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Sample records for antarctic ice sheet

  1. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Global dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2002-01-01

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

  3. A model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  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. Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui; Brenner, Anita; Bromwich, David

    2012-01-01

    During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gt/yr (2.5% of input), as derived from ICESat laser measurements of elevation change. The net gain (86 Gt/yr) over the West Antarctic (WA) and East Antarctic ice sheets (WA and EA) is essentially unchanged from revised results for 1992 to 2001 from ERS radar altimetry. Imbalances in individual drainage systems (DS) are large (-68% to +103% of input), as are temporal changes (-39% to +44%). The recent 90 Gt/yr loss from three DS (Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd Coast) of WA exceeds the earlier 61 Gt/yr loss, consistent with reports of accelerating ice flow and dynamic thinning. Similarly, the recent 24 Gt/yr loss from three DS in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is consistent with glacier accelerations following breakup of the Larsen B and other ice shelves. In contrast, net increases in the five other DS of WA and AP and three of the 16 DS in East Antarctica (EA) exceed the increased losses. Alternate interpretations of the mass changes driven by accumulation variations are given using results from atmospheric-model re-analysis and a parameterization based on 5% change in accumulation per degree of observed surface temperature change. A slow increase in snowfall with climate waRMing, consistent with model predictions, may be offsetting increased dynamic losses.

  10. Pliocene retreat of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheet margins (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R. M.; Pollard, D.

    2013-12-01

    The middle Pliocene epoch (~3 million years ago) is often considered an analogue for future global climatic conditions, because global mean temperatures were comparable to projections of future climate at the end of this century. Importantly, some estimates of mid-Pliocene sea level are >20 m higher than today, implying the potential for significant retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), in addition to the loss of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS). Here, we use a hybrid ice sheet-shelf model with freely migrating grounding lines coupled to a high-resolution regional climate model to test the potential for both West and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat during the warm Pliocene and in long-term future scenarios with elevated CO2. In these simulations we apply new treatments of i) ice shelf calving (accounting for the effects of divergent ice flow and surface melt water on crevassing), ii) ice-cliff mechanics at the grounding line, iii) improved sub-glacial bathymetry using BEDMAP2, and iv) a range of plausible ocean warming scenarios based on offline ocean modeling. In warm Pliocene simulations, the combination of improved bathymetric detail and more physically based model treatments of floating and grounded calving fronts substantially increases the rates and magnitudes of ice sheet retreat into over-deepened subglacial basins in both in West and East Antarctica. These new results imply the EAIS margin did indeed contribute to elevated (and orbitally paced) Pliocene sea levels, with Antarctica contributing up to ~20m equivalent sea level during the warmest intervals. In long-term (10^3-4-yr) future simulations using the same model physics, we find these new mechanisms produce a much more sensitive and vulnerable ice sheet than previously considered, with the potential for substantial future retreat of both WAIS and parts of the East Antarctic margin in response to the combined effects of increased surface melt on ice shelf surfaces and

  11. Windblown Pliocene diatoms and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-20

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

  12. Windblown Pliocene diatoms and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Response of the Antarctic ice sheet to future greenhouse warming

    OpenAIRE

    Oerlemans, J.; Huybrechts, P.

    1990-01-01

    Possible future changes in land ice volume are mentioned frequently as an important aspect of the greenhouse problem. This paper deals with the response ofthe Antarctic ice sheet and presents a tentative projection of changes in global sea level for the next few hundred years, due to changes in its surface massbalance. We imposed a temperature scenario, in which surface air temperature rises to 4.2¡C in the year 2100 AD and is kept constant afterwards. As GCMstudies seem to indicate a higher ...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, Ricarda; Levermann, Anders; Ridgwell, Andy; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barrand, N.E.; Hindmarsh, R.C.A.; Arthern, R.J.; Williams, C.R.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Rignot, Eric; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Edwards, T.L.; Cook, A.J.; Simonsen, S.B.

    2013-01-01

    The contribution to sea level to 2200 from the grounded, mainland Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet (APIS) was calculated using an ice-sheet model initialized with a new technique computing ice fluxes based on observed surface velocities, altimetry and surface mass balance, and computing volume response

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Centennial-scale Holocene climate variations amplified by Antarctic Ice Sheet discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, Pepijn; Clark, Peter U.; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Schmittner, Andreas; Weber, Michael E.

    2016-12-01

    Proxy-based indicators of past climate change show that current global climate models systematically underestimate Holocene-epoch climate variability on centennial to multi-millennial timescales, with the mismatch increasing for longer periods. Proposed explanations for the discrepancy include ocean-atmosphere coupling that is too weak in models, insufficient energy cascades from smaller to larger spatial and temporal scales, or that global climate models do not consider slow climate feedbacks related to the carbon cycle or interactions between ice sheets and climate. Such interactions, however, are known to have strongly affected centennial- to orbital-scale climate variability during past glaciations, and are likely to be important in future climate change. Here we show that fluctuations in Antarctic Ice Sheet discharge caused by relatively small changes in subsurface ocean temperature can amplify multi-centennial climate variability regionally and globally, suggesting that a dynamic Antarctic Ice Sheet may have driven climate fluctuations during the Holocene. We analysed high-temporal-resolution records of iceberg-rafted debris derived from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and performed both high-spatial-resolution ice-sheet modelling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and multi-millennial global climate model simulations. Ice-sheet responses to decadal-scale ocean forcing appear to be less important, possibly indicating that the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet will be governed more by long-term anthropogenic warming combined with multi-centennial natural variability than by annual or decadal climate oscillations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    秦大河; 任贾文; 孙俊英; 陈瓞延; 文克玲; 李良权

    1995-01-01

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

  5. The Importance of History for Predicting the Future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.

    2008-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) initiative began in 1990, following on earlier studies of the 'Siple Coast' ice streams and the Ross Ice Shelf. The past nearly two decades of field and satellite research of the West Antarctic ice sheet have produced an astounding number of discoveries, not the least of which is the variability of the West Antarctic ice sheet on time scales from seconds (yes, seconds!) to many millennia. The shorter-time-scale variations, such as the recent acceleration and thinning of glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea, have illustrated serious weaknesses in what were once regarded as excellent models of ice sheet dynamics. Repairing this modeling capability requires understanding and incorporating external and internal processes previously regarded as less important. Ice-sheet history remains the best means to test, tune and validate numerical models of ice sheets. Cenozoic-age behavior may seem too ancient to matter to a centennial-time-scale focus on the future, but it is precisely through a long history, that the variety of more extreme ice sheet configurations can be extracted. Such upper or lower bound estimates have served the WAIS community well over the years to help justify research needed to assess the probability of dramatic behavior. Now, with the necessity of model revisions central to the WAIS effort, time histories of ice sheet behavior over both short and long time scales will return to a position of extreme importance.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

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

  7. INTERPRETATIONS OF COMPLICATED FOLDED STRUCTURES AT THE LOWER PARTS OF ANTARCTIC AND GREENLAND ICE SHEETS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey N. Markov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Complicated folded structures were recently recorded by radar survey in the lower portions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. From a geological point of view the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are considered as geological features, while the ice is classified as sedimentary or metamorphic rock. In this regard the genesis of the ice sheets is analyzed from the perspective of geodynamics and metamorphism, and complicated folded structures on radar profiles are interpreted as tectonic and metamorphic structures. This study considers the processes of three kinds of tectonic structures: glacial diapirs, glacial diapir folds and glacial intrusions. Radar profiles not only capture ice flow structure but can also detect the thermobaric field in ice sheet, and in this case the complicated folded structures are interpreted as representative of recorded metastable boundaries of ice recrystallization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-29

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

  9. Sub-Kilometer Scale Basal Roughness of the Siple Coast Ice Streams, West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Peters, M. E.

    2006-12-01

    The anastomosing series of dynamic, basally lubricated ice streams found on the Siple Coast of West Antarctica play an important role in regulating the mass balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Geological controls on lubrication, elucidated by gravity, magnetics and seismic data, have proven important in understanding the evolution of these features. An additional indicator of basal properties, the basal roughness of ice sheets, may be an indicator of crustal geology and glacial modification, as well as a controlling parameter on ice dynamics and subglacial hydrology. For the Siple Coast ice streams, Fourier analysis of > 5 kilometer morphology (Siegert et al. 2004) revealed a correlation between ice streams and low bed roughness. Coherent high resolution data allows analysis of along track roughness at tens of meters resolution (Peters et al. 2005), however these data are limited in coverage. We extend roughness estimates into to the hundreds-of-meters length scale, using both frequency domain and autocorrelation methods, using incoherent 60 MHz radio echo sounding data collected between 1991 and 1996 on a five kilometer grid. The data cover the Bentley Subglacial Trench, Bindschadler Ice Stream, Siple Dome and the onset region of Kamb Ice Stream. SAR-processed coherent sounding data collected in 2001 are used to confirm these methods. We test for confinement of ice stream rapid basal motion to distinct morphological provinces; assess the hypothesis that marine sediments blanket much of interior of the basal WAIS; and look for correlation between ice flow and textural anisotropy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Where might we find evidence of a Last Interglacial West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse in Antarctic ice core records?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, S. L.; Siddall, M.; Milne, G. A.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Wolff, E.

    2012-05-01

    Abundant indirect evidence suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) reduced in size during the Last Interglacial (LIG) compared to the Holocene. This study explores this possibility by comparing, for the first time, ice core stable isotope records for the LIG with output from a glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA) model. The results show that ice core records from East Antarctica are remarkably insensitive to vertical movement of the solid land motion driven by a simulated hypothetical collapse of the WAIS. However, new and so far unexplored sites are identified which are sensitive to the isostatic signal associated with WAIS collapse and so ice core proxy data from these sites would be effective in testing this hypothesis further.

  12. Sensitivity of ocean circulation and sea-ice conditions to loss of West Antarctic ice shelves and ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougamont, Marion; Hunke, Elizabeth C.; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    We use a global coupled ocean-sea ice model to test the hypothesis that the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), or just its ice shelves, may modify ocean circulation and sea-ice conditions in the Southern Ocean. We compare the results of three model runs: (1) a control run with a standard (modern) configuration of landmask in West Antarctica, (2) a no-shelves run with West Antarctic ice shelves removed and (3) a no-WAIS run. In the latter two runs, up to a few million square kilometres of new sea surface area opens to sea-ice formation, causing the volume and extent of Antarctic sea-ice cover to increase compared with the control run. In general, near-surface waters are cooler around Antarctica in the no-shelves and no-WAIS model runs than in the control run, while warm intermediate and deep waters penetrate further south, increasing poleward heat transport. Varying regional responses to the imposed changes in landmask configuration are determined by the fact that Antarctic polynyas and fast ice develop in different parts of the model domain in each run. Model results suggest that changes in the extent of WAIS may modify oceanographic conditions in the Southern Ocean.

  13. 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.

  14. Were West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding events in the Ross Sea a consequence of East Antarctic Ice Sheet expansion during the middle Miocene?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J.

    2003-11-01

    Seismic correlation of glacial unconformities from the Ross Sea outer continental shelf to chronostratigraphic control at DSDP sites 272 and 273 indicates that at least two West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) expansions occurred during the early part of the middle Miocene (i.e. well before completion of continental-scale expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) inferred from δ 18O and eustatic shifts). Therefore, if the volume of the EAIS was indeed relatively low, and if the Ross Sea age model is valid, then these WAIS expansions/contractions were not a direct consequence of EAIS expansion over the Transantarctic Mountains onto West Antarctica. An in-situ development of the WAIS during the middle Miocene suggests that either West Antarctic land elevations were above sea level and/or that air and water temperatures were sufficiently cold to support a marine-based ice sheet. Additional chronostratigraphic and lithologic data are needed from Antarctic margins to test these speculations.

  15. Oxygen Isotope Mass-Balance Constraints on Pliocene Sea Level and East Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winnick, M. J.; Caves, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The mid-Pliocene Warm Period (MPWP, 3.3-2.9 Ma), with reconstructed atmospheric pCO2 of 350-450 ppm, represents a potential analogue for climate change in the near future. Current highly cited estimates place MPWP maximum global mean sea level (GMSL) at 21 ± 10 m above modern, requiring total loss of the Greenland (GIS) and marine West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS) and a substantial loss of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), with only a concurrent 2-3 ºC rise in global temperature. Many estimates of Pliocene GMSL are based on the partitioning of oxygen isotope records from benthic foraminifera (δ18Ob) into changes in deep-sea temperatures and terrestrial ice sheets. These isotopic budgets are underpinned by the assumption that the δ18O of Antarctic ice (δ18Oi) was the same in the Pliocene as it is today, and while the sensitivity of δ18Ob to changing meltwater δ18O has been previously considered, these analyses neglect conservation of 18O/16O in the ocean-ice system. Using well-calibrated δ18O-temperature relationships for Antarctic precipitation along with estimates of Pliocene Antarctic surface temperatures, we argue that the δ18Oi of the Pliocene Antarctic ice sheet was at minimum 1‰-4‰ higher than present. Assuming conservation of 18O/16O in the ocean-ice system, this requires lower Pliocene seawater δ18O (δ18Osw) without a corresponding change in ice sheet mass. This effect alone accounts for 5%-20% of the δ18Ob difference between the MPWP interglacials and the modern. With this amended isotope budget, we suggest that Pliocene GMSL was likely 9-13.5 m and very likely 5-17 m above modern, which suggests the EAIS is less sensitive to radiative forcing than previously inferred from the geologic record.

  16. Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Hamish D; Arthern, Robert J; Vaughan, David G; Edwards, Laura A

    2009-10-15

    Many glaciers along the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are accelerating and, for this reason, contribute increasingly to global sea-level rise. Globally, ice losses contribute approximately 1.8 mm yr(-1) (ref. 8), but this could increase if the retreat of ice shelves and tidewater glaciers further enhances the loss of grounded ice or initiates the large-scale collapse of vulnerable parts of the ice sheets. Ice loss as a result of accelerated flow, known as dynamic thinning, is so poorly understood that its potential contribution to sea level over the twenty-first century remains unpredictable. Thinning on the ice-sheet scale has been monitored by using repeat satellite altimetry observations to track small changes in surface elevation, but previous sensors could not resolve most fast-flowing coastal glaciers. Here we report the use of high-resolution ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) laser altimetry to map change along the entire grounded margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. To isolate the dynamic signal, we compare rates of elevation change from both fast-flowing and slow-flowing ice with those expected from surface mass-balance fluctuations. We find that dynamic thinning of glaciers now reaches all latitudes in Greenland, has intensified on key Antarctic grounding lines, has endured for decades after ice-shelf collapse, penetrates far into the interior of each ice sheet and is spreading as ice shelves thin by ocean-driven melt. In Greenland, glaciers flowing faster than 100 m yr(-1) thinned at an average rate of 0.84 m yr(-1), and in the Amundsen Sea embayment of Antarctica, thinning exceeded 9.0 m yr(-1) for some glaciers. Our results show that the most profound changes in the ice sheets currently result from glacier dynamics at ocean margins.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Holden

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. East Antarctic ice sheet stability recorded in a high-elevation ice-cored moraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Nicole A.; Licht, Kathy J.; Kaplan, Michael R.; Kassab, Christine; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-03-01

    Till in an extensive blue ice moraine in the central Transantarctic Mountains at Mt. Achernar shows relatively continuous deposition by East Antarctic derived ice throughout the last glacial cycle. The most recently exposed material along the active margin of the Law Glacier (Zone 1) has hummocky topography that transitions into to a relatively flat region (Zone 2), followed by a series of ∼2 m high continuous, parallel/sub-parallel ridges and troughs (Zones 3-5). The entire moraine is ice-cored. Past surface changes of data, the U-Pb zircon data from till across all zones show little variability and are consistent with a Beacon Supergroup source, as samples show significant populations from the Proterozoic, ∼550-600 Ma and ∼950-1270 Ma, as well as the late Archean ∼2700-2770 Ma. The Mackellar, Fairchild, and lower Buckley Formations are interpreted as dominant sources of the detrital zircons. The zircon data lack the spatio-temporal variability indicated by the pebble fraction because the local Ferrar dolerite is not zircon bearing, highlighting the broader importance of using multiple techniques when interpreting provenance changes over time. Rather than reflecting major changes in ice flow path over time, the provenance changes are interpreted to indicate relative stability of the East Antarctic ice sheet, as the Law Glacier tapped into and eroded successively lower stratigraphic units of the Beacon Supergroup. This has important implications for interpreting offshore provenance records.

  20. Drifting snow climate of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.

    2013-01-01

    This study presents the drifting snow climate of the Earth's ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland. For that purpose we use a regional atmospheric climate model, RACMO2. We included a routine that is able to calculate the drifting snow fluxes and accounts for the interaction between drifting snow on

  1. 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.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  2. Miocene to recent ice elevation variations from the interior of the West Antarctic ice sheet: Constraints from geologic observations, cosmogenic nuclides and ice sheet modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sujoy; Ackert, Robert P.; Pope, Allen E.; Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert M.

    2012-07-01

    Observations of long-term West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) behavior can be used to test and constrain dynamic ice sheet models. Long-term observational constraints are however, rare. Here we present the first constraints on long-term (Miocene-Holocene) WAIS elevation from the interior of the ice sheet near the WAIS divide. We use geologic observations and measurements of cosmogenic 21Ne and 10Be in bedrock surfaces to constrain WAIS elevation variations to WAIS elevations to have been similar to, or lower than present, since the beginning of the Pliocene warm period. We use a continental ice sheet model to simulate the history of ice cover at our sampling sites and thereby compute the expected concentration of the cosmogenic nuclides. The ice sheet model indicates that during the past 5 Ma interior WAIS elevations of >65 m above present-day ice levels at the Ohio Range occur only rarely during brief ice sheet highstands, consistent with the observed cosmogenic nuclide data. Furthermore, the model's prediction that highstand elevations have increased on average since the Pliocene is in good agreement with the cosmogenic nuclide data that indicate the highest ice elevation over the past 5 Ma was reached during the highstand at 11 ka. Since the simulated cosmogenic nuclide concentrations derived from the model's ice elevation history are in good agreement with our measurements, we suggest that the model's prediction of more frequent collapsed-WAIS states and smaller WAIS volumes during the Pliocene are also correct.

  3. Towards quantifying the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broeke, M.R.

    2006-01-01

    At present, the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and its contribution to global sea level change are poorly known. Current methods to determine AIS mass balance as well as the inherent uncertainties are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the increasingly important role of regional

  4. 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.

  5. A smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Pliocene and in the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert; Pollard, David

    2013-04-01

    The middle Pliocene epoch (around 3.3 to 3) million years ago is often considered an analogue for future global climatic conditions, because mixing ratios of atmospheric CO2 were similar to today and global mean temperature was about 3°C warmer, comparable to projections of future climate at the end of this century (IPCC 2007). Importantly, some estimates of mid-Pliocene sea level are >20 m higher than today, implying the potential for significant retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), in addition to complete loss of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS). Until now, most climate-ice sheet modeling studies have failed to simulate substantial Pliocene retreat of the East Antarctic ice margin, because at 400 ppmv CO2, atmospheric conditions on the steep flanks of the ice sheet remain relatively cold, even during the warmest austral summer orbits. Here, we use a hybrid ice sheet-shelf model coupled to a high-resolution regional climate model, to test the potential for both West and East Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat during the warm Pliocene and in the long-term future. In these simulations we apply new treatments of ice shelf calving and basal sliding (assuming a relationship between basal sliding coefficients and the rate of liquid water supply at the bed), and improved sub-glacial bathymetry using BEDMAP2. A range of plausible ocean warming scenarios (based on offline ocean modeling) are combined with the high-resolution regional climate model simulations to simulate the ice sheet's response to both Pliocene and long term future scenarios with elevated CO2. Unlike our previous studies, the combination of improved bathymetric detail and more physically based model treatments of calving and basal sliding result in substantial grounding line retreat into the Wilkes sub-glacial basin of East Antarctica during the Pliocene, adding several meters of equivalent sea level in addition to the contribution from a retreated WAIS. In long-term (10^3-yr

  6. Where is the evidence of past collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutowski, G.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise estimates from the Last Interglacial period suggest collapse of part of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, there is no direct evidence of this from the ice sheet itself. Englacial layers in ice sheets, sampled directly by ice core drilling and indirectly by ice-penetrating radar, reveal a significant amount about glacial change over time and may contain a signature of the last ice sheet collapse. We hypothesize there is evidence of ice sheet instability where the observed englacial record deviates from that expected for a steady state WAIS simulated using ice sheet models. However, discrepancies between modeled steady state and observed englacial layer geometry are confounded by uncertainties in model boundary conditions, observed layer ages, and model parameters. To know where the signal of collapse may be best preserved, we must account for the affect of these uncertainties on layer geometry. We present several tests quantifying the sensitivity of simulated layer geometry to changes in model boundary conditions. We look to areas where englacial geometry has low sensitivity to uncertain boundary conditions to provide the largest signal of ice sheet instability. Where simulated layer geometry is responding strongly to uncertain boundary conditions, we are unlikely to be able to discern a signal of past deglaciation. In the latter case, uncertainty in layer geometry may overwhelm the signal of past ice sheet collapse. We perform the simulations using the Variational Glacier Simulator (VarGlaS), an ice sheet model with the capacity to model the age of englacial isochrones (Figure 1). We use the latest boundary conditions for geothermal flux, basal topography, and surface mass balance to simulate the steady state behavior of englacial layers in the Thwaites Glacier catchment and the Marie Byrd Land dome. Ensembles of model runs sample the uncertainty in each of the boundary conditions, creating a distribution of simulated englacial layers which accounts

  7. Simultaneous solution for mass trends on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Schön

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest potential source of future sea-level rise. Mass loss has been increasing over the last two decades in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS, but with significant discrepancies between estimates, especially for the Antarctic Peninsula. Most of these estimates utilise geophysical models to explicitly correct the observations for (unobserved processes. Systematic errors in these models introduce biases in the results which are difficult to quantify. In this study, we provide a statistically rigorous, error-bounded trend estimate of ice mass loss over the WAIS from 2003–2009 which is almost entirely data-driven. Using altimetry, gravimetry, and GPS data in a hierarchical Bayesian framework, we derive spatial fields for ice mass change, surface mass balance, and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA without relying explicitly on forward models. The approach we use separates mass and height change contributions from different processes, reproducing spatial features found in, for example, regional climate and GIA forward models, and provides an independent estimate, which can be used to validate and test the models. In addition, full spatial error estimates are derived for each field. The mass loss estimates we obtain are smaller than some recent results, with a time-averaged mean rate of −76 ± 15 GT yr−1 for the WAIS and Antarctic Peninsula (AP, including the major Antarctic Islands. The GIA estimate compares very well with results obtained from recent forward models (IJ05-R2 and inversion methods (AGE-1. Due to its computational efficiency, the method is sufficiently scalable to include the whole of Antarctica, can be adapted for other ice sheets and can easily be adapted to assimilate data from other sources such as ice cores, accumulation radar data and other measurements that contain information about any of the processes that are solved for.

