80.8 ± 12.6% of dissimilarities between samples. Bacterial communities across the GrIS are spatially variable active communities that are likely influenced by localized biological inputs and physicochemical conditions.

  14. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D. N.; Dieckmann, G. S.

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies.

  15. Antarctic Sea ice--a habitat for extremophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D N; Dieckmann, G S

    2002-01-25

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies. PMID:11809961

  16. Decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding

    CERN Document Server

    Greve, Ralf

    2009-01-01

    Simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet are carried out with a high-resolution version of the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS for several global-warming scenarios for the period 1990-2350. In particular, the impact of surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding on the stability of the ice sheet is investigated. A parameterization for the acceleration effect is developed for which modelled and measured mass losses of the ice sheet in the early 21st century agree well. The main findings of the simulations are: (i) the ice sheet is generally very susceptible to global warming on time-scales of centuries, (ii) surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding leads to a pronounced speed-up of ice streams and outlet glaciers, and (iii) this ice-dynamical effect accelerates the decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet as a whole significantly, but not catastrophically, in the 21st century and beyond.

  17. When glaciers and ice sheets melt: consequences for planktonic organisms

    OpenAIRE

    Sommaruga, Ruben

    2015-01-01

    The current melting of glaciers and ice sheets is a consequence of climatic change and their turbid meltwaters are filling and enlarging many new proglacial and ice-contact lakes around the world, as well as affecting coastal areas. Paradoxically, very little is known on the ecology of turbid glacier-fed aquatic ecosystems even though they are at the origin of the most common type of lakes on Earth. Here, I discuss the consequences of those meltwaters for planktonic organisms. A remarkable ch...

  18. Effects of injected ice particles in the lower stratosphere on the Antarctic ozone hole

    OpenAIRE

    Nagase, H.; Kinnison, D.; Petersen, A.; F. Vitt; Brasseur, G.

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic ozone hole will continue to be observed in the next 35-50 years, although the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have gradually been phased out during the last two decades. In this paper, we suggest a geo-engineering approach that will remove substantial amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from the lower stratosphere in fall, and hence limit the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in late winter and early spring. HCl will be removed by ice from the atmosphere at temperatur...

  19. Concentrating Antarctic Meteorites on Blue ice Fields: The Frontier Mountain Meteorite Trap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The collection of meteorites in Antarctica has greatly stimulated advancement in the field of meteoritics by providing the community with significant numbers of rare and unique meteorites types and by yielding large numbers of meteorites that sample older infall epochs (Grady et al., 1998). The majority of Antarctic meteorites are found on blue ice fields, where they are thought to be concentrated by wind and glacial drift (cf. Cassidy et al., 1992). The basic "ice flow model" describes the concentration of meteorites by the stagnation or slowing of ice as it moves against a barrier located in a zone with low snow accumulation. However, our limited knowledge of the details of the actual concentration mechanisms prevents establishing firm conclusions concerning the past meteorite flux from the Antarctic record (Zolensky, 1998). The terrestrial ages of Antarctic meteorites indicate that their concentration occurs on time scales of tens to hundreds of thousands of years (Nishiizumi et al., 1989). It is a challenge to measure a mechanism that operates so slowly, and since such time scales can span more than one glacial epoch one cannot assume that the snow accumulation rates, ice velocities and directions, etc. that are measured today are representative of those extant over the age of the trap. Testing the basic "ice flow model" therefore requires the careful measurement of meteorite locations, glacialogical ice flow data, ice thicknesses, bedrock and surface topology, ice ablation and snow accumulation rates, and mass transport by wind over an extended period of time in a location where these quantities can be interpreted in the context of past glacialogical history.

  20. An ice-sheet-wide framework for englacial attenuation from ice-penetrating radar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, T. M.; Bamber, J. L.; Williams, C. N.; Paden, J. D.; Siegert, M. J.; Huybrechts, P.; Gagliardini, O.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.

    2016-07-01

    Radar inference of the bulk properties of glacier beds, most notably identifying basal melting, is, in general, derived from the basal reflection coefficient. On the scale of an ice sheet, unambiguous determination of basal reflection is primarily limited by uncertainty in the englacial attenuation of the radio wave, which is an Arrhenius function of temperature. Existing bed-returned power algorithms for deriving attenuation assume that the attenuation rate is regionally constant, which is not feasible at an ice-sheet-wide scale. Here we introduce a new semi-empirical framework for deriving englacial attenuation, and, to demonstrate its efficacy, we apply it to the Greenland Ice Sheet. A central feature is the use of a prior Arrhenius temperature model to estimate the spatial variation in englacial attenuation as a first guess input for the radar algorithm. We demonstrate regions of solution convergence for two input temperature fields and for independently analysed field campaigns. The coverage achieved is a trade-off with uncertainty and we propose that the algorithm can be "tuned" for discrimination of basal melt (attenuation loss uncertainty ˜ 5 dB). This is supported by our physically realistic ( ˜ 20 dB) range for the basal reflection coefficient. Finally, we show that the attenuation solution can be used to predict the temperature bias of thermomechanical ice sheet models and is in agreement with known model temperature biases at the Dye 3 ice core.

  1. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol

  2. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. S.; Klekociuk, A. R.; Schofield, R.; Keywood, M.; Ward, J.; Wilson, S. R.

    2015-10-01

    The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3) concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm-3 - higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and

  3. A new Eemian record of Antarctic tephra layers retrieved from the Talos Dome ice core (Northern Victoria Land)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria; Petit, Jean Robert; Langone, Antonio; Stenni, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Polar ice sheets are remarkable repositories of tephra layers. The Talos Dome ice core (72°49‧S, 159°11‧E), drilled at the edge of the East Antarctic Plateau, close to Late Quaternary volcanoes, offers considerable potential to extend the current tephra time-stratigraphic framework. A tephrochronological study was undertaken of the ice core sections related to the Last Interglacial and the transition to the subsequent glacial period. Thirteen macroscopically visible layers, interpreted to be related to primary deposition of fallout tephra, have been analysed for quantitative grain size and glass shard geochemistry. The layers, precisely framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, span in age from 111.6 ± 1.9 to 123.3 ± 2.2 ka. Coarse particle size suggests origin from regional sources. Indeed, the vast majority of the samples display an alkaline affinity and trachytic composition that are both typical geochemical features of rifting Antarctic volcanism. Using subtle differences in the geochemical signatures and the comparison with data from previous studies, a few layers are attributed to known coeval Mt. Melbourne eruptions. Another sample subset is consistent with derivation from The Pleiades and Mt. Rittmann volcanoes. One peculiar trachytic glass population appears to be related to activity of the more distant Marie Byrd Land volcanoes. The newly detected tephras provide stratigraphic markers that could facilitate future synchronisation and dating of palaeoclimatic records. The Talos Dome tephra inventory also contributes significantly to the reconstruction of the Northern Victoria Land explosive volcanism, for which chronostratigraphic data for the Last Interglacial temporal segment are poor.

  4. Examining the interaction between multi-year landfast sea ice and the Mertz Glacier Tongue, East Antarctica: Another factor in ice sheet stability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massom, Robert A.; Giles, A. Barry; Fricker, Helen A.; Warner, Roland C.; LegréSy, Benoit; Hyland, Glenn; Young, Neal; Fraser, Alexander D.

