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

    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. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    For several decades, measurements of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed it to be retreating rapidly. But new data derived from satellite-borne radar sensors show the ice sheet to be growing. Changing Antarctic ice sheets remains an area of high scientific interest, particularly in light of recent global warming concerns. These new findings are significant because scientists estimate that sea level would rise 5-6 meters (16-20 feet) if the ice sheet collapsed into the sea. Do these new measurements signal the end of the ice sheet's 10,000-year retreat? Or, are these new satellite data simply much more accurate than the sparse ice core and surface measurements that produced the previous estimates? Another possibility is that the ice accumulation may simply indicate that the ice sheet naturally expands and retreats in regular cycles. Cryologists will grapple with these questions, and many others, as they examine the new data. The image above depicts the region of West Antarctica where scientists measured ice speed. The fast-moving central ice streams are shown in red. Slower tributaries feeding the ice streams are shown in blue. Green areas depict slow-moving, stable areas. Thick black lines depict the areas that collect snowfall to feed their respective ice streams. Reference: Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk Science Jan 18 2002: 476-480. Image courtesy RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project

  3. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingham, D J; Shepherd, A; Muir, A; Marshall, G J

    2006-07-15

    The Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise has long been uncertain. While regional variability in ice dynamics has been revealed, a picture of mass changes throughout the continental ice sheet is lacking. Here, we use satellite radar altimetry to measure the elevation change of 72% of the grounded ice sheet during the period 1992-2003. Depending on the density of the snow giving rise to the observed elevation fluctuations, the ice sheet mass trend falls in the range -5-+85Gtyr-1. We find that data from climate model reanalyses are not able to characterise the contemporary snowfall fluctuation with useful accuracy and our best estimate of the overall mass trend-growth of 27+/-29Gtyr-1-is based on an assessment of the expected snowfall variability. Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica. The result exacerbates the difficulty of explaining twentieth century sea-level rise.

  4. The late Cainozoic East Antarctic ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colhoun, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    A review, mainly of East Antarctic late Cainozoic (post 40 Ma) geological and geomorphological evidence, supports the hypothesis of the continuous presence of an ice sheet, of about the present size, since the late Miocene. Evidence is presented and the view advanced that, during the late Wisconsin maximum of isotope stage 2, ice was not nearly as thick or extensive over the continental shelf as required by the model of 'maximum' Antarctic glaciation. Some of the factors influencing the contribution of Antarctica to post-glacial sea-level rise are discussed. It is considered that Antarctica's contribution was probably considerably less than previously estimated. The dating of marine and freshwater sequences in the Vestfold and Bunger Hills is consistent with deglaciation around the Pleistocene Holocene boundary, after the Late Wisconsin maximum. A date of ∼25 ka BP from permafrost in the Larsemann Hills means that either the Larsemann Hills were not glaciated during the Late Wisconsin or the ice failed to erode much of the permafrost surface. The degree of weathering of rock and glacial drifts in the Vestfold, Larsemann and Bunger Hills suggests a long time for formation, perhaps considerably longer than indicated by the dated marine and freshwater sediment sequences. Cosmogenic isotope dating in the Vestfold Hills has provided equivocal ages for deglaciation. While the results could indicate deglaciation before 80 ka BP, they do not confirm such early deglaciation. If the ice cover was thin and failed to remove the previous rock exposure profile, then the assays could predate the last ice advance. Weathered iron crust fragments in the till suggest little erosion. The raised beaches of the oases are Holocene. Assuming they have been produced by post Late Wisconsin isostatic uplift and by the Holocene transgression, calculations show that the Antarctic continental ice sheet could not have been more than ∼500 m thicker in the inner shelf-coastal zone. The

  5. Monitoring Antarctic ice sheet surface melting with TIMESAT algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Y.; Cheng, X.; Li, X.; Liang, L.

    2011-12-01

    Antarctic ice sheet contributes significantly to the global heat budget by controlling the exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum at the surface-atmosphere interface, which directly influence the global atmospheric circulation and climate change. Ice sheet melting will cause snow humidity increase, which will accelerate the disintegration and movement of ice sheet. As a result, detecting Antarctic ice sheet melting is essential for global climate change research. In the past decades, various methods have been proposed for extracting snowmelt information from multi-channel satellite passive microwave data. Some methods are based on brightness temperature values or a composite index of them, and others are based on edge detection. TIMESAT (Time-series of Satellite sensor data) is an algorithm for extracting seasonality information from time-series of satellite sensor data. With TIMESAT long-time series brightness temperature (SSM/I 19H) is simulated by Double Logistic function. Snow is classified to wet and dry snow with generalized Gaussian model. The results were compared with those from a wavelet algorithm. On this basis, Antarctic automatic weather station data were used for ground verification. It shows that this algorithm is effective in ice sheet melting detection. The spatial distribution of melting areas(Fig.1) shows that, the majority of melting areas are located on the edge of Antarctic ice shelf region. It is affected by land cover type, surface elevation and geographic location (latitude). In addition, the Antarctic ice sheet melting varies with seasons. It is particularly acute in summer, peaking at December and January, staying low in March. In summary, from 1988 to 2008, Ross Ice Shelf and Ronnie Ice Shelf have the greatest interannual variability in amount of melting, which largely determines the overall interannual variability in Antarctica. Other regions, especially Larsen Ice Shelf and Wilkins Ice Shelf, which is in the Antarctic Peninsula

  6. Exposure age and ice-sheet model constraints on Pliocene East Antarctic ice sheet dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamane, Masako; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Obrochta, Stephen; Saito, Fuyuki; Moriwaki, Kiichi; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki

    2015-04-24

    The Late Pliocene epoch is a potential analogue for future climate in a warming world. Here we reconstruct Plio-Pleistocene East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) variability using cosmogenic nuclide exposure ages and model simulations to better understand ice sheet behaviour under such warm conditions. New and previously published exposure ages indicate interior-thickening during the Pliocene. An ice sheet model with mid-Pliocene boundary conditions also results in interior thickening and suggests that both the Wilkes Subglacial and Aurora Basins largely melted, offsetting increased ice volume. Considering contributions from West Antarctica and Greenland, this is consistent with the most recent IPCC AR5 estimate, which indicates that the Pliocene sea level likely did not exceed +20 m on Milankovitch timescales. The inception of colder climate since ∼3 Myr has increased the sea ice cover and inhibited active moisture transport to Antarctica, resulting in reduced ice sheet thickness, at least in coastal areas.

  7. Multiple Isotope Analysis of Sulfate in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains measurements of multiple sulfur and oxygen isotopes from sulfates, from an ice core drilled at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide site...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, Maria; Stocchi, Paolo; von der Heydt, Anna; Dijkstra, Hendrik; Brinkhuis, Henk

    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 dynamic

  9. 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

  10. Sector of West Antarctic Ice Sheet in "Irreversible Retreat"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2014-05-01

    A large sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet "has gone into a state of irreversible retreat," according to glaciologist Eric Rignot, lead author of the paper "Widespread rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler Glaciers in West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011," which has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL).

  11. 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 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 (5–3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming3. 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 today4 and atmospheric CO2 concentration was as high as 400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model7 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 melt8 under conditions of elevated CO2.

  12. Dating Antarctic ice sheet collapse: Proposing a molecular genetic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strugnell, Jan M.; Pedro, Joel B.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2018-01-01

    Sea levels at the end of this century are projected to be 0.26-0.98 m higher than today. The upper end of this range, and even higher estimates, cannot be ruled out because of major uncertainties in the dynamic response of polar ice sheets to a warming climate. Here, we propose an ecological genetics approach that can provide insight into the past stability and configuration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). We propose independent testing of the hypothesis that a trans-Antarctic seaway occurred at the last interglacial. Examination of the genomic signatures of bottom-dwelling marine species using the latest methods can provide an independent window into the integrity of the WAIS more than 100,000 years ago. Periods of connectivity facilitated by trans-Antarctic seaways could be revealed by dating coalescent events recorded in DNA. These methods allow alternative scenarios to be tested against a fit to genomic data. Ideal candidate taxa for this work would need to possess a circumpolar distribution, a benthic habitat, and some level of genetic structure indicated by phylogeographical investigation. The purpose of this perspective piece is to set out an ecological genetics method to help resolve when the West Antarctic Ice Shelf last collapsed.

  13. Deformation-induced melting in the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minchew, B. M.; Meyer, C. R.

    2017-12-01

    Shear stresses in the lateral margins are important components of the force balance in the glaciers and ice streams of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). The magnitudes of these stresses are a function of the rheology of ice within the margins, and ice rheology is a function of ice temperature. Here, we focus on deformation-induced heating in AIS, with the goal of understanding the spatial distribution of zones of temperate ice within the ice sheet. We derive a new analytical thermodynamic model that includes advection, diffusion, and deformation heating. Taking downward advection of cold ice to be a function of surface accumulation, we find an expression for 1) the minimum shear strain rate necessary to produce a temperate-ice zone of finite thickness and 2) the thickness of the temperate-ice zone. Applying recently derived surface velocity fields (Gardner et al., 2017), estimates of ice thickness (Bedmap2; Fretwell et al., 2013), and surface mass balance and temperature (RACMO2.3; van Wessem et al., 2014), we predict the prevalence of temperate ice within AIS. Temperate ice zones are spatially extensive and extend from the bed to at least half of the local ice thickness in six distinct regions: Pine Island, Thwaites, and Kohler Glaciers (West Antarctica); Recovery and Slessor Glaciers (eastern Filchner Ice Shelf); Mellor and Lambert Glaciers (Amery Ice Shelf); Denman Glacier (East Antarctica); Byrd Glacier (western Ross Ice Shelf); and Bindschadler Ice Stream (eastern Ross Ice Shelf). In most of these regions, the formation of temperate ice is facilitated by small rates of downward advection of cold ice. The most striking exception is Pine Island Glacier, where extreme shear strain rates in the margins overcome relatively high rates of cold-ice advection to create zones of temperate ice that could exceed 75% of the local ice thickness. Through our model development, we show that the presence of temperate ice is largely governed by the ratio of the rate of deformation

  14. Bayesian Inversion for Large Scale Antarctic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Ghattas, Omar

    2015-01-07

    The flow of ice from the interior of polar ice sheets is the primary contributor to projected sea level rise. One of the main difficulties faced in modeling ice sheet flow is the uncertain spatially-varying Robin boundary condition that describes the resistance to sliding at the base of the ice. Satellite observations of the surface ice flow velocity, along with a model of ice as a creeping incompressible shear-thinning fluid, can be used to infer this uncertain basal boundary condition. We cast this ill-posed inverse problem in the framework of Bayesian inference, which allows us to infer not only the basal sliding parameters, but also the associated uncertainty. To overcome the prohibitive nature of Bayesian methods for large-scale inverse problems, we exploit the fact that, despite the large size of observational data, they typically provide only sparse information on model parameters. We show results for Bayesian inversion of the basal sliding parameter field for the full Antarctic continent, and demonstrate that the work required to solve the inverse problem, measured in number of forward (and adjoint) ice sheet model solves, is independent of the parameter and data dimensions

  15. The Last Interglacial History of the Antarctic Ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Sarah; Siddall, Mark; Milne, Glenn A.; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Wolff, Eric; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.

    2014-05-01

    In this paper we present a summary of the work which was conducted as part of the 'PAST4FUTURE -WP4.1: Sea Level and Ice sheets' project. The overall aim of this study was to understand the response of the Antarctic Ice sheet (AIS) to climate forcing during the Last interglacial (LIG) and its contribution to the observed higher than present sea level during this period. The study involved the application and development of a novel technique which combined East Antarctic stable isotope ice core data with the output from a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) model [Bradley et al., 2012]. We investigated if the stable isotope ice core data are sensitive to detecting isostatically driven changes in the surface elevation driven by changes in the ice-loading history of the AIS and if so, could we address some key questions relating to the LIG history of the AIS. Although it is believed that the West Antarctic Ice sheet (WAIS) reduced in size during the LIG compared to the Holocene, major uncertainties and unknowns remain unresolved: Did the WAIS collapse? What would the contribution of such a collapse be the higher than present LIG eustatic sea level (ESL)? We will show that a simulated collapse of the WAIS does not generate a significant elevation driven signal at the EAIS LIG ice core sites, and as such, these ice core records cannot be used to assess WAIS stability over this period. However, we will present 'treasure maps' [Bradley et al., 2012] to identify regions of the AIS where results from geological studies and/or new paleoclimate data may be sensitive to detecting a WAIS collapse. These maps can act as a useful tool for the wider science community/field scientists as a guide to highlight sites suitable to constrain the evolution of the WAIS during the LIG. Studies have proposed that the surface temperature across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) was significantly warmer, 2-5°C during the LIG compared to present [Lang and Wolff, 2011]. These higher

  16. Glacial isostatic stress shadowing by the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; James, T. S.; Klemann, V.

    2005-01-01

    Numerous examples of fault slip that offset late Quaternary glacial deposits and bedrock polish support the idea that the glacial loading cycle causes earthquakes in the upper crust. A semianalytical scheme is presented for quantifying glacial and postglacial lithospheric fault reactivation using contemporary rock fracture prediction methods. It extends previous studies by considering differential Mogi-von Mises stresses, in addition to those resulting from a Coulomb analysis. The approach utilizes gravitational viscoelastodynamic theory and explores the relationships between ice mass history and regional seismicity and faulting in a segment of East Antarctica containing the great Antarctic Plate (Balleny Island) earthquake of 25 March 1998 (Mw 8.1). Predictions of the failure stress fields within the seismogenic crust are generated for differing assumptions about background stress orientation, mantle viscosity, lithospheric thickness, and possible late Holocene deglaciation for the D91 Antarctic ice sheet history. Similar stress fracture fields are predicted by Mogi-von Mises and Coulomb theory, thus validating previous rebound Coulomb analysis. A thick lithosphere, of the order of 150-240 km, augments stress shadowing by a late melting (middle-late Holocene) coastal East Antarctic ice complex and could cause present-day earthquakes many hundreds of kilometers seaward of the former Last Glacial Maximum grounding line.

  17. A high-end sea level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic ice sheet mass loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Le Bars, D.M.; Drijfhout, S.S.; de Vries, Hylke

    2017-01-01

    The potential for break-up of Antarctic ice shelves by hydrofracturing and following ice cliff instability might be important for future ice dynamics. One recent study suggests that the Antarctic ice sheet could lose a lot more mass during the 21st century than previously thought. This increased

  18. 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.

  19. MASS BALANCE CHANGES AND ICE DYNAMICS OF GREENLAND AND ANTARCTIC ICE SHEETS FROM LASER ALTIMETRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. S. Babonis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pritchard, H.D.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/32821177X; Fricker, H.A.; Vaughan, D.G.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; 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,

  1. Changes in ice dynamics and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

    The concept that the Antarctic ice sheet changes with eternal slowness has been challenged by recent observations from satellites. Pronounced regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula triggered ice shelf collapse, which led to a 10-fold increase in glacier flow and rapid ice sheet retreat. This chain of events illustrated the vulnerability of ice shelves to climate warming and their buffering role on the mass balance of Antarctica. In West Antarctica, the Pine Island Bay sector is draining far more ice into the ocean than is stored upstream from snow accumulation. This sector could raise sea level by 1m and trigger widespread retreat of ice in West Antarctica. Pine Island Glacier accelerated 38% since 1975, and most of the speed up took place over the last decade. Its neighbour Thwaites Glacier is widening up and may double its width when its weakened eastern ice shelf breaks up. Widespread acceleration in this sector may be caused by glacier ungrounding from ice shelf melting by an ocean that has recently warmed by 0.3 degrees C. In contrast, glaciers buffered from oceanic change by large ice shelves have only small contributions to sea level. In East Antarctica, many glaciers are close to a state of mass balance, but sectors grounded well below sea level, such as Cook Ice Shelf, Ninnis/Mertz, Frost and Totten glaciers, are thinning and losing mass. Hence, East Antarctica is not immune to changes.

  2. Temperature Profile of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Deep Borehole, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set reports depth versus temperatures in the fluid-filled portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS–D) deep borehole (70 to 3328 meters depth)....

  3. Atmospheric Mixing Ratios of Hydroperoxides above the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains atmospheric mixing ratios of hydrogen peroxide and methylhydroperoxide at 21 sites on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) were obtained from...

  4. The last ice-sheet advance and retreat across the Antarctic continental shelf: Synchrony or diachrony?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, C.; Livingstone, S. J.; O'Cofaigh, C.; Stokes, C. R.; Vieli, A.; Jamieson, S.; Smith, J.; Kuhn, G.; Melles, M.; Graham, A. G.; Larter, R. D.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last few decades, numerous studies from various sectors of the Antarctic continental shelf have reconstructed the spatial extent of grounded ice-sheet advance during the last glacial period and the timing of its retreat. Most reconstructions were based on the bathymetric mapping of subglacial bedforms on the seabed and the palaeoenvironmental interpretation and dating of sub-seafloor sediments in cores. In addition, surface exposure age dating on rocks from the hinterland using cosmogenic isotopes and ice-sheet models were used to constrain the last ice-sheet advance and retreat. Different regional reconstructions provided consistent results for several study areas. In contrast, recent circum-Antarctic reviews that compiled the spatial and temporal information about maximum ice-sheet advance and retreat from these regional studies came to conflicting conclusions regarding i) the maximum extent of grounded ice, and ii) the synchronous/diachronous behaviour of the northern and southern hemispheric ice sheets and the individual drainage sectors within the Antarctic Ice Sheet, respectively. Resolving these conflicts is essential for identifying the main drivers of Antarctic ice-sheet retreat, evaluating the contribution of Antarctic ice-sheet melting to global sea-level rise over the last ~20 ka, understanding the dynamics of individual drainage sectors within the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and locating possible glacial refuges for benthic organisms on the Antarctic shelf. Here we will present examples of circum-Antarctic reconstructions and discuss possible reasons for conflicting conclusions. In some cases, apparent discrepancies can simply be explained by the ambiguity of terms such as "Last Glacial Maximum", which can refer either to a particular time slice (e.g. 23-19 ka BP) or to the time when grounded ice reached its last maximum extent in a particular sector of the Antarctic continental shelf, and "deglaciation", which can refer either to the time of

  5. A 25-year Record of Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation and Mass Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Muir, A. S.; Sundal, A.; McMillan, M.; Briggs, K.; Hogg, A.; Engdahl, M.; Gilbert, L.

    2017-12-01

    Since 1992, the European Remote-Sensing (ERS-1 and ERS-2), ENVISAT, and CryoSat-2 satellite radar altimeters have measured the Antarctic ice sheet surface elevation, repeatedly, at approximately monthly intervals. These data constitute the longest continuous record of ice sheet wide change. In this paper, we use these observations to determine changes in the elevation, volume and mass of the East Antarctic and West Antarctic ice sheets, and of parts of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet, over a 25-year period. The root mean square difference between elevation rates computed from our survey and 257,296 estimates determined from airborne laser measurements is 54 cm/yr. The longevity of the satellite altimeter data record allows to identify and chart the evolution of changes associated with meteorology and ice flow, and we estimate that 3.6 % of the continental ice sheet, and 21.7 % of West Antarctica, is in a state of dynamical imbalance. Based on this partitioning, we estimate the mass balance of the East and West Antarctic ice sheet drainage basins and the root mean square difference between these and independent estimates derived from satellite gravimetry is less than 5 Gt yr-1.

  6. Antarctic Ice Sheet Slope and Aspect Based on Icesat's Repeat Orbit Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, L.; Li, F.; Zhang, S.; Xie, S.; Xiao, F.; Zhu, T.; Zhang, Y.

    2017-09-01

    Accurate information of ice sheet surface slope is essential for estimating elevation change by satellite altimetry measurement. A study is carried out to recover surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) elevation measurements based on repeat orbits. ICESat provides repeat ground tracks within 200 meters in cross-track direction and 170 meters in along-track direction for most areas of Antarctic ice sheet. Both cross-track and along-track surface slopes could be obtained by adjacent repeat ground tracks. Combining those measurements yields a surface slope model with resolution of approximately 200 meters. An algorithm considering elevation change is developed to estimate the surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet. Three Antarctic Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were used to calculate surface slopes. The surface slopes from DEMs are compared with estimates by using in situ GPS data in Dome A, the summit of Antarctic ice sheet. Our results reveal an average surface slope difference of 0.02 degree in Dome A. High resolution remote sensing images are also used in comparing the results derived from other DEMs and this paper. The comparison implies that our results have a slightly better coherence with GPS observation than results from DEMs, but our results provide more details and perform higher accuracy in coastal areas because of the higher resolution for ICESat measurements. Ice divides are estimated based on the aspect, and are weakly consistent with ice divides from other method in coastal regions.

  7. ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET SLOPE AND ASPECT BASED ON ICESAT’S REPEAT ORBIT MEASUREMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Yuan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate information of ice sheet surface slope is essential for estimating elevation change by satellite altimetry measurement. A study is carried out to recover surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat elevation measurements based on repeat orbits. ICESat provides repeat ground tracks within 200 meters in cross-track direction and 170 meters in along-track direction for most areas of Antarctic ice sheet. Both cross-track and along-track surface slopes could be obtained by adjacent repeat ground tracks. Combining those measurements yields a surface slope model with resolution of approximately 200 meters. An algorithm considering elevation change is developed to estimate the surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet. Three Antarctic Digital Elevation Models (DEMs were used to calculate surface slopes. The surface slopes from DEMs are compared with estimates by using in situ GPS data in Dome A, the summit of Antarctic ice sheet. Our results reveal an average surface slope difference of 0.02 degree in Dome A. High resolution remote sensing images are also used in comparing the results derived from other DEMs and this paper. The comparison implies that our results have a slightly better coherence with GPS observation than results from DEMs, but our results provide more details and perform higher accuracy in coastal areas because of the higher resolution for ICESat measurements. Ice divides are estimated based on the aspect, and are weakly consistent with ice divides from other method in coastal regions.

  8. Predicting subglacial lakes and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, S. J.; Clark, C. D.; Woodward, J.

    2013-03-01

    In this paper we use the Shreve hydraulic potential equation to predict subglacial lakes and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. For the Antarctic Ice Sheet we are able to predict known subglacial lakes with a >70% success rate, which demonstrates the validity of this method. Despite the success in predicting known subglacial lakes the calculations produce two-orders of magnitude more lakes than are presently identified, covering 4% of the ice-sheet bed. The difference is thought to result from our poor knowledge of the bed (which has resulted in artefacts associated with the interpolation method), intrinsic errors associated with the simplified modelling approach and because thousands of subglacial lakes, particularly smaller ones, remain to be found. Applying the same modelling approach to the Greenland Ice Sheet predicts only 90 lakes under the present-day ice-sheet configuration, covering 0.2% of the bed. The paucity of subglacial lakes in Greenland is thought to be a function of steeper overall ice-surface gradients. As no lakes have currently been located under Greenland, model predictions will make suitable targets for radar surveys of Greenland to identify subglacial lakes. During deglaciation from the Last Glacial Maximum both ice sheets had more subglacial lakes at their beds, though many of these lakes have persisted to present conditions. These lakes, inherited from past ice-sheet configurations would not form under current surface conditions, suggesting a retreating ice-sheet will have many more subglacial lakes than an advancing ice sheet. This hysteresis effect has implications for ice-stream formation and flow, bed lubrication and meltwater drainage. The lake model also allows modelling of the drainage pathways of the present-day and former Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Significantly, key sectors of the ice sheets, such as the Siple Coast (Antarctica) and NE Greenland Ice Stream system, are shown to have

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, S.; Ivins, E. R.; Larour, E.; Seroussi, H.; Morlighem, M.; Nowicki, S.

    2014-06-01

    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 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 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. 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.

  12. Potential subglacial lake locations and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, S. J.; Clark, C. D.; Woodward, J.; Kingslake, J.

    2013-11-01

    We use the Shreve hydraulic potential equation as a simplified approach to investigate potential subglacial lake locations and meltwater drainage pathways beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. We validate the method by demonstrating its ability to recall the locations of >60% of the known subglacial lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. This is despite uncertainty in the ice-sheet bed elevation and our simplified modelling approach. However, we predict many more lakes than are observed. Hence we suggest that thousands of subglacial lakes remain to be found. Applying our technique to the Greenland Ice Sheet, where very few subglacial lakes have so far been observed, recalls 1607 potential lake locations, covering 1.2% of the bed. Our results will therefore provide suitable targets for geophysical surveys aimed at identifying lakes beneath Greenland. We also apply the technique to modelled past ice-sheet configurations and find that during deglaciation both ice sheets likely had more subglacial lakes at their beds. These lakes, inherited from past ice-sheet configurations, would not form under current surface conditions, but are able to persist, suggesting a retreating ice-sheet will have many more subglacial lakes than advancing ones. We also investigate subglacial drainage pathways of the present-day and former Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Key sectors of the ice sheets, such as the Siple Coast (Antarctica) and NE Greenland Ice Stream system, are suggested to have been susceptible to subglacial drainage switching. We discuss how our results impact our understanding of meltwater drainage, basal lubrication and ice-stream formation.

  13. The Influence of Ice Properties on Borehole Deformation at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinkler, E.; Pettit, E. C.; Obbard, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely known that ice flow is affected by many properties, including crystal fabric and impurities, though these relationships are not fully understood. This study uses data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide borehole to better determine the influence of such properties on ice flow. The WAIS Divide borehole, the byproduct of the 2006-2012 coring project, offers a unique opportunity to study deep Antarctic Ice. Thanks to the work of many researchers, extensive data on ice properties are available from both coring and borehole logging at this site. The borehole, kept open with a density-approximating fluid, closes and tilts due to ice flow. We have tracked this deformation over two years using a set of repeat measurements with an Acoustic Televiewer. This tool acts as an acoustic caliper allowing us to view cross-sections of the borehole shape and size with up to 1.25 degree azimuthal resolution and a depth resolution as high as 1.4 mm. In addition, the tool collects tilt and azimuth data. These measurements are compared to a 1D Glen's Flow Law model for borehole closure that uses density differences between the ice and borehole fluid as its driving force and incorporates temperature effects. This is then compared to ice properties like crystal fabric and impurities in order to determine the influence of these properties on ice deformation at this site. Crystal fabric has appeared as an important factor in this study.This work builds on that of others who have studied in-situ deep ice through borehole deformation (e.g. Paterson, 1977 and Dahl-Jensen and Gundestrup, 1987). Our results have implications for ice flow modeling and therefore interpretation of depth-age relationships in deep ice cores.

  14. Millennial-scale instability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last glaciation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanfoush, S.L.; Hodell, D.A.; Charles, C.D.; Guilderson, T.P.; Mortyn, P.G.

    2000-01-01

    Records of ice-rafted detritus (IRD) concentration in deep-sea cores from the southeast Atlantic Ocean reveal millennial-scale pulses of IRD delivery between 20,000 and 74,000 years ago. Prominent IRD layers correlate across the Polar Frontal Zone, suggesting episodes of Antarctic Ice Sheet

  15. Antarctic Ice Velocity Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This compilation of recent ice velocity data of the Antarctic ice sheet is intended for use by the polar scientific community. The data are presented in tabular form...

  16. Dynamics of the last glacial maximum Antarctic ice-sheet and its response to ocean forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R; Fogwill, Christopher J; Mackintosh, Andrew N; Buckley, Kevin M

    2012-10-02

    Retreat of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Antarctic ice sheet is thought to have been initiated by changes in ocean heat and eustatic sea level propagated from the Northern Hemisphere (NH) as northern ice sheets melted under rising atmospheric temperatures. The extent to which spatial variability in ice dynamics may have modulated the resultant pattern and timing of decay of the Antarctic ice sheet has so far received little attention, however, despite the growing recognition that dynamic effects account for a sizeable proportion of mass-balance changes observed in modern ice sheets. Here we use a 5-km resolution whole-continent numerical ice-sheet model to assess whether differences in the mechanisms governing ice sheet flow could account for discrepancies between geochronological studies in different parts of the continent. We first simulate the geometry and flow characteristics of an equilibrium LGM ice sheet, using pan-Antarctic terrestrial and marine geological data for constraint, then perturb the system with sea level and ocean heat flux increases to investigate ice-sheet vulnerability. Our results identify that fast-flowing glaciers in the eastern Weddell Sea, the Amundsen Sea, central Ross Sea, and in the Amery Trough respond most rapidly to ocean forcings, in agreement with empirical data. Most significantly, we find that although ocean warming and sea-level rise bring about mainly localized glacier acceleration, concomitant drawdown of ice from neighboring areas leads to widespread thinning of entire glacier catchments-a discovery that has important ramifications for the dynamic changes presently being observed in modern ice sheets.

  17. Dynamics of the last glacial maximum Antarctic ice-sheet and its response to ocean forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Mackintosh, Andrew N.; Buckley, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    Retreat of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Antarctic ice sheet is thought to have been initiated by changes in ocean heat and eustatic sea level propagated from the Northern Hemisphere (NH) as northern ice sheets melted under rising atmospheric temperatures. The extent to which spatial variability in ice dynamics may have modulated the resultant pattern and timing of decay of the Antarctic ice sheet has so far received little attention, however, despite the growing recognition that dynamic effects account for a sizeable proportion of mass-balance changes observed in modern ice sheets. Here we use a 5-km resolution whole-continent numerical ice-sheet model to assess whether differences in the mechanisms governing ice sheet flow could account for discrepancies between geochronological studies in different parts of the continent. We first simulate the geometry and flow characteristics of an equilibrium LGM ice sheet, using pan-Antarctic terrestrial and marine geological data for constraint, then perturb the system with sea level and ocean heat flux increases to investigate ice-sheet vulnerability. Our results identify that fast-flowing glaciers in the eastern Weddell Sea, the Amundsen Sea, central Ross Sea, and in the Amery Trough respond most rapidly to ocean forcings, in agreement with empirical data. Most significantly, we find that although ocean warming and sea-level rise bring about mainly localized glacier acceleration, concomitant drawdown of ice from neighboring areas leads to widespread thinning of entire glacier catchments—a discovery that has important ramifications for the dynamic changes presently being observed in modern ice sheets. PMID:22988078

  18. 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.

  19. A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Michael J.; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Anderson, John B.; Conway, Howard; Davies, Bethan; Graham, Alastair G. C.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Jamieson, Stewart S. R.; Larter, Robert D.; Mackintosh, Andrew; Smith, James A.; Verleyen, Elie; Ackert, Robert P.; Bart, Philip J.; Berg, Sonja; Brunstein, Daniel; Canals, Miquel; Colhoun, Eric A.; Crosta, Xavier; Dickens, William A.; Domack, Eugene; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Dunbar, Robert; Ehrmann, Werner; Evans, Jeffrey; Favier, Vincent; Fink, David; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Gohl, Karsten; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Goodwin, Ian; Gore, Damian B.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Hall, Brenda L.; Hall, Kevin; Hedding, David W.; Hein, Andrew S.; Hocking, Emma P.; Jakobsson, Martin; Johnson, Joanne S.; Jomelli, Vincent; Jones, R. Selwyn; Klages, Johann P.; Kristoffersen, Yngve; Kuhn, Gerhard; Leventer, Amy; Licht, Kathy; Lilly, Katherine; Lindow, Julia; Livingstone, Stephen J.; Massé, Guillaume; McGlone, Matt S.; McKay, Robert M.; Melles, Martin; Miura, Hideki; Mulvaney, Robert; Nel, Werner; Nitsche, Frank O.; O'Brien, Philip E.; Post, Alexandra L.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Saunders, Krystyna M.; Selkirk, Patricia M.; Simms, Alexander R.; Spiegel, Cornelia; Stolldorf, Travis D.; Sugden, David E.; van der Putten, Nathalie; van Ommen, Tas; Verfaillie, Deborah; Vyverman, Wim; Wagner, Bernd; White, Duanne A.; Witus, Alexandra E.; Zwartz, Dan

    2014-09-01

    A robust understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum is important in order to constrain ice sheet and glacial-isostatic adjustment models, and to explore the forcing mechanisms responsible for ice sheet retreat. Such understanding can be derived from a broad range of geological and glaciological datasets and recent decades have seen an upsurge in such data gathering around the continent and Sub-Antarctic islands. Here, we report a new synthesis of those datasets, based on an accompanying series of reviews of the geological data, organised by sector. We present a series of timeslice maps for 20 ka, 15 ka, 10 ka and 5 ka, including grounding line position and ice sheet thickness changes, along with a clear assessment of levels of confidence. The reconstruction shows that the Antarctic Ice sheet did not everywhere reach the continental shelf edge at its maximum, that initial retreat was asynchronous, and that the spatial pattern of deglaciation was highly variable, particularly on the inner shelf. The deglacial reconstruction is consistent with a moderate overall excess ice volume and with a relatively small Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1a. We discuss key areas of uncertainty both around the continent and by time interval, and we highlight potential priorities for future work. The synthesis is intended to be a resource for the modelling and glacial geological community.

  20. A new research project on the interaction of the solid Earth and the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Y.; Nishijima, J.; Kazama, T.; Nakamura, K.; Doi, K.; Suganuma, Y.; Okuno, J.; Araya, A.; Kaneda, H.; Aoyama, Y.

    2017-12-01

    A new research project of "Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas" funded by JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) has recently been launched. The title of the project is "Giant reservoirs of heat/water/material: Global environmental changes driven by Southern Ocean and Antarctic Ice Sheet", and as a five years project, is aiming to establish a new research area for Antarctic environmental system science. The project consists of 7 research topics, including Antarctic ice sheet and Southern ocean sciences, new observation methodology, modeling and other interdisciplinary topics, and we are involved in the topic A02-2, "Interaction of the solid Earth and the Antarctic Ice Sheet". The Antarctic ice sheet, which relates to the global climate changes through the sea level rise and ocean circulation, is an essential element of the Earth system for predicting the future environment changes. Thus many studies of the ice sheet changes have been conducted by means of geomorphological, geological, geodetic surveys, as well as satellite gravimetry and satellite altimetry. For these studies, one of the largest uncertainties is the effects of GIA. Therefore, GIA as a key to investigate the interaction between the solid Earth and the ice sheet changes, we plan to conduct geomorphological, geological and geodetic surveys in the inland mountain areas and the coastal areas including the surrounding areas of a Japanese station Syowa in East Antarctica, where the in-situ data for constraining GIA models are very few. Combining these new observations with other in-site data, various satellite data and numerical modeling, we aim to estimating a precise GIA model, constructing a reliable ice melting history after the last glacial maximum and obtaining the viscoelastic structure of the Earth's interior. In the presentation, we also show the five years research plans as well. This study was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 17H06321.

  1. Antarctic ice sheet thickness estimation based on P-receiver function and waveform inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, P.; Li, F.; LI, Z.; Li, J.; Yang, Y.; Hao, W.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic ice sheet thickness is key parameter and boundary condition for ice sheet model construction, which has great significance for glacial isostatic adjustment, ice sheet mass balance and global change study. Ice thickness acquired utilizing seismological receiver function method can complement and verify with results obtained by radar echo sounding method. In this paper, P-receiver functions(PRFs) are extracted for stations deployed on Antarctic ice sheet, then Vp/Vs ratio and ice thickness are obtained using H-Kappa stacking. Comparisons are made between Bedmap2 dataset and the ice thickness from PRFs, most of the absolute value of the differences are less than 200 meters, only a few reach 600 meters. Taking into account of the intensity of Bedmap2 dataset survey lines and the uncertainty of radio echo sounding, as well as the inherit complexity of the internal ice structure beneath some stations, the ice thickness obtained from receiver function method is reliable. However limitation exists when using H-Kappa stacking method for stations where sediment squeezed between the ice and the bed rock layer. For better verifying the PRF result, a global optimizing method-Neighbourhood algotithm(NA) and spline interpolation are used to modeling PRFs assuming an isotropic layered ice sheet with depth varied densities and velocities beneath the stations. Then the velocity structure and ice sheet thickness are obtained through nonlinear searching by optimally fitting the real and the theoretical PRFs. The obtained ice sheet thickness beneath the stations agree well with the former H-Kappa method, but further detailed study are needed to constrain the inner ice velocity structure.

  2. Meteorological Drivers of West Antarctic Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf Surface Melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, R. C.; Nicolas, J. P.; Bromwich, D. H.; Norris, J. R.; Lubin, D.

    2017-12-01

    We identify synoptic patterns and surface energy balance components driving warming and surface melting on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and ice shelves using reanalysis and satellite remote sensing data from 1973-present. We have developed a synoptic climatology of atmospheric circulation patterns during the summer melt season using k-means cluster and composite analysis of daily 700-mb geopotential height and near-surface air temperature and wind fields from the ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis. Surface melt occurrence is detected in satellite passive microwave brightness temperature observations (K-band, horizontal polarization) beginning with the NASA Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR) and continuing with its more familiar descendants SMMR, SSM/I and SSMIS. To diagnose synoptic precursors and physical processes driving surface melt we combine the circulation climatology and multi-decadal records of cloud cover with surface radiative fluxes from the Extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x) project. We identify three distinct modes of regional summer West Antarctic warming since 1979 involving anomalous ridging over West Antarctica (WA) and the Amundsen Sea (AS). During the 1970s, ESMR data reveal four extensive melt events on the Ross Sea sector of the WAIS also linked to AS blocking. We therefore define an Amundsen Sea Blocking Index (ASBI). The ASBI and synoptic circulation pattern occurrence frequencies are correlated with the tropical Pacific (ENSO) and high latitude Southern Annular Mode (SAM) indices and the West Antarctic melt index. Surface melt in WA is favored by enhanced downwelling infrared and turbulent sensible heat fluxes associated with intrusions of warm, moist marine air. Consistent with recent findings from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), marine advection to the Ross sector is favored by El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific and a negative SAM. We also find

  3. Antarctic ice sheet discharge driven by atmosphere-ocean feedbacks at the Last Glacial Termination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C J; Turney, C S M; Golledge, N R; Etheridge, D M; Rubino, M; Thornton, D P; Baker, A; Woodward, J; Winter, K; van Ommen, T D; Moy, A D; Curran, M A J; Davies, S M; Weber, M E; Bird, M I; Munksgaard, N C; Menviel, L; Rootes, C M; Ellis, B; Millman, H; Vohra, J; Rivera, A; Cooper, A

    2017-01-05

    Reconstructing the dynamic response of the Antarctic ice sheets to warming during the Last Glacial Termination (LGT; 18,000-11,650 yrs ago) allows us to disentangle ice-climate feedbacks that are key to improving future projections. Whilst the sequence of events during this period is reasonably well-known, relatively poor chronological control has precluded precise alignment of ice, atmospheric and marine records, making it difficult to assess relationships between Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) dynamics, climate change and sea level. Here we present results from a highly-resolved 'horizontal ice core' from the Weddell Sea Embayment, which records millennial-scale AIS dynamics across this extensive region. Counterintuitively, we find AIS mass-loss across the full duration of the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR; 14,600-12,700 yrs ago), with stabilisation during the subsequent millennia of atmospheric warming. Earth-system and ice-sheet modelling suggests these contrasting trends were likely Antarctic-wide, sustained by feedbacks amplified by the delivery of Circumpolar Deep Water onto the continental shelf. Given the anti-phase relationship between inter-hemispheric climate trends across the LGT our findings demonstrate that Southern Ocean-AIS feedbacks were controlled by global atmospheric teleconnections. With increasing stratification of the Southern Ocean and intensification of mid-latitude westerly winds today, such teleconnections could amplify AIS mass loss and accelerate global sea-level rise.

  4. Quaternary and Tertiary microfossils from beneath Ice Stream B: Evidence for a dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Reed P.

    1991-10-01

    Some glaciologists have suggested that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is grounded well below sea level, may be susceptible to rapid grounding-line retreat and disintegration. However, until now, geologic evidence of previous ice sheet "collapses" has been lacking. Sediments that have recently been collected from beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at Ice Stream B contain direct evidence of ice-free conditions in the West Antarctic interior during certain Cenozoic intervals, both prior to and subsequent to the development of grounded ice sheets in West Antarctica. The sediments contain rare but diverse microfossils that represent a wide variety of biostratigraphic ages and depositional environments. Microfossils present include relatively common marine and non-marine diatoms and sponge spicules, plus rare foraminifera, nannofossils, radiolarians, silicoflagellates, chrysophyte cysts and palynomorphs. Clasts of Neogene freshwater diatomite demonstrate the former presence of large lake systems in West Antarctica, possibly as part the Cenozoic West Antarctica rift system. Age-diagnostic marine fossils in the sediment include Late Paleogene calcareous nannofossils and planktonic foraminifera, Miocene marine planktonic diatoms and, significantly, late Pleistocene marine diatoms. Relatively common late Miocene diatoms probably reflect marine deposition prior to initiation of a dominantly glacial phase in West Antarctica. It is likely that Pliocene and early Pleistocene diatoms were deposited in the West Antarctic interior during certain warm interglacials, but these have been eroded and transported toward the continental shelf edge during repeated ice sheet expansions. The late Pleistocene diatoms from Upstream B were deposited in the West Antarctic interior basins during a marine phase, subsequent to an ice sheet collapse, during at least one late Pleistocene interglacial. This discovery provides an indication of the complex history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

  5. 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.

  6. Antarctic Circumpolar Current Dynamics and Their Relation to Antarctic Ice Sheet and Perennial Sea-Ice Variability in the Central Drake Passage During the Last Climate Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, G.; Wu, S.; Hass, H. C.; Klages, J. P.; Zheng, X.; Arz, H. W.; Esper, O.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Lange, C.; Lamy, F.; Lohmann, G.; Müller, J.; McCave, I. N. N.; Nürnberg, D.; Roberts, J.; Tiedemann, R.; Timmermann, A.; Titschack, J.; Zhang, X.

    2017-12-01

    The evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last climate cycle and the interrelation to global atmospheric and ocean circulation remains controversial and plays an important role for our understanding of ice sheet response to modern global warming. The timing and sequence of deglacial warming is relevant for understanding the variability and sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climatic changes, and the continuing rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is a pivotal component of the global water budget. Freshwater fluxes from the ice sheet may affect the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is strongly impacted by the westerly wind belt in the Southern Hemisphere (SHWW) and constricted to its narrowest extent in the Drake Passage. The flow of ACC water masses through Drake Passage is, therefore, crucial for advancing our understanding of the Southern Ocean's role in global meridional overturning circulation and global climate change. In order to address orbital and millennial-scale variability of the Antarctic ice sheet and the ACC, we applied a multi-proxy approach on a sediment core from the central Drake Passage including grain size, iceberg-rafted debris, mineral dust, bulk chemical and mineralogical composition, and physical properties. In combination with already published and new sediment records from the Drake Passage and Scotia Sea, as well as high-resolution data from Antarctic ice cores (WDC, EDML), we now have evidence that during glacial times a more northerly extent of the perennial sea-ice zone decreased ACC current velocities in the central Drake Passage. During deglaciation the SHWW shifted southwards due to a decreasing temperature gradient between subtropical and polar latitudes caused by sea ice and ice sheet decline. This in turn caused Southern Hemisphere warming, a more vigorous ACC, stronger Southern Ocean ventilation, and warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) upwelling on Antarctic shelves

  7. 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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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

  10. Past and present stability of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehouse, P. L.; Vieli, A.; Jamieson, S.; Bentley, M.; Hein, A.; Sugden, D.

    2016-12-01

    The contribution of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to sea-level rise since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), along with the processes controlling the past and ongoing dynamics of this sector, are poorly known. Of particular concern is the fact that significant portions of the present-day grounding line are unstably located on bathymetry that deepens towards the interior of the continent. We present new modelling results, constrained by field evidence relating to past ice extent and thickness along the Foundation Ice Stream and Thiel Trough, which suggest that the post-LGM sea-level contribution from this sector was modest, and that the grounding line is unlikely to have been located at the continental shelf break for a prolonged period during the last glacial cycle. Poorly-constrained ice shelf and ocean processes are found to play a crucial role in controlling the past configuration and stability of this sector of the ice sheet. In particular, we find that we cannot rule out a scenario in which the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream retreated behind present during deglaciation, and has since re-advanced. This work complements a number of recent studies, based on independent data sets, that explore the possibility that grounding line re-advance occurred within the Weddell Sea sector during the mid-to-late Holocene. If this hypothesis is correct, then current glacial isostatic adjustment models, and hence contemporary estimates of ice mass balance derived from GRACE data, will be significantly biased. Piecing together, and understanding, the reason for recent changes in ice dynamics is crucial for determining the contemporary stability of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  11. 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.

  12. Initiation and long-term instability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulick, Sean P. S.; Shevenell, Amelia E.; Montelli, Aleksandr; Fernandez, Rodrigo; Smith, Catherine; Warny, Sophie; Bohaty, Steven M.; Sjunneskog, Charlotte; Leventer, Amy; Frederick, Bruce; Blankenship, Donald D.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctica’s continental-scale ice sheets have evolved over the past 50 million years. However, the dearth of ice-proximal geological records limits our understanding of past East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) behaviour and thus our ability to evaluate its response to ongoing environmental change. The EAIS is marine-terminating and grounded below sea level within the Aurora subglacial basin, indicating that this catchment, which drains ice to the Sabrina Coast, may be sensitive to climate perturbations. Here we show, using marine geological and geophysical data from the continental shelf seaward of the Aurora subglacial basin, that marine-terminating glaciers existed at the Sabrina Coast by the early to middle Eocene epoch. This finding implies the existence of substantial ice volume in the Aurora subglacial basin before continental-scale ice sheets were established about 34 million years ago. Subsequently, ice advanced across and retreated from the Sabrina Coast continental shelf at least 11 times during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. Tunnel valleys associated with half of these glaciations indicate that a surface-meltwater-rich sub-polar glacial system existed under climate conditions similar to those anticipated with continued anthropogenic warming. Cooling since the late Miocene resulted in an expanded polar EAIS and a limited glacial response to Pliocene warmth in the Aurora subglacial basin catchment. Geological records from the Sabrina Coast shelf indicate that, in addition to ocean temperature, atmospheric temperature and surface-derived meltwater influenced East Antarctic ice mass balance under warmer-than-present climate conditions. Our results imply a dynamic EAIS response with continued anthropogenic warming and suggest that the EAIS contribution to future global sea-level projections may be under-estimated.