  8. Simultaneous solution for mass trends on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest potential source of future sea-level rise. Mass loss has been increasing over the last 2 decades for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) but with significant discrepancies between estimates, especially for the Antarctic Peninsula. Most of these estimates utilise geophysical models to explicitly correct the observations for (unobserved) processes. Systematic errors in these models introduce biases in the results which are difficult to quantify. In this study, we provide a statistically rigorous error-bounded trend estimate of ice mass loss over the WAIS from 2003 to 2009 which is almost entirely data driven. Using altimetry, gravimetry, and GPS data in a hierarchical Bayesian framework, we derive spatial fields for ice mass change, surface mass balance, and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) without relying explicitly on forward models. The approach we use separates mass and height change contributions from different processes, reproducing spatial features found in, for example, regional climate and GIA forward models, and provides an independent estimate which can be used to validate and test the models. In addition, spatial error estimates are derived for each field. The mass loss estimates we obtain are smaller than some recent results, with a time-averaged mean rate of -76 ± 15 Gt yr-1 for the WAIS and Antarctic Peninsula, including the major Antarctic islands. The GIA estimate compares well with results obtained from recent forward models (IJ05-R2) and inverse methods (AGE-1). The Bayesian framework is sufficiently flexible that it can, eventually, be used for the whole of Antarctica, be adapted for other ice sheets and utilise data from other sources such as ice cores, accumulation radar data, and other measurements that contain information about any of the processes that are solved for.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco; SMS Science Team; Acton, Gary; Askin, Rosemary; Atkins, Clifford; Bassett, Kari; Beu, Alan; Blackstone, Brian; Browne, Gregory; Ceregato, Alessandro; Cody, Rosemary; Cornamusini, Gianluca; Corrado, Sveva; DeConto, Robert; Del Carlo, Paola; Di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Dunbar, Gavin; Falk, Candice; Field, Brad; Fielding, Christopher; Florindo, Fabio; Frank, Tracy; Giorgetti, Giovanna; Grelle, Thomas; Gui, Zi; Handwerger, David; Hannah, Michael; Harwood, David M.; Hauptvogel, Dan; Hayden, Travis; Henrys, Stuart; Hoffmann, Stefan; Iacoviello, Francesco; Ishman, Scott; Jarrard, Richard; Johnson, Katherine; Jovane, Luigi; Judge, Shelley; Kominz, Michelle; Konfirst, Matthew; Krissek, Lawrence; Kuhn, Gerhard; Lacy, Laura; Levy, Richard; Maffioli, Paola; Magens, Diana; Marcano, Maria C.; Millan, Cristina; Mohr, Barbara; Montone, Paola; Mukasa, Samuel; Naish, Timothy; Niessen, Frank; Ohneiser, Christian; Olney, Mathew; Panter, Kurt; Passchier, Sandra; Patterson, Molly; Paulsen, Timothy; Pekar, Stephen; Pierdominici, Simona; Pollard, David; Raine, Ian; Reed, Joshua; Reichelt, Lucia; Riesselman, Christina; Rocchi, Sergio; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Sandroni, Sonia; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Schmitt, Douglas; Speece, Marvin; Storey, Bryan; Strada, Eleonora; Talarico, Franco; Taviani, Marco; Tuzzi, Eva; Verosub, Kenneth; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Warny, Sophie; Wilson, Gary; Wilson, Terry; Wonik, Thomas; Zattin, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Modelling mass loss and spatial uncertainty of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a data assimilation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Schoen, Nana; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Rougier, Jonty; Luthcke, Scott; King, Matt

    2013-04-01

    Quantifying ice mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet remains an important, yet still challenging problem. Although some agreement has been reached as to the order of magnitude of ice loss over the last two decades, in general methods lack statistical rigour in deriving uncertainties and for East Antarctica and the Peninsula significant inconsistencies remain. Here, we present rigorously-derived, error-bounded mass balance trends for part of the Antarctic ice sheet from a combination of satellite, in situ and regional climate model data sets for 2003-2009. Estimates for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), surface mass balance (SMB) anomaly, and ice mass change are derived from satellite gravimetry (the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE), laser altimetry (ICESat, the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) and GPS bedrock elevation rates. We use a deterministic Bayes approach to simultaneously solve for the unknown parameters and the covariance matrix which provides the uncertainties. The data were distributed onto a finite element grid the resolution of which reflects the gradients in the underlying process: here ice dynamics and surface mass balance. In this proof of concept study we solve for the time averaged, spatial distribution of mass trends over the 7 year time interval. The results illustrate the potential of the approach, especially for the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), where, due to its narrow width and steep orography, data coverage is sparse and error-prone for satellite altimetry. Results for the ice mass balance estimates are consistent with previous estimates and demonstrate the strength of the approach. Well-known patterns of ice mass change over the WAIS, like the stalled Kamb Ice Stream and the rapid thinning in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, are reproduced in terms of mass trend. Also, without relying on information on ice dynamics, the method correctly places ice loss maxima at the outlets of major glaciers on the AP. Combined ice mass

  14. Magnitude and timing of orbitally paced Antarctic ice sheet variations through the Pliocene and Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R.; Pollard, D.; Kowalewski, D. E.; Scherer, R. P.; Naish, T.; Seth, A.

    2009-12-01

    A new 3-D ice sheet-shelf model, Global Climate Model (GCM) and nested Regional Climate Model (RCM) are applied to the Antarctic region, with simulations designed to span the full range of Pliocene to modern climatic forcing. The ice sheet model simulates a dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), with repeated, sudden retreats and readvances throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Simulated WAIS variability in the Pliocene is dominated by 40-kyr cyclicity. Major WAIS collapses are less frequent in the Pleistocene, but do occur during a number of apparent “super-interglacials”, including MIS 31. WAIS is shown to be most sensitive to changes in sub-ice oceanic melt, however changes in East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) volume driven by this mechanism are shown to be limited. Maximum equivalent sea level rise simulated by the model is ~7 m, most of which is contributed by WAIS retreat. This is significantly less than the amount required to match estimates of sea level during the Pliocene (~25-40 m) and some Pleistocene interglacials (e.g., MIS 11; 20+ m), even with an additional contribution from Greenland (~7 m). We use a nested, high resolution GCM-RCM to test the potential for an additional contribution to sea level rise via surface melt on the EAIS, but find that the combined forcing from elevated Pliocene CO2 (400 ppmv), increased oceanic heat flux and reduced sea ice, warm austral summer orbits, and the loss of WAIS do not provide enough additive warming to produce significant summer ablation on the flanks or interior of the EAIS. This important model-data discrepancy implies either that the ice sheet model is lacking some critical underlying physical processes, the climate model is undersensitive to greenhouse gas forcing, or the sea level estimates during these periods are unrealistically high. We conclude by exploring the potential for more EAIS variability in the ice model by considering alternative treatments of both the conditions at the bed of the ice

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya; Pollard, David; Holland, David

    2015-11-10

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

  16. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  2. Coring to the West Antarctic ice sheet bed with a new Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, C. R.; Taylor, K. C.; Shturmakov, A. J.; Mason, W. P.; Emmel, G. R.; Lebar, D. A.

    2005-05-01

    As a contribution to IPY 2007-2008, the U.S. ice core research community, supported by the National Science Foundation, plans to core through the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) at the ice-flow divide between the Ross Sea and Amundsen Sea drainage systems. The aim is to develop a unique series of interrelated climatic, ice-dynamic, and biologic records focused on understanding interactions among global earth systems. There will be approximately 15 separate but synergistic projects to analyze the ice and interpret the records. The most significant expected outcome of the WAIS Divide program will be climate records for the last ~40,000 years with an annually resolved chronology (through layer counting), comparable to the records from central Greenland. The data will also extend, at lower temporal resolution, to approximately 100,000 BP. These records will permit comparison of environmental conditions between the northern and southern hemispheres, and study of greenhouse gas concentrations in the paleoatmosphere, with unprecedented detail. To accomplish the coring, an innovative new Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill is being built at the University of Wisconsin. The modular design of the bore-hole assembly (sonde) provides high flexibility for producing a 122 mm diameter ice core to depths of 4,000 m with maximum core lengths of 4 m. The DISC drill has a rotating outer barrel that can be used with or without an inner barrel designed to improve core recovery in brittle ice. Separate and independent motors for the drill and pump allow cutter speeds from 0 to 150 rpm and pump rates from 0 to 140 gpm. The high pumping rate should alleviate problems drilling in warm ice near the bed; it also helps make tripping speeds several times faster than with the old US drill. Other innovations include vibration and acoustic sensors for monitoring the drilling process, a segmented core barrel to avoid the formerly persistent problem of bent core barrels, and a high-speed data

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  5. Ice Streams as the Critical Link Between the Interior Ice Reservoir of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Global Climate System - a WISSARD Perspective (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulaczyk, S. M.; Beem, L.; Walter, J. I.; Hossainzadeh, S.; Mankoff, K. D.

    2010-12-01

    Fast flowing ice streams represent crucial features of the Antarctic ice sheet because they provide discharge ‘valves’ for the interior ice reservoir and because their grounding lines are exposed to ocean thermal forcing. Even with no/little topographic control ice flow near the perimeter of a polar ice sheet self-organizes into discrete, fast-flowing ice streams. Within these features basal melting (i.e. lubrication for ice sliding) is sustained through elevated basal shear heating in a region of thin ice that would otherwise be characterized by basal freezing and slow ice motion. Because faster basal ice motion is typically associated with faster subglacial erosion, ice streams tend to localize themselves over time by carving troughs into underlying rocks and sediments. Debris generated by this erosional activity is carried to the continental shelf and/or continental slope where it may be deposited at very high rates, rivaling these associated with deposition by some of the largest rivers on Earth. In terms of their hydrologic and geological functions, Antarctic ice streams play pretty much the same role as rivers do on non-glaciated continents. However, understanding of their dynamics is still quite rudimentary, largely because of the relative inaccessibility of the key basal and marine boundaries of ice streams where pertinent measurements need to be made. The present elevated interest in predicting future contribution of Antarctica to global sea level changes is driving ambitious research programs aimed at scientific exploration of these poorly investigated environments that will play a key role in defining the response of the ice sheet to near future climate changes. We will review one of these programs, the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) with particular focus on its planned contributions to understanding of ice stream dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability in the Plio-Pleistocene, its impact on the Southern Ocean and teleconnections to distant latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, R.; Pollard, D.; Naish, T.

    2012-12-01

    In recent years, geological records and numerical modeling have begun to paint a picture of a highly dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) through the Pliocene and during some Pleistocene interglacials. However, the primary mechanisms driving that variability remain poorly constrained, as does the impact of substantial changes in Antarctic ice volume on global climate and the evolution of the Northern Hemispheric cryosphere over the last ~3.5 million years. Here, we take an integrated data-model view of the past variability of WAIS and the potential for substantial changes in East Antarctic Ice Sheet volume over the last ~5 million years, using a newly improved ice sheet-shelf model coupled to atmospheric and ocean model components. Recent findings support 1) the notion of a dynamic WAIS over the last 5 million years, highly sensitive to modest changes in sub-ice shelf ocean temperatures but relatively insensitive to changes in surface mass balance, 2) the potential for substantial WAIS retreat as recently as Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 7 and the last interglacial, 3) a relatively stable EAIS through the Pliocene and Pleistocene, making some estimates of past sea level (particularly in the Pliocene) difficult to justify without invoking some unknown ice sheet dynamical processes and/or exceptional climate sensitivity and polar amplification of warming. Correlations between new Antarctic and Arctic climate records spanning the last several million years imply strong interhemispheric connectivity operating on a range of timescales,from sub-millennial to orbital. Possible teleconnection mechanisms are discussed here in the context of new climate model simulations that test the potential for Antarctic ice sheet variability to impact the global system from the warm Pliocene to present.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Flament

    2013-03-01

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

  10. Paleo-ice flow directions of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet based upon a new synthesis of seabed imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Lavoie

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We present a new seafloor map for the northern Antarctic Peninsula (AP, including swath multibeam data sets from five national programs. Our map allows for the examination and interpretation of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM paleo-ice sheet/stream flow directions developed upon the seafloor from the preservation of: mega-scale glacial lineations, drumlinized features, and selective linear erosion. We combine this with terrestrial observations of flow direction to place constraints on ice divides and accumulation centers (ice domes on the AP continental shelf. The results show a flow bifurcation as ice exits the Larsen-B embayment. Flow emanating off the Seal Nunataks (including Robertson Island is directed toward the southeast, then eastward as the flow transits toward the Robertson Trough. A second, stronger "streaming flow" is directed toward the southeast then southward, as ice overflowed the tip of the Jason Peninsula to reach the southern perimeter of the embayment. Our reconstruction also refines the extent of at least five other distinct paleo-ice stream systems which, in turn, serve to delineate seven broad regions where contemporaneous ice domes must have been centered on the continental shelf during the LGM time interval. Our reconstruction is more detailed than other recent compilations because we followed specific flow indicators and have kept tributary flow paths parallel.

  11. Thermal Regime at the Base of the West-Antarctic Ice Stream Tributaries - is the Holocene Decay of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Coming to an End?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, S. W.; Tulaczyk, S.; Joughin, I.

    2001-12-01

    The possible instability of the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and its effects on global sea level was in the focus of Antarctic research for more then three decades, since Mercer (1968) proposed that the ice sheet collapsed during previous interglacials. Subsequent collection of field and remotely-sensed data has revealed, among other things, a complex structure in the WAIS drainage system and enabled us to better elucidate the basal processes that permit fast ice-stream motion under low driving stresses (e.g. Kamb, 2001). With high basal water pressures and a layer of weak, highly porous water saturated sediments playing a key role in facilitating the fast motion of ice in West-Antarctica, the spatial and temporal availability of basal water has to be incorporated into models simulating the present and future WAIS behavior. Borehole observations in the interior of the WAIS (Robin, 1983) and in the Siple Coast ice streams (Engelhardt and Kamb, 1987) revealed a wet ice sheet bed and the ice at the base of the ice sheet being at its pressure melting. However the recent discovery of an up to 25 m thick basal ice layer at Ice Stream C indicates that basal melting either does not persist along the entire ice stream tributaries or did not persisted in the past. Lacking direct observations from the ice stream tributaries we are currently using finite-difference and analytical models to assess their basal energy balance; heat conduction away from the bed, geothermal flux and shear heating. Taking into account the uncertainty in the estimation of the geothermal flux (50 to 80 mW*m\\^-2 ), the results of our calculations can be summarized as followed 1) the basal ice layer formed in the central part of the northern Ice Stream C tributary; 2) post Last Glacial Maximum conditions favor basal freezing in spite of higher surface temperatures; 3) the presence of a 12-25-m-thick basal ice layer request that either 3a) flow in the ice stream tributaries had stopped in the past

  12. 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

  13. Origin and sources of dissolved organic matter in snow on the East Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antony, Runa; Grannas, Amanda M; Willoughby, Amanda S; Sleighter, Rachel L; Thamban, Meloth; Hatcher, Patrick G

    2014-06-03

    Polar ice sheets hold a significant pool of the world's carbon reserve and are an integral component of the global carbon cycle. Yet, organic carbon composition and cycling in these systems is least understood. Here, we use ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry to elucidate, at an unprecedented level, molecular details of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in Antarctic snow. Tens of thousands of distinct molecular species are identified, providing clues to the nature and sources of organic carbon in Antarctica. We show that many of the identified supraglacial organic matter formulas are consistent with material from microbial sources, and terrestrial inputs of vascular plant-derived materials are likely more important sources of organic carbon to Antarctica than previously thought. Black carbon-like material apparently originating from biomass burning in South America is also present, while a smaller fraction originated from soil humics and appears to be photochemically or microbially modified. In addition to remote continental sources, we document signals of oceanic emissions of primary aerosols and secondary organic aerosol precursors. The new insights on the diversity of organic species in Antarctic snowpack reinforce the importance of studying organic carbon associated with the Earth's polar regions in the face of changing climate.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Assessing the Impact of Retreat Mechanisms in a Simple Antarctic Ice Sheet Model Using Bayesian Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Gary; Pollard, David; Guan, Yawen; Wong, Tony E.; Forest, Chris E.; Keller, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    The response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) to changing climate forcings is an important driver of sea-level changes. Anthropogenic climate change may drive a sizeable AIS tipping point response with subsequent increases in coastal flooding risks. Many studies analyzing flood risks use simple models to project the future responses of AIS and its sea-level contributions. These analyses have provided important new insights, but they are often silent on the effects of potentially important processes such as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI) or Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI). These approximations can be well justified and result in more parsimonious and transparent model structures. This raises the question of how this approximation impacts hindcasts and projections. Here, we calibrate a previously published and relatively simple AIS model, which neglects the effects of MICI and regional characteristics, using a combination of observational constraints and a Bayesian inversion method. Specifically, we approximate the effects of missing MICI by comparing our results to those from expert assessments with more realistic models and quantify the bias during the last interglacial when MICI may have been triggered. Our results suggest that the model can approximate the process of MISI and reproduce the projected median melt from some previous expert assessments in the year 2100. Yet, our mean hindcast is roughly 3/4 of the observed data during the last interglacial period and our mean projection is roughly 1/6 and 1/10 of the mean from a model accounting for MICI in the year 2100. These results suggest that missing MICI and/or regional characteristics can lead to a low-bias during warming period AIS melting and hence a potential low-bias in projected sea levels and flood risks. PMID:28081273

  16. Assessing the Impact of Retreat Mechanisms in a Simple Antarctic Ice Sheet Model Using Bayesian Calibration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruckert, Kelsey L; Shaffer, Gary; Pollard, David; Guan, Yawen; Wong, Tony E; Forest, Chris E; Keller, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    The response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) to changing climate forcings is an important driver of sea-level changes. Anthropogenic climate change may drive a sizeable AIS tipping point response with subsequent increases in coastal flooding risks. Many studies analyzing flood risks use simple models to project the future responses of AIS and its sea-level contributions. These analyses have provided important new insights, but they are often silent on the effects of potentially important processes such as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI) or Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI). These approximations can be well justified and result in more parsimonious and transparent model structures. This raises the question of how this approximation impacts hindcasts and projections. Here, we calibrate a previously published and relatively simple AIS model, which neglects the effects of MICI and regional characteristics, using a combination of observational constraints and a Bayesian inversion method. Specifically, we approximate the effects of missing MICI by comparing our results to those from expert assessments with more realistic models and quantify the bias during the last interglacial when MICI may have been triggered. Our results suggest that the model can approximate the process of MISI and reproduce the projected median melt from some previous expert assessments in the year 2100. Yet, our mean hindcast is roughly 3/4 of the observed data during the last interglacial period and our mean projection is roughly 1/6 and 1/10 of the mean from a model accounting for MICI in the year 2100. These results suggest that missing MICI and/or regional characteristics can lead to a low-bias during warming period AIS melting and hence a potential low-bias in projected sea levels and flood risks.

  17. Comparison of hybrid schemes for the combination of shallow approximations in numerical simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernales, Jorge; Rogozhina, Irina; Greve, Ralf; Thomas, Maik

    2017-01-01

    The shallow ice approximation (SIA) is commonly used in ice-sheet models to simplify the force balance equations within the ice. However, the SIA cannot adequately reproduce the dynamics of the fast flowing ice streams usually found at the margins of ice sheets. To overcome this limitation, recent studies have introduced heuristic hybrid combinations of the SIA and the shelfy stream approximation. Here, we implement four different hybrid schemes into a model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in order to compare their performance under present-day conditions. For each scheme, the model is calibrated using an iterative technique to infer the spatial variability in basal sliding parameters. Model results are validated against topographic and velocity data. Our analysis shows that the iterative technique compensates for the differences between the schemes, producing similar ice-sheet configurations through quantitatively different results of the sliding coefficient calibration. Despite this we observe a robust agreement in the reconstructed patterns of basal sliding parameters. We exchange the calibrated sliding parameter distributions between the schemes to demonstrate that the results of the model calibration cannot be straightforwardly transferred to models based on different approximations of ice dynamics. However, easily adaptable calibration techniques for the potential distribution of basal sliding coefficients can be implemented into ice models to overcome such incompatibility, as shown in this study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  19. Some Recent Progress of Antarctic Ice Sheet Research%南极冰盖研究最新进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    唐学远; 孙波; 李院生; 崔祥斌; 李鑫

    2009-01-01

    南极冰盖是地球系统的重要组成部分,在全球气候系统中扮演着重要角色.通过对南极冰盖的研究将有助于了解其在全球气候系统中的作用,并为探讨全球气候过去、现在以及未来的演化提供支撑.总结分析了近年来南极冰盖研究的一些重要进展,并在此基础上对南极冰盖研究领域的一些主要结果、观测事实以及未来变化展开讨论,重点介绍南极物质平衡、冰芯研究、冰下水系统、冰盖数值模拟方面最近的进展,评述未来可能的研究方向和应该关注的问题.%Antarctic ice sheet , as an important part of the Earth system, plays a critical role in the global climate change. The understanding of the Antarctic ice sheet will help in making sense of the global climate system, and support exploring the evolution of the global climate in the past, present and the future. By analysing the significant progress of Antarctic ice sheet research in recent years, on the basis of these major findings, observations, as well as the fact that future changes in the discussions, some recent progress is focused, including mass balance, ice cores, subglacial lakes and water system, numerical model of Antarctic ice sheet. Review of the possible future research directions should also be of concern.

  20. Determination of Antarctic Ice Sheet stability over the last ˜500 ka through a study of iceberg-rafted debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teitler, Lora; Warnke, Detlef A.; Venz, Kathryn A.; Hodell, David A.; Becquey, Sabine; Gersonde, Rainer; Teitler, Winston

    2010-01-01

    We have analyzed ice-rafted debris (IRD) from the South Atlantic Ocean (˜43°S, 9°E) in order to investigate Antarctic Ice Sheet history during the late Pleistocene; the cores examined for this study include piston core TN057-6-PC4 and Ocean Drilling Program Leg 177 drill core Site 1090 (177-1090). Over the last 500 ka at this distal location, IRD arrived during both glacials and interglacials. IRD is present even during warmer intervals, is greatest during colder intervals, and is absent only during terminations and a few other brief intervals. Four different methods are used to normalize the IRD counts, which are then compared to support our interpretation. Several other high-quality climate proxies from this location also aid our interpretations. We conclude that sea surface temperatures are the primary control on the delivery of IRD to this site. During cold times more icebergs survived to reach this distal location. During warm times only a few of the largest icebergs could travel this far. Garnets found in these sediments suggest a likely East Antarctic origin for the IRD; the presence of garnets even during warm intervals further strongly supports that the iceberg source must be the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Therefore, the EAIS must have continued to reach the ocean at least in some part of its margin throughout the last 500 ka. On the other hand, we cannot specifically trace any IRD to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), so WAIS persistence cannot be tested. A particular radiolarian, identified as Dictyocoryne profunda (Ehrenberg) (sensu Boltovskoy (1998)), shows up in the examined size fraction generally only during warm phases. We suggest that D. profunda is a sensitive indicator of warm water temperatures and that it deserves further study.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Dynamics of the late Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet documented in subglacial diamictites, AND-1B drill core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ellen A.; Christoffersen, Poul; Powell, Ross D.; Talarico, Franco M.

    2014-08-01

    Geologic studies of sediment deposited by glaciers can provide crucial insights into the subglacial environment. We studied muddy diamictites in the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) AND-1B drill core, acquired from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in McMurdo Sound, with the aim of identifying paleo-ice stream activity in the Plio-Pleistocene. Glacial advances were identified from glacial surfaces of erosion (GSEs) and subglacial diamictites within three complete sequences were investigated using lithofacies associations, micromorphology, and quartz sand grain microtextures. Whereas conditions in the Late Pliocene resemble the modern Greenland Ice Sheet where fast flowing glaciers lubricated by surface meltwater terminate directly in the sea (interval 201-212 mbsl) conditions in the Late Pleistocene are similar to modern West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice streams (38-49 mbsl). We identify the latter from ductile deformation and high pore-water pressure, which resulted in pervasive rotation and formation of till pellets and low relief, rounded sand grains dominated by abrasion. In the transitional period during the Mid-Pleistocene (55-68 mbsf), a slow moving inland ice sheet deposited tills with brittle deformation, producing lineations and bi-masepic and unistrial plasma fabric, along with high relief, conchoidally fractured quartz grains. Changes in the provenance of gravel to cobble-size clasts support a distant source area of Byrd Glacier for fast-flowing paleo-ice streams and a proximal area between Darwin and Skelton Glaciers for the slow-moving inland ice sheet. This difference in till provenance documents a shift in direction of glacial flow at the core site, which indirectly reflects changes in the size and thickness of the WAIS. Hence, we found that fast ice streaming motion is a consequence of a thicker WAIS pushing flow lines to the west and introducing clasts from the Byrd Glacier source area to the drill site. The detailed analysis of diamictites in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulvaney, R.; Hindmarsh, R. C.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Timmermann

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Influence of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its collapse on the wind and precipitation regimes of the Ross Embayment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seles, D.; Kowalewski, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Marine Isotope Stage 31 (MIS 31) is a key analogue for current warming trends yet the extent of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during this interglacial remains unresolved. Inconsistencies persist between offshore records (suggesting the instability of WAIS) and McMurdo Dry Valley (MDV) terrestrial datasets (indicating long-term ice sheet stability). Here we use a high-resolution regional scale climate model (RegCM3_Polar) to reconstruct paleoclimate during MIS 31 (warm orbit, 400 ppm CO2) and assess changes in precipitation and winds (including katabatic) with WAIS present versus WAIS absent. The MIS 31 scenario with WAIS present resulted in minimal changes in wind magnitude compared with current climate conditions. With WAIS absent, the model predicts a decrease in coastal and highland monthly mean average wind velocities. The greatest rates of snowfall remain along the coast but shift towards higher latitudes with the interior continent remaining dry when WAIS is removed. Focusing on the Ross Embayment, this decreased monthly mean wind velocity and shift of winds to the east indicate a greater influence of offshore winds from the Ross Sea, enabling the increase of precipitation southward along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) (i.e. MDV). The apparent decrease of katabatic winds with no WAIS implies that offshore winds may be responsible for bringing the warmer, wetter air into the TAM. The change in wind and precipitation in the Ross Embayment and specifically the MDV highlights the impact of WAIS on Antarctic climate and its subsequent influence on the mass balance of peripheral EAIS domes (i.e. Taylor Dome). Modeling suggests that if WAIS was absent during MIS 31, we would expect (1) greater accumulation at such domes and (2) MDV terrestrial records that reflect a wetter climate, and (3) weaker winds suggesting possibly lower ablation/erosion rates compared to if WAIS was present.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Siegert

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yetang; HOU Shugui; Bjorn GRIGHOLM; SONG Linlin

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Orbital forcing of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Patterson, M. O.; McKay, R.; Naish, T.; Escutia, C.; Jimenez-Espejo, F. J.; Raymo, M. E.; Meyers, S. R.; Tauxe, L.; Brinkhuis, H.; Klaus, A.; Fehr, A.; Bendle, J. A P; Bijl, P. K.; Bohaty, S. M.; Carr, S. A.; Dunbar, R. B.; Flores, J. A.; Gonzalez, J. J.; Hayden, T. G.; Iwai, M.; Katsuki, K.; Kong, G. S.; Nakai, M.; Olney, M. P.; Passchier, S.; Pekar, S. F.; Pross, J.; Riesselman, C. R.; Röhl, U.; Sakai, T.; Shrivastava, P. K.; Stickley, C. E.; Sugasaki, S.; Tuo, S.; Van De Flierdt, T.; Welsh, K.; Williams, T.; Yamane, M.