    2010-12-01

    The Mertz Glacier tongue (MGT), East Antarctica, has a large area of multi-year fast sea ice (MYFI) attached to its eastern edge. We use various satellite data sets to study the extent, age, and thickness of the MYFI and how it interacts with the MGT. We estimate its age to be at least 25 years and its thickness to be 10-55 m; this is an order of magnitude thicker than the average regional sea-ice thickness and too thick to be formed through sea-ice growth alone. We speculate that the most plausible process for its growth after initial formation is marine (frazil) ice accretion. The satellite data provide two types of evidence for strong mechanical coupling between the two types of ice: The MYFI moves with the MGT, and persistent rifts that originate in the MGT continue to propagate for large distances into the MYFI. The area of MYFI decreased by 50% following the departure of two large tabular icebergs that acted as pinning points and protective barriers. Future MYFI extent will be affected by subsequent icebergs from the Ninnis Glacier and the imminent calving of the MGT. Fast ice is vulnerable to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and its disappearance may have an influence on ice tongue/ice shelf stability. Understanding the influence of thick MYFI on floating ice tongues/ice shelves may be significant to understanding the processes that control their evolution and how these respond to climate change, and thus to predicting the future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  5. The Greenland ice sheet and the climate – a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjær, Kurt H.;

    During LGM the margins of the Greenland ice sheet around the whole perimeter stood on the shelf – but where? The first estimates had to be based on evidence from land such as weathering limits on coastal mountains, major moraine belts, and altitudes of marine limits. Still the estimates ranged fr...... climate change during and after LGM, and that coverage of the shelf may have been variable from one sector to another. Will the margin respond with similar complexity to global warming?...

  6. Theory and Finite Element Analysis of Shallow Ice Shelves

    OpenAIRE

    Weis, Magnus

    2001-01-01

    This thesis concerns the dynamics of ice shelves, which are large, floating ice masses that are adjacent to and fed by the Antarctic ice sheet. Starting from the approaches found in the literature for the derivation of simplified, zeroth order equations describing the dynamics of ice sheets, these methods are applied to ice shelves taking the dominant stresses into account. Two different layers of ice are distinguished: Meteoric ice that is built from precipitation that accumulates either on ...

  7. Microbial nitrogen cycling on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Telling

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Microbial nitrogen cycling was investigated along a 79 km transect into the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS in early August 2010. The depletion of dissolved nitrate and production of ammonium (relative to icemelt in cryoconite holes within 7.5 km of the ice sheet margin suggested microbial uptake and ammonification respectively. Nitrogen fixation (<4.2 μmoles C2H4 m−2 day−1 to 16.3 μmoles C2H4 m−2 day−1 was active in some cryoconite holes at sites up to 5.7 km from the ice sheet margin, with nitrogen fixation inversely correlated to concentrations of inorganic nitrogen. There may be the potential for the zone of nitrogen fixation to progressively extend further into the interior of the GrIS as the melt season progresses as reserves of available nitrogen are depleted. Estimated annual inputs of nitrogen from nitrogen fixation along the transect were at least two orders of magnitude lower than inputs from precipitation, with the exception of a 100 m long marginal debris-rich zone where nitrogen fixation could potentially equal or exceed that of precipitation. The average estimated contribution of nitrogen fixation to the nitrogen demand of net microbial growth at sites along the transect ranged from 0% to 17.5%.

  8. RTOPO-1: A consistent dataset for Antarctic ice shelf topography and global ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry (i.e. ice-shelf draft and ocean bathymetry). Existing global or pan-Antarctic data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional fields into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-minute bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. Locations of the merging line have been carefully adjusted in order to get the best out of each data set. High-resolution gridded data for the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves and for Pine Island Glacier have been carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam ship survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), gridded, and again carefully merged into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-minute data set contains consistent masks for open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, and bare land surface. The Ice Shelf Cavern Geometry Team: Anne Le Brocq, Tara Deen, Eugene Domack, Pierre Dutrieux, Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dorothea Graffe, Hartmut Hellmer, Angelika Humbert, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Astrid Lambrecht, Keith Makinson, Fred Niederjasper, Frank Nitsche, Ole Anders Nøst, Lars Henrik Smedsrud, and Walter Smith

  9. Effects of injected ice particles in the lower stratosphere on the Antarctic ozone hole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, H.; Kinnison, D. E.; Petersen, A. K.; Vitt, F.; Brasseur, G. P.

    2015-05-01

    The Antarctic ozone hole will continue to be observed in the next 35-50 years, although the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have gradually been phased out during the last two decades. In this paper, we suggest a geo-engineering approach that will remove substantial amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from the lower stratosphere in fall, and hence limit the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in late winter and early spring. HCl will be removed by ice from the atmosphere at temperatures higher than the threshold under which polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are formed if sufficiently large amounts of ice are supplied to produce water saturation. A detailed chemical-climate numerical model is used to assess the expected efficiency of the proposed geo-engineering method, and specifically to calculate the removal of HCl by ice particles. The size of ice particles appears to be a key parameter: larger particles (with a radius between 10 and 100 µm) appear to be most efficient for removing HCl. Sensitivity studies lead to the conclusions that the ozone recovery is effective when ice particles are supplied during May and June in the latitude band ranging from 70°S to 90°S and in the altitude layer ranging from 10 to 26 km. It appears, therefore, that supplying ice particles to the Antarctic lower stratosphere could be effective in reducing the depth of the ozone hole. In addition, photodegradation of CFCs might be accelerated when ice is supplied due to enhanced vertical transport of this efficient greenhouse gas.

  10. The Sentinel-1 Mission: New Opportunities for Ice Sheet Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Nagler

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The Sentinel satellite constellation series, developed by the European Space Agency, represents the dedicated space component of the European Copernicus program, committed to long-term operational services in a wide range of application domains. Here, we address the potential of the Sentinel-1 mission for mapping and monitoring the surface velocity of glaciers and ice sheets. We present an ice velocity map of Greenland, derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR data acquired in winter 2015 by Sentinel-1A, the first satellite of the Copernicus program in orbit. The map is assembled from about 900 SAR scenes acquired in Interferometric Wide swath (IW mode, applying the offset tracking technique. We discuss special features of IW mode data, describe the procedures for producing ice velocity maps, and assess the uncertainty of the ice motion product. We compare the Sentinel-1 ice motion product with velocity maps derived from high resolution SAR data of the TerraSAR-X mission and from PALSAR data. Beyond supporting operational services, the Sentinel-1 mission offers enhanced capabilities for comprehensive and long-term observation of key climate variables, such as the motion of ice masses.

  11. Hindcasting to measure ice sheet model sensitivity to initial states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Aschwanden

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Validation is a critical component of model development, yet notoriously challenging in ice sheet modeling. Here we evaluate how an ice sheet system model responds to a given forcing. We show that hindcasting, i.e. forcing a model with known or closely estimated inputs for past events to see how well the output matches observations, is a viable method of assessing model performance. By simulating the recent past of Greenland, and comparing to observations of ice thickness, ice discharge, surface speeds, mass loss and surface elevation changes for validation, we find that the short term model response is strongly influenced by the initial state. We show that the thermal and dynamical states (i.e. the distribution of internal energy and momentum can be misrepresented despite a good agreement with some observations, stressing the importance of using multiple observations. In particular we identify rates of change of spatially dense observations as preferred validation metrics. Hindcasting enables a qualitative assessment of model performance relative to observed rates of change. It thereby reduces the number of admissible initial states more rigorously than validation efforts that do not take advantage of observed rates of change.