  13. Evidence for a dynamic East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Miocene climate transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Elizabeth L.; van de Flierdt, Tina; Williams, Trevor; Hemming, Sidney R.; Cook, Carys P.; Passchier, Sandra

    2017-11-01

    The East Antarctic ice sheet underwent a major expansion during the Mid-Miocene Climate Transition, around 14 Ma, lowering sea level by ∼60 m. However, direct or indirect evidence of where changes in the ice sheet occurred is limited. Here we present new insights on timing and locations of ice sheet change from two drill sites offshore East Antarctica. IODP Site U1356, Wilkes Land, and ODP Site 1165, Prydz Bay are located adjacent to two major ice drainage areas, the Wilkes Subglacial Basin and the Lambert Graben. Ice-rafted detritus (IRD), including dropstones, was deposited in concentrations far exceeding those known in the rest of the Miocene succession at both sites between 14.1 and 13.8 Ma, indicating that large amounts of IRD-bearing icebergs were calved from independent drainage basins during this relatively short interval. At Site U1356, the IRD was delivered in distinct pulses, suggesting that the overall ice advance was punctuated by short periods of ice retreat in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Provenance analysis of the mid-Miocene IRD and fine-grained sediments provides additional insights on the movement of the ice margin and subglacial geology. At Site U1356, the dominant 40Ar/39Ar thermochronological age of the ice-rafted hornblende grains is 1400-1550 Ma, differing from the majority of recent IRD in the area, from which we infer an inland source area of this thermochronological age extending along the eastern part of the Adélie Craton, which forms the western side of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Neodymium isotopic compositions from the terrigenous fine fraction at Site U1356 imply that the ice margin periodically expanded from high ground well into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin during periods of MMCT ice growth. At Site 1165, MMCT pebble-sized IRD are sourced from both the local Lambert Graben and the distant Aurora Subglacial Basin drainage area. Together, the occurrence and provenance of the IRD and glacially-eroded sediment at these two marine

  14. Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass balance products from satellite gravimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas; Horvath, Alexander; Forsberg, René; Meister, Rakia; Barletta, Valentina R.; Shepherd, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Because of their important role in the Earth's climate system, ESA's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) has identified both the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) as Essential Climate Variables (ECV). Since respondents of a user survey indicated that the ice sheet mass balance is one of the most important ECV data products needed to better understand climate change, the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project provide Gravimetric Mass Balance (GMB) products based on satellite gravimetry data. The GMB products are derived from GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) monthly solutions of release ITSG-Grace2016 produced at TU Graz. GMB basin products (i.e. time series of monthly mass changes for the entire ice sheets and selected drainage basins) and GMB gridded products (e.g. mass balance estimates with a formal resolution of about 50km, covering the entire ice sheets) are generated for the period from 2002 until present. The first GMB product was released in mid 2016. Here we present an extended and updated version of the ESA CCI GMB products, which are freely available through data portals hosted by the projects (https://data1.geo.tu-dresden.de/ais_gmb, http://products.esa-icesheets-cci.org/products/downloadlist/GMB). Since the initial product release, the applied processing strategies have been improved in order to further reduce GRACE errors and to enhance the separation of signals super-imposed to the ice mass changes. While a regional integration approach is used by the AIS_cci project, the GMB products of the GIS_cci project are derived using a point mass inversion. The differences between both approaches are investigated through the example of the GIS, where an alternative GMB product was generated using the regional integration approach implemented by the AIS_cci. Finally, we present the latest mass balance estimates for both ice sheets as well as their corresponding contributions to global sea level rise.

  15. A model study of the effect of climate and sea-level change on the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Last Glacial Maximum to 2100

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maris, M. N. A.; Van Wessem, J. M.; Van De Berg, W. J.; De Boer, B.; Oerlemans, J.

    2014-01-01

    Due to a scarcity of observations and its long memory of uncertain past climate, the Antarctic Ice Sheet remains a largely unknown factor in the prediction of global sea level change. As the history of the ice sheet plays a key role in its future evolution, in this study we model the Antarctic Ice

  16. Dynamics of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets using the borehole, radio sounding and space observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Markov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on data of measurements in deep ice boreholes, as well as of radar and space geodetic observations in Antarctica and Greenland, a number of new features of the ice mass transport had been revealed. Note that these features do not correspond to the traditional but still hypothetical notions (ideas of the monotonous and uniform spatial changes in the ice sheet dynamics. Using results of the long-term monitoring of the borehole coordinate axes at the Vostok station (down to 1920 m, east profile Vostok – Vostok 1 – Pionerskaya – Mirny (1409 km, down to the depth of 450 m, and analysis of radar sections, Russian specialists revealed the following: a the Antarctic ice sheet has stratified changes in speed and a fan-like change in the flow direction along the depth; b plastic firn layer has individual parameters of dynamics and actually flows down from more monolithic body of the ice sheet (the flow directions differ by 30–80°; c in some places inside the sheet, the underlying ice masses flow faster than the upper ones. Researchers from the United States and Denmark registered on the radar sections of the lowest third of the ice domes in the central regions of the Antarctica (AGAP and Greenland (NEEM some folded structures, which were not typical of ice sheets (vertical amplitude of the folds is about 400 m, inclination of the wings is about 45 degrees or more. The tectonic analysis we have performed allows making a conclusion that a genesis of these ice structures is identical to the diapir folds and to diapirs which are formed at a displacement of lower plastic ice masses by the upper monolithic ones, or to echelon folds of crumpling of lower ice layers at their faster flow along original bed as compared with the overlying ice mass. This makes possible to suggest that a turbulent ice flow can occur in the spacious near-bottom and the most plastic area, and a model of the ice sheet dynamics is considered as extruding of

  17. Anatomy of a meltwater drainage system beneath the ancestral East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkins, Lauren M.; Anderson, John B.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Gonnermann, Helge M.; Prothro, Lindsay O.; Halberstadt, Anna Ruth W.; Stearns, Leigh A.; Pollard, David; Deconto, Robert M.

    2017-09-01

    Subglacial hydrology is critical to understand the behaviour of ice sheets, yet active meltwater drainage beneath contemporary ice sheets is rarely accessible to direct observation. Using geophysical and sedimentological data from the deglaciated western Ross Sea, we identify a palaeo-subglacial hydrological system active beneath an area formerly covered by the East Antarctic ice sheet. A long channel network repeatedly delivered meltwater to an ice stream grounding line and was a persistent pathway for episodic meltwater drainage events. Embayments within grounding-line landforms coincide with the location of subglacial channels, marking reduced sedimentation and restricted landform growth. Consequently, channelized drainage at the grounding line influenced the degree to which these landforms could provide stability feedbacks to the ice stream. The channel network was connected to upstream subglacial lakes in an area of geologically recent rifting and volcanism, where elevated heat flux would have produced sufficient basal melting to fill the lakes over decades to several centuries; this timescale is consistent with our estimates of the frequency of drainage events at the retreating grounding line. Based on these data, we hypothesize that ice stream dynamics in this region were sensitive to the underlying hydrological system.

  18. 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.

  19. The impact of dynamic topography on the bedrock elevation and volume of the Pliocene Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austermann, Jacqueline; Pollard, David; Mitrovica, Jerry X.; Moucha, Robert; Forte, Alessandro M.; DeConto, Robert M.

    2015-04-01

    Reconstructions of the Antarctic ice sheet over long timescales (i.e. Myrs) require estimates of bedrock elevation through time. Ice sheet models have accounted, with varying levels of sophistication, for changes in the bedrock elevation due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), but they have neglected other processes that may perturb topography. One notable example is dynamic topography, the deflection of the solid surface of the Earth due to convective flow within the mantle. Numerically predicted changes in dynamic topography have been used to correct paleo shorelines for this departure from eustasy, but the effect of such changes on ice sheet stability is unknown. In this study we use numerical predictions of time-varying dynamic topography to reconstruct bedrock elevation below the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid Pliocene warm period (~3 Ma). Moreover, we couple this reconstruction to a three-dimensional ice sheet model to explore the impact of dynamic topography on the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet since the Pliocene. Our modeling indicates significant uplift in the area of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and the adjacent Wilkes basin. This predicted uplift, which is at the lower end of geological inferences of uplift of the TAM, implies a lower elevation of the basin in the Pliocene. Relative to simulations that do not include dynamic topography, the lower elevation leads to a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet volume and a more significant retreat of the grounding line in the Wilkes basin, both of which are consistent with offshore sediment core data. We conclude that reconstructions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period should be based on bedrock elevation models that include the impact of both GIA and dynamic topography.

  20. Recent aerogeophysical exploration under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Wilkes Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozzo, E.; Ferraccioli, F.; Armadillo, E.; Jordan, T. A.; Corr, H.; Hill, D. J.

    2009-12-01

    An extensive aerogeophysical survey was flown in Wilkes Land (East Antarctica) during the 2005/06 Antarctic field-campaign as part of a joint Italian-UK exploration project, WISE (Wilkes WIlkes Basin/Transantarctic Mountains System Exploration)/ ISODYN (Icehouse Earth: Stability Or DYNamism?). The Italian Antarctic programme provided major logistic support at Mario Zucchelli Station, at two remote field camps, Talos Dome and Sitry, and at Mid-Point. 68 survey flights led to the collection of over 60,000 line-km of new aerogeophysical data over a frontier region that had not been explored since the 70’s. Airborne radar, aeromagnetic and airborne gravity data were simultaneously collected on a British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter with the overarching aim of providing new basal boundary conditions for the dynamics and stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and characterizing geological structures in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin (WSB) and adjacent Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). During the International Polar Year our efforts focused on data analysis and subsequent development of new interpretations. Here we review some of the results. Our new bedrock topography map derived from airborne radar reveals major subglacial basins with depths up to 2.1 km below sea-level within the WSB region. These sub-basins are in places up to 1.5 km deeper than imaged by BEDMAP, have different orientations, and are flanked by major bedrock plateaus that differ from alpine-type landscapes exposed over the adjacent TAM in northern Victoria Land. The new subglacial topography for the region is a critical boundary condition to develop next generation coupled ice sheet and climate models over East Antarctica. These models are targeting the contentious stability of this marine-based part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet during warm periods in the geological past and may provide a tool for assessing its longer term future behaviour in a warmer climate. The airborne radar dataset

  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

    2015-12-03

    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.

  2. Microbial oxidation as a methane sink beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaud, Alexander B.; Dore, John E.; Achberger, Amanda M.; Christner, Brent C.; Mitchell, Andrew C.; Skidmore, Mark L.; Vick-Majors, Trista J.; Priscu, John C.

    2017-08-01

    Aquatic habitats beneath ice masses contain active microbial ecosystems capable of cycling important greenhouse gases, such as methane (CH4). A large methane reservoir is thought to exist beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but its quantity, source and ultimate fate are poorly understood. For instance, O2 supplied by basal melting should result in conditions favourable for aerobic methane oxidation. Here we use measurements of methane concentrations and stable isotope compositions along with genomic analyses to assess the sources and cycling of methane in Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) in West Antarctica. We show that sub-ice-sheet methane is produced through the biological reduction of CO2 using H2. This methane pool is subsequently consumed by aerobic, bacterial methane oxidation at the SLW sediment-water interface. Bacterial oxidation consumes >99% of the methane and represents a significant methane sink, and source of biomass carbon and metabolic energy to the surficial SLW sediments. We conclude that aerobic methanotrophy may mitigate the release of methane to the atmosphere upon subglacial water drainage to ice sheet margins and during periods of deglaciation.

  3. The paradox of a long grounding during West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in Ross Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J; Krogmeier, Benjamin J; Bart, Manon P; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2017-04-28

    Marine geological data show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) advanced to the eastern Ross Sea shelf edge during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and eventually retreated ~1000 km to the current grounding-line position on the inner shelf. During the early deglacial, the WAIS deposited a voluminous stack of overlapping grounding zone wedges (GZWs) on the outer shelf of the Whales Deep Basin. The large sediment volume of the GZW cluster suggests that the grounding-line position of the paleo-Bindschadler Ice Stream was relatively stationary for a significant time interval. We used an upper bound estimate of paleo-sediment flux to investigate the lower bound duration over which the ice stream would have deposited sediment to account for the GZW volume. Our calculations show that the cluster represents more than three millennia of ice-stream sedimentation. This long duration grounding was probably facilitated by rapid GZW growth. The subsequent punctuated large-distance (~200 km) grounding-line retreat may have been a highly non-linear ice sheet response to relatively continuous external forcing such as gradual climate warming or sea-level rise. These findings indicate that reliable predictions of future WAIS retreat may require incorporation of realistic calculations of sediment erosion, transport and deposition.

  4. Channelized melting drives thinning under Dotson ice shelf, Western Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourmelen, N.; Goldberg, D.; Snow, K.; Henley, S. F.; Bingham, R. G.; Kimura, S.; Hogg, A.; Shepherd, A.; Mouginot, J.; Lenaerts, J.; Ligtenberg, S.; Van De Berg, W. J.

    2017-12-01

    The majority of meteoric ice that forms in West Antarctica leaves the ice sheet through floating ice shelves, many of which have been thinning substantially over the last 25 years. A significant proportion of ice-shelf thinning has been driven by submarine melting facilitated by increased access of relatively warm (>0.6oC) modified Circumpolar Deep Water to sub-shelf cavities. Ice shelves play a significant role in stabilising the ice sheet from runaway retreat and regulating its contribution to sea level change. Ice-shelf melting has also been implicated in sustaining high primary productivity in Antarctica's coastal seas. However, these processes vary regionally and are not fully understood. Under some ice shelves, concentrated melting leads to the formation of inverted channels. These channels guide buoyant melt-laden outflow, which can lead to localised melting of the sea ice cover. The channels may also potentially lead to heightened crevassing, which in turn affects ice-shelf stability. Meanwhile, numerical studies suggest that buttressing loss is sensitive to the location of ice removal within an ice-shelf. Thus it is important that we observe spatial patterns, as well as magnitudes, of ice-shelf thinning, in order to improve understanding of the ocean drivers of thinning and of their impacts on ice-shelf stability. Here we show from high-resolution altimetry measurements acquired between 2010 to 2016 that Dotson Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, thins in response to basal melting focussed along a single 5 km-wide and 60 km-long channel extending from the ice shelf's grounding zone to its calving front. The coupled effect of geostrophic circulation and ice-shelf topography leads to the observed concentration of basal melting. Analysis of previous datasets suggests that this process has been ongoing for at least the last 25 years. If focused thinning continues at present rates, the channel would melt through within 40-50 years, almost two centuries before it is

  5. On the impact of clouds on the energy balance of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Marta; Braun, Matthias; Mölg, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Radiative effects of clouds play a key role in the energy balance of the atmosphere and have a critical influence on the ice sheet's radiation budget, causing a warming effect (by absorption and emission of longwave radiation) or cooling effect (by reducing the downwelling shortwave radiation) at the surface. On the Antarctic Peninsula, changes in the glacier system have been observed, such as the disintegration of ice shelves, acceleration and thinning of glaciers, variations in the limits between glacier faces and retreat of glacier fronts. However, rising surface air and ocean temperatures, as well as substantially increased snow fall in some regions, are also known. These tendencies were linked to changes in atmospheric circulation. Hence, a better understanding of the processes and mechanisms leading to such changes is required. The role of clouds has not been well studied yet in this context. Here, preliminary retrievals of satellite-derived cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties in the Antarctic Peninsula will be presented. The data will be analyzed in the special light of improving parameterizations in the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting model. This has the goal to ultimately enhance our understanding of how variations in the cloud cover and properties impact the energy balance on the Antarctic Peninsula at regional scales.

  6. Regionally Optimized GRACE Processing and Inter-comparison on the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohajerani, Y.; Velicogna, I.; Sutterley, T. C.; Rignot, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, with a sea level contribution that changed from 0.08mm/yr from 1992 to 2001 to 0.4mm/yr from 2002 to 2011. While most of this contribution comes from West Antarctica, Totten Glacier has the largest discharge of ice in East Antarctica, with a sea level rise potential of 3.9 m. Furthermore, the drainage basin of Totten Glacier, along the neighboring Moscow University Glacier are below sea level, extending hundreds of kilometers inland. Therefore, obtaining regional estimates of both western and eastern Antarctic basins are of critical importance. The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite has been providing mass balance time-series from geoid changes since 2002. Several mascon and harmonic GRACE solutions are available from different processing centers. Here, we evaluate the various solutions across the ice sheet and a new set of regionally optimized mascons to study the mass balance of Totten and Moscow University glaciers. We obtain a trend of -16.5±4.1Gt/yr with an acceleration of -2.0±1.8Gt/yr2 for the two glaciers for the period April 2002 to December 2016 using the Ivins et al (2013) GIA model (errors include leakage, GIA, and regression errors). We compare the results with the Mass Budget Method that combines ice discharge (D) and surface mass balance (SMB) from two models: 1) RACMO2.3, and 2) MAR3.6.4. MBM/RACMO2.3 shows the best agreement with the GRACE estimates. Within the common period from April 2002 to December 2015, the MBM/RACMO2.3 and MAR3.6.4 results are -15.6±1.8Gt/yr and -6.7±1.5Gt/yr respectively, while the GRACE time-series has a trend of -14.8±2.7 Gt/yr. We extend the study to the Getz Ice Shelf, the third largest ice shelf in West Antarctica after Ronne and Ross West ice shelves. We compare our gravity-derived mass estimates, the mass budget estimates, and the volume changes from altimetry data to compare the estimates and obtain a multi-sensor assessment

  7. Temporal variability of the Antarctic Ice sheet observed from space-based geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memin, A.; King, M. A.; Boy, J. P.; Remy, F.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) mass balance still remains challenging as several processes compete to differing degrees at the basin scale with regional variations, leading to multiple mass redistribution patterns. For instance, analysis of linear trends in surface-height variations from 1992-2003 and 2002-2006 shows that the AIS is subject to decimetric scale variability over periods of a few years. Every year, snowfalls in Antarctica represent the equivalent of 6 mm of the mean sea level. Therefore, any fluctuation in precipitation can lead to changes in sea level. Besides, over the last decade, several major glaciers have been thinning at an accelerating rate. Understanding the processes that interact on the ice sheet is therefore important to precisely determine the response of the ice sheet to a rapid changing climate and estimate its contribution to sea level changes. We estimate seasonal and interannual changes of the AIS between January 2003 and October 2010 and to the end of 2016 from a combined analysis of surface-elevation and surface-mass changes derived from Envisat data and GRACE solutions, and from GRACE solutions only, respectively. While we obtain a good correlation for the interannual signal between the two techniques, important differences (in amplitude, phase, and spatial pattern) are obtained for the seasonal signal. We investigate these discrepancies by comparing the crustal motion observed by GPS and those predicted using monthly surface mass balance derived from the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO.

  8. Variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in a Coupled Ice Sheet-Earth-Sea Level Model: Sensitivity to Viscoelastic Earth Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; Gomez, Natalya; Deconto, Robert M.

    2017-11-01

    A coupled ice sheet-solid Earth-sea level model is applied to long-term variations of the Antarctic ice sheet. A set of radially varying viscoelastic profiles in the global Earth model is used to explore feedbacks on ice sheet variability, including one with a very weak upper mantle zone and thin lithosphere representative of West Antarctic regions. Simulations are performed for (1) the deglacial retreat over the last 20,000 years, (2) the future 5,000 years with greenhouse-gas scenario Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5), and (3) the warm Pliocene 3 Ma. For the deglacial period a large ensemble of 625 simulations is analyzed, with a score computed for each run based on comparisons to geologic and modern data. For each of the five Earth profiles, the top-scoring combinations of the other model parameters in the ensemble are used to perform future and Pliocene simulations. For the last deglacial retreat, the viscoelastic Earth profiles produce relatively small differences in overall ice volume and equivalent sea level. In contrast, profiles with weak upper mantle and thin lithosphere produce strong negative feedback and less ice retreat in the future and Pliocene runs. This is due to the faster pace of ice sheet retreat in these runs, leading to greater lags in the viscous bedrock rebound behind the unloading, which allows for greater influence of the viscosity profiles. However, the differences in grounding-line retreat are located primarily in East Antarctic basins, where a weak upper mantle and thin lithosphere may not be realistic, emphasizing the need for lateral heterogeneity in the Earth model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Phil; Mullally, Dan; Golledge, Nick

    2017-04-01

    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.

  10. 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...

  11. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data V034

    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...

  12. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; DeConto, Robert M.; Bader, Daniel A.; Hay, Carling C.; Horton, Radley M.; Kulp, Scott; Oppenheimer, Michael; Pollard, David; Strauss, Benjamin H.

    2017-12-01

    Mechanisms such as ice-shelf hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse may rapidly increase discharge from marine-based ice sheets. Here, we link a probabilistic framework for sea-level projections to a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) simulations incorporating these physical processes to explore their influence on global-mean sea-level (GMSL) and relative sea-level (RSL). We compare the new projections to past results using expert assessment and structured expert elicitation about AIS changes. Under high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 8.5), median projected 21st century GMSL rise increases from 79 to 146 cm. Without protective measures, revised median RSL projections would by 2100 submerge land currently home to 153 million people, an increase of 44 million. The use of a physical model, rather than simple parameterizations assuming constant acceleration of ice loss, increases forcing sensitivity: overlap between the central 90% of simulations for 2100 for RCP 8.5 (93-243 cm) and RCP 2.6 (26-98 cm) is minimal. By 2300, the gap between median GMSL estimates for RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 reaches >10 m, with median RSL projections for RCP 8.5 jeopardizing land now occupied by 950 million people (versus 167 million for RCP 2.6). The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes. The sensitivity of post-2050 projections to deeply uncertain physics highlights the need for robust decision and adaptive management frameworks.

  13. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; DeConto, Robert M.; Bader, Daniel A.; Hay, Carling C.; Horton, Radley M.; Kulp, Scott; Oppenheimer, Michael; Pollard, David; Strauss, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Mechanisms such as ice-shelf hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse may rapidly increase discharge from marine-based ice sheets. Here, we link a probabilistic framework for sea-level projections to a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) simulations incorporating these physical processes to explore their influence on global-mean sea-level (GMSL) and relative sea-level (RSL). We compare the new projections to past results using expert assessment and structured expert elicitation about AIS changes. Under high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 8.5), median projected 21st century GMSL rise increases from 79 to 146 cm. Without protective measures, revised median RSL projections would by 2100 submerge land currently home to 153 million people, an increase of 44 million. The use of a physical model, rather than simple parameterizations assuming constant acceleration of ice loss, increases forcing sensitivity: overlap between the central 90% of simulations for 2100 for RCP 8.5 (93-243 cm) and RCP 2.6 (26-98 cm) is minimal. By 2300, the gap between median GMSL estimates for RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 reaches >10 m, with median RSL projections for RCP 8.5 jeopardizing land now occupied by 950 million people (versus 167 million for RCP 2.6). The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes. The sensitivity of post-2050 projections to deeply uncertain physics highlights the need for robust decision and adaptive management frameworks.

  14. Asynchronous behavior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and local glaciers during and since Termination 1, Salmon Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Margaret S.; Hall, Brenda L.; Denton, George H.

    2018-01-01

    The stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet under future warming remains an open question with broad implications for sea-level prediction and adaptation. In particular, knowledge of whether the ice sheet has the capacity for rapid drawdown or collapse, or whether it can remain stable during periods of warming, is essential for predicting its future behavior. Here we use 55 radiocarbon dates, coupled with geomorphologic mapping, to reconstruct the timing of changes in ice extent and elevation during the last ice-age termination in Salmon Valley, adjacent to McMurdo Sound in the western Ross Sea Embayment. Results indicate that a grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea Embayment achieved its maximum elevation and extent along the headlands of Salmon Valley at ∼18,000 yr BP, during a period of increasing temperatures and accumulation over the Antarctic continent. This ice remained at or near its maximum on the headlands near the valley mouth until after ∼14,000 yr BP. Removal of grounded Ross Sea ice from Salmon Valley was complete shortly after ∼7900 yr BP, indicating that the grounding line had retreated through southern McMurdo Sound by that time. We suggest the primary driver of Ross Sea ice removal from McMurdo Sound was marine-based, either through basal melting or calving due to sea-level rise. When combined with regional data, the Salmon Valley record suggests that this sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet did not contribute in a significant way to deglacial meltwater pulses, such as meltwater pulse 1a. In contrast to the Ross Sea ice, our work also shows that local, independent alpine glaciers in Salmon Valley have advanced through the Holocene. Land-terminating glaciers such as these elsewhere in the region show a similar pattern, and may reflect the continued influence of increased accumulation following the termination of the last ice age.

  15. The impact of dynamic topography change on Antarctic Ice Sheet stability during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austermann, J.; Pollard, D.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Moucha, R.; Forte, A. M.; Deconto, R. M.; Rowley, D. B.; Raymo, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    The mid-Pliocene warm period (MPWP; ~ 3Ma), characterized by globally elevated temperatures (2-3º C) and carbon dioxide levels of ~400ppm, is commonly used as a testing ground for investigating ice sheet stability in a slightly warmer world. The central, unanswered question in this regard is the extent of East Antarctic melting during the MPWP. Here we assess the potential role of dynamic topography on this issue. Model reconstructions of the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet during the ice age require an estimate of bedrock elevation through time. Ice sheet models account for changes in bedrock elevation due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), often using simplified models of the GIA process, but they generally do not consider other processes that may perturb subglacial topography. One such notable process is dynamic topography, i.e. the deflection of the solid surface of the Earth due to convective flow and buoyancy variations within the mantle and lithosphere. Paleo-shorelines of Pliocene age reflect the influence of dynamic topography, but the impact of these bedrock elevation changes on ice sheet stability in the Antarctic region is unknown. In this study we use viscous flow simulations of mantle dynamics to predict changes in dynamic topography and reconstruct bedrock elevations below the Antarctic Ice Sheet since the MPWP. We furthermore couple this reconstruction to a three-dimensional ice sheet model in order to explore the impact of dynamic topography on the extent of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Pliocene. Our modeling indicates that uplift occurred in the area of the Transantarctic Mountains and the adjacent Wilkes Basin. This predicted uplift, which is consistent with geological inferences of uplift in the Transantarctic Mountains, implies a significantly (~100-200 m) lower elevation of the Wilkes Basin in the Pliocene. This lower elevation leads to ~400 km of additional retreat of the grounding line in this region relative to simulations

  16. Potential of the solid-Earth response for limiting long-term West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Hannes; Sasgen, Ingo; Pollard, David; Klemann, Volker

    2016-04-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is assumed to be inherently unstable because it is grounded below sea level in a large part, where the bedrock deepens from today's grounding line towards the interior of the ice sheet. Idealized simulations have shown that bedrock uplift due to isostatic adjustment of the solid Earth and the associated sea-level fall may stop the retreat of such a marine-based ice sheet (Gomez et al., 2012). Here, we employ a coupled model for ice-sheet dynamics and solid-Earth dynamics, including a gravitationally consistent description of sea level, to investigate the influence of the viscoelastic Earth structure on the WAIS' future stability (Konrad et al. 2015). For this, we start from a steady-state condition for the Antarctic Ice Sheet close to present-day observations and apply atmospheric and oceanic forcing of different strength to initiate the retreat of the WAIS and investigate the effect of the viscoelastic deformation on the ice evolution for a range of solid-Earth rheologies. We find that the climate forcing is the primary control on the occurrence of the WAIS collapse. However, for moderate climate forcing and a weak solid-Earth rheology associated with the West Antarctic rift system (asthenosphere viscosities of 3x10^19 Pa s or less), we find that the combined effect of bedrock uplift and gravitational sea-level fall limits the retreat to the Amundsen Sea embayment on millennial time scales. In contrast, a stiffer Earth rheology yields a collapse under these conditions. Under a stronger climate forcing, weak Earth structures do not prevent the WAIS collapse; however, they produce a delay of up to 5000 years in comparison to a stiffer solid-Earth rheology. In an additional experiment, we test the impact of sea-level rise from an assumed fast deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In cases when the climatic forcing is too weak to force WAIS collapse by itself, the additional rise in sea-level leads to disintegration of the WAIS

  17. 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

  18. Antarctic ice sheet thickness estimation using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio method with single-station seismic ambient noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Peng; Li, Zhiwei; Li, Fei; Yang, Yuande; Hao, Weifeng; Bao, Feng

    2018-03-01

    We report on a successful application of the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (H / V) method, generally used to investigate the subsurface velocity structures of the shallow crust, to estimate the Antarctic ice sheet thickness for the first time. Using three-component, five-day long, seismic ambient noise records gathered from more than 60 temporary seismic stations located on the Antarctic ice sheet, the ice thickness measured at each station has comparable accuracy to the Bedmap2 database. Preliminary analysis revealed that 60 out of 65 seismic stations on the ice sheet obtained clear peak frequencies (f0) related to the ice sheet thickness in the H / V spectrum. Thus, assuming that the isotropic ice layer lies atop a high velocity half-space bedrock, the ice sheet thickness can be calculated by a simple approximation formula. About half of the calculated ice sheet thicknesses were consistent with the Bedmap2 ice thickness values. To further improve the reliability of ice thickness measurements, two-type models were built to fit the observed H / V spectrum through non-linear inversion. The two-type models represent the isotropic structures of single- and two-layer ice sheets, and the latter depicts the non-uniform, layered characteristics of the ice sheet widely distributed in Antarctica. The inversion results suggest that the ice thicknesses derived from the two-layer ice models were in good concurrence with the Bedmap2 ice thickness database, and that ice thickness differences between the two were within 300 m at almost all stations. Our results support previous finding that the Antarctic ice sheet is stratified. Extensive data processing indicates that the time length of seismic ambient noise records can be shortened to two hours for reliable ice sheet thickness estimation using the H / V method. This study extends the application fields of the H / V method and provides an effective and independent way to measure ice sheet thickness in Antarctica.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. A Radial Pattern of Six Paleo Ice Streams Emanating from the Bruce Plateau Ice Dome, Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet: Constraints from Multibeam Bathymetry and GPS Rebound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, M.; Domack, E.; Canals, M.; Casamor, J.; King, M.

    2008-12-01

    We reconstructed ice thicknesses along six paleo ice streams emanating out of the Bruce Plateau in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula. This was done in order to generate models of potential isostatic rebound along the flow paths since the LGM and thereby provide a theoretical test for empirical observations of vertical displacement (rebound) as measured by seven coastal GPS stations (to be deployed during the current IPY- LARISSA project). This study is pertinent to realizing the effect of moderate ice sheet size during collapse and resulting sea level rise. The Palmer, Vernadsky, Hugo Island and Gerlache and Boyd Strait ice stream paths (flow lines) were highlighted on the Western side of the Peninsula. The Drygalski, Crane and Hektoria ice streams were studied on the Eastern side. Using detailed and near complete swath bathymetry data available for the Western Peninsula coastal region and partial swath mapping data generated at the site of the former Larsen B ice shelf (and Roberston Trough), we constructed hypothetical longitudinal profiles of all six ice streams along precisely located flow paths. These profiles extended from the accumulation zones in the upper elevations of the Bruce Plateau to the terminus along the continental shelf edge. The profiles included detailed elevations of the bedrock and hypothetical ice thickness values along the ice streams as they would have been during the Last Glacial Maximum (~ 16 ka). Ice thickness values were based on the elevations of bedrock, trim lines, surrounding topography, influence of surrounding glaciers and previous estimates of LGM ice thickness values around the Antarctic Peninsula. Using the components of the hypothetical longitudinal profiles, total isostatic rebound since the LGM can be calculated for the region (assuming reasonable mantle viscosities). In all the profiles reconstructed ice thicknesses are characterized by an order of magnitude increase across inner shelf troughs (such as the Palmer Deep and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, H.; Roberts, A. P.; Dekkers, M. J.; Liu, X.; Rohling, E. J.; Shi, Z.; An, Z.; Zhao, X.

    2016-12-01

    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.

  5. Exploring changes in vertical ice extent along the margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in western Dronning Maud Land - initial results of the MAGIC-DML collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lifton, N. A.; Newall, J. C.; Fredin, O.; Glasser, N. F.; Fabel, D.; Rogozhina, I.; Bernales, J.; Prange, M.; Sams, S.; Eisen, O.; Hättestrand, C.; Harbor, J.; Stroeven, A. P.

    2017-12-01

    Numerical ice sheet models constrained by theory and refined by comparisons with observational data are a central component of work to address the interactions between the cryosphere and changing climate, at a wide range of scales. Such models are tested and refined by comparing model predictions of past ice geometries with field-based reconstructions from geological, geomorphological, and ice core data. However, on the East Antarctic Ice sheet, there are few empirical data with which to reconstruct changes in ice sheet geometry in the Dronning Maud Land (DML) region. In addition, there is poor control on the regional climate history of the ice sheet margin, because ice core locations, where detailed reconstructions of climate history exist, are located on high inland domes. This leaves numerical models of regional glaciation history in this near-coastal area largely unconstrained. MAGIC-DML is an ongoing Swedish-US-Norwegian-German-UK collaboration with a focus on improving ice sheet models by combining advances in numerical modeling with filling critical data gaps that exist in our knowledge of the timing and pattern of ice surface changes on the western Dronning Maud Land margin. A combination of geomorphological mapping using remote sensing data, field investigations, cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure dating, and numerical ice-sheet modeling are being used in an iterative manner to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of the glacial history of western Dronning Maud Land. We will present an overview of the project, as well as field observations and preliminary in situ cosmogenic nuclide measurements from the 2016/17 expedition.

  6. Influence of a West Antarctic mantle plume on ice sheet basal conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seroussi, Helene; Ivins, Erik R.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Bondzio, Johannes

    2017-09-01

    The possibility that a deep mantle plume manifests Pliocene and Quaternary volcanism and potential elevated heat flux in West Antarctica has been studied for more than 30 years. Recent seismic images support the plume hypothesis as the cause of Marie Byrd Land (MBL) volcanism and geophysical structure. Mantle plumes may more than double the geothermal heat flux above nominal continental values. A dearth of in situ ice sheet basal data exists that samples the heat flux. Consequently, we examine a realistic distribution of heat flux associated with a possible late Cenozoic mantle plume in West Antarctica and explore its impact on thermal and melt conditions at the ice sheet base. We use a simple analytical mantle plume parameterization to produce geothermal heat flux at the base of the ice sheet. The three-dimensional ice flow model includes an enthalpy framework and full-Stokes stress balance. As both the putative plume location and extent are uncertain, we perform broadly scoped experiments to characterize the impact of the plume on geothermal heat flux and ice sheet basal conditions. The experiments show that mantle plumes have an important local impact on the ice sheet, with basal melting rates reaching several centimeters per year directly above the hotspot. In order to be consistent with observations of basal hydrology in MBL, the upper bound on the plume-derived geothermal heat flux is 150 mW/m2. In contrast, the active lake system of the lower part of Whillans Ice Stream suggests a widespread anomalous mantle heat flux, linked to a rift source.

  7. On the feasibility of space-based radar ice sounding of the Antarctic ice sheet at P-band

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen; Kusk, Anders; Corr, Hugh

    parameters and system parameters envisioned for a space-based radar. The first step is accomplished by establishing empirical models of the attenuation coefficients and backscatter coefficients for the surface, volume and base of glaciers, ice shelves, central ice sheets etc.. The models are used...

  8. CO2 drawdown following the middle Miocene expansion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Badger, M.P.S.; Lear, C.H.; Pancost, R.D.; Foster, G.L.; Bailey, T.R.; Leng, M.J.; Abels, H.A.

    The development of a permanent, stable ice sheet in East Antarctica happened during the middle Miocene, about 14 million years (Myr) ago. The middle Miocene therefore represents one of the distinct phases of rapid change in the transition from the “greenhouse” of the early Eocene to the “icehouse”

  9. Quantifying the seasonal “breathing” of the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Horwath, M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Legrésy, B.

    2012-01-01

    [1] One way to estimate the mass balance of an ice sheet is to convert satellite observed surface elevation changes into mass changes. In order to do so, elevation and mass changes due to firn processes must be taken into account. Here, we use a firn densification model to simulate seasonal

  10. Repeated advance and retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on the continental shelf during the early Pliocene warm period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinardy, B.; Escutia, C.

    2016-12-01

    IODP Site U1358, located on the Antarctic continental shelf off the Adélie Coast, receives drainage from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) through the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Diatom analysis of a sediment core recovered at site U1358 indicated that the lower section of the core contained an assemblage dating back to the Thalassiosira innura Zone of the lower Pliocene that ranges from 4.2 to 5.12 Ma. Based on lithological descriptions at both a macro- and micro-scale, four facies were interpreted from the diamictons representing the progressive advance and retreat of the grounding line over the site. Subglacial and grounding line proximal facies contain a distinct directional signal from the orientation of the a-axis of clasts with several phases of fabric development along with both brittle and ductile deformation features that are common in sediments that have been subglacially deformed. Grounding line distal to open marine facies are finely laminated. The four facies within the depositional model provide for the first time direct evidence for ice advancing across the shelf adjacent to the Wilkes Subglacial Basin on at least four occasions separated by three periods of open marine conditions indicating retreat of grounded ice inland of the site during a warmer than present early Pliocene. This has significant implications because firstly it suggests a dynamic EAIS that is probably far more sensitive to climatic and oceanic forcing even during relatively short time periods than had previously been thought. Secondly it suggests that proxies used to interpret the advance and retreat of the grounding line from the rise can be linked with direct evidence of grounding line migration from the shelf. Together with results from the rise, this study provides a crucial ice extent target for new ice sheet models of this region during the Pliocene.

  11. 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.

  12. Assessing the Global Climate Response to Freshwater Forcing from the Antarctic Ice Sheet Under Future Climate Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogstad, S.; Condron, A.; DeConto, R.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    Observational evidence indicates that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is losing mass at an accelerating rate. Impacts to global climate resulting from changing ocean circulation patterns due to increased freshwater runoff from Antarctica in the future could have significant implications for global heat transport, but to-date this topic has not been investigated using complex numerical models with realistic freshwater forcing. Here, we present results from a high resolution fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model (CESM 1.2) forced with runoff from Antarctica prescribed from a high resolution regional ice sheet-ice shelf model. Results from the regional simulations indicate a potential freshwater contribution from Antarctica of up to 1 m equivalent sea level rise by the end of the century under RCP 8.5 indicating that a substantial input of freshwater into the Southern Ocean is possible. Our high resolution global simulations were performed under IPCC future climate scenarios RCP 4.5 and 8.5. We will present results showing the impact of WAIS collapse on global ocean circulation, sea ice, air temperature, and salinity in order to assess the potential for abrupt climate change triggered by WAIS collapse.

  13. Ice Sheets & Ice Cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Troels Bøgeholm

    Since the discovery of the Ice Ages it has been evident that Earth’s climate is liable to undergo dramatic changes. The previous climatic period known as the Last Glacial saw large oscillations in the extent of ice sheets covering the Northern hemisphere. Understanding these oscillations known...

  14. 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 sheet...

  15. An unusual early Holocene diatom event north of the Getz Ice Shelf (Amundsen Sea): Implications for West Antarctic Ice Sheet development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esper, O.; Gersonde, R.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J.

    2011-12-01

    Modern global change affects not only the polar north but also, and to increasing extent, the southern high latitudes, especially the Antarctic regions covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Consequently, knowledge of the mechanisms controlling past WAIS dynamics and WAIS behaviour at the last deglaciation is critical to predict its development in a future warming world. Geological and palaeobiological information from major drainage areas of the WAIS, like the Amundsen Sea Embayment, shed light on the history of the WAIS glaciers. Sediment records obtained from a deep inner shelf basin north of Getz Ice Shelf document a deglacial warming in three phases. Above a glacial diamicton and a sediment package barren of microfossils that document sediment deposition by grounded ice and below an ice shelf or perennial sea ice cover (possibly fast ice), respectively, a sediment section with diatom assemblages dominated by sea ice taxa indicates ice shelf retreat and seasonal ice-free conditions. This conclusion is supported by diatom-based summer temperature reconstructions. The early retreat was followed by a phase, when exceptional diatom ooze was deposited around 12,500 cal. years B.P. [1]. Microscopical inspection of this ooze revealed excellent preservation of diatom frustules of the species Corethron pennatum together with vegetative Chaetoceros, thus an assemblage usually not preserved in the sedimentary record. Sediments succeeding this section contain diatom assemblages indicating rather constant Holocene cold water conditions with seasonal sea ice. The deposition of the diatom ooze can be related to changes in hydrographic conditions including strong advection of nutrients. However, sediment focussing in the partly steep inner shelf basins cannot be excluded as a factor enhancing the thickness of the ooze deposits. It is not only the presence of the diatom ooze but also the exceptional preservation and the species composition of the diatom assemblage

  16. Cosmogenic 10Be Depth Profile in top 560 m of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, K. C.; Woodruff, T. E.; Caffee, M. W.; Edwards, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Bisiaux, M. M.; Nishiizumi, K.

    2009-12-01

    Concentrations of cosmogenic 10Be in polar ice samples are a function of variations in solar activity, geomagnetic field strength, atmospheric mixing and annual snow accumulation rates. The 10Be depth profile in ice cores also provides independent chronological markers to tie Antarctic to Greenland ice cores and to tie Holocene ice cores to the 14C dendrochronology record. We measured 10Be concentrations in 187 samples from depths of 0-560 m of the main WAIS Divide core, WDC06A. The ice samples are typically 1-2 kg and represent 2-4 m of ice, equivalent to an average temporal resolution of ~12 years, based on the preliminary age-depth scale proposed for the WDC core, (McConnell et al., in prep). Be, Al and Cl were separated using ion exchange chromatography techniques and the 10Be concentrations were measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at PRIME lab. The 10Be concentrations range from 8.1 to 19.1 x 10^3 at/g, yielding an average of (13.1±2.1) x 10^3 at/g. Adopting an average snow accumulation rate of 20.9 cm weq/yr, as derived from the age-depth scale, this value corresponds to an average 10Be flux of (2.7±0.5) x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2. This flux is similar to that of the Holocene part of the Siple Dome (Nishiizumi and Finkel, 2007) and Dome Fuji (Horiuchi et al. 2008) ice cores, but ~30% lower than the value of 4.0 x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2 for GISP2 (Finkel and Nishiizumi, 1997). The periods of low solar activity, known as Oort, Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton minima, show ~20% higher 10Be concentrations/fluxes than the periods of average solar activity in the last millennium. The maximum 10Be fluxes during some of these periods of low solar activity are up to ~50% higher than average 10Be fluxes, as seen in other polar ice cores, which makes these peaks suitable as chronologic markers. We will compare the 10Be record in the WAIS Divide ice core with that in other Antarctic as well as Greenland ice cores and with the 14C treering record. Acknowledgment. This

  17. Equatorial heat accumulation as a long-term trigger of permanent Antarctic ice sheets during the Cenozoic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblin, Maxime; Hermoso, Michaël; Minoletti, Fabrice

    2016-10-18

    Growth of the first permanent Antarctic ice sheets at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT), ∼33.7 million years ago, indicates a major climate shift within long-term Cenozoic cooling. The driving mechanisms that set the stage for this glaciation event are not well constrained, however, owing to large uncertainties in temperature reconstructions during the Eocene, especially at lower latitudes. To address this deficiency, we used recent developments in coccolith biogeochemistry to reconstruct equatorial Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric pCO 2 values from pelagic sequences preceding and spanning the EOT. We found significantly more variability in equatorial SSTs than previously reported, with pronounced cooling from the Early to Middle Eocene and subsequent warming during the Late Eocene. Thus, we show that the Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary was preceded by a period of heat accumulation in the low latitudes, likely focused in a progressively contracting South Atlantic gyre, which contributed to cooling high-latitude austral regions. This prominent redistribution of heat corresponds to the emplacement of a strong meridional temperature gradient that typifies icehouse climate conditions. Our equatorial coccolith-derived geochemical record thus highlights an important period of global climatic and oceanic upheaval, which began 4 million years before the EOT and, superimposed on a long-term pCO 2 decline, drove the Earth system toward a glacial tipping point in the Cenozoic.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  19. Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Time and change in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulbe, C. L.

    2016-12-01

    The motto for early 21st Century cryospheric science might be "that happend faster than I thought it would." The fact that change can come quickly to Earth's icy realms can be elucidated from the abstracts of all past Nye Lectures. From Bob Bindscahdler observing that "remarkably, nearly all time scales seem important", to Mark Serreze concluding that "the emerging surprise is the rapidity of change". Equally apparent in past lectures is the imbalance between answers and questions. Kurt Cuffy could not have been more clear about the "major unresolved issues lurking behind this facade of success, including poor understanding". Jeff Dozier was optimistic about merging satellite observations with field and modeling approaches but in many cases the quantitites we seek to measure are hidden from direct observation and the processes we seek to understand are embedded in complex systems. "This complexity may account for the lack of agreement concerning the processes" (Gary Clarke) and even worse, most of our observations are made in a "time of rapid change" (Mary Albert). "Nevertheless progress has been made" (Liz Morris). While "misunderstandings and blind alleys have ironically led to unexpected insight" (Doug MacAyeal), our community and science also benefit from the interest of an ever-expanding community of scholars who find the challenges "clear, exciting and compelling" (Richard Alley). We are active participants in "a climate change drama whose outcome is of concern to us all" (Matt Strum). This presentation will focus on the marine margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), places where where we know both a little and a lot, where change is observed at every time scale, and where change is not always driven externally. "We have never witnessed the collapse of a marine ice sheet," (Eric Rignot) and it matters to know as much as we can about the signs, symptoms, and processes of change. I will make the case that not everything of interest happens quickly and

  20. A 220-year continuous record of volcanic H2SO4 in the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legrand, M.; Delmas, R. J.

    1987-06-01

    Continuous H2SO4 profiles observed in snow from several Antarctic locations reveal four major volcanic events of the past two centuries (Agung, Krakatoa, Tambora and another large-scale event not recorded historically). Acid deposition and interhemispheric distribution mechanisms are quantified and then used to obtain an order of magnitude estimate for the H2SO4 emissions from these eruptions.

  1. A new albedo parameterization for use in climate models over the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831891; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Flanner, M.G.; Gardner, A.S.; van de Berg, W.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831611

    2011-01-01

    A parameterization for broadband snow surface albedo, based on snow grain size evolution, cloud optical thickness, and solar zenith angle, is implemented into a regional climate model for Antarctica and validated against field observations of albedo for the period 1995–2004. Over the Antarctic

  2. The last British-Irish Ice Sheet: A data-rich environment for ice sheet modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Jeremy; Clark, Chris; Hindmarsh, Richard; Bradley, Sarah

    2017-04-01

    In order to simulate the future dynamics of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, robust numerical models validated by observations of past ice sheet behaviour are required. The extent and dynamics of contemporary ice sheets have been observed at a decadal scale. But a much longer record of ice sheet behaviour (10 ka) can be collated by studying the evidence left behind by palaeo-ice sheets. Extensive geomorphological and geochronological evidence for the past behaviour of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet has been gathered through over 150 years of research and BRITICE-CHRONO, a recent consortium project. This large volume of empirical evidence makes the last British-Irish Ice Sheet one of the best constrained palaeo-ice sheets in the world, and a data-rich environment for ice sheet modelling experiments. Yet, integrating this data and its associated uncertainty and abstraction into ice sheet modelling experiments remains challenging. Here we summarise the available geomorphological and geochronological data and discuss how this will be integrated into ice sheet modelling experiments. Several packages of data, each with its own associated level of interpretation (ranging from raw data to empirically reconstructed ice sheet margins), will be made available to the ice-sheet modelling community. Furthermore, we demonstrate our approach to simulating the empirically reconstructed behaviour of the British-Irish Ice Sheet through a series of ice sheet modelling experiments which account for relative sea level change, and uncertainty in empirically reconstructed ice sheet extent.

  3. 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.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; 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

  4. Crustal heat production and estimate of terrestrial heat flow in central East Antarctica, with implications for thermal input to the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodge, John W.

    2018-02-01

    Terrestrial heat flow is a critical first-order factor governing the thermal condition and, therefore, mechanical stability of Antarctic ice sheets, yet heat flow across Antarctica is poorly known. Previous estimates of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica come from inversion of seismic and magnetic geophysical data, by modeling temperature profiles in ice boreholes, and by calculation from heat production values reported for exposed bedrock. Although accurate estimates of surface heat flow are important as an input parameter for ice-sheet growth and stability models, there are no direct measurements of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica coupled to either subglacial sediment or bedrock. As has been done with bedrock exposed along coastal margins and in rare inland outcrops, valuable estimates of heat flow in central East Antarctica can be extrapolated from heat production determined by the geochemical composition of glacial rock clasts eroded from the continental interior. In this study, U, Th, and K concentrations in a suite of Proterozoic (1.2-2.0 Ga) granitoids sourced within the Byrd and Nimrod glacial drainages of central East Antarctica indicate average upper crustal heat production (Ho) of about 2.6 ± 1.9 µW m-3. Assuming typical mantle and lower crustal heat flux for stable continental shields, and a length scale for the distribution of heat production in the upper crust, the heat production values determined for individual samples yield estimates of surface heat flow (qo) ranging from 33 to 84 mW m-2 and an average of 48.0 ± 13.6 mW m-2. Estimates of heat production obtained for this suite of glacially sourced granitoids therefore indicate that the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet is underlain in part by Proterozoic continental lithosphere with an average surface heat flow, providing constraints on both geodynamic history and ice-sheet stability. The ages and geothermal characteristics of the granites indicate that crust in central

  5. Seasat and GEOSAT Altimetry for the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Note: This data set is now on FTP so references to CD-ROM are historic and no longer applicable. The Ice Altimetry System (IAS) data seet contains surface elevations...