    2014-01-01

    The Pliocene and Early Pleistocene, between 5.3 and 0.8 million years ago, span a transition from a global climate state that was 2-3 °C warmer than present with limited ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere to one that was characterized by continental-scale glaciations at both poles. Growth and dec

  10. 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 variatio

  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. LGM-extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet offshore from the Hobbs Coast, based on paleo-ice stream bed observations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Paleo-ice stream beds that are exposed today on the West Antarctic continental shelf provide unique archives of conditions at the base of the past ice sheet, that are difficult to assess beneath its modern, extant counterpart. During the last decade, several of these paleo-ice stream beds have been studied in detail to reconstruct the extent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the patterns of ice drainage, and the timing of grounding-line retreat during the last deglaciation. However, despite significant advances, such information still remains poorly constrained in numerous drainage sectors of the WAIS. In particular, the maximum extent of ice at the LGM remains ambiguous for key drainage basins of the ice sheet. Whether the WAIS extended to the shelf break around the continent, or advanced only partially across its sea bed, is a crucial piece of information required for reconstructing and modeling patterns of ice-sheet change from past to present. Here we present marine geological and geophysical data that we collected on R/V "Polarstern" expedition ANT-XXVI/3 in early 2010 to investigate the extent, flow, and retreat of the WAIS, from an especially poorly studied part of the West Antarctic shelf, offshore from the Hobbs Coast in the western Amundsen Sea. Here, a landward deepening paleo-ice stream trough is incised into the shelf. The seafloor within the western-central part of the trough is characterized by a large trough-wide grounding zone wedge, ~70 m thick and ~17 km long, which overlies a high of seaward dipping sedimentary strata. The back-slope of the GZW is characterized by highly elongate streamlined bedforms suggesting fast paleo-ice flow towards NW. The crest of the wedge has been cross-cutted by iceberg keels. In contrast, the outer shelf seafloor offshore the GZW is predominantly smooth and featureless, although there is some evidence locally for iceberg scouring. A radiocarbon age from calcareous microfossils

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Large-Ensemble modeling of past and future variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet with a coupled ice-Earth-sea level model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Gomez, Natalya

    2016-04-01

    To date, most modeling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's response to future warming has been calibrated using recent and modern observations. As an alternate approach, we apply a hybrid 3-D ice sheet-shelf model to the last deglacial retreat of Antarctica, making use of geologic data of the last ~20,000 years to test the model against the large-scale variations during this period. The ice model is coupled to a global Earth-sea level model to improve modeling of the bedrock response and to capture ocean-ice gravitational interactions. Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large Ensemble (LE) statistical methods, performing sets of 625 runs from 30,000 years to present with systematically varying model parameters. Objective scores for each run are calculated using modern data and past reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea level records, cosmogenic elevation-age data and uplift rates. The LE results are analyzed to calibrate 4 particularly uncertain model parameters that concern marginal ice processes and interaction with the ocean. LE's are extended into the future with climates following RCP scenarios. An additional scoring criterion tests the model's ability to reproduce estimated sea-level high stands in the warm mid-Pliocene, for which drastic retreat mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure are needed in the model. The LE analysis provides future sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds. Sensitivities of future LE results to Pliocene sea-level estimates, coupling to the Earth-sea level model, and vertical profiles of Earth properties, will be presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat from Pine Island Bay during the Holocene: New insights into forcing mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Smith, James; Kuhn, Gerhard; Poole, Chris; Hodell, David; Elderfield, Harry; Kender, Sev; Williams, Mark; Peck, Victoria; Larter, Robert; Klages, Johann; Graham, Alastair; Forwick, Matthias; Gohl, Karsten

    2013-04-01

    The Amundsen Sea sector of the largely marine-based and therefore conditionally unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contains enough ice to raise global sea level by ca. 1.5 metres. At present, ice streams draining this sector into the Southern Ocean, especially glaciers flowing into Pine Island Bay in the eastern Amundsen Sea embayment, are undergoing considerable mass loss characterised by major thinning, flow acceleration and rapid grounding-line retreat. Sub-ice shelf melting by relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) upwelling onto the continental shelf is held responsible for these dynamical changes but atmospheric warming in West Antarctica may also have contributed to them. In contrast to the modern situation, the long-term history of the Amundsen Sea sector and the mechanisms forcing its deglaciation during the Holocene are only poorly constrained. We will present new palaeoenvironmenal data obtained from marine sediment cores collected in Pine Island Bay. The cores targeted shallow sites on the inner continental shelf and successfully recovered sedimentary sequences bearing calcareous microfossils. Radiocarbon ages on these microfossils demonstrate that the grounding line of the WAIS retreated to within ~100 km of its modern position before ca. 10 kyr BP (thousand years before present), which is consistent with an early WAIS retreat from near-coastal locations in the western Amundsen Sea embayment. Currently, there is no evidence that the grounding line had retreated landward of its modern position during the Holocene. Therefore, the chronological constraints may imply that during the last 10 kyr any episodes of fast grounding-line retreat similar to those observed today were short-lived and rare. Preliminary geochemical data from benthic and planktonic foraminifera tests in the cores from Pine Island Bay reveals that intense CDW upwelling coincided with and may have forced the deglaciation of the inner continental shelf. Furthermore, we observe

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  1. A previously unreported type of seismic source in the firn layer of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Amanda C.; Barcheck, C. Grace; Wiens, Douglas A.; Nyblade, Andrew; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

    2015-11-01

    We identify a unique type of seismic source in the uppermost part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet recorded by temporary broadband seismic arrays in East Antarctica. These sources, termed "firnquakes," are characterized by dispersed surface wave trains with frequencies of 1-10 Hz detectable at distances up to 1000 km. Events show strong dispersed Rayleigh wave trains and an absence of observable body wave arrivals; most events also show weaker Love waves. Initial events were discovered by standard detection schemes; additional events were then detected with a correlation scanner using the initial arrivals as templates. We locate sources by determining the L2 misfit for a grid of potential source locations using Rayleigh wave arrival times and polarization directions. We then perform a multiple-filter analysis to calculate the Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion and invert the group velocity for shear velocity structure. The resulting velocity structure is used as an input model to calculate synthetic seismograms. Inverting the dispersion curves yields ice velocity structures consistent with a low-velocity firn layer ~100 m thick and show that velocity structure is laterally variable. The absence of observable body wave phases and the relative amplitudes of Rayleigh waves and noise constrain the source depth to be less than 20 m. The presence of Love waves for most events suggests the source is not isotropic. We propose the events are linked to the formation of small crevasses in the firn, and several events correlate with shallow crevasse fields mapped in satellite imagery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Eight Million Years of Land-Based Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability Recorded By In Situ 10Be from the ANDRILL-1B Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakun, J. D.; Corbett, L. B.; Bierman, P. R.

    2015-12-01

    The response of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) to Pliocene warmth provides a critical way to gauge its sensitivity to climate change. Considerable uncertainty surrounds the Pliocene behavior of the EAIS, however. For instance, global sea level estimates for the mid-Pliocene warm period range from 30 m, and numerous cosmogenic nuclide and sedimentological studies from the Transantarctic Mountains imply extreme landscape stability over the last several Myr whereas ocean records suggest orbital-scale instability of at least marine-based sectors of the ice sheet. These stabilist versus dynamicist views are difficult to resolve because onshore records are generally biased toward intervals of expanded ice cover and limited to areas with exposed land, while marine sediments typically provide indirect evidence for conditions on land and cannot distinguish between marine versus land-based ice sheet collapse. The AND-1B marine sediment core drilled beneath the Ross Ice Shelf contains a remarkably complete late Cenozoic sequence of glacial diamictons sourced from the adjacent EAIS, intercalated with open-water sediments likely associated with West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse. We measured concentrations of in situ 10Be - produced only when ice cover is reduced and the landscape is exposed - in eight samples of glacially-derived quartz sand from AND-1B spanning parts of the last 8 Myr. Decay-corrected concentrations are low and show a long-term decline from 13,000 atoms/g to 1000 atoms/g over the record. These low values and the monotonic trend suggest that land-based ice sheet sectors have experienced little, if any, exposure during the past 8 Myr; the 10Be concentrations we measured are equivalent to only centuries or a few kyr of surface exposure. Perhaps more likely, the small quantities of 10Be were produced prior to the establishment of a full EAIS in the mid-Miocene, and reflect deeply-exhumed and thus 10Be-poor material that has been radioactively decaying beneath

  4. Snow and firn density variability on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from observations, the MAR regional climate model, and the RACMO firn model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, P. M.; Koenig, L.; Datta, R.; Tedesco, M.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Ligtenberg, S.; Fettweis, X.; van den Broeke, M.

    2015-12-01

    The density of snow and firn of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets (GrIS and AIS) is an important parameter in ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB). Snow and firn densities are needed to convert satellite- and airborne-derived snow thickness changes into surface mass changes. Moreover, density directly impacts SMB by influencing the amount of liquid water that can be stored in firn and snow at the ice sheet surface. Using recently updated density profiles from the SUMup community dataset, we examine spatial and temporal variations in measured densities over the GrIS and AIS, and evaluate modeled profiles from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale (MAR) RCM and the firn model of the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2). The MAR model tends to underestimate densities in the first meter of the snowpack over both ice sheets, although the biases are spatially variable. We provide results regarding the relationship between modeled biases and parameters such as the time and location of the sample profile, and climatology at the profile location. We also explore whether recent increases in surface air temperature and melting over the Greenland ice have led to changes in simulated density profiles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adodo, Fifi; Picard, Ghislain; Remy, Frederique

    2016-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Ice sheet in peril

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Record of a Mid-Pleistocene depositional anomaly in West Antarctic continental margin sediments: an indicator for ice-sheet collapse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Kuhn, G.; Frederichs, T.

    2009-06-01

    Modern global warming is likely to cause future melting of Earth's polar ice sheets that may result in dramatic sea-level rise. A possible collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) alone, which is considered highly vulnerable as it is mainly based below sea level, may raise global sea level by up to 5-6 m. Despite the importance of the WAIS for changes in global sea level, its response to the glacial-interglacial cycles of the Quaternary is poorly constrained. Moreover, the geological evidence for the disintegration of the WAIS at some time within the last ca. 750 kyr, possibly during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (424-374 ka), is ambiguous. Here we present physical properties, palaeomagnetic, geochemical and clay mineralogical data from a glaciomarine sedimentary sequence that was recovered from the West Antarctic continental margin in the Amundsen Sea and spans more than the last 1 Myr. Within the sedimentary sequence, proxies for biological productivity (such as biogenic opal and the barium/aluminum ratio) and the supply of lithogenic detritus from the West Antarctic hinterland (such as ice-rafted debris and clay minerals) exhibit cyclic fluctuations in accordance with the glacial-interglacial cycles of the Quaternary. A prominent depositional anomaly spans MIS 15-MIS 13 (621-478 ka). The proxies for biological productivity and lithogenic sediment supply indicate that this interval has the characteristics of a single, prolonged interglacial period. Even though no proxy suggests environmental conditions much different from today, we conclude that, if the WAIS collapsed during the last 800 kyr, then MIS 15-MIS 13 was the most likely time period. Apparently, the duration rather than the strength of interglacial conditions was the crucial factor for the WAIS drawdown. A comparison with various marine and terrestrial climate archives from around the world corroborates that unusual environmental conditions prevailed throughout MIS 15-MIS 13. Some of these

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  15. The Elementary Marine Ice Sheet Model (EMISM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2015-04-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bentley, C.

    1982-04-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. Antarctic ice sheet mass loss, glacio-isostatic adjustment and surface processes from a Bayesian combination of gravimetry, altimetry and GPS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, J. L.; Martin, A.; Zammit-Mangion, A.; Clarke, P. J.; Flament, T.; Helm, V.; King, M. A.; Luthcke, S. B.; Petrie, L.; Remy, F.; Wouters, B.

    2015-12-01

    Constraining past ice mass changes, identifying their cause(s) and determining rigorous error estimates, is important for closing the sea level budget and as an input for and test of numerical models. Despite the progress that has been made over the last decade, significant differences remain for estimates of the mass evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet. These estimates often yield conflicting results with non-overlapping error bars, while the commonly adopted use of different forward models to isolate and remove the effects of glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA) and surface mass balance (SMB) processes introduces another source of uncertainty which is hard to quantify. To address both these issues, we present a statistical modeling approach that utilises a spatio-temporal Bayesian hierarchical model, alongside novel dimensional reduction methods to allow the solution to remain tractable in the presence of the large number (> 10^7) of observations. We solve simultaneously for GIA, surface processes, elastic rebound, firn compaction and ice dynamics. Over 2003-2013, Antarctica has been losing mass at a rate of -82+-23 Gt/yr. West Antarctica is the largest contributor with -114+-10 Gt/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 -25+-6 Gt/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 57+-20 Gt/yr in East Antarctica due to positive SMB anomalies and an interesting small dynamic component. We compare our time series of SMB anomalies with those from RACMO-2.3, obtaining good agreement for the large-scale patterns, although differences arise at a basin scale. Also, a data-driven GIA solution is obtained which could be used to constrain and

  20. Antarctic ice sheet mass loss, glacio-isostatic adjustment and surface processes from ENVISAT, ICESat, CryoSat-2, GRACE and GPS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Martin-Espanol, Alba; Schoen, Nana; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Luthcke, Scott; Petrie, Liz; Remy, Frederique; Wouters, Bert; King, Matt; Rougier, Jonty

    2015-04-01

    Constraining past ice mass changes, identifying their cause(s) and determining rigorous error estimates, is important for closing the sea level budget and as an input for and test of numerical models. For the Antarctic ice sheet, considerable uncertainty remains between different methods and groups. Estimates obtained from altimetry, gravimetry, and mass-budget methods can yield conflicting results with error estimates that do not always overlap, while the, commonly adopted, use of different forward models to isolate and remove the effects of glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA) and surface mass balance (SMB) processes introduces another source of uncertainty which is hard to quantify. To address both these issues, we present a statistical modelling approach to the problem. We combine the observational data, including satellite altimetry, GRACE, GPS and InSAR, and use the different degrees of spatial and temporal smoothness to constrain the underlying geophysical processes. This is achieved via a spatio-temporal Bayesian hierarchical model, employing dimensionality reduction methods to allow the solution to remain tractable in the presence of the large number (> 10^7) of observations involved. The resulting trend estimates are only dependent on length and smoothness properties obtained from numerical models, but are otherwise entirely data-driven. As a consequence, the solutions provide a valuable independent test of the forward models. Here, we present the annually-resolved spatial fields for i) dynamic ice loss, ii) SMB anomaly, iii) firn compaction and iv) (the time invariant) GIA, using a combination of GRACE, ICESat, ENVISat, CryoSat 2 and GPS vertical uplift rates, for 2003-2013. The elastic flexure of the crust is also determined simultaneously. We focus here primarily on the mass trends rather than solid earth effects. We obtain a mean rate of -97+-16 Gt/yr for the 11 year period with a statstically significant positive trend for East Antarctica and negative

  1. Snow on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massom, Robert A.; Eicken, Hajo; Hass, Christian; Jeffries, Martin O.; Drinkwater, Mark R.; Sturm, Matthew; Worby, Anthony P.; Wu, Xingren; Lytle, Victoria I.; Ushio, Shuki; Morris, Kim; Reid, Phillip A.; Warren, Stephen G.; Allison, Ian

    2001-08-01

    Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a complex and highly variable role in air-sea-ice interaction processes and the Earth's climate system. Using data collected mostly during the past 10 years, this paper reviews the following topics: snow thickness and snow type and their geographical and seasonal variations; snow grain size, density, and salinity; frequency of occurrence of slush; thermal conductivity, snow surface temperature, and temperature gradients within snow; and the effect of snow thickness on albedo. Major findings include large regional and seasonal differences in snow properties and thicknesses; the consequences of thicker snow and thinner ice in the Antarctic relative to the Arctic (e.g., the importance of flooding and snow-ice formation); the potential impact of increasing snowfall resulting from global climate change; lower observed values of snow thermal conductivity than those typically used in models; periodic large-scale melt in winter; and the contrast in summer melt processes between the Arctic and the Antarctic. Both climate modeling and remote sensing would benefit by taking account of the differences between the two polar regions.

  2. Seasonal variations of the near surfacelayer parameters over the Antarctic ice sheet in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Analysis of sensible heat flux(Qh), latent heat flux (Qe), Richardson number(Ri),bulk transport coefficient(Cd)and katabatic windsare presented by using the meteorological data in the near surface layer from an automatic weather station (AWS)in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica ice sheet and the data of corresponding period at Zhongshan station in 2002.It shows that annual mean air temperature at LGB69 is-25.(6.)C, which is 16.(4.)C lower than that at Zhongshan,where the elevation is lower and located on the coast.The temperature lapse rate is about 1.0°C/110 m for the initial from coast to inland.The turbulence heat flux at LGB69 displays obvious seasonal variations with the average sensible heat flux 17.9 W/m2 and latent heat flux -0.9 W/m2.The intensity (Qh+Qe) of coolling source is-18.8 W/m2 meaning the snow surface layer obtains heat from atmos phere.The near surface atmosphere is near-neutral stratified with bulk transport coefficients (Cd) around 2.8x10-3 ,and it is near constant when the wind speed higher than 8 m/s.The speed and the frequency of easterly Katabatic winds at LGB69 were higher than that at Zbongshan Station.

  3. The Physics of Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassis, J. N.

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Shallow-source aeromagnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet compared with coincident bed topography from radar ice sounding - New evidence for glacial "removal" of subglacially erupted late Cenozoic rift-related volcanic edifices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Blankenship, D.D.; Morse, D.L.; Bell, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    Aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding results from the 1991-1997 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey over part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and subglacial area of the volcanically active West Antarctic rift system have enabled detailed examination of specific anomaly sources. These anomalies, previously interpreted as caused by late Cenozoic subglacial volcanic centers, are compared to newly available glacial bed-elevation data from the radar ice sounding compilation of the entire area of the aeromagnetic survey to test this hypothesis in detail. We examined about 1000 shallow-source magnetic anomalies for bedrock topographic expression. Using very conservative criteria, we found over 400 specific anomalies which correlate with bed topography directly beneath each anomaly. We interpret these anomalies as indicative of the relative abundance of volcanic anomalies having shallow magnetic sources. Of course, deeper source magnetic anomalies are present, but these have longer wavelengths, lower gradients and mostly lower amplitudes from those caused by the highly magnetic late Cenozoic volcanic centers. The great bulk of these >400 (40-1200-nT) anomaly sources at the base of the ice have low bed relief (60-600 m, with about 80%10 million years ago. Eighteen of the anomalies examined, about half concentrated in the area of the WAIS divide, have high-topographic expression (as great as 400 m above sea level) and high bed relief (up to 1500 m). All of these high-topography anomaly sources at the base of the ice would isostatically rebound to elevations above sea level were the ice removed. We interpret these 18 anomaly sources as evidence of subaerial eruption of volcanoes whose topography was protected from erosion by competent volcanic flows similar to prominent volcanic peaks that are exposed above the surface of the WAIS. Further, we infer these volcanoes as possibly erupted at a time when the WAIS was absent. In contrast, at the other extreme

  5. Shallow-source aeromagnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet compared with coincident bed topography from radar ice sounding—new evidence for glacial "removal" of subglacially erupted late Cenozoic rift-related volcanic edifices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Morse, David L.; Bell, Robin E.

    2004-07-01

    Aeromagnetic and radar ice sounding results from the 1991-1997 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey over part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and subglacial area of the volcanically active West Antarctic rift system have enabled detailed examination of specific anomaly sources. These anomalies, previously interpreted as caused by late Cenozoic subglacial volcanic centers, are compared to newly available glacial bed-elevation data from the radar ice sounding compilation of the entire area of the aeromagnetic survey to test this hypothesis in detail. We examined about 1000 shallow-source magnetic anomalies for bedrock topographic expression. Using very conservative criteria, we found over 400 specific anomalies which correlate with bed topography directly beneath each anomaly. We interpret these anomalies as indicative of the relative abundance of volcanic anomalies having shallow magnetic sources. Of course, deeper source magnetic anomalies are present, but these have longer wavelengths, lower gradients and mostly lower amplitudes from those caused by the highly magnetic late Cenozoic volcanic centers. The great bulk of these >400 (40-1200-nT) anomaly sources at the base of the ice have low bed relief (60-600 m, with about 80%WAIS >10 million years ago. Eighteen of the anomalies examined, about half concentrated in the area of the WAIS divide, have high-topographic expression (as great as 400 m above sea level) and high bed relief (up to 1500 m). All of these high-topography anomaly sources at the base of the ice would isostatically rebound to elevations above sea level were the ice removed. We interpret these 18 anomaly sources as evidence of subaerial eruption of volcanoes whose topography was protected from erosion by competent volcanic flows similar to prominent volcanic peaks that are exposed above the surface of the WAIS. Further, we infer these volcanoes as possibly erupted at a time when the WAIS was absent. In contrast, at the other

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. On sea level - ice sheet interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya Alissa

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    史红岭; 陆洋; 杜宗亮; 贾路路; 张子占; 周春霞

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Ice Sheet Thermomety Using Wideband Radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezek, K. C.; Johnson, J.; Durand, M. T.; Aksoy, M.; Tsang, L.; Wang, T.; Tan, S.; Macelloni, G.; Brogioni, M.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    There are good correlations between L-band brightness temperature data from the ESA Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission and the thickness and surface temperature of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These data along with independent, radiative-transfer modeling-studies suggest that it is possible to estimate the internal, physical temperatures of ice sheets to some, perhaps great, depth. Such a measurement is necessary to improve ice sheet models which rely on temperature-dependent deformation rates within the body of the ice sheet. In this paper we review our most recent modeling which now includes the effect of layering in near surface firn. We go on to compare L-band satellite data with modeled brightness temperatures at several sites in Greenland and Antarctica where physical temperature has been measured. We show the brightness temperature response over the band 0.5 to 2 GHz including the influence of basal-water on the low frequency range of this band. We conclude by summarizing our current design of an ultra-wide-band radiometer intended to make ice sheet thermometry measurements. We plan to deploy the airborne instrument in Greenland in two years' time.