  12. Historical whaling records reveal major regional retreat of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    Several studies have provided evidence of a reduction of the Antarctic sea ice extent. However, these studies were conducted either at a global scale or at a regional scale, and possible inter-regional differences were not analysed. Using the long-term whaling database we investigated circum-Antarctic changes in summer sea ice extent from 1931 to 1987. Accounting for bias inherent in the whaling method, this analysis provides new insight into the historical ice edge reconstruction and inter-regional differences. We highlight a reduction of the sea ice extent occurring in the 1960s, mainly in the Weddell sector where the change ranged from 3° to 7.9° latitude through summer. Although the whaling method may not be appropriate for detecting fine-scale change, these results provide evidence for a heterogeneous circumpolar change of the sea ice extent. The shift is temporally and spatially consistent with other environmental changes detected in the Weddell sector and also with a shift in the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. The large reduction of the sea ice extent has probably influenced the ecosystem of the Weddell Sea, particularly the krill biomass.

  13. Source identification and distribution reveals the potential of the geochemical Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belt, S. T.; Smik, L.; Brown, T. A.; Kim, J.-H.; Rowland, S. J.; Allen, C. S.; Gal, J.-K.; Shin, K.-H.; Lee, J. I.; Taylor, K. W. R.

    2016-01-01

    The presence of a di-unsaturated highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) lipid biomarker (diene II) in Southern Ocean sediments has previously been proposed as a proxy measure of palaeo Antarctic sea ice. Here we show that a source of diene II is the sympagic diatom Berkeleya adeliensis Medlin. Furthermore, the propensity for B. adeliensis to flourish in platelet ice is reflected by an offshore downward gradient in diene II concentration in >100 surface sediments from Antarctic coastal and near-coastal environments. Since platelet ice formation is strongly associated with super-cooled freshwater inflow, we further hypothesize that sedimentary diene II provides a potentially sensitive proxy indicator of landfast sea ice influenced by meltwater discharge from nearby glaciers and ice shelves, and re-examination of some previous diene II downcore records supports this hypothesis. The term IPSO25—Ice Proxy for the Southern Ocean with 25 carbon atoms—is proposed as a proxy name for diene II. PMID:27573030

  14. Past temperatures directly from the greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl-Jensen; Mosegaard; Gundestrup; Clow; Johnsen; Hansen; Balling

    1998-10-01

    A Monte Carlo inverse method has been used on the temperature profiles measured down through the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) borehole, at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Dye 3 borehole 865 kilometers farther south. The result is a 50, 000-year-long temperature history at GRIP and a 7000-year history at Dye 3. The Last Glacial Maximum, the Climatic Optimum, the Medieval Warmth, the Little Ice Age, and a warm period at 1930 A.D. are resolved from the GRIP reconstruction with the amplitudes -23 kelvin, +2.5 kelvin, +1 kelvin, -1 kelvin, and +0.5 kelvin, respectively. The Dye 3 temperature is similar to the GRIP history but has an amplitude 1.5 times larger, indicating higher climatic variability there. The calculated terrestrial heat flow density from the GRIP inversion is 51.3 milliwatts per square meter. PMID:9765146

  15. Ice-sheet flow conditions deduced from mechanical tests of ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miyamoto, Atsushi; Narita, Hideki; Hondoh, Takeo;

    1999-01-01

    Uniaxial compression tests were performed on samples of the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) deep ice core, both in the field and later in a cold-room laboratory, in order to understand the ice-flow behavior of large ice sheets. Experiments were conducted under conditions of constant strain rate...... (type A) and constant load (type B). Fifty-four uniaxial-compression test specimens from 1327-2922 m were selected. Each test specimen (25 mm × 25 mm × 90 mm) was prepared with its uniaxial stress axis inclined 45° from the core axis in order to examine the flow behavior of strong single-maximum ice......-core samples with basal planes parallel to the horizontal plane of the ice sheet. The ice-flow enhancement factors show a gradual increase with depth down to approximately 2000 m. These results can be interpreted in terms of an increase in the fourth-order Schmid factor. Below 2000 m depth, the flow...

  16. A test bed for investigating the flow of outlet glaciers and ice streams embedded in the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calov, Reinhard; Rückamp, Martin; Schlegel, Rebecca; Ganopolski, Andrey; Humbert, Angelika

    2016-04-01

    Here, we define a test bed for fast flow regions and its vicinity embedded in an ice sheet. This test bed is designed for outlet glaciers and ice streams of the Greenland ice sheet. It consists of a fine resolution part with a manufactured basal trough over which the professional software COMSOL (Multiphysics Modeling Software) operates as a full-Stokes model. Results by COMSOL are compared with coarse resolution simulations with the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS operating in shallow-ice-approximation mode and using parameterizations of the fast flow effects. For simplification, in this preliminary approach, both models run in isothermal mode. Definition of surface mass balance follows the EISMINT intercomparison project with parameters adapted to the Greenland ice sheet. In particular, we inspect with this test bed upstream and lateral flow effects of ice streams and outlet glaciers. We present first simulations with this approach, although presentation of the test bed itself is the main emphasis of this presentation.

  17. Ice dynamic response to two modes of surface lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Supraglacial lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet opens surface-to-bed connections, reduces basal friction, and temporarily increases ice flow velocities by up to an order of magnitude. Existing field-based observations of lake drainages and their impact on ice dynamics are limited, and focus on one specific draining mechanism. Here, we report and analyse global positioning system measurements of ice velocity and elevation made at five locations surrounding two lakes that drained by different mechanisms and produced different dynamic responses. For the lake that drained slowly (>24 h) by overtopping its basin, delivering water via a channel to a pre-existing moulin, speedup and uplift were less than half those associated with a lake that drained rapidly (∼2 h) through hydrofracturing and the creation of new moulins in the lake bottom. Our results suggest that the mode and associated rate of lake drainage govern the impact on ice dynamics. (letter)

  18. Initialization of a full-Stokes finite element model of the Greenland ice-sheet using inverse methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.; Nodet, M.; Ritz, C.; Durand, G.; Zwinger, T.; Seddik, H.; Greve, R.

    2010-12-01

    About a third of the current sea level rise is attributed to the release of Greenland and Antarctic ice, and their respective contribution is continuously increasing since the first diagnostic of the acceleration of their coastal outlet glaciers, a decade ago. Due to their related societal implications, good scenario of the ice sheets evolutions are needed to constrain the sea level rise forecast in the coming centuries. The quality of the model predictions depend primary on the good description of the physical processes involved and on a good initial state reproducing the main present observations (geometry, surface velocities and ideally the trend in elevation change). We model ice dynamics on the whole Greenland ice sheet using the full-Stokes finite element code Elmer. The finite element mesh is generated using the anisotropic mesh adaptation tool YAMS, and shows a high density around the major ice streams. For the initial state, we use an iterative procedure to compute the ice velocities, the temperature field, and the basal sliding coefficient field. The basal sliding coefficient is obtained with an inverse method by minimizing a cost function that measures the misfit between the present day surface velocities and the modelled surface velocities. We use two inverse methods for this: an inverse Robin problem recently proposed by Arthern and Gudmundsson (J. Glaciol. 2010), and a control method taking advantage of the fact that the Stokes equations are self adjoint in the particular case of a Newtonian rheology. From the initial states obtained by these two methods, we run transient simulations to evaluate the impact of the initial state of the Greenland ice sheet onto its related contribution to sea level rise for the next centuries.

  19. Preservation of a Preglacial Landscape Under the Center of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierman, Paul R.; Corbett, Lee B.; Graly, Joseph A.; Neumann, Thomas Allen; Lini, Andrea; Crosby, Benjamin T.; Rood, Dylan H.