  6. Changes of deep Pacific overturning circulation and carbonate chemistry during middle Miocene East Antarctic ice sheet expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaolin; Tian, Jun; Ma, Wentao; Li, Ke; Yu, Jimin

    2018-02-01

    East Antarctic ice sheet expansion (EAIE) at ∼13.9 Ma in the middle Miocene represents a major climatic event during the long-term Cenozoic cooling, but ocean circulation and carbon cycle changes during this event remain unclear. Here, we present new fish teeth isotope (εNd) and benthic foraminiferal B/Ca records from the South China Sea (SCS), newly integrated meridional Pacific benthic foraminiferal δ18O and δ13C records and simulated results from a biogeochemical box model to explore the responses of deep Pacific Ocean circulation and carbon cycle across EAIE. The εNd and meridional benthic δ13C records reveal a more isolated Pacific Deep Water (PDW) and a sluggish Pacific meridional overturning circulation during the post-EAIE with respect to the pre-EAIE owing to weakened southern-sourced deep water formation. The deep-water [CO23-] and calcium carbonate mass accumulation rate in the SCS display markedly similar increases followed by recoveries to the pre-EAIE level during EAIE, which were probably caused by a shelf-basin shift of CaCO3 deposition and strengthened weathering due to a sea level fall within EAIE. The model results show that the ∼1‰ positive δ13C excursion during EAIE could be attributed to increased weathering of high-δ13C shelf carbonates and a terrestrial carbon reservoir expansion. The drawdown of atmospheric CO2 over the middle Miocene were probably caused by combined effects of increased shelf carbonate weathering, expanded land biosphere carbon storage and a sluggish deep Pacific meridional overturning circulation.

  7. A simulated Antarctic fast ice ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.; Kremer, James N.; Sullivan, Cornelius W.

    1993-01-01

    A 2D numerical ecosystem model of Antarctic land fast ice is developed to elucidate the primary production with the Antarctic sea ice zone. The physical component employs atmospheric data to simulate congelation ice growth, initial brine entrapment, desalination, and nutrient flux. The biological component is based on the concept of a maximum temperature-dependent algal growth rate which is reduced by limitations imposed from insufficient light or nutrients, as well as suboptimal salinity. Preliminary simulations indicate that, during a bloom, microalgae are able to maintain their vertical position relative to the lower congelation ice margin and are not incorporated into the crystal matrix as the ice sheet thickens. It is inferred that land fast sea ice contains numerous microhabitats that are functionally distinct based upon the unique set of processes that control microalgal growth and accumulation within each.

  8. 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?

  9. Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Ice and Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    In this view of Antarctic ice and clouds, (56.5S, 152.0W), the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica is almost totally clear, showing stress cracks in the ice surface caused by wind and tidal drift. Clouds on the eastern edge of the picture are associated with an Antarctic cyclone. Winds stirred up these storms have been known to reach hurricane force.

  10. The Pleistocene evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Prydz bay region: Stable isotopic evidence from ODP Site 1167

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theissen, K.M.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Mucciarone, D.A.; Hoffmann, D.

    2003-01-01

    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 188, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica is part of a larger initiative to explore the Cenozoic history of the Antarctic Ice Sheet through direct drilling and sampling of the continental margins. In this paper, we present stable isotopic results from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1167 located on the Prydz Channel Trough Mouth Fan (TMF), the first Antarctic TMF to be drilled. The foraminifer-based ??18O record is interpreted along with sedimentary and downhole logging evidence to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial history of Prydz Bay and the adjacent Lambert Glacier Amery Ice Shelf System (LGAISS). We report an electron spin resonance age date of 36. 9 ?? 3.3 ka at 0.45 m below sea floor and correlate suspected glacial-interglacial cycles with the global isotopic stratigraphy to improve the chronology for Site 1167. The ??18O record based on planktonic (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (s.)) and limited benthic results (Globocassidulina crassa), indicates a trend of ice sheet expansion that was interrupted by a period of reduced ice volume and possibly warmer conditions during the early-mid-Pleistocene (0.9-1.38 Ma). An increase in ?? 18O values after ??? 900 ka appears to coincide with the mid-Pleistocene climate transition and the expansion of the northern hemisphere ice sheet. The ??18O record in the upper 50 m of the stratigraphic section indicates as few as three glacial-interglacial cycles, tentatively assigned as marine isotopic stages (MIS) 16-21, are preserved since the Brunhes/Matuyama paleomagnetic reversal (780 ka). This suggests that there is a large unconformity near the top of the section and/or that there may have been few extreme advances of the ice sheet since the mid-Pleistocene climate transition resulting in lowered sedimentation rates on the Prydz Channel TMF. The stable isotopic record from Site 1167 is one of the few available from the area south of the Antarctic Polar Front that has been linked with the global isotopic

  11. Sea-level response to melting of Antarctic ice shelves on multi-centennial timescales with the fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model (f.ETISh v1.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2017-08-01

    The magnitude of the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea-level rise is dominated by the potential of its marine sectors to become unstable and collapse as a response to ocean (and atmospheric) forcing. This paper presents Antarctic sea-level response to sudden atmospheric and oceanic forcings on multi-centennial timescales with the newly developed fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet (f.ETISh) model. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid ice sheet-ice shelf model with vertically integrated thermomechanical coupling, making the model two-dimensional. Its marine boundary is represented by two different flux conditions, coherent with power-law basal sliding and Coulomb basal friction. The model has been compared to existing benchmarks. Modelled Antarctic ice sheet response to forcing is dominated by sub-ice shelf melt and the sensitivity is highly dependent on basal conditions at the grounding line. Coulomb friction in the grounding-line transition zone leads to significantly higher mass loss in both West and East Antarctica on centennial timescales, leading to 1.5 m sea-level rise after 500 years for a limited melt scenario of 10 m a-1 under freely floating ice shelves, up to 6 m for a 50 m a-1 scenario. The higher sensitivity is attributed to higher ice fluxes at the grounding line due to vanishing effective pressure. Removing the ice shelves altogether results in a disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and (partially) marine basins in East Antarctica. After 500 years, this leads to a 5 m and a 16 m sea-level rise for the power-law basal sliding and Coulomb friction conditions at the grounding line, respectively. The latter value agrees with simulations by DeConto and Pollard (2016) over a similar period (but with different forcing and including processes of hydrofracturing and cliff failure). The chosen parametrizations make model results largely independent of spatial resolution so that f.ETISh can potentially be

  12. Air temperature and relative humidity in Dome Fuji Station buildings, East Antarctic ice sheet, in 2003

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takao Kameda

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to clarify the living condition in Dome Fuji Station in 2003, air temperature and relative humidity in the station were measured. Thermocouples with data logger and a ventilated psychrometer were used for the measurements. Average air temperature from February 11, 2003 to January 14, 2004 (missing period: July 19 to August 17 in the Dome Fuji Station buildings were as follows: Generator room 24.7℃, Dining room 23.5℃, Observation room 21.1℃, Dormitory room 18.2℃, Corridor 18.2℃, Food storage 8.2℃ and Old ice coring site -51.3℃. Average outside air temperature (1.5m height from the snow surface during the period was -54.4℃. A remarkable increase of outside air temperature (+30℃ at maximum due to a blocking high event was observed from October 31, 2003 to November 10, 2003 at Dome Fuji, during which increase of air temperature from 5 to 8°C in the station buildings was recorded. Snow on the station buildings was partly melted and some of the melted water penetrated into the station. This was the only time snow melted during the wintering over party's stay at the station. Average relative humidity in the station buildings obtained using a small humidifier was about 25%; the relative humidity without using the humidifier ranged from 9.0 to 22.9%.

  13. Uncertainties in the Antarctic Ice Sheet Contribution to Sea Level Rise: Exploration of Model Response to Errors in Climate Forcing, Boundary Conditions, and Internal Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, N.; Seroussi, H. L.; Boening, C.; Larour, E. Y.; Limonadi, D.; Schodlok, M.; Watkins, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory-University of California at Irvine Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is a thermo-mechanical 2D/3D parallelized finite element software used to physically model the continental-scale flow of ice at high resolutions. Embedded into ISSM are uncertainty quantification (UQ) tools, based on the Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications (DAKOTA) software. ISSM-DAKOTA offers various UQ methods for the investigation of how errors in model input impact uncertainty in simulation results. We utilize these tools to regionally sample model input and key parameters, based on specified bounds of uncertainty, and run a suite of continental-scale 100-year ISSM forward simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Resulting diagnostics (e.g., spread in local mass flux and regional mass balance) inform our conclusion about which parameters and/or forcing has the greatest impact on century-scale model simulations of ice sheet evolution. The results allow us to prioritize the key datasets and measurements that are critical for the minimization of ice sheet model uncertainty. Overall, we find that Antartica's total sea level contribution is strongly affected by grounding line retreat, which is driven by the magnitude of ice shelf basal melt rates and by errors in bedrock topography. In addition, results suggest that after 100 years of simulation, Thwaites glacier is the most significant source of model uncertainty, and its drainage basin has the largest potential for future sea level contribution. This work is performed at and supported by the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Supercomputing time is also supported through a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere program.

  14. Spatial and Temporal Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Trends, Glacio-Isostatic Adjustment, and Surface Processes from a Joint Inversion of Satellite Altimeter, Gravity, and GPS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Espanol, Alba; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Clarke, Peter J.; Flament, Thomas; Helm, Veit; King, Matt A.; Luthcke, Scott B.; Petrie, Elizabeth; Remy, Frederique; Schon, Nana; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present spatiotemporal mass balance trends for the Antarctic Ice Sheet from a statistical inversion of satellite altimetry, gravimetry, and elastic-corrected GPS data for the period 2003-2013. Our method simultaneously determines annual trends in ice dynamics, surface mass balance anomalies, and a time-invariant solution for glacio-isostatic adjustment while remaining largely independent of forward models. We establish that over the period 2003-2013, Antarctica has been losing mass at a rateof -84 +/- 22 Gt per yr, with a sustained negative mean trend of dynamic imbalance of -111 +/- 13 Gt per yr. West Antarctica is the largest contributor with -112 +/- 10 Gt per yr, mainly triggered by high thinning rates of glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea Embayment. The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a dramatic increase in mass loss in the last decade, with a mean rate of -28 +/- 7 Gt per yr and significantly higher values for the most recent years following the destabilization of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula around 2010. The total mass loss is partly compensated by a significant mass gain of 56 +/- 18 Gt per yr in East Antarctica due to a positive trend of surface mass balance anomalies.

  15. Impact of 1.5°C global warming on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Pattyn, Frank

    2017-04-01

    For strengthening the global response to climate change, it is crucial to assess to what extent limiting global warming to low values may reduce the impacts on society. To tackle this issue, the IPCC has decided to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. Ice sheets are well known contributors to sea level rise and many studies have aimed to provide projections of their future contribution in response to climate change, although the focus was often on worst-case scenarios. Here we propose to review the present knowledge of how the ice sheets could be affected in the case of a limited warming of 1.5°C to 2.0°C. We will review the various processes and feedbacks known to induce ice sheets vulnerability. They are different for Greenland, where we know that the surface mass balance plays a crucial role, and Antarctica where the major risk is marine ice sheet instability. One point of interest is to define, in terms of local forcing, the tipping points associated with these processes. We note that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may mean substantially more warming in the polar regions. This polar amplification can be assessed from experiments following the RCP2.6 scenario that have been carried out in recent (post IPCC AR5) studies. This scenario can be considered as an upper limit for 1.5°C. The final question concerns the long term (millennial) impact. There is a general consensus that there are tipping points both for Greenland and Antarctica, which potentially lead to irreversible mass loss. We will review the current knowledge of how long it takes to reach these tipping points and whether subsequent ice-sheet demise is, indeed, unstoppable.

  16. Images of Antarctic Ice Shelves

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Recent changes in the extent and stability of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula prompted NSIDC to begin a monitoring program using data from the AVHRR Polar 1...

  17. 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

  18. Crustal heat production and estimate of terrestrial heat flow in central East Antarctica, with implications for thermal input to the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. W. Goodge

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial heat flow is a critical first-order factor governing the thermal condition and, therefore, mechanical stability of Antarctic ice sheets, yet heat flow across Antarctica is poorly known. Previous estimates of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica come from inversion of seismic and magnetic geophysical data, by modeling temperature profiles in ice boreholes, and by calculation from heat production values reported for exposed bedrock. Although accurate estimates of surface heat flow are important as an input parameter for ice-sheet growth and stability models, there are no direct measurements of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica coupled to either subglacial sediment or bedrock. As has been done with bedrock exposed along coastal margins and in rare inland outcrops, valuable estimates of heat flow in central East Antarctica can be extrapolated from heat production determined by the geochemical composition of glacial rock clasts eroded from the continental interior. In this study, U, Th, and K concentrations in a suite of Proterozoic (1.2–2.0 Ga granitoids sourced within the Byrd and Nimrod glacial drainages of central East Antarctica indicate average upper crustal heat production (Ho of about 2.6  ±  1.9 µW m−3. Assuming typical mantle and lower crustal heat flux for stable continental shields, and a length scale for the distribution of heat production in the upper crust, the heat production values determined for individual samples yield estimates of surface heat flow (qo ranging from 33 to 84 mW m−2 and an average of 48.0  ±  13.6 mW m−2. Estimates of heat production obtained for this suite of glacially sourced granitoids therefore indicate that the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet is underlain in part by Proterozoic continental lithosphere with an average surface heat flow, providing constraints on both geodynamic history and ice-sheet stability. The ages and geothermal

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Structural Uncertainty in Antarctic sea ice simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    The inability of the vast majority of historical climate model simulations to reproduce the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice has motivated many studies about the quality of the observational record, the role of natural variability versus forced changes, and the possibility of missing or inadequate forcings in the models (such as freshwater discharge from thinning ice shelves or an inadequate magnitude of stratospheric ozone depletion). In this presentation I will highlight another source of uncertainty that has received comparatively little attention: Structural uncertainty, that is, the systematic uncertainty in simulated sea ice trends that arises from model physics and mean-state biases. Using two large ensembles of experiments from the Community Earth System Model (CESM), I will show that the model is predisposed towards producing negative Antarctic sea ice trends during 1979-present, and that this outcome is not simply because the model's decadal variability is out-of-synch with that in nature. In the "Tropical Pacific Pacemaker" ensemble, in which observed tropical Pacific SST anomalies are prescribed, the model produces very realistic atmospheric circulation trends over the Southern Ocean, yet the sea ice trend is negative in every ensemble member. However, if the ensemble-mean trend (commonly interpreted as the forced response) is removed, some ensemble members show a sea ice increase that is very similar to the observed. While this results does confirm the important role of natural variability, it also suggests a strong bias in the forced response. I will discuss the reasons for this systematic bias and explore possible remedies. This an important problem to solve because projections of 21st -Century changes in the Antarctic climate system (including ice sheet surface mass balance changes and related changes in the sea level budget) have a strong dependence on the mean state of and changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover. This problem is not unique to

  3. Increased West Antarctic and unchanged East Antarctic ice discharge over the last 7 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Alex S.; Moholdt, Geir; Scambos, Ted; Fahnstock, Mark; Ligtenberg, Stefan; van den Broeke, Michiel; Nilsson, Johan

    2018-02-01

    Ice discharge from large ice sheets plays a direct role in determining rates of sea-level rise. We map present-day Antarctic-wide surface velocities using Landsat 7 and 8 imagery spanning 2013-2015 and compare to earlier estimates derived from synthetic aperture radar, revealing heterogeneous changes in ice flow since ˜ 2008. The new mapping provides complete coastal and inland coverage of ice velocity north of 82.4° S with a mean error of the daylight period. Using an optimized flux gate, ice discharge from Antarctica is 1929 ± 40 Gigatons per year (Gt yr-1) in 2015, an increase of 36 ± 15 Gt yr-1 from the time of the radar mapping. Flow accelerations across the grounding lines of West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, Getz Ice Shelf and Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula, account for 88 % of this increase. In contrast, glaciers draining the East Antarctic Ice Sheet have been remarkably constant over the period of observation. Including modeled rates of snow accumulation and basal melt, the Antarctic ice sheet lost ice at an average rate of 183 ± 94 Gt yr-1 between 2008 and 2015. The modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years is contrasted by high rates of ice sheet mass loss and distinct spatial patters of elevation lowering. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is experiencing high rates of mass loss and displays distinct patterns of elevation lowering that point to a dynamic imbalance. We find modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years, which suggests that the recent pattern of mass loss in Antarctica is part of a longer-term phase of enhanced glacier flow initiated in the decades leading up to the first continent-wide radar mapping of ice flow.

  4. Global ice sheet modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hughes, T.J.; Fastook, J.L. [Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME (United States). Institute for Quaternary Studies

    1994-05-01

    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.

  5. Global ice sheet modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, T.J.; Fastook, J.L.

    1994-05-01

    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

  6. Interaction of ice sheets and climate on geological time scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stap, L.B.

    2017-01-01

    Since the inception of the Antarctic ice sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (~34 Myr ago), land ice plays a crucial role in Earth’s climate. Through the ice-albedo and surface-height-temperature feedbacks, land ice variability strengthens atmospheric temperature changes induced by orbital and

  7. Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Edward; Navarro, Francisco J; Pattyn, Frank; Domingues, Catia M; Fettweis, Xavier; Ivins, Erik R; Nicholls, Robert J; Ritz, Catherine; Smith, Ben; Tulaczyk, Slawek; Whitehouse, Pippa L; Zwally, H Jay

    2013-06-06

    Since the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, new observations of ice-sheet mass balance and improved computer simulations of ice-sheet response to continuing climate change have been published. Whereas Greenland is losing ice mass at an increasing pace, current Antarctic ice loss is likely to be less than some recently published estimates. It remains unclear whether East Antarctica has been gaining or losing ice mass over the past 20 years, and uncertainties in ice-mass change for West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula remain large. We discuss the past six years of progress and examine the key problems that remain.

  8. 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...

  9. Antarctic Ice Sheet Grounding line migration monitoring using COSMO-SkyMed very short repeat-time SAR Interferometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milillo, P.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Morlighem, M.; Li, X.; Salzer, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    We employ data from the second generation of SAR systems e.g. the Italian COSMO-SkyMed constellation and the German TanDEM-X formation to monitor the characteristics of grounding line migration using short repeat-time interferometry and accurate InSAR DEM in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE), West Antarctica. The ASE is a marine-based ice sheet with a retrograde bed containing enough ice to raise global sea level by 120 cm. Several studies have inferred the mechanical properties of portions of ASE using observationally constrained numerical models, but these studies offer only temporal snapshots of basal mechanics owing to a dearth of observational time series. Using 1-day CSK repeat pass data and TanDEM-X DEMs, we collected frequent, high-resolution grounding line measurements of Pine Island (PIG), Thwaites, Kohler and Smith glaciers spanning 2015-2016. We compare the results with ERS data spanning 1996-2011, and Sentinel-1a 2014-2015 data. We observe an ongoing, rapid 2km/yr grounding line retreat on Smith, 0.5 km/yr retreat on Pope, ongoing 1 km/yr retreat on Thwaites and PIG and a slight re-advance on Kohler since 2011. On PIG, the data reveal seawater infiltration at high tides over many km along the glacier flanks, significantly more than in 1996/2000. We attribute these infiltrations to the fast retreat of PIG over a rough bed. Such intrusion of warm water fuel the melting of basal ice at the grounding line, which provides an additional positive feedback to the glacier retreat not accounted for in models. We do not observe similar patterns on the other glaciers.

  10. Spatio-Temporal Variability of Recent Snow Accumulation Across the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Using Ultra-High Frequency Radar and Shallow Firn Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeler, D. G.; Rupper, S.; Forster, R. R.; Miège, C.; Brewer, S.; Koenig, L.

    2017-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) could be a substantial source of future sea level rise, with 3+ meters of potential increase stored in the ice sheet. Adequate predictions of WAIS contributions, however, depend on well-constrained surface mass balance estimates for the region. Given the sparsity of available data, such estimates are tenuous. Although new data are periodically added, further research (both to collect more data and better utilize existing data) is critical to addressing these issues. Here we present accumulation data from 9 shallow firn cores and 600 km of Ku band radar traces collected as part of the Satellite Era Antarctic Traverse (SEAT) 2011/2012 field season. Using these data, combined with similar data collected during the SEAT 2010/2011 field season, we investigate the spatial variability in accumulation across the WAIS Divide and surrounding regions. We utilize seismic interpretation and 3D visualization tools to investigate the extent and variations of laterally continuous internal horizons in the radar profiles, and compare the results to nearby firn cores. Previous results show that clearly visible, laterally continuous horizons in radar returns in this area do not always represent annual accumulation isochrones, but can instead represent multi-year or sub-annual events. The automated application of Bayesian inference techniques to averaged estimates of multiple adjacent radar traces, however, can estimate annually-resolved independent age-depth scales for these radar data. We use these same automated techniques on firn core isotopic records to infer past snow accumulation rates, allowing a direct comparison with the radar-derived results. Age-depth scales based on manual annual-layer counting of geochemical and isotopic species from these same cores provide validation for the automated approaches. Such techniques could theoretically be applied to additional radar/core data sets in polar regions (e.g. Operation IceBridge), thereby

  11. EBSD in Antarctic and Greenland Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Kuiper, Ernst-Jan; Pennock, Gill; Sepp, Kipfstuhl; Drury, Martyn

    2017-04-01

    Ice, particularly the extensive amounts found in the polar ice sheets, impacts directly on the global climate by changing the albedo and indirectly by supplying an enormous water reservoir that affects sea level change. The discharge of material into the oceans is partly controlled by the melt excess over snow accumulation, partly by the dynamic flow of ice. In addition to sliding over bedrock, an ice body deforms gravitationally under its own weight. In order to improve our description of this flow, ice microstructure studies are needed that elucidate the dominant deformation and recrystallization mechanisms involved. Deformation of hexagonal ice is highly anisotropic: ice is easily sheared in the basal plane and is about two orders of magnitude harder parallel to the c-axis. As dislocation creep is the dominant deformation mechanism in polar ice this strong anisotropy needs to be understood in terms of dislocation activity. The high anisotropy of the ice crystal is usually ascribed to a particular behaviour of dislocations in ice, namely the extension of dislocations into partials on the basal plane. Analysis of EBSD data can help our understanding of dislocation activity by characterizing subgrain boundary types thus providing a tool for comprehensive dislocation characterization in polar ice. Cryo-EBSD microstructure in combination with light microscopy measurements from ice core material from Antarctica (EPICA-DML deep ice core) and Greenland (NEEM deep ice core) are presented and interpreted regarding substructure identification and characterization. We examined one depth for each ice core (EDML: 656 m, NEEM: 719 m) to obtain the first comparison of slip system activity from the two ice sheets. The subgrain boundary to grain boundary threshold misorientation was taken to be 3-5° (Weikusat et al. 2011). EBSD analyses suggest that a large portion of edge dislocations with slip systems basal gliding on the basal plane were indeed involved in forming subgrain

  12. High-resolution Image-derived Grounding and Hydrostatic Lines for the Antarctic Ice Sheet, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides grounding line and hydrostatic line locations for the Antarctic coastline and islands around Antarctica. The data are derived using customized...

  13. Deglaciation-Induced Spatially Variable Sea Level Change: A Simple-Model Case Study for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kuhn

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Some studies on deglaciation-induced sea level change provide only a global average change, thus neglecting the fact that sea level change is spatially variable. This is due mainly to the gravitational and visco-elastic feedback effects of the changing surface mass loads. In order to address this apparent misconception and raise further awareness, we provide a conceptual example based on a simulated total melt of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. This would give a global average sea level change of about 64 m. However, due to the changed distribution of gravitating masses, the sea-level change depends on location, with a range of about −27 m to +79 m (i.e., sea-level will even fall in some places. This spatial dependency has several implications, such as >10% biases in global average sea-level change estimates based only on tide-gauge records, flooding of almost 10% of current land areas, an increase of the length of day by almost a half a second and a northward move of the centre of mass (geocentre by about 20 m.

  14. Spatial Patterns of Long-Term Erosion Rates Beneath the Marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Insights into the Physics of Continental Scale Glacial Erosion from a Comparison with the Ice-Velocity Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howat, I. M.; Tulaczyk, S.; Mac Gregor, K.; Joughin, I.

    2001-12-01

    As part of the effort to build quantitative models of glacial erosion and sedimentation, it is particularly important to construct scaled relations between erosion, transport, and sedimentation rates and appropriate glaciological variables (e.g., ice velocity). Recent acquisition of bed topography and ice velocity data for the marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)[Joughin et al., 1999; Lythe et al., in press] provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate continental-scale patterns of glacial erosion and their relationship to the ice velocity field. Utilizing this data, we construct a map of estimated long-term erosion rates beneath the WAIS. In order to calculate long-term erosion rates from the available data, we assume that: (1) the ice sheet has been present for ~5 mill. years, (2) the initial topography beneath the WAIS was that of a typical ( ~200 m.b.s.l.) continental shelf, and (3) the present topography is near local isostatic equilibrium (Airy type). The map of long-term erosion rates constructed in this fashion shows an intriguing pattern of relatively high rates (of the order of 0.1 mm/yr) concentrated beneath modern ice stream tributaries (ice velocity ~100 m/yr), but much lower erosion rates (of the order of 0.01 mm/yr) beneath both the modern fast-moving ice streams ( ~400 m/yr.) and the slow-moving parts of the ice sheet ( ~10 m/yr). This lack of clear correlation between the estimated erosion rates and ice velocity is somewhat unexpected given that both observational and theoretical studies have shown that bedrock erosion rates beneath mountain glaciers can often be calculated by multiplying the basal sliding velocity by a constant (typically of the order of ~10^-4)(Humphrey and Raymond, 1993 and Mac Gregor et al., 2000). We obtain an improved match between estimated erosion rates and bed topography by calculating erosion rates using horizontal gradients within the ice velocity field rather than the magnitude of ice velocity, as consistent

  15. A global high-resolution data set of ice sheet topography, cavity geometry and ocean bathymetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Arndt, Jan Erik

    2016-01-01

    of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. While RTopo-1 primarily aimed at a good and consistent representation of the Antarctic ice sheet, ice shelves, and sub-ice cavities, RTopo-2now also contains ice topographies of the Greenland ice sheet and outlet glaciers. In particular, we aimed at agood representation...

  16. 220-year continuous record of volcanic H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ in the Antarctic ice sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Legrand, M.; Delmas, R.J.

    1987-06-25

    Continuous H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ profiles observed in snow from several Antarctic locations reveal four major volcanic events of the past two centuries (Agung, Krakatoa, Tambora and another large-scale event not recorded historically). Acid deposition and interhemispheric distribution mechanisms are quantified and then used to obtain an order of magnitude estimate for the H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ emissions from these eruptions.

  17. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Depoorter, M.A.; Bamber, J.L.; Griggs, J.A.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/32821177X; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Moholdt, G.

    2013-01-01

    Iceberg calving has been assumed to be the dominant cause of mass loss for the Antarctic ice sheet, with previous estimates of the calving flux exceeding 2,000 gigatonnes per year1, 2. More recently, the importance of melting by the ocean has been demonstrated close to the grounding line and near

  18. Precipitation Modeling over the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and the Relationship to the Surface Mass Balance and Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromwich, David H.; Chen, Qui-Shi

    2005-01-01

    Atmospheric numerical simulation and dynamic retrieval method with atmospheric numerical analyses are used to assess the spatial and temporal variability of Antarctic precipitation for the last two decades. First, the Polar MM5 has been run over Antarctica to study the Antarctic precipitation. With a horizontal resolution of 60km, the Polar MM5 has been run for the period of July 1996 through June 1999 in a series of short-term forecasts from initial and boundary conditions provided by the ECMWF operational analyses. In comparison with climatological maps, the major features of the spatial distribution of Antarctic precipitation are well captured by the Polar MM5. Drift snow effects on redistribution of surface accumulation over Antarctica are also assessed with surface wind fields from Polar MM5 in this study. There are complex divergence and convergence patterns of drift snow transport over Antarctica, especially along the coast. It is found that areas with large drift snow transport convergence and divergence are located around escarpment areas where there is large katabatic wind acceleration. In addition, areas with large snow transport divergence are generally accompanied by areas with large snow transport convergence nearby, indicating that drift snow transport is of local importance for the redistribution of the snowfall

  19. Ice sheet margins and ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, R. H.

    1984-01-01

    The effect of climate warming on the size of ice sheet margins in polar regions is considered. Particular attention is given to the possibility of a rapid response to warming on the order of tens to hundreds of years. It is found that the early response of the polar regions to climate warming would be an increase in the area of summer melt on the ice sheets and ice shelves. For sufficiently large warming (5-10C) the delayed effects would include the breakup of the ice shelves by an increase in ice drainage rates, particularly from the ice sheets. On the basis of published data for periodic changes in the thickness and melting rates of the marine ice sheets and fjord glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, it is shown that the rate of retreat (or advance) of an ice sheet is primarily determined by: bedrock topography; the basal conditions of the grounded ice sheet; and the ice shelf condition downstream of the grounding line. A program of satellite and ground measurements to monitor the state of ice sheet equilibrium is recommended.

  20. Tracking the El Nino events from Antarctic ice core records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keskin, S.S.; Oelmez, I.

    2004-01-01

    Sodium and chlorine measurements were made by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) on stratigraphically dated ice core samples from Byrd Station, Antarctica, for the last three centuries. The time period between 1969 and 1989 showed an enhanced impact on the Antarctic ice sheets from oceans in the form of marine aerosols. A disturbed ocean-atmosphere interface due to El Ni Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events seems to be a candidate for this observation in Antarctica. (author)

  1. Ice streams in the Laurentide Ice Sheet : a new mapping inventory.

    OpenAIRE

    Margold, M.; Stokes, C.R.; Clark, C.D.; Kleman, J.

    2015-01-01

    Rapidly flowing ice streams dominate the drainage of continental ice sheets and are a key component of their mass balance. Due to their potential impact on sea level, their activity in the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets has undergone detailed scrutiny in recent decades. However, these observations only cover a fraction of their ‘life-span’ and the subglacial processes that facilitate their rapid flow are very difficult to observe. To circumvent these problems, numerous workers have highli...

  2. Prominent features in isotopic, chemical and dust stratigraphies from coastal East Antarctic ice sheet (Eastern Wilkes Land).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caiazzo, L; Baccolo, G; Barbante, C; Becagli, S; Bertò, M; Ciardini, V; Crotti, I; Delmonte, B; Dreossi, G; Frezzotti, M; Gabrieli, J; Giardi, F; Han, Y; Hong, S-B; Hur, S D; Hwang, H; Kang, J-H; Narcisi, B; Proposito, M; Scarchilli, C; Selmo, E; Severi, M; Spolaor, A; Stenni, B; Traversi, R; Udisti, R

    2017-06-01

    In this work we present the isotopic, chemical and dust stratigraphies of two snow pits sampled in 2013/14 at GV7 (coastal East Antarctica: 70°41' S - 158°51' E, 1950 m a.s.l.). A large number of chemical species are measured aiming to study their potentiality as environmental changes markers. Seasonal cluster backward trajectories analysis was performed and compared with chemical marker stratigraphies. Sea spray aerosol is delivered to the sampling site together with snow precipitation especially in autumn-winter by air masses arising from Western Pacific Ocean sector. Dust show maximum concentration in spring when the air masses arising from Ross Sea sector mobilize mineral dust from ice-free areas of the Transantarctic mountains. The clear seasonal pattern of sulfur oxidized compounds allows the dating of the snow-pit and the calculation of the mean accumulation rate, which is 242 ± 71 mm w.e. for the period 2008-2013. Methanesulfonic acid and NO 3 - do not show any concentration decreasing trend as depth increases, also considering a 12 m firn core record. Therefore these two compounds are not affected by post-depositional processes at this site and can be considered reliable markers for past environmental changes reconstruction. The rBC snow-pit record shows the highest values in summer 2012 likely related to large biomass burning even occurred in Australia in this summer. The undisturbed accumulation rate for this site is demonstrated by the agreement between the chemical stratigraphies and the annual accumulation rate of the two snow-pits analysed in Italian and Korean laboratories. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Geology of the Wilkes Land Sub-basin and Stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet: Insights from rock magnetism at IODP Site U1361

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauxe, L.; Sugisaki, S.; Jimenez-Espejo, F. J.; Cook, C. P.; van de Flierdt, T.; Iwai, M.; Escutia, C.

    2014-12-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled Site U1361 on the continental rise offshore of the Wilkes sub-glacial basin. The goal was to reconstruct the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) during Neogene warm periods. Teasing out the paleoenvironmental implications is essential for understanding the evolution of the EAIS. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) is sensitive to differential compaction and other rock magnetic parameters like isothermal remanence and anhysteretic remanence are very sensitive to changes in the terrestrial source region. In general, highly anisotropic layers correspond with laminated clay-rich units, while more isotropic layers are bioturbated and have less clay. Layers enriched in diatoms are associated with the latter, which also have higher Ba/Al ratios indicating higher productivity. Higher anisotropy layers have lower porosity and moisture contents and have fine grained magnetic mineralogy dominated by magnetic. Higher anisotropy layers are dominated by maghemite, supporting the suggestion by Cook et al. (2013) of different source regions during low and high productivity times. They tied the two facies to the coastal outcrops of the Lower Paleozoic granitic terranes and the Ferrar Large Igneous Province in the more inland Wilkes Subglacial Basin respectively. Here we present evidence for a third geological unit, one eroded at the boundaries between the high and low clay zones with a "hard" (hematite) dominated magnetic mineralogy. This unit likely outcrops in the Wilkes sub-glacial basin and could be hydrothermally altered Beacon sandstone similar to that detected by Craw and Findlay (1984) in Taylor Valley or the equivalent to the Elatina Formation in the Adelaide Geosyncline in Southern Australia (Schmidt and Williams, 2013). Cook, C. P., van de Flierdt, T., Williams, T., Hemming, S. R., Iwai, M., Kobayashi, M., Jimenez-Espejo, F., Escutia, C., Gonzalez, J., Khim, B. K., McKay, R., Passchier, S., Bohaty, S., Riesselman, C. R

  4. Modeling the Thermal Interactions of Meteorites Below the Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, William Jared; Radebaugh, Jani; Stephens, Denise C.; Lorenz, Ralph; Harvey, Ralph; Karner, James

    2017-10-01

    Meteorites with high specific gravities, such as irons, appear to be underrepresented in Antarctic collections over the last 40 years. This underrepresentation is in comparison with observed meteorite falls, which are believed to represent the actual population of meteorites striking Earth. Meteorites on the Antarctic ice sheet absorb solar flux, possibly leading to downward tunneling into the ice, though observations of this in action are very limited. This descent is counteracted by ice sheet flow supporting the meteorites coupled with ablation near mountain margins, which helps to force meteorites towards the surface. Meteorites that both absorb adequate thermal energy and are sufficiently dense may instead reach a shallow equilibrium depth as downward melting overcomes upward forces during the Antarctic summer. Using a pyronometer, we have measured the incoming solar flux at multiple depths in two deep field sites in Antarctica, the Miller Range and Elephant Moraine. We compare these data with laboratory analogues and model the thermal and physical interactions between a variety of meteorites and their surroundings. Our Matlab code model will account for a wide range of parameters used to characterize meteorites in an Antarctic environment. We will present the results of our model along with depth estimates for several types of meteorites. The recovery of an additional population of heavy meteorites would increase our knowledge of the formation and composition of the solar system.

  5. Volcanic deposits in Antarctic snow and ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmas, Robert J.; Legrand, Michel; Aristarain, Alberto J.; Zanolini, FrançOise

    1985-12-01

    Major volcanic eruptions are able to spread large amounts of sulfuric acid all over the world. Acid layers of volcanic origin were detected for the first time a few years ago by Hammer in Greenland ice. The present paper deals with volcanic deposits in the Antarctic. The different methods that can be used to find volcanic acid deposits in snow and ice cores are compared: electrical conductivity, sulfate, and acidity measurements. Numerous snow and ice samples collected at several Antarctic locations were analyzed. The results reveal that the two major volcanic events recorded by H2SO4, fallout in Antarctic ice over the last century are the eruptions of Krakatoa (1883) and Agung (1963), both located at equatorial latitudes in the southern hemisphere. The volcanic signals are found to be particularly well defined at central Antarctic locations apparently in relation to the low snow accumulation rates in these areas. It is demonstrated that volcanic sulfuric acid in snow is not even partially neutralized by ammonia. The possible influence of Antarctic volcanic activity on snow chemistry is also discussed, using the three recent eruptions of the Deception Island volcano as examples. Only one of them seems to have had a significant effect on the chemistry of snow at a location 200 km from this volcano. It is concluded that Antarctic volcanic ice records are less complicated than Greenland records because of the limited number of volcanos in the southern hemisphere and the apparently higher signal to background ratio for acidity in Antarctica than in Greenland.

  6. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove; Rodhe, Lars

    2007-03-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. The influence of ice sheets on temperature during the past 38 million years inferred from a one-dimensional ice sheet-climate model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stap, Lennert B.; Van De Wal, Roderik S.W.; De Boer, Bas; Bintanja, Richard; Lourens, Lucas J.

    2017-01-01

    Since the inception of the Antarctic ice sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene transition ( ~34 Myr ago), land ice has played a crucial role in Earth's climate. Through feedbacks in the climate system, land ice variability modifies atmospheric temperature changes induced by orbital, topographical, and

  9. A simple holistic hypothesis for the self-destruction of ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T.

    2011-07-01

    Ice sheets are the only components of Earth's climate system that can self-destruct. This paper presents the quantitative force balance for bottom-up modeling of ice sheets, as first presented qualitatively in this journal as a way to quantify ice-bed uncoupling leading to self-destruction of ice sheets ( Hughes, 2009a). Rapid changes in sea level and climate can result if a large ice-sheet self-destructs quickly, as did the former Laurentide Ice Sheet of North America between 8100 and 7900 BP, thereby terminating the last cycle of Quaternary glaciation. Ice streams discharge up to 90 percent of ice from past and present ice sheets. A hypothesis is presented in which self-destruction of an ice sheet begins when ubiquitous ice-bed decoupling, quantified as a floating fraction of ice, proceeds along ice streams. This causes ice streams to surge and reduce thickness by some 90 percent, and height above sea level by up to 99 percent for floating ice, so the ice sheet undergoes gravitational collapse. Ice collapsing over marine embayments becomes floating ice shelves that may then disintegrate rapidly. This floods the world ocean with icebergs that reduce the ocean-to-atmosphere heat exchange, thereby triggering climate change. Calving bays migrate up low stagnating ice streams and carve out the accumulation zone of the collapsed ice sheet, which prevents its recovery, decreases Earth's albedo, and terminates the glaciation cycle. This sequence of events may coincide with a proposed life cycle of ice streams that drain the ice sheet. A first-order treatment of these life cycles is presented that depends on the longitudinal force balance along the flowbands of ice streams and gives a first approximation to ice-bed uncoupling at snapshots during gravitational collapse into ice shelves that disintegrate, thereby removing the ice sheet. The stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is assessed using this bottom-up approach.

  10. Sensitivity of Pliocene ice sheets to orbital forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, A.M.; Haywood, A.M.; Hill, D.J.; Dowsett, H.J.; Hunter, S.J.; Lunt, D.J.; Pickering, S.J.

    2011-01-01

    The stability of the Earth's major ice sheets is a critical uncertainty in predictions of future climate and sea level change. One method of investigating the behaviour of the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets in a warmer-than-modern climate is to look back at past warm periods of Earth history, for example the Pliocene. This paper presents climate and ice sheet modelling results for the mid-Pliocene warm period (mPWP; 3.3 to 3.0 million years ago), which has been identified as a key interval for understanding warmer-than-modern climates (Jansen et al., 2007). Using boundary conditions supplied by the United States Geological Survey PRISM Group (Pliocene Research, Interpretation and Synoptic Mapping), the Hadley Centre coupled ocean–atmosphere climate model (HadCM3) and the British Antarctic Survey Ice Sheet Model (BASISM), we show large reductions in the Greenland and East Antarctic Ice Sheets (GrIS and EAIS) compared to modern in standard mPWP experiments. We also present the first results illustrating the variability of the ice sheets due to realistic orbital forcing during the mid-Pliocene. While GrIS volumes are lower than modern under even the most extreme (cold) mid-Pliocene orbit (losing at least 35% of its ice mass), the EAIS can both grow and shrink, losing up to 20% or gaining up to 10% of its present-day volume. The changes in ice sheet volume incurred by altering orbital forcing alone means that global sea level can vary by more than 25 m during the mid-Pliocene. However, we have also shown that the response of the ice sheets to mPWP orbital hemispheric forcing can be in anti-phase, whereby the greatest reductions in EAIS volume are concurrent with the smallest reductions of the GrIS. If this anti-phase relationship is in operation throughout the mPWP, then the total eustatic sea level response would be dampened compared to the ice sheet fluctuations that are theoretically possible. This suggests that maximum eustatic sea level rise does not

  11. Influence of temperature fluctuations on equilibrium ice sheet volume

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Forecasting the future sea level relies on accurate modeling of the response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to changing temperatures. The surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has a nonlinear response to warming. Cold and warm anomalies of equal size do not cancel out and it is therefore important to consider the effect of interannual fluctuations in temperature. We find that the steady-state volume of an ice sheet is biased toward larger size if interannual temperature fluctuations are not taken into account in numerical modeling of the ice sheet. We illustrate this in a simple ice sheet model and find that the equilibrium ice volume is approximately 1 m SLE (meters sea level equivalent) smaller when the simple model is forced with fluctuating temperatures as opposed to a stable climate. It is therefore important to consider the effect of interannual temperature fluctuations when designing long experiments such as paleo-spin-ups. We show how the magnitude of the potential bias can be quantified statistically. For recent simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, we estimate the bias to be 30 Gt yr-1 (24-59 Gt yr-1, 95 % credibility) for a warming of 3 °C above preindustrial values, or 13 % (10-25, 95 % credibility) of the present-day rate of ice loss. Models of the Greenland Ice Sheet show a collapse threshold beyond which the ice sheet becomes unsustainable. The proximity of the threshold will be underestimated if temperature fluctuations are not taken into account. We estimate the bias to be 0.12 °C (0.10-0.18 °C, 95 % credibility) for a recent estimate of the threshold. In light of our findings it is important to gauge the extent to which this increased variability will influence the mass balance of the ice sheets.

  12. Evolution of the early Antarctic ice ages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liebrand, Diederik; de Bakker, Anouk T M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/371573734; Beddow, Helen M; Wilson, Paul A; Bohaty, Steven M; Ruessink, Gerben|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/169093360; Pälike, Heiko; Batenburg, Sietske J; Hilgen, Frederik J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/102639876; Hodell, David A; Huck, Claire E; Kroon, Dick; Raffi, Isabella; Saes, Mischa J M; van Dijk, Arnold E|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/341412082; Lourens, Lucas J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/125023103

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the stability of the early Antarctic ice cap in the geological past is of societal interest because present-day atmospheric CO2 concentrations have reached values comparable to those estimated for the Oligocene and the Early Miocene epochs. Here we analyze a new high-resolution

  13. Radiostratigraphy and age structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Paden, John D; Prasad Gogineni, S; Young, S Keith; Rybarski, Susan C; Mabrey, Alexandria N; Wagman, Benjamin M; Morlighem, Mathieu

    2015-02-01

    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. To map this radiostratigraphy efficiently, we developed new techniques for predicting reflection slope from the phase recorded by coherent radars. When integrated along track, these slope fields predict the radiostratigraphy and simplify semiautomatic reflection tracing. Core-intersecting reflections were dated using synchronized depth-age relationships for six deep ice cores. Additional reflections were dated by matching reflections between transects and by extending reflection-inferred depth-age relationships using the local effective vertical strain rate. The oldest reflections, dating to the Eemian period, are found mostly in the northern part of the ice sheet. Within the onset regions of several fast-flowing outlet glaciers and ice streams, reflections typically do not conform to the bed topography. Disrupted radiostratigraphy is also observed in a region north of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream that is not presently flowing rapidly. Dated reflections are used to generate a gridded age volume for most of the ice sheet and also to determine the depths of key climate transitions that were not observed directly. This radiostratigraphy provides a new constraint on the dynamics and history of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Phase information predicts reflection slope and simplifies reflection tracingReflections can be dated away from ice cores using a simple ice flow modelRadiostratigraphy is often disrupted near the onset of fast ice flow.

  14. The future of ice sheets and sea ice: between reversible retreat and unstoppable loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notz, Dirk

    2009-12-08

    We discuss the existence of cryospheric "tipping points" in the Earth's climate system. Such critical thresholds have been suggested to exist for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice and the retreat of ice sheets: Once these ice masses have shrunk below an anticipated critical extent, the ice-albedo feedback might lead to the irreversible and unstoppable loss of the remaining ice. We here give an overview of our current understanding of such threshold behavior. By using conceptual arguments, we review the recent findings that such a tipping point probably does not exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. Hence, in a cooler climate, sea ice could recover rapidly from the loss it has experienced in recent years. In addition, we discuss why this recent rapid retreat of Arctic summer sea ice might largely be a consequence of a slow shift in ice-thickness distribution, which will lead to strongly increased year-to-year variability of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent. This variability will render seasonal forecasts of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent increasingly difficult. We also discuss why, in contrast to Arctic summer sea ice, a tipping point is more likely to exist for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet.

  15. 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

  16. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depoorter, M A; Bamber, J L; Griggs, J A; Lenaerts, J T M; Ligtenberg, S R M; van den Broeke, M R; Moholdt, G

    2013-10-03

    Iceberg calving has been assumed to be the dominant cause of mass loss for the Antarctic ice sheet, with previous estimates of the calving flux exceeding 2,000 gigatonnes per year. More recently, the importance of melting by the ocean has been demonstrated close to the grounding line and near the calving front. So far, however, no study has reliably quantified the calving flux and the basal mass balance (the balance between accretion and ablation at the ice-shelf base) for the whole of Antarctica. The distribution of fresh water in the Southern Ocean and its partitioning between the liquid and solid phases is therefore poorly constrained. Here we estimate the mass balance components for all ice shelves in Antarctica, using satellite measurements of calving flux and grounding-line flux, modelled ice-shelf snow accumulation rates and a regional scaling that accounts for unsurveyed areas. We obtain a total calving flux of 1,321 ± 144 gigatonnes per year and a total basal mass balance of -1,454 ± 174 gigatonnes per year. This means that about half of the ice-sheet surface mass gain is lost through oceanic erosion before reaching the ice front, and the calving flux is about 34 per cent less than previous estimates derived from iceberg tracking. In addition, the fraction of mass loss due to basal processes varies from about 10 to 90 per cent between ice shelves. We find a significant positive correlation between basal mass loss and surface elevation change for ice shelves experiencing surface lowering and enhanced discharge. We suggest that basal mass loss is a valuable metric for predicting future ice-shelf vulnerability to oceanic forcing.

  17. Airfields on Antarctic Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    meteorites behind on the surface. excellent friction for tires, to the extent that rubber can be burned off the tire if the wheel locks at high Blue-ice areas...scattered stones are not likely to affect aircraft just a thin layer (about cobblestone thickness) ly- operations, or to cause problems for ice-planing ing...Challenger, tinations. Some sites, e.g. Pegasus site and Casey which has a novel rubber -belt track system, is S-1, are final destinations, intended to

  18. 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....

  19. 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; hide

    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.