  10. Rewriting Ice Sheet "Glacier-ology"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.

    2006-12-01

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

  11. REVIEW OF RESEARCH PROGRESS OF INTERNAL RADAR ISOCHRONOUS LAYERS IN ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET%南极冰盖内部等时层研究进展综述

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    唐学远; 孙波; 崔祥斌

    2015-01-01

    南极冰盖内部等时层记录了不同时期冰盖表面的特征及其演变,蕴含了丰富的冰下环境信息。目前,已成为研究大空间尺度与长时间尺度上南极冰盖演化及其底部环境的重要媒介。地球物理观测和数值模拟技术的综合使用,实现了南极冰盖内部等时层在大陆尺度上的可视化。通过这些内部等时层,冰川学研究将南极冰盖内部的古冰流与千年至百万年时间尺度的地貌及冰下环境的变化细节联系起来,得到了一系列数量化的结果。针对南极冰盖,综述产生内部等时层的冰盖动力学物理机理及其在冰川学上的应用,评估在五个方面的运用:(1)深冰芯断代与选址;(2)冰盖动力学过程;(3)冰盖物质平衡;(4)冰盖稳定性;(5)冰下环境。另外,基于对内部等时层的已有认识,对未来在内部等时层研究中可能需要强化的领域进行了归纳:(1)发展更精细描述并测试内部等时层结构时空变化的数值模拟技术框架面临的挑战;(2)如何从内部等时层蕴含的信息推断鉴别以目前南极冰盖作为初始条件的冰盖质量变化;(3)为获得更高分辨率的内部等时层结构图像,得到关于冰盖内部冰体形变与演化的更多数量化信息,如何强化冰盖冰下环境的重复观测。%Radar isochronous layers, reflect the surface characteristics of ice of different periods and their variation within the Antarctic ice sheet, and contain a wealth of subglacial environmental information.Isochronous layers have in-creasingly been used as proxies in investigations into the evolution and subglacial environment of the Antarctic ice sheet over considerable spatiotemporal scales.The integration of geophysical observations and numerical simulation technology has enabled the visualization of these layers over the continental scale.Using these internal isochronous layers

  12. 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

  13. Ice sheets viewed from the ocean: the contribution of marine science to understanding modern and past ice sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ó Cofaigh, Colm

    2012-12-13

    Over the last two decades, marine science, aided by technological advances in sediment coring, geophysical imaging and remotely operated submersibles, has played a major role in the investigation of contemporary and former ice sheets. Notable advances have been achieved with respect to reconstructing the extent and flow dynamics of the large polar ice sheets and their mid-latitude counterparts during the Quaternary from marine geophysical and geological records of landforms and sediments on glacier-influenced continental margins. Investigations of the deep-sea ice-rafted debris record have demonstrated that catastrophic collapse of large (10(5)-10(6) km(2)) ice-sheet drainage basins occurred on millennial and shorter time scales and had a major influence on oceanography. In the last few years, increasing emphasis has been placed on understanding physical processes at the ice-ocean interface, particularly at the grounding line, and on determining how these processes affect ice-sheet stability. This remains a major challenge, however, owing to the logistical constraints imposed by working in ice-infested polar waters and ice-shelf cavities. Furthermore, despite advances in reconstructing the Quaternary history of mid- and high-latitude ice sheets, major unanswered questions remain regarding West Antarctic ice-sheet stability, and the long-term offshore history of the East Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets remains poorly constrained. While these are major research frontiers in glaciology, and ones in which marine science has a pivotal role to play, realizing such future advances will require an integrated collaborative approach between oceanographers, glaciologists, marine geologists and numerical modellers.

  14. Ice sheet topography from retracked ERS-1 altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Dimarzio, John; Seiss, Timothy

    1994-01-01

    An objective of the ERS-1 radar altimeter is to measure the surface topography of the polar ice sheets to a precision on the order of a meter. ERS-1 Waveform Altimeter Product (WAP) data was corrected for several processing errors. A range correction from the WAP waveforms, using the multiparameter retracking algorithm to account for range tracking limitations inherent to radar altimetry, was derived. From crossover analysis, the resulting precision is shown to be about 2.1 m in ocean mode and 2.2 m in ice mode. A topography map, produced with 23 days of corrected data, shows details of the western part of west Antarctic ice sheet and part of the Ross ice shelf including ice divides, ice stream boundaries, and ice shelf grounding lines.

  15. Response of the ice sheets to fluctuating temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Recent dramatic thinning of largest West Antarctic ice stream triggered by oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Antony J.; Vieli, Andreas; Shepherd, Andrew P.; Wingham, Duncan J.; Rignot, Eric

    2004-12-01

    A growing body of observational data suggests that Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is changing on decadal or shorter timescales. These changes may have far-reaching consequences for the future of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) and global sea levels because of PIG's role as the ice sheet's primary drainage portal. We test the hypothesis that these changes are triggered by the adjoining ocean. Specifically, we employ an advanced numerical ice-flow model to simulate the effects of perturbations at the grounding line on PIG's dynamics. The speed at which these changes are propagated upstream implies a tight coupling between ice-sheet interior and surrounding ocean.

  18. Improving Constraints on Paleo Ice Sheets in the Amundsen Sea Embayment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larter, Robert D.; Gohl, Karsten; Bentley, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Amundsen Sea Embayment: Tectonic and Climatic Evolution; Granada, Spain, 9 September 2009; Geoscientists working on the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica met at a workshop during the First Antarctic Climate Evolution Symposium to discuss recent advances from, and future priorities for, work in this region. The ASE is the most rapidly changing sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and contains enough ice to raise sea level by 1.2 meters. Ice sheet modeling studies suggest that this sector of the WAIS is potentially unstable. Considerable efforts have been made through several national Antarctic programs to acquire new data on the geological structure, subglacial topography, bathymetry, and glacial history of this remote region. These data are important for establishing boundary conditions for ice sheet modeling, for providing constraints on past ice sheet changes that can be used to test models, and for putting recent changes into a longer-term context.

  19. Vigorous lateral export of the meltwater outflow from beneath an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garabato, Alberto C. Naveira; Forryan, Alexander; Dutrieux, Pierre; Brannigan, Liam; Biddle, Louise C.; Heywood, Karen J.; Jenkins, Adrian; Firing, Yvonne L.; Kimura, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    The instability and accelerated melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are among the foremost elements of contemporary global climate change. The increased freshwater output from Antarctica is important in determining sea level rise, the fate of Antarctic sea ice and its effect on the Earth’s albedo, ongoing changes in global deep-ocean ventilation, and the evolution of Southern Ocean ecosystems and carbon cycling. A key uncertainty in assessing and predicting the impacts of Antarctic Ice Sheet melting concerns the vertical distribution of the exported meltwater. This is usually represented by climate-scale models as a near-surface freshwater input to the ocean, yet measurements around Antarctica reveal the meltwater to be concentrated at deeper levels. Here we use observations of the turbulent properties of the meltwater outflows from beneath a rapidly melting Antarctic ice shelf to identify the mechanism responsible for the depth of the meltwater. We show that the initial ascent of the meltwater outflow from the ice shelf cavity triggers a centrifugal overturning instability that grows by extracting kinetic energy from the lateral shear of the background oceanic flow. The instability promotes vigorous lateral export, rapid dilution by turbulent mixing, and finally settling of meltwater at depth. We use an idealized ocean circulation model to show that this mechanism is relevant to a broad spectrum of Antarctic ice shelves. Our findings demonstrate that the mechanism producing meltwater at depth is a dynamically robust feature of Antarctic melting that should be incorporated into climate-scale models.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, Sebastian; Timmermann, Ralph

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Quantification of ikaite in Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Fischer

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Calcium carbonate precipitation in sea ice can increase pCO2 during precipitation in winter and decrease pCO2 during dissolution in spring. CaCO3 precipitation in sea ice is thought to potentially drive significant CO2 uptake by the ocean. However, little is known about the quantitative spatial and temporal distribution of CaCO3 within sea ice. This is the first quantitative study of hydrous calcium carbonate, as ikaite, in sea ice and discusses its potential significance for the carbon cycle in polar oceans. Ice cores and brine samples were collected from pack and land fast sea ice between September and December 2007 during an expedition in the East Antarctic and another off Terre Adélie, Antarctica. Samples were analysed for CaCO3, Salinity, DOC, DON, Phosphate, and total alkalinity. A relationship between the measured parameters and CaCO3 precipitation could not be observed. We found calcium carbonate, as ikaite, mostly in the top layer of sea ice with values up to 126 mg ikaite per liter melted sea ice. This potentially represents a contribution between 0.12 and 9 Tg C to the annual carbon flux in polar oceans. The horizontal distribution of ikaite in sea ice was heterogenous. We also found the precipitate in the snow on top of the sea ice.

  3. 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

  4. East Antarctic land-ice/ocean networks: progress and questions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    International collaborative exploration over the last decade has revealed East Antarctica as a geologically diverse continent underlying an ice sheet with significant sea level potential, parts of which are currently undergoing rapid change. The Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins (WSB and ASB), two of the largest reservoirs of sea level potential in Antarctica, are broader, deeper, and more susceptible to marine ice sheet instability than previously known. The morphology and coastal connections of the ASB indicate a dynamic early ice sheet with a significant erosional history and multiple ice sheet configurations. Recent results imply significant retreat into the WSB during the Pliocene while today irreversible discharge there is halted by only a small ridge. We have unveiled complex contemporary subglacial landscapes beneath both basins providing new challenges and opportunities to ice sheet modelers. For instance, geothermal heat flow varies spatially on multiple scales in the continental crust assumed to be homogeneous. A large, active, subglacial hydrological system flows through the ASB along pathways that likely predate large-scale glaciation. Proxies indicate four to eight meters of global sea level rise during the last interglacial period. Ice core results constrain the amount of sea level rise to one to three meters from contributed by East Antarctica. Going forward, new altimetry data along the East Antarctic coast reveal extensive lowering of the Totten and Denman Glaciers while satellite gravity indicate a variable but persistent record of negative regional mass loss. These discoveries provide a new baseline as the international community increases its focus on the region through ongoing airborne and marine exploration to address the many outstanding questions: What is the character and distribution of subglacial boundary conditions and water systems upstream of the grounding line in areas of significant potential sea level impact? How much subglacial

  5. 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.

  6. Modeling the Effects of Multi-layer Surface Roughness on 0.5 -2 GHz Passive Microwave Observations of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, L.; Wang, T.; Johnson, J.; Jezek, K. C.; Tan, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Ultra-Wideband Software-Defined Radiometer (UWBRAD) is being developed to provide measurements of ice sheet thermal emission over the frequency range 0.5-2 GHz. In this frequency range, density variations within the firn create a layered structure that cause reflections. The thicknesses of the layers are of the order of centimeters in the top 100 meters, so that there can be hundreds to thousands of layers. In the incoherent approach of modelling, the radiative transfer equation is applied to each layer. In the coherent approach, the fluctuation dissipation theorem with a layered medium Green's function is used to calculate the brightness temperature. However, layer roughness effects have not been accounted for. Rough surface scattering would cause coupling of the intensities in all directions and coupling between vertical and horizontal polarizations. We use a "partially coherent" approach. The snow firn is divided into "blocks" that include multiple layers separated by rough interfaces. The block size is defined such that a coherent incident wave will be attenuated to approximately 50% of its original amplitude upon transmission through the block. Within the block, we treat the wave scattering by rough surfaces coherently by using use the 2nd order small perturbation method (SPM2). The SPM2 is an efficient analytic method that obeys energy conservation. The block size can be as small as 10 meters for the top layers because of strong density fluctuations, but can be hundreds of meters deeper within the snow firn because of the smaller density variations at greater depths. We calculate the bistatic scattering and transmission coefficients for each block. Finally the scattering and emission from multiple blocks are combined incoherently by using a cascade approach of the input and output intensities of the block. Using the partially coherent approach, we can obtain the brightness temperatures of layered snow firn when there are hundreds or thousands of layers

  7. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Antarctic Ice-Sheet Freeze-Thaw Detection Based on Improved Wavelet Transform%基于改进的小波变换的南极冰盖冻融探测

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王星东; 熊章强; 李新武; 梁雷

    2013-01-01

    小波变换模型算法中的双高斯模型拟合干湿雪分类的最优阈值时,受初始值影响且典型样本区的选取比较费时,针对这些缺点提出了自动阈值分割的改进的小波变换算法,即用广义高斯模型自动拟合干湿雪分类的最优阈值.该算法继承和发展了冰盖冻融探测无需依赖于实测数据的优点,更好地实现了南极地区冰盖冻融监测系统建设的业务化运行目标.通过对改进前后的结果对比分析表明:改进后的方法与原方法相比,不仅提高了冰盖冻融探测方法的计算效率、实用性和可操作性,而且还在一定程度上提高了冰盖冻融探测的精度.%When the double-Gaussian model of the current wavelet-transform algorithm fits the optimal threshold value of the dry and wet snow classification,it is easily affected by the initial value and has the shortcomings of consuming more time in selecting the typical sample zones. According to the fact,this paper proposed the improved wavelet-transform algorithm for the automatic threshold segmentation,that is,generalized Gaussian model automatically fits the optimal wet and dry snow classification threshold. The algorithm inherits and develops the advantage of ice-sheet freeze-thaw detection, which does not rely on the measured data and achieves the goal of Antarctic ice-sheet monitoring system business more effectively. By comparing and analyzing of the two algorithms, we can see that the improved algorithm improves the computational efficiency, usability and operability in the ice-sheet freeze-thaw detection as well as the accuracy of detection to some extent.

  9. ISSM: Ice Sheet System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larour, Eric; Schiermeier, John E.; Seroussi, Helene; Morlinghem, Mathieu

    2013-01-01

    In order to have the capability to use satellite data from its own missions to inform future sea-level rise projections, JPL needed a full-fledged ice-sheet/iceshelf flow model, capable of modeling the mass balance of Antarctica and Greenland into the near future. ISSM was developed with such a goal in mind, as a massively parallelized, multi-purpose finite-element framework dedicated to ice-sheet modeling. ISSM features unstructured meshes (Tria in 2D, and Penta in 3D) along with corresponding finite elements for both types of meshes. Each finite element can carry out diagnostic, prognostic, transient, thermal 3D, surface, and bed slope simulations. Anisotropic meshing enables adaptation of meshes to a certain metric, and the 2D Shelfy-Stream, 3D Blatter/Pattyn, and 3D Full-Stokes formulations capture the bulk of the ice-flow physics. These elements can be coupled together, based on the Arlequin method, so that on a large scale model such as Antarctica, each type of finite element is used in the most efficient manner. For each finite element referenced above, ISSM implements an adjoint. This adjoint can be used to carry out model inversions of unknown model parameters, typically ice rheology and basal drag at the ice/bedrock interface, using a metric such as the observed InSAR surface velocity. This data assimilation capability is crucial to allow spinning up of ice flow models using available satellite data. ISSM relies on the PETSc library for its vectors, matrices, and solvers. This allows ISSM to run efficiently on any parallel platform, whether shared or distrib- ISSM: Ice Sheet System Model NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California uted. It can run on the largest clusters, and is fully scalable. This allows ISSM to tackle models the size of continents. ISSM is embedded into MATLAB and Python, both open scientific platforms. This improves its outreach within the science community. It is entirely written in C/C++, which gives it flexibility in its

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2013-04-01

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

  11. The circum-Antarctic sedimentary record; a dowsing rod for Antarctic ice in the Eocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scher, H.

    2012-12-01

    Arguments for short-lived Antarctic glacial events during the Eocene (55-34 Ma) are compelling, however the paleoceanographic proxy records upon which these arguments are based (e.g., benthic δ18O, eustatic sea level, deep sea carbonate deposition) are global signals in which the role of Antarctic ice volume variability is ambiguous. That is to say, the proxy response to ice volume may be masked other processes. As a result broad correlations between proxies for ice volume are lacking during suspected Eocene glacial events. I will present a more direct approach for detecting Antarctic ice sheets in the Eocene; utilizing provenance information derived from the radiogenic isotopic composition of the terrigenous component of marine sediments near Antarctica. The method relies on knowledge that marine sediments represent a mixture derived from different basement terrains with different isotopic fingerprints. A key issue when using sedimentary deposits to characterize continental sediment sources is to deconvolve different sources from the mixed signal of the bulk sample. The pioneering work of Roy et al. (2007) and van de Flierdt et al. (2007) represents a major advance in Antarctic provenance studies. It is now known that the isotopic composition of neodymium (Nd) and hafnium (Hf) in modern circum-Antarctic sediments are distributed in a pattern that mimics the basement age of sediment sources around Antarctica. For this study I selected two Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites on southern Kerguelen Plateau (ODP Sites 738 and 748) because of their proximity to Prydz Bay, where Precambrian sediment sources contribute to extremely nonradiogenic isotopic signatures in modern sediments in the Prydz Bay region. New detrital Nd isotope records from these sediment cores reveal an Nd isotope excursion at the Bartonian/Priabonian boundary (ca. 37 Ma) that coincides with a 0.5 ‰ increase in benthic foram δ18O values. Detrital sediment ɛNd values are around -12 in intervals

  12. Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.

    2014-12-01

    Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode Varimax rotated was performed on Antarctic and Arctic monthly sea ice concentration anomalies (SICA) fields for the period 1979-2014, in order to investigate which are the main spatial characteristics of sea ice and its relationship with atmospheric circulation. This analysis provides 5 patterns of sea ice for inter-spring period and 3 patterns for summer-autumn for Antarctica (69,2% of the total variance) and 3 different patterns for summer-autumn and 3 for winter-spring season for the Arctic Ocean (67,8% of the total variance).Each of these patterns has a positive and negative phase. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm. To understand the links between the SICA and climate trends, we extracted the mean pressure and, temperature field patterns for the months with high loadings (positive or negative) of the sea ice patterns that gave distinct atmospheric structures associated with each one. For Antarctica, the first SICA spatial winter-spring pattern in positive phase shows a negative SICA centre over the Drake Passage and north region of Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas together with another negative SICA centre over the East Indian Ocean. Strong positive centres over the rest of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans basins and the Amundsen Sea are also presented. A strong negative pressure anomaly covers most of the Antarctic Continent centered over the Bellingshausen Sea accompanied by three positive pressure anomalies in middle-latitudes. During recent years, the Arctic showed persistent associations of sea-ice and climate patterns principally during summer. Our strongest summer-autumn pattern in negative phase showed a marked reduction on SICA over western Arctic, primarily linked to an overall increase in Arctic atmospheric temperature most pronounced over the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian Seas, and a positive anomaly of

  13. 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...

  14. 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 Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacierand Zachariæ Isstrøm have been obtained from the data centres 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...

  15. Discussing Progress in Understanding Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  16. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Tricht, K.; Lhermitte, S.; Lenaerts, J. T M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Gorodetskaya, I. V.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Noël, B.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370612345; Van Den Broeke, M. R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; 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

  17. 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....

  18. Dynamics of laterally confined marine ice sheets

    OpenAIRE

    Kowal, Katarzyna N.; Pegler, Samuel S.; Worster, M. Grae

    2016-01-01

    This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Cambridge University Press via http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2016.37 We present an experimental and theoretical study of the dynamics of laterally confined marine ice sheets in the natural limit in which the long, narrow channel into which they flow is wider than the depth of the ice. A marine ice sheet comprises a grounded ice sheet in contact with bedrock that floats away from the bedrock at a ‘grounding line’ t...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Ice cores record significant 1940s Antarctic warmth related to tropical climate variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David P; Steig, Eric J

    2008-08-26

    Although the 20th Century warming of global climate is well known, climate change in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere (SH), especially in the first half of the century, remains poorly documented. We present a composite of water stable isotope data from high-resolution ice cores from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This record, representative of West Antarctic surface temperature, shows extreme positive anomalies in the 1936-45 decade that are significant in the context of the background 20th Century warming trend. We interpret these anomalies--previously undocumented in the high-latitude SH--as indicative of strong teleconnections in part driven by the major 1939-42 El Niño. These anomalies are coherent with tropical sea-surface temperature, mean SH air temperature, and North Pacific sea-level pressure, underscoring the sensitivity of West Antarctica's climate, and potentially its ice sheet, to large-scale changes in the global climate.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Glacial Cycles and ice-sheet modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

    An attempt is made to simulate the Pleistocene glacial cycles with a numerical model of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. This model treats the vertically-integrated ice flow along a meridian, including computation of bedrock adjustment and temperature distribution in the ice. Basal melt water is

  4. Glacial geomorphology of the northwestern Weddell Sea, eastern Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf: Shifting ice flow patterns during deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo, Jennifer M.; Wellner, Julia S.; Domack, Eugene; Lavoie, Caroline; Yoo, Kyu-Cheul

    2017-03-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum, grounded ice from the expanded Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet extended across the continental shelf. Grounded and flowing ice created a distinctive array of glacial geomorphic features on the sea floor, which were then exposed as the ice sheet retreated. The recent disintegration of the northern parts of the Larsen Ice Shelf (Larsen A and B) have permitted acquisition of marine geophysical data in previously inaccessible and unmapped areas. We present a reconstruction of the evolving ice-flow path and ice sheet geometry of the eastern Antarctic Peninsula, with particular focus paid to newly surveyed areas that shed light on the dynamics of a marine-terminating glacial geomorphic environment, where ice shelves play a major role in grounding line stability. Shifting flow directions were mapped in several areas, including across the Seal Nunataks, which divide Larsen A and B, and offshore of Larsen C, indicating flow reorientation that reflects the changing ice sheet geometry as retreat neared the modern coastline. The measured flow indicators in this area reveal comparatively high elongation ratios (> 20), indicating rapid ice flow. Evidence of possible previous ice-shelf collapses are noted near the shelf break, further illustrating the critical, protective effect that ice shelves impart to marine-terminating glacial environments. Modern ice retreat is governed in part by reorganization of flow patterns accompanying grounding line movement; such reorganizations happened in the past and can aid understanding of modern processes.

  5. Spatial-temporal characters of Antarctic sea ice variation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ma Lijuan; Lu Longhua; Bian Lingen

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek eStibal

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Measuring microbial abundance in glacier ice and identifying its controls is essential for a better understanding and quantification of biogeochemical processes in glacial ecosystems. However, cell enumeration of glacier ice samples is challenging due to typically low cell numbers and the presence of interfering mineral particles. We quantified for the first time the abundance of microbial cells in surface ice from geographically distinct sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet, using three enumeration methods: epifluorescence microscopy (EFM, flow cytometry (FCM and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR. In addition, we reviewed published data on microbial abundance in glacier ice and tested the three methods on artificial ice samples of realistic cell (10^2 – 10^7 cells ml-1 and mineral particle (0.1 – 100 mg/ml concentrations, simulating a range of glacial ice types, from clean subsurface ice to surface ice to sediment-laden basal ice. We then used multivariate statistical analysis to identify factors responsible for the variation in microbial abundance on the ice sheet. EFM gave the most accurate and reproducible results of the tested methodologies, and was therefore selected as the most suitable technique for cell enumeration of ice containing dust. Cell numbers in surface ice samples, determined by EFM, ranged from ca 2 x 10^3 to ca 2 x 10^6 cells/ml while dust concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 2 mg/ml. The lowest abundances were found in ice sampled from the accumulation area of the ice sheet and in samples affected by fresh snow; these samples may be considered as a reference point of the cell abundance of precipitants that are deposited on the ice sheet surface. Dust content was the most significant variable to explain the variation in the abundance data, which suggests a direct association between deposited dust particles and cells and/or by their provision of limited nutrients to microbial communities on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Negative Magnetic Anomalies Observed in the Central West Antarctica (CWA) Aerogeophysical Survey Over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), Whose Sources are Volcanic Centers (e.g. Mt Resnik) at the Base of the ice >780 Ka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, J. C.; Finn, C. A.; Morse, D. L.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2005-12-01

    Analysis of a block of coincident aeromagnetic and radar ice-sounding data (from the CWA aerogeophysical survey) over the WAIS reveals ~1000 50->1000-nT, shallow -source, ``volcanic" magnetic anomalies, interpreted as caused by late Cenozoic alkaline magmatism associated with the West Antarctic rift system (WR). About 400 of these anomalies (conservatively selected) have topographic expression at the bed of the WAIS; >80% of these topographic features have Resnik, marked by a complex negative anomaly, is a conical peak 300 m below the surface of the WAIS, and has ~2 km topographic relief. We interpret a magnetic model fit to this anomaly as comprising reversely magnetized (in the present field direction), 0.5-2.5-km thick volcanic flows at the summit overlying normally magnetized flows. Published models (1996) reported for the Hut Point anomaly, at Ross Island, Antarctica, a similar anomaly to Mt. Resnik, also required both normal and reversed magnetizations correlated with drill holes into dated volcanic flows (also part of the late Cenozoic WR) crossing the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (780 Ka). Because of their form similar to exposed volcanoes in the WAIS area with edifices primarily comprising subaerially-erupted, very magnetic volcanic flows, which have resisted glacial erosion, Behrendt et al. (2004) interpreted that these 18 high-topograpy, high-relief sources are subglacial volcanoes (including the five >780 Ka) erupted subaerially during a period when the WAIS was absent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Ice core reconstruction of Antarctic climate change and implications

    OpenAIRE

    Mayewski,Paul Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Antarctica is the Earth’s largest environmental library for ice cores. Examples of the scientific fin-dings of the 21-nation consortium called the International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE) under the auspices of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) are presented with special emphasis on the value of these records in reconstructing atmospheric circulation over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

  11. A Comparative Study of Antarctic Arctic and Himalayan Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. C. Pathak

    1989-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corti, Giacomo; Zeoli, Antonio

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Models for polythermal ice sheets and glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Ian J.; Schoof, Christian

    2017-02-01

    Polythermal ice sheets and glaciers contain both cold ice and temperate ice. We present two new models to describe the temperature and water content of such ice masses, accounting for the possibility of gravity- and pressure-driven water drainage according to Darcy's law. Both models are based on the principle of energy conservation; one additionally invokes the theory of viscous compaction to calculate pore water pressure, and the other involves a modification of existing enthalpy gradient methods to include gravity-driven drainage. The models self-consistently predict the evolution of temperature in cold ice and of water content in temperate ice. Numerical solutions are described, and a number of illustrative test problems are presented, allowing comparison with existing methods. The suggested models are simple enough to be incorporated in existing ice-sheet models with little modification.