    2014-01-01

    Continental ice sheets typically sculpt landscapes via erosion; under certain conditions, ancient landscapes can be preserved beneath ice and can survive extensive and repeated glaciation. We used concentrations of atmospherically produced cosmogenic beryllium-10, carbon, and nitrogen to show that ancient soil has been preserved in basal ice for millions of years at the center of the ice sheet at Summit, Greenland. This finding suggests ice sheet stability through the Pleistocene (i.e., the past 2.7 million years). The preservation of this soil implies that the ice has been non-erosive and frozen to the bed for much of that time, that there was no substantial exposure of central Greenland once the ice sheet became fully established, and that preglacial landscapes can remain preserved for long periods under continental ice sheets

  20. Influence of ice-sheet geometry and supraglacial lakes on seasonal ice-flow variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joughin, I.; Das, S. B.; Flowers, G. E.; Behn, M. D.; Alley, R. B.; King, M. A.; Smith, B. E.; Bamber, J. L.; van den Broeke, M. R.; van Angelen, J. H.

    2013-01-01

    Supraglacial lakes play an important role in establishing hydrological connections that allow lubricating seasonal meltwater to reach the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Here we use new surface velocity observations to examine the influence of supraglacial lake drainages and surface melt rate on ic

  1. Antarctic Ice-Shelf Front Dynamics from ICESat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, John W.; Zwally, H. Jay; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    Time variable elevation profiles from ICESat Laser Altimetry over the period 2003-2009 provide a means to quantitatively detect and track topographic features on polar ice surfaces. The results of this study provide a measure of the horizontal motion of ice-shelf fronts. We examine the time histories of elevation profiles crossing the ice fronts of the Ross, Ronne, Filchner, Riiser-Larson and Fimbul shelves. This provides a basis for estimating dynamics in two dimensions, i.e. in elevation and horizontally in the along-track direction. Ice front velocities, corrected for ground-track intersection angle, range from nearly static to 1.1 km/yr. In many examples, a decrease in elevation up to 1 m/yr near the shelf frontis also detectable. Examples of tabular calving along shelf fronts are seen in some elevation profiles and are confirmed by corresponding MODIS imagery.

  2. Shallow ice approximation, second order shallow ice approximation, and full Stokes models: A discussion of their roles in palaeo-ice sheet modelling and development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchner, N.; Ahlkrona, J.; Gowan, E. J.; Lötstedt, P.; Lea, J. M.; Noormets, R.; von Sydow, L.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Benham, T.

    2016-09-01

    Full Stokes ice sheet models provide the most accurate description of ice sheet flow, and can therefore be used to reduce existing uncertainties in predicting the contribution of ice sheets to future sea level rise on centennial time-scales. The level of accuracy at which millennial time-scale palaeo-ice sheet simulations resolve ice sheet flow lags the standards set by Full Stokes models, especially, when Shallow Ice Approximation (SIA) models are used. Most models used in paleo-ice sheet modeling were developed at a time when computer power was very limited, and rely on several assumptions. At the time there was no means of verifying the assumptions by other than mathematical arguments. However, with the computer power and refined Full Stokes models available today, it is possible to test these assumptions numerically. In this paper, we review (Ahlkrona et al., 2013a) where such tests were performed and inaccuracies in commonly used arguments were found. We also summarize (Ahlkrona et al., 2013b) where the implications of the inaccurate assumptions are analyzed for two paleo-models - the SIA and the SOSIA. We review these works without resorting to mathematical detail, in order to make them accessible to a wider audience with a general interest in palaeo-ice sheet modelling. Specifically, we discuss two implications of relevance for palaeo-ice sheet modelling. First, classical SIA models are less accurate than assumed in their original derivation. Secondly, and contrary to previous recommendations, the SOSIA model is ruled out as a practicable tool for palaeo-ice sheet simulations. We conclude with an outlook concerning the new Ice Sheet Coupled Approximation Level (ISCAL) method presented in Ahlkrona et al. (2016), that has the potential to match the accuracy standards of full Stokes model on palaeo-timescales of tens of thousands of years, and to become an alternative to hybrid models currently used in palaeo-ice sheet modelling. The method is applied to an ice

  3. A study of the dark region in the western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wientjes, I.G.M.

    2011-01-01

    The western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet contains a region that is darker than the surrounding ice. This region is several tens of kilometres wide and stretched parallel to the margin of the ice sheet for more than 350 kilometres. The dark appearance implies low radiance and therefore lo

  4. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas;

    Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glacie...

  5. Applicability of ERTS to Antarctic iceberg resources. [harvesting sea ice for fresh water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hult, J. L. (Principal Investigator); Ostrander, N. C.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. This investigation explorers the applicability of ERTS to (1) determine the Antarctic sea ice and environmental behavior that may influence the harvesting of icebergs, and (2) monitor iceberg locations, characteristics, and evolution. Imagery has shown that the potential applicability of ERTS to the research, planning, and harvesting operations can contribute importantly to the glowing promise derived from broader scope studies for the use of Antarctic icebergs to relieve a growing global thirst for fresh water. Several years of comprehensive monitoring will be necessary to characterize sea ice and environmental behavior and iceberg evolution. Live ERTS services will assist harvesting control and claiming operations and offer a means of harmonizing entitlements of iceberg resources. The valuable ERTS services will be more cost effective than other means will be easily justified and borne by the iceberg harvesting operations.

  6. Modeling brine and nutrient dynamics in Antarctic sea ice: The case of dissolved silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Goosse, Hugues; de Montety, Anne; Fichefet, Thierry; Tremblay, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2010-02-01

    Sea ice ecosystems are characterized by microalgae living in brine inclusions. The growth rate of ice algae depends on light and nutrient supply. Here, the interactions between nutrients and brine dynamics under the influence of algae are investigated using a one-dimensional model. The model includes snow and ice thermodynamics with brine physics and an idealized sea ice biological component, characterized by one nutrient, namely, dissolved silica (DSi). In the model, DSi follows brine motion and is consumed by ice algae. Depending on physical ice characteristics, the brine flow is either advective, diffusive, or turbulent. The vertical profiles of ice salinity and DSi concentration are solutions of advection-diffusion equations. The model is configured to simulate the typical thermodynamic regimes of first-year Antarctic pack ice. The simulated vertical profiles of salinity and DSi qualitatively reproduce observations. Analysis of results highlights the role of convection in the lowermost 5-10 cm of ice. Convection mixes saline, nutrient-poor brine with comparatively fresh, nutrient-rich seawater. This implies a rejection of salt to the ocean and a flux of DSi to the ice. In the presence of growing algae, the simulated ocean-to-ice DSi flux increases by 0-115% compared to an abiotic situation. In turn, primary production and brine convection act in synergy to form a nutrient pump. The other important processes are the flooding of the surface by seawater and the percolation of meltwater. The former refills nutrients near the ice surface in spring. The latter, if present, tends to expell nutrients from the ice in summer.

  7. Enthalpy benchmark experiments for numerical ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kleiner

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We present benchmark experiments to test the implementation of enthalpy and the corresponding boundary conditions in numerical ice sheet models. The first experiment tests particularly the functionality of the boundary condition scheme and the basal melt rate calculation during transient simulations. The second experiment addresses the steady-state enthalpy profile and the resulting position of the cold–temperate transition surface (CTS. For both experiments we assume ice flow in a parallel-sided slab decoupled from the thermal regime. Since we impose several assumptions on the experiment design, analytical solutions can be formulated for the proposed numerical experiments. We compare simulation results achieved by three different ice flow-models with these analytical solutions. The models agree well to the analytical solutions, if the change in conductivity between cold and temperate ice is properly considered in the model. In particular, the enthalpy gradient at the cold side of the CTS vanishes in the limit of vanishing conductivity in the temperate ice part as required from the physical jump conditions at the CTS.