  20. Model intercomparison of sea-level response to sudden Antarctic ice-shelf collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank; Sun, Sainan; Golledge, Nicholas

    2017-04-01

    The magnitude of the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea level is dominated by the potential of its marine sectors to become unstable and collapse to ocean (and atmospheric) forcing. Ice shelf buttressing is a key element in the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. Therefore, a useful model experiment to test this stability is the sudden removal of all floating ice shelves. It serves several purposes: (i) investigating an upper bound of Antarctic mass loss, and (ii) testing numerical ice sheet models on their sensitivity to grounding line migration and marine ice sheet instability (MISI). Two types of de-buttressing are investigated, i.e., (i) sudden removal followed by ice-shelf regrowth due to increased ice discharge across the grounding line, and (ii) without ice shelf regrowth after de-buttressing (so-called float-kill). Experiments are carried out with two state-of-the-art marine ice sheet models (f.ETISh and PISM) and different settings of grounding-line treatment. For the f.ETISh model these settings pertain to grounding-line flux conditions according to power-law basal sliding and Coulomb friction; for PISM this includes different settings on transition zone width and grounding-line interpolation. Results of the experiments show that regrowth of ice shelves after sudden de-buttressing stabilizes grounding lines and reduces the effect of MISI. Float-kill conditions lead to significant mass loss, which is further exacerbated by the type of grounding-line treatment, i.e., Coulomb friction renders grounding lines more sensitive (Tsai et al., 2015). However, compared to recent model studies where effects of hydro-fracturing and cliff-failure are considered (DeConto and Pollard, 2016), similar amounts of ice loss are only obtained when the highest grounding-line sensitivity is considered.

  1. Low post-glacial rebound rates in the Weddell Sea due to Late Holocene ice-sheet readvance.

    OpenAIRE

    Bradley, S.L.; Hindmarsh, R.C.A.; Whitehouse, P.L.; Bentley, M.J.; King, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Many ice-sheet reconstructions assume monotonic Holocene retreat for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but an increasing number of glaciological observations infer that some portions of the ice sheet may be readvancing, following retreat behind the present-day margin. A readvance in the Weddell Sea region can reconcile two outstanding problems: (i) the present-day widespread occurrence of seemingly stable ice streams grounded on beds that deepen inland; and (ii) the inability of models of glacial...

  2. A comparison of the present and last interglacial periods in six Antarctic ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Masson-Delmotte

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available We compare the present and last interglacial periods as recorded in Antarctic water stable isotope records now available at various temporal resolutions from six East Antarctic ice cores: Vostok, Taylor Dome, EPICA Dome C (EDC, EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML, Dome Fuji and the recent TALDICE ice core from Talos Dome. We first review the different modern site characteristics in terms of ice flow, meteorological conditions, precipitation intermittency and moisture origin, as depicted by meteorological data, atmospheric reanalyses and Lagrangian moisture source diagnostics. These different factors can indeed alter the relationships between temperature and water stable isotopes. Using five records with sufficient resolution on the EDC3 age scale, common features are quantified through principal component analyses. Consistent with instrumental records and atmospheric model results, the ice core data depict rather coherent and homogenous patterns in East Antarctica during the last two interglacials. Across the East Antarctic plateau, regional differences, with respect to the common East Antarctic signal, appear to have similar patterns during the current and last interglacials. We identify two abrupt shifts in isotopic records during the glacial inception at TALDICE and EDML, likely caused by regional sea ice expansion. These regional differences are discussed in terms of moisture origin and in terms of past changes in local elevation histories, which are compared to ice sheet model results. Our results suggest that elevation changes may contribute significantly to inter-site differences. These elevation changes may be underestimated by current ice sheet models.

  3. The response of a simple Antarctic ice-flow model to temperature and sea-level fluctuations over the Cenozoic era

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Tuyll, C.I.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831875; van de Wal, R.S.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; Oerlemans, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/06833656X

    2007-01-01

    An ice-flow model is used to simulate the Antarctic ice-sheet volume and deep-sea temperature record during Cenozoic times. We used a vertically integrated axisymmetric ice-sheet model, including bedrock adjustment. In order to overcome strong numerical hysteresis effects during climate change, the

  4. 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...

  5. Ice flow Modelling of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lisbeth Tangaa

    Models of ice flow have a range of application in glaciology, including investigating the large-scale response of ice sheets to changes in climate, assimilating data to estimate unknown conditions beneath the ice sheet, and in interpreting proxy records obtained from ice cores, among others. In t...... a steady state with respect to the reference climate at the end of the simulation and that the mass balance of the ice sheet at this time was more sensitive to recent climate fluctuations than the temperature forcing in the early or mid-Holocene.......Models of ice flow have a range of application in glaciology, including investigating the large-scale response of ice sheets to changes in climate, assimilating data to estimate unknown conditions beneath the ice sheet, and in interpreting proxy records obtained from ice cores, among others....... In this PhD project, the use of ice flow models for the interpretation of the age-structure of the Greenland ice sheet, i.e. the depth within the ice, at which ice deposited at given times are found at present day. Two different observational data sets of this archive were investigated. Further, paleo...

  6. Influence of temperature fluctuations on equilibrium ice sheet volume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. B. Mikkelsen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Forecasting the future sea level relies on accurate modeling of the response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to changing temperatures. The surface mass balance (SMB of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS has a nonlinear response to warming. Cold and warm anomalies of equal size do not cancel out and it is therefore important to consider the effect of interannual fluctuations in temperature. We find that the steady-state volume of an ice sheet is biased toward larger size if interannual temperature fluctuations are not taken into account in numerical modeling of the ice sheet. We illustrate this in a simple ice sheet model and find that the equilibrium ice volume is approximately 1 m SLE (meters sea level equivalent smaller when the simple model is forced with fluctuating temperatures as opposed to a stable climate. It is therefore important to consider the effect of interannual temperature fluctuations when designing long experiments such as paleo-spin-ups. We show how the magnitude of the potential bias can be quantified statistically. For recent simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, we estimate the bias to be 30 Gt yr−1 (24–59 Gt yr−1, 95 % credibility for a warming of 3 °C above preindustrial values, or 13 % (10–25, 95 % credibility of the present-day rate of ice loss. Models of the Greenland Ice Sheet show a collapse threshold beyond which the ice sheet becomes unsustainable. The proximity of the threshold will be underestimated if temperature fluctuations are not taken into account. We estimate the bias to be 0.12 °C (0.10–0.18 °C, 95 % credibility for a recent estimate of the threshold. In light of our findings it is important to gauge the extent to which this increased variability will influence the mass balance of the ice sheets.

  7. Challenges for understanding Antarctic surface hydrology and ice-shelf stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, J.; Bell, R. E.; Banwell, A. F.; Boghosian, A.; Spergel, J.; Trusel, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely hypothesized that surface meltwater can contribute to ice mass loss in Antarctica through its impact on ice-shelf stability. Meltwater potentially expedites ice-shelf calving by flowing into and enlarging existing crevasses, and could even trigger ice-shelf disintegration via stresses generated by melt ponds. When ice shelves collapse, the adjacent grounded ice accelerates and thins, which contributes to sea-level rise. How these mechanisms mediate the interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean and the ice sheet is the subject of long-standing research efforts. The drainage of water across the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its ice shelves is beginning to be recognized as another important aspect of the system. Recent studies have revealed that surface meltwater drainage is more widespread than previously thought and that surface hydrological systems in Antarctica may expand and proliferate this century. Contrasting hypotheses regarding the impact of the proliferation of drainage systems on ice-shelf stability have emerged. Surface drainage could deliver meltwater to vulnerable area or export meltwater from ice shelves entirely. Which behavior dominates may have a large impact on the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to atmospheric warming. We will discuss these recent discoveries and hypotheses, as well as new detailed studies of specific areas where hydrological systems are well developed, such as Amery and Nimrod Ice Shelves. We will highlight analogies that can be drawn with Greenlandic (near-)surface hydrology and, crucially, where hydrological systems on the two ice sheets are very different, leading to potentially important gaps in our understanding. Finally, we will look ahead to the key questions that we argue will need to be if we are to determine the role Antarctic surface hydrology could play in the future of the ice sheet. These include: Where does meltwater pond today and how will this change this century? What

  8. 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.

  9. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. 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....

  11. The Influence of Platelet Ice and Snow on Antarctic Land-fast Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Hoppmann, Mario; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Sea ice fastened to coasts, icebergs and ice shelves is of crucial importance for climate- and ecosystems. Near Antarctic ice shelves, this land-fast sea ice exhibits two unique characteristics that distinguish it from most other sea ice: 1) Ice platelets form and grow in super-cooled water, which originates from ice shelf cavities. The crystals accumulate beneath the solid sea-ice cover and are incorporated into the sea-ice fabric, contributing between 10 and 60% to the mas...

  12. Duality of Ross Ice Shelf systems: crustal boundary, ice sheet processes and ocean circulation from ROSETTA-Ice surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinto, K. J.; Siddoway, C. S.; Padman, L.; Fricker, H. A.; Das, I.; Porter, D. F.; Springer, S. R.; Siegfried, M. R.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Bell, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Bathymetry beneath Antarctic ice shelves controls sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation and has a major influence on the stability and dynamics of the ice sheets. Beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, the sea-floor bathymetry is a product of both tectonics and glacial processes, and is influenced by the processes it controls. New aerogeophysical surveys have revealed a fundamental crustal boundary bisecting the Ross Ice Shelf and imparting a duality to the Ross Ice Shelf systems, encompassing bathymetry, ocean circulation and ice flow history. The ROSETTA-Ice surveys were designed to increase the resolution of Ross Ice Shelf mapping from the 55 km RIGGS survey of the 1970s to a 10 km survey grid, flown over three years from New York Air National Guard LC130s. Radar, LiDAR, gravity and magnetic instruments provide a top to bottom profile of the ice shelf and the underlying seafloor, with 20 km resolution achieved in the first two survey seasons (2015 and 2016). ALAMO ocean-profiling floats deployed in the 2016 season are measuring the temperature and salinity of water entering and exiting the sub-ice water cavity. A significant east-west contrast in the character of the magnetic and gravity fields reveals that the lithospheric boundary between East and West Antarctica exists not at the base of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), as previously thought, but 300 km further east. The newly-identified boundary spatially coincides with the southward extension of the Central High, a rib of shallow basement identified in the Ross Sea. The East Antarctic side is characterized by lower amplitude magnetic anomalies and denser TAM-type lithosphere compared to the West Antarctic side. The crustal structure imparts a fundamental duality on the overlying ice and ocean, with deeper bathymetry and thinner ice on the East Antarctic side creating a larger sub-ice cavity for ocean circulation. The West Antarctic side has a shallower seabed, more restricted ocean access and a more complex history of

  13. Neoglacial Antarctic sea-ice expansion driven by mid-Holocene retreat of the Ross Ice Shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendle, J. A.; Newton, K.; Mckay, R. M.; Crosta, X.; Etourneau, J.; Anya, A. B.; Seki, O.; Golledge, N. R.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Willmott, V.; Schouten, S.; Riesselman, C. R.; Masse, G.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Recent decades have seen expanding Antarctic sea-ice coverage, coeval with thinning West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice shelves and the rapid freshening of surface and bottom waters along the Antarctic margin. The mid-Holocene Neoglacial transition represents the last comparable baseline shift in sea-ice behaviour. The drivers and feedbacks involved in both the recent and Holocene events are poorly understood and characterised by large proxy-model mismatches. We present new records of compound specific fatty acid isotope analyses (δ2H-FA), highly-branched isoprenoid alkenes (HBIs) TEX86L temperatures, grain-size, mass accumulations rates (MARs) and image analyses from a 171m Holocene sediment sequence from Site U1357 (IODP leg 318). In combination with published records we reconstruct Holocene changes in glacial meltwater, sedimentary inputs and sea-ice. The early Holocene (11 to 10 ka) is characterised by large fluctuations in inputs of deglacial meltwater and sediments and seismic evidence of downlapping material from the south, suggesting a dominating influence from glacial retreat of the local outlet glaciers. From 10 to 8 ka there is decreasing meltwater inputs, an onlapping drift and advection of material from the east. After ca. 8 ka positively correlated δ2H-FA and MARs infer that pulses of glacial melt correlate to stronger easterly currents, driving erosion of material from upstream banks and that the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) becomes a major influence. A large mid-Holocene meltwater pulse (preceded by warming TEX86L temperatures) is evident between ca. 6 to 4.5 ka, culminating in a rapid and permanent increase in sea-ice from 4.5 ka. This is coeval with cosmogenic nuclide evidence for a rapid thinning of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene (Hein et al., 2016). We suggest this represents a final major pulse of deglaciation from the Ross Ice Shelf, which initiates the Neoglacial, driving cool surface waters along the coast and greater sea-ice

  14. 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

  15. Tertiary ice sheet dynamics: The Snow Gun Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentice, M. L.; Matthews, R. K.

    1991-04-01

    We observe strong negative correlation between Tertiary low- to mid-latitude planktonic foraminiferal δ18O and the difference between these data and coeval benthic foraminiferal δ18O. Late Quaternary data do not show this correlation. Coupling statistical model/δ18O comparisons and evidence for Antarctic ice and ocean temperature variation, we infer that Tertiary ice volume, recorded by tropical planktonic δ18O, increased as the deep ocean warmed. Because the isotopic signatures of deepwater temperature variation and ice volume change were of opposite sign, the sum of these signals in Tertiary benthic δ18O became lost in the noise. This renders low correlation between Tertiary planktonic and benthic δ18O time series compared to late Quaternary data. We contend that Tertiary ice sheet growth was commonly driven by warming of deep water from low- to mid-latitude marginal seas (snow gun hypothesis). In contrast, late Quaternary ice sheets grew as deep water, formed at high latitude, cooled. Because tectonic forcing and orbital forcing at low-latitude primarily controlled production and temperature variations of this Warm Saline Deep Water, these influences largely dictated Tertiary ice volume fluctuations. Through the Tertiary, we infer ice volume fluctuations to be an important component of sea level history on timescales between 103 and 107 years.

  16. Ice shelf fracture parameterization in an ice sheet model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sun

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Floating ice shelves exert a stabilizing force onto the inland ice sheet. However, this buttressing effect is diminished by the fracture process, which on large scales effectively softens the ice, accelerating its flow, increasing calving, and potentially leading to ice shelf breakup. We add a continuum damage model (CDM to the BISICLES ice sheet model, which is intended to model the localized opening of crevasses under stress, the transport of those crevasses through the ice sheet, and the coupling between crevasse depth and the ice flow field and to carry out idealized numerical experiments examining the broad impact on large-scale ice sheet and shelf dynamics. In each case we see a complex pattern of damage evolve over time, with an eventual loss of buttressing approximately equivalent to halving the thickness of the ice shelf. We find that it is possible to achieve a similar ice flow pattern using a simple rule of thumb: introducing an enhancement factor ∼ 10 everywhere in the model domain. However, spatially varying damage (or equivalently, enhancement factor fields set at the start of prognostic calculations to match velocity observations, as is widely done in ice sheet simulations, ought to evolve in time, or grounding line retreat can be slowed by an order of magnitude.

  17. Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6) contribution to CMIP6

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Reducing the uncertainty in the past, present and future contribution of ice sheets to sea-level change requires a coordinated effort between the climate and glaciology communities. The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) is the primary activity within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project – phase 6 (CMIP6) focusing on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. In this paper, we describe the framework for ISMIP6 and its relationship to other activities within CMIP6. The ISMIP6 experimental design relies on CMIP6 climate models and includes, for the first time within CMIP, coupled ice sheet – climate models as well as standalone ice sheet models. To facilitate analysis of the multi-model ensemble and to generate a set of standard climate inputs for standalone ice sheet models, ISMIP6 defines a protocol for all variables related to ice sheets. ISMIP6 will provide a basis for investigating the feedbacks, impacts, and sea-level changes associated with dynamic ice sheets and for quantifying the uncertainty in ice-sheet-sourced global sea-level change.

  18. 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.

  19. Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet data set contains GIS point shapefiles that include 891 observed and potential hydrologic outlets of the Greenland...

  20. Response to Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf cavity warming in a coupled ocean-ice sheet model - Part 1: The ocean perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Timmermann, Ralph; Goeller, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    The Regional Antarctic ice and Global Ocean (RAnGO) model has been developed to study the interaction between the world ocean and the Antarctic ice sheet. The coupled model is based on a global implementation of the Finite Element Sea-ice Ocean Model (FESOM) with a mesh refinement in the Southern Ocean, particularly in its marginal seas and in the sub-ice-shelf cavities. The cryosphere is represented by a regional setup of the ice flow model RIMBAY comprising the Filchner–Ro...

  1. Trends in ice sheet mass balance, 1992 to 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Ivins, E. R.; Smith, B.; Velicogna, I.; Whitehouse, P. L.; Rignot, E. J.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Briggs, K.; Hogg, A.; Krinner, G.; Joughin, I. R.; Nowicki, S.; Payne, A. J.; Scambos, T.; Schlegel, N.; Moyano, G.; Konrad, H.

    2017-12-01

    The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-Comparison Exercise (IMBIE) is a community effort, jointly supported by ESA and NASA, that aims to provide a consensus estimate of ice sheet mass balance from satellite gravimetry, altimetry and mass budget assessments, on an annual basis. The project has five experiment groups, one for each of the satellite techniques and two others to analyse surface mass balance (SMB) and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). The basic premise for the exercise is that individual ice sheet mass balance datasets are generated by project participants using common spatial and temporal domains to allow meaningful inter-comparison, and this controlled comparison in turn supports aggregation of the individual datasets over their full period. Participation is open to the full community, and the quality and consistency of submissions is regulated through a series of data standards and documentation requirements. The second phase of IMBIE commenced in 2015, with participant data submitted in 2016 and a combined estimate due for public release in 2017. Data from 48 participant groups were submitted to one of the three satellite mass balance technique groups or to the ancillary dataset groups. The individual mass balance estimates and ancillary datasets have been compared and combined within the respective groups. Following this, estimates of ice sheet mass balance derived from the individual techniques were then compared and combined. The result is single estimates of ice sheet mass balance for Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula. The participants, methodology and results of the exercise will be presented in this paper.

  2. Diagnosing ice sheet grounding line stability from landform morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, S. L.; Simkins, L. M.; Anderson, J. B.

    2017-12-01

    Marine-based ice sheet stability is largely dictated by processes at or near the grounding line, where marine processes, glacial processes and configuration, and the topographic setting govern the duration of grounding line occupation and sensitivity to buoyancy and retreat. Few and short-term observations of processes at modern grounding lines limit the assessment of the spatial and, particularly, temporal stability of ice sheet grounding. In contrast, landforms that are built at the grounding line, such as grounding zone wedges and recessional moraines, are inscribed extensively on formerly glaciated continental margins. These landforms directly mark former grounding line positions over a prolonged period of retreat (thousands of years) and represent the history of sedimentation during the occupation of each position. Beyond being essential for ice sheet reconstructions, there is high potential for extracting information about grounding line dynamics from these morphological products. Here we characterise the morphological traits and spatial distribution of thousands of grounding line landforms from the western Ross Sea continental shelf, which mark East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum. Recessional moraines indicate a consistency of grounding line processes/setting and regularly forced retreat, while grounding zone wedges are highly variable in size and shape, developing both asymmetry and sinuosity during landform growth. We attribute growth of sinuosity to lateral variability in sediment delivery along the grounding line, linked in part to basal meltwater drainage. We find that this development of sinuosity over time is commonly associated with widely-spaced (i.e. larger-magnitude) retreat events. A `stable' grounding line position of relatively long duration may thus be linked with a more `unstable' retreat event. While landforms vary widely in morphology, landform construction is surprisingly insensitive to the local topographic

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; 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...... 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...... 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Adjoint-based sensitivities and data assimilation with a time-dependent marine ice sheet model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Dan; Heimbach, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    To date, assimilation of observational data using large-scale ice models has consisted only of time-dependent inversions of surface velocities for basal traction, bed elevation, or ice stiffness. These inversions are for the most part based on control methods (Macayeal D R, 1992, A tutorial on the use of control methods in ice sheet modeling), which involve generating and solving the adjoint of the ice model. Quite a lot has been learned about the fast-flowing parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from such inversions. Still, there are limitations to these "snapshot" inversions. For instance, they cannot capture time-dependent dynamics, such as propagation of perturbations through the ice sheet. They cannot assimilate time-dependent observations, such as surface elevation changes. And they are problematic for initializing time-dependent ice sheet models, as such initializations may contain considerable model drift. We have developed an adjoint for a time-dependent land ice model, with which we will address such issues. The land ice model implements a hybrid shallow shelf-shallow ice stress balance and can represent the floating, fast-sliding, and frozen bed regimes of a marine ice sheet. The adjoint is generated by a combination of analytic methods and the use of automated differentiation (AD) software. Experiments with idealized geometries have been carried out; adjoint sensitivities reveal the "vulnerable" regions of ice shelves, and preliminary inversions of "synthetic" observations (e.g. simultaneous inversion of basal traction and topography) yield encouraging results.

  6. 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...... realistic future sea-level changes....

  7. Natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbons in the Antarctic pack ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemirovskaya, I.A.; Novigatsky, A.N.

    2004-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted near the Russian Antarctic stations in May, 2001 in the Pridz Bay and coastal part of the Davies Sea to examine the content of dissolved and suspended forms of aliphatic hydrocarbons in melted snow samples, pack ice and ice cores. The site included clean control areas and polluted test areas. A spill was performed by covering the bare ice surface with marine diesel fuel. The different physical characteristics of clean and polluted ice were measured. This included radiation balance, reflected solar radiation, integral albedo radiation, surface temperature, seawater temperature, salinity at depth, and ice salinity. The study showed that accumulation of natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbon took place in the ice-water barrier zone, mostly in suspended form. It was concluded that for oil spills in pack Antarctic ice, the mechanism of filtration due to convection-diffusion plays an important role in the transformation of diesel fuel. 14 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  8. Antarctic ice shelf potentially stabilized by export of meltwater in surface river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Robin E.; Chu, Winnie; Kingslake, Jonathan; Das, Indrani; Tedesco, Marco; Tinto, Kirsty J.; Zappa, Christopher J.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Boghosian, Alexandra; Lee, Won Sang

    2017-04-01

    Meltwater stored in ponds and crevasses can weaken and fracture ice shelves, triggering their rapid disintegration. This ice-shelf collapse results in an increased flux of ice from adjacent glaciers and ice streams, thereby raising sea level globally. However, surface rivers forming on ice shelves could potentially export stored meltwater and prevent its destructive effects. Here we present evidence for persistent active drainage networks—interconnected streams, ponds and rivers—on the Nansen Ice Shelf in Antarctica that export a large fraction of the ice shelf’s meltwater into the ocean. We find that active drainage has exported water off the ice surface through waterfalls and dolines for more than a century. The surface river terminates in a 130-metre-wide waterfall that can export the entire annual surface melt over the course of seven days. During warmer melt seasons, these drainage networks adapt to changing environmental conditions by remaining active for longer and exporting more water. Similar networks are present on the ice shelf in front of Petermann Glacier, Greenland, but other systems, such as on the Larsen C and Amery Ice Shelves, retain surface water at present. The underlying reasons for export versus retention remain unclear. Nonetheless our results suggest that, in a future warming climate, surface rivers could export melt off the large ice shelves surrounding Antarctica—contrary to present Antarctic ice-sheet models, which assume that meltwater is stored on the ice surface where it triggers ice-shelf disintegration.

  9. Limits in detecting acceleration of ice sheet mass loss due to climate variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, B.; Bamber, J.L.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Sasgen, I.

    2013-01-01

    The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been reported to be losing mass at accelerating rates1, 2. If sustained, this accelerating mass loss will result in a global mean sea-level rise by the year 2100 that is approximately 43 cm greater than if a linear trend is assumed2. However, at present

  10. Balance Velocities of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joughin, Ian; Fahnestock, Mark; Ekholm, Simon; Kwok, Ron

    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 altimetry data, yields far greater detail than earlier balance velocity estimates for Greenland. The velocity contours reveal in striking detail the location of an ice stream in northeastern Greenland, which was only recently discovered using satellite imagery. Enhanced flow associated with all of the major outlets is clearly visible, although small errors in the source data result in less accurate estimates of the absolute flow speeds. Nevertheless, the balance map is useful for ice-sheet modelling, mass balance studies, and field planning.

  11. 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...

  12. 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 t...

  13. Extensive Holocene ice sheet grounding line retreat and uplift-driven readvance in West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, J.; Scherer, R. P.; Albrecht, T.; Coenen, J. J.; Powell, R. D.; Reese, R.; Stansell, N.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Whitehouse, P. L.

    2017-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) reached its Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) extent 29-14 kyr before present. Numerical models used to project future ice-sheet contributions to sea-level rise exploit reconstructions of post-LGM ice mass loss to tune model parameterizations. Ice-sheet reconstructions are poorly constrained in areas where floating ice shelves or a lack of exposed geology obstruct conventional glacial-geological techniques. In the Weddell and Ross Sea sectors, ice-sheet reconstructions have traditionally assumed progressive grounding line (GL) retreat throughout the Holocene. Contrasting this view, using three distinct lines of evidence, we show that the GL retreated hundreds of kilometers inland of its present position, before glacial isostatic rebound during the Mid to Late Holocene caused the GL to readvance to its current position. Evidence for retreat and readvance during the last glacial termination includes (1) widespread radiocarbon in sediment cores recovered from beneath ice streams along the Siple and Gould Coasts, indicating marine exposure at least 200 km inland of the current GL, (2) ice-penetrating radar observations of relic crevasses and other englacial structures preserved in slow-moving grounded ice, indicating ice-shelf grounding and (3) an ensemble of new ice-sheet simulations showing widespread post-LGM retreat of the GL inland of its current location and later readvance. The model indicates that GL readvance across low slope ice-stream troughs requires uplift-driven grounding of the ice shelf on topographic highs (ice rises). Our findings highlight ice-shelf pinning points and lithospheric response to unloading as drivers of major ice-sheet fluctuations. Full WAIS collapse likely requires GL retreat well beyond its current position in the Ronne and Ross Sectors and linkage via Amundsen Sea sector glaciers.

  14. 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...

  15. Sudden increase in Antarctic sea ice: Fact or artifact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Screen, J. A.

    2011-07-01

    Three sea ice data sets commonly used for climate research display a large and abrupt increase in Antarctic sea ice area (SIA) in recent years. This unprecedented change of SIA is diagnosed to be primarily caused by an apparent sudden increase in sea ice concentrations within the ice pack, especially in the area of the most-concentrated ice (greater than 95% concentration). A series of alternative satellite-derived records do not display any abnormal sudden SIA changes, but do reveal substantial discrepancies between different satellite sensors and sea ice algorithms. Sea ice concentrations in the central ice pack and SIA values derived from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSRE) are consistently greater than those derived from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI). A switch in source data from the SSMI to AMSRE in mid-2009 explains most of the SIA increase in all three affected data sets. If uncorrected for, the discontinuity artificially exaggerates the winter Antarctic SIA increase (1979-2010) by more than a factor of 2 and the spring trend by almost a factor of 4. The discontinuity has a weaker influence on the summer and autumn SIA trends, on calculations of Antarctic sea ice extent, and in the Arctic.

  16. Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rignot, Eric; Velicogna, I.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Monaghan, A.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163

    2011-01-01

    Here, we present a 20‐year record of monthly ice sheet mass balance for Greenland and Antarctica. We examine and reconcile two independent methods for estimating temporal variations in ice sheet mass balance, the mass budget method (MB) and the gravity method, during the last 8 years. The MBM

  17. Incorporation of ice sheet models into an Earth system model: Focus on methodology of coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybak, Oleg; Volodin, Evgeny; Morozova, Polina; Nevecherja, Artiom

    2018-03-01

    Elaboration of a modern Earth system model (ESM) requires incorporation of ice sheet dynamics. Coupling of an ice sheet model (ICM) to an AOGCM is complicated by essential differences in spatial and temporal scales of cryospheric, atmospheric and oceanic components. To overcome this difficulty, we apply two different approaches for the incorporation of ice sheets into an ESM. Coupling of the Antarctic ice sheet model (AISM) to the AOGCM is accomplished via using procedures of resampling, interpolation and assigning to the AISM grid points annually averaged meanings of air surface temperature and precipitation fields generated by the AOGCM. Surface melting, which takes place mainly on the margins of the Antarctic peninsula and on ice shelves fringing the continent, is currently ignored. AISM returns anomalies of surface topography back to the AOGCM. To couple the Greenland ice sheet model (GrISM) to the AOGCM, we use a simple buffer energy- and water-balance model (EWBM-G) to account for orographically-driven precipitation and other sub-grid AOGCM-generated quantities. The output of the EWBM-G consists of surface mass balance and air surface temperature to force the GrISM, and freshwater run-off to force thermohaline circulation in the oceanic block of the AOGCM. Because of a rather complex coupling procedure of GrIS compared to AIS, the paper mostly focuses on Greenland.

  18. 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.)

  19. Evidence of unfrozen liquids and seismic anisotropy at the base of the polar ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittlinger, Gérard; Farra, Véronique

    2015-03-01

    We analyze seismic data from broadband stations located on the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets to determine polar ice seismic velocities. P-to-S converted waves at the ice/rock interface and inside the ice sheets and their multiples (the P-receiver functions) are used to estimate in-situ P-wave velocity (Vp) and P-to-S velocity ratio (Vp/Vs) of polar ice. We find that the polar ice sheets have a two-layer structure; an upper layer of variable thickness (about 2/3 of the total thickness) with seismic velocities close to the standard ice values, and a lower layer of approximately constant thickness with standard Vp but ∼25% smaller Vs. The lower layer ceiling corresponds approximately to the -30 °C isotherm. Synthetic modeling of P-receiver functions shows that strong seismic anisotropy and low vertical S velocity are needed in the lower layer. The seismic anisotropy results from the preferred orientation of ice crystal c-axes toward the vertical. The low vertical S velocity may be due to the presence of unfrozen liquids resulting from premelting at grain joints and/or melting of chemical solutions buried in the ice. The strongly preferred ice crystal orientation fabric and the unfrozen fluids may facilitate polar ice sheet basal flow.

  20. 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.

  1. The health of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagliardini, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    The thinning of floating ice shelves around Antarctica enhances upstream ice flow, contributing to sea-level rise. Ice-shelf thinning is now shown to influence glacial movement over much larger distances than previously thought.

  2. Sea-level and solid-Earth deformation feedbacks in ice sheet modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Hannes; Sasgen, Ingo; Klemann, Volker; Thoma, Malte; Grosfeld, Klaus; Martinec, Zdeněk

    2014-05-01

    The interactions of ice sheets with the sea level and the solid Earth are important factors for the stability of the ice shelves and the tributary inland ice (e.g. Thomas and Bentley, 1978; Gomez et al, 2012). First, changes in ice extent and ice thickness induce viscoelastic deformation of the Earth surface and Earth's gravity field. In turn, global and local changes in sea level and bathymetry affect the grounding line and, subsequently, alter the ice dynamic behaviour. Here, we investigate these feedbacks for a synthetic ice sheet configuration as well as for the Antarctic ice sheet using a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice sheet and shelf model, coupled to a viscoelastic solid-Earth and gravitationally self-consistent sea-level model. The respective ice sheet undergoes a forcing from rising sea level, warming ocean, and/or changing surface mass balance. The coupling is realized by exchanging ice thickness, Earth surface deformation and sea level periodically. We apply several sets of viscoelastic Earth parameters to our coupled model, e.g. simulating a low-viscous upper mantle present at the Antarctic Peninsula (Ivins et al., 2011). Special focus of our study lies on the evolution of Earth surface deformation and local sea level changes, as well as on the accompanying grounding line evolution. N. Gomez, D. Pollard, J. X. Mitrovica, P. Huybers, and P. U. Clark 2012. Evolution of a coupled marine ice sheet-sea level model, J. Geophys. Res., 117, F01013, doi:10.1029/2011JF002128. E. R. Ivins, M. M. Watkins, D.-N. Yuan, R. Dietrich, G. Casassa, and A. Rülke 2011. On-land ice loss and glacial isostatic adjustment at the Drake Passage: 2003-2009, J. Geophys. Res. 116, B02403, doi: 10.1029/2010JB007607 R. H. Thomas and C. R. Bentley 1978. A model for Holocene retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Quaternary Research, 10 (2), pages 150-170, doi: 10.1016/0033-5894(78)90098-4.

  3. Gaussian Process Model for Antarctic Surface Mass Balance and Ice Core Site Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, P. A.; Reese, S.; Christensen, W. F.; Rupper, S.

    2017-12-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) is an important factor in the estimation of sea level change, and data are collected to estimate models for prediction of SMB on the Antarctic ice sheet. Using Favier et al.'s (2013) quality-controlled aggregate data set of SMB field measurements, a fully Bayesian spatial model is posed to estimate Antarctic SMB and propose new field measurement locations. Utilizing Nearest-Neighbor Gaussian process (NNGP) models, SMB is estimated over the Antarctic ice sheet. An Antarctic SMB map is rendered using this model and is compared with previous estimates. A prediction uncertainty map is created to identify regions of high SMB uncertainty. The model estimates net SMB to be 2173 Gton yr-1 with 95% credible interval (2021,2331) Gton yr-1. On average, these results suggest lower Antarctic SMB and higher uncertainty than previously purported [Vaughan et al. (1999); Van de Berg et al. (2006); Arthern, Winebrenner and Vaughan (2006); Bromwich et al. (2004); Lenaerts et al. (2012)], even though this model utilizes significantly more observations than previous models. Using the Gaussian process' uncertainty and model parameters, we propose 15 new measurement locations for field study utilizing a maximin space-filling, error-minimizing design; these potential measurements are identied to minimize future estimation uncertainty. Using currently accepted Antarctic mass balance estimates and our SMB estimate, we estimate net mass loss [Shepherd et al. (2012); Jacob et al. (2012)]. Furthermore, we discuss modeling details for both space-time data and combining field measurement data with output from mathematical models using the NNGP framework.

  4. The influence of ice sheets on temperature during the past 38 million years inferred from a one-dimensional ice sheet-climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stap, Lennert B.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; de Boer, Bas; Bintanja, Richard; Lourens, Lucas J.

    2017-09-01

    Since the inception of the Antarctic ice sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (˜ 34 Myr ago), land ice has played a crucial role in Earth's climate. Through feedbacks in the climate system, land ice variability modifies atmospheric temperature changes induced by orbital, topographical, and greenhouse gas variations. Quantification of these feedbacks on long timescales has hitherto scarcely been undertaken. In this study, we use a zonally averaged energy balance climate model bidirectionally coupled to a one-dimensional ice sheet model, capturing the ice-albedo and surface-height-temperature feedbacks. Potentially important transient changes in topographic boundary conditions by tectonics and erosion are not taken into account but are briefly discussed. The relative simplicity of the coupled model allows us to perform integrations over the past 38 Myr in a fully transient fashion using a benthic oxygen isotope record as forcing to inversely simulate CO2. Firstly, we find that the results of the simulations over the past 5 Myr are dependent on whether the model run is started at 5 or 38 Myr ago. This is because the relation between CO2 and temperature is subject to hysteresis. When the climate cools from very high CO2 levels, as in the longer transient 38 Myr run, temperatures in the lower CO2 range of the past 5 Myr are higher than when the climate is initialised at low temperatures. Consequently, the modelled CO2 concentrations depend on the initial state. Taking the realistic warm initialisation into account, we come to a best estimate of CO2, temperature, ice-volume-equivalent sea level, and benthic δ18O over the past 38 Myr. Secondly, we study the influence of ice sheets on the evolution of global temperature and polar amplification by comparing runs with ice sheet-climate interaction switched on and off. By passing only albedo or surface height changes to the climate model, we can distinguish the separate effects of the ice-albedo and surface

  5. Expanding Antarctic Sea Ice: Anthropogenic or Natural Variability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitz, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice extent has increased over the last 36 years according to the satellite record. Concurrent with Antarctic sea-ice expansion has been broad cooling of the Southern Ocean sea-surface temperature. Not only are Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends at odds with expectations from greenhouse gas-induced warming, the trend patterns are not reproduced in historical simulations with comprehensive global climate models. While a variety of different factors may have contributed to the observed trends in recent decades, we propose that it is atmospheric circulation changes - and the changes in ocean circulation they induce - that have emerged as the most likely cause of the observed Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends. I will discuss deficiencies in models that could explain their incorrect response. In addition, I will present results from a series of experiments where the Antarctic sea ice and ocean are forced by atmospheric perturbations imposed within a coupled climate model. Figure caption: Linear trends of annual-mean SST (left) and annual-mean sea-ice concentration (right) over 1980-2014. SST is from NOAA's Optimum Interpolation SST dataset (version 2; Reynolds et al. 2002). Sea-ice concentration is from passive microwave observations using the NASA Team algorithm. Only the annual means are shown here for brevity and because the signal to noise is greater than in the seasonal means. Figure from Armour and Bitz (2015).

  6. 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.

  7. Rivers under ice: fluvial erosion beneath decaying ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, John D.; Codilean, Alexandru T.; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Fabel, Derek; Hättestrand, Clas; Kleman, Johan; Harbor, Jon M.; Heyman, Jakob; Kubik, Peter W.; Xu, Sheng

    2014-05-01

    The century-long debate over the origins of inner gorges cut within larger valleys that were repeatedly covered by Quaternary glaciers hinges upon whether the gorges are fluvial forms eroded by subaerial rivers, or subglacial forms cut beneath ice. We apply cosmogenic nuclide exposure dating to seven inner gorges along ~500 km of the former Fennoscandia ice sheet margin in combination with a new deglaciation isochron map. We show that the timing of bedrock exposure matches the advent of ice-free conditions, strongly suggesting that inner gorges were cut by channelised subglacial meltwater while simultaneously being shielded from cosmic rays by overlying ice. Given the exceptional hydraulic efficiency required for subglacial meltwater channels to erode bedrock and evacuate debris, we deduce that inner gorges are the product of ice sheets undergoing intense surface melting akin to that currently occurring on the Greenland ice sheet. The lack of postglacial river erosion in our seven inner gorges leads us to propose that channelised subglacial meltwater-boosted possibly by abrupt supraglacial lake drainage-may be a key driver of valley deepening on the Baltic Shield over multiple glacial cycles.

  8. Inter-comparison of ice sheet mass balance products from GRACE: ESA CCI Round Robin results

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groth, A.; Horwath, M.; Horvath, A.

    Both the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) have been identified as key parameters, so called Essential Climate Variables (ECV), in the climate system. Within the framework of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) of the European Space Agency (ESA), reliable long-term satel......Both the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) have been identified as key parameters, so called Essential Climate Variables (ECV), in the climate system. Within the framework of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) of the European Space Agency (ESA), reliable long......-term satellite-based data products are generated for selected ECVs. Since ice sheet mass balance is an ECV parameter of highest interest, both the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project will provide mass balance products based on satellite gravimetry data: (a) time series of monthly mass changes for individual drainage...... spatial resolution and complex error structures place particular demands on the applied processing strategy. To choose the most suitable algorithm which minimizes the impact of GRACE errors and signal leakage errors on GMB products, an open Round Robin experiment was set up. Participants were asked...

  9. Recent Progress in Greenland Ice Sheet Modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goelzer, Heiko; Robinson, Alexander; Seroussi, Helene; Van De Wal, Roderik S.w.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose of Review This paper reviews the recent literature on numerical modelling of the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet with the goal of providing an overview of advancements and to highlight important directions of future research. In particular, the review is focused on large-scale modelling

  10. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    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...

  11. Global thermodynamics of a polar ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, C.J. van der; Oerlemans, J.

    1984-01-01

    In this paper, the global characteristics of a polar ice sheet are investigated. When looking at a drainage system as a whole, conservation of heat yields a very simple functional relation. Coupling this relation to an equation describing the large-scale dynamics of a drainage system makes it

  12. 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.

  13. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    IS and the paleo-temperature reconstructions retrieved from ice cores.The dynamical firn model developed in this thesis explains13 % of the observed volume change of the GrIS from 2003-2008, without contributing to the global sea-level rise. This emphasizes the need for well constraint firn-compaction models. Here...... 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......-sheet configurations formed by the variation of both internal-model parameters and external climate forcing. To investigate the importance of the validation, a multi-metric validation approach is applied to the ensemble members. The validation shows that the commonly used validation measures, such as the total ice...

  14. 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 asso...

  15. Distribution of dissolved and particulate metals in Antarctic sea ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lannuzel, D.; Bowie, A.R.; van der Merwe, P.C.; Townsend, A.T.; Schoemann, V.

    2011-01-01

    Samples were collected in East Antarctic sea ice in late winter/early austral spring 2007 to assess the distributions of Al, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo. Cd and Ba. Total dissolved (<02 mu m) and particulate (>0.2 mu m) concentrations were measured by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Sector Field Mass Spectrometry

  16. Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2004-01-01

    The Antarctic Vostok ice core provided compelling evidence of the nature of climate, and of climate feedbacks, over the past 420,000 years. Marine records suggest that the amplitude of climate variability was smaller before that time, but such records are often poorly resolved. Moreover, it is not

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, S.; Thoma, M.; Grosfeld, K.; Miller, H.

    2012-12-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. The response of a simple Antarctic ice-flow model to temperature and sea-level fluctuations over the Cenozoic era

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tuyll, C. I.; van de Wal, R. S. W.; Oerlemans, J.

    2007-10-01

    An ice-flow model is used to simulate the Antarctic ice-sheet volume and deep-sea temperature record during Cenozoic times. We used a vertically integrated axisymmetric ice-sheet model, including bedrock adjustment. In order to overcome strong numerical hysteresis effects during climate change, the model is solved on a stretching grid. The Cenozoic reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet is accomplished by splitting the global oxygen isotope record derived from benthic foraminifera into an ice-volume and a deep-sea temperature component. The model is tuned to reconstruct the initiation of a large ice sheet of continental size at 34 Ma. The resulting ice volume curve shows that small ice caps (Paleocene and Eocene times. Fluctuations during the Miocene are large, indicating a retreat back from the coast and a vanishing ice flux across the grounding line, but with ice volumes still up to 60% of the present-day volume. The resulting deep-sea temperature curve shows similarities with the paleotemperature curve derived from Mg/Ca in benthic calcite from 25 Ma till the present, which supports the idea that the ice volume is well reproduced for this period. Before 34 Ma, the reproduced deep-sea temperature is slightly higher than is generally assumed. Global sea-level change turns out to be of minor importance when considering the Cenozoic evolution of the ice sheet until 5 Ma.

  20. Global ice sheet/RSL simulations using the higher-order Ice Sheet System Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larour, E. Y.; Ivins, E. R.; Adhikari, S.; Schlegel, N.; Seroussi, H. L.; Morlighem, M.

    2017-12-01

    Relative sea-level rise is driven by processes that are intimately linked to the evolution ofglacial areas and ice sheets in particular. So far, most Earth System models capable of projecting theevolution of RSL on decadal to centennial time scales have relied on offline interactions between RSL andice sheets. In particular, grounding line and calving front dynamics have not been modeled in a way that istightly coupled with Elasto-Static Adjustment (ESA) and/or Glacial-Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). Here, we presenta new simulation of the entire Earth System in which both Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are tightly coupledto an RSL model that includes both ESA and GIA at resolutions and time scales compatible with processes suchas grounding line dynamics for Antarctica ice shelves and calving front dynamics for Greenland marine-terminatingglaciers. The simulations rely on the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) and show the impact of higher-orderice flow dynamics and coupling feedbacks between ice flow and RSL. We quantify the exact impact of ESA andGIA inclusion on grounding line evolution for large ice shelves such as the Ronne and Ross ice shelves, as well asthe Agasea Embayment ice streams, and demonstate how offline vs online RSL simulations diverge in the long run,and the consequences for predictions of sea-level rise.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.

  1. RTopo-2: A global high-resolution dataset of ice sheet topography, ice shelf cavity geometry and ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Ralph; Schaffer, Janin

    2016-04-01

    The RTopo-1 data set of Antarctic ice sheet/shelf geometry and global ocean bathymetry has proven useful not only for modelling studies of ice-ocean interaction in the southern hemisphere. Following the spirit of this data set, we introduce a new product (RTopo-2) that contains consistent maps of global ocean bathymetry, upper and lower ice surface topographies for Greenland and Antarctica, and global surface height on a spherical grid with now 30 arc seconds resolution. We used the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO_2014) as the backbone and added the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean version 3 (IBCAOv3) and the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. To achieve a good representation of the fjord and shelf bathymetry around the Greenland continent, we corrected data from earlier gridded products in the areas of Petermann Glacier, Hagen Bræ and Helheim Glacier assuming that sub-ice and fjord bathymetries roughly follow plausible Last Glacial Maximum ice flow patterns. For the continental shelf off northeast Greenland and the floating ice tongue of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier at about 79°N, we incorporated a high-resolution digital bathymetry model including all available multibeam survey data for the region. Radar data for ice surface and ice base topographies of the floating ice tongues of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and Zachariæ Isstrøm have been obtained from the data centers of Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Operation Icebridge (NASA/NSF) and Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). For the Antarctic ice sheet/ice shelves, RTopo-2 largely relies on the Bedmap-2 product but applies corrections for the geometry of Getz, Abbot and Fimbul ice shelf cavities. The data set is available in full and in regional subsets in NetCDF format from the PANGAEA database.

  2. Proteorhodopsin-bearing bacteria in Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Eileen Y; Atamna-Ismaeel, Nof; Martin, Andrew; Cowie, Rebecca O M; Beja, Oded; Davy, Simon K; Maas, Elizabeth W; Ryan, Ken G

    2010-09-01

    Proteorhodopsins (PRs) are widespread bacterial integral membrane proteins that function as light-driven proton pumps. Antarctic sea ice supports a complex community of autotrophic algae, heterotrophic bacteria, viruses, and protists that are an important food source for higher trophic levels in ice-covered regions of the Southern Ocean. Here, we present the first report of PR-bearing bacteria, both dormant and active, in Antarctic sea ice from a series of sites in the Ross Sea using gene-specific primers. Positive PR sequences were generated from genomic DNA at all depths in sea ice, and these sequences aligned with the classes Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Flavobacteria. The sequences showed some similarity to previously reported PR sequences, although most of the sequences were generally distinct. Positive PR sequences were also observed from cDNA reverse transcribed from RNA isolated from sea ice samples. This finding indicates that these sequences were generated from metabolically active cells and suggests that the PR gene is functional within sea ice. Both blue-absorbing and green-absorbing forms of PRs were detected, and only a limited number of blue-absorbing forms were found and were in the midsection of the sea ice profile in this study. Questions still remain regarding the protein's ecological functions, and ultimately, field experiments will be needed to establish the ecological and functional role of PRs in the sea ice ecosystem.

  3. Precipitation regime influence on oxygen triple-isotope distributions in Antarctic precipitation and ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Martin F.

    2018-01-01

    The relative abundance of 17O in meteoric precipitation is usually reported in terms of the 17O-excess parameter. Variations of 17O-excess in Antarctic precipitation and ice cores have hitherto been attributed to normalised relative humidity changes at the moisture source region, or to the influence of a temperature-dependent supersaturation-controlled kinetic isotope effect during in-cloud ice formation below -20 °C. Neither mechanism, however, satisfactorily explains the large range of 17O-excess values reported from measurements. A different approach, based on the regression characteristics of 103 ln (1 +δ17 O) versus 103 ln (1 +δ18 O), is applied here to previously published isotopic data sets. The analysis indicates that clear-sky precipitation ('diamond dust'), which occurs widely in inland Antarctica, is characterised by an unusual relative abundance of 17O, distinct from that associated with cloud-derived, synoptic snowfall. Furthermore, this distinction appears to be largely preserved in the ice core record. The respective mass contributions to snowfall accumulation - on both temporal and spatial scales - provides the basis of a simple, first-order explanation for the observed oxygen triple-isotope ratio variations in Antarctic precipitation, surface snow and ice cores. Using this approach, it is shown that precipitation during the last major deglaciation, both in western Antarctica at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide and at Vostok on the eastern Antarctic plateau, consisted essentially of diamond dust only, despite a large temperature differential (and thus different water vapour supersaturation conditions) at the two locations. In contrast, synoptic snowfall events dominate the accumulation record throughout the Holocene at both sites.