  16. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tricht, Kristof; Lhermitte, Stef; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Gorodetskaya, Irina V.; L'Ecuyer, Tristan S.; Noël, Brice; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Turner, David D.; van Lipzig, Nicole P. M.

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Definition of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Variation Index

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Hongxia; Liu Na; Pan Zengdi; Zhang Qinghua

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

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

  1. In situ primary production in young Antarctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Mock, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    An in situ incubation technique used successfully to measure the photosynthetic carbon assimilation of internal algal assemblages within thick multiyear Arctic sea ice was developed and improved to measure the photosynthetic carbon assimilation within young sea ice only 50 cm thick (Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica). The new device enabled some of the first precise measurements of in situ photosynthetic carbon assimilation in newly formed Antarctic sea ice.

  2. Evidence for warmer interglacials in East Antarctic ice cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sime, L C; Wolff, E W; Oliver, K I C; Tindall, J C

    2009-11-19

    Stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen in the Antarctic ice core record have revolutionized our understanding of Pleistocene climate variations and have allowed reconstructions of Antarctic temperature over the past 800,000 years (800 kyr; refs 1, 2). The relationship between the D/H ratio of mean annual precipitation and mean annual surface air temperature is said to be uniform +/-10% over East Antarctica and constant with time +/-20% (refs 3-5). In the absence of strong independent temperature proxy evidence allowing us to calibrate individual ice cores, prior general circulation model (GCM) studies have supported the assumption of constant uniform conversion for climates cooler than that of the present day. Here we analyse the three available 340 kyr East Antarctic ice core records alongside input from GCM modelling. We show that for warmer interglacial periods the relationship between temperature and the isotopic signature varies among ice core sites, and that therefore the conversions must be nonlinear for at least some sites. Model results indicate that the isotopic composition of East Antarctic ice is less sensitive to temperature changes during warmer climates. We conclude that previous temperature estimates from interglacial climates are likely to be too low. The available evidence is consistent with a peak Antarctic interglacial temperature that was at least 6 K higher than that of the present day -approximately double the widely quoted 3 +/- 1.5 K (refs 5, 6).

  3. Ice sheets on plastically-yielding beds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Ian

    2016-11-01

    Many fast flowing regions of ice sheets are underlain by a layer of water-saturated sediments, or till. The rheology of the till has been the subject of some controversy, with laboratory tests suggesting almost perfectly plastic behaviour (stress independent of strain rate), but many models adopting a pseudo-viscous description. In this work, we consider the behaviour of glaciers underlain by a plastic bed. The ice is treated as a viscous gravity current, on a bed that allows unconstrained slip above a critical yield stress. This simplified description allows rapid sliding, and aims to investigate 'worst-case' scenarios of possible ice-sheet disintegration. The plastic bed results in an approximate ice-sheet geometry that is primarily controlled by force balance, whilst ice velocity is determined from mass conservation (rather than the other way around, as standard models would hold). The stability of various states is considered, and particular attention is given to the pace at which transitions between unstable states can occur. Finally, we observe that the strength of basal tills depends strongly on pore pressure, and combine the model with a description of subglacial hydrology. Implications for the present-day ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will be discussed. Funding: ERC Marie Curie FP7 Career Integration Grant.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Ocean-driven thinning enhances iceberg calving and retreat of Antarctic ice shelves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Moore, John C; Cheng, Xiao; Gladstone, Rupert M; Bassis, Jeremy N; Liu, Hongxing; Wen, Jiahong; Hui, Fengming

    2015-03-17

    Iceberg calving from all Antarctic ice shelves has never been directly measured, despite playing a crucial role in ice sheet mass balance. Rapid changes to iceberg calving naturally arise from the sporadic detachment of large tabular bergs but can also be triggered by climate forcing. Here we provide a direct empirical estimate of mass loss due to iceberg calving and melting from Antarctic ice shelves. We find that between 2005 and 2011, the total mass loss due to iceberg calving of 755 ± 24 gigatonnes per year (Gt/y) is only half the total loss due to basal melt of 1516 ± 106 Gt/y. However, we observe widespread retreat of ice shelves that are currently thinning. Net mass loss due to iceberg calving for these ice shelves (302 ± 27 Gt/y) is comparable in magnitude to net mass loss due to basal melt (312 ± 14 Gt/y). Moreover, we find that iceberg calving from these decaying ice shelves is dominated by frequent calving events, which are distinct from the less frequent detachment of isolated tabular icebergs associated with ice shelves in neutral or positive mass balance regimes. Our results suggest that thinning associated with ocean-driven increased basal melt can trigger increased iceberg calving, implying that iceberg calving may play an overlooked role in the demise of shrinking ice shelves, and is more sensitive to ocean forcing than expected from steady state calving estimates.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Ice sheet systems and sea level change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E. J.

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1983-01-01

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

  10. Measuring Ice Sheet Height with ICESat-2

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  12. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Monitoring ice sheet behavior from space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, Robert

    1998-02-01

    Satellite remote sensing has revolutionized ice sheet research. A variety of instruments sensitive to different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum take what the human eye detects as a flat, white desert and provide data sets rich in scientific information. Image-based maps of ice sheets are becoming commonplace and have become an integral component of field work. More than a pretty picture, the digital character of the satellite data from these instruments has become fundamental to the production of elevation, motion, accumulation, and reflectance data sets. Visible imagery shows the scientist a wealth of features that offer clues to the history and current behavior of the ice sheet. Radar and microwave imagery provide information from beneath the surface and have been used to estimate snow accumulation rates. Interferometry principles have recently been applied to measure surface topography and ice motion with unparalleled precision. Nonimaging instruments also keep a watchful eye, monitoring the ice sheet for indications of growth or shrinkage. Further expansion of the uses of satellite data is anticipated in the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne; Jenouvrier, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

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

  15. The sea-level fingerprints of ice-sheet collapse during interglacial periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Carling; Mitrovica, Jerry X.; Gomez, Natalya; Creveling, Jessica R.; Austermann, Jacqueline; E. Kopp, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Studies of sea level during previous interglacials provide insight into the stability of polar ice sheets in the face of global climate change. Commonly, these studies correct ancient sea-level highstands for the contaminating effect of isostatic adjustment associated with past ice age cycles, and interpret the residuals as being equivalent to the peak eustatic sea level associated with excess melting, relative to present day, of ancient polar ice sheets. However, the collapse of polar ice sheets produces a distinct geometry, or fingerprint, of sea-level change, which must be accounted for to accurately infer peak eustatic sea level from site-specific residual highstands. To explore this issue, we compute fingerprints associated with the collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet, West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and marine sectors of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in order to isolate regions that would have been subject to greater-than-eustatic sea-level change for all three cases. These fingerprints are more robust than those associated with modern melting events, when applied to infer eustatic sea level, because: (1) a significant collapse of polar ice sheets reduces the sensitivity of the computed fingerprints to uncertainties in the geometry of the melt regions; and (2) the sea-level signal associated with the collapse will dominate the signal from steric effects. We evaluate these fingerprints at a suite of sites where sea-level records from interglacial marine isotopes stages (MIS) 5e and 11 have been obtained. Using these results, we demonstrate that previously discrepant estimates of peak eustatic sea level during MIS5e based on sea-level markers in Australia and the Seychelles are brought into closer accord.

  16. Glaciers and ice sheets as a biome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anesio, Alexandre M; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna

    2012-04-01

    The tundra is the coldest biome described in typical geography and biology textbooks. Within the cryosphere, there are large expanses of ice in the Antarctic, Arctic and alpine regions that are not regarded as being part of any biome. During the summer, there is significant melt on the surface of glaciers, ice caps and ice shelves, at which point microbial communities become active and play an important role in the cycling of carbon and other elements within the cryosphere. In this review, we suggest that it is time to recognise the cryosphere as one of the biomes of Earth. The cryospheric biome encompasses extreme environments and is typified by truncated food webs dominated by viruses, bacteria, protozoa and algae with distinct biogeographical structures.

  17. The Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...... 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...

  20. Dynamic ancient ice caps in the sub-Antarctic suggested by new mapping of submarine ice-formed landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Alastair; Hodgson, Dominic; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    Recent bathymetric investigations have provided hints of significant past glaciations on several Southern Ocean sub-polar islands. The extent and behaviour of ice cover in these regions is important because it provides critical limits on the evolution of refugia and marine benthic organisms, as well as unique far-field constraints for improving polar ice-sheet model sensitivity. However, despite improvements in regional mapping, sea-floor acoustic data from key shelf areas have still not been of sufficient quality, or broad enough in their coverage, to resolve the number, form or flow of past glacial episodes. Hence the history and style of sub-Antarctic glaciation remains poorly known. Here we use a compilation of multibeam bathymetry and fisheries echo-sounding data to provide evidence for dynamic, widespread ice caps on sub-Antarctic South Georgia during past glacial periods. We present a hitherto unmapped record of sea-bed glacigenic structures, including end moraines and subglacial landforms, from which the flow and form of at least three major, entirely marine-terminating configurations is resolved. The largest glaciation covered the majority of the continental shelf, and included fast-flowing outlets, possible switching of internal flow, meltwater activity, warm-based ice erosion, and substantial marginal deposition during retreat: all features of dynamic ice-cap behaviour. Existing biological evidence suggests the largest glaciation likely pre-dated the Last Glacial Maximum, which may have been restricted in extent reaching to the island's fjord mouths, while a third mid-shelf limit appears partially recorded. Work on dating the relict landscape of ancient ice cap advance and retreat is ongoing, but our preliminary age model suggests that South Georgia's history is unique from the Antarctic polar glacial record, and may be more similar to that of past ice caps on Patagonia. The glacial configurations revealed by these data will provide the basis of new

  1. 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...... 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......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...

  2. 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; Saba, Jack; Tezaur, Irina; Guerber, Jeffrey; Chambers, Don P.; Evans, Katherine J.; Kennedy, Joseph H.; Lenaerts, Jan; Lipscomb, William H.; Perego, Mauro; Salinger, Andrew G.; Tuminaro, Raymond S.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Nowicki, Sophie M. J.

    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 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 on Greenland over the past few decades. An extensible design will allow for continued use

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Last Interglacial climate and sea-level evolution from a coupled ice sheet-climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    As the most recent warm period in Earth's history with a sea-level stand higher than present, the Last Interglacial (LIG, ˜ 130 to 115 kyr BP) is often considered a prime example to study the impact of a warmer climate on the two polar ice sheets remaining today. Here we simulate the Last Interglacial climate, ice sheet, and sea-level evolution with the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM v.1.3, which includes dynamic and fully coupled components representing the atmosphere, the ocean and sea ice, the terrestrial biosphere, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In this setup, sea-level evolution and climate-ice sheet interactions are modelled in a consistent framework.Surface mass balance change governed by changes in surface meltwater runoff is the dominant forcing for the Greenland ice sheet, which shows a peak sea-level contribution of 1.4 m at 123 kyr BP in the reference experiment. Our results indicate that ice sheet-climate feedbacks play an important role to amplify climate and sea-level changes in the Northern Hemisphere. The sensitivity of the Greenland ice sheet to surface temperature changes considerably increases when interactive albedo changes are considered. Southern Hemisphere polar and sub-polar ocean warming is limited throughout the Last Interglacial, and surface and sub-shelf melting exerts only a minor control on the Antarctic sea-level contribution with a peak of 4.4 m at 125 kyr BP. Retreat of the Antarctic ice sheet at the onset of the LIG is mainly forced by rising sea level and to a lesser extent by reduced ice shelf viscosity as the surface temperature increases. Global sea level shows a peak of 5.3 m at 124.5 kyr BP, which includes a minor contribution of 0.35 m from oceanic thermal expansion. Neither the individual contributions nor the total modelled sea-level stand show fast multi-millennial timescale variations as indicated by some reconstructions.

  8. Towards Resolving the Paradox of Antarctic Sea Ice: A New Integrated Framework for Observing the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G. D.

    2014-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice distribution, a canary in the coal mine for climate change in the Southern Hemisphere, is controlled by the marginal ice zone (MIZ). The MIZ is the dynamic outer part of the sea-ice zone, where it interacts with the high-energy open ocean and is strongly affected by waves and storms. As an interface between ocean and atmosphere with extreme vertical and horizontal temperature gradients and large variations in mechanical properties, the MIZ is a complex system that evolves with, and impacts upon, the advancing/receding ice edge. More than a zone, it is a migratory transition in 'phase space' that biannually passes across the entire Antarctic SIZ. During the advance phase of sea-ice seasonality, and under freezing conditions, wave-induced pancake-ice formation can lead to rapid ice-edge advance. During the retreat phase, the dynamic break-up and modification of sea ice by passing storms, winds and waves greatly modifies the floe-size distribution within the MIZ, to create smaller floes that melt more rapidly and accelerate sea-ice retreat as spring progresses. Inspired by the current Arctic MIZ efforts, new fieldwork is proposed to resolve the key characteristics of the Antarctic MIZ and the processes controlling its extent. Combining new autonomous observation technology with ship-based techniques, integrated experiments are being designed to advance our understanding of the MIZ and its role in driving seasonal sea ice advance and retreat around Antarctica. The proposed project provides a unique opportunity to develop an observational, analytical, and science-policy framework for coordinated monitoring of sea ice in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with implications for forecasting, monitoring, and prediction that are essential with increasingly dynamic and variable polar climate systems.

  9. BRITICE-CHRONO: Constraining rates and style of marine-influenced ice sheet decay to provide a data-rich playground for ice sheet modellers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Chris

    2014-05-01

    Uncertainty exists regarding the fate of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and how they will respond to forcings from sea level and atmospheric and ocean temperatures. If we want to know more about the mechanisms and rate of change of shrinking ice sheets, then why not examine an ice sheet that has fully disappeared and track its retreat through time? If achieved in enough detail such information could become a data-rich playground for improving the next breed of numerical ice sheet models to be used in ice and sea level forecasting. We regard that the last British-Irish Ice Sheet is a good target for this work, on account of its small size, density of information and with its numerous researchers already investigating it. BRITICE-CHRONO is a large (>45 researchers) NERC-funded consortium project comprising Quaternary scientists and glaciologists who will search the seafloor around Britain and Ireland and parts of the landmass in order to find and extract samples of sand, rock and organic matter that can be dated (OSL; Cosmogenic; 14C) to reveal the timing and rate of change of the collapsing British-Irish Ice Sheet. The purpose is to produce a high resolution dataset on the demise on an ice sheet - from the continental shelf edge and across the marine to terrestrial transition. Some 800 new date assessments will be added to those that already exist. This poster reports on the hypotheses that underpin the work. Data on retreat will be collected by focusing on 8 transects running from the continental shelf edge to a short distance (10s km) onshore and acquiring marine and terrestrial samples for geochronometric dating. The project includes funding for 587 radiocarbon, 140 OSL and 158 TCN samples for surface exposure dating; with sampling accomplished by two research cruises and 16 fieldwork campaigns. Results will reveal the timing and rate of change of ice margin recession for each transect, and combined with existing landform and dating databases, will be

  10. 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.

  11. Uncertainty in Ice Crystal Orientation Distributions in Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Michael; Waddington, Edwin

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Ice Sheet System Model as Educational Entertainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, G.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisling, Benjamin; DeConto, Robert

    2016-04-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.

    2015-12-01

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

  17. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    increased melting and flow near the edges. Most documented forcings and ice-sheet responses spanned periods of several thousand years, but limited data also show rapid response to rapid forcings. In particular, regions near the ice margin have responded within decades. However, major changes of central......Paleoclimatic records show that the Greenland Ice Sheet consistently has lost mass in response to warming, and grown in response to cooling. Such changes have occurred even at times of slow or zero sea-level change, so changing sea level cannot have been the cause of at least some of the ice......-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...

  18. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Rennermalm

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. O. Holt

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Ice_Sheets_CCI: Essential Climate Variables for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsberg, R.; Sørensen, L. S.; Khan, A.; Aas, C.; Evansberget, D.; Adalsteinsdottir, G.; Mottram, R.; Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrøm, A.; Dall, J.; Kusk, A.; Merryman, J.; Hvidberg, C.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Nagler, T.; Rott, H.; Scharrer, M.; Shepard, A.; Ticconi, F.; Engdahl, M.

    2012-04-01

    As part of the ESA Climate Change Initiative (www.esa-cci.org) a long-term project "ice_sheets_cci" started January 1, 2012, in addition to the existing 11 projects already generating Essential Climate Variables (ECV) for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). The "ice_sheets_cci" goal is to generate a consistent, long-term and timely set of key climate parameters for the Greenland ice sheet, to maximize the impact of European satellite data on climate research, from missions such as ERS, Envisat and the future Sentinel satellites. The climate parameters to be provided, at first in a research context, and in the longer perspective by a routine production system, would be grids of Greenland ice sheet elevation changes from radar altimetry, ice velocity from repeat-pass SAR data, as well as time series of marine-terminating glacier calving front locations and grounding lines for floating-front glaciers. The ice_sheets_cci project will involve a broad interaction of the relevant cryosphere and climate communities, first through user consultations and specifications, and later in 2012 optional participation in "best" algorithm selection activities, where prototype climate parameter variables for selected regions and time frames will be produced and validated using an objective set of criteria ("Round-Robin intercomparison"). This comparative algorithm selection activity will be completely open, and we invite all interested scientific groups with relevant experience to participate. The results of the "Round Robin" exercise will form the algorithmic basis for the future ECV production system. First prototype results will be generated and validated by early 2014. The poster will show the planned outline of the project and some early prototype results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Growth of Greenland ice sheet - Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Marsh, James G.; Brenner, Anita C.; Major, Judy A.

    1989-01-01

    Measurements of ice-sheet elevation change by satellite altimetry show that the Greenland surface elevation south of 72 deg north latitude is increasing. The vertical velocity of the surface is 0.20 + or - 0.06 meters/year from measured changes in surface elevations at 5906 intersections between Geosat paths in 1985 and Seasat in 1978, and 0.28 + or - 0.02 meters/year from 256,694 intersections of Geosat paths during a 548-day period of 1985 to 1986.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  10. Ice sheet model dependency of the simulated Greenland Ice Sheet in the mid-Pliocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koenig, S. J.; Dolan, A. M.; De Boer, B.; Stone, E. J.; Hill, D. J.; Deconto, R. M.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Lunt, D. J.; Pollard, D.; Quiquet, A.; Saito, F.; Savage, J.; Van De Wal, R.

    2015-01-01

    The understanding of the nature and behavior of ice sheets in past warm periods is important for constraining the potential impacts of future climate change. The Pliocene warm period (between 3.264 and 3.025 Ma) saw global temperatures similar to those projected for future climates; nevertheless, Pl

  11. A Modified NASA Team Sea Ice Algorithm for the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Markus, Thorsten

    1998-01-01

    A recent comparative study of the NASA Team and Bootstrap passive microwave sea ice algorithms revealed significantly different sea ice concentration retrievals in some parts of the Antarctic. The study identified potential reasons for the discrepancies including the influence of sea ice temperature variability on the Bootstrap retrievals and the influence of ice surface reflectivity on the horizontally polarized emissivity in the NASA Team retrievals. In this study, we present a modified version of the NASA Team algorithm which reduces the error associated with the use of horizontally polarized radiance data, while retaining the relative insensitivity to ice temperature variations provided by radiance ratios. By retaining the 19 GHz polarization as an independent variable, we also maintain a relatively large dynamic range in sea ice concentration. The modified algorithm utilizes the 19 GHz polarization (PR19) and both gradient ratios, GRV and GRH defined by (37V-19V)/(37V+19V) and (37H-19H)/(37H+19H), respectively, rather than just GRV used in the current NASA Team algorithm. A plot of GRV versus GRH shows that the preponderance of points lie along a quadratic curve, whereas those points affected by surface reflectivity anomalies deviate from this curve. This serves as a method of identifying the problems points. The 19H brightness temperature of these problem points is increased so they too fall along quadratic curve. Sea ice concentrations derived from AVHRR imagery illustrate the extent to which this method reduces the error associated with surface layering.

  12. Ice sheet runoff and Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Ice Shelves and Landfast Ice on the Antarctic Perimeter: Revised Scope of Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, Ted

    2002-01-01

    Ice shelves respond quickly and profoundly to a warming climate. Within a decade after mean summertime temperature reaches approx. O C and persistent melt pending is observed, a rapid retreat and disintegration occurs. This link was documented for ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula region (the Larsen 'A', 'B' and Wilkins Ice shelves) by the results of a previous grant under ADRO-1. Modeling of ice flow and the effects of meltwater indicated that melt pending accelerates shelf breakup by increasing fracture penetration. SAR data supplemented an AVHRR- and SSM/I-based image analysis of extent and surface characteristic changes. This funded grant is a revised, scaled-down version of an earlier proposal under the ADRO-2 NRA. The overall objective remains the same: we propose to build on the previous study by examining other ice shelves of the Antarctic and incorporate an examination of the climate-related characteristics of landfast ice. The study now considers just a few shelf and fast ice areas for study, and is funded for two years. The study regions are the northeastern Ross Ice Shelf, the Larsen 'B' and 'C' shelves, fast ice and floating shelf ice in the Pine Island Glacier area, and fast ice along the Wilkes Land coast. Further, rather than investigating a host of shelf and fast ice processes, we will home in on developing a series of characteristics associated with climate change over shelf and fast ice areas. Melt pending and break-up are the end stages of a response to a warming climate that may begin with increased melt event frequency (which changes both albedo and emissivity temporarily), changing firn backscatter (due to percolation features), and possibly increased rifting of the shelf surface. Fast ice may show some of these same processes on a seasonal timescale, providing insight into shelf evolution.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李军海; 文汉江; 刘焕玲; 朱广彬

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Measurements of sea ice proxies from Antarctic coastal shallow cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffezzoli, Niccolò; Vallelonga, Paul; Spolaor, Andrea; Barbante, Carlo; Frezzotti, Massimo

    2015-04-01

    Despite its close relationship with climate, the climatic impact of sea ice remains only partially understood: an indication of this is the Arctic sea ice which is declining at a faster rate than models predict. Thus, the need for reliable sea ice proxies is of crucial importance. Among the sea ice proxies that can be extracted from ice cores, interest has recently been shown in the halogens Iodine (I) and Bromine (Br) (Spolaor, A., et al., 2013a, 2013b). The production of sea ice is a source of Sodium and Bromine aerosols through frost flower crystal formation and sublimation of salty blowing snow, while Iodine is emitted by the algae living underneath sea ice. We present here the results of Na, Br and I measurements in Antarctic shallow cores, drilled during a traverse made in late 2013 - early 2014 from Talos Dome (72° 00'S, 159°12'E) to GV7 (70° 41'S, 158° 51'E) seeking for sea ice signature. The samples were kept frozen until the analyses, that were carried out by Sector Field Mass Spectroscopy Inductive Coupled Plasma (SFMS-ICP): special precautions and experimental steps were adopted for the detection of such elements. The coastal location of the cores allows a clear signal from the nearby sea ice masses. The multiple cores are located about 50 km from each other and can help us to infer the provenance of the sea ice that contributed to the proxy signature. Moreover, by simultaneously determining other chemical elements and compounds in the snow, it is possible to determine the relative timing of their deposition, thus helping us to understand their processes of emission and deposition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Reconstructing the Last Glacial Maximum ice sheet in the Weddell Sea embayment, Antarctica, using numerical modelling constrained by field evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Brocq, A. M.; Bentley, M. J.; Hubbard, A.; Fogwill, C. J.; Sugden, D. E.; Whitehouse, P. L.