  8. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM-19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a

  9. In situ produced 14C by cosmic ray muons in ablating Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samples of a core (52 m) of ablating Antarctic ice were analyzed for 14CO and 14CO2 by accelerator mass spectrometry. The data were compared with a 14C in situ production model that includes muon capture in addition to oxygen spallation by neutrons. The analysis reveals significant in situ 14C at depths below 10 m, which we attribute to 14C production by cosmic ray muons. The age of the ice was determined as 9.3 ± 0.4 14C ka BP

  10. Interactions between topographically and thermally forced stationary waves: implications for ice-sheet evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Liakka

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examines mutual interactions between stationary waves and ice sheets using a dry atmospheric primitive-equation model coupled to a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet model. The emphasis is on how non-linear interactions between thermal and topographical forcing of the stationary waves influence the ice-sheet evolution by changing the ablation. Simulations are conducted in which a small ice cap, on an idealised Northern Hemisphere continent, evolves to an equilibrium continental-scale ice sheet. In the absence of stationary waves, the equilibrium ice sheet arrives at symmetric shape with a zonal equatorward margin. In isolation, the topographically induced stationary waves have essentially no impact on the equilibrium features of the ice sheet. The reason is that the temperature anomalies are located far from the equatorward ice margin. When forcing due to thermal cooling is added to the topographical forcing, thermally induced perturbation winds amplify the topographically induced stationary-wave response, which that serves to increase both the equatorward extent and the volume of the ice sheet. Roughly, a 10% increase in the ice volume is reported here. Hence, the present study suggests that the topographically induced stationary-wave response can be substantially enhanced by the high albedo of ice sheets.

  11. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a model comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Christian; Reijmer, Carleen; van den Broeke, Michiel; Ligtenberg, Stefan; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Noël, Brice

    2016-04-01

    Mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is an important contributor to global sea level rise. Besides calving, surface melt is the dominant source of mass loss. However, only part of the surface melt leaves the ice sheet as runoff whereas the other part percolates into the snow cover and refreezes. Due to this process, part of the meltwater is (intermediately) stored. Refreezing thus impacts the surface mass balance of the ice sheet but it also affects the vertical structure of the snow cover due to transport of mass and energy. Due to the sparse availability of in situ data and the demand of future projections, it is inevitable to use numerical models to simulate refreezing and related processes. Currently, the magnitude of refrozen mass is neither well constrained nor well validated. In this study, we model the snow and firn layer, and compare refreezing on the GrIS as modelled with two different numerical models. Both models are forced with meteorological data from the regional climate model RACMO 2 that has been shown to simulate realistic conditions for Greenland. One model is the UU/IMAU firn densification model (FDM) that can be used both in an on- and offline mode with RACMO 2. The other model is SNOWPACK; a model originally designed to simulate seasonal snow cover in alpine conditions. In contrast to FDM, SNOWPACK accounts for snow metamorphism and microstructure and contains a more physically based snow densification scheme. A first comparison of the models indicates that both seem to be able to capture the general spatial and temporal pattern of refreezing. Spatially, refreezing occurs mostly in the ablation zone and decreases in the accumulation zone towards the interior of the ice sheet. Below the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) where refreezing occurs in seasonal snow cover on bare ice, the storage effect is only intermediate. Temporal patterns on a seasonal range indicate two peaks in refreezing; one at the beginning of the melt season where

  12. The effect of greenhouse gas concentrations and ice sheets on the glacial AMOC in a coupled climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klockmann, Marlene; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Marotzke, Jochem

    2016-09-01

    Simulations with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) are used to study the sensitivity of the AMOC and the deep-ocean water masses during the Last Glacial Maximum to different sets of forcings. Analysing the individual contributions of the glacial forcings reveals that the ice sheets cause an increase in the overturning strength and a deepening of the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) cell, while the low greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations cause a decrease in overturning strength and a shoaling of the NADW cell. The effect of the orbital configuration is negligible. The effects of the ice sheets and the GHG reduction balance each other in the deep ocean so that no shoaling of the NADW cell is simulated in the full glacial state. Experiments in which different GHG concentrations with linearly decreasing radiative forcing are applied to a setup with glacial ice sheets and orbital configuration show that GHG concentrations below the glacial level are necessary to cause a shoaling of the NADW cell with respect to the pre-industrial state in MPI-ESM. For a pCO2 of 149 ppm, the simulated overturning state and the deep-ocean water masses are in best agreement with the glacial state inferred from proxy data. Sensitivity studies confirm that brine release and shelf convection in the Southern Ocean are key processes for the shoaling of the NADW cell. Shoaling occurs only when Southern Ocean shelf water contributes significantly to the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water.

  13. Accurate and stable time stepping in ice sheet modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Cheng, Gong; von Sydow, Lina

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we introduce adaptive time step control for simulation of evolution of ice sheets. The discretization error in the approximations is estimated using "Milne's device" by comparing the result from two different methods in a predictor-corrector pair. Using a predictor-corrector pair the expensive part of the procedure, the solution of the velocity and pressure equations, is performed only once per time step and an estimate of the local error is easily obtained. The stability of the numerical solution is maintained and the accuracy is controlled by keeping the local error below a given threshold using PI-control. Depending on the threshold, the time step $\\Delta t$ is bound by stability requirements or accuracy requirements. Our method takes a shorter $\\Delta t$ than an implicit method but with less work in each time step and the solver is simpler. The method is analyzed theoretically with respect to stability and applied to the simulation of a 2D ice slab and a 3D circular ice sheet. %The automatic...

  14. PIXE analysis as a tool for dating of ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sections from the 2037 m long Dye 3 ice core drilled in 1979-1981 in the ice sheet of Southern Greenland were analysed with PIXE. The seven selected sections were from depths between 1778 and 1813 m, which corresponds to a time interval between about 8 500 and 10 000 years B.C. at the end of the last Ice Age. During this time period, fast climatic changes of several degrees centrigrade per century are known to have taken place. The exact time scales of these changes need yet to be verified by renewed measurements using nonconventional stratigraphic dating techniques such as PIXE. The problem is highly relevant for the prediction of climatic changes in our present age. A new sample preparation technique was developed which enables the determination of annual thicknesses of the parts of the ice core representing 10 000-40 000 years before present, where the thickness of the annual ice layers are believed to be less than 2.5 cm. More commonly used techniques of dating, such as measurements of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes δ18O and δD, nitrate, acidity or conductivity all have difficulties in resolving annual cycles in thicknesses of less than about 2 cm. The new technique involves sublimation of 18 cm long ice sections, after which the material contained in the ice is deposited on the thin backing. In this way, the material to be analysed is preconcentrated through the removal of the H2O, while still retaining the spatial distribution pattern of the various water soluble and insoluble components along the ice core. The resulting spatial resolution of the sublimation technique is estimated to be ±1 mm. A PIXE analysis was performed in contiguous millimeter steps across the sublimated ice sections. Estimations of annual ice layer thicknesses were based on the patterns of seasonal variation along the ice sections for several major and minor elements quantified with PIXE. (orig./TW)

  15. An Antarctic ice core recording both supernovae and solar cycles

    CERN Document Server

    Motizuki, Yuko; Makishima, Kazuo; Bamba, Aya; Nakai, Yoichi; Yano, Yasushige; Igarashi, Makoto; Motoyama, Hideaki; Kamiyama, Kokichi; Suzuki, Keisuke; Imamura, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    Ice cores are known to be rich in information regarding past climates, and the possibility that they record astronomical phenomena has also been discussed. Rood et al. were the first to suggest, in 1979, that nitrate ion (NO3-) concentration spikes observed in the depth profile of a South Pole ice core might correlate with the known historical supernovae (SNe), Tycho (AD 1572), Kepler (AD 1604), and SN 1181 (AD 1181). Their findings, however, were not supported by subsequent examinations by different groups using different ice cores, and the results have remained controversial and confusing. Here we present a precision analysis of an ice core drilled in 2001 at Dome Fuji station in Antarctica. It revealed highly significant three NO3- spikes dating from the 10th to the 11th century. Two of them are coincident with SN 1006 (AD 1006) and the Crab Nebula SN (AD 1054), within the uncertainty of our absolute dating based on known volcanic signals. Moreover, by applying time-series analyses to the measured NO3- con...