  4. A subzero microbial habitat in the basal ice of an Antarctic glacier (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christner, B. C.; Doyle, S. M.; Montross, S. N.; Skidmore, M. L.; Samyn, D.; Lorrain, R.; Tison, J.; Fitzsimons, S.

    2010-12-01

    Expanding perspectives on the tenacity of microbial life have motivated research to determine if microbial ecosystems exist at the base of the Antarctic ice sheets that are uniquely adapted to the conditions. To date, these efforts have focused primarily on subglacial locations where there is abundant liquid water (e.g., subglacial lakes and water-saturated sediments). Recent studies of cold-adapted microorganisms indicate that metabolism remains functional under frozen conditions, supporting the notion that active biogeochemical processes occur within the frozen matrix of ice. Our investigations of debris-rich basal ice from the Taylor Glacier, Antarctic revealed trends in the entrapped gas and microbiological data that are consistent with this hypothesis. When compared to the low-debris englacial facies, debris-rich stratified facies of the Taylor Glacier basal ice exhibited elevated CO2 and depleted O2 concentrations. Cell and total dissolved solute concentrations were low in the englacial facies, increasing by an order of magnitude or greater in the debris-rich laminated sub-facies. Cells in the thawed basal ice samples respired 14C-acetate to 14CO2 at 2oC, with maximum respiration rates observed in samples with sediment contents > 1% (wt/vol). Molecular analysis of small subunit ribosomal (SSU) RNA gene diversity within the basal ice revealed a low diversity bacterial assemblage dominated by members of the phylum Firmicutes (87% of the cloned sequences), and the most abundant phylotype (38%) was affiliated with species in the genus Sporosarcina. Enrichment culturing of the basal ice on various defined and complex heterotrophic media at 4 to 15oC resulted in the growth and isolation of bacteria, nearly all of which (92% of the isolates) were closely related to the Sporosarcina-related SSU RNA gene sequences identified in the culture-independent analysis. All of the isolates characterized are cold-tolerant and experiments on selected strains have demonstrated

  5. Methane and Carbonyl Sulfide Analysis of Siple Dome Ice Core Subsamples, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set is part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet cores (WAISCORES) project, an NSF-funded project to understand the influence of the West Antarctic ice sheet on...

  6. 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

  7. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Better characterisation of aerosol processes in pristine, natural environments, such as Antarctica, have recently been shown to lead to the largest reduction in uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. Our understanding of aerosols in the Antarctic region is currently based on measurements that are often limited to boundary layer air masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the vast 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 icebreaker 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 equatorward into the low-albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei which, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and their transport pathways described here, could help reduce the discrepancy currently present between

  8. Antarctic sea ice losses drive gains in benthic carbon drawdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D K A

    2015-09-21

    Climate forcing of sea-ice losses from the Arctic and West Antarctic are blueing the poles. These losses are accelerating, reducing Earth's albedo and increasing heat absorption. Subarctic forest (area expansion and increased growth) and ice-shelf losses (resulting in new phytoplankton blooms which are eaten by benthos) are the only significant described negative feedbacks acting to counteract the effects of increasing CO2 on a warming planet, together accounting for uptake of ∼10(7) tonnes of carbon per year. Most sea-ice loss to date has occurred over polar continental shelves, which are richly, but patchily, colonised by benthic animals. Most polar benthos feeds on microscopic algae (phytoplankton), which has shown increased blooms coincident with sea-ice losses. Here, growth responses of Antarctic shelf benthos to sea-ice losses and phytoplankton increases were investigated. Analysis of two decades of benthic collections showed strong increases in annual production of shelf seabed carbon in West Antarctic bryozoans. These were calculated to have nearly doubled to >2x10(5) tonnes of carbon per year since the 1980s. Annual production of bryozoans is median within wider Antarctic benthos, so upscaling to include other benthos (combined study species typically constitute ∼3% benthic biomass) suggests an increased drawdown of ∼2.9x10(6) tonnes of carbon per year. This drawdown could become sequestration because polar continental shelves are typically deeper than most modern iceberg scouring, bacterial breakdown rates are slow, and benthos is easily buried. To date, most sea-ice losses have been Arctic, so, if hyperboreal benthos shows a similar increase in drawdown, polar continental shelves would represent Earth's largest negative feedback to climate change. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Quantification of the Greenland ice sheet contribution to Last Interglacial sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. J. Stone

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During the Last Interglacial period (~ 130–115 thousand years ago the Arctic climate was warmer than today, and global mean sea level was probably more than 6.6 m higher. However, there are large discrepancies in the estimated contributions to this sea level change from various sources (the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and smaller ice caps. Here, we determine probabilistically the likely contribution of Greenland ice sheet melt to Last Interglacial sea level rise, taking into account ice sheet model parametric uncertainty. We perform an ensemble of 500 Glimmer ice sheet model simulations forced with climatologies from the climate model HadCM3, and constrain the results with palaeodata from Greenland ice cores. Our results suggest a 90% probability that Greenland ice melt contributed at least 0.6 m, but less than 10% probability that it exceeded 3.5 m, a value which is lower than several recent estimates. Many of these previous estimates, however, did not include a full general circulation climate model that can capture atmospheric circulation and precipitation changes in response to changes in insolation forcing and orographic height. Our combined modelling and palaeodata approach suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is less sensitive to orbital forcing than previously thought, and it implicates Antarctic melt as providing a substantial contribution to Last Interglacial sea level rise. Future work should assess additional uncertainty due to inclusion of basal sliding and the direct effect of insolation on surface melt. In addition, the effect of uncertainty arising from climate model structural design should be taken into account by performing a multi-climate-model comparison.

  11. A Detailed Geophysical Investigation of the Grounding of Henry Ice Rise, with Implications for Holocene Ice-Sheet Extent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearing, M.; Kingslake, J.

    2017-12-01

    It is generally assumed that since the Last Glacial Maximum the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has experienced monotonic retreat of the grounding line (GL). However, recent studies have cast doubt on this assumption, suggesting that the retreat of the WAIS grounding line may have been followed by a significant advance during the Holocene in the Weddell and Ross Sea sectors. Constraining this evolution is important as reconstructions of past ice-sheet extent are used to spin-up predictive ice-sheet models and correct mass-balance observations for glacial isostatic adjustment. Here we examine in detail the formation of the Henry Ice Rise (HIR), which ice-sheet model simulations suggest played a key role in Holocene ice-mass changes in the Weddell Sea sector. Observations from a high-resolution ground-based, ice-penetrating radar survey are best explained if the ice rise formed when the Ronne Ice Shelf grounded on a submarine high, underwent a period of ice-rumple flow, before the GL migrated outwards to form the present-day ice rise. We constrain the relative chronology of this evolution by comparing the alignment and intersection of isochronal internal layers, relic crevasses, surface features and investigating the dynamic processes leading to their complex structure. We also draw analogies between HIR and the neighbouring Doake Ice Rumples. The date of formation is estimated using vertical velocities derived with a phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (pRES). Ice-sheet models suggest that the formation of the HIR and other ice rises may have halted and reversed large-scale GL retreat. Hence the small-scale dynamics of these crucial regions could have wide-reaching consequences for future ice-sheet mass changes and constraining their formation and evolution further would be beneficial. One stringent test of our geophysics-based conclusions would be to drill to the bed of HIR to sample the ice for isotopic analysis and the bed for radiocarbon analysis.

  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. Modelling present-day basal melt rates for Antarctic ice shelves using a parametrization of buoyant meltwater plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazeroms, Werner M. J.; Jenkins, Adrian; Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.

    2018-01-01

    Basal melting below ice shelves is a major factor in mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which can contribute significantly to possible future sea-level rise. Therefore, it is important to have an adequate description of the basal melt rates for use in ice-dynamical models. Most current ice models use rather simple parametrizations based on the local balance of heat between ice and ocean. In this work, however, we use a recently derived parametrization of the melt rates based on a buoyant meltwater plume travelling upward beneath an ice shelf. This plume parametrization combines a non-linear ocean temperature sensitivity with an inherent geometry dependence, which is mainly described by the grounding-line depth and the local slope of the ice-shelf base. For the first time, this type of parametrization is evaluated on a two-dimensional grid covering the entire Antarctic continent. In order to apply the essentially one-dimensional parametrization to realistic ice-shelf geometries, we present an algorithm that determines effective values for the grounding-line depth and basal slope in any point beneath an ice shelf. Furthermore, since detailed knowledge of temperatures and circulation patterns in the ice-shelf cavities is sparse or absent, we construct an effective ocean temperature field from observational data with the purpose of matching (area-averaged) melt rates from the model with observed present-day melt rates. Our results qualitatively replicate large-scale observed features in basal melt rates around Antarctica, not only in terms of average values, but also in terms of the spatial pattern, with high melt rates typically occurring near the grounding line. The plume parametrization and the effective temperature field presented here are therefore promising tools for future simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet requiring a more realistic oceanic forcing.

  14. Atmospheric Influences on the Anomalous 2016 Antarctic Sea Ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, M. N.; Schlosser, E.; Haumann, A.

    2017-12-01

    Over the past three decades, a small but significant increase in sea ice extent (SIE) has been observed in the Antarctic. However, in 2016 there was a surprisingly early onset of the melt season. The maximum Antarctic SIE was reached in August rather than end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decline of the sea ice area (SIA) started even earlier, in July. The retreat of the ice was particularly large in November where Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1981-2010 average) of almost 2 Mio. km2, which, combined with reduced Arctic SIE, led to a distinct minimum in global SIE. And, satellite observations show that from November 2016 to February 2017, the daily Antarctic SIE has been at record low levels. We use sea level pressure and geopotential height data from the ECMWF- Interim reanalysis, in conjunction with sea ice data obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), to investigate possible atmospheric influences on the observed phenomena. Indications are that both the onset of the melt in July and the rapid decrease in SIA and SIE in November were triggered by atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive Zonal Wave 3 index, i.e. synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow. Additionally the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. It is likely that the SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. Positive feedback effects led to accelerated melt and consequently to the extraordinary low November SIE.

  15. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shfaqat A; Aschwanden, Andy; Bjørk, Anders A; Wahr, John; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Kjær, Kurt H

    2015-04-01

    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 and to ice discharge, which are forced by internal or external (atmospheric/oceanic/basal) fluctuations. Regardless of the measurement method, observations over the last two decades show an increase in ice loss rate, associated with speeding up of glaciers and enhanced melting. However, both ice discharge and melt-induced mass losses exhibit rapid short-term fluctuations that, when extrapolated into the future, could yield erroneous long-term trends. In this paper we review the GrIS mass loss over more than a century by combining satellite altimetry, airborne altimetry, interferometry, aerial photographs and gravimetry data sets together with modelling studies. We revisit the mass loss of different sectors and show that they manifest quite different sensitivities to atmospheric and oceanic forcing. In addition, we discuss recent progress in constructing coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere models required to project realistic future sea-level changes.

  16. Atmospheric influences on the anomalous 2016 Antarctic sea ice decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth; Haumann, F. Alexander; Raphael, Marilyn N.

    2018-03-01

    In contrast to the Arctic, where total sea ice extent (SIE) has been decreasing for the last three decades, Antarctic SIE has shown a small, but significant, increase during the same time period. However, in 2016, an unusually early onset of the melt season was observed; the maximum Antarctic SIE was already reached as early as August rather than the end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decay was particularly strong in November, when Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1979-2015 average) of approximately 2 million km2. ECMWF Interim reanalysis data showed that the early onset of the melt and the rapid decrease in sea ice area (SIA) and SIE were associated with atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive zonal wave number three (ZW3) index, i.e., synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow and anomalously strong southward heat advection in the regions of strongest sea ice decline. A persistently positive ZW3 index from May to August suggests that SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. In particular, in the first third of November northerly flow conditions in the Weddell Sea and the Western Pacific triggered accelerated sea ice decay, which was continued in the following weeks due to positive feedback effects, leading to the unusually low November SIE. In 2016, the monthly mean Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. A better spatial and temporal coverage of reliable ice thickness data is needed to assess the change in ice mass rather than ice area.

  17. Deglaciation of the Eurasian ice sheet complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Hubbard, Alun; Andreassen, Karin; Auriac, Amandine; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Shackleton, Calvin; Winsborrow, Monica; Heyman, Jakob; Hall, Adrian M.

    2017-08-01

    The Eurasian ice sheet complex (EISC) was the third largest ice mass during the Last Glacial Maximum with a span of over 4500 km and responsible for around 20 m of eustatic sea-level lowering. Whilst recent terrestrial and marine empirical insights have improved understanding of the chronology, pattern and rates of retreat of this vast ice sheet, a concerted attempt to model the deglaciation of the EISC honouring these new constraints is conspicuously lacking. Here, we apply a first-order, thermomechanical ice sheet model, validated against a diverse suite of empirical data, to investigate the retreat of the EISC after 23 ka BP, directly extending the work of Patton et al. (2016) who modelled the build-up to its maximum extent. Retreat of the ice sheet complex was highly asynchronous, reflecting contrasting regional sensitivities to climate forcing, oceanic influence, and internal dynamics. Most rapid retreat was experienced across the Barents Sea sector after 17.8 ka BP when this marine-based ice sheet disintegrated at a rate of ∼670 gigatonnes per year (Gt a-1) through enhanced calving and interior dynamic thinning, driven by oceanic/atmospheric warming and exacerbated by eustatic sea-level rise. From 14.9 to 12.9 ka BP the EISC lost on average 750 Gt a-1, peaking at rates >3000 Gt a-1, roughly equally partitioned between surface melt and dynamic losses, and potentially contributing up to 2.5 m to global sea-level rise during Meltwater Pulse 1A. Independent glacio-isostatic modelling constrained by an extensive inventory of relative sea-level change corroborates our ice sheet loading history of the Barents Sea sector. Subglacial conditions were predominately temperate during deglaciation, with over 6000 subglacial lakes predicted along with an extensive subglacial drainage network. Moreover, the maximum EISC and its isostatic footprint had a profound impact on the proglacial hydrological network, forming the Fleuve Manche mega-catchment which had an area of

  18. Modelling the Early Weichselian Eurasian Ice Sheets: role of ice shelves and influence of ice-dammed lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Peyaud

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available During the last glaciation, a marine ice sheet repeatedly appeared in Eurasia. The floating part of this ice sheet was essential to its rapid extension over the seas. During the earliest stage (90 kyr BP, large ice-dammed lakes formed south of the ice sheet. These lakes are believed to have cooled the climate at the margin of the ice. Using an ice sheet model, we investigated the role of ice shelves during the inception and the influence of ice-dammed lakes on the ice sheet evolution. Inception in Barents sea seems due to thickening of a large ice shelf. We observe a substantial impact of the lakes on the evolution of the ice sheets. Reduced summer ablation enhances ice extent and thickness, and the deglaciation is delayed by 2000 years.

  19. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jasmine R; Raymond, Ben; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A; Shaw, Justine D; Terauds, Aleks

    2017-07-06

    Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity occurs almost exclusively in ice-free areas that cover less than 1% of the continent. Climate change will alter the extent and configuration of ice-free areas, yet the distribution and severity of these effects remain unclear. Here we quantify the impact of twenty-first century climate change on ice-free areas under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate forcing scenarios using temperature-index melt modelling. Under the strongest forcing scenario, ice-free areas could expand by over 17,000 km 2 by the end of the century, close to a 25% increase. Most of this expansion will occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, where a threefold increase in ice-free area could drastically change the availability and connectivity of biodiversity habitat. Isolated ice-free areas will coalesce, and while the effects on biodiversity are uncertain, we hypothesize that they could eventually lead to increasing regional-scale biotic homogenization, the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.

  20. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jasmine R.; Raymond, Ben; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A.; Shaw, Justine D.; Terauds, Aleks

    2017-07-01

    Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity occurs almost exclusively in ice-free areas that cover less than 1% of the continent. Climate change will alter the extent and configuration of ice-free areas, yet the distribution and severity of these effects remain unclear. Here we quantify the impact of twenty-first century climate change on ice-free areas under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate forcing scenarios using temperature-index melt modelling. Under the strongest forcing scenario, ice-free areas could expand by over 17,000 km2 by the end of the century, close to a 25% increase. Most of this expansion will occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, where a threefold increase in ice-free area could drastically change the availability and connectivity of biodiversity habitat. Isolated ice-free areas will coalesce, and while the effects on biodiversity are uncertain, we hypothesize that they could eventually lead to increasing regional-scale biotic homogenization, the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. A global, high-resolution data set of ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Arndt, Jan Erik; Savstrup Kristensen, Steen; Mayer, Christoph; Morlighem, Mathieu; Steinhage, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the polar ice sheets by interacting with the ice shelves in Antarctica and with the marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland. Given that the flux of warm water onto the continental shelf and into the sub-ice cavities is steered by complex bathymetry, a detailed topography data set is an essential ingredient for models that address ice-ocean interaction. We followed the spirit of the global RTopo-1 data set and compiled consistent maps of global ocean bathymetry, upper and lower ice surface topographies, and global surface height on a spherical grid with now 30 arcsec grid spacing. For this new data set, called RTopo-2, we used the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO_2014) as the backbone and added the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean version 3 (IBCAOv3) and the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. While RTopo-1 primarily aimed at a good and consistent representation of the Antarctic ice sheet, ice shelves, and sub-ice cavities, RTopo-2 now also contains ice topographies of the Greenland ice sheet and outlet glaciers. In particular, we aimed at a good representation of the fjord and shelf bathymetry surrounding the Greenland continent. We modified data from earlier gridded products in the areas of Petermann Glacier, Hagen Bræ, and Sermilik Fjord, assuming that sub-ice and fjord bathymetries roughly follow plausible Last Glacial Maximum ice flow patterns. For the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the floating ice tongue of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier at about 79° N, we incorporated a high-resolution digital bathymetry model considering original multibeam survey data for the region. Radar data for surface topographies of the floating ice tongues of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and Zachariæ Isstrøm have been obtained from the data centres of Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Operation Icebridge (NASA

  4. Southern Ocean warming and Wilkes Land ice sheet retreat during the mid-Miocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangiorgi, Francesca; Bijl, Peter K; Passchier, Sandra; Salzmann, Ulrich; Schouten, Stefan; McKay, Robert; Cody, Rosemary D; Pross, Jörg; van de Flierdt, Tina; Bohaty, Steven M; Levy, Richard; Williams, Trevor; Escutia, Carlota; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2018-01-22

    Observations and model experiments highlight the importance of ocean heat in forcing ice sheet retreat during the present and geological past, but past ocean temperature data are virtually missing in ice sheet proximal locations. Here we document paleoceanographic conditions and the (in)stability of the Wilkes Land subglacial basin (East Antarctica) during the mid-Miocene (~17-13.4 million years ago) by studying sediment cores from offshore Adélie Coast. Inland retreat of the ice sheet, temperate vegetation, and warm oligotrophic waters characterise the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MCO; 17-14.8 Ma). After the MCO, expansion of a marine-based ice sheet occurs, but remains sensitive to melting upon episodic warm water incursions. Our results suggest that the mid-Miocene latitudinal temperature gradient across the Southern Ocean never resembled that of the present day. We demonstrate that a strong coupling of oceanic climate and Antarctic continental conditions existed and that the East Antarctic subglacial basins were highly sensitive to ocean warming.

  5. Coupled regional climate-ice-sheet simulation shows limited Greenland ice loss during the Eemian

    OpenAIRE

    Helsen, M. M.; van de Berg, W. J.; van de Wal, R. S. W.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Oerlemans, J.

    2013-01-01

    During the last interglacial period (Eemian, 130–115 kyr BP) eustatic global sea level likely peaked at > 6 m above the present-day level, but estimates of the contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet vary widely. Here we use an asynchronously two-way-coupled regional climate–ice-sheet model, which includes physically realistic feedbacks between the changing ice sheet topography and climate forcing. Our simulation results in a contribution from the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ...

  6. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boulton, G. S.; Zatsepin, S.; Maillot, B.

    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

  7. US International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) Glaciochemical Data, Version 2

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains sub-annually resolved ice core chemistry data from various sites on the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the US International Trans-Antarctic...

  8. Recent Climate and Ice-Sheet Changes in West Antarctica Compared with the Past 2,000 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steig, Eric J.; Ding, Qinghua; White, James W.; Kuttel, Marcel; Rupper, Summer B.; Neumann, Thomas Allen; Neff, Peter D.; Gallant, Ailie J. E.; Mayewski, Paul A.; Taylor, Kendrick C.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Changes in atmospheric circulation over the past five decades have enhanced the wind-driven inflow of warm ocean water onto the Antarctic continental shelf, where it melts ice shelves from below1-3. Atmospheric circulation changes have also caused rapid warming4 over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and contributed to declining sea-ice cover in the adjacent Amundsen-Bellingshausen seas5. It is unknown whether these changes are part of a longer-term trend. Here, we use waterisotope (Delta O-18) data from an array of ice-core records to place recent West Antarctic climate changes in the context of the past two millennia. We find that the d18O of West Antarctic precipitation has increased significantly in the past 50 years, in parallel with the trend in temperature, and was probably more elevated during the 1990s than at any other time during the past 200 years. However, Delta O-18 anomalies comparable to those of recent decades occur about 1% of the time over the past 2,000 years. General circulation model simulations suggest that recent trends in Delta O-18 and climate in West Antarctica cannot be distinguished from decadal variability that originates in the tropics. We conclude that the uncertain trajectory of tropical climate variability represents a significant source of uncertainty in projections of West Antarctic climate and ice-sheet change.

  9. An Ice Sheet Model Validation Framework for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Stephen F.; Hoffman, Matthew J.; Bonin, Jennifer A.; Howat, Ian M.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Saba, Jack; Tezaur, Irina; Guerber, Jeffrey R.; Chambers, Don P.; Evans, Katherine J.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We propose a new ice sheet model validation framework - the Cryospheric Model Comparison Tool (CmCt) - that takes advantage of ice sheet altimetry and gravimetry observations collected over the past several decades and is applied here to modeling of the Greenland ice sheet. We use realistic simulations performed with the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM) along with two idealized, non-dynamic models to demonstrate the framework and its use. Dynamic simulations with CISM are forced from 1991 to 2013, using combinations of reanalysis-based surface mass balance and observations of outlet glacier flux change. We propose and demonstrate qualitative and quantitative metrics for use in evaluating the different model simulations against the observations. We find that the altimetry observations used here are largely ambiguous in terms of their ability to distinguish one simulation from another. Based on basin-scale and whole-ice-sheet-scale metrics, we find that simulations using both idealized conceptual models and dynamic, numerical models provide an equally reasonable representation of the ice sheet surface (mean elevation differences of less than 1 meter). This is likely due to their short period of record, biases inherent to digital elevation models used for model initial conditions, and biases resulting from firn dynamics, which are not explicitly accounted for in the models or observations. On the other hand, we find that the gravimetry observations used here are able to unambiguously distinguish between simulations of varying complexity, and along with the CmCt, can provide a quantitative score for assessing a particular model and/or simulation. The new framework demonstrates that our proposed metrics can distinguish relatively better from relatively worse simulations and that dynamic ice sheet models, when appropriately initialized and forced with the right boundary conditions, demonstrate a predictive skill with respect to observed dynamic changes that have occurred

  10. 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...

  11. Response to Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf Cavity Warming in a Coupled Ocean-Ice Sheet Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, S.; Timmermann, R.

    2017-12-01

    The ice flow at the margins of the mostly marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is moderated by large ice shelves. Their buttressing effect significantly controls the mass balance of the WAIS and thus its contribution to global sea level rise. The stability of these ice shelves results from the balance of surface accumulation, ice flow from the adjacent ice sheet, calving and basal melting or freezing due to the ocean heat flux. We developed the Regional Antarctic and Global Ocean model RAnGO to study the above interactions between the world ocean and the WAIS, focussing on the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (FRIS) in this study. RAnGO is composed of the global Finite Element Sea ice Ocean Model (FESOM) and the three-dimensional thermomechanical finite difference ice flow model RIMBAY, where the ice flow model RIMBAY provides the ocean model FESOM with the geometry of the FRIS sub-shelf cavity and receives basal melting or freezing rates in return. Following a complex model spin-up, we investigate the impact of the A1B warming scenario on the dynamics and mass balance of the WAIS for the next 200 years. In this scenario, model results indicate a possible redirection of a warm coastal current into the Filchner Trough and thus underneath the FRIS by the end of this century. As a consequence, our coupled modeling approach reveals not only a substantial thinning of the ice shelf but also a considerable impact on the adjacent grounded ice. In a comprehensive analysis, we compare coupled and uncoupled model runs for a 20th century forcing and the A1B warming scenario. Thus, we are able to isolate the gain of the coupling and the effects of global warming. Our findings reveal a future grounding line retreat underneath Institute, Foundation and Support Force Ice Stream, whereas the grounding line positions at other regions of the FRIS remain stable. In particular, model results indicate an accelerated future ice flow within Institute and Support Force Ice Stream as an

  12. Ice matters. Arctic and Antarctic under-ice communities linking sea ice with the pelagic food web

    OpenAIRE

    Flores, Hauke; van Franeker, Jan Andries; Lange, Benjamin; Siegel, Volker; Kruse, Svenja; Hunt, Brian; Pakhomov, E. A.

    2013-01-01

    In both Polar Regions, sea ice environments are undergoing rapid environmental change. Because sea ice constitutes an important habitat for numerous species, as well as an important carbon source during critical periods of the year, these changes impact significantly on ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, species distribution and population sizes, including commercially exploited fish stocks. Species dwelling at the ice-water interface (e.g. Antarctic krill and Arctic cod) play a key role in...

  13. Impacts of freshwater changes on Antarctic sea ice in an eddy-permitting sea-ice–ocean model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Haid

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In a warming climate, satellite data indicate that the sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased over the last decades. One of the suggested explanations is the stabilizing effect of increased mass loss of the Antarctic ice sheet. Here, we investigate the sea ice response to changes in both the amount and the spatial distribution of freshwater input to the ocean by comparing a set of numerical sensitivity simulations with additional supply of water at the Antarctic ocean surface. We analyze the short-term response of the sea ice cover and the on-shelf water column to variations in the amount and distribution of the prescribed surface freshwater flux.Our results confirm that enhancing the freshwater input can increase the sea ice extent. Our experiments show a negative development of the sea ice extent only for extreme freshwater additions. We find that the spatial distribution of freshwater is of great influence on sea ice concentration and thickness as it affects sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics. For strong regional contrasts in the freshwater addition the dynamic response dominates the local change in sea ice, which generally opposes the thermodynamic response. Furthermore, we find that additional coastal runoff generally leads to fresher and warmer dense shelf waters.

  14. The role of feedbacks in Antarctic sea ice change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, D. L.; Frew, R. C.; Holland, P.

    2017-12-01

    The changes in Antarctic sea ice over the last thirty years have a strong seasonal dependence, and the way these changes grow in spring and decay in autumn suggests that feedbacks are strongly involved. The changes may ultimately be caused by atmospheric warming, the winds, snowfall changes, etc., but we cannot understand these forcings without first untangling the feedbacks. A highly simplified coupled sea ice -mixed layer model has been developed to investigate the importance of feedbacks on the evolution of sea ice in two contrasting regions in the Southern Ocean; the Amundsen Sea where sea ice extent has been decreasing, and the Weddell Sea where it has been expanding. The change in mixed layer depth in response to changes in the atmosphere to ocean energy flux is implicit in a strong negative feedback on ice cover changes in the Amundsen Sea, with atmospheric cooling leading to a deeper mixed layer resulting in greater entrainment of warm Circumpolar Deep Water, causing increased basal melting of sea ice. This strong negative feedback produces counter intuitive responses to changes in forcings in the Amundsen Sea. This feedback is absent in the Weddell due to the complete destratification and strong water column cooling that occurs each winter in simulations. The impact of other feedbacks, including the albedo feedback, changes in insulation due to ice thickness and changes in the freezing temperature of the mixed layer, were found to be of secondary importance compared to changes in the mixed layer depth.

  15. 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

    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...... superimposed by cold and warm excursions. The modelling results show that no ice initiates in the case of the low-lying and almost flat topography prior to the uplifts. However, the results demonstrate a significant ice sheet growth in response to the orographically induced increase in precipitation...... sheet by providing anchoring points which are not available to the same extent in the lower topographies. However, the results also reveal a Föhn effect that inhibits ice sheet expansion into the interior Greenland and thus shifts the threshold of formation of inland ice towards colder temperatures...

  16. Importance of Nisar Mission for Ice Sheet Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E. J.; Scheuchl, B.; Mouginot, J.; Morlighem, M.

    2014-12-01

    This presentation addresses how the synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite mission under discussion between NASA and ISRO - entitled NISAR - will help us better understand and project the evolution of ice sheets and glaciers in a changing climate. NISAR is a dedicated L-band interferometry mission that will document changes in ice flow dynamics, grounding line positions and other critical boundaries over the lifetime of its mission. Changes in ice sheet dynamics represent by far the largest uncertainty in sea level projections. NISAR will better constrain critical boundaries of ice sheets at the base (basal friction) and at the seaward margins (ice melt rate) by providing the first set of continuous, systematic and comprehensive observations of ice sheet dynamics that will help us better understand ice sheets and glaciers and enable massive data assimilation in numerical ice sheet models. NISAR will contribute observations of areas of irreversible retreat taking place in Greenland and Antarctica, provide detailed time series of glacier velocities throughout entire seasonal cycles, document grounding line dynamics on weekly time scales, enable estimations of temporal and spatial changes in basal friction during glacial retreat; it will also in combination with other data help us map the bed topography of entire ice sheets at a high spatial resolution, document changes in ice shelf melt rate around the periphery of the continents, and provide a first systematic 3D vector mapping of ice velocity. NISAR will constitute a much needed warning system for ice sheet and ice shelf changes, it will document fundamental processes poorly observed in the past (e.g. calving, ice shelf melt, grounding line dynamics) and enable robust data assimilation to play a critical role in reducing uncertainties of coupled numerical models of ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions. This work was performed at UCI and JPL under a contract with NASA.

  17. A one stop website for sharing sea ice, ocean and ice sheet data over the polar regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z.; Cheng, X.; Liu, J.; Hui, F.; Ding, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The polar regions, including the Arctic and Antarctic, are changing rapidly. Our capabilities to remotely monitor the state of the polar regions are increasing greatly. Satellite and airborne technologies have been deployed and further improvements are underway. Meanwhile, various algorithms have been developed to retrieve important parameters to maximize the effectiveness of available remote sensing data. These technologies and algorithms promise to greatly increase our understanding of variations in sea ice, ocean and ice sheet. However, so much information is scattered out there. It is challenging to find exactly what you are looking for by just searching it through the network. Therefore, we try to establish a common platform to sharing some key parameters for the polar regions. A group of scientists from Beijing Normal University and University at Albany developed a website as a "one-stop shop" for the current state of the polar regions. The website provides real-time (or near real-time) key parameters derived from a variety of operational satellites in an understandable, accessible and credible way. Three types of parameter, which are sea ice, ocean and ice sheet respectively, are shown and available to be downloaded in the website. Several individual parameters are contained in a specific type of parameter. The parameters of sea ice include sea ice concentration, sea ice thickness, melt pond, sea ice leads and sea ice drift. The ocean parameters contain sea surface temperature and sea surface wind. Ice sheet balance, ice velocity and some other parameters are classified into the type of ice sheet parameter. Some parameters are well-calibrated and available to be obtained from other websites, such as sea ice concentration, sea ice thickness sea surface temperature. Since these parameters are retrieved from different sensors, such as SSMI, AMSR2 etc., data format, spatial resolution of the parameters are not unified. We collected and reprocessed these

  18. ICESat-Derived Grounding Zone for Antarctic Ice Shelves, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes estimates of the location of the grounding zone of Antarctic ice shelves based on laser altimeter data acquired during the Ice, Cloud, and...

  19. Using the glacial geomorphology of palaeo-ice streams to understand mechanisms of ice sheet collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Chris R.; Margold, Martin; Clark, Chris; Tarasov, Lev

    2017-04-01

    Processes which bring about ice sheet deglaciation are critical to our understanding of glacial-interglacial cycles and ice sheet sensitivity to climate change. The precise mechanisms of deglaciation are also relevant to our understanding of modern-day ice sheet stability and concerns over global sea level rise. Mass loss from ice sheets can be broadly partitioned between melting and a 'dynamic' component whereby rapidly-flowing ice streams/outlet glaciers transfer ice from the interior to the oceans. Surface and basal melting (e.g. of ice shelves) are closely linked to atmospheric and oceanic conditions, but the mechanisms that drive dynamic changes in ice stream discharge are more complex, which generates much larger uncertainties about their future contribution to ice sheet mass loss and sea level rise. A major problem is that observations of modern-day ice streams typically span just a few decades and, at the ice-sheet scale, it is unclear how the entire drainage network of ice streams evolves during deglaciation. A key question is whether ice streams might increase and sustain rates of mass loss over centuries or millennia, beyond those expected for a given ocean-climate forcing. To address this issue, numerous workers have sought to understand ice stream dynamics over longer time-scales using their glacial geomorphology in the palaeo-record. Indeed, our understanding of their geomorphology has grown rapidly in the last three decades, from almost complete ignorance to a detailed knowledge of their geomorphological products. Building on this body of work, this paper uses the glacial geomorphology of 117 ice streams in the North American Laurentide Ice Sheet to reconstruct their activity during its deglaciation ( 22,000 to 7,000 years ago). Ice stream activity was characterised by high variability in both time and space, with ice streams switching on and off in different locations. During deglaciation, we find that their overall number decreased, they occupied a

  20. Accelerated ice-sheet mass loss in Antarctica from 18-year satellite laser ranging measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuanggen Jin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Accurate estimate of the ice-sheet mass balance in Antarctic is very difficult due to complex ice sheet condition and sparse in situ measurements. In this paper, the low-degree gravity field coefficients of up to degree and order 5 derived from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR measurements are used to determine the ice mass variations in Antarctica for the period 1993–2011. Results show that the ice mass is losing with -36±13 Gt/y in Antarctica, -42±11 Gt/y in the West Antarctica and 6±10 Gt/y in the East Antarctica from 1993 to 2011. The ice mass variations from the SLR 5×5 have a good agreement with the GRACE 5×5, GRACE 5×5 (1&2 and GRACE (60×60 for the entire continent since 2003, but degree 5 from SLR is not sufficient to quantify ice losses in West and East Antarctica, respectively. The rate of ice loss in Antarctica is -28±17 Gt/y for 1993-2002 and -55±17 Gt/y for 2003-2011, indicating significant accelerated ice mass losses since 2003. Furthermore, the results from SLR are comparable with GRACE measurements.

  1. STS-48 ESC Earth observation of ice pack, Antarctic Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    STS-48 Earth observation taken aboard Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, is of the breakup of pack ice along the periphery of the Antarctic Ice Shelf. Strong offshore winds, probably associated with katabatic downdrafts from the interior of the continent, are seen peeling off the edges of the ice shelf into long filaments of sea ice, icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers to flow northward into the South Atlantic Ocean. These photos are used to study ocean wind, tide and current patterns. Similar views photographed during previous missions, when analyzed with these recent views may yield information about regional ice drift and breakup of ice packs. The image was captured using an electronic still camera (ESC), was stored on a removable hard disk or small optical disk, and was converted to a format suitable for downlink transmission. The ESC documentation was part of Development Test Objective (DTO) 648, Electronic Still Photography.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Greenland Ice Sheet flow response to runoff variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevens, Laura A.; Behn, Mark D.; Das, Sarah B.; Joughin, Ian; Noël, Brice P Y; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Herring, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    We use observations of ice sheet surface motion from a Global Positioning System network operating from 2006 to 2014 around North Lake in west Greenland to investigate the dynamical response of the Greenland Ice Sheet's ablation area to interannual variability in surface melting. We find no

  5. Microparticle, Conductivity, and Density Measurements from the WAIS Divide Deep Ice Core, Antarctica, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes microparticle concentration, electrical conductivity, and density measurements from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide deep ice core,...

  6. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic atmospheric responses to future sea-ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, M.; Polvani, L. M.; Sun, L.

    2017-12-01

    By the end of this century, the annual mean Antarctic sea ice area is projected to decline by over a third, an amount similar to that in the Arctic, but the effect of Antarctic sea ice loss on the atmosphere remains largely unexplored. Using the Community Earth Systems Model (CESM) Whole Atmosphere Coupled Climate Model (WACCM), we investigate the effect of future Antarctic sea ice loss, and contrast it with its Arctic counterpart. This is accomplished by analyzing integrations of the model with historic and future sea ice levels, using the RCP8.5 scenario. This allows us to disentangle the effect of future sea ice loss on the atmosphere from other aspects of the coupled system. We find that both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice loss act to shift the tropospheric jet equatorwards, counteracting the poleward shift due to increases in greenhouse gases. Although the total forcing to the atmosphere is similar in both hemispheres, the response to Arctic sea ice loss is larger in amplitude and but more seasonally varying, while the response in the Antarctic persists throughout the year but with a smaller amplitude. Furthermore, the atmospheric temperature response over the Antarctic is trapped closer to the surface than in the Arctic, and perhaps surprisingly, we find that the surface temperature response to Antarctic sea ice loss is unable to penetrate the Antarctic continent.

  7. Understanding Recent Mass Balance Changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanderVeen, Cornelius

    2003-01-01

    The ultimate goal of this project is to better understand the current transfer of mass between the Greenland Ice Sheet, the world's oceans and the atmosphere, and to identify processes controlling the rate of this transfer, to be able to predict with greater confidence future contributions to global sea level rise. During the first year of this project, we focused on establishing longer-term records of change of selected outlet glaciers, reevaluation of mass input to the ice sheet and analysis of climate records derived from ice cores, and modeling meltwater production and runoff from the margins of the ice sheet.

  8. Antarctic sea ice variability using NASA team algorithm data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Compagnucci, R.

    Sea ice is an important, highly variable feature of the Earth's surface, both reflecting and influencing climatic conditions. Sea ice covers approximately 7 percent of the world oceans, significantly reduces the amount of solar radiation absorbed at the Earth's surface, greatly restricts the transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere in winter, and influences global atmospheric and oceanic circulation. In this paper, monthly through interannual variability of the sea ice between 0 and 120W is analysed for the 22-year period 1979 through 2000. The monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations data set derived from the Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's (DMSP) DMSP-F8, F11 and F13, Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) generated by NASA team algorithm were used. This data were acquired from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and are gridded on the SSM/I polar stereographic grid (25 x 25 km) provided in two-byte integer format. Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode was performed on pre-processed sea ice data (anomalies from which have been removed continent and perennial open water), in order to investigate which are the main space patterns, when do they present and how they are coupled to different atmospheric variables. This analysis provide 12 patterns (6 in direct mode and 6 in inverse mode) that represent the most important spatial features that dominate sea ice variability in the Weddell, Amudsen and Bellinghausen Seas. These 12 patterns, or their combinations, describe completely the behavior of the 264 month means sea ice concentration anomalies of the record we used of the selected Antarctic region.

  9. Pre-LGM Northern Hemisphere ice sheet topography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Kleman

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 calculate ice sheet thickness and topography. The approach and ice sheet modeling strategy is designed to provide robust data sets of sufficient resolution for atmospheric circulation experiments for these previously elusive time periods. Two tunable parameters, a temperature scaling function applied to a spliced Vostok–GRIP record, and spatial adjustment of the climatic pole position, were employed iteratively to achieve a good fit to geological constraints where such were available. The model credibly reproduces the first-order pattern of size and location of geologically indicated ice sheets during marine isotope stages (MIS 5b (86.2 kyr model age and 4 (64 kyr model age. From the interglacial state of two north–south obstacles to atmospheric circulation (Rocky Mountains and Greenland, by MIS 5b the emergence of combined Quebec–central Arctic and Scandinavian–Barents-Kara ice sheets had increased the number of such highland obstacles to four. The number of major ice sheets remained constant through MIS 4, but the merging of the Cordilleran and the proto-Laurentide Ice Sheet produced a single continent-wide North American ice sheet at the LGM.

  10. A geoelectrical survey above an Antarctic ice shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pavan

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available A geoelectrical survey was performed on the Hells Gate ice shelf (Victoria Land-Antarctic within the framework of an integrated geophysical and glaciological research program. The resistivity profiles show a similar trend, with resistivity values ranging from about 25000 W · m to 500000 W · m. These results have been interpreted as the effect of a sharp transition from "marine ice" to "continental" ice an interpretation that is consistent with the results of surface mapping. Interpreting the Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES is a complex process. In fact, the alternating layers of ice with different compositions and salt content generate great uncertainty relative to the corresponding electric stratigraphies. To solve these problems of equivalency, all the available constraints were used including the drilling thickness, seismic reflection profiles as well as radar profiles. The results were used to provide what is mainly a qualitative overview that is coherent with the glaciological hypotheses relative to the evolution and structure proposed by some researchers for this ice shelf.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Csatho, Beata M.; Schenk, Anton F.; van der Veen, Cornelis J.; Babonis, Gregory; Duncan, Kyle; Rezvanbehbahani, Soroush; van den Broeke, Michiel R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Nagarajan, Sudhagar; van Angelen, Jan H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470

    2014-01-01

    We present a new record of ice thickness change, reconstructed at nearly 100,000 sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from laser altimetry measurements spanning the period 1993-2012, partitioned into changes due to surface mass balance (SMB) and ice dynamics. We estimate a mean annual GrIS mass

  12. Interactive Ice Sheet Flowline Model for High School and College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, L. A.; Rezvanbehbahani, S.; Shankar, S.

    2017-12-01

    Teaching about climate and climate change is conceptually challenging. While teaching tools and lesson plans are rapidly evolving to help teachers and students improve their understanding of climate processes, there are very few tools targeting ice sheet and glacier dynamics. We have built an interactive ice sheet model that allows students to explore how Antarctic glaciers respond to different climate perturbations. Interactive models offer advantages that are hard to obtain in traditional classroom settings; users can systematically investigate hypothetical situations, explore the effects of modifying systems, and repeatedly observe how systems interrelate. As a result, this project provides a much-needed bridge between the data and models used by the scientific community and students in high school and college. We target our instructional and assessment activities to three high school and college students with the overall aim of increasing understanding of ice sheet dynamics and the different ways that ice sheets are impacted by climate change, while also improving their fundamental math skills.

  13. Progress on Antarctic Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and GRACE constraints on ice loss (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; James, T. S.; Wahr, J. M.; Schrama, E. J.; Simon, K. M.; Landerer, F. W.; Watkins, M. M.; Wiese, D. N.

    2013-12-01

    Preparations for the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change: Assessment Report 5 (IPCC AR5) has placed pressure on various research groups to accelerate the pace of their work in order to meet the Report deadlines. While this stimulates both positive and negative bi-products, it helped to focus attention to irreconcilable mass balance determinations for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) using space and airborne data. A glaring ';sore-thumb' for determining AIS trends from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data is the large signal of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) that is poorly constrained and possibly of the same magnitude as the present-day mass change. The report published in Science (vol. 338, pp. 1183-89) by S13 [Shepherd et al. 2013] met this challenge head-on by investing heavily in improving the GIA models with new GPS data, and new chronological constraints on ice sheet evolution across the Antarctic continent. This new data has emerged only within the last five years, and it came at a fortuitous time for advancing the IPCC AR5 goals. In this presentation we speak to the improvements developed in a recent JGR Solid Earth publication (14 June 2013). We extend the analysis using all of the official 05 releases of the analysis centers, including the JPL-mascon fields. The total error budgets of GIA correction are poorly determined, in spite of the great model improvements witnessed in the past 5 years. S12 reported the uncertainty for space-based sea level sourcing during 1992-2011 to Antarctica at roughly 0.23 mm/yr. Although GRACE 2002-2013 estimates vary, the uncertainly is about half this value. Here we examine how much of that uncertainty is still caused by GIA models and discuss how new classes of GIA models, and the collection of yet new GPS and ice constraint data for Antarctica, will enhance the value of a GRACE Follow-On mission. However, there will be a limit to constraining GIA, and a limit, therefore, to GIA error due to

  14. Modeling the Fracture of Ice Sheets on Parallel Computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waisman, Haim [Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States); Tuminaro, Ray [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    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.

  15. The extent and timing of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet offshore of west Ireland-preliminary findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Jared; Benetti, Sara; Dunlop, Paul; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.

    2014-05-01

    Recently interpreted marine geophysical data from the western Irish shelf has provided the first direct evidence that the last British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) extended westwards onto the Irish continental shelf as a grounded ice mass composed of several lobes with marine-terminating margins. Marine terminating ice margins are known to be sensitive to external forcing mechanisms and currently there is concern regarding the future stability of marine based ice sheets, such as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, in a warming world. Given its position, the glaciated western Irish continental shelf is a prime location to investigate the processes of how marine-based ice sheets responded to past climatic and oceanic events, which may in turn help us better predict the future trajectory of the marine sectors of modern Ice Sheets. However, despite the potential importance of the former Irish ice margin to our understanding of ice sheet behaviour, the timing and nature of its advance and retreat is currently poorly understood. This study aims to describe the depositional history of the last BIIS on the continental shelf west of Ireland and age-constrain the rate of retreat of two ice lobes that extended from Galway Bay and Clew Bay. This is being accomplished through a multifaceted analysis of at least 29 sediment cores gathered across the continental shelf offshore of counties Galway and Mayo, Ireland. This poster shows results from initial sedimentological descriptions of cores from the mid to outer shelf, which support previous geomorphic interpretations of BIIS history. Preliminary palaeoenvironmental results from ongoing micropaleontological analyses are also discussed and provide new data that verifies sedimentary interpretations on ice proximity. Finally, results from several radiocarbon dates are discussed, which limit these deposits to the last glacial maximum and constrain the timings of ice advance and retreat on the continental shelf west of Ireland.

  16. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Katrin; Brown, Thomas A.; Belt, Simon T.; Ireland, Louise C.; Taylor, Kyle W. R.; Thorpe, Sally E.; Ward, Peter; Atkinson, Angus

    2018-04-01

    Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ) for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated) for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January-February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C = -12.5 ± 3.3 ‰) occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C = -42.2 ± 2.4 ‰) occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass-length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding ground for pelagic grazers. Even though ice

  17. Analysis on variability and trend in Antarctic sea ice albedo between 1983 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Minji; Kim, Hyun-cheol; Choi, Sungwon; Lee, Kyeong-sang; Han, Kyung-soo

    2017-04-01

    Sea ice is key parameter in order to understand the cryosphere climate change. Several studies indicate the different trend of sea ice between Antarctica and Arctic. Albedo is important factor for understanding the energy budget and factors for observing of environment changes of Cryosphere such as South Pole, due to it mainly covered by ice and snow with high albedo value. In this study, we analyzed variability and trend of long-term sea ice albedo data to understand the changes of sea ice over Antarctica. In addiction, sea ice albedo researched the relationship with Antarctic oscillation in order to determine the atmospheric influence. We used the sea ice albedo data at The Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring and Antarctic Oscillation data at NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC). We analyzed the annual trend in albedo using linear regression to understand the spatial and temporal tendency. Antarctic sea ice albedo has two spatial trend. Weddle sea / Ross sea sections represent a positive trend (0.26% ˜ 0.04% yr-1) and Bellingshausen Amundsen sea represents a negative trend (- 0.14 ˜ -0.25%yr-1). Moreover, we performed the correlation analysis between albedo and Antarctic oscillation. As a results, negative area indicate correlation coefficient of - 0.3639 and positive area indicates correlation coefficient of - 0.0741. Theses results sea ice albedo has regional trend according to ocean. Decreasing sea ice trend has negative relationship with Antarctic oscillation, its represent a possibility that sea ice influence atmospheric factor.