    2011-09-01

    The Weddell Sea Embayment (WSE) sector of the Antarctic ice sheet has been suggested as a potential source for a period of rapid sea-level rise - Meltwater Pulse 1a, a 20 m rise in ˜500 years. Previous modelling attempts have predicted an extensive grounding line advance in the WSE, to the continental shelf break, leading to a large equivalent sea-level contribution for the sector. A range of recent field evidence suggests that the ice sheet elevation change in the WSE at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is less than previously thought. This paper describes and discusses an ice flow modelling derived reconstruction of the LGM ice sheet in the WSE, constrained by the recent field evidence. The ice flow model reconstructions suggest that an ice sheet consistent with the field evidence does not support grounding line advance to the continental shelf break. A range of modelled ice sheet surfaces are instead produced, with different grounding line locations derived from a novel grounding line advance scheme. The ice sheet reconstructions which best fit the field constraints lead to a range of equivalent eustatic sea-level estimates between approximately 1.4 and 3 m for this sector. This paper describes the modelling procedure in detail, considers the assumptions and limitations associated with the modelling approach, and how the uncertainty may impact on the eustatic sea-level equivalent results for the WSE.

  18. Antarctic ice-mass balance 2003 to 2012: regional reanalysis of GRACE satellite gravimetry measurements with improved estimate of glacial-isostatic adjustment based on GPS uplift rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sasgen, I.; Konrad, H.; Ivins, E.R.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Bamber, J.L.; Martinec, Z.; Klemann, V.

    2013-01-01

    We present regional-scale mass balances for 25 drainage basins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) from satellite observations of the Gravity and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for time period January 2003 to September 2012. Satellite gravimetry estimates of the AIS mass balance are strongly influenced by

  19. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, J. van den

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Rennermalm

    2012-08-01

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

  3. 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 d...

  4. On underwater sound reflection from layered ice sheets

    CERN Document Server

    Hobæk, Halvor

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 30-Year Satellite Record Reveals Accelerated Arctic Sea Ice Loss, Antarctic Sea Ice Trend Reversal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Parkinson, C. L.; Vinnikov, K. Y.

    2003-01-01

    Arctic sea ice extent decreased by 0.30 plus or minus 0.03 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per decade from 1972 through 2002, but decreased by 0.36 plus or minus 0.05 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per decade from 1979 through 2002, indicating an acceleration of 20% in the rate of decrease. In contrast to the Arctic, the Antarctic sea ice extent decreased dramatically over the period 1973-1977, then gradually increased, with an overall 30-year trend of -0.15 plus or minus 0.08 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per 10yr. The trend reversal is attributed to a large positive anomaly in Antarctic sea ice extent observed in the early 1970's.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Mills, Peter

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

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

  9. 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.; Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Nagarajan, Sudhagar; van Angelen, Jan H.

    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 l

  10. The 2014 high record of Antarctic sea ice extent

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Considering thermal-viscous collapse of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, William; Sommers, Aleah; Rajaram, Harihar; Abdalati, Waleed; Frahm, Joel

    2015-07-01

    We explore potential changes in Greenland ice sheet form and flow associated with increasing ice temperatures and relaxing effective ice viscosities. We define "thermal-viscous collapse" as a transition from the polythermal ice sheet temperature distribution characteristic of the Holocene to temperate ice at the pressure melting point and associated lower viscosities. The conceptual model of thermal-viscous collapse we present is dependent on: (1) sufficient energy available in future meltwater runoff, (2) routing of meltwater to the bed of the ice sheet interior, and (3) efficient energy transfer from meltwater to the ice. Although we do not attempt to constrain the probability of thermal-viscous collapse, it appears thermodynamically plausible to warm the deepest 15% of the ice sheet, where the majority of deformational shear occurs, to the pressure melting point within four centuries. First-order numerical modeling of an end-member scenario, in which prescribed ice temperatures are warmed at an imposed rate of 0.05 K/a, infers a decrease in ice sheet volume of 5 ± 2% within five centuries of initiating collapse. This is equivalent to a cumulative sea-level rise contribution of 33 ± 18 cm. The vast majority of the sea-level rise contribution associated with thermal-viscous collapse, however, would likely be realized over subsequent millennia.

  12. Reconciling marine and terrestrial evidence for post LGM ice sheet retreat in southern McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jacob T. H.; Wilson, Gary S.; Fink, David; Lilly, Kat; Levy, Richard H.; Townsend, Dougal

    2017-02-01

    Retreat of the Antarctic ice sheets since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) contributed to sea-level rise, but the location, amount, and timing of ice mass loss has been controversial. This paper presents new 10Be exposure ages from glacially transported erratics which record post LGM retreat of grounded ice in the western Ross Sea. Ice elevation in southern McMurdo Sound was ≥520 m above present day sea level on the eastern side of Mount Discovery during the LGM, and the onset of major deglaciation in the region was after 14 ka. The ice surface lowered from ∼520 to 234 m above present day sea level between 14.0 ka and 10.3 ka and from 234 m to ∼30 m between 10.3 ka and 7.4 ka. This late-glacial and Holocene deglaciation chronology from southern McMurdo Sound is consistent with other records on the margins of the Ross Embayment, and implies that the western margins of the Ross Sea Ice Sheet (RSIS) experienced most mass loss during the early to middle Holocene. These 10Be exposure ages coupled with sediment provenance define a two-stage ice flow scenario for McMurdo Sound subdividing differing reconstructions into an early and late phase. Prior to Termination I, an expanded Koettlitz Glacier flowed north and northeast between Brown Peninsula and Mount Discovery and coalesced with northward flowing ice fed from the Skelton and Mulock Glaciers. Thinning and retreat of the Koettlitz Glacier and perhaps other outlet glaciers flowing through the Royal Society Range allowed ice grounded in the Ross Sea to flow westward and northward, north of Brown Peninsula. Grounding-line recession in the Ross Sea during the late-glacial and Holocene was likely driven by Southern Ocean warming and sea-level rise from the retreat of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and the outer margins of the Antarctic ice sheets.

  13. [Two comments on “Historic cartographic evidence for Holocene changes in the Antarctic ice cover”] Antarctic ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, Daniel J.; Lliboutry, Louis

    1984-04-01

    Readers of John G. Weihaupt's “Historic Cartographic Evidence for Holocene Changes in the Antarctic Ice Cover” (Eos, August 28, 1984, p. 493) may wish to consult Charles H. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Ages (Chilton, Radnor, Penn., 1966). The major part of this book is a presentation of the thesis that Weihaupt has independently developed: that early sixteenth century maps portray Antarctica, and in particular an ice-free Ross Sea, and that such knowledge must have been obtained and transmitted from a remote, perhaps prehistoric, epoch. Hapgood is perhaps better known to the geophysical community for his earlier book, Earth's Shifting Crust (Pantheon, New York, 1958), which proposed that the growth of ice caps unbalances the crust so that it can, and during the Pleistocene frequently did, slide over the interior, displacing the poles several thousand kilometers.The more conservative literature on Terra Australis of the sixteenth century cartographers is extensive; Acta Cartographica, a collection of reprinted papers on historical cartography, has over two dozen references in its indexes. A plausible hypothesis by J. Enterline (Imago Mundi, 26, pp. 48-58, 1972) is that it reflects Portugese acquisition of Indonesian knowledge of Australia, the prominent embayment (Hapgood's and Weihaupt's ice-free Ross Sea) being the Gulf of Carpentaria. Underestimation of the size of the globe forced Australia to extend over the pole, just as it forced newly discovered America to lie close to Japan.

  14. Modeling the Fracture of Ice Sheets on Parallel Computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-10-10

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

  15. Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two 21st century climate scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trusel, L.D.; Frey, Karen; Das, Sarah; Karnauskas, Kristopher; Kuipers Munneke, P.; van Meijgaard, E.; van den Broeke, M.R.

    2015-01-01

    Ice shelves modulate Antarctic contributions to sea-level rise and thereby represent a critical, climate-sensitive interface between the Antarctic ice sheet and the global ocean. Following rapid atmospheric warming over the past decades, Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have progressively retreated,

  16. Recent increase in Antarctic Peninsula ice core uranium concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Dynamic response of Antarctic ice shelves to bedrock uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Bedrock geometry is an essential boundary condition in ice sheet modelling. The shape of the bedrock on fine scales can influences ice sheet evolution, for example through the formation of pinning points that alter grounding line dynamics. Here we test the sensitivity of the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice sheet model to small amplitude height fluctuations on different spatial scales in the bed rock topography provided by bedmap2 in the catchments of Pine Island Glacier, the Amery Ice Shelf, and a region of East Antarctica including the Denman and Totten Glaciers. We generate an ensemble of bedrock topographies by adding random noise to the bedmap2 data with amplitude determined by the accompanying estimates of bedrock uncertainty. Lower frequency coherent noise, which generates broad spatial scale (over 10s of km errors in topography with relatively gently slopes, while higher frequency noise has steeper slopes over smaller spatial scales. We find that the small amplitude fluctuations result in only minor changes in the way these glaciers evolve. However, lower frequency noise is more important than higher frequency noise even when the features have the same height amplitudes and the total noise power is maintained. This provides optimism for credible sea level rise estimates with presently achievable densities of thickness measurements. Pine Island Glacier appears to be the most sensitive to errors in bed topography, while Lambert–Amery is stable under the present day observational data uncertainty. Totten–Denman region may undergo a retreat around Totten ice shelf, where the bedrock is lower than the sea level, especially if basal melt rates increase.

  18. Thick and deformed Antarctic sea ice mapped with autonomous underwater vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, G.; Maksym, T.; Wilkinson, J.; Kunz, C.; Murphy, C.; Kimball, P.; Singh, H.

    2015-01-01

    Satellites have documented trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent and its variability for decades, but estimating sea-ice thickness in the Antarctic from remote sensing data remains challenging. In situ observations needed for validation of remote sensing data and sea-ice models are limited; most have been restricted to a few point measurements on selected ice floes, or to visual shipboard estimates. Here we present three-dimensional (3D) floe-scale maps of sea-ice draft for ten floes, compiled from two springtime expeditions by an autonomous underwater vehicle to the near-coastal regions of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica. Mean drafts range from 1.4 to 5.5 m, with maxima up to 16 m. We also find that, on average, 76% of the ice volume is deformed ice. Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice. We suggest that thick ice in the near-coastal and interior pack may be under-represented in existing in situ assessments of Antarctic sea ice and hence, on average, Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought.

  19. Insights into Spatial Sensitivities of Ice Mass Response to Environmental Change from the SeaRISE Ice Sheet Modeling Project I: Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowicki, Sophie; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Aschwanden, Andy; Bueler, Ed; Choi, Hyengu; Fastook, Jim; Granzow, Glen; Greve, Ralf; Gutowski, Gail; Herzfeld, Ute; Jacskon, Charles; Johnson, Jesse; Khroulev, Constantine; Larour, Eric; Levermann, Anders; Lipscomb, William H.; Martin, Maria A.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Parizek, Byron R; Pollard, David; Price, Stephen F.; Seroussi, Helene; Walker, Ryan; Wang, Wei Li

    2013-01-01

    Atmospheric, oceanic, and subglacial forcing scenarios from the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) project are applied to six three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet models to assess Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity over a 500 year timescale and to inform future modeling and field studies. Results indicate (i) growth with warming, except within low-latitude basins (where inland thickening is outpaced by marginal thinning); (ii) mass loss with enhanced sliding (with basins dominated by high driving stresses affected more than basins with low-surface-slope streaming ice); and (iii) mass loss with enhanced ice shelf melting (with changes in West Antarctica dominating the signal due to its marine setting and extensive ice shelves; cf. minimal impact in the Terre Adelie, George V, Oates, and Victoria Land region of East Antarctica). Ice loss due to dynamic changes associated with enhanced sliding and/or sub-shelf melting exceeds the gain due to increased precipitation. Furthermore, differences in results between and within basins as well as the controlling impact of sub-shelf melting on ice dynamics highlight the need for improved understanding of basal conditions, grounding-zone processes, ocean-ice interactions, and the numerical representation of all three.

  20. Giant solar flares in Antarctic ice. [nitrate ions in ice core samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stothers, R.

    1980-01-01

    A new hypothesis proposes an explanation for the presence of four prominent spikes in a long time record of the NO3(-) concentration inside the Antarctic ice. This solar flare hypothesis suggests that the ionizing radiation necessary in the spike formation could have come from extremely powerful solar flares. It is proposed that these flares would have occurred during the times of the largest maxima in the solar cycle. The solar flare hypothesis is compared with the supernova hypothesis.

  1. Long-term conservation of viable microorganisms in the ice sheet of Central Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abyzov, Sabit S.; Mitskevich, Irina N.; Poglazova, Margarita N.; Barkov, Nartsiss I.; Lipenkov, Vladimir Y.; Bobin, Nikita E.; Koudryashov, Boris B.; Pashkevich, Victor M.

    1998-07-01

    Many investigators regard Antarctica as a model for solution of such problems as search of life on other planets, the quarantine in planets, and at the Earth during interplanetary contacts. It is also a good natural experiment for studying the phenomenon of microbial long- term anabiosis. Remoteness from the regions of intensive anthropogenic effects, low stable temperature and reliable protection of ancient ice horizons against subsequent environmental changes make Antarctic ice sheet an ideal object for methodological works necessary for investigation of various problems of exobiology. Investigations of ice bodies in attempts to find there any possible form of life has an advantage over similar studies of other cosmic solids because microorganisms, spores, plant pollen, unicellular algae, and other inclusions rather easily release from the melted ice and their investigation by different methods depends only on the well thought-out techniques. Special techniques of aseptic sampling while drilling at Vostok station and analysis of these samples by different methods have provided evidence for the existence of viable microorganisms in very ancient layers of the ice sheet. The relationship between quantitative distribution of microbes at different horizons of the ice column with the Earth's climate fluctuations at the time of these layers formation was also demonstrated.

  2. Bellingshausen Sea ice extent recorded in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Stacy E.; Parkinson, Claire L.; Mosley-Thompson, Ellen

    2016-12-01

    Annual net accumulation (An) from the Bruce Plateau (BP) ice core retrieved from the Antarctic Peninsula exhibits a notable relationship with sea ice extent (SIE) in the Bellingshausen Sea. Over the satellite era, both BP An and Bellingshausen SIE are influenced by large-scale climatic factors such as the Amundsen Sea Low, Southern Annular Mode, and Southern Oscillation. In addition to the direct response of BP An to Bellingshausen SIE (e.g., more open water as a moisture source), these large-scale climate phenomena also link the BP and the Bellingshausen Sea indirectly such that they exhibit similar responses (e.g., northerly wind anomalies advect warm, moist air to the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring Bellingshausen Sea, which reduces SIE and increases An). Comparison with a time series of fast ice at South Orkney Islands reveals a relationship between BP An and sea ice in the northern Weddell Sea that is relatively consistent over the twentieth century, except when it is modulated by atmospheric wave patterns described by the Trans-Polar Index. The trend of increasing accumulation on the Bruce Plateau since 1970 agrees with other climate records and reconstructions in the region and suggests that the current rate of sea ice loss in the Bellingshausen Sea is unrivaled in the twentieth century.

  3. Basal Dynamics and Internal Structure of Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolovick, Michael J.

    The internal structure of ice sheets reflects the history of flow and deformation experienced by the ice mass. Flow and deformation are controlled by processes occurring within the ice mass and at its boundaries, including surface accumulation or ablation, ice rheology, basal topography, basal sliding, and basal melting or freezing. The internal structure and basal environment of ice sheets is studied with ice-penetrating radar. Recently, radar observations in Greenland and Antarctica have imaged large englacial structures rising from near the bed that deform the overlying stratigraphy into anticlines, synclines, and overturned folds. The mechanisms that may produce these structures include basal freeze-on, travelling slippery patches at the ice base, and rheological contrasts within the ice column. In this thesis, I explore the setting and mechanisms that produce large basal stratigraphic structures inside ice sheets. First, I use radar data to map subglacial hydrologic networks that deliver meltwater uphill towards freeze-on structures in East Antarctica. Next, I use a thermomechanical flowline model to demonstrate that trains of alternating slippery and sticky patches can form underneath ice sheets and travel downstream over time. The disturbances to the ice flow field produced by these travelling patches produce stratigraphic folds resembling the observations. I then examine the overturned folds produced by a single travelling sticky patch using a kinematic flowline model. This model is used to interpret stratigraphic measurements in terms of the dynamic properties of basal slip. Finally, I use a simple local one-dimensional model to estimate the thickness of basal freeze-on that can be produced based on the supply of available meltwater, the thermal boundary conditions, ice sheet geometry, and the ice flow regime.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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......-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...

  6. Radar attenuation and temperature within the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Li, Jilu; Paden, John D; Catania, Ginny A; Clow, Gary D.; Fahnestock, Mark A; Gogineni, Prasad S.; Grimm, Robert E.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Nandi, Soumyaroop; Seroussi, Helene; Stillman, David E

    2015-01-01

    The flow of ice is temperature-dependent, but direct measurements of englacial temperature are sparse. The dielectric attenuation of radio waves through ice is also temperature-dependent, and radar sounding of ice sheets is sensitive to this attenuation. Here we estimate depth-averaged radar-attenuation rates within the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne radar-sounding data and its associated radiostratigraphy. Using existing empirical relationships between temperature, chemistry, and radar attenuation, we then infer the depth-averaged englacial temperature. The dated radiostratigraphy permits a correction for the confounding effect of spatially varying ice chemistry. Where radar transects intersect boreholes, radar-inferred temperature is consistently higher than that measured directly. We attribute this discrepancy to the poorly recognized frequency dependence of the radar-attenuation rate and correct for this effect empirically, resulting in a robust relationship between radar-inferred and borehole-measured depth-averaged temperature. Radar-inferred englacial temperature is often lower than modern surface temperature and that of a steady state ice-sheet model, particularly in southern Greenland. This pattern suggests that past changes in surface boundary conditions (temperature and accumulation rate) affect the ice sheet's present temperature structure over a much larger area than previously recognized. This radar-inferred temperature structure provides a new constraint for thermomechanical models of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  7. 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.

  8. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a comparison of parameterizations

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Retention and refreezing of meltwater are acknowledged to be important processes for the mass budget of polar glaciers and ice sheets. Several parameterizations of these processes exist for use in energy and mass balance models. Due to a lack of direct observations, validation of these parameterizations is difficult. In this study we compare a set of 6 refreezing parameterizations against output of the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2), applied to the Greenland ice sheet. In RACMO2,...

  9. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    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...... 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Gunter

    2013-07-01

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

  14. State dependence of climatic instability over the past 720,000 years from Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, Kenji; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Motoyama, Hideaki; Ageta, Yutaka; Aoki, Shuji; Azuma, Nobuhiko; Fujii, Yoshiyuki; Fujita, Koji; Fujita, Shuji; Fukui, Kotaro; Furukawa, Teruo; Furusaki, Atsushi; Goto-Azuma, Kumiko; Greve, Ralf; Hirabayashi, Motohiro; Hondoh, Takeo; Hori, Akira; Horikawa, Shinichiro; Horiuchi, Kazuho; Igarashi, Makoto; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Kameda, Takao; Kanda, Hiroshi; Kohno, Mika; Kuramoto, Takayuki; Matsushi, Yuki; Miyahara, Morihiro; Miyake, Takayuki; Miyamoto, Atsushi; Nagashima, Yasuo; Nakayama, Yoshiki; Nakazawa, Takakiyo; Nakazawa, Fumio; Nishio, Fumihiko; Obinata, Ichio; Ohgaito, Rumi; Oka, Akira; Okuno, Jun’ichi; Okuyama, Junichi; Oyabu, Ikumi; Parrenin, Frédéric; Pattyn, Frank; Saito, Fuyuki; Saito, Takashi; Saito, Takeshi; Sakurai, Toshimitsu; Sasa, Kimikazu; Seddik, Hakime; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Shinbori, Kunio; Suzuki, Keisuke; Suzuki, Toshitaka; Takahashi, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Kunio; Takahashi, Shuhei; Takata, Morimasa; Tanaka, Yoichi; Uemura, Ryu; Watanabe, Genta; Watanabe, Okitsugu; Yamasaki, Tetsuhide; Yokoyama, Kotaro; Yoshimori, Masakazu; Yoshimoto, Takayasu

    2017-01-01

    Climatic variabilities on millennial and longer time scales with a bipolar seesaw pattern have been documented in paleoclimatic records, but their frequencies, relationships with mean climatic state, and mechanisms remain unclear. Understanding the processes and sensitivities that underlie these changes will underpin better understanding of the climate system and projections of its future change. We investigate the long-term characteristics of climatic variability using a new ice-core record from Dome Fuji, East Antarctica, combined with an existing long record from the Dome C ice core. Antarctic warming events over the past 720,000 years are most frequent when the Antarctic temperature is slightly below average on orbital time scales, equivalent to an intermediate climate during glacial periods, whereas interglacial and fully glaciated climates are unfavourable for a millennial-scale bipolar seesaw. Numerical experiments using a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model with freshwater hosing in the northern North Atlantic showed that climate becomes most unstable in intermediate glacial conditions associated with large changes in sea ice and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Model sensitivity experiments suggest that the prerequisite for the most frequent climate instability with bipolar seesaw pattern during the late Pleistocene era is associated with reduced atmospheric CO2 concentration via global cooling and sea ice formation in the North Atlantic, in addition to extended Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. PMID:28246631

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Drews

    2009-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Representing Greenland ice sheet freshwater fluxes in climate models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Le Bars, D.; Van Kampenhout, L.; Vizcaino, M.; Enderlin, E.M.; Van den Broeke, M.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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Frustules to fragments, diatoms to dust: How degradation of microfossil shape and microstructures can teach us how ice sheets work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, R.P.; Sjunneskog, C.M.; Iverson, M.R.; Hooyer, T.S.

    2005-01-01

    In a laboratory experiment we investigated micro- and nanoscale changes in fossil diatom valves and in the texture of diatomaceous sediments that result from ice sheet overburden and subglacial shearing. Our experiment included compression and shearing of Antarctic diatom-rich sediments in a ring shear device and comparison of experimental samples with natural glacial sediments from the Antarctic continental shelf. The purpose of the experiment is to establish objective criteria for analyzing subglacial processes and interpreting the origin of glacial-geologic features on the Antarctic continental shelf. We find distinct changes resulting from different glacial settings, with respect to whole diatom frustules, diatom micromorphology, and microtextural properties of sedimentary units. By providing constraints on subglacial shearing, these observations of genetically controlled micro- and nanoscale diatom structures and architecture are contributing to the understanding of large-scale glacial processes, aiding the development of models of modern ice sheet processes, and guiding interpretation of past ice sheet configurations. Copyright ?? 2005 American Scientific Publishers. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Melissa A.; Passchier, Sandra

    2016-12-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    and spaceborne laser altimetry (airborne: Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-present), Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor(LVIS) (2007,2009 and 2011); spaceborne: Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) (2003-2009)) and DEMs have been derived from stereo satellite imagery (e.g., SPOT (40 m), ASTER (15...... conditions, by fusing a photoclinometry DEM, SPOT and ASTER DEMs as well as elevations from ICESat, ATM and LVIS laser altimetry. The new multi-resolution DEM has a resolution of 40 m x 40 m in the marginal ice sheet regions and 250 m elsewhere. The ice sheet margin is mapped from SPOT and Landsat imagery...... and SPOT DEMs are used to cover the complex topography of ice sheet marginal regions. The accuracy of SPOT DEMs is approximately $\\pm 6$ m except in the areas covered by clouds regions, where the SPOT elevations were replaced by ASTER DEMs. The ASTER DEMs were checked and improved by the DEM derived from...