  16. A model of a stochastically driven ice sheet with planetary wave feedback

    OpenAIRE

    Oerlemans, J.

    2011-01-01

    The growth and decay of continental ice sheets forms a key problem in dynamical climatology. Apart from knowledge about their behaviour for given external conditions, like the distribution of incoming solar energy, it is desirable to know something about their variability due to forcing with a stochastic character. This paper presents a simple model of ice-sheet variability in which the interaction between ice sheet and atmosphere is taken into account in a crude way. The model is formulated...

  17. Revised estimates of Greenland ice sheet thinning histories based on ice-core records

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecavalier, B.S.; Milne, G.A.; Fisher, D.A.;

    2013-01-01

    -3 and Camp Century. In addition, compared to the original analysis, the 1-s uncertainty is considerably larger at GRIP and NGRIP. These changes reduce the data-model discrepancy reported by Vinther et al. (2009) at GRIP, NGRIP, DYE-3 and Camp Century. A more accurate treatment of isostasy......Ice core records were recently used to infer elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet throughout the Holocene. The inferred elevation changes show a significantly greater elevation reduction than those output from numerical models, bringing into question the accuracy of the model......-based reconstructions and, to some extent, the estimated elevation histories. A key component of the ice core analysis involved removing the influence of vertical surface motion on the dO signal measured from the Agassiz and Renland ice caps. We re-visit the original analysis with the intent to determine if the use...

  18. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age, implications on sea level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas;

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular...... for modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of the past GrIS contribution to SLR have been derived using a number of different approaches, e.g. surface mass balance (SMB) calculations combined with estimates of ice discharge found by in correlating SMB anomalies and calving rates. Here......-2010, NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003-2009, and NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) from 2010, to estimate mass loss throughout the 20th and early 21st Century. We present mass balance estimates of the GrIS since retreat commence from the maximum extent...

  19. An investigation of the astronomical theory of the ice ages using a simple climate-ice sheet model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.

    1978-01-01

    The astronomical theory of the Quaternary ice ages is incorporated into a simple climate model for global weather; important features of the model include the albedo feedback, topography and dynamics of the ice sheets. For various parameterizations of the orbital elements, the model yields realistic assessments of the northern ice sheet. Lack of a land-sea heat capacity contrast represents one of the chief difficulties of the model.

  20. Critical Fracture Toughness Measurements of an Antarctic Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christmann, Julia; Müller, Ralf; Webber, Kyle; Isaia, Daniel; Schader, Florian; Kippstuhl, Sepp; Freitag, Johannes; Humbert, Angelika

    2014-05-01

    Fracture toughness is a material parameter describing the resistance of a pre-existing defect in a body to further crack extension. The fracture toughness of glacial ice as a function of density is important for modeling efforts aspire to predict calving behavior. In the presented experiments this fracture toughness is measured using an ice core from Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The samples were sawed in an ice lab at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven at -20°C and had the dimensions of standard test samples with thickness 14 mm, width 28 mm and length 126 mm. The samples originate from a depth of 94.6 m to 96 m. The grain size of the samples was also identified. The grain size was found to be rather uniform. The critical fracture toughness is determined in a four-point bending approach using single edge V-notch beam samples. The initial notch length was around 2.5 mm and was prepared using a drilling machine. The experimental setup was designed at the Institute of Materials Science at Darmstadt. In this setup the force increases linearly, until the maximum force is reached, where the specific sample fractures. This procedure was done in an ice lab with a temperature of -15°C. The equations to calculate the fracture toughness for pure bending are derived from an elastic stress analysis and are given as a standard test method to detect the fracture toughness. An X-ray computer tomography (CT scanner) was used to determine the ice core densities. The tests cover densities from 843 kg m-3 to 871 kg m-3. Thereby the influence of the fracture toughness on the density was analyzed and compared to previous investigations of this material parameter. Finally the dependence of the measured toughness on thickness, width, and position in the core cross-section was investigated.

  1. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Raymond

    Full Text Available The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241 from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs, which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice.

  2. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, James A; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael

    2013-01-01

    The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241) from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs), which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte) are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs) and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs) that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice. PMID:23536869

  3. Predicting Ice Sheet and Climate Evolution at Extreme Scales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heimbach, Patrick [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2016-02-06

    A main research objectives of PISCEES is the development of formal methods for quantifying uncertainties in ice sheet modeling. Uncertainties in simulating and projecting mass loss from the polar ice sheets arise primarily from initial conditions, surface and basal boundary conditions, and model parameters. In general terms, two main chains of uncertainty propagation may be identified: 1. inverse propagation of observation and/or prior onto posterior control variable uncertainties; 2. forward propagation of prior or posterior control variable uncertainties onto those of target output quantities of interest (e.g., climate indices or ice sheet mass loss). A related goal is the development of computationally efficient methods for producing initial conditions for an ice sheet that are close to available present-day observations and essentially free of artificial model drift, which is required in order to be useful for model projections (“initialization problem”). To be of maximum value, such optimal initial states should be accompanied by “useful” uncertainty estimates that account for the different sources of uncerainties, as well as the degree to which the optimum state is constrained by available observations. The PISCEES proposal outlined two approaches for quantifying uncertainties. The first targets the full exploration of the uncertainty in model projections with sampling-based methods and a workflow managed by DAKOTA (the main delivery vehicle for software developed under QUEST). This is feasible for low-dimensional problems, e.g., those with a handful of global parameters to be inferred. This approach can benefit from derivative/adjoint information, but it is not necessary, which is why it often referred to as “non-intrusive”. The second approach makes heavy use of derivative information from model adjoints to address quantifying uncertainty in high-dimensions (e.g., basal boundary conditions in ice sheet models). The use of local gradient, or

  4. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas;

    for the entire ice sheet show increased mass loss from 137 Gt/yr in 2002–2003 to 286 Gt/yr in 2007–2009. Also evidence from the GRACE, GPS (Global Positioning System), and ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) as well as surface mass balance data suggests there is an ongoing northward migration...... records with a 25 m grid resolution and vertical uncertainty of 4.6m. Comparative DEMs were derived from laser altimetry data recorded in 2005 and 2010. Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) can be partitioned into surface mass balance (SMB) processes (runoff and precipitation) and ice dynamics......Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glaciers...

  5. Data assimilation and prognostic whole ice sheet modelling with the variationally derived, higher order, open source, and fully parallel ice sheet model VarGlaS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Brinkerhoff

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available We introduce a novel, higher order, finite element ice sheet model called VarGlaS (Variational Glacier Simulator, which is built on the finite element framework FEniCS. Contrary to standard procedure in ice sheet modelling, VarGlaS formulates ice sheet motion as the minimization of an energy functional, conferring advantages such as a consistent platform for making numerical approximations, a coherent relationship between motion and heat generation, and implicit boundary treatment. VarGlaS also solves the equations of enthalpy rather than temperature, avoiding the solution of a contact problem. Rather than include a lengthy model spin-up procedure, VarGlaS possesses an automated framework for model inversion. These capabilities are brought to bear on several benchmark problems in ice sheet modelling, as well as a 500 yr simulation of the Greenland ice sheet at high resolution. VarGlaS performs well in benchmarking experiments and, given a constant climate and a 100 yr relaxation period, predicts a mass evolution of the Greenland ice sheet that matches present-day observations of mass loss. VarGlaS predicts a thinning in the interior and thickening of the margins of the ice sheet.