  18. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Drews

    2009-08-01

    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 dielectric properties, crystal orientation fabrics and optical stratigraphy of the EPICA-DML ice core. We find that echoes disappear in the depth range where the dielectric contrast is blurred, and where the coherency of the layers in the ice core 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 onset may indicate changing rheology which needs to be accounted for in the modeling of ice sheet dynamics.

  20. Fine Ice Sheet margins topography from swath processing of CryoSat SARIn mode data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourmelen, N.; Escorihuela, M. J.; Shepherd, A.; Foresta, L.; Muir, A.; Briggs, K.; Hogg, A. E.; Roca, M.; Baker, S.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    Reference and repeat-observations of Glacier and Ice Sheet Margin (GISM) topography are critical to identify changes in ice thickness, provide estimates of mass gain or loss and thus quantify the contribution of the cryosphere to sea level change. The lack of such sustained observations was identified in the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Cryosphere Theme Report as a major shortcoming. Conventional altimetry measurements over GISMs exist, but coverage has been sparse and characterized by coarse ground resolution. Additionally, and more importantly, they proved ineffective in the presence of steep slopes, a typical feature of GISM areas. Since the majority of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass loss is estimated to lie within 100 km from the coast, but only about 10% is surveyed, there is the need for more robust and dense observations of GISMs, in both time and space. The ESA Altimetry mission CryoSat aims at gaining better insight into the evolution of the Cryosphere. CryoSat's revolutionary design features a Synthetic Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL), with two antennas for interferometry. The corresponding SAR Interferometer (SARIn) mode of operation increases spatial resolution while resolving the angular origin of off-nadir echoes occurring over sloping terrain. The SARIn mode is activated over GISMs and the elevation for the Point Of Closest Approach (POCA) is a standard product of the CryoSat mission. Here we present an approach for more comprehensively exploiting the SARIn mode of CryoSat and produce an ice elevation product with enhanced spatial resolution compared to standard CryoSat-2 height products. In this so called L2-swath processing approach, the full CryoSat waveform is exploited under specific conditions of signal and surface characteristics. We will present the rationale, validation exercises and preliminary results from the Eurpean Space Agency's STSE CryoTop study over selected test regions of the margins of the Greenland

  1. Diatom-induced silicon isotopic fractionation in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois, F.; Damien, C.; Jean-Louis, T.; Anthony, W.; Luc, A.

    2006-12-01

    We measured silicon-isotopic composition of dissolved silicon and biogenic silica collected by sequential melting from spring 2003 Antarctic pack ice (Australian sector). Sea ice is a key ecosystem in the Southern Ocean and its melting in spring has been often thought to have a seeding effect for the surface waters, triggering blooms in the mixed layer. This work is the first investigation of the silicon isotopes' proxy in sea ice and allows to estimate the activity of sea-ice diatoms in the different brine structures and the influence of sea- ice diatoms on the spring ice edge blooms. The relative use of the dissolved silicon pool by sea-ice diatoms is usually assessed by calculating nutrient:salinity ratios in the brines. However such an approach is biased by difficulties in evaluating the initial nutrient concentrations in the different brines structures, and by the impossibility to account for late sporadic nutrient replenishments. The silicon-isotopic composition of biogenic silica is a convenient alternative since it integrates an average Si utilization on all generations of diatoms. Measurements were performed on a MC-ICP-MS, in dry plasma mode using external Mg doping. Results are expressed as delta29Si relative to the NBS28 standard. From three sea ice cores with contrasted physico-chemical characteristics, we report significant isotopic fractionations linked to the diatoms activity, with distinct silicon biogeochemical dynamics between different brine structure. The diatoms in snow ice and in brine pockets of frazil or congelation ice have the most positive silicon-isotopic composition (+0.53 to +0.86 p.mil), indicating that they grow in a closed system and use a significant part of the small dissolved silicon pool. In the brine channels and skeletal layer, diatoms display a relatively less positive Si-isotopic composition (+0.41 to +0.70 p.mil), although it is still heavier compared to equilibrium fractionation (+0.38 p.mil). This suggests that they have

  2. Elevation Change Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, R.; Keller, K.; Nielsen, C. S.

    2000-01-01

    Repeated GPS measurements have been performed at the centre of the Greenland Ice Sheet since 1992. Results have shown that the ice sheet is essentially stable at this location, with GPS-determined strain and elevation change rates in good accordance with yearly snow accumulation and glaciological...... flow models. In a local ice cap in East Greenland (Geikie Plateau) repeated GPS, airborne laser altimetry and SAR interferometry have been used to study ice movements in the more climatically variable coastal zone, where meter-level annual elevation changes are possible due to the high precipitation...

  3. Elevation Change Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, R.; Keller, K.; Nielsen, C. S.

    2000-01-01

    flow models. In a local ice cap in East Greenland (Geikie Plateau) repeated GPS, airborne laser altimetry and SAR interferometry have been used to study ice movements in the more climatically variable coastal zone, where meter-level annual elevation changes are possible due to the high precipitation......Repeated GPS measurements have been performed at the centre of the Greenland Ice Sheet since 1992. Results have shown that the ice sheet is essentially stable at this location, with GPS-determined strain and elevation change rates in good accordance with yearly snow accumulation and glaciological...

  4. Algae Drive Enhanced Darkening of Bare Ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stibal, Marek; Box, Jason E.; Cameron, Karen A.; Langen, Peter L.; Yallop, Marian L.; Mottram, Ruth H.; Khan, Alia L.; Molotch, Noah P.; Chrismas, Nathan A. M.; Calı Quaglia, Filippo; Remias, Daniel; Smeets, C. J. P. Paul; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Ryan, Jonathan C.; Hubbard, Alun; Tranter, Martyn; van As, Dirk; Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.

    2017-11-01

    Surface ablation of the Greenland ice sheet is amplified by surface darkening caused by light-absorbing impurities such as mineral dust, black carbon, and pigmented microbial cells. We present the first quantitative assessment of the microbial contribution to the ice sheet surface darkening, based on field measurements of surface reflectance and concentrations of light-absorbing impurities, including pigmented algae, during the 2014 melt season in the southwestern part of the ice sheet. The impact of algae on bare ice darkening in the study area was greater than that of nonalgal impurities and yielded a net albedo reduction of 0.038 ± 0.0035 for each algal population doubling. We argue that algal growth is a crucial control of bare ice darkening, and incorporating the algal darkening effect will improve mass balance and sea level projections of the Greenland ice sheet and ice masses elsewhere.

  5. Reconstructing the temperature regime of the Weichselian ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holmlund, P.

    1997-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet data set contains GIS point shapefiles that include 891 observed and potential hydrologic outlets of the Greenland...

  8. Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Characteristics Derived from Passive Microwave Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Greenland ice sheet melt extent data, acquired as part of the NASA Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA), is a daily (or every other day, prior...

  9. 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.

  10. Response to Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf cavity warming in a coupled ocean–ice sheet model – Part 1: The ocean perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Timmermann

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Regional Antarctic ice and Global Ocean (RAnGO model has been developed to study the interaction between the world ocean and the Antarctic ice sheet. The coupled model is based on a global implementation of the Finite Element Sea-ice Ocean Model (FESOM with a mesh refinement in the Southern Ocean, particularly in its marginal seas and in the sub-ice-shelf cavities. The cryosphere is represented by a regional setup of the ice flow model RIMBAY comprising the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf and the grounded ice in its catchment area up to the ice divides. At the base of the RIMBAY ice shelf, melt rates from FESOM's ice-shelf component are supplied. RIMBAY returns ice thickness and the position of the grounding line. The ocean model uses a pre-computed mesh to allow for an easy adjustment of the model domain to a varying cavity geometry. RAnGO simulations with a 20th-century climate forcing yield realistic basal melt rates and a quasi-stable grounding line position close to the presently observed state. In a centennial-scale warm-water-inflow scenario, the model suggests a substantial thinning of the ice shelf and a local retreat of the grounding line. The potentially negative feedback from ice-shelf thinning through a rising in situ freezing temperature is more than outweighed by the increasing water column thickness in the deepest parts of the cavity. Compared to a control simulation with fixed ice-shelf geometry, the coupled model thus yields a slightly stronger increase in ice-shelf basal melt rates.

  11. 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.

  12. Surface water hydrology and the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L. C.; Yang, K.; Pitcher, L. H.; Overstreet, B. T.; Chu, V. W.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Cooper, M. G.; Gleason, C. J.; Ryan, J.; Hubbard, A.; Tedesco, M.; Behar, A.

    2016-12-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet now exceeds 260 Gt/year, raising global sea level by >0.7 mm annually. Approximately two-thirds of this total mass loss is now driven by negative ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB), attributed mainly to production and runoff of meltwater from the ice sheet surface. This new dominance of runoff as a driver of GrIS total mass loss will likely persist owing to anticipated further increases in surface melting, reduced meltwater storage in firn, and the waning importance of dynamical mass losses (ice calving) as the ice sheets retreat from their marine-terminating margins. It also creates the need and opportunity for integrative research pairing traditional surface water hydrology approaches with glaciology. As one example, we present a way to measure supraglacial "runoff" (i.e. specific discharge) at the supraglacial catchment scale ( 101-102 km2), using in situ measurements of supraglacial river discharge and high-resolution satellite/drone mapping of upstream catchment area. This approach, which is standard in terrestrial hydrology but novel for ice sheet science, enables independent verification and improvement of modeled SMB runoff estimates used to project sea level rise. Furthermore, because current SMB models do not consider the role of fluvial watershed processes operating on the ice surface, inclusion of even a simple surface routing model materially improves simulations of runoff delivered to moulins, the critical pathways for meltwater entry into the ice sheet. Incorporating principles of surface water hydrology and fluvial geomorphology and into glaciological models will thus aid estimates of Greenland meltwater runoff to the global ocean as well as connections to subglacial hydrology and ice sheet dynamics.

  13. Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea-level rise from a new-generation ice-sheet model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gillet-Chaulet

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS has been losing mass at an increasing rate, enhancing its contribution to sea-level rise (SLR. The recent increases in ice loss appear to be due to changes in both the surface mass balance of the ice sheet and ice discharge (ice flux to the ocean. Rapid ice flow directly affects the discharge, but also alters ice-sheet geometry and so affects climate and surface mass balance. Present-day ice-sheet models only represent rapid ice flow in an approximate fashion and, as a consequence, have never explicitly addressed the role of ice discharge on the total GrIS mass balance, especially at the scale of individual outlet glaciers. Here, we present a new-generation prognostic ice-sheet model which reproduces the current patterns of rapid ice flow. This requires three essential developments: the complete solution of the full system of equations governing ice deformation; a variable resolution unstructured mesh to resolve outlet glaciers and the use of inverse methods to better constrain poorly known parameters using observations. The modelled ice discharge is in good agreement with observations on the continental scale and for individual outlets. From this initial state, we investigate possible bounds for the next century ice-sheet mass loss. We run sensitivity experiments of the GrIS dynamical response to perturbations in climate and basal lubrication, assuming a fixed position of the marine termini. We find that increasing ablation tends to reduce outflow and thus decreases the ice-sheet imbalance. In our experiments, the GrIS initial mass (imbalance is preserved throughout the whole century in the absence of reinforced forcing, allowing us to estimate a lower bound of 75 mm for the GrIS contribution to SLR by 2100. In one experiment, we show that the current increase in the rate of ice loss can be reproduced and maintained throughout the whole century. However, this requires a very unlikely

  14. Microbial processes at the beds of glaciers and ice sheets: a look at life below the Whillans Ice Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikucki, J.; Campen, R.; Vancleave, S.; Scherer, R. P.; Coenen, J. J.; Powell, R. D.; Tulaczyk, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater, saturated sediments and hundreds of subglacial lakes exist below the ice sheets of Antarctica. The few Antarctic subglacial environments sampled to date all contain viable microorganisms. This is a significant finding because microbes are known to be key in mediating biogeochemical cycles. In sediments, microbial metabolic activity can also result in byproducts or direct interactions with sediment particles that influence the physical and geochemical characteristics of the matrix they inhabit. Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW), a fresh water lake under the Whillans Ice Stream that drains into the Ross Sea at its grounding zone, was recently sampled as part of the NSF-funded Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project. Sediments from both SLW and its grounding zone contain microbial taxa related to iron, sulfur, nitrogen and methane oxidizers. In addition to molecular data, biogeochemical measurements and culture based experiments on Whillans sediments support the notion that the system is chemosynthetic with energy derived in part by cycling inorganic compounds. Etch pitting and mineral precipitates on fossil sponge spicules suggest that spicules may also provide microbial nutrients in these environments. Perhaps the most widespread microbial process that affects sediment structure and mineral weathering is the production of extra polymeric substances (EPS). Several phylogenetic groups detected in Whillans sediments are known to produce EPS and we have observed its production in pure cultures enriched directly from these sediments. Our data sheds light on how microbial life persists below the Antarctic Ice Sheet despite extended isolation in icy darkness, and how these microbes may be shaping their environment.

  15. Ice sheet growth with laterally varying bedrock relaxation time

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Wal, Wouter; Vizcaino Rubio, Pablo; De Boer, Bas; van de Wal, Roderik

    2017-04-01

    Isostatic response of the bedrock, or glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) in included in most ice sheet models. This is important because the surface elevation determines the mass balance and thereby implicitly also the strength of the mass balance feedback where higher surface elevation yields lower temperatures implying less melt and vice versa. Usually a single relaxation time or a set of relaxation times is used to model the response everywhere on Earth or at least for an entire ice sheet. In reality the viscosity in the Earth's mantle, and hence the relaxation time experienced by the ice, varies with location. Seismic studies indicate that several regions that were covered by ice during the last glacial cycle are underlain by mantle in which viscosity varies with orders of magnitude, such as Antarctica and North America. The question is whether such a variation of viscosity influences ice evolution. Several GIA models exist that can deal with 3D viscosity, but their large computation times make it nearly impossible to couple them to ice sheet models. Here we use the ANICE ice-sheet model (de Boer et al. 2013) with a simple bedrock-relaxation model in which a different relaxation time is used for separate regions. A temperature anomaly is applied to grow a schematic ice sheet on a flat earth, with other forcing mechanisms neglected. It is shown that in locations with a fast relaxation time of 300 years the equilibrium ice sheet is significantly thinner and narrower but also ice thickness in neighbouring regions (with the more standard relaxation time of 3000 years) is affected.

  16. 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.

  17. Meltwater produced by wind–albedo interaction stored in an East Antarctic ice shelf

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, JTM; Lhermitte, S.L.M.; Drews, R.; Ligtenberg, SRM; Berger, S.; Helm, V.; Smeets, C.J.P.P.; van den Broeke, MR; van de Berg, W.J.; van Meijgaard, E; Eijkelboom, M.; Eisen, O.; Pattyn, F.

    2017-01-01

    Surface melt and subsequent firn air depletion can ultimately lead to disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves1, 2 causing grounded glaciers to accelerate3 and sea level to rise. In the Antarctic Peninsula, foehn winds enhance melting near the grounding line4, which in the recent past has led to the

  18. Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    -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...

  19. 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

  20. NASA SCP Arctic and Antarctic Ice Extent from QuikSCAT, 1999-2009, Version 2

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides sea ice extent for the Arctic (60-90 degrees North) and Antarctic (52-90 degrees South) in Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR) binary...

  1. MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2017 V001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides 12 annual maps of Antarctic ice...

  2. MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2017, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides 12 annual maps of Antarctic ice...

  3. MEaSUREs Annual Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps 2005-2016, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides 11 annual maps of Antarctic ice...

  4. NASA SCP Arctic and Antarctic Ice Extent from QuikSCAT, 1999-2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides sea ice extent for the Arctic (60-90 degrees North) and Antarctic (52-90 degrees South) in Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR) binary...

  5. Too Warm, Two Poles: Super Interglacial Teleconnections and Possible Dual Pole Ice Sheet Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigham-Grette, J.; Deconto, R. M.; Roychowdhury, R.; de Wet, G.; Keisling, B. A.; Melles, M.; Minyuk, P.

    2017-12-01

    Geologic records of the warm Pliocene and Pleistocene super interglacials from both the Arctic and the Antarctic show us that ice sheets are more vulnerable to subtle polar warming than once thought. The continuous 3.6 million-year old sediment record from Lake El'gygytgyn (Lake E), the largest, deepest unglaciated Arctic lake located in central Chukotka, Russia, contains evidence of the warm forested Pliocene and the transition to changing glacial/interglacial climate cycles including at least 9 super interglacials and numerous other strong interglacials. Most of these super interglacials especially MIS 11 and 31, record conditions warmer than MIS 5e and many occur when global cycles are dominated by apparent 41ka forcing during the transition from the warm Pliocene to stronger G/IG variability. Given community consensus on the reduction of the Greenland Ice sheet (GIS) during MIS5e, we suggest that previous interglacials likely forced even larger reductions in the GIS, perhaps consistent with cosmogenic isotope exposure histories. We can best match MIS 11 and 31 from the Antarctic ANDRILL records when diatomaceous ooze deposition in the past recovered from under the modern Ross Ice Shelf suggests collapse of the WAIS and open water conditions. It is possible that a large number of the other Lake E super interglacials correspond to other intervals of WAIS collapse, within the uncertainly of the ANDRILL chronology. The forcing of super interglacials was not necessarily the result of high atmospheric CO2 but the result of preconditioning during periods of extremely low eccentricity and high obliquity. The challenge is now to incorporate oceanographic models (as suggested in Melles et al. 2012) to gauge ice sheet and ocean circulation sensitivity and timescales to preconditioning. Yet confirmation of past warming driving frequent ice sheet collapse in both hemispheres is clear geologically-based evidence that informs our future. Today, anthropogenic CO2 emissions are

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Deciphering the evolution of the last Eurasian ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Anna; Gyllencreutz, Richard; Mangerud, Jan; Svendsen, John Inge

    2016-04-01

    Glacial geologists need ice sheet-scale chronological reconstructions of former ice extent to set individual records in a wider context and compare interpretations of ice sheet response to records of past environmental changes. Ice sheet modellers require empirical reconstructions on size and volume of past ice sheets that are fully documented, specified in time and include uncertainty estimates for model validation or constraints. Motivated by these demands, in 2005 we started a project (Database of the Eurasian Deglaciation, DATED) to compile and archive all published dates relevant to constraining the build-up and retreat of the last Eurasian ice sheets, including the British-Irish, Scandinavian and Svalbard-Barents-Kara Seas ice sheets (BIIS, SIS and SBKIS respectively). Over 5000 dates were assessed for reliability and used together with published ice-sheet margin positions to reconstruct time-slice maps of the ice sheets' extent, with uncertainty bounds, every 1000 years between 25-10 kyr ago and at four additional periods back to 40 kyr ago. Ten years after the idea for a database was conceived, the first version of results (DATED-1) has now been released (Hughes et al. 2016). We observe that: i) both the BIIS and SBKIS achieve maximum extent, and commence retreat earlier than the larger SIS; ii) the eastern terrestrial margin of the SIS reached its maximum extent up to 7000 years later than the westernmost marine margin; iii) the combined maximum ice volume (~24 m sea-level equivalent) was reached c. 21 ka; iv) large uncertainties exist; predominantly across marine sectors (e.g. the timing of coalescence and separation of the SIS and BKIS) but also in well-studied areas due to conflicting yet equally robust data. In just three years since the DATED-1 census (1 January 2013), the volume of new information (from both dates and mapped glacial geomorphology) has grown significantly (~1000 new dates). Here, we present the DATED-1 results in the context of the

  9. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    Since the 1990s mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated substantially increasing its contribution to global sea level rise, especially during the past decade. Even though the current global sea level budget is well understood, providing better estimates of the mass loss is essential...... 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...

  10. Oceanic circulation changes during early Pliocene marine ice-sheet instability in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Melissa A.; Passchier, Sandra

    2017-06-01

    In the Southern Ocean, unconstrained Westerlies allow for intense mixing between deep waters and the atmosphere. How this system interacts with Antarctic ice sheets and the global ocean circulation is poorly understood due to a paucity of data. The poor abundance and preservation of foraminiferal carbonate in ice-proximal sediments is a major challenge in high-latitude paleoceanography. A new approach is to examine a sediment geochemical record of changing paleoproductivity and sediment redox environment that can be tied to changes in water mass properties. This study focuses on the paleoceanography of the George V Land margin between 4.7 and 4.3 Ma. This interval at the onset of the early Pliocene Climatic Optimum was characterized by the highest global sea surface temperatures and the lowest sea ice concentrations in East Antarctica in the past 5 million years. At IODP Site U1359, an abrupt increase in Mn/Al ratios 4.6 Ma indicates an episode of oxic bottom conditions resulting from enhanced wind-driven downwelling of Antarctic surface water. Above, extremely high concentrations of sedimentary barite (Ba excess >40,000 ppm) point to biogenic barite deposition, preservation, and concentration through enhanced upwelling of nutrient-rich Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). Incursion of CDW onto the continental shelf affected ice discharge and resulted in a stable but reduced ice-sheet configuration over several glacial cycles. The geochemical results along with previous work on Site U1359 for the first time link paleoceanography and cryospheric change based on data from the same high-latitude site.

  11. Greenland Ice Sheet: High-Elevation Balance and Peripheral Thinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabill; Abdalati; Frederick; Manizade; Martin; Sonntag; Swift; Thomas; Wright; Yungel

    2000-07-21

    Aircraft laser-altimeter surveys over northern Greenland in 1994 and 1999 have been coupled with previously reported data from southern Greenland to analyze the recent mass-balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Above 2000 meters elevation, the ice sheet is in balance on average but has some regions of local thickening or thinning. Thinning predominates at lower elevations, with rates exceeding 1 meter per year close to the coast. Interpolation of our results between flight lines indicates a net loss of about 51 cubic kilometers of ice per year from the entire ice sheet, sufficient to raise sea level by 0.13 millimeter per year-approximately 7% of the observed rise.

  12. 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

    -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......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...

  13. Influence of snow depth and surface flooding on light transmission through Antarctic pack ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, Stefanie; Meiners, Klaus M.; Ricker, Robert; Krumpen, Thomas; Katlein, Christian; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2017-03-01

    Snow on sea ice alters the properties of the underlying ice cover as well as associated physical and biological processes at the interfaces between atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean. The Antarctic snow cover persists during most of the year and contributes significantly to the sea-ice mass due to the widespread surface flooding and related snow-ice formation. Snow also enhances the sea-ice surface reflectivity of incoming shortwave radiation and determines therefore the amount of light being reflected, absorbed, and transmitted to the upper ocean. Here, we present results of a case study of spectral solar radiation measurements under Antarctic pack ice with an instrumented Remotely Operated Vehicle in the Weddell Sea in 2013. In order to identify the key variables controlling the spatial distribution of the under-ice light regime, we exploit under-ice optical measurements in combination with simultaneous characterization of surface properties, such as sea-ice thickness and snow depth. Our results reveal that the distribution of flooded and nonflooded sea-ice areas dominates the spatial scales of under-ice light variability for areas smaller than 100 m-by-100 m. However, the heterogeneous and highly metamorphous snow on Antarctic pack ice obscures a direct correlation between the under-ice light field and snow depth. Compared to the Arctic, light levels under Antarctic pack ice are extremely low during spring (<0.1%). This is mostly a result of the distinctly different dominant sea ice and snow properties with seasonal snow cover (including strong surface melt and summer melt ponds) in the Arctic and a year-round snow cover and widespread surface flooding in the Southern Ocean.

  14. Forecast of Antarctic Sea Ice and Meteorological Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Orquera, F.

    2017-12-01

    Since 2001, we have been forecasting the climatic fields of the Antarctic sea ice (SI) and surface air temperature, surface pressure and precipitation anomalies for the Southern Hemisphere at the Meteorological Department of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service with different techniques that have evolved with the years. Forecast is based on the results of Principal Components Analysis applied to SI series (S-Mode) that gives patterns of temporal series with validity areas (these series are important to determine which areas in Antarctica will have positive or negative SI anomalies based on what happen in the atmosphere) and, on the other hand, to SI fields (T-Mode) that give us the form of the SI fields anomalies based on a classification of 16 patterns. Each T-Mode pattern has unique atmospheric fields associated to them. Therefore, it is possible to forecast whichever atmosphere variable we decide for the Southern Hemisphere. When the forecast is obtained, each pattern has a probability of occurrence and sometimes it is necessary to compose more than one of them to obtain the final result. S-Mode and T-Mode are monthly updated with new data, for that reason the forecasts improved with the increase of cases since 2001. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm provided monthly by the National Snow and Ice Data Center of USA that begins in November 1978. Recently, we have been experimenting with multilayer Perceptron (neuronal network) with supervised learning and a back-propagation algorithm to improve the forecast. The Perceptron is the most common Artificial Neural Network topology dedicated to image pattern recognition. It was implemented through the use of temperature and pressure anomalies field images that were associated with a the different sea ice anomaly patterns. The variables analyzed included only composites of surface air temperature and pressure anomalies

  15. Radar Interferometry Studies of the Mass Balance of Polar Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to determine the current state of mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Our approach combines different techniques, which include satellite synthetic-aperture radar interferometry (InSAR), radar and laser altimetry, radar ice sounding, and finite-element modeling. In Greenland, we found that 3.5 times more ice flows out of the northern part of the Greenland Ice Sheet than previously accounted for. The discrepancy between current and past estimates is explained by extensive basal melting of the glacier floating sections in the proximity of the grounding line where the glacier detaches from its bed and becomes afloat in the ocean. The inferred basal melt rates are very large, which means that the glaciers are very sensitive to changes in ocean conditions. Currently, it appears that the northern Greenland glaciers discharge more ice than is being accumulated in the deep interior, and hence are thinning. Studies of temporal changes in grounding line position using InSAR confirm the state of retreat of northern glaciers and suggest that thinning is concentrated at the lower elevations. Ongoing work along the coast of East Greenland reveals an even larger mass deficit for eastern Greenland glaciers, with thinning affecting the deep interior of the ice sheet. In Antarctica, we found that glaciers flowing into a large ice shelf system, such as the Ronne Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea, exhibit an ice discharge in remarkable agreement with mass accumulation in the interior, and the glacier grounding line positions do not migrate with time. Glaciers flowing rapidly into the Amudsen Sea, unrestrained by a major ice shelf, are in contrast discharging more ice than required to maintain a state of mass balance and are thinning quite rapidly near the coast. The grounding line of Pine Island glacier (see diagram) retreated 5 km in 4 years, which corresponds to a glacier thinning rate of 3.5 m/yr. Mass imbalance is even more negative

  16. Recent Measurements of Ice Flux From Outlet Glaciers of the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppes, M.; Hallet, B.; Rignot, E.; Jaffrey, M.

    2007-12-01

    One of the most significant events in the evolution of the Antarctic climate and cryosphere was the pronounced glacial erosion in the late Cenozoic that led to the considerable depth and landward sloping profile of the continental shelf, affecting both ice sheet dynamics and the oceanographic processes that drive circulation on the shelf. Understanding how changes in glacial conditions during the LGM may have led to enhanced glacial erosion, however, requires us to first identify the factors that control the amount and rate of glacier erosion in Antarctica today. The bays and fjords of the Antarctic Peninsula contain a rich history of climate change recorded both in proxy climate data (e.g., forams, oxygen isotopes) and in sediment accumulation rates that reflect changes in glacial erosion and sediment transfer. Prior studies revealed large variations in the rate of sediment accumulation across the Peninsula, with a general trend of decreasing sedimentation from north to south and west to east, attributed to climate-driven differences in glacier dynamics. Little is known to date, however, about the individual dynamics of the glaciers in these fjords, and the variability in their sediment delivery, particularly as many of them start to accelerate and retreat (Cook et al., 2005; Rignot, 1998; Angelis and Skvarca, 2003). As part of a study concerning the factors controlling rates of glacial erosion and sedimentation across climatic regimes, the cross-sectional area at the ELA of 16 tidewater glaciers in the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula were measured in April 2007. The cross-section area of each glacier is then combined with the mean surface velocity, measured remotely using SAR interferometry, to reconstruct the contemporary ice flux through these glacier systems. The study area spans almost 4° of latitude and 8° of mean annual temperature, encompassing both sub-polar and polar regimes, from Maxwell Bay, South Shetland

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petit, J.R.; Briat, M.; Royer, A.

    1981-01-01

    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.)

  18. Low post-glacial rebound rates in the Weddell Sea due to Late Holocene ice-sheet readvance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Sarah L.; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; Bentley, Michael J.; King, Matt A.

    2015-03-01

    Many ice-sheet reconstructions assume monotonic Holocene retreat for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but an increasing number of glaciological observations infer that some portions of the ice sheet may be readvancing, following retreat behind the present-day margin. A readvance in the Weddell Sea region can reconcile two outstanding problems: (i) the present-day widespread occurrence of seemingly stable ice streams grounded on beds that deepen inland; and (ii) the inability of models of glacial isostatic adjustment to match present-day uplift rates. By combining a suite of ice loading histories that include a readvance with a model of glacial isostatic adjustment we report substantial improvements to predictions of present-day uplift rates, including reconciling one problematic observation of land sinking. We suggest retreat behind present grounding lines occurred when the bed was lower, and isostatic recovery has since led to shallowing, ice sheet re-grounding and readvance. The paradoxical existence of grounding lines in apparently unstable configurations on reverse bed slopes may be resolved by invoking the process of unstable advance, in accordance with our load modelling.

  19. 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.

  20. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schmidt

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January–February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C  =  −12.5 ± 3.3 ‰ occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C  =  −42.2 ± 2.4 ‰ occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass–length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding

  1. Temporal and spatial variabilities of Antarctic ice mass changes inferred by GRACE in a Bayesian framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Davis, J. L.; Tamisiea, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) holds about 60% of all fresh water on the Earth, an amount equivalent to about 58 m of sea-level rise. Observation of AIS mass change is thus essential in determining and predicting its contribution to sea level. While the ice mass loss estimates for West Antarctica (WA) and the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) are in good agreement, what the mass balance over East Antarctica (EA) is, and whether or not it compensates for the mass loss is under debate. Besides the different error sources and sensitivities of different measurement types, complex spatial and temporal variabilities would be another factor complicating the accurate estimation of the AIS mass balance. Therefore, a model that allows for variabilities in both melting rate and seasonal signals would seem appropriate in the estimation of present-day AIS melting. We present a stochastic filter technique, which enables the Bayesian separation of the systematic stripe noise and mass signal in decade-length GRACE monthly gravity series, and allows the estimation of time-variable seasonal and inter-annual components in the signals. One of the primary advantages of this Bayesian method is that it yields statistically rigorous uncertainty estimates reflecting the inherent spatial resolution of the data. By applying the stochastic filter to the decade-long GRACE observations, we present the temporal variabilities of the AIS mass balance at basin scale, particularly over East Antarctica, and decipher the EA mass variations in the past decade, and their role in affecting overall AIS mass balance and sea level.

  2. Geothermal Heat Flux: Linking Deep Earth's Interior and the Dynamics of Large-Scale Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, Irina; Vaughan, Alan

    2014-05-01

    Regions covered by continental-scale ice sheets have the highest degree of uncertainty in composition and structure of the crust and lithospheric mantle, compounded by the poorest coverage on Earth of direct heat flow measurements. In addition to challenging conditions that make direct measurements and geological survey difficult Greenland and Antarctica are known to be geologically complex. Antarctica in particular is marked by two lithospherically distinct zones. In contrast to young and thin lithosphere of West Antarctica, East Antarctica is a collage of thick Precambrian fragments of Gondwana and earlier supercontinents. However, recent observations and modeling studies have detected large systems of subglacial lakes extending beneath much of the East Antarctic ice sheet base that have been linked to anomalously elevated heat flow. Outcrop samples from the rift margin with Australia (Prydz Bay) have revealed highly radiogenic Cambrian granite intrusives that are implicated in regional increase of crustal heat flux by a factor of two to three compared to the estimated continental background. Taken together, these indicate high variability of heat flow and properties of rocks across Antarctica. Similar conclusions have been made based on direct measurements and observations of the Greenland ice sheet. Airborne ice-penetrating radar and deep ice core projects show very high rates of basal melt for parts of the ice sheet in northern and central Greenland that have been explained by abnormally high heat flux. Archaean in age, the Greenland lithosphere was significantly reworked during the Early Proterozoic. In this region, the interpretation of independent geophysical data is complicated by Proterozoic and Phanerozoic collision zones, compounded by strong thermochemical effects of rifting along the western and eastern continental margins between 80 and 25 million years ago. In addition, high variability of heat flow and thermal lithosphere structure in central

  3. 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)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar S. [Potsdam Inst. for Climate Impact Research (Germany). Earth System Analysis; Cornford, Stephen L. [Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom). Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling; Durand, Gaël [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Grenoble (France); Univ. of Grenoble (France); Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin K. [Australian Antarctic Division and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Tasmania (Australia); Gladstone, Rupert M. [Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Tasmania (Australia); ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Research Center for Hydraulic Engineering; Gudmundsson, G. Hilmar [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Hattermann, Tore [Akvaplan-niva, Tromso (Norway); Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven (Germany). Alfred Wegener Inst.; Holland, David M. [New York Univ. (NYU), NY (United States)' . Courant Inst. of Mathematical Sciences; Holland, Denise [New York Univ. (NYU), Abu Dahabi (United Arab Emirates); Holland, Paul R. [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Martin, Daniel F. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Mathiot, Pierre [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Met Office, Exeter (United Kingdom); Pattyn, Frank [Univ. of Libre, Brussels (Belgium). Lab. of Glaciology; Seroussi, Hélène [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. Actively evolving subglacial conduits and eskers initiate ice shelf channels at an Antarctic grounding line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, R.; Pattyn, F.; Hewitt, I. J.; Ng, F. S. L.; Berger, S.; Matsuoka, K.; Helm, V.; Bergeot, N.; Favier, L.; Neckel, N.

    2017-05-01

    Ice-shelf channels are long curvilinear tracts of thin ice found on Antarctic ice shelves. Many of them originate near the grounding line, but their formation mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we use ice-penetrating radar data from Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, to infer that the morphology of several ice-shelf channels is seeded upstream of the grounding line by large basal obstacles indenting the ice from below. We interpret each obstacle as an esker ridge formed from sediments deposited by subglacial water conduits, and calculate that the eskers' size grows towards the grounding line where deposition rates are maximum. Relict features on the shelf indicate that these linked systems of subglacial conduits and ice-shelf channels have been changing over the past few centuries. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation and ice-shelf stability.

  5. Actively evolving subglacial conduits and eskers initiate ice shelf channels at an Antarctic grounding line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, R; Pattyn, F; Hewitt, I J; Ng, F S L; Berger, S; Matsuoka, K; Helm, V; Bergeot, N; Favier, L; Neckel, N

    2017-05-09

    Ice-shelf channels are long curvilinear tracts of thin ice found on Antarctic ice shelves. Many of them originate near the grounding line, but their formation mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we use ice-penetrating radar data from Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, to infer that the morphology of several ice-shelf channels is seeded upstream of the grounding line by large basal obstacles indenting the ice from below. We interpret each obstacle as an esker ridge formed from sediments deposited by subglacial water conduits, and calculate that the eskers' size grows towards the grounding line where deposition rates are maximum. Relict features on the shelf indicate that these linked systems of subglacial conduits and ice-shelf channels have been changing over the past few centuries. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation and ice-shelf stability.

  6. 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.

  7. Application of GRACE to the Evaluation of an Ice Flow Model of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, N.; Wiese, D. N.; Watkins, M. M.; Larour, E. Y.; Box, J. E.; Fettweis, X.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Morlighem, M.; Boening, C.; Seroussi, H. L.

    2014-12-01

    Quantifying Greenland's future contribution to sea level rise is a challenging task and requires accurate estimates of ice flow sensitivity to climate change. Transient ice flow models are promising tools for estimating future ice sheet behavior. However, confidence in these types of future projections is low, especially because evaluation of model historical runs is so challenging due to the scarcity of continental-wide data for validation. For more than a decade, NASA's GRACE has continuously acquired time-variable measurements of the Earth's gravity field and has provided unprecedented surveillance of mass balance of the ice sheets, offering an opportunity for ice sheet model evaluation. Here, we take advantage of a new high-resolution (~300 km) monthly mascon solution for the purpose of mass balance comparison with an independent, historical ice flow model simulation using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM). The comparison highlights which regions of the ice sheet differ most from GRACE. Investigation of regional differences in trends and seasonal amplitudes between simulations forced with three different Regional Climate Model (RCM)-based estimates of surface mass balance (SMB) allows us to make conclusions about the relative contributions of various error sources in the model hindcast. This study constitutes the first regional comparison of GRACE data and an ice sheet model. Conclusions will aid in the improvement of RCM SMB estimates as well as ice sheet simulation estimates of present and future rates of sea level rise. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere Program and President's and Director's Fund Program.

  8. Younger Dryas interval and outflow from the Laurentide ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, T.C.; Walker, J.C.G.; Rea, David K.; Lewis, C.F.M.; Shane, L.C.K.; Smith, A.J.

    2000-01-01

    A boxmodel of the Great Lakes is used to estimate meltwater flow into the North Atlantic between 8000 and 14,000 calendar years B.P. Controls on the model include the oxygen isotopic composition of meltwaters and lake waters as measured in the shells of ostracodes. Outflow rates are highest when oxygen isotopic values of the lake waters are most negative, denoting a maximum glacial meltwater component. Flow rates reach maximum values before the onset of the Younger Dryas and after it ends. These maxima appear to be correlative with the major meltwater pulses MWP 1A and 1B. Although the resumption of North Atlantic Deep Water formation may be tied to the reduction in ice sheet melting, neither the onset nor the end of the Younger Dryas, as recorded in the Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP2) records, appear tied to maxima in meltwater outflow from the Laurentide ice sheet. Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. 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...... 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Ages, ablation and accumulation rates from 14C measurements on Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roijen, J.J. van; Borg, K. van der; Jong, A.F.M. de; Oerlemans, J.

    1995-01-01

    Shallow ice cores from an Antarctic blue-ice area at Scharllenbergbotncn were 14C-analyzed using a dry-extraction technique and accelerator mass spectrometry. The in situ production was determined from the 14CO component and used to deduce the natural 14CO2 component. The ages were measured

  13. Pathways of basal meltwater from Antarctic ice shelves: A model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusahara, Kazuya; Hasumi, Hiroyasu

    2014-09-01

    We investigate spreading pathways of basal meltwater released from all Antarctic ice shelves using a circumpolar coupled ice shelf-sea ice-ocean model that reproduces major features of the Southern Ocean circulation, including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Several independent virtual tracers are used to identify detailed pathways of basal meltwaters. The spreading pathways of the meltwater tracers depend on formation sites, because the meltwaters are transported by local ambient ocean circulation. Meltwaters from ice shelves in the Weddell and Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas in surface/subsurface layers are effectively advected to lower latitudes with the ACC. Although a large portion of the basal meltwaters is present in surface and subsurface layers, a part of the basal meltwaters penetrates into the bottom layer through active dense water formation along the Antarctic coastal margins. The signals at the seafloor extend along the topography, showing a horizontal distribution similar to the observed spreading of Antarctic Bottom Water. Meltwaters originating from ice shelves in the Weddell and Ross Seas and in the Indian sector significantly contribute to the bottom signals. A series of numerical experiments in which thermodynamic interaction between the ice shelf and ocean is neglected regionally demonstrates that the basal meltwater of each ice shelf impacts sea ice and/or ocean thermohaline circulation in the Southern Ocean. This article was corrected on 10 OCT 2014. See the end of the full text for details.

  14. 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

  15. Caterpillar-like ice motion in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryser, C.; Lüthi, M. P.; Andrews, L. C.; Catania, G. A.; Funk, M.; Hawley, R.; Hoffman, M.; Neumann, T. A.

    2014-10-01

    Current understanding of ice dynamics predicts that increasing availability and variability of meltwater will have an impact on basal motion and therefore on the evolution and future behavior of the Greenland ice sheet. We present measurements of ice deformation, subglacial water pressure, and surface velocity that show periodic and episodic variations on several time scales (seasonal, multiday, and diurnal). These variations, observed with GPS and sensors at different depths throughout the ice column, are not synchronous but show delayed responses of ice deformation with increasing depth and basal water pressure in antiphase with surface velocity. With the help of a Full-Stokes ice flow model, these observations are explained as ice motion in a caterpillar-like fashion. Caused by patches of different basal slipperiness, horizontal stress transfer through the stiff central part of the ice body leads to spatially varying surface velocities and ice deformation patterns. Variation of this basal slipperiness induces characteristic patterns of ice deformation variability that explain the observed behavior. Ice flow in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet is therefore controlled by activation of basal patches by varying slipperiness in the course of a melt season, leading to caterpillar-like ice motion superposed on the classical shear deformation.

  16. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss from GRACE Monthly Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René

    2010-01-01

    , as is the case with those estimated from GRACE data. In this chapter we have used a generalized inversion method to estimate the Greenland ice sheet mass change from the monthly global gravity solutions, provided by three different GRACE processing centers; CSR, JPL and GFZ. In order to derive mass change from...... these monthly global gravity models, we first calculate the gravity trend from these. When isolating the gravity trend signal, which is caused by the ice mass change, we first subtract the signal produced by the postglacial rebound (PGR) in Greenland. This is done by a simple method based on the ice history......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...

  17. Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet at High Elevations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas; Akins; Csatho; Fahnestock; Gogineni; Kim; Sonntag

    2000-07-21

    Comparison of ice discharge from higher elevation areas of the entire Greenland Ice Sheet with total snow accumulation gives estimates of ice thickening rates over the past few decades. On average, the region has been in balance, but with thickening of 21 centimeters per year in the southwest and thinning of 30 centimeters per year in the southeast. The north of the ice sheet shows less variability, with average thickening of 2 centimeters per year in the northeast and thinning of about 5 centimeters per year in the northwest. These results agree well with those from repeated altimeter surveys, except in the extreme south, where we find substantially higher rates of both thickening and thinning.

  18. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    Since the 1990s mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated substantially increasing its contribution to global sea level rise, especially during the past decade. Even though the current global sea level budget is well understood, providing better estimates of the mass loss is essential....../crossshelf troughs. Warming of ocean temperatures is suggested as being a main driver for periodic dynamic ice loss events in northwest Greenland while cooling of ocean temperatures around southern Greenland, in conjunction with increased snow accumulation, is found to drive a rapid readvance of glaciers in response...... to the onset of the Little Ice Age. Furthermore this thesis shows that the thinning pattern of the last decade in southern Greenland compares well with that of the entire 20th century, thus the present sensitivity distribution will arguably hold for future ice sheet mass loss until marine outlet glaciers...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Enhanced ice sheet melting driven by volcanic eruptions during the last deglaciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muschitiello, Francesco; Pausata, Francesco S R; Lea, James M; Mair, Douglas W F; Wohlfarth, Barbara

    2017-10-24

    Volcanic eruptions can impact the mass balance of ice sheets through changes in climate and the radiative properties of the ice. Yet, empirical evidence highlighting the sensitivity of ancient ice sheets to volcanism is scarce. Here we present an exceptionally well-dated annual glacial varve chronology recording the melting history of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet at the end of the last deglaciation (∼13,200-12,000 years ago). Our data indicate that abrupt ice melting events coincide with volcanogenic aerosol emissions recorded in Greenland ice cores. We suggest that enhanced ice sheet runoff is primarily associated with albedo effects due to deposition of ash sourced from high-latitude volcanic eruptions. Climate and snowpack mass-balance simulations show evidence for enhanced ice sheet runoff under volcanically forced conditions despite atmospheric cooling. The sensitivity of past ice sheets to volcanic ashfall highlights the need for an accurate coupling between atmosphere and ice sheet components in climate models.

  2. 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

  3. The effect of sudden ice sheet melt on ocean circulation and surface climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanovic, R. F.; Gregoire, L. J.; Wickert, A. D.; Valdes, P. J.; Burke, A.

    2017-12-01

    Collapse of ice sheets can cause significant sea-level rise and widespread climate change. Around 14.6 thousand years ago, global mean sea level rose by 15 m in less than 350 years during an event known as Meltwater Pulse 1a. Ice sheet modelling and sea-level fingerprinting has suggested that approximately half of this 50 mm yr-1 sea level rise may have come from a North American ice Saddle Collapse that drained into the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. However, dating uncertainties make it difficult to determine the sequence of events and their drivers, leaving many fundamental questions. For example, was melting from the northern ice sheets responsible for the Older-Dryas or other global-scale cooling events, or did a contribution from Antarctica counteract the climatic effects? What was the role of the abrupt Bølling Warming? And how were all these signals linked to changes in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation?To address these questions, we examined the effect of the North American ice Saddle Collapse using a high resolution network drainage model coupled to an atmosphere-ocean-vegetation General Circulation Model. Here, we present the quantitative routing estimates of the consequent meltwater discharge and its impact on climate. We also tested a suite of more idealised meltwater forcing scenarios to examine the global influence of Arctic versus Antarctic ice melt. The results show that 50% of the Saddle Collapse meltwater pulse was routed via the Mackenzie River into the Arctic Ocean, and 50% was discharged directly into the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico. This meltwater flux, equivalent to a total of 7.3 m of sea-level rise, caused a strong (6 Sv) weakening of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and widespread Northern Hemisphere cooling of 1-5 °C. The greatest cooling is in the Arctic (5-10 °C in the winter), but there is also significant winter warming over eastern North America (1-3 °C). We propose that this robust submillennial mechanism was

  4. Improved simulation of Antarctic sea ice due to the radiative effects of falling snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.-L. F.; Richardson, Mark; Hong, Yulan; Lee, Wei-Liang; Wang, Yi-Hui; Yu, Jia-Yuh; Fetzer, Eric; Stephens, Graeme; Liu, Yinghui

    2017-08-01

    Southern Ocean sea-ice cover exerts critical control on local albedo and Antarctic precipitation, but simulated Antarctic sea-ice concentration commonly disagrees with observations. Here we show that the radiative effects of precipitating ice (falling snow) contribute substantially to this discrepancy. Many models exclude these radiative effects, so they underestimate both shortwave albedo and downward longwave radiation. Using two simulations with the climate model CESM1, we show that including falling-snow radiative effects improves the simulations relative to cloud properties from CloudSat-CALIPSO, radiation from CERES-EBAF and sea-ice concentration from passive microwave sensors. From 50-70°S, the simulated sea-ice-area bias is reduced by 2.12 × 106 km2 (55%) in winter and by 1.17 × 106 km2 (39%) in summer, mainly because increased wintertime longwave heating restricts sea-ice growth and so reduces summer albedo. Improved Antarctic sea-ice simulations will increase confidence in projected Antarctic sea level contributions and changes in global warming driven by long-term changes in Southern Ocean feedbacks.