  4. 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

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    and therefore significantly improve the estimate of the total volume change. Furthermore, we divide the GrIS into six major drainage basins and provide volume loss estimates during 2003-2006, 2006-2009 and 2009-2012 for each basin and separate between melt induced and dynamic ice loss. In order to separate...... dynamic ice loss from melt processes, we use SMB values from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) and SMB values from a positive degree day runoff retention model (Janssens & Huybrechts 2000, Hanna et al. 2011 JGR, updated for this study). Our results show increasing SMB ice loss over the last......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...

  7. The future of ice sheets and sea ice: Between reversible retreat and unstoppable loss

    OpenAIRE

    Notz, Dirk

    2009-01-01

    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, w...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2011-03-01

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. Fyke

    2010-08-01

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. Assessing the predictability of a coupled climate-ice sheet model system for the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adalgeirsdottir, G.; Stendel, M.; Bueler, E.; Christensen, J. H.; Drews, M.; Mottram, R.

    2009-04-01

    The wild card for reliable sea level rise prediction is the contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet. There is an urgent need to determine the predictability of models that simulate the response of Greenland Ice Sheet to rising temperatures and the amount of freshwater flux that can be expected into the ocean. Modelling efforts have been limited by poorly known boundary and initial conditions, low resolution and lack of presentation of fast flowing ice streams. We address these limitations by building a model system consisting of a high resolution regional climate model (HIRHAM4), that has been run for the period 1950-2080 at 25 km, and Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM), which simulates spatially and temporally varying ice streams by combining the solutions of the Shallow Shelf and Shallow Ice Approximations. The surface mass balance is simulated with a positive-degree-day method. The important and poorly constrained model component is the past climate forcing, which serves the purpose of initializing the model by simulating the present ice sheet and observed rate of mass changes. Simulated gradients of mass loss due to warming trends of past decade and prediction for the future are presented as well as estimated sensitivities due to the various model component uncertainties.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-10-02

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

  13. Sublimation: A Mechanism for the Enrichment of Organics in Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Luann; McDonald, Gene D.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Bunch, Theodore E.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Recent analyses of the carbonate globules present in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 have detected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the ppm level. The distribution of PAHs observed in ALH84001 was interpreted as being inconsistent with a terrestrial origin and were claimed to be indigenous to the meteorite, perhaps derived from an ancient Martian biota. However, Becker et al., have examined PAHs in the Martian meteorite EETA79001, in several Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites and Antarctic Allan Hills Ice and detected many of the same PAHs found in ALH84001. The reported presence of L-amino acids of apparent terrestrial origin in the EETA79001 druse material, suggests that this meteorite is contaminated with terrestrial/extraterrestrial organics probably derived from Antarctic ice meltwater that had percolated through the meteorite. The detection of PAHs and L-amino acids in these Martian meteorites suggests that despite storage in the Antarctic ice, selective changes of certain chemical and mineralogical phases has occurred.

  14. Variability in sea ice cover and climate elicit sex specific responses in an Antarctic predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrousse, Sara; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Fraser, Alexander D.; Massom, Rob A.; Reid, Phillip; Hobbs, William; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, Robert; McMahon, Clive; Authier, Matthieu; Bailleul, Frédéric; Hindell, Mark A.; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2017-01-01

    Contrasting regional changes in Southern Ocean sea ice have occurred over the last 30 years with distinct regional effects on ecosystem structure and function. Quantifying how Antarctic predators respond to such changes provides the context for predicting how climate variability/change will affect these assemblages into the future. Over an 11-year time-series, we examine how inter-annual variability in sea ice concentration and advance affect the foraging behaviour of a top Antarctic predator, the southern elephant seal. Females foraged longer in pack ice in years with greatest sea ice concentration and earliest sea ice advance, while males foraged longer in polynyas in years of lowest sea ice concentration. There was a positive relationship between near-surface meridional wind anomalies and female foraging effort, but not for males. This study reveals the complexities of foraging responses to climate forcing by a poleward migratory predator through varying sea ice property and dynamic anomalies. PMID:28233791

  15. Enhanced ice sheet growth in Eurasia owing to adjacent ice-dammed lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krinner, G; Mangerud, J; Jakobsson, M; Crucifix, M; Ritz, C; Svendsen, J I

    2004-01-29

    Large proglacial lakes cool regional summer climate because of their large heat capacity, and have been shown to modify precipitation through mesoscale atmospheric feedbacks, as in the case of Lake Agassiz. Several large ice-dammed lakes, with a combined area twice that of the Caspian Sea, were formed in northern Eurasia about 90,000 years ago, during the last glacial period when an ice sheet centred over the Barents and Kara seas blocked the large northbound Russian rivers. Here we present high-resolution simulations with an atmospheric general circulation model that explicitly simulates the surface mass balance of the ice sheet. We show that the main influence of the Eurasian proglacial lakes was a significant reduction of ice sheet melting at the southern margin of the Barents-Kara ice sheet through strong regional summer cooling over large parts of Russia. In our simulations, the summer melt reduction clearly outweighs lake-induced decreases in moisture and hence snowfall, such as has been reported earlier for Lake Agassiz. We conclude that the summer cooling mechanism from proglacial lakes accelerated ice sheet growth and delayed ice sheet decay in Eurasia and probably also in North America.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Scambos

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Automated mapping of glacial overdeepenings beneath contemporary ice sheets: Approaches and potential applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Swift, Darrel A.; Clark, Chris D.; Livingstone, Stephen J.; Cook, Simon J.; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-03-01

    Awareness is growing on the significance of overdeepenings in ice sheet systems. However, a complete understanding of overdeepening formation is lacking, meaning observations of overdeepening location and morphometry are urgently required to motivate process understanding. Subject to the development of appropriate mapping approaches, high resolution subglacial topography data sets covering the whole of Antarctica and Greenland offer significant potential to acquire such observations and to relate overdeepening characteristics to ice sheet parameters. We explore a possible method for mapping overdeepenings beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and illustrate a potential application of this approach by testing a possible relationship between overdeepening elongation ratio and ice sheet flow velocity. We find that hydrological and terrain filtering approaches are unsuited to mapping overdeepenings and develop a novel rule-based GIS methodology that delineates overdeepening perimeters by analysis of closed-contour properties. We then develop GIS procedures that provide information on overdeepening morphology and topographic context. Limitations in the accuracy and resolution of bed-topography data sets mean that application to glaciological problems requires consideration of quality-control criteria to (a) remove potentially spurious depressions and (b) reduce uncertainties that arise from the inclusion of depressions of nonglacial origin, or those in regions where empirical data are sparse. To address the problem of overdeepening elongation, potential quality control criteria are introduced; and discussion of this example serves to highlight the limitations that mapping approaches - and applications of such approaches - must confront. We predict that improvements in bed-data quality will reduce the need for quality control procedures and facilitate increasingly robust insights from empirical data.

  2. 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.

  3. Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nield, Grace A.; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Bordoni, Andrea;

    2014-01-01

    Since 1995 several ice shelves in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed and triggered ice-mass unloading, invoking a solid Earth response that has been recorded at continuous GPS (cGPS) stations. A previous attempt to model the observation of rapid uplift following the 2002 breakup of L...

  4. Firn air depletion as a precursor of Antarctic ice-shelf collapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Vaughan, D.G.

    2014-01-01

    Since the 1970s, the sudden, rapid collapse of 20% of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula has led to large-scale thinning and acceleration of its tributary glaciers. The leading hypothesis for the collapse of most of these ice shelves is the process of hydrofracturing, whereby a water-filled crev

  5. Meltwater produced by wind-albedo interaction stored in an East Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Lhermitte, S.; Drews, R.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; Berger, S.; Helm, V.; Smeets, C. J. P. P.; Broeke, M. R. Van Den; 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 shelves causing grounded glaciers to accelerate and sea level to rise. 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. Here, we provide observational and model evidence that this process also occurs over an East Antarctic ice shelf, where meltwater-induced firn air depletion is found in the grounding zone. Unlike the Antarctic Peninsula, where foehn events originate from episodic interaction of the circumpolar westerlies with the topography, in coastal East Antarctica high temperatures are caused by persistent katabatic winds originating from the ice sheet’s interior. Katabatic winds warm and mix the air as it flows downward and cause widespread snow erosion, explaining >3 K higher near-surface temperatures in summer and surface melt doubling in the grounding zone compared with its surroundings. Additionally, these winds expose blue ice and firn with lower surface albedo, further enhancing melt. The in situ observation of supraglacial flow and englacial storage of meltwater suggests that ice-shelf grounding zones in East Antarctica, like their Antarctic Peninsula counterparts, are vulnerable to hydrofracturing.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈锦年; 褚健婷; 徐兰英

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Ice-sheet modelling accelerated by graphics cards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brædstrup, Christian Fredborg; Damsgaard, Anders; Egholm, David Lundbek

    2014-11-01

    Studies of glaciers and ice sheets have increased the demand for high performance numerical ice flow models over the past decades. When exploring the highly non-linear dynamics of fast flowing glaciers and ice streams, or when coupling multiple flow processes for ice, water, and sediment, researchers are often forced to use super-computing clusters. As an alternative to conventional high-performance computing hardware, the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) is capable of massively parallel computing while retaining a compact design and low cost. In this study, we present a strategy for accelerating a higher-order ice flow model using a GPU. By applying the newest GPU hardware, we achieve up to 180× speedup compared to a similar but serial CPU implementation. Our results suggest that GPU acceleration is a competitive option for ice-flow modelling when compared to CPU-optimised algorithms parallelised by the OpenMP or Message Passing Interface (MPI) protocols.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Xiao

    2013-07-01

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

  9. The association of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba with the under-ice habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hauke Flores

    Full Text Available The association of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba with the under-ice habitat was investigated in the Lazarev Sea (Southern Ocean during austral summer, autumn and winter. Data were obtained using novel Surface and Under Ice Trawls (SUIT, which sampled the 0-2 m surface layer both under sea ice and in open water. Average surface layer densities ranged between 0.8 individuals m(-2 in summer and autumn, and 2.7 individuals m(-2 in winter. In summer, under-ice densities of Antarctic krill were significantly higher than in open waters. In autumn, the opposite pattern was observed. Under winter sea ice, densities were often low, but repeatedly far exceeded summer and autumn maxima. Statistical models showed that during summer high densities of Antarctic krill in the 0-2 m layer were associated with high ice coverage and shallow mixed layer depths, among other factors. In autumn and winter, density was related to hydrographical parameters. Average under-ice densities from the 0-2 m layer were higher than corresponding values from the 0-200 m layer collected with Rectangular Midwater Trawls (RMT in summer. In winter, under-ice densities far surpassed maximum 0-200 m densities on several occasions. This indicates that the importance of the ice-water interface layer may be under-estimated by the pelagic nets and sonars commonly used to estimate the population size of Antarctic krill for management purposes, due to their limited ability to sample this habitat. Our results provide evidence for an almost year-round association of Antarctic krill with the under-ice habitat, hundreds of kilometres into the ice-covered area of the Lazarev Sea. Local concentrations of postlarval Antarctic krill under winter sea ice suggest that sea ice biota are important for their winter survival. These findings emphasise the susceptibility of an ecological key species to changing sea ice habitats, suggesting potential ramifications on Antarctic ecosystems induced by climate

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Fluxes of microbes, organic aerosols, dust, and methanesulfonate onto Greenland and Antarctic ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Price

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Using a spectrofluorimeter with 224-nm laser excitation to measure fluorescence intensity at 300-μm depth intervals, we report results of the first comparative study of concentrations of microbial cells (using the spectrum of protein-bound tryptophan (Trp as a proxy and of aerosols with an autofluorescence spectrum different from Trp as a function of depth in ice cores from west Antarctica (WAIS Divide and Siple Dome and Greenland (GISP 2. The ratio of fluxes of microbial cells onto Antarctic Greenland ice is 0.23±0.11 and of non-Trp aerosols is 0.17±0.08, both of which are comparable to the ratio of fluxes of mineral dust at Antarctic and Greenland sites (0.09±0.06. In contrast, the ratio of fluxes of methanesulfonate (MSA onto Antarctic relative to Greenland sites is 1.86±0.4, a factor 20 higher. The lower fluxes of microbes, non-Trp aerosols, and dust onto Antarctic ice may be due to the smaller areas of their source regions, together with less favorable wind patterns for Antarctic ice than Greenland ice. We attribute the higher fluxes of MSA in Antarctic ice to the concentration of haptophytes, a phylum of marine algae, in the far more extensive sea ice margin around Antarctica than around Greenland. The similarity of flux ratios of microbes and non-Trp aerosols to dust flux ratios suggests that their source regions overlap with dust sources rather than with MSA sources. A new version of the spectrofluorimeter with additional channels for mapping chlorophyll and volcanic tephra will be used to map WAIS Divide ice at 1 mm intervals to bedrock.

  14. Fluxes of microbes, organic aerosols, dust, and methanesulfonate onto Greenland and Antarctic ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, P. B.; Rohde, R. A.; Bay, R. C.

    2008-12-01

    Using a spectrofluorimeter with 224-nm laser excitation to measure fluorescence intensity at 300-μm depth intervals, we report results of the first comparative study of concentrations of microbial cells (using the spectrum of protein-bound tryptophan (Trp) as a proxy) and of aerosols with an autofluorescence spectrum different from Trp as a function of depth in ice cores from west Antarctica (WAIS Divide and Siple Dome) and Greenland (GISP 2). The ratio of fluxes of microbial cells onto Antarctic Greenland ice is 0.23±0.11 and of non-Trp aerosols is 0.17±0.08, both of which are comparable to the ratio of fluxes of mineral dust at Antarctic and Greenland sites (0.09±0.06). In contrast, the ratio of fluxes of methanesulfonate (MSA) onto Antarctic relative to Greenland sites is 1.86±0.4, a factor 20 higher. The lower fluxes of microbes, non-Trp aerosols, and dust onto Antarctic ice may be due to the smaller areas of their source regions, together with less favorable wind patterns for Antarctic ice than Greenland ice. We attribute the higher fluxes of MSA in Antarctic ice to the concentration of haptophytes, a phylum of marine algae, in the far more extensive sea ice margin around Antarctica than around Greenland. The similarity of flux ratios of microbes and non-Trp aerosols to dust flux ratios suggests that their source regions overlap with dust sources rather than with MSA sources. A new version of the spectrofluorimeter with additional channels for mapping chlorophyll and volcanic tephra will be used to map WAIS Divide ice at 1 mm intervals to bedrock.

  15. The Role of the Tropics in Last Glacial Abrupt Climate Change from a West Antarctic Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T. R.; White, J. W. C.; Steig, E. J.; Cuffey, K. M.; Vaughn, B. H.; Morris, V. A.; Vasileios, G.; Markle, B. R.; Schoenemann, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    Debate exists as to whether last glacial abrupt climate changes in Greenland, and associated changes in Antarctica, had a high-latitude or tropical trigger. An ultra high-resolution water isotope record from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide) Ice Core Project has been developed with three key water isotope parameters that offer insight into this debate: δD, δ18O, and deuterium excess (dxs). δD and δ18O are a proxy for local temperature and regional atmospheric circulation, while dxs is primarily a proxy for sea surface temperature at the ice core's moisture source(s) (relative humidity and wind speed also play a role). We build on past studies that show West Antarctic climate is modulated by El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnection mechanisms, which originate in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, to infer how past ENSO changes may have influenced abrupt climate change. Using frequency analysis of the water isotope data, we can reconstruct the amplitude of ENSO-scale climate oscillations in the 2-15 year range within temporal windows as low as 100 years. Our analysis uses a back diffusion model that estimates initial amplitudes before decay in the firn column. We combine δD, δ18O, and dxs frequency analysis to evaluate how climate variability at WAIS Divide is influenced by tropical climate forcing. Our results should ultimately offer insight into the role of the tropics in abrupt climate change.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Janssens

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. Late Quaternary Advance and Retreat of an East Antarctic Ice Shelf System: Insights from Sedimentary Beryllium-10 Concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guitard, M. E.; Shevenell, A.; Domack, E. W.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Yokoyama, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Observed retreat of Antarctica's marine-based glaciers and the presence of warm (~2°C) modified Circumpolar Deep Water on Antarctica's continental shelves imply ocean temperatures may influence Antarctic cryosphere stability. A paucity of information regarding Late Quaternary East Antarctic cryosphere-ocean interactions makes assessing the variability, timing, and style of deglacial retreat difficult. Marine sediments from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica contain hemipelagic siliceous mud and ooze units (SMO) alternating with glacial marine sediments. The record suggests Late Quaternary variability of local outlet glacier systems, including the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf system that drains 15% of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. We present a refined radiocarbon chronology and beryllium-10 (10Be) record of Late Quaternary depositional history in Prydz Channel, seaward of the Amery Ice Shelf system, which provides insight into the timing and variability of this important outlet glacier system. We focus on three piston cores (NBP01-01, JPC 34, 35, 36; 750 m water depth) that contain alternating SMO and granulated units uninterrupted by glacial till; the record preserves a succession of glacial marine deposits that pre-date the Last Glacial Maximum. We utilize the ramped pyrolysis preparatory method to improve the bulk organic carbon 14C-based chronology for Prydz Channel. To determine if the SMO intervals reflect open water conditions or sub-ice shelf advection, we measured sedimentary 10Be concentrations. Because ice cover affects 10Be pathways through the water column, sedimentary concentrations should provide information on past depositional environments in Prydz Channel. In Prydz Channel sediments, 10Be concentrations are generally higher in SMO units and lower in glacial units, suggesting Late Quaternary fluctuations in the Amery Ice Shelf. Improved chronologic constraints indicate that these fluctuations occurred on millennial timescales during the Last Glacial

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Moulin distribution and formation on the southwest Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, V. W.; Smith, L. C.; Gleason, C. J.; Yang, K.; Poinar, K.; Joughin, I.; Pitcher, L. H.

    2015-12-01

    River moulins represent a significant connection between surface meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet and subglacial drainage networks, where increased meltwater can enhance ice sliding dynamics. In this study, a new high-resolution moulin map is created from WorldView-1/2 imagery acquired during the 2012 record melt year for a 12,500 km2 area near Russell Glacier in southwest Greenland. A total of 1,236 moulins are mapped and categorized as being located: in crevasse fields, along a single ice fracture, within drained lake basins, or having no visible formation mechanism. We find the presence of moulins up to 1787 m elevation, with 11% of moulins found above 1600 m elevation: higher than previously mapped moulins and where glaciological theory suggests few moulins should form. Our study observes moulins in both extensional and compressional ice flow regimes (28% of moulins are found in areas of high extensional strain rate >0.005 yr-1), suggesting that strain rates are not a strong indicator of the likelihood for moulin formation. Overall, moulin density tends to increase with higher bed elevation, thinner ice, lower surface slope, higher velocity, and higher strain rate. In sum, moulins are most common in crevassed, thinner ice near the ice sheet edge, but significant quantities also develop at high elevations. This indicates that future inland expansion of melting may create hydrologic connections between the surface and the bed at higher elevations than previously thought.

  2. STUDY OF SNOWMELT DETECTION ON THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA ICE SHEET DERIVED FROM RADARSAT-2 DUAL-POL DATA%基于 Radarsat-2双极化数据的南极半岛冰盖冻融探测研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王蒙; 李新武; 梁雷; 陆万雨

    2016-01-01

    南极冰盖的融化对全球海平面上升和气候环境变化具有重要影响,合成孔径雷达( SAR)用于划分南极冰盖冰川带及冻融探测具有不可替代的作用。本文以南极半岛地区为例,基于C波段星载SAR影像进行南极冰盖冻融探测方法研究。通过对于南极冰盖干雪带、渗浸带和湿雪带的后向散射特征的分析,采用基于后向散射因子阈值的决策树分类划分冰盖冰川带。统计分析表明,冰川带后向散射因子分布并不集中,尤其是融化强烈时的湿雪带受融化程度影响很大,与干雪带相近而不能仅从后向散射因子数值区分。为将冰盖的冰川带分类,引入干雪带分布和海拔高度作为辅助信息,分别发展了两种决策树分类方法并比较分析,同时利用微波辐射计冰盖冻融探测结果和自动气象站数据做验证。结果表明利用双极化SAR数据的后向散射因子基于两种决策树分类都能够有效地划分冰川带并区分冻融状态,实现高分辨率的冰盖冻融探测。%Snowmelt in Antarctica has considerable impact on sea level rise and climate change .We investigated the de-tection of snowmelt on the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet using C-band spaceborne synthetic aperture radar imagery . Based on an analysis of the backscatter characteristics of dry , percolation , and wet snow , we used a decision tree classification to divide the ice sheet into zones .The statistical analysis demonstrated that the backscatter coefficients of snow zones , especially the wet snow zone , depend mainly upon melt level and do not have a centralized distribu-tion.The wet snow zone in drastic melt is too similar to the dry snow zone to be distinguished using the backscatter coefficient alone .Therefore , we introduced the dry snow distribution and elevation into the classification , and com-pared the two decision tree methods .We verified the detection results using microwave

  3. 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...

  4. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass losses have increased in recent decades with more than half of these attributed to surface meltwater runoff. However, the magnitudes of englacial storage, firn retention, internal refreezing and other hydrologic processes that delay or reduce true water export to the global

  5. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a comparison of parameterizations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijmer, C.H.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Fettweis, X.; Ettema, J.; Stap, L.B.

    2012-01-01

    Retention and refreezing of meltwater are acknowledged to be important processes for the mass budget of polar glaciers and ice sheets. Several parameterizations of these processes exist for use in energy and mass balance models. Due to a lack of direct observations, validation of these parameterizat

  6. The role of ice sheets in the pleistocene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

    Northern hemisphere ice sheets have played an important role in the climatic evolution of the Pleistocene. The characteristic time-scale of icesheet growth has the same order-of-magnitude as that for the orbital insolation variations. The interaction with the solid earth, the importance of the therm

  7. Living at the margin of the retreating Fennoscandian Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Möller, P.; Östlund, O.; Barnekow, L.

    2013-01-01

    in the Ancylus Lake with highest shorelines formed at ~170 m a.s.l. The hunter-gatherer camp sites at Aareavaara were thus, both in time and space, located in close proximity to the retreating ice sheet margin, but also in a waterfront location, in fact on an island in the Ancylus Lake. Our pollen data suggest...

  8. The Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    In this thesis we assess multiple aspects of the Greenland climate, including the surface energy and mass balance of the ice sheet for the contemporary and near future climate. For these purposes we used output of the extensively and well-evaluated regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2. The rela

  9. 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

  10. Hindcasting to measure ice sheet model sensitivity to initial states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Aschwanden

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent observations of the Greenland ice sheet indicate rapid mass loss at an accelerating rate with an increasing contribution to global mean sea level. Ice sheet models are used for projections of such future contributions of ice sheets to sea level, but the quality of projections is difficult to measure directly. Realistic initial states are crucial for accurate simulations. To test initial states we use hindcasting, i.e. forcing a model with known or closely-estimated inputs for past events to see how well the output matches observations. By simulating the recent past of Greenland, and comparing to observations of ice thickness, ice discharge, surface speeds, mass loss and surface elevation changes for validation, we find that the short term model response is strongly influenced by the initial state. We show that the dynamical state can be mis-represented despite a good agreement with some observations, stressing the importance of using multiple observations. Some initial states generate good agreement with measured mass time series in the hindcast period, and good agreement with present-day kinematic fields. We suggest hindcasting as a methodology for careful validation of initial states that can be done before making projections on decadal to century time-scales.

  11. Radar measurements of melt zones on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezek, Kenneth C.; Gogineni, Prasad; Shanableh, M.