  6. Evaluation of recent GRACE monthly solution series with an ice sheet perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    GRACE monthly global gravity field solutions have undergone a remarkable evolution, leading to the latest (Release 5) series by CSR, GFZ, and JPL, to new series by other processing centers, such as ITSG and AIUB, as well as to efforts to derive combined solutions, particularly by the EGSIEM (European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management) project. For applications, such as GRACE inferences on ice sheet mass balance, the obvious question is on what GRACE solution series to base the assessment. Here we evaluate different GRACE solution series (including the ones listed above) in a unified framework. We concentrate on solutions expanded up to degree 90 or higher, since this is most appropriate for polar applications. We empirically assess the error levels in the spectral as well as in the spatial domain based on the month-to-month scatter in the high spherical harmonic degrees. We include empirical assessment of error correlations. We then apply all series to infer Antarctic and Greenland mass change time series and compare the results in terms of apparent signal content and noise level. We find that the ITSG solutions show lowest noise level in the high degrees (above 60). A preliminary combined solution from the EGSIEM project shows lowest noise in the degrees below 60. This virtue maps into the derived ice mass time series, where the EGSIEM-based results show the lowest noise in most cases. Meanwhile, there is no indication that any of the considered series systematically dampens actual geophysical signals.

  7. Are Late-Pleistocene Climate Reconstructions from Cirque and Valley Moraines Possible in Regions of Decaying Ice Sheets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menounos, B.; Goehring, B. M.; osborn, G.; Clague, J. J.; Davis, P. T.; Lakeman, T.; Schaefer, J. M.; Koch, J.; Clarke, G. K.

    2012-12-01

    The extent of glaciers in the past has commonly been used to infer past climates. Both abrupt climate change and geomorphic factors, however, are required to explain the timing and apparent magnitude of latest Pleistocene advances at high latitudes in western Canada and southernmost Patagonia. At the southern end of the Andes, north and west of Ushuaia, Argentina, 10Be surface exposure ages from glaciated bedrock beyond cirque moraines indicate that alpine areas were deglaciated by ca. 15.5 ka (kilo calendar yr BP). One, and in some cases two, closely spaced moraines extend up to 2 km beyond Little Ice Age moraines within many cirques in this region. The mean of five 10Be ages from two of the moraines is 14.82-13.16 ka, whereas a smaller recessional moraine in one cirque returned a minimum-limiting AMS radiocarbon age of 12.38-12.01 ka. The ages imply that following regional deglaciation, cirque glaciers first advanced during the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR) [14.5-12.9 ka] and then advanced again or remained near their ACR limits during the Younger Dryas Chronozone (YD) [12.9-11.7 ka]. The moraines are restricted to topographic highs that were deglaciated before 15.5 ka. In western Canada, glaciers also advanced during the YD, but the magnitude of this advance differs markedly throughout the region. 10Be and 14C ages on moraines at high elevations in the Canadian Rockies and the southern Coast Mountains indicate that many glaciers built moraines during the YD that were only hundreds of meters beyond those constructed during the later part of the Little Ice Age [0.30-0.15 ka]. In contrast, 10Be ages [13.10-12.00 ka] on three moraines in northwest British Columbia indicate that glaciers up to 10 km beyond LIA glacier limits during the YD. We argue that the different responses of alpine glaciers in western Canada to climate deterioration during the YD is due to the presence of the decaying Cordilleran ice sheet. Top-down melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet allowed

  8. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low-frequency, long-duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  9. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

  10. Boundary layer new particle formation over East Antarctic sea ice – possible Hg-driven nucleation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol observations above the Southern Ocean and Antarctic sea ice are scarce. Measurements of aerosols and atmospheric composition were made in East Antarctic pack ice on board the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis during the spring of 2012. One particle formation event was observed during the 32 days of observations. This event occurred on the only day to exhibit extended periods of global irradiance in excess of 600 W m−2. Within the single air mass influencing the measurements, number concentrations of particles larger than 3 nm (CN3 reached almost 7700 cm−3 within a few hours of clouds clearing, and grew at rates of 5.6 nm h−1. Formation rates of 3 nm particles were in the range of those measured at other Antarctic locations at 0.2–1.1 ± 0.1 cm−3 s−1. Our investigations into the nucleation chemistry found that there were insufficient precursor concentrations for known halogen or organic chemistry to explain the nucleation event. Modelling studies utilising known sulfuric acid nucleation schemes could not simultaneously reproduce both particle formation or growth rates. Surprising correlations with total gaseous mercury (TGM were found that, together with other data, suggest a mercury-driven photochemical nucleation mechanism may be responsible for aerosol nucleation. Given the very low vapour pressures of the mercury species involved, this nucleation chemistry is likely only possible where pre-existing aerosol concentrations are low and both TGM concentrations and solar radiation levels are relatively high (∼ 1.5 ng m−3 and ≥ 600 W m−2, respectively, such as those observed in the Antarctic sea ice boundary layer in this study or in the global free troposphere, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.

  11. Tracing Internal Radar Layers in the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Panton, Christian

    layers and a fully automated algorithm for mapping the layer slope. The layer slope is inferred by the intensity response to a slanted Gaussian filter, whereafter layers can be traced using an active contour model. With these techniques we show that it possible to trace internal layers over distances of...... hundreds kilometers with minimal operator intervention, and the methods have been successfully validated between two Greenland deep ice cores with internal match points. In order to remove any operator assistance, we show how the layer slope can be used to detect disturbances in the deep radiostratigraphy....... These results highlight the viability of using internal layer slopes to answer glaciological questions, and the need for high resolution mapping of the interior ice sheet to understand the dynamical nature of the basal environment....

  12. On the long-term memory of the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Irina Rogozhina; Z. Martinec; Jan Hagedoorn; Maik Thomas; Kevin Fleming

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the memory of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) with respect to its past states is analyzed. According to ice-core reconstructions, the present-day GIS reflects former climatic conditions dating back to at least 250 thousand years before the present (kyr BP). This fact must be considered when initializing an ice-sheet model. The common initialization techniques are paleoclimatic simulations driven by atmospheric forcing inferred from ice-core records, and steady-state simulations d...