  5. Meltwater drainage beneath ice sheets: What can we learn from uniting observations of paleo- and contemporary subglacial hydrology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkins, L. M.; Carter, S. P.; Greenwood, S. L.; Schroeder, D. M.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding meltwater at the base of ice sheets is critical for predicting ice flow and subglacial sediment deformation. Whereas much progress has been made with observing contemporary systems, these efforts have been limited by the short temporal scales of remote sensing data, the restricted spatial coverage of radar sounding data, and the logistical challenges of direct access. Geophysical and sedimentological data from deglaciated continental shelves reveal broad spatial and temporal perspectives of subglacial hydrology, that complement observations of contemporary systems. Massive bedrock channels, such as those on the sediment-scoured inner continental shelf of the Amundsen Sea and the western Antarctic Peninsula, are up to hundreds of meters deep, which indicate either catastrophic drainage events or slower channel incision over numerous glaciations or sub-bank full drainage events. The presence of these deep channels has implications for further ice loss as they may provide conduits today for warm water incursion into sub-ice shelf cavities. Sediment-based subglacial channels, widespread in the northern hemisphere terrestrial domain and increasingly detected on both Arctic and Antarctic marine margins, help characterize more ephemeral drainage systems active during ice sheet retreat. Importantly, some observed sediment-based channels are connected to upstream subglacial lakes and terminate at paleo-grounding lines. From these records of paleo-subglacial hydrology, we extract the relative timing of meltwater drainage, estimate water fluxes, and contemplate the sources and ultimate fate of basal meltwater, refining predictive models for modern systems. These insights provided by geological data fill a gap in knowledge regarding spatial and temporal dynamics of subglacial hydrology and offer hindsight into meltwater drainage influence/association with ice flow and retreat behavior. The union of information gathered from paleo- and contemporary subglacial

  6. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial–interglacial periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an integral part of the earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea-surface salinity, and the atmosphere–ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organoiodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO and iodine oxide (IO decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S; 2315 m a.s.l. spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br− is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na. Based on the Br−/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I− and iodate (IO3−, peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3− is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial–interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  7. Isotopic composition of ice core air reveals abrupt Antarctic warming during and after Heinrich Event 1a

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J. D.; Bereiter, B.; Baggenstos, D.; Kawamura, K.; Shackleton, S. A.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctic temperature variations during Heinrich events, as recorded by δ18O­ice­, generally show more gradual changes than the abrupt warmings seen in Greenland ice. However, quantitative temperature interpretation of the water isotope temperature proxy is difficult as the relationship between δ18Oice and temperature is not constant through time. Fortunately, ice cores offer a second temperature proxy based on trapped gases. During times of surface warming, thermal fractionation of gases in the column of unconsolidated snow (firn) on top of the ice sheet results in isotopically heavier nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar) being trapped in the ice core bubbles. During times of surface cooling, isotopically lighter gases are trapped. Measurements of δ15N and δ40Ar can therefore be used, in combination with a model for the height of the column of firn, to quantitatively reconstruct surface temperatures. In the WAIS Divide Ice Core, the two temperature proxies show a brief disagreement during Heinrich Stadial 1. Despite δ18Oice recording relatively constant temperature, the nitrogen and argon isotopes imply an abrupt warming between 16 and 15.8 kyr BP, manifest as an abrupt 1.25oC increase in the firn temperature gradient. To our knowledge, this would be the first evidence that such abrupt climate change has been recorded in an Antarctic climate proxy. If confirmed by more detailed studies, this event may represent warming due to an extreme southward shift of the Earth's thermal equator (and the southern hemisphere westerly wind belt), caused by the 16.1 ka Heinrich Event.

  8. Impacts of the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean on the Antarctic Peninsula and sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xichen; Holland, David M; Gerber, Edwin P; Yoo, Changhyun

    2014-01-23

    In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced pronounced climate changes. The Antarctic Peninsula exhibited the strongest warming of any region on the planet, causing rapid changes in land ice. Additionally, in contrast to the sea-ice decline over the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has not declined, but has instead undergone a perplexing redistribution. Antarctic climate is influenced by, among other factors, changes in radiative forcing and remote Pacific climate variability, but none explains the observed Antarctic Peninsula warming or the sea-ice redistribution in austral winter. However, in the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (a leading mode of sea surface temperature variability) has been overlooked in this context. Here we show that sea surface warming related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation reduces the surface pressure in the Amundsen Sea and contributes to the observed dipole-like sea-ice redistribution between the Ross and Amundsen-Bellingshausen-Weddell seas and to the Antarctic Peninsula warming. Support for these findings comes from analysis of observational and reanalysis data, and independently from both comprehensive and idealized atmospheric model simulations. We suggest that the north and tropical Atlantic is important for projections of future climate change in Antarctica, and has the potential to affect the global thermohaline circulation and sea-level change.

  9. An ice flow modeling perspective on bedrock adjustment patterns of the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olaizola, M.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Helsen, M.M.; de Boer, B.

    2012-01-01

    Since the launch in 2002 of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, several estimates of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) have been produced. To obtain ice mass changes, the GRACE data need to be corrected for the effect of deformation changes of the Earth’s

  10. connecting the dots between Greenland ice sheet surface melting and ice flow dynamics (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Box, J. E.; Colgan, W. T.; Fettweis, X.; Phillips, T. P.; Stober, M.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation is of a 'unified theory' in glaciology that first identifies surface albedo as a key factor explaining total ice sheet mass balance and then surveys a mechanistic self-reinforcing interaction between melt water and ice flow dynamics. The theory is applied in a near-real time total Greenland mass balance retrieval based on surface albedo, a powerful integrator of the competing effects of accumulation and ablation. New snowfall reduces sunlight absorption and increases meltwater retention. Melting amplifies absorbed sunlight through thermal metamorphism and bare ice expansion in space and time. By ';following the melt'; we reveal mechanisms linking existing science into a unified theory. Increasing meltwater softens the ice sheet in three ways: 1.) sensible heating given the water temperature exceeds that of the ice sheet interior; 2.) Some infiltrating water refreezes, transferring latent heat to the ice; 3.) Friction from water turbulence heats the ice. It has been shown that for a point on the ice sheet, basal lubrication increases ice flow speed to a time when an efficient sub-glacial drainage network develops that reduces this effect. Yet, with an increasing melt duration the point where the ice sheet glides on a wet bed increases inland to a larger area. This effect draws down the ice surface elevation, contributing to the ';elevation feedback'. In a perpetual warming scenario, the elevation feedback ultimately leads to ice sheet loss reversible only through much slower ice sheet growth in an ice age environment. As the inland ice sheet accelerates, the horizontal extension pulls cracks and crevasses open, trapping more sunlight, amplifying the effect of melt accelerated ice. As the bare ice area increases, the direct sun-exposed crevassed and infiltration area increases further allowing the ice warming process to occur more broadly. Considering hydrofracture [a.k.a. hydrofracking]; surface meltwater fills cracks, attacking the ice integrity

  11. The evolution and geological footprint of the last Eurasian ice-sheet complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Hubbard, Alun; Andreassen, Karin; Winsborrow, Monica; Stroeven, Arjen; Auriac, Amandine; Heyman, Jakob

    2017-04-01

    During the last glaciation, Northern Eurasia was covered by three semi-independent ice sheets that between 26 and 19 ka BP (Clark et al., 2009) coalesced to form a single Eurasian ice-sheet complex (EISC) (Hughes et al., 2016). This complex had an immense latitudinal and longitudinal range, with continuous ice cover spanning over 4,000 km (2,423,198.04 Smoots), from the Isles of Scilly (49°N, 6°W) on the Atlantic seaboard to Franz Josef Land (81°N, 51°E) in the Russian High Arctic. It was the third largest ice mass after the Laurentide and Antarctic ice sheets, which with a combined volume around three times the present Greenland ice sheet accounted for over 20 m of eustatic sea-level lowering during the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM) (Patton et al., 2016). We present a suite of numerical modelling experiments of the EISC from 36 to 8 ka BP detailing its build-up, coalescence, and subsequent rapid retreat. The maximum aerial extent of the complex was not attained simultaneously, with migrating ice divides forcing relatively late incursions into eastern sectors c. 20-21 ka BP compared to c. 23-25 ka BP along western margins. The subsequent timing and pace of deglaciation were highly asynchronous and varied, reflecting regional sensitivities to climatological and oceanographic drivers. Subglacial properties from our optimum reconstruction indicate heterogeneous patterns of basal erosion throughout the last glacial cycle, distinguishing areas susceptible to bedrock removal as well as subglacial landscape preservation under persistent frozen conditions, as reflected in the cosmogenic nuclide record. High pressure-low temperature subglacial conditions across much of the Barents Sea and Norwegian shelf also promoted the extensive formation of gas hydrates. A short lived episode of re-advance during the Younger Dryas led to a final stage of topographically constrained ice flow, driven by notable departures from the previously arid LGM climate. The ice sheet complex along

  12. Modelling the marine advance of the last Cordilleran ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguinot, Julien; Rogozhina, Irina

    2014-05-01

    Marine advance of the last Cordilleran ice sheet onto the north-eastern Pacific continental shelf may have caused rapid fluctuations of sea level and potentially impacted upon human migration into North America. However the position of the former ice front was critically controlled by a process that remains poorly understood: glacier calving. Geomorphological reconstructions show that part of the presently oceanic areas were ice-covered, allowing for downstream formation of the well-studied Puget and Juan de Fuca lobes. Here we use a numerical glacier model (PISM) to reconstruct the former marine front of the Cordilleran ice sheet and its impact on upstream ice dynamics. Our simulations show that the use of a thickness-based calving law leads to a strong deficit of marine ice cover in the areas where existing reconstructions suggest its advance. In contrast, a physically-based parametrization of glacier calving using the main components of the strain rate tensor (eigencalving; A. Levermann, T. Albrecht, R. Winkelmann, M. A. Martin, M. Haseloff, and I. Joughin, The Cryosphere, 6, 273-286, 2012) reproduces the geomorphologically inferred ice extent.

  13. Ice sheets and sea level: thinking outside the box

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broeke, M.R.; Bamber, J.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Rignot, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Until quite recently, the mass balance (MB) of the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica was poorly known and often treated as a residual in the budget of oceanic mass and sea level change. Recent developments in regional climate modelling and remote sensing, especially altimetry, gravimetry

  14. An energy balance model for the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, R.S.W. van de; Oerlemans, J.

    1994-01-01

    The sensitivity of the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is studied by means of an energy balance model. The model calculates the shortwave and longwave radiation and the turbulent fluxes on a grid with a grid point spacing of 20 km. Special attention is given to the parameterization of the

  15. 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 esti...

  16. Tracing Internal Radar Layers in the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Panton, Christian

    Internal layers in radio-echograms from the sounding of ice sheets have long been a valuable resource in glaciology, but their usefulness have been limited by availability of traced (digitized) layers. To speed up this process, we have developed an algorithm for semi-automatic tracing the interna...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Hibernation in an antarctic fish: on ice for winter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamish A Campbell

    Full Text Available Active metabolic suppression in anticipation of winter conditions has been demonstrated in species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, but not fish. This is because the reduction in metabolic rate in fish is directly proportional to the decrease in water temperature and they appear to be incapable of further suppressing their metabolic rate independently of temperature. However, the Antarctic fish (Notothenia coriiceps is unusual because it undergoes winter metabolic suppression irrespective of water temperature. We assessed the seasonal ecological strategy by monitoring swimming activity, growth, feeding and heart rate (f(H in N. coriiceps as they free-ranged within sub-zero waters. The metabolic rate of wild fish was extrapolated from f(H recordings, from oxygen consumption calibrations established in the laboratory prior to fish release. Throughout the summer months N. coriiceps spent a considerable proportion of its time foraging, resulting in a growth rate (G(w of 0.18 +/- 0.2% day(-1. In contrast, during winter much of the time was spent sedentary within a refuge and fish showed a net loss in G(w (-0.05 +/- 0.05% day(-1. Whilst inactive during winter, N. coriiceps displayed a very low f(H, reduced sensory and motor capabilities, and standard metabolic rate was one third lower than in summer. In a similar manner to other hibernating species, dormancy was interrupted with periodic arousals. These arousals, which lasted a few hours, occurred every 4-12 days. During arousal activity, f(H and metabolism increased to summer levels. This endogenous suppression and activation of metabolic processes, independent of body temperature, demonstrates that N. coriiceps were effectively 'putting themselves on ice' during winter months until food resources improved. This study demonstrates that at least some fish species can enter a dormant state similar to hibernation that is not temperature driven and presumably provides seasonal energetic

  20. Termination behaviour of supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selmes, Nick; Murray, Tavi; James, Timothy

    2013-04-01

    The behaviour of supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet, specifically with regard to their drainage through hydrofracturing to the ice sheet base, has received a great deal of recent attention. However, a previous study has shown that this mode of drainage accounts for only 13% of the lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. No published work to date has studied what happens to those lakes that do not drain suddenly, and little is known about what differences exist between those lakes which drain suddenly and those which do not. To learn more about the fate of those lakes that do not drain rapidly, we followed the evolution of 2600 supraglacial lakes over the five year period 2005-2009 using 3704 MODIS images. Lakes were studied in all areas of the ice sheet where they grow large enough to be observed using MODIS data (250 m pixels). From the MODIS images lake extent was classified and area was extracted giving a dataset of lake area over time. We used these data along with inferred melt from the MODIS Land Surface Temperature data product and qualitative observations from the imagery to discover how each lake disappeared from the ice sheet each year. Here we present three different modes by which lakes can disappear from the ice sheet, which have strongly contrasting effects on glacial dynamics and ice sheet water budget. Firstly, 13% of all lakes drained suddenly, probably to the bed. We observed groups of lakes draining suddenly in the same day in apparently linked events suggesting a common trigger mechanism for drainage. Secondly, some lakes drained more slowly over several days (34% of lakes in our dataset). We interpret this to be the result of supraglacial drainage, probably through incision of the exit channel. Finally, 46% of lakes survived to the end of the melt season and froze over. We suggest hypotheses from our findings as to what factors control whether or not sudden lake drainage to the bed occurs. Our results show that care must be taken when

  1. 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.

  2. What can adjoint modelling tell about the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to changes in basal sliding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, Jonathan; Rutt, Ian; Murray, Tavi; Utke, Jean

    2013-04-01

    act as a lubricant and increase basal sliding (Zwally2002). We investigate whether the volume of the Greenland ice sheet is sensitive to changes in basal sliding in areas of fast draining supra-glacial lakes. It is seen that the overall volume is more sensitive to changes in basal sliding coefficient areas in areas with fast draining supra-glacial lakes than in areas without these. References Heimbach and Bugnion, 2009: Greenland ice sheet volume sensitivity to basal, surface, and initial conditions, derived from an adjoint model, Annals of Glaciology, 50(52), 67-80 Van de Broeke et al., 2009: Partitioning recent Greenland mass loss, Science, 326, 984-986 Velicogna et al., 2009: Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L19503 Utke et al., 2006: OpenAD/F: A Modular, Open-Source tool for automatic differentiation of Fortran, ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, 34, 1-34 Zwally et al., 2002: Surface Melt-induced Acceleration of Greenland Ice-Sheet Flow, 297, 218-222

  3. Roles of wind stress and thermodynamic forcing in recent trends in Antarctic sea ice and Southern Ocean SST: An ocean-sea ice model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusahara, Kazuya; Williams, Guy D.; Massom, Robert; Reid, Phillip; Hasumi, Hiroyasu

    2017-11-01

    In contrast to a strong decrease in Arctic sea ice extent, overall Antarctic sea ice extent has modestly increased since 1979. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the net Antarctic sea ice expansion, including atmosphere/ocean circulation and temperature changes, sea ice-atmospheric-ocean feedback, increased precipitation, and enhanced basal meltwater from ice shelves. Concomitant with this positive trend in Antarctic sea ice, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the Southern Ocean south of approximately 45°S have cooled over this period. However, the mechanisms responsible for the Antarctic sea ice expansion and the SST cooling trend remain poorly defined. Here, we conduct comprehensive sensitivity experiments using a coupled ocean-sea ice model with a steady-state ice shelf component in order to investigate the main drivers of recent trends in Antarctic sea ice and SST over the Southern Ocean. The results suggest that Antarctic sea ice expansion is mostly explained by trends in the thermodynamic surface forcing, notably cooling and drying and a reduction in longwave radiation. Similarly, thermodynamic forcing is found to be the main driver of the zonal SST cooling trend. While apparently less influential on sea ice extent and SST, wind stress plays a key role in sea ice motion, thickening coastal sea ice, and thinning and decreasing the concentration of ice in mid-pack regions of the Amundsen-eastern Ross seas and 65-95°E in winter-spring. Furthermore, the model suggests that ocean-ice shelf interaction does not significantly influence the observed trends in Antarctic sea ice coverage and Southern Ocean SST in recent decades.

  4. Detection and structural identification of dissolved organic matter in Antarctic glacial ice at natural abundance by SPR-W5-WATERGATE 1H NMR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pautler, Brent G; Simpson, André J; Simpson, Myrna J; Tseng, Li-Hong; Spraul, Manfred; Dubnick, Ashley; Sharp, Martin J; Fitzsimons, Sean J

    2011-06-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems and is derived from various inputs that control its turnover. Glaciers and ice sheets are the second largest water reservoir in the global hydrologic cycle, but little is known about glacial DOM composition or contributions to biogeochemical cycling. Here we employ SPR-W5-WATERGATE (1)H NMR spectroscopy to elucidate and quantify the chemical structures of DOM constituents in Antarctic glacial ice as they exist in their natural state (average DOC of 8 mg/L) without isolation or preconcentration. This Antarctic glacial DOM is predominantly composed of a mixture of small recognizable molecules differing from DOM in marine, lacustrine, and other terrestrial environments. The major constituents detected in three distinct types of glacial ice include lactic and formic acid, free amino acids, and a mixture of simple sugars and amino sugars with concentrations that vary between ice types. The detection of free amino acid and amino sugar monomer components of peptidoglycan within the ice suggests that Antarctic glacial DOM likely originates from in situ microbial activity. As these constituents are normally considered to be biologically labile (fast cycling) in nonglacial environments, accelerated glacier melt and runoff may result in a flux of nutrients into adjacent ecosystems.

  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. Antarctic Circumpolar Current Fronts, Winter Sea Ice and Variability: Topographic Influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talley, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic winter sea ice edge is closely associated with the southernmost Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) fronts, which are guided northeastward, with their cold waters, by mid-ocean ridges in the Pacific and Atlantic, and Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian. In the Amundsen/Bellingshausen Seas and along Adelie Land, the southern ACC fronts are free from topographic control, and swing southwards towards Antarctica, carrying warmer waters. This suggests poleward Sverdrup transport due to wind-driven upwelling, distorted by the major topographic ridges. Hydrographic observations show stronger penetration of full-depth ACC water into the Amundsen/ Bellingshausen Seas in 2011 compared with 1992, consistent with decreasing sea ice and increasing ice-shelf melt. Winter sea ice increased where the southern ACC is topographically locked into northeastward pathways. The standing eddy pattern of ACC poleward heat flux, strengthening winds, and decadal winter sea ice changes are consistent with strengthening circulation along the southern side of the ACC.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Assessment of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice predictability in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.-Y. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the ability of coupled global climate models to predict decadal variability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. We analyze decadal hindcasts/predictions of 11 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5 models. Decadal hindcasts exhibit a large multi-model spread in the simulated sea ice extent, with some models deviating significantly from the observations as the predicted ice extent quickly drifts away from the initial constraint. The anomaly correlation analysis between the decadal hindcast and observed sea ice suggests that in the Arctic, for most models, the areas showing significant predictive skill become broader associated with increasing lead times. This area expansion is largely because nearly all the models are capable of predicting the observed decreasing Arctic sea ice cover. Sea ice extent in the North Pacific has better predictive skill than that in the North Atlantic (particularly at a lead time of 3–7 years, but there is a re-emerging predictive skill in the North Atlantic at a lead time of 6–8 years. In contrast to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice decadal hindcasts do not show broad predictive skill at any timescales, and there is no obvious improvement linking the areal extent of significant predictive skill to lead time increase. This might be because nearly all the models predict a retreating Antarctic sea ice cover, opposite to the observations. For the Arctic, the predictive skill of the multi-model ensemble mean outperforms most models and the persistence prediction at longer timescales, which is not the case for the Antarctic. Overall, for the Arctic, initialized decadal hindcasts show improved predictive skill compared to uninitialized simulations, although this improvement is not present in the Antarctic.

  10. Sediment plume response to surface melting and supraglacial lake drainages on the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chu, Vena W.; Smith, Laurence C; Rennermalm, Asa K.

    2009-01-01

    Increased mass losses from the Greenland ice sheet and inferred contributions to sea-level rise have heightened the need for hydrologic observations of meltwater exiting the ice sheet. We explore whether temporal variations in ice-sheet surface hydrology can be linked to the development of a down...

  11. Surface melt on Antarctic ice shelves driven by wind-albedo interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lhermitte, Stef; Lenaerts, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Surface melt and subsequent firn air depletion is considered an important precursor for disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves, causing grounded glaciers to accelerate and sea level to rise. Recent studies have highlighted the impact of surface winds on Antarctic ice shelf melt, both on the Antarctic Peninsula and in East Antarctica. In the Antarctic Peninsula, foehn winds enhance melting near the grounding line, which in the recent past has led to the disintegration of the most northerly ice shelves. On the East Antarctic ice shelves, on the other hand, meltwater-induced firn air depletion is found in the grounding zone as result of persistent katabatic winds, regionally warming the atmosphere and inducing a melt-albedo feedback. Here, we use a combination multi-source satellite imagery, snow modelling, climate model output and in-situ observations to highlight the importance of this wind-induced melt and to show its widespread occurrence across Antarctica. The satellite imagery gives insight in the meltwater drainage systems, showing spatio-temporal changes in both supraglacial and englacial water throughout the melt season and during the subsequent winter. Although the wind-induced melt is a regional phenomenon with strong inter-annual variability, it is strongly correlated to larger scale climate parameters, such as summer surface temperature. Based on these correlations and snow model output driven by future climate scenarios, we can constrain the future changes to this local melt near the grounding line.

  12. Towards coupling of regional atmosphere models to ice sheet models by mass balance gradients - application to the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, M.M.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van de Berg, W.J.; Oerlemans, J.

    2012-01-01

    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,

  13. Effects of future Arctic sea ice decline on Greenland ice sheet melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizcaino, Miren; Michailidou, Egli

    2017-04-01

    CMIP5 models project substantial reduction of the Arctic sea ice cover during the current century, including the onset of a seasonally ice free Arctic. In this study we explore the effects of future Arctic sea-ice change on the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). For this, we use 1850-2100 simulations from the Community Earth System Model version 1.0 corresponding to historical and RCP8.5 scenarios. We examine the impact of Arctic change on the surface energy and mass budgets of the Greenland ice sheet. We distinguish between winter Arctic change and Greenland-melt-season (Spring and Summer) future climate change. We find a substantial reduction in summer incoming shortwave radiation over the GrIS both for clear-sky and all-sky conditions, that reduces the energy available for melt. Because of the large amount of energy that is used during summer to melt sea-ice, we find no amplified summer warming in the ocean around Greenland, except where summer-long ice-free conditions develop. The different nature of the processes controlling sea-ice change along the western and eastern Greenland coast is examined. We find no links in the timing of major sea-ice change and Greenland snow and ice melt, and justify why such a linkage is absent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillan, M.; Escola, R.; Roca, M.; Thibaut, P.; Aublanc, J.; Shepherd, A.; Remy, F.; Benveniste, J.; Ambrózio, A.; Restano, M.

    2017-12-01

    For the past 25 years, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a valuable record of ice sheet elevation change and mass balance. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which reduces their capacity to make 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 heralded the start of a new era of SAR Interferometric (SARIn) altimetry. However, because the satellite operated in SARIn and LRM mode over the ice sheets, many of the non-interferometric SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized for water and sea ice surfaces only. The launch of Sentinel-3, which provides full non-interferometric SAR coverage of the ice sheets, therefore presents the opportunity to further develop these SAR processing methodologies over ice sheets. Here we present results from SPICE, a 2 year study that focuses on (1) developing and evaluating Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry processing methodologies over the Polar ice sheets, and (2) investigating radar wave penetration through comparisons of Ku- and Ka-band satellite measurements. The project, which is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, has worked in advance of the operational phase of Sentinel-3, to emulate Sentinel-3 SAR and pseudo-LRM data from dedicated CryoSat-2 SAR acquisitions made at the Lake Vostok, Dome C and Spirit sites in East Antarctica, and from reprocessed SARIn data in Greenland. In Phase 1 of the project we have evaluated existing processing methodologies, and in Phase 2 we are investigating new evolutions to the Delay-Doppler Processing (DDP) and retracking chains. In this presentation we (1) evaluate the existing Sentinel-3 processing chain by

  15. Continent-Wide Estimates of Antarctic Strain Rates from Landsat 8-Derived Velocity Grids and Their Application to Ice Shelf Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, K. E.; Scambos, T.; Anderson, R. S.; Rajaram, H.; Pope, A.; Haran, T.

    2017-12-01

    Strain rates are fundamental measures of ice flow used in a wide variety of glaciological applications including investigations of bed properties, calculations of basal mass balance on ice shelves, application to Glen's flow law, and many other studies. However, despite their extensive application, strain rates are calculated using widely varying methods and length scales, and the calculation details are often not specified. In this study, we compare the results of nominal and logarithmic strain-rate calculations based on a satellite-derived velocity field of the Antarctic ice sheet generated from Landsat 8 satellite data. Our comparison highlights the differences between the two commonly used approaches in the glaciological literature. We evaluate the errors introduced by each code and their impacts on the results. We also demonstrate the importance of choosing and specifying a length scale over which strain-rate calculations are made, which can have large local impacts on other derived quantities such as basal mass balance on ice shelves. We present strain-rate data products calculated using an approximate viscous length-scale with satellite observations of ice velocity for the Antarctic continent. Finally, we explore the applications of comprehensive strain-rate maps to future ice shelf studies, including investigations of ice fracture, calving patterns, and stability analyses.

  16. Interaction of ice sheets and climate during the past 800 000 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stap, L. B.; Van De Wal, R. S W; De Boer, B.; Bintanja, R.; Lourens, L. J.

    2014-01-01

    During the Cenozoic, land ice and climate interacted on many different timescales. On long timescales, the effect of land ice on global climate and sea level is mainly set by large ice sheets in North America, Eurasia, Greenland and Antarctica. The climatic forcing of these ice sheets is largely

  17. 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......) and end moraines marking the ice extent of the LIA, which thereby enables us to obtain vertical point-based differences associated with changes in ice extent. These point measurements are combined with contemporary ice surface differences derived using NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) from 2002...

  18. Pliocene Antarctic sea-ice reconstruction based on the diatom record the ANDRILL 1B core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, R. P.; Sjunneskog, C. M.; Winter, D.; Riesselman, C.

    2010-12-01

    The ANtarctic DRILLing Program’s AND-1B core, comprising 13 interglacial diatomaceous sections spanning the early Pliocene to the early Pleistocene, provides a largely complete record of Pliocene climate and sea-ice conditions in the Ross Sea. As primary producers, diatoms are directly influenced by surface water conditions, thus fossil assemblages provide a high quality proxy for past surface waters. The modern diatom flora of the Southern Ocean reflects the strong zonal system characterized by a seasonal sea-ice zone (SSIZ), a permanent open ocean zone (POOZ), and a subantarctic zone (SAZ), each with a distinct water column and sedimentary diatom assemblage. The stratigraphic distribution of these assemblages in the AND-1B core provides a history of changing sea surface temperature (SST) and sea-ice conditions through the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. In the early to mid-Pliocene section (4.6-3.3 Ma) the SSIZ is only represented by a few percent, including during glacial stages. This contrasts with the >80% present in the modern western Ross Sea. The SAZ is well represented during this interval in the core, along with the POOZ assemblage, despite the high latitude and proximity to the coastline. This assemblage indicates minimal sea-ice during the summer photoperiod at this latitude. The SSIZ assemblage is present but remains minor during the latter part of the mid-Pliocene (3.3-3.0 Ma). The diatom assemblage suggests surface water stratification, possibly indicating persistent polynya conditions. This period is followed by an interval characterized by both a slight increase in sea-ice and in subantarctic species, which we interpret as reflecting stronger seasonal SST variability compared to prior periods. The sea-ice assemblage and specific sea-ice indicator species increase slightly through the late Pliocene (2.0 Ma) and early Pleistocene (1.07 Ma) but never approach the abundance observed in the modern Ross Sea. These results show that the seasonal sea-ice

  19. Moulin density controls drainage development beneath the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banwell, Alison; Hewitt, Ian; Willis, Ian; Arnold, Neil

    2016-12-01

    Uncertainty remains about how the surface hydrology of the Greenland ice sheet influences its subglacial drainage system, affecting basal water pressures and ice velocities, particularly over intraseasonal and interseasonal timescales. Here we apply a high spatial (200 m) and temporal (1 h) resolution subglacial hydrological model to a marginal (extending 25 km inland), land-terminating, 200 km2 domain in the Paakitsoq region, West Greenland. The model is based on that by Hewitt (2013) but adapted for use with both real topographic boundary conditions and calibrated modeled water inputs. The inputs consist of moulin hydrographs, calculated by a surface routing and lake-filling/draining model, which is forced with distributed runoff from a surface energy-balance model. Results suggest that the areal density of lake-bottom moulins and their timing of opening during the melt season strongly affects subglacial drainage system development. A higher moulin density causes an earlier onset of subglacial channelization (i.e., water transport through channels rather than the distributed sheet), which becomes relatively widespread across the bed, whereas a lower moulin density results in a later onset of channelization that becomes less widespread across the bed. In turn, moulin density has a strong control on spatial and temporal variations in subglacial water pressures, which will influence basal sliding rates, and thus ice motion. The density of active surface-to-bed connections should be considered alongside surface melt intensity and extent in future predictions of the ice sheet's dynamics.

  20. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. Influence of Sea Ice Crack Formation on the Spatial Distribution of Nutrients and Microalgae in Flooded Antarctic Multiyear Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Daiki; Aoki, Shigeru; Simizu, Daisuke; Iida, Takahiro

    2018-02-01

    Cracks are common and natural features of sea ice formed in the polar oceans. In this study, a sea ice crack in flooded, multiyear, land-fast Antarctic sea ice was examined to assess its influence on biological productivity and the transport of nutrients and microalgae into the upper layers of neighboring sea ice. The water inside the crack and the surrounding host ice were characterized by a strong discoloration (brown color), an indicator of a massive algal bloom. Salinity and oxygen isotopic ratio measurements indicated that 64-84% of the crack water consisted of snow meltwater supplied during the melt season. Measurements of nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations within the slush layer pool (the flooded layer at the snow-ice interface) revealed the intrusion of water from the crack, likely forced by mixing with underlying seawater during the tidal cycle. Our results suggest that sea ice crack formation provides conditions favorable for algal blooms by directly exposing the crack water to sunlight and supplying nutrients from the under-ice water. Subsequently, constituents of the crack water modified by biological activity were transported into the upper layer of the flooded sea ice. They were then preserved in the multiyear ice column formed by upward growth of sea ice caused by snow ice formation in areas of significant snow accumulation.

  2. Radar Detection of Layering in Ice: Experiments on a Constructed Layered Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, L. M.; Koenig, L.; Courville, Z.; Ghent, R. R.; Koutnik, M. R.

    2016-12-01

    The polar caps and glaciers of both Earth and Mars display internal layering that preserves a record of past climate. These layers are apparent both in optical datasets (high resolution images, core samples) and in ground penetrating radar (GPR) data. On Mars, the SHARAD (Shallow Radar) radar on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows fine layering that changes spatially and with depth across the polar caps. This internal layering has been attributed to changes in fractional dust contamination due to obliquity-induced climate variations, but there are other processes that can lead to internal layers visible in radar data. In particular, terrestrial sounding of ice sheets compared with core samples have revealed that ice density and composition differences account for the majority of the radar reflectors. The large cold rooms and ice laboratory facility at the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) provide us a unique opportunity to construct experimental ice sheets in a controlled setting and measure them with radar. In a CRREL laboratory, we constructed a layered ice sheet that is 3-m deep with a various snow and ice layers with known dust concentrations (using JSC Mars-1 basaltic simulant) and density differences. These ice sheets were profiled using a commercial GPR, at frequencies of 200, 400 and 900 MHz, to determine how the radar profile changes due to systematic and known changes in snow and ice layers, including layers with sub-wavelength spacing. We will report results from these experiments and implications for interpreting radar-detected layering in ice on Earth and Mars.

  3. Reconstructing the post-LGM decay of the Eurasian Ice Sheets with Ice Sheet Models; data-model comparison and focus on the Storfjorden (Svalbard) ice stream dynamics history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrini, Michele; Kirchner, Nina; Colleoni, Florence; Camerlenghi, Angelo; Rebesco, Michele; Lucchi, Renata G.; Forte, Emanuele; Colucci, Renato R.

    2017-04-01

    climate simulation. In this presentation, we will show work in progress, address open issues, and sketch future work. In particular, we invite the community to suggest possibilities for model-data comparison and integration. Liu, Z., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., He, F., Brady, E.C., Tomas, R., Clark, P.U., Carlson, A.E., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Curry, W., Brook, E. and Erickson, D., 2009. Transient simulation of last deglaciation with a new mechanism for Bólling-Alleród warming. Science, 325(5938), pp.310-314. Lucchi, R.G., Camerlenghi, A., Rebesco, M., Colmenero-Hidalgo, E., Sierro, F.J., Sagnotti, L., Urgeles, R., Melis, R., Morigi, C., Bárcena, M.A. and Giorgetti, G., 2013. Postglacial sedimentary processes on the Storfjorden and Kveithola trough mouth fans: Significance of extreme glacimarine sedimentation. Global and planetary change, 111, pp.309-326. Martin, M.A., Winkelmann, R., Haseloff, M., Albrecht, T., Bueler, E., Khroulev, C. and Levermann, A., 2011. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK)-Part 2: Dynamic equilibrium simulation of the Antarctic ice sheet. The Cryosphere, 5(3), pp.727-740. Pedrosa, M.T., Camerlenghi, A., De Mol, B., Urgeles, R., Rebesco, M. and Lucchi, R.G., 2011. Seabed morphology and shallow sedimentary structure of the Storfjorden and Kveithola trough-mouth fans (north west Barents Sea). Marine Geology, 286(1), pp.65-81. Pollard, D. and DeConto, R.M., 2012. Description of a hybrid ice sheet-shelf model, and application to Antarctica. Geoscientific Model Development, 5(5), pp.1273-1295. Rebesco, M., Liu, Y., Camerlenghi, A., Winsborrow, M., Laberg, J.S., Caburlotto, A., Diviacco, P., Accettella, D., Sauli, C., Wardell, N. and Tomini, I., 2011. Deglaciation of the western margin of the Barents Sea Ice Sheet-a swath bathymetric and sub-bottom seismic study from the Kveithola Trough. Marine Geology, 279(1), pp.141-147. Rebesco, M., Laberg, J., Pedrosa, M., Camerlenghi, A., Lucchi, R., Zgur, F. and Wardell, N., 2013. Onset and growth of Trough

  4. Geochemical constraints on the Laurentide Ice Sheet contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Anders E.

    2009-08-01

    Planktonic and benthic δ18O records adjacent to the runoff outlets of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) indicate that the LIS contributed to the abrupt ˜20 m rise in sea level ˜14.6 ka, Meltwater Pulse 1A (MWP-1A). However, the magnitude of the LIS contribution still remains unresolved. Here, I use a freshwater runoff-ocean mixing model to calculate the LIS meltwater required to explain the decreases in planktonic and benthic δ18O observed during MWP-1A at the southern, eastern and northern runoff outlets of the LIS. Maximum LIS contributions in equivalent sea level rise for a 500-year long MWP-1A are 2.7 m discharged into the Gulf of Mexico as a combined hyperpycnal and hypopycnal flow, 2.1 m discharged into the North Atlantic, and 0.5 m into the Arctic Ocean, for a total LIS contribution of ≤5.3 m. A LIS contribution of <30% to MWP-1A supports the hypothesis that a significant component of this MWP was sourced from the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  5. Sympagic occurrence of Eusirid and Lysianassoid amphipods under Antarctic pack ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krapp, Rupert H.; Berge, Jorgen; Flores, Hauke; Gulliksen, Bjorn; Werner, Iris

    2008-01-01

    During three Antarctic expeditions (2004, ANT XXI-4 and XXII-2; 2006, ANT XXIII-6) with the German research icebreaker R/V Polarstern, six different amphipod species were recorded under the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and the Lazarev Sea. These cruises covered Austral autumn (April), summer

  6. Determination of lead isotopes in Arctic and Antarctic snow and ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosman, K.J.R.; Chisholm, W.

    1994-01-01

    The development of high sensitivity mass spectrometry to measure Pb isotopes in Arctic and Antarctic snow and ice has provided a powerful tool for identifying sources of global Pb pollution. The combination of isotope abundance information with concentration measurements adds another dimension to analytical chemistry. (authors). 11 refs., 4 figs

  7. 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...... to 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?...

  8. The modelled liquid water balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Christian R.; Reijmer, Carleen H.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies indicate that the surface mass balance will dominate the Greenland Ice Sheet's (GrIS) contribution to 21st century sea level rise. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the liquid water balance (LWB) of the ice sheet and its response to increasing surface melt. We therefore analyse a firn simulation conducted with the SNOWPACK model for the GrIS and over the period 1960-2014 with a special focus on the LWB and refreezing. Evaluations of the simulated refreezing climate with GRACE and firn temperature observations indicate a good model-observation agreement. Results of the LWB analysis reveal a spatially uniform increase in surface melt (0.16 m w.e. a-1) during 1990-2014. As a response, refreezing and run-off also indicate positive changes during this period (0.05 and 0.11 m w.e. a-1, respectively), where refreezing increases at only half the rate of run-off, implying that the majority of the additional liquid input runs off the ice sheet. This pattern of refreeze and run-off is spatially variable. For instance, in the south-eastern part of the GrIS, most of the additional liquid input is buffered in the firn layer due to relatively high snowfall rates. Modelled increase in refreezing leads to a decrease in firn air content and to a substantial increase in near-surface firn temperature. On the western side of the ice sheet, modelled firn temperature increases are highest in the lower accumulation zone and are primarily caused by the exceptional melt season of 2012. On the eastern side, simulated firn temperature increases are more gradual and are associated with the migration of firn aquifers to higher elevations.

  9. The modelled liquid water balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Steger

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies indicate that the surface mass balance will dominate the Greenland Ice Sheet's (GrIS contribution to 21st century sea level rise. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the liquid water balance (LWB of the ice sheet and its response to increasing surface melt. We therefore analyse a firn simulation conducted with the SNOWPACK model for the GrIS and over the period 1960–2014 with a special focus on the LWB and refreezing. Evaluations of the simulated refreezing climate with GRACE and firn temperature observations indicate a good model–observation agreement. Results of the LWB analysis reveal a spatially uniform increase in surface melt (0.16 m w.e. a−1 during 1990–2014. As a response, refreezing and run-off also indicate positive changes during this period (0.05 and 0.11 m w.e. a−1, respectively, where refreezing increases at only half the rate of run-off, implying that the majority of the additional liquid input runs off the ice sheet. This pattern of refreeze and run-off is spatially variable. For instance, in the south-eastern part of the GrIS, most of the additional liquid input is buffered in the firn layer due to relatively high snowfall rates. Modelled increase in refreezing leads to a decrease in firn air content and to a substantial increase in near-surface firn temperature. On the western side of the ice sheet, modelled firn temperature increases are highest in the lower accumulation zone and are primarily caused by the exceptional melt season of 2012. On the eastern side, simulated firn temperature increases are more gradual and are associated with the migration of firn aquifers to higher elevations.

  10. Ice-proximal Marine Sedimentation in the Ross Sea during LGM: Ice-sheet and Ocean Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turetta, C.; Aghib, F. S.; Ferretti, P.; Barbante, C.

    2016-12-01

    We present preliminary results from a multi-proxy study of different cores from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Thirty cores have been sampled at the Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility (AMRF), Florida State University in order to discriminate different source areas and to reconstruct the depositional setting and related climate implications in a peculiar ice-proximal marine setting. Sediment characterizations, trace elements (TE) and rare earth elements (REEs) compositional analysis and evaluation about their source areas have been performed on sediment cores collected widespread in the Ross Sea area. Analysis of 72 samples from thirty cores was performed to determine total concentration of Li, Be, Mg, Al, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Ag, Cd, Cs, Ba, Tl, Pb, Bi, Th, U, Y and REEs. This extensive geochemical characterization of cores from several sites in the Ross Sea, will allow to better define the sedimentary processes, to understand the evolution of the ice-proximal marine setting, to evaluate areas with different geochemical features related to different provenances. In particular REEs allow us to discriminate different source areas and to better define the ocean input in the sediment composition. Moreover, 17 sediment cores from Coulman High area collected along two transects were characterized in order to constrain sediment bulk composition, biogenic vs non-biogenic components and the related depositional setting. Sediments from the two transects show a completely different bulk composition, those from the Northern transect mainly consist of fine-grained sediments containing well-preserved biogenic carbonate remains. Sediments from the Southern cores mainly consist of dark greenish diatomaceous sandy mud containing abundant diatoms in fragments. Sedimentation along the two transects seems to reflect the extent of the ice sheets in an ice-proximal marine setting. REEs compositional analyses have confirmed different source regions, a

  11. Organic compounds and suspended matter in the marine ice of the Eastern Antarctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemirovskaya, I.A.; Novigatsky, A.N.

    2005-01-01

    Data on the composition of organic compounds in Antarctic sea ice are virtually non-existent, as most works concentrate on the structure, physical composition and biological properties of the ice. Data is needed for the study of the global carbon cycle and the estimation of background values and anthropogenic compounds. Specific features of the hydrometeorological regime near Antarctica affect the structure of the ice cover and its properties. The transportation of large volumes of snow to the ocean results in the formation of a snow sludge layer which gradually accumulates on the sea surface and freezes into young slush ice. The irregular distribution of snow at the ice surface and seawater infiltration results in the formation of ice with a specific crystalline structure and physiochemical properties. This paper discussed the dissolved and suspended lipids and hydrocarbons, as well as suspended matter (SM) concentrations in snow, sea ice and sub-ice water in coastal zones of the East Antarctic. The data was obtained during the Russian Antarctic Expedition in 2003. Variations in the concentration and distribution of the various substances suggest that they are related to ice forming conditions and to the processes that occur when ice forms, as well as in the interaction of the substances with ice, snow and sub-ice water. The SM and organic compounds are accumulated in layers characterized by intense autochthonous processes. It was noted that the zones stay biogeochemically active even under low temperature conditions. The highest concentrations of organic compounds, along with the biggest variations in their proportions have been discovered in the areas surrounded by penguin colonies near Buromsky Island and Haswell Island's Lake. The presence of significant quantities of PAHs in both pack and seasonal ice of high latitudes indicates that their formation is relatively rapid even at low temperatures. Many biochemical processes are intense under the influence of ice

  12. Clouds and their Impacts on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shupe, M.; Miller, N.; Solomon, A.; Stone, M.; Cox, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    Clouds play a central role in the climate of the Greenland Ice Sheet, influencing the surface energy and mass budgets. Using observations from the Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS) campaign and coordinated measurements, we provide a synthesis of cloud information in central Greenland over the past six years. The observations combine a suite of ground-based active and passive remote sensors along with in situ measurements to characterize basic cloud properties, their annual variability, and the manner in which they interact with the surface energy budget. The frequent occurrence and critical role of liquid water clouds is specifically highlighted. It is shown that over the central ice sheet domain due to the high surface albedo, clouds warm the surface year round. Regional synoptic analyses are used to provide insight into the larger-scale drivers of cloudiness over central Greenland, including drivers of moisture advection. A regional coupled system model is used to examine cloud processes in more detail and to up-scale our understanding of cloud-surface interactions to cover the full ice sheet. Simulations reveal a spatially variable role of clouds that may have key implications for both enhancing and modulating melt processes over Greenland.

  13. Interaction between Antarctic sea ice and synoptic activity in the circumpolar trough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlosser, Elisabeth

    2010-05-01

    Different from conditions in the Arctic, total Antarctic sea ice extent does not show large interannual variability and almost no long-term trend is found. On a regional/monthly scale, however, large differences are observed, depending on winds and oceanic currents, thus on the prevailing synoptic weather situation. At the same time, the sea ice influences atmospheric conditions: presence of sea ice considerably changes the energy exchange between ocean and atmosphere, thus the meridional air temperature gradient, which is usually strongest at the sea ice edge. This leads to high baroclinicity in this area and thus favours cyclogenesis. The position and movement of low pressure systems, in turn, together with the local heat balance, determines sea ice extent and concentration. Divergence and convergence of sea ice also depends on the position of the circumpolar trough relative to the sea ice edge, since its position determines whether the atmospheric flow is predominantly easterly or westerly, which leads to sea ice transport to the southwest or the northeast, respectively. The circumpolar trough is usually situated closer to the coast in spring and autumn and moves north in summer and winter. In this study, meteorological data from the ECMWF ERA-interim reanalysis as well as sea ice extent and concentration derived from passive microwave data (SSMI/SMMR) are used to investigate the interactions between Antarctic sea ice and synoptic activity in the polar ocean. Special consideration is given to the frequency of regional sea ice minima and warm air advection from lower latitudes. A stable synoptic situation with amplified Rossby waves can lead to regional extrema in sea ice extent. An extreme case was observed in the austral summer of 2001/2002 in the Weddell Sea, when continuous northwesterly winds removed the ice from the northwestern part of the Weddell Sea and drove it to the coast of Coats Land, where usually coastal polynyas are observed in summer.

  14. Ice Algae-Produced Carbon Is Critical for Overwintering of Antarctic Krill Euphausia superba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doreen Kohlbach

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Antarctic krill Euphausia superba (“krill” constitute a fundamental food source for Antarctic seabirds and mammals, and a globally important fisheries resource. The future resilience of krill to climate change depends critically on the winter survival of young krill. To survive periods of extremely low production by pelagic algae during winter, krill are assumed to rely partly on carbon produced by ice algae. The true dependency on ice algae-produced carbon, however, is so far unquantified. This confounds predictions on the future resilience of krill stocks to sea ice decline. Fatty acid (FA analysis, bulk stable isotope analysis (BSIA, and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA of diatom- and dinoflagellate-associated marker FAs were applied to quantify the dependency of overwintering larval, juvenile, and adult krill on ice algae-produced carbon (αIce during winter 2013 in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence Zone. Our results demonstrate that the majority of the carbon uptake of the overwintering larval and juvenile krill originated from ice algae (up to 88% of the carbon budget, and that the dependency on ice algal carbon decreased with ontogeny, reaching <56% of the carbon budget in adults. Spatio-temporal variability in the utilization of ice algal carbon was more pronounced in larvae and juvenile krill than in adults. Differences between αIce estimates derived from short- vs. long-term FA-specific isotopic compositions suggested that ice algae-produced carbon gained importance as the winter progressed, and might become critical at the late winter-spring transition, before the phytoplankton bloom commences. Where the sea ice season shortens, reduced availability of ice algae might possibly not be compensated by surplus phytoplankton production during wintertime. Hence, sea ice decline could seriously endanger the winter survival of recruits, and subsequently overall biomass of krill.

  15. 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.

  16. Possible connections of the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Winkler, Julie A.; Zhou, Mingyu; Lenschow, Donald H.; Li, Bingrui; Wang, Xianqiao; Yang, Qinghua

    2017-04-01

    Sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and a key indicator of climate change. A decreasing trend in Arctic sea-ice concentration is evident in recent years, whereas Antarctic sea-ice concentration exhibits a generally increasing trend. Various studies have investigated the underlying causes of the observed trends for each region, but possible linkages between the regional trends have not been studied. Here, we hypothesize that the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice concentration may be linked, at least partially, through interdecadal variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Although evaluation of this hypothesis is constrained by the limitations of the sea-ice cover record, preliminary statistical analyses of one short-term and two long-term time series of observed and reanalysis sea-ice concentrations data suggest the possibility of the hypothesized linkages. For all three data sets, the leading mode of variability of global sea-ice concentration is positively correlated with the AMO and negatively correlated with the PDO. Two wave trains related to the PDO and the AMO appear to produce anomalous surface-air temperature and low-level wind fields in the two polar regions that contribute to the opposite changes in sea-ice concentration.

  17. Possible connections of the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Winkler, Julie A; Zhou, Mingyu; Lenschow, Donald H; Li, Bingrui; Wang, Xianqiao; Yang, Qinghua

    2017-04-05

    Sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and a key indicator of climate change. A decreasing trend in Arctic sea-ice concentration is evident in recent years, whereas Antarctic sea-ice concentration exhibits a generally increasing trend. Various studies have investigated the underlying causes of the observed trends for each region, but possible linkages between the regional trends have not been studied. Here, we hypothesize that the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice concentration may be linked, at least partially, through interdecadal variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Although evaluation of this hypothesis is constrained by the limitations of the sea-ice cover record, preliminary statistical analyses of one short-term and two long-term time series of observed and reanalysis sea-ice concentrations data suggest the possibility of the hypothesized linkages. For all three data sets, the leading mode of variability of global sea-ice concentration is positively correlated with the AMO and negatively correlated with the PDO. Two wave trains related to the PDO and the AMO appear to produce anomalous surface-air temperature and low-level wind fields in the two polar regions that contribute to the opposite changes in sea-ice concentration.

  18. Antarctic grounding-line migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, T.; Konrad, H.; Shepherd, A.; Gilbert, L.; Hogg, A.; McMillan, M.; Muir, A. S.

    2017-12-01

    Knowledge of grounding-line position is critical for quantifying ice discharge into the ocean, as a boundary condition for numerical models of ice flow, and as an indicator of ice sheet stability. Although geological investigations have documented extensive grounding-line retreat since the period of the Last Glacial Maximum, observations of grounding line migration during the satellite era are restricted to a handful of locations. We combine satellite altimeter observations of ice-elevation change and airborne measurements of ice geometry to track movement of the Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding line. Based on these data, we estimate that 22%, 3%, and 10% of the West Antarctic, East Antarctic, and Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet grounding lines are retreating at rates faster than the typical pace since the Last Glacial Maximum, and that the continent loses over 200 km2 of grounded-ice area per year. Although by far the fastest rates of retreat occurred in the Amundsen Sea Sector, the Pine Island Glacier grounding line has stabilized - likely as a consequence of abated ocean forcing during the survey period.

  19. 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

    2016-02-04

    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.

  20. What's Cooler Than Being Cool? Icefin: Robotic Exploration Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, J.; Schmidt, B. E.; Meister, M. R.; Glass, J. B.; Bowman, J. S.; Stockton, A. M.; Dichek, D.; Hurwitz, B.; Ramey, C.; Spears, A.; Walker, C. C.

    2017-12-01

    The 2017-18 Antarctic field season marks the first of three under the RISEUP project (Ross Ice Shelf & Europa Underwater Probe, NASA PSTAR program grant NNX16AL07G, PI B. E. Schmidt). RISEUP expands our efforts to understand the physical processes governing ice-ocean interactions from beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) to the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), utilizing the modular autonomous or remotely operable submersible vehicle (AUV/ROV) Icefin. The remote, aphotic regions below Antarctic shelves present a unique opportunity- they are both poorly understood terrestrial environments and analogs for similar systems hypothesized to be present on other bodies in our solar system, such as Europa and Enceladus. By developing new robotic technologies to access and explore ice shelf cavities we are advancing our understanding of how temperature, pressure, and salinity influence the ice-ocean interface, the limits of habitable environments on Earth, and what biological processes and adaptations enable the life discovered by the RISP and WISSARD programs during initial exploration beneath the RIS. These investigations further our understanding of ocean world habitability and support planned and proposed planetary missions (e.g. Europa Clipper, Europa Lander) via improved constraint of marine ice accretion processes, organic entrainment, and interface habitability. Custom built at Georgia Tech and first deployed during the 2014/15 Antarctic season, Icefin is 3.5 m, 125 kg modular vehicle that now carries a full suite of oceanographic sensors (including conductivity, temperature, depth, dissolved O2, dissolved organic matter, turbidity, pH, eH, and sonar) that can be deployed through boreholes as small as 25 cm in diameter. Here we present continued analysis of basal ice and oceanographic observations in the McMurdo Sound region from 2012-2015 with, pending anticipated field work, comparisons to preliminary data from the 2017/18 field season beneath both the McMurdo and Ross Ice

  1. Methane Isotopes from the WAIS Divide Ice Core, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes methane (CH4) isotope data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide ice core, WDC05A, in Antarctica. The data include depth, gas age,...

  2. 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...... is investigated as well as its early history. The studies are performed using an ice-sheet model in combination with relevant forcing from observed and modeled climate. Changes in ice-sheet geometry influences atmospheric flow (and vice versa) hereby changing the forcing patterns. Changes in the overall climate...... for the build-up of the Greenland ice sheet that lead to the intensification of the Northern Hemisphere glaciations at the end of the Pliocene. A study of output from the climate model, EC-EARTH, reveals some of the challenges faced when using this to force ice-sheet evolution or when full coupling of ice...

  3. The liquid water balance of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Christian; Reijmer, Carleen; van den Broeke, Michiel

    2017-04-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is an increasingly important contributor to global sea level rise. During the last decade, the mass loss was dominated by meltwater runoff. Linking actual runoff from the ice sheet to melt and other forms of liquid water input at the surface (rainfall and condensation) is however complex, as liquid water may be retained within the ice sheet due to refreezing and/or (perennial) storage. In the ablation zone on bare ice, liquid water runs of laterally at the surface, accumulates in supraglacial lakes or enters the ice sheet's en- or subglacial hydraulic system via moulins and crevasses. In the higher elevated accumulation zone, liquid water percolates into the porous firn layer and part of it may be retained due to refreezing and/or perennial storage in so called firn aquifers. In this study, we investigate the liquid water balance of the GrIS focussing on the role of the firn layer. For this purpose, we ran SNOWPACK, a relatively complex one-dimensional snow model, on a horizontal resolution of ˜ 11km and for the transient period of 1960 to 2015. At the snow-atmosphere-interface, the model was forced by output of the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2.3. A comparison of SNOWPACK with in-situ observations (firn density profiles) and remote sensing data (firn aquifer locations inferred from radar measurements) indicated a good agreement for most climatic conditions. On a GrIS-wide scale, the modelled surface mass balance of SNOWPACK exhibits, in combination with ice-discharge data for ocean-terminating glaciers, an excellent agreement with GRACE data for the period 2003 - 2012. GrIS-integrated amounts of surface melt reveal a significant positive trend (+11.6Gta-2) in the second half of the simulation period. Within this interval, the trend in runoff is larger (+8.3Gta-2) than the one in refreezing (+3.6Gta-2), which results in an overall decrease of the refreezing fraction. This decrease is for instance less

  4. 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...

  5. Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet from 1958 to 2007

    OpenAIRE

    Rignot, E; Box, JE; Burgess, E; Hanna, E

    2008-01-01

    We combine estimates of the surface mass balance, SMB, of the Greenland ice sheet for years 1958 to 2007 with measurements of the temporal variability in ice discharge, D, to deduce the total ice sheet mass balance. During that time period, we find a robust correlation (R2 = 0.83) between anomalies in SMB and in D, which we use to reconstruct a continuous series of total ice sheet mass balance. We. find that the ice sheet was losing 110 ± 70 Gt/yr in the 1960s, 30 ± 50 Gt/yr or near balance...

  6. Signals from the south; humpback whales carry messages of Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtson Nash, Susan M; Castrillon, Juliana; Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Shuker, Jon D; Cropp, Roger A; Dawson, Amanda; Bignert, Anders; Bohlin-Nizzetto, Pernilla; Waugh, Courtney A; Polkinghorne, Bradley J; Dalle Luche, Greta; McLagan, David

    2018-04-01

    Southern hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) rely on summer prey abundance of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) to fuel one of the longest-known mammalian migrations on the planet. It is hypothesized that this species, already adapted to endure metabolic extremes, will be one of the first Antarctic consumers to show measurable physiological change in response to fluctuating prey availability in a changing climate; and as such, a powerful sentinel candidate for the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. Here, we targeted the sentinel parameters of humpback whale adiposity and diet, using novel, as well as established, chemical and biochemical markers, and assembled a time trend spanning 8 years. We show the synchronous, inter-annual oscillation of two measures of humpback whale adiposity with Southern Ocean environmental variables and climate indices. Furthermore, bulk stable isotope signatures provide clear indication of dietary compensation strategies, or a lower trophic level isotopic change, following years indicated as leaner years for the whales. The observed synchronicity of humpback whale adiposity and dietary markers, with climate patterns in the Southern Ocean, lends strength to the role of humpback whales as powerful Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem sentinels. The work carries significant potential to reform current ecosystem surveillance in the Antarctic region. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Surface and Subsurface Meltwater Ponding and Refreezing on the Bach Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, I.; Haggard, E.; Benedek, C. L.; MacAyeal, D. R.; Banwell, A. F.

    2017-12-01

    There is growing concern about the stability and fate of Antarctic ice shelves, as four major ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula have completely disintegrated since the 1950s. Their collapse has been linked to the southward movement of the -9 oC mean annual temperature isotherm. The proximal causes of ice shelf instability are not fully known, but an increase in surface melting leading to water ponding and ice flexure, fracture and calving has been implicated. Close to the recently collapsed Wilkins Ice Shelf, the Bach Ice Shelf (72°S 72°W) may be at risk from break up in the near future. Here, we document the changing surface hydrology of the Bach Ice Shelf between 2001 and 2017 using Landsat 7 & 8 imagery. Extensive surface water is identified across the Bach Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers. Two types of drainage system are observed, drainage into firn via simple stream networks and drainage into the ocean via more complex networks. There are differences between the surface hydrology on the ice shelf and the tributary glaciers, as well as variations within and between summer seasons linked to surface air temperature fluctuations. We also document the changing subsurface hydrology of the ice shelf between 2014 and 2017 using Sentinel 1 A/B SAR imagery. Forty-five subsurface features are identified and analysed for their patterns and temporal evolution. Fourteen of the features show similar characteristics to previously-identified buried lakes and some occur in areas associated with surface lakes in previous years. The buried lakes show seasonal variability in area and surface backscatter, which varies with surface air temperature, and are consistent with the presence, enlargement and contraction of liquid water bodies. Buried lakes are an overlooked source of water loading on ice shelves, which may contribute to ice shelf flexure and potential fracture.

  8. Edwardsiella andrillae, a New Species of Sea Anemone from Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Marymegan; Rack, Frank; Zook, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Exploration of the lower surface of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica by the Submersible Capable of under-Ice Navigation and Imaging (SCINI) remotely operated vehicle discovered a new species of sea anemone living in this previously undocumented ecosystem. This discovery was a significant outcome of the Coulman High Project’s geophysical and environmental fieldwork in 2010-2011 as part of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing) program. Edwardsiella andrillae n. sp., lives with most of its column in the ice shelf, with only the tentacle crown extending into the seawater below. In addition to being the only Antarctic representative of the genus, Edwardsiella andrillae is distinguished from all other species of the genus in the number of tentacles and in the size and distribution of cnidae. The anatomy and histology of Edwardsiella andrillae present no features that explain how this animal withstands the challenges of life in such an unusual habitat. PMID:24349517

  9. Edwardsiella andrillae, a new species of sea anemone from Antarctic ice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marymegan Daly

    Full Text Available Exploration of the lower surface of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica by the Submersible Capable of under-Ice Navigation and Imaging (SCINI remotely operated vehicle discovered a new species of sea anemone living in this previously undocumented ecosystem. This discovery was a significant outcome of the Coulman High Project's geophysical and environmental fieldwork in 2010-2011 as part of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing program. Edwardsiella andrillae n. sp., lives with most of its column in the ice shelf, with only the tentacle crown extending into the seawater below. In addition to being the only Antarctic representative of the genus, Edwardsiella andrillae is distinguished from all other species of the genus in the number of tentacles and in the size and distribution of cnidae. The anatomy and histology of Edwardsiella andrillae present no features that explain how this animal withstands the challenges of life in such an unusual habitat.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Fun at Antarctic grounding lines: Ice-shelf channels and sediment transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, Reinhard; Mayer, Christoph; Eisen, Olaf; Helm, Veit; Ehlers, Todd A.; Pattyn, Frank; Berger, Sophie; Favier, Lionel; Hewitt, Ian H.; Ng, Felix; Fürst, Johannes J.; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Bergeot, Nicolas; Matsuoka, Kenichi

    2017-04-01

    Meltwater beneath the polar ice sheets drains, in part, through subglacial conduits. Landforms created by such drainages are abundant in areas formerly covered by ice sheets during the last glacial maximum. However, observations of subglacial conduit dynamics under a contemporary ice sheet are lacking. We present results from ice-penetrating radar to infer the existence of subglacial conduits upstream of the grounding line of Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The conduits are aligned with ice-shelf channels, and underlain by esker ridges formed from sediment deposition due to reduced water outflow speed near the grounding line. In turn, the eskers modify local ice flow to initiate the bottom topography of the ice-shelf channels, and create small surface ridges extending onto the shelf. Relict features on the shelf are interpreted to indicate a history of these interactions and variability of past subglacial drainages. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation, and ice-shelf stability. To investigate the role of sediment transport beneath ice sheets further, we model the sheet-shelf system of the Ekstömisen catchment, Antarctica. A 3D finite element model (Elmer/ICE) is used to solve the transients full Stokes equation for isotropic, isothermal ice with a dynamic grounding line. We initialize the model with surface topography from the TanDEM-X satellites and by inverting simultaneously for ice viscosity and basal drag using present-day surface velocities. Results produce a flow field which is consitent with sattelite and on-site observations. Solving the age-depth relationship allows comparison with radar isochrones from airborne data, and gives information about the atmospheric/dynamic history of this sector. The flow field will eventually be used to identify potential sediment sources and sinks which we compare with more than 400 km of

  13. Antarctic Active Subglacial Lake Inventory from ICESat Altimetry, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains lake boundaries, volume changes, and gridded elevations for 124 active subglacial lakes beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Lakes were identified...

  14. 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 glaciers...

  15. On the recent contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Enderlin, E.M.; Howat, I.M.; Kuipers Munneke, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831891; Noël, B.P.Y.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370612345; Jan Van De Berg, W.; Van Meijgaard, E.; Wouters, B.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304120146

    2016-01-01

    We assess the recent contribution of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) to sea level change. We use the mass budget method, which quantifies ice sheet mass balance (MB) as the difference between surface mass balance (SMB) and solid ice discharge across the grounding line (D). A comparison with

  16. Contamination of the Arctic reflected in microbial metagenomes from the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauptmann, Aviaja Zenia Edna Lyberth; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Cameron, Karen A.

    2017-01-01

    interact with contamination in the Arctic is limited. Through shotgun metagenomic data and binned genomes from metagenomes we show that microbial communities, sampled from multiple surface ice locations on the Greenland ice sheet, have the potential for resistance to and degradation of contaminants....... These results indicate that, from a microbiological perspective, the Greenland ice sheet cannot be seen as a pristine environment....

  17. Central West Antarctic Glaciochemistry from Ice Cores, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Glaciochemical and accumulation rate records developed from four ice cores in central West Antarctica are used to reconstruct former atmospheric circulation patterns...

  18. Evolution of the Eurasian Ice Sheets during the Last Deglaciation (25-10 kyr)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, A. L. C.; Gyllencreutz, R.; Mangerud, J.; Svendsen, J. I.; Lohne, Ø. S.

    2014-12-01

    Both the timing of maximum extent and subsequent pace of retreat of the interconnected Eurasian (British-Irish, Scandinavian, Svalbard-Barents-Kara Sea) Ice Sheets were spatially variable likely reflecting contrasts in response to forcing mechanisms, geographical settings and glacial dynamics both between individual ice sheets and ice-sheet sectors. For example the maximum limit along the western continental shelf edge was reached up to 3,000 years earlier than the maximum, mainly terrestrial, limits in the east. We present new time-slice reconstructions of the ice-sheet evolution through the last deglaciation based on a compiled chronology of over 5,000 dates and published ice-margin positions. Ice-sheet margins are depicted every 1,000 years (25-10 kyr) and include uncertainty estimates (represented by maximum, minimum and most-credible lines). The new ice-sheet scale reconstructions summarise and provide the means for direct comparison of the empirical geological record against simulations of the deglacial ice-sheet evolution from numerical and isostatic ice-sheet modelling and the timing of abrupt events observed in deglacial climate and ocean records. The reconstruction process has identified both instances of conflicting evidence and gaps in the geological record that should be a focus for future studies. This work is part of an on-going project to reconstruct the changing limits of the Eurasian Ice Sheets through the last glacial cycle (www.uib.no/project/dated).

  19. Inception of the Laurentide Ice Sheet using asynchronous coupling of a regional atmospheric model and an ice model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birch, L.; Cronin, T.; Tziperman, E.

    2017-12-01

    The climate over the past 0.8 million years has been dominated by ice ages. Ice sheets have grown about every 100 kyrs, starting from warm interglacials, until they spanned continents. State-of-the-art global climate models (GCMs) have difficulty simulating glacial inception, or the transition of Earth's climate from an interglacial to a glacial state. It has been suggested that this failure may be related to their poorly resolved local mountain topography, due to their coarse spatial resolution. We examine this idea as well as the possible role of ice flow dynamics missing in GCMs. We investigate the growth of the Laurentide Ice Sheet at 115 kya by focusing on the mountain glaciers of Canada's Baffin Island, where geologic evidence indicates the last inception occurred. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) in a regional, cloud-resolving configuration with resolved mountain terrain to explore how quickly Baffin Island could become glaciated with the favorable yet realizable conditions of 115 kya insolation, cool summers, and wet winters. Using the model-derived mountain glacier mass balance, we force an ice sheet model based on the shallow-ice approximation, capturing the ice flow that may be critical to the spread of ice sheets away from mountain ice caps. The ice sheet model calculates the surface area newly covered by ice and the change in the ice surface elevation, which we then use to run WRF again. Through this type of iterated asynchronous coupling, we investigate how the regional climate responds to both larger areas of ice cover and changes in ice surface elevation. In addition, we use the NOAH-MP Land model to characterize the importance of land processes, like refreezing. We find that initial ice growth on the Penny Ice Cap causes regional cooling that increases the accumulation on the Barnes Ice Cap. We investigate how ice and topography changes on Baffin Island may impact both the regional climate and the large-scale circulation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    long-term investment for an Arctic community of modest population. Here we present a new bedrock and surface map of the Paakitsoq/Swiss Camp part of the Greenland ice sheet and a prediction of the future discharge up to 2080 AD using regional climate model output, dynamic ice sheet modelling......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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutt, Julian; Barratt, Iain; Domack, Eugene; d'Udekem d'Acoz, Cédric; Dimmler, Werner; Grémare, Antoine; Heilmayer, Olaf; Isla, Enrique; Janussen, Dorte; Jorgensen, Elaina; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Sophia Lehnert, Linn; López-Gonzáles, Pablo; Langner, Stephanie; Linse, Katrin; Eugenia Manjón-Cabeza, Maria; Meißner, Meike; Montiel, Americo; Raes, Maarten; Robert, Henri; Rose, Armin; Sañé Schepisi, Elisabet; Saucède, Thomas; Scheidat, Meike; Schenke, Hans-Werner; Seiler, Jan; Smith, Craig

    2011-03-01

    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 current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosystem. Meiobenthic communities remained impoverished only inside the embayments. On local scales, macro- and mega-epibenthic diversity was generally low, with pioneer species and typical Antarctic megabenthic shelf species interspersed. Antarctic Minke whales and seals utilised the Larsen A/B area to feed on presumably newly established krill and pelagic fish biomass. Ecosystem impacts also extended well beyond the zone of ice-shelf collapse, with areas of high benthic disturbance resulting from scour by icebergs discharged from the Larsen embayments.

  3. Dark ice dynamics of the south-west Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Tedstone

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS has increased in recent years due largely to changes in atmospheric circulation and atmospheric warming. Albedo reductions resulting from these changes have amplified surface melting. Some of the largest declines in GrIS albedo have occurred in the ablation zone of the south-west sector and are associated with the development of dark ice surfaces. Field observations at local scales reveal that a variety of light-absorbing impurities (LAIs can be present on the surface, ranging from inorganic particulates to cryoconite materials and ice algae. Meanwhile, satellite observations show that the areal extent of dark ice has varied significantly between recent successive melt seasons. However, the processes that drive such large interannual variability in dark ice extent remain essentially unconstrained. At present we are therefore unable to project how the albedo of bare ice sectors of the GrIS will evolve in the future, causing uncertainty in the projected sea level contribution from the GrIS over the coming decades. Here we use MODIS satellite imagery to examine dark ice dynamics on the south-west GrIS each year from 2000 to 2016. We quantify dark ice in terms of its annual extent, duration, intensity and timing of first appearance. Not only does dark ice extent vary significantly between years but so too does its duration (from 0 to > 80 % of June–July–August, JJA, intensity and the timing of its first appearance. Comparison of dark ice dynamics with potential meteorological drivers from the regional climate model MAR reveals that the JJA sensible heat flux, the number of positive minimum-air-temperature days and the timing of bare ice appearance are significant interannual synoptic controls. We use these findings to identify the surface processes which are most likely to explain recent dark ice dynamics. We suggest that whilst the spatial distribution of dark ice is best explained by

  4. Dark ice dynamics of the south-west Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedstone, Andrew J.; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Cook, Joseph M.; Williamson, Christopher J.; Fettweis, Xavier; Hodson, Andrew J.; Tranter, Martyn

    2017-11-01

    Runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has increased in recent years due largely to changes in atmospheric circulation and atmospheric warming. Albedo reductions resulting from these changes have amplified surface melting. Some of the largest declines in GrIS albedo have occurred in the ablation zone of the south-west sector and are associated with the development of dark ice surfaces. Field observations at local scales reveal that a variety of light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) can be present on the surface, ranging from inorganic particulates to cryoconite materials and ice algae. Meanwhile, satellite observations show that the areal extent of dark ice has varied significantly between recent successive melt seasons. However, the processes that drive such large interannual variability in dark ice extent remain essentially unconstrained. At present we are therefore unable to project how the albedo of bare ice sectors of the GrIS will evolve in the future, causing uncertainty in the projected sea level contribution from the GrIS over the coming decades. Here we use MODIS satellite imagery to examine dark ice dynamics on the south-west GrIS each year from 2000 to 2016. We quantify dark ice in terms of its annual extent, duration, intensity and timing of first appearance. Not only does dark ice extent vary significantly between years but so too does its duration (from 0 to > 80 % of June-July-August, JJA), intensity and the timing of its first appearance. Comparison of dark ice dynamics with potential meteorological drivers from the regional climate model MAR reveals that the JJA sensible heat flux, the number of positive minimum-air-temperature days and the timing of bare ice appearance are significant interannual synoptic controls. We use these findings to identify the surface processes which are most likely to explain recent dark ice dynamics. We suggest that whilst the spatial distribution of dark ice is best explained by outcropping of particulates from

  5. The diversity of ice algal communities on the Greenland Ice Sheet as revealed by oligotyping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Stefanie; McCutcheon, Jenine; McQuaid, James B; Benning, Liane G

    2018-03-16

    The Arctic is being disproportionally affected by climate change compared with other geographic locations, and is currently experiencing unprecedented melt rates. The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) can be regarded as the largest supraglacial ecosystem on Earth, and ice algae are the dominant primary producers on bare ice surfaces throughout the course of a melt season. Ice-algal-derived pigments cause a darkening of the ice surface, which in turn decreases albedo and increases melt rates. The important role of ice algae in changing melt rates has only recently been recognized, and we currently know little about their community compositions and functions. Here, we present the first analysis of ice algal communities across a 100 km transect on the GrIS by high-throughput sequencing and subsequent oligotyping of the most abundant taxa. Our data reveal an extremely low algal diversity with Ancylonema nordenskiöldii and a Mesotaenium species being by far the dominant taxa at all sites. We employed an oligotyping approach and revealed a hidden diversity not detectable by conventional clustering of operational taxonomic units and taxonomic classification. Oligotypes of the dominant taxa exhibit a site-specific distribution, which may be linked to differences in temperatures and subsequently the extent of the melting. Our results help to better understand the distribution patterns of ice algal communities that play a crucial role in the GrIS ecosystem.

  6. Glacial-interglacial sea ice proxies from the Antarctic Peninsula using the James Ross Island ice core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, A. K.; Mulvaney, R.; Triest, J.; Abram, N.

    2014-12-01

    Ice core records from Antarctica have shown promise as highly-resolved indicators of regional sea ice change, but to date semi-quantified reconstructions do not extend back more than ~150 years. In this study the chemical composition of the James Ross Island ice core is presented as a potential sea ice proxy record spanning the full Holocene and into the last glacial interval. A CFA-TE method was used to analyse the chemical composition of the entire 363.9m core including final 5m which contains evidence of glacial age ice. MSA- and major anions were measured at 4cm effective resolution, along with trace elements Na, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, H2O2, NO3, total conductivity and dust at <0.5cm effective resolution. Seasonal signals from H2O2 in the upper 50m of the core support the use of non sea salt-SO42- for determining seasonality in deeper sections. This multi-proxy analysis of the oldest ice core to date from the Antarctic Peninsula region allows the concurrent interpretation of sea ice changes and their environmental drivers. The potential dual influence of previous winter sea ice extent and air pathway source region on MSA concentrations in the core are interpreted with use of Na as a winter maximum indicator and Ca and dust signal strength showing changes in dust flux indicating potential source region variation.

  7. 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

  8. Synthesis of a quarter-century of satellite and airborne altimetry records to resolve long-term ice sheet elevation change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, J.; Paolo, F. S.; Simonsen, S.; Gardner, A. S.

    2017-12-01

    Satellite and airborne altimetry provide the longest continuous record from which the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet can be derived, starting with the launch of ERS-1 in 1992. Accurate knowledge of the long-term mass balance is vital for understanding the geophysical processes governing the ice sheet contribution to present day sea-level rise. However, this record is comprised of several different measurement systems, with different accuracies and varying resolution. This poses a major challenge on the interpretation and reconstruction of consistent elevation-change time series for determining long-term ice sheet trends and variability. Previous studies using data from multiple satellite altimetry missions have relied on a cross-calibration technique based on crossover bias analysis to merge records from different sensors. This methodology, though accurate, limits the spatial coverage to typical resolutions of 10-50 km, restricting the approach to regional or continental-wide studies. In this study, we present a novel framework for seamless integration of heterogeneous altimetry records, using an adaptive least-squares minimization technique. The procedure allows reconstructing time series at fine spatial (individual time series. We also perform an extensive analysis of the major corrections applied to raw satellite altimetry data to assess their overall effect on the estimated uncertainty. This methodology will allow us to determine robust long-term changes in the surface elevation of grounded Antarctic ice. Such a dataset will be invaluable to advancing ice sheet assimilation efforts and to disentangle causal mechanisms of modern ice sheet response to environmental forcing.

  9. Macro-nutrient concentrations in Antarctic pack ice: Overall patterns and overlooked processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Fripiat

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Antarctic pack ice is inhabited by a diverse and active microbial community reliant on nutrients for growth. Seeking patterns and overlooked processes, we performed a large-scale compilation of macro-nutrient data (hereafter termed nutrients in Antarctic pack ice (306 ice-cores collected from 19 research cruises. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen and silicic acid concentrations change with time, as expected from a seasonally productive ecosystem. In winter, salinity-normalized nitrate and silicic acid concentrations (C* in sea ice are close to seawater concentrations (Cw, indicating little or no biological activity. In spring, nitrate and silicic acid concentrations become partially depleted with respect to seawater (C* Cw. The phosphate excess could be explained by a greater allocation to phosphorus-rich biomolecules during ice algal blooms coupled with convective loss of excess dissolved nitrogen, preferential remineralization of phosphorus, and/or phosphate adsorption onto metal-organic complexes. Ammonium also appears to be efficiently adsorbed onto organic matter, with likely consequences to nitrogen mobility and availability. This dataset supports the view that the sea ice microbial community is highly efficient at processing nutrients but with a dynamic quite different from that in oceanic surface waters calling for focused future investigations.

  10. 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.

  11. Radiostratigraphy and Age Structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet V001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains the traced deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected by The University of...

  12. Geomorphic signature of an Antarctic palaeo-ice stream: implications for understanding subglacial processes and grounding line retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, S. J.; Jamieson, S.; Vieli, A.; O'Cofaigh, C.; Stokes, C. R.; Hillenbrand, C.

    2010-12-01

    The ability to capture the complex spatial and temporal variability exhibited by ice streams in Antarctica and Greenland at short (decadal) time-scales, remains one of the key challenges in numerical modelling and underlies current uncertainties with predicting future contributions of ice sheets to sea-level rise. This has made ice streams a major focus for current glaciological research, particularly with regard to the processes occurring at the ice-bed interface. Such studies unfortunately, only provide a ‘snap-shot’ of the life-cycle of an ice stream, limited to the last few decades, and so there is a need for complementary investigations of former zones of fast flow in palaeo-ice sheets. The ability to observe directly the former beds of palaeo-ice streams has allowed important spatial and temporal information to be obtained on the processes that occurred at the ice-bed interface and on ice dynamics associated with the evolution of palaeo-ice streams. We present new glacial geomorphological evidence from a marine palaeo-ice stream in Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula (Ó Cofaigh et al. 2002, 2005). The landform assemblage of this palaeo-ice stream system has been derived from the mapping of over 16,000 glacial landforms from high-resolution multibeam swath-bathymetry and input into a GIS database. Analysis of the spatial distribution and geomorphic relationships between landforms and landform assemblages has revealed a complex basal régime, while the overall geomorphic imprint, constrained by radiocarbon dates, has been used to reconstruct the retreat style and history of the palaeo-ice stream. Mapping of relict subglacial meltwater channels has revealed an intricate hydrological system characterised by multiple network types (cf. Anderson & Oakes-Fretwell, 2008) that are strongly dependent on the underlying substrate and which show progressive organisation seaward. Grounding zone wedges (GZWs), formed by the subglacial transport and then deposition of

  13. Stochastic Climate Forcing for Ice-Sheet Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuterman, Roman; Jochum, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Climate oscillations from glacial periods, with large parts of the continents covered with ice, to warm interglacials like the present one, are observed in various paleoclimatic records over the past few million years. According to Milankovitch theory, which is commonly assumed, these glacial cycles are linked to changes in insolation due to periodic changes of external earth-orbital forcing. However, this relationship is far from understood, because the insolation variations are so small that enhancing feedbacks must be at play. Moreover, there are several shortcomings in the Milankovitch theory: first, the duration of the glacial cycles changed at the so-called Mid-Pleistocene transition from 41,000 years to approximately 100,000 years and second, the interglacial of 400,000 years ago should not have happened. Thus, the current phasing and magnitude of the glacial cycles are far from being well understood and the external perturbation might only play a minor role in comparison to internal stochastic variations or internal oscillations. Although modern Ice-Sheet Models (ISM) are able to simulate evolution of ice-sheets at the entire glacial or interglacial time scales, the state-of-the-art Earth System Models (ESM) are too computationally expensive for such long integrations. Therefore, a constant climate forcing is usually used in the ice-sheet models. However, this approach does not take into account the stochastic nature of climate. At the same time, ESM models provide valuable information on natural climate variability, which then can be used for building stochastic climate models able to generate both continuous and discrete climate variables with stochastic atmospheric processes. In this study, we present a stochastic climate model, built from large sets of Community Earth System Model (CESM) integrations with both internal and external climate forcing, and able to generate synthetic climate forcing (such as temperature and precipitation fields) of any

  14. Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall

    OpenAIRE

    Doyle, Samuel H.; Hubbard, Alun; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Box, Jason E.; van As, Dirk; Scharrer, Kilian; Meierbachtol, Toby W.; Smeets, Paul C. J. P.; Harper, Joel T.; Johansson, Emma; Mottram, Ruth H.; Mikkelsen, Andreas B.; Wilhelms, Frank; Patton, Henry; Christoffersen, Poul

    2015-01-01

    Intense rainfall events significantly affect Alpine and Alaskan glaciers through enhanced melting, ice-flow acceleration and subglacial sediment erosion, yet their impact on the Greenland ice sheet has not been assessed. Here we present measurements of ice velocity, subglacial water pressure and meteorological variables from the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet during a week of warm, wet cyclonic weather in late August and early September 2011. We find that extreme surface runoff fro...

  15. Snapshots of the Greenland ice sheet configuration in the Pliocene to early Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne M.; Reeh, Niels; Japsen, Peter

    2011-01-01

    from the deposits of the Kap Kobenhavn Formation, North Greenland. Our experiments show that no coherent ice sheet is likely to have existed in Greenland during the Mid-Pliocene Warmth and that only local ice caps may have been present in the coastal mountains of East Greenland. Our results illustrate......The geometry of the ice sheets during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene is not well constrained. Here we apply an ice-flow model in the study of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) during three extreme intervals of this period constrained by geological observations and climate reconstructions. We study...

  16. Air-sea interaction regimes in the sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean and Antarctic marginal ice zone revealed by icebreaker measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lisan; Jin, Xiangze; Schulz, Eric W.; Josey, Simon A.

    2017-08-01

    This study analyzed shipboard air-sea measurements acquired by the icebreaker Aurora Australis during its off-winter operation in December 2010 to May 2012. Mean conditions over 7 months (October-April) were compiled from a total of 22 ship tracks. The icebreaker traversed the water between Hobart, Tasmania, and the Antarctic continent, providing valuable in situ insight into two dynamically important, yet poorly sampled, regimes: the sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean and the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) in the Indian Ocean sector. The transition from the open water to the ice-covered surface creates sharp changes in albedo, surface roughness, and air temperature, leading to consequential effects on air-sea variables and fluxes. Major effort was made to estimate the air-sea fluxes in the MIZ using the bulk flux algorithms that are tuned specifically for the sea-ice effects, while computing the fluxes over the sub-Antarctic section using the COARE3.0 algorithm. The study evidenced strong sea-ice modulations on winds, with the southerly airflow showing deceleration (convergence) in the MIZ and acceleration (divergence) when moving away from the MIZ. Marked seasonal variations in heat exchanges between the atmosphere and the ice margin were noted. The monotonic increase in turbulent latent and sensible heat fluxes after summer turned the MIZ quickly into a heat loss regime, while at the same time the sub-Antarctic surface water continued to receive heat from the atmosphere. The drastic increase in turbulent heat loss in the MIZ contrasted sharply to the nonsignificant and seasonally invariant turbulent heat loss over the sub-Antarctic open water.Plain Language SummaryThe icebreaker Aurora Australis is a research and supply vessel that is regularly chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division during the southern summer to operate in waters between Hobart, Tasmania, and Antarctica. The vessel serves as the main lifeline to three permanent research stations on the

  17. High Arctic Holocene temperature record from the Agassiz ice cap and Greenland ice sheet evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecavalier, Benoit S; Fisher, David A; Milne, Glenn A; Vinther, Bo M; Tarasov, Lev; Huybrechts, Philippe; Lacelle, Denis; Main, Brittany; Zheng, James; Bourgeois, Jocelyne; Dyke, Arthur S

    2017-06-06

    We present a revised and extended high Arctic air temperature reconstruction from a single proxy that spans the past ∼12,000 y (up to 2009 CE). Our reconstruction from the Agassiz ice cap (Ellesmere Island, Canada) indicates an earlier and warmer Holocene thermal maximum with early Holocene temperatures that are 4-5 °C warmer compared with a previous reconstruction, and regularly exceed contemporary values for a period of ∼3,000 y. Our results show that air temperatures in this region are now at their warmest in the past 6,800-7,800 y, and that the recent rate of temperature change is unprecedented over the entire Holocene. The warmer early Holocene inferred from the Agassiz ice core leads to an estimated ∼1 km of ice thinning in northwest Greenland during the early Holocene using the Camp Century ice core. Ice modeling results show that this large thinning is consistent with our air temperature reconstruction. The modeling results also demonstrate the broader significance of the enhanced warming, with a retreat of the northern ice margin behind its present position in the mid Holocene and a ∼25% increase in total Greenland ice sheet mass loss (∼1.4 m sea-level equivalent) during the last deglaciation, both of which have implications for interpreting geodetic measurements of land uplift and gravity changes in northern Greenland.

  18. An assessment of key model parametric uncertainties in projections of Greenland Ice Sheet behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. J. Applegate

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Lack of knowledge about the values of ice sheet model input parameters introduces substantial uncertainty into projections of Greenland Ice Sheet contributions to future sea level rise. Computer models of ice sheet behavior provide one of several means of estimating future sea level rise due to mass loss from ice sheets. Such models have many input parameters whose values are not well known. Recent studies have investigated the effects of these parameters on model output, but the range of potential future sea level increases due to model parametric uncertainty has not been characterized. Here, we demonstrate that this range is large, using a 100-member perturbed-physics ensemble with the SICOPOLIS ice sheet model. Each model run is spun up over 125 000 yr using geological forcings and subsequently driven into the future using an asymptotically increasing air temperature anomaly curve. All modeled ice sheets lose mass after 2005 AD. Parameters controlling surface melt dominate the model response to temperature change. After culling the ensemble to include only members that give reasonable ice volumes in 2005 AD, the range of projected sea level rise values in 2100 AD is ~40 % or more of the median. Data on past ice sheet behavior can help reduce this uncertainty, but none of our ensemble members produces a reasonable ice volume change during the mid-Holocene, relative to the present. This problem suggests that the model's exponential relation between temperature and precipitation does not hold during the Holocene, or that the central-Greenland temperature forcing curve used to drive the model is not representative of conditions around the ice margin at this time (among other possibilities. Our simulations also lack certain observed physical processes that may tend to enhance the real ice sheet's response. Regardless, this work has implications for other studies that use ice sheet models to project or hindcast the behavior of the Greenland Ice

  19. Extending remote sensing estimates of Greenland ice sheet melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, M.; Loveland, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Melt Area Detection Index (MADI), a remote sensing algorithm to discriminate between dry and wet snow, has been previously developed and applied to the western portion of the Greenland ice sheet for the years 2000-2006, using Moderate Resolution Imaging Radiospectrometer (MODIS) data (Chylek et al, 2007). We extend that work both spatially and temporally by taking advantage of newly available data, and developing algorithms that facilitate the sensing of cloud cover and the automated inference of wet snow regions. The automated methods allow the development of a composite melt area data product with 0.25 km^2 spatial resolution and approximately two week temporal resolution. We discuss melt area dynamics that are inferred from this high resolution composite melt area. Chylek, P., M. McCabe, M. K. Dubey, and J. Dozier (2007), Remote sensing of Greenland ice sheet using multispectral near-infrared and visible radiances, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S20, doi:10.1029/2007JD008742.

  20. Limited Impact of Subglacial Supercooling Freeze-on for Greenland Ice Sheet Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, Christine F.; Karlsson, Nanna B.; Werder, Mauro A.

    2018-02-01

    Large units of disrupted radiostratigraphy (UDR) are visible in many radio-echo sounding data sets from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This study investigates whether supercooling freeze-on rates at the bed can cause the observed UDR. We use a subglacial hydrology model to calculate both freezing and melting rates at the base of the ice sheet in a distributed sheet and within basal channels. We find that while supercooling freeze-on is a phenomenon that occurs in many areas of the ice sheet, there is no discernible correlation with the occurrence of UDR. The supercooling freeze-on rates are so low that it would require tens of thousands of years with minimal downstream ice motion to form the hundreds of meters of disrupted radiostratigraphy. Overall, the melt rates at the base of the ice sheet greatly overwhelm the freeze-on rates, which has implications for mass balance calculations of Greenland ice.

  1. Small scale variability of snow density on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, N.; Leonard, K. C.; Paul, S.; Jacobi, H. W.; Proksch, M.; Lehning, M.

    2016-12-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions. For example, snow may smooth the ice surface when snow drift is occurring, while at the same time it may also generate roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. We present data from an in-situ measurement campaign in the Weddell Sea during two subsequent cruises of RV Polarstern. By comparing snow density from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, augmented by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2, highly resolved density profiles and surface topology were acquired at a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. Average snow densities are about 280 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 170 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters, which disappear over larger distances. A comparison with TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is related to deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density profiles. The fundamental relationship between density variations, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study are interpreted with respect to larger-scale ice-movement and the ice mass balance.

  2. Brief Communication "Expansion of meltwater lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. van den Broeke

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Forty years of satellite imagery reveal that meltwater lakes on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet have expanded substantially inland to higher elevations with warming. These lakes are important because they provide a mechanism for bringing water to the ice bed, causing sliding. Inland expansion of lakes could accelerate ice flow by bringing water to previously frozen bed, potentially increasing future rates of mass loss. Increasing lake elevations closely follow the rise of the mass balance equilibrium line over much of the ice sheet, suggesting no physical limit on lake expansion. Data are not yet available to detect a corresponding change in ice flow, and the potential effects of lake expansion on ice sheet dynamics are not included in ice sheet models.

  3. The Last Glacial Maximum of Svalbard and the Barents Sea Area: Ice Sheet Extent and Configuration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landvik, Jon Y.; Bondevik, Stein; Elverhøi, Anders; Fjeldskaar, Willy; Mangerud, Jan; Salvigsen, Otto; Siegert, Martin J.; Svendsen, John-Inge; Vorren, Tore O.

    The timing, extent and configuration of the Late Weichselian Barents ice sheet has been debated for several decades. This debate has arisen largely because of the limited or conflicting field evidence on which most models have been based. In particular, reconstruction of the marine parts of the former Barents ice sheet has been controversial. This paper aims to review the geological observations and interpretations regarding the size and timing of the Late Weichselian ice sheet, combined with numerical modelling of its formation in order to produce a reconstruction of ice sheet extent and behaviour. Sub-glacial till with overlying glacimarine deposits dated to the Late Weichselian is found over most of the Barents Sea floor and the continental shelf west of Svalbard. Glacially induced debris flow deposits on the large Bjønøya and Isfjorden trough mouth fans strongly support the idea of ice sheet extension to the shelf edge during maximum glaciation. Isobase maps show a centre of post-glacial uplift in the north-central Barents Sea, and glaciological and isostatic modelling suggest that the ice sheet was 2000-3000 m thick in this area. The ice sheet was confluent with ice over the Kara Sea, but the interaction between the Barents and Kara ice sheets is not yet fully understood. The deglaciation of the Barents ice sheet started ca 15 ka, probably by calving within the deeper troughs. By 12 ka, most of the central Barents Sea was ice free, and ice remained over the Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaja Zemlya archipelagos and adjacent shallow shelf areas. The coasts and fjords of these islands were ice free by 10 ka.

  4. Final deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet and implications for the Holocene global sea-level budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuzzone, Joshua K.; Clark, Peter U.; Carlson, Anders E.; Ullman, David J.; Rinterknecht, Vincent R.; Milne, Glenn A.; Lunkka, Juha-Pekka; Wohlfarth, Barbara; Marcott, Shaun A.; Caffee, Marc

    2016-08-01

    The last deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) from ∼ 21, 000 to 13,000 yr ago is well-constrained by several hundred 10Be and 14C ages. The subsequent retreat history, however, is established primarily from minimum-limiting 14C ages and incomplete Baltic-Sea varve records, leaving a substantial fraction of final SIS retreat history poorly constrained. Here we develop a high-resolution chronology for the final deglaciation of the SIS based on 79 10Be cosmogenic exposure dates sampled along three transects spanning southern to northern Sweden and Finland. Combining this new chronology with existing 10Be ages on deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum shows that rates of SIS margin retreat were strongly influenced by deglacial millennial-scale climate variability and its effect on surface mass balance, with regional modulation of retreat associated with dynamical controls. Ice-volume estimates constrained by our new chronology suggest that the SIS contributed ∼ 8 m sea-level equivalent to global sea-level rise between ∼14.5 ka and 10 ka. Final deglaciation was largely complete by ∼10.5 ka, with highest rates of sea-level rise occurring during the Bølling-Allerød, a 50% decrease during the Younger Dryas, and a rapid increase during the early Holocene. Combining our SIS volume estimates with estimated contributions from other remaining Northern Hemisphere ice sheets suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) contributed 14.4 ± 5.9 m to global sea-level rise since ∼13 ka. This new constraint supports those studies that indicate that an ice volume of 15 m or more of equivalent sea-level rise was lost from the AIS during the last deglaciation.

  5. Dynamic thinning of glaciers on the Southern Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, B.; Martin-Espanol, A.; Helm, V.; Flament, T.; van Wessem, J. M.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-01-01

    Growing evidence has demonstrated the importance of ice shelf buttressing on the inland grounded ice, especially if it is resting on bedrock below sea level. Much of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula satisfies this condition and also possesses a bed slope that deepens inland. Such ice sheet geometry

  6. Consistent biases in Antarctic sea ice concentration simulated by climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roach, Lettie A.; Dean, Samuel M.; Renwick, James A.

    2018-01-01

    The simulation of Antarctic sea ice in global climate models often does not agree with observations. In this study, we examine the compactness of sea ice, as well as the regional distribution of sea ice concentration, in climate models from the latest Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and in satellite observations. We find substantial differences in concentration values between different sets of satellite observations, particularly at high concentrations, requiring careful treatment when comparing to models. As a fraction of total sea ice extent, models simulate too much loose, low-concentration sea ice cover throughout the year, and too little compact, high-concentration cover in the summer. In spite of the differences in physics between models, these tendencies are broadly consistent across the population of 40 CMIP5 simulations, a result not previously highlighted. Separating models with and without an explicit lateral melt term, we find that inclusion of lateral melt may account for overestimation of low-concentration cover. Targeted model experiments with a coupled ocean-sea ice model show that choice of constant floe diameter in the lateral melt scheme can also impact representation of loose ice. This suggests that current sea ice thermodynamics contribute to the inadequate simulation of the low-concentration regime in many models.

  7. On the relationship between surface and basal properties on glaciers, ice sheets, and ice streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, M. J.; Gudmundsson, G. H.

    2005-08-01

    The influence of basal disturbances on the steady state surface topography and on surface velocities of glaciers and ice sheets is investigated numerically. This is done for finite amplitude basal perturbations in both bed topography and basal slipperiness using a nonlinear ice rheology and a nonlinear sliding law. The effects of varying the exponent n in Glen's flow law on transfer characteristics are mainly quantitative and do not affect qualitative aspects of the transfer amplitudes and phase shifts, such as the number of maxima and inflection points when plotted as functions of wavelength. In particular, the well-known maximum in bed-to-surface transfer amplitude for a Newtonian medium at sufficiently high slip ratios (ratio between mean sliding velocity and mean ice deformational velocity) also forms for n > 1. Transfer amplitudes generally become smaller with increasing n for wavelengths less than about 3 times the mean ice thickness (h). For larger wavelengths the situation is reversed and transfer amplitudes increase with n. For active ice streams, characterized by high basal slipperiness, low surface slopes (0.5) and fairly constant for all wavelengths longer than about 3-5h. With increasing n and decreasing surface slope the lower limit of wavelengths over which horizontal stress gradients can be ignored increases markedly. Perturbation solutions for Newtonian medium are found to give an accurate description of the transfer characteristics for bedrock amplitudes up to 50% ice thickness and for fractional amplitudes of slipperiness perturbations up to 0.5.

  8. Small scale variability of snow properties on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, Nander; Leonard, Katherine; Paul, Stephan; Jacobi, Hans-Werner; Proksch, Martin; Lehning, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions, as snow accumulation may for example increase the albedo. Snow is also able to smooth the ice surface, thereby reducing the surface roughness, while at the same time it may generate new roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. By comparing snow density and grain size from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, highly resolved density and grain size profiles were acquired during two subsequent cruises of the RV Polarstern in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, between June and October 2013. During the first cruise, SMP measurements were done along two approximately 40 m transects with a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. During the second cruise, one transect was made with approximately 7.5 m resolution over a distance of 500 m. Average snow densities are about 300 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 180 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters. On the first cruise, the measurements were accompanied by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2. The comparison with the TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is exhibiting similar spatial patterns as deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density or grain size profiles. The fundamental relationship between variations in snow properties, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study is interpreted with respect to large-scale ice movement and the mass balance.

  9. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.