  13. THE EFFECTS OF ULTRAVIOLET-B RADIATION ON ANTARCTIC SEA-ICE ALGAE(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Ken G; McMinn, Andrew; Hegseth, Else N; Davy, Simon K

    2012-02-01

    The impacts of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) on polar sea-ice algal communities have not yet been demonstrated. We assess the impacts of UV on these communities using both laboratory experiments on algal isolates and by modification of the in situ spectral distribution of the under-ice irradiance. In the latter experiment, filters were attached to the upper surface of the ice so that the algae were exposed in situ to treatments of ambient levels of PAR and UV radiation, ambient radiation minus UVB, and ambient radiation minus all UV. After 16 d, significant increases in chl a and cell numbers were recorded for all treatments, but there were no significant differences among the different treatments. Bottom-ice algae exposed in vitro were considerably less tolerant to UVB than those in situ, but this tolerance improved when algae were retained within a solid block of ice. In addition, algae extracted from brine channels in the upper meter of sea ice and exposed to PAR and UVB in the laboratory were much more tolerant of high UVB doses than were any bottom-ice isolates. This finding indicates that brine algae may be better adapted to high PAR and UVB than are bottom-ice algae. The data indicate that the impact of increased levels of UVB resulting from springtime ozone depletion on Antarctic bottom-ice communities is likely to be minimal. These algae are likely protected by strong UVB attenuation by the overlying ice and snow, by other inorganic and organic substances in the ice matrix, and by algal cells closer to the surface. PMID:27009652

  14. Thickening and Thinning of Antarctic Ice Shelves and Tongues and Mass Balance Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Giovinetto, Mario; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Previous analysis of elevation changes for 1992 to 2002 obtained from measurements by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2 showed that the shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of West Antarctica (WA), including the eastern part of the Ross Ice Shelf, were mostly thinning and losing mass whereas the Ronne Ice shelf also in WA was mostly thickening. The estimated total mass loss for the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining WA and the AP was 95 Gt/a. In contrast, the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining East Antarctica (EA), including the Filchner, Fimbul, Amery, and Western Ross, were mostly thickening with a total estimated mass gain of 142 Gt/a. Data from ICESat laser altimetry for 2003-2008 gives new surface elevation changes (dH/dt) with some similar values for the earlier and latter periods, including -27.6 and -26.9 cm a-Ion the West Getz ice shelf and -42.4 and - 27.2 cm/a on the East Getz ice shelf, and some values that indicate more thinning in the latter period, including -17.9 and -36.2 cm/a on the Larsen C ice shelf, -35.5 and -76.0 cm/a on the Pine Island Glacier floating, -60.5 and -125.7 .cm/a on the Smith Glacier floating, and -34.4 and -108.9 cm/a on the Thwaites Glacier floating. Maps of measured dH/dt and estimated thickness change are produced along with mass change estimates for 2003 - 2008.

  15. Effect of elevated CO2 concentration on microalgal communities in Antarctic pack ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coad, Thomas; McMinn, Andrew; Nomura, Daiki; Martin, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing changes to oceanic pH and CO2 concentrations that will impact many marine organisms, including microalgae. Phytoplankton taxa have shown mixed responses to these changes with some doing well while others have been adversely affected. Here, the photosynthetic response of sea-ice algal communities from Antarctic pack ice (brine and infiltration microbial communities) to a range of CO2 concentrations (400 ppm to 11,000 ppm in brine algae experiments, 400 ppm to 20,000 ppm in the infiltration ice algae experiment) was investigated. Incubations were conducted as part of the Sea-Ice Physics and Ecosystem Experiment II (SIPEX-2) voyage, in the austral spring (September-November), 2012. In the brine incubations, maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and relative electron transfer rate (rETRmax) were highest at ambient and 0.049% (experiment 1) and 0.19% (experiment 2) CO2 concentrations, although, Fv/Fm was consistently between 0.53±0.10-0.68±0.01 across all treatments in both experiments. Highest rETRmax was exhibited by brine cultures exposed to ambient CO2 concentrations (60.15). In a third experiment infiltration ice algal communities were allowed to melt into seawater modified to simulate the changed pH and CO2 concentrations of future springtime ice-edge conditions. Ambient and 0.1% CO2 treatments had the highest growth rates and Fv/Fm values but only the highest CO2 concentration produced a significantly lower rETRmax. These experiments, conducted on natural Antarctic sea-ice algal communities, indicate a strong level of tolerance to elevated CO2 concentrations and suggest that these communities might not be adversely affected by predicted changes in CO2 concentration over the next century.

  16. Hydrology and Bed Topography of the Greenland Ice Sheet : Last known surroundings

    OpenAIRE

    Lindbäck, Katrin

    2015-01-01

    The increased temperatures in the Arctic accelerate the loss of land based ice stored in glaciers. The Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere and holds ~10% of all the freshwater on Earth, equivalent to ~7 metres of global sea level rise. A few decades ago, the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet was poorly known and assumed to have little impact on global sea level rise. The development of regional climate models and remote sensing of the ice sheet during ...

  17. Measurement of 26Al in Antarctic ice with the MALT-AMS system at the University of Tokyo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiuchi, Kazuho; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki; Ohta, Aoi; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Motoyama, Hideaki

    2007-06-01

    We have attempted to determine the 26Al concentration of Antarctic ice sampled from the vicinity of the Dome Fuji Research Station using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at MALT (MicroAnalysis Laboratory, Tandem accelerator) of the University of Tokyo. Because the expected concentration of 26Al in ice is very low, our standard procedure for the AMS measurement was re-examined and refined. The observed 26Al concentration ranged between 160 and 210 atoms g-1. The averaged value of the 26Al/10Be ratio from two samples was 1.75 ± 0.19 × 10-3, which agrees well with recently reported values for the meteoric 26Al/10Be ratio from Antarctic ice and air filter residues. This result implies the possibility of future 26Al/10Be dating of old Antarctic ice.

  18. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise.

  19. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise. (letter)

  20. Footprints of the Newly-Discovered Vela Supernova in Antarctic Ice Cores?

    CERN Document Server

    Burgess, C P

    2000-01-01

    The recently-discovered, nearby young supernova remnant in the southeast corner of the older Vela supernova remnant may have been seen in measurements of nitrate abundances in Antarctic ice cores. Such an interpretation of this twenty-year-old ice-core data would provide a more accurate dating of this supernova than is possible purely using astrophysical techniques. The resulting estimates of the supernova distance and light-arrival time are 200 pc and 700 years ago, implying an expansion speed of 5,000 km/s for the supernova remnant. Such an expansion speed has been argued elsewhere to imply the explosion to have been a 15 solar mass Type II supernova. This interpretation also adds new evidence to the debate as to whether nearby supernovae can measurably affect nitrate abundances in polar ice cores.

  1. Near-field sea-level variability in northwest Europe and ice sheet stability during the last interglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, A. J.; Barlow, N. L. M.; Busschers, F. S.; Cohen, K. M.; Gehrels, W. R.; Wake, L. M.

    2015-10-01

    Global sea level during the Last Interglacial (LIG, Marine Isotope Sub-stage 5e) peaked between c. 5.5 and 9 m above present, implying significant melt from Greenland and Antarctica. Relative sea level (RSL) observations from several far- and intermediate-field sites suggest abrupt fluctuations or jumps in RSL during the LIG highstand that require one or more episodes of ice-sheet collapse and regrowth. Such events should be manifest as unique sea-level fingerprints, recorded in far-, intermediate- and near-field sites depending on the source(s) of ice-mass change involved. To date, though, no coherent evidence of such fluctuations has been reported from near-field RSL studies in northwest Europe. This is an important problem because RSL fluctuations during the LIG are portrayed as warning signs for how polar ice sheets may behave in a future, warmer than present, world. Here we review the evidence for RSL change during the LIG using stratigraphic data from the best resolved highstand records that exist in the near-field of northwest Europe, from a range of settings that include lagoonal, shallow marine, tidal flat, salt marsh and brackish-water fluviatile environments. Consideration of previously published stratigraphic records from two sites in the Eemian coastal-marine embayment that existed in the central Netherlands, yields no clear indications for abrupt RSL change during the attainment of the near-field highstand. Nor do we find any such indications common to other records from countries bordering the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the White Sea. Two modelling experiments that explore the global signal of hypothetical sea-level oscillations caused by partial collapse and regrowth of either the Greenland or Antarctic LIG ice-sheet, show that the North Sea region is relatively insensitive to mass changes sourced from Greenland but should clearly register events with an Antarctic origin, especially those that occur late in th