    1994-01-01

    Surface-based microwave radar measurements were performed at a location on the western flank of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Here, firn metamorphasis is dominated by seasonal melt, which leads to marked contrasts in the vertical structure of winter and summer firn. This snow regime is also one of the brightest radar targets on Earth with an average backscatter coefficient of 0 dB at 5.3 GHz and an incidence angle of 25 deg. By combining detailed observations of firn physical properties with ranging radar measurements we find that the glaciological mechanism associated with this strong electromagnetic response is summer ice lens formation within the previous winter's snow pack. This observation has important implications for monitoring and understanding changes in ice sheet volume using spaceborne microwave sensors.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...... of km-scale uplift in the late Miocene and in the latest Miocene–Pliocene (beginning at 10 and ~5 Ma, respectively) initiated the formation of the present-day mountains. The topography of Greenland, prior to these uplift events is reconstructed from the present-day, isostatically compensated bedrock...... with the observed climatic variability superimposed on the general cooling trend in the late Cenozoic: e.g., ice rafted debris in late Miocene deposits off southeast Greenland and the mid-PlioceneWarmth. The late Cenozoic mountain building in Greenland augments the effects of the climatic deterioration leading...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANTONIO B. PEREIRA

    2013-09-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chao-Yuan; Liu, Jiping; Hu, Yongyun; Horton, Radley M.; Chen, Liqi; Cheng, Xiao

    2016-10-01

    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.

  19. How might the North American ice sheet influence the Northwestern Eurasian climate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Beghin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available During the last glacial period (∼21 000 years ago, two continental-scale ice sheets covered the Canada and northern Europe. It is now widely acknowledged that these past ice sheets exerted a strong influence on climate by causing changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In turn, these changes may have impacted the development of the ice sheets themselves through a combination of different feedback mechanisms. The present study is designed to investigate the potential impact of the North American ice sheet on the surface mass balance (SMB of the Eurasian ice sheet through simulated changes in the past glacial atmospheric circulation. Using the LMDz5 atmospheric circulation model, we carried out twelve experiments run under constant Last Glacial Maximum (LGM conditions for insolation, greenhouse gases and ocean. In the all experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet is removed. The twelve experiments differ in the North American ice-sheet topography, ranging from a white and flat (present-day topography ice sheet to a full-size LGM ice sheet. This experimental design allows to disentangle the albedo and the topographic impacts of the North American ice sheet onto the climate. The results are compared to our baseline experiment where both the North American and the Eurasian ice sheets have been removed. In summer, we show that the only albedo effect of the American ice sheet modifies the pattern of planetary waves with respect to the no-ice sheet case, causing a cooling of the Eurasian region. By contrast, the atmospheric circulation changes induced by the topography of the North American ice sheet imply summer warming in Northwestern Eurasia. In winter, the Scandinavian and the Barents–Kara regions respond differently to the albedo effect: in response to atmospheric circulation changes, Scandinavia is warmed up and precipitation is more abundant whereas Barents–Kara area is cooled down, decreasing convection process and thus leading to less

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagarajan, S.; Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; Babonis, G. S.; Scambos, T. A.; Haran, T. M.; Kjaer, K. H.; Korsgaard, N. J.

    2011-12-01

    Currently available Digital Elevation Models(DEMs) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) were originally derived from radar altimetry data, e.g. Bamber (Bamber et al., 2001) and later improved by photoclinometry to fill the regions between orbits (Scambos and Haran, 2002). The elevation error of these DEMs is a few meters in the higher part (above 2000 m) of the ice sheet, but it can be as much as 50-100 meters in marginal regions. The relatively low resolution and accuracy poses a problem, especially for ice sheet modeling. Although accurate elevation data have been collected by airborne and spaceborne laser altimetry (airborne: Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-present), Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor(LVIS) (2007,2009 and 2011); spaceborne: Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) (2003-2009)) and DEMs have been derived from stereo satellite imagery (e.g., SPOT (40 m), ASTER (15 m)), a high resolution, consistent DEM of GrIS is not yet available. This is due to various problems, such as different error sources in the data and different dates of data acquisition. In order to overcome these difficulties, we generated a multi-resolution DEM of GrIS, reflecting June 2008 conditions, by fusing a photoclinometry DEM, SPOT and ASTER DEMs as well as elevations from ICESat, ATM and LVIS laser altimetry. The new multi-resolution DEM has a resolution of 40 m x 40 m in the marginal ice sheet regions and 250 m elsewhere. The ice sheet margin is mapped from SPOT and Landsat imagery and SPOT DEMs are used to cover the complex topography of ice sheet marginal regions. The accuracy of SPOT DEMs is approximately ± 6 m except in the areas covered by clouds regions, where the SPOT elevations were replaced by ASTER DEMs. The ASTER DEMs were checked and improved by the DEM derived from aerial photography from the 1980s. A new photoclinometry DEM, derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery

  1. Modeling of Firn Compaction for Estimating Ice-Sheet Mass Change from Observed Ice-Sheet Elevation Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zwally, H. Jay

    2011-01-01

    Changes in ice-sheet surface elevation are caused by a combination of ice-dynamic imbalance, ablation, temporal variations in accumulation rate, firn compaction and underlying bedrock motion. Thus, deriving the rate of ice-sheet mass change from measured surface elevation change requires information on the rate of firn compaction and bedrock motion, which do not involve changes in mass, and requires an appropriate firn density to associate with elevation changes induced by recent accumulation rate variability. We use a 25 year record of surface temperature and a parameterization for accumulation change as a function of temperature to drive a firn compaction model. We apply this formulation to ICESat measurements of surface elevation change at three locations on the Greenland ice sheet in order to separate the accumulation-driven changes from the ice-dynamic/ablation-driven changes, and thus to derive the corresponding mass change. Our calculated densities for the accumulation-driven changes range from 410 to 610 kg/cu m, which along with 900 kg/cu m for the dynamic/ablation-driven changes gives average densities ranging from 680 to 790 kg/cu m. We show that using an average (or "effective") density to convert elevation change to mass change is not valid where the accumulation and the dynamic elevation changes are of opposite sign.

  2. Sedimentary record of ice divide migration and ice streams in the Keewatin core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodder, Tyler J.; Ross, Martin; Menzies, John

    2016-06-01

    The Aberdeen Lake region of central mainland Nunavut is a former core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that is characterized by streamlined glacial landforms classified into multiple crosscutting flow sets and near continuous till blanket. The presence of widespread till near the centre of the Keewatin Ice Dome raises questions about its origin. Detailed drillcore logging revealed a complex stratigraphy consisting of at least 6 till units, variably preserved across the study area. Till provenance analysis indicates deposition by near opposite-trending ice flow phases, interpreted as evidence of reconfiguration of the Keewatin Ice Divide. At the surface, large north-northwesterly aligned landforms are present across the study area. The till stratigraphy within these landforms indicates the same NNW ice flow phase is responsible for considerable till production. This ice flow phase is also correlated to a long regional dispersal train of erratics toward the Gulf of Boothia. The production of an extensive, thick (~ 12 m), till sheet during the NNW-trending ice flow phase occurred far from the ice margin at a time of extensive ice cover of mainland Nunavut, likely from an east-west oriented ice divide. A deglacial westerly trending ice flow phase formed small drumlins atop the larger NNW streamlined till ridges and deposited a surficial till unit that is too thin to mask the NNW flow set across the study area. It is proposed that the Boothia paleo-ice stream catchment area propagated deep into the Laurentide Ice Sheet and contributed to significant till production in this core region of the Keewatin Sector prior to the westerly ice flow shift. The apparent relationship between till thickness and the size of the associated or correlated drumlins, flow sets, and dispersal trains indicates complex erosion/deposition interplay is involved in the formation of streamlined subglacial landforms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss from GRACE Monthly Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René

    2010-01-01

    model ICE-5G and on ground measurements made in Scandinavia. We find that the PGR signal corresponds to a mass change signal of approximately -4 Gt per year. We conclude that there are large differences between these estimated mass change models. We find a total mass loss of 189, 146 and 67 Gt......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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Due to climate change, sea ice experiences changes in terms of extent and physical properties. In order to understand how sea ice microbial communities are affected by changes in physicochemical properties of the ice, we used 454-sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes to examine environmental control of microbial diversity and composition in Antarctic sea ice. We observed a high diversity and richness of bacteria, which were strongly negatively correlated with temperature and positively with brine salinity. We suggest that bacterial diversity in sea ice is mainly controlled by physicochemical properties of the ice, such as temperature and salinity, and that sea ice bacterial communities are sensitive to seasonal and environmental changes. For the first time in Antarctic interior sea ice, we observed a strong eukaryotic dominance of the dinoflagellate phylotype SL163A10, comprising 63% of the total sequences. This phylotype is known to be kleptoplastic and could be a significant primary producer in sea ice. We conclude that mixotrophic flagellates may play a greater role in the sea ice microbial ecosystem than previously believed, and not only during the polar night but also during summer when potential food sources are abundant.

  7. Sea-level projections representing deeply uncertain ice-sheet contributions

    CERN Document Server

    Bakker, Alexander M R; Ruckert, Kelsey L; Keller, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Future sea-level rise poses nontrivial risks for many coastal communities. Managing these risks often relies on consensus projections like those provided by the IPCC. Yet, there is a growing awareness that the surrounding uncertainties may be much larger than typically perceived. Recently published sea-level projections appear widely divergent and highly sensitive to non-trivial model choices and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may be much less stable than previously believed, enabling a rapid disintegration. In response, some agencies have already announced to update their projections accordingly. Here, we present a set of probabilistic sea-level projections that approximate deeply uncertain WAIS contributions. The projections aim to inform robust decisions by clarifying the sensitivity to non-trivial or controversial assumptions. We show that the deeply uncertain WAIS contribution can dominate other uncertainties within decades. These deep uncertainties call for the development of robust adaptive strate...

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Karen A; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Schostag, Morten; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2016-02-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across the GrIS, using sequence analysis and quantitative PCR of 16S rRNA genes from co-extracted DNA and RNA. Communities were found to differ across the ice sheet, with 82.8% of the total calculated variation attributed to spatial distribution on a scale of tens of kilometers separation. Amplicons related to Sphingobacteriaceae, Pseudanabaenaceae and WPS-2 accounted for the greatest portion of calculated dissimilarities. The bacterial communities of ice and cryoconite were moderately similar (global R = 0.360, P = 0.002) and the sampled surface type (ice versus cryoconite) did not contribute heavily towards community dissimilarities (2.3% of total variability calculated). The majority of dissimilarities found between cryoconite 16S rRNA gene amplicons from DNA and RNA was calculated to be the result of changes in three taxa, Pseudanabaenaceae, Sphingobacteriaceae and WPS-2, which together contributed towards 80.8 ± 12.6% of dissimilarities between samples. Bacterial communities across the GrIS are spatially variable active communities that are likely influenced by localized biological inputs and physicochemical conditions.

  10. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, D.; Rack, W.; Langhorne, P. J.; Haas, C.; Leonard, G.; Barnsdale, K.

    2014-06-01

    This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice-ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the southwestern Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that within 100 km of an ice shelf this influence might need to be considered when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  11. Ice core and climate reanalysis analogs to predict Antarctic and Southern Hemisphere climate changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayewski, P. A.; Carleton, A. M.; Birkel, S. D.; Dixon, D.; Kurbatov, A. V.; Korotkikh, E.; McConnell, J.; Curran, M.; Cole-Dai, J.; Jiang, S.; Plummer, C.; Vance, T.; Maasch, K. A.; Sneed, S. B.; Handley, M.

    2017-01-01

    A primary goal of the SCAR (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research) initiated AntClim21 (Antarctic Climate in the 21st Century) Scientific Research Programme is to develop analogs for understanding past, present and future climates for the Antarctic and Southern Hemisphere. In this contribution to AntClim21 we provide a framework for achieving this goal that includes: a description of basic climate parameters; comparison of existing climate reanalyses; and ice core sodium records as proxies for the frequencies of marine air mass intrusion spanning the past ∼2000 years. The resulting analog examples include: natural variability, a continuation of the current trend in Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate characterized by some regions of warming and some cooling at the surface of the Southern Ocean, Antarctic ozone healing, a generally warming climate and separate increases in the meridional and zonal winds. We emphasize changes in atmospheric circulation because the atmosphere rapidly transports heat, moisture, momentum, and pollutants, throughout the middle to high latitudes. In addition, atmospheric circulation interacts with temporal variations (synoptic to monthly scales, inter-annual, decadal, etc.) of sea ice extent and concentration. We also investigate associations between Antarctic atmospheric circulation features, notably the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), and primary climate teleconnections including the SAM (Southern Annular Mode), ENSO (El Nîno Southern Oscillation), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), and solar irradiance variations.

  12. Ice-sheet acceleration driven by melt supply variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoof, Christian

    2010-12-09

    Increased ice velocities in Greenland are contributing significantly to eustatic sea level rise. Faster ice flow has been associated with ice-ocean interactions in water-terminating outlet glaciers and with increased surface meltwater supply to the ice-sheet bed inland. Observed correlations between surface melt and ice acceleration have raised the possibility of a positive feedback in which surface melting and accelerated dynamic thinning reinforce one another, suggesting that overall warming could lead to accelerated mass loss. Here I show that it is not simply mean surface melt but an increase in water input variability that drives faster ice flow. Glacier sliding responds to melt indirectly through changes in basal water pressure, with observations showing that water under glaciers drains through channels at low pressure or through interconnected cavities at high pressure. Using a model that captures the dynamic switching between channel and cavity drainage modes, I show that channelization and glacier deceleration rather than acceleration occur above a critical rate of water flow. Higher rates of steady water supply can therefore suppress rather than enhance dynamic thinning, indicating that the melt/dynamic thinning feedback is not universally operational. Short-term increases in water input are, however, accommodated by the drainage system through temporary spikes in water pressure. It is these spikes that lead to ice acceleration, which is therefore driven by strong diurnal melt cycles and an increase in rain and surface lake drainage events rather than an increase in mean melt supply.

  13. Estimating small-scale snow depth and ice thickness from total freeboard for East Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steer, Adam; Heil, Petra; Watson, Christopher; Massom, Robert A.; Lieser, Jan L.; Ozsoy-Cicek, Burcu

    2016-09-01

    Deriving the snow depth on Antarctic sea ice is a key factor in estimating sea-ice thickness distributions from space or airborne altimeters. Using a linear regression to model snow depth from observed 'total freeboard', or the snow/ice surface elevation relative to sea level is an efficient and promising method for the estimation of snow depth for instruments which only detect the uppermost surface of the sea-ice conglomerate (e.g. laser altimetry). However the Antarctic pack-ice zone is subject to substantial variability due to synoptic-scale weather forcing. Ice formation, motion and melt undergo large spatio-temporal variability throughout the year. In this paper we estimate snow depth from total freeboard for the ARISE (2003), SIPEX (2007) and SIPEX-II (2012) research voyages to the East Antarctic pack-ice zone. Using in situ data we investigate variability in snow depth and show that for East Antarctica, relationships between snow depth and total freeboard vary between each voyage. At a resolution of metres to tens of metres, we show how regression-based snow-depth models track total freeboard and generally over-estimate snow depth, especially on highly deformed sea ice and at sites where ice freeboard makes a substantial contribution to total freeboard. For a set of 3192 records we obtain an in situ mean snow depth of 0.21 m (σ = 0.19 m). Using a regression model derived from all in situ points we obtain the same mean, with a slightly lower variability (σ = 0.16 m). Using voyage-specific subsets of the data to derive regression models and estimate snow depth, mean snow depths ranged from 0.19 m (model derived from SIPEX observations) to 0.25 m (model derived from SIPEX-II observations). While small, these discrepancies impact ice thickness estimation using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. Mean in situ ice thickness for all samples is 1.44 m (σ = 1.19 m). Using empirical models for snow depth, ice thickness varies from 1.0 to 1.8 m with the best

  14. Decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding

    CERN Document Server

    Greve, Ralf

    2009-01-01

    Simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet are carried out with a high-resolution version of the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS for several global-warming scenarios for the period 1990-2350. In particular, the impact of surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding on the stability of the ice sheet is investigated. A parameterization for the acceleration effect is developed for which modelled and measured mass losses of the ice sheet in the early 21st century agree well. The main findings of the simulations are: (i) the ice sheet is generally very susceptible to global warming on time-scales of centuries, (ii) surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding leads to a pronounced speed-up of ice streams and outlet glaciers, and (iii) this ice-dynamical effect accelerates the decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet as a whole significantly, but not catastrophically, in the 21st century and beyond.

  15. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 kyr BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 kyr ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra from Malaysia and on accurately dated European stalagmites the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland Interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20.

    In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 kyr BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores.

    The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.

  16. Mapping and assessing variability in the Antarctic marginal ice zone, pack ice and coastal polynyas in two sea ice algorithms with implications on breeding success of snow petrels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne C.; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Campbell, G. Garrett; Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine

    2016-08-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore, mapping their spatial extent as well as seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biologically active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas in the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent record for assessing the proportion of the sea ice cover that is covered by each of these ice categories. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depend strongly on which sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap, and applies the same thresholds to the sea ice concentrations to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal that the seasonal cycle in the MIZ and pack ice is generally similar between both algorithms, yet the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Trends also differ, with the Bootstrap algorithm suggesting statistically significant trends towards increased pack ice area and no statistically significant trends in the MIZ. The NASA Team algorithm on the other hand indicates statistically significant positive trends in the MIZ during spring. Potential coastal polynya area and amount of broken ice within the consolidated ice pack are also larger in the NASA Team algorithm. The timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These

  17. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grilli, R.; Marrocco, N.; Desbois, T. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Guillerm, C. [DT INSU CNRS, Bât. IPEV BP 74, Technopole Brest Iroise, 29280 Plouzané (France); Triest, J. [CNRS, LGGE, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Kerstel, E.; Romanini, D. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-15

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ{sup 2}H ) and CH{sub 4} concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10{sup −10} cm{sup −1} Hz{sup −1/2}, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH{sub 4} and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ{sup 2}H of H{sub 2}O within 1 min acquisition time.

  18. Anomalously high arsenic concentration in a West Antarctic ice core and its relationship to copper mining in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwanck, Franciele; Simões, Jefferson C.; Handley, Michael; Mayewski, Paul A.; Bernardo, Ronaldo T.; Aquino, Francisco E.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic variability records are preserved in snow and ice cores and can be utilized to reconstruct air pollution history. The Mount Johns ice core (79°55‧S; 94°23‧W and 91.2 m depth) was collected from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the 2008/09 austral summer. Here, we report the As concentration variability as determined by 2137 samples from the upper 45 m of this core using ICP-SFMS (CCI, University of Maine, USA). The record covers approximately 125 years (1883-2008) showing a mean concentration of 4.32 pg g-1. The arsenic concentration in the core follows global copper mining evolution, particularly in Chile (the largest producer of Cu). From 1940 to 1990, copper-mining production increased along with arsenic concentrations in the MJ core, from 1.92 pg g-1 (before 1900) to 7.94 pg g-1 (1950). In the last two decades, environmental regulations for As emissions have been implemented, forcing smelters to treat their gases to conform to national and international environmental standards. In Chile, decontamination plants required by the government started operating from 1993 to 2000. Thereafter, Chilean copper production more than doubled while As emission levels declined, and the same reduction was observed in the Mount Johns ice core. After 1999, arsenic concentrations in our samples decreased to levels comparable to the period before 1900.

  19. Acclimation of Antarctic Chlamydomonas to the sea-ice environment: a transcriptomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenlin; Wang, Xiuliang; Wang, Xingna; Sun, Chengjun

    2016-07-01

    The Antarctic green alga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L was isolated from sea ice. As a psychrophilic microalga, it can tolerate the environmental stress in the sea-ice brine, such as freezing temperature and high salinity. We performed a transcriptome analysis to identify freezing stress responding genes and explore the extreme environmental acclimation-related strategies. Here, we show that many genes in ICE-L transcriptome that encoding PUFA synthesis enzymes, molecular chaperon proteins, and cell membrane transport proteins have high similarity to the gens from Antarctic bacteria. These ICE-L genes are supposed to be acquired through horizontal gene transfer from its symbiotic microbes in the sea-ice brine. The presence of these genes in both sea-ice microalgae and bacteria indicated the biological processes they involved in are possibly contributing to ICE-L success in sea ice. In addition, the biological pathways were compared between ICE-L and its closely related sister species, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. In ICE-L transcripome, many sequences homologous to the plant or bacteria proteins in the post-transcriptional, post-translational modification, and signal-transduction KEGG pathways, are absent in the nonpsychrophilic green algae. These complex structural components might imply enhanced stress adaptation capacity. At last, differential gene expression analysis at the transcriptome level of ICE-L indicated that genes that associated with post-translational modification, lipid metabolism, and nitrogen metabolism are responding to the freezing treatment. In conclusion, the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L is very useful for exploring the mutualistic interaction between microalgae and bacteria in sea ice; and discovering the specific genes and metabolism pathways responding to the freezing acclimation in psychrophilic microalgae.

  20. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Price

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice–ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the south-western Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that in close proximity to ice shelves this influence should be considered universally when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  1. An ice-sheet-wide framework for englacial attenuation from ice-penetrating radar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, T. M.; Bamber, J. L.; Williams, C. N.; Paden, J. D.; Siegert, M. J.; Huybrechts, P.; Gagliardini, O.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.

    2016-07-01

    Radar inference of the bulk properties of glacier beds, most notably identifying basal melting, is, in general, derived from the basal reflection coefficient. On the scale of an ice sheet, unambiguous determination of basal reflection is primarily limited by uncertainty in the englacial attenuation of the radio wave, which is an Arrhenius function of temperature. Existing bed-returned power algorithms for deriving attenuation assume that the attenuation rate is regionally constant, which is not feasible at an ice-sheet-wide scale. Here we introduce a new semi-empirical framework for deriving englacial attenuation, and, to demonstrate its efficacy, we apply it to the Greenland Ice Sheet. A central feature is the use of a prior Arrhenius temperature model to estimate the spatial variation in englacial attenuation as a first guess input for the radar algorithm. We demonstrate regions of solution convergence for two input temperature fields and for independently analysed field campaigns. The coverage achieved is a trade-off with uncertainty and we propose that the algorithm can be "tuned" for discrimination of basal melt (attenuation loss uncertainty ˜ 5 dB). This is supported by our physically realistic ( ˜ 20 dB) range for the basal reflection coefficient. Finally, we show that the attenuation solution can be used to predict the temperature bias of thermomechanical ice sheet models and is in agreement with known model temperature biases at the Dye 3 ice core.

  2. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a comparison of parameterizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Reijmer

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Retention and refreezing of meltwater are acknowledged to be important processes for the mass budget of polar glaciers and ice sheets. Several parameterizations of these processes exist for use in energy and mass balance models. Due to a lack of direct observations, validation of these parameterizations is difficult. In this study we compare a set of 6 refreezing parameterizations against output of two Regional Climate Models (RCMs coupled to an energy balance snow model, the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2 and the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR, applied to the Greenland ice sheet. In both RCMs, refreezing is explicitly calculated in a snow model that calculates vertical profiles of temperature, density and liquid water content. Between RACMO2 and MAR, the ice sheet-integrated amount of refreezing differs by only 4.9 mm w.e yr−1 (4.5 %, and the temporal and spatial variability are very similar. For consistency, the parameterizations are forced with output (surface temperature, precipitation and melt of the RCMs. For the ice sheet-integrated amount of refreezing and its inter-annual variations, all parameterizations give similar results, especially after some tuning. However, the spatial distributions differ significantly and the spatial correspondence between the RCMs is better than with any of the parameterizations. Results are especially sensitive to the choice of the depth of the thermally active layer, which determines the cold content of the snow in most parameterizations. These results are independent of which RCM is used to force the parameterizations.

  3. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a comparison of parameterizations

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Retention and refreezing of meltwater are acknowledged to be important processes for the mass budget of polar glaciers and ice sheets. Several parameterizations of these processes exist for use in energy and mass balance models. Due to a lack of direct observations, validation of these parameterizations is difficult. In this study we compare a set of 6 refreezing parameterizations against output of two Regional Climate Models (RCMs) coupled to an energy balance snow model, the Regional Atmosp...

  4. 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?...

  5. Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, Karen E.; Scambos, Ted A.; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen Amanda

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's ice shelves provide resistance to the flow of grounded ice towards the ocean. If this resistance is decreased as a result of ice shelf thinning or disintegration, acceleration of grounded ice can occur, increasing rates of sea-level rise. Loss of ice shelf mass is accelerating, especially in West Antarctica, where warm seawater is reaching ocean cavities beneath ice shelves. Here we use satellite imagery, airborne ice-penetrating radar and satellite laser altimetry spanning the period from 2002 to 2014 to map extensive basal channels in the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica. The highest density of basal channels is found in West Antarctic ice shelves. Within the channels, warm water flows northwards, eroding the ice shelf base and driving channel evolution on annual to decadal timescales. Our observations show that basal channels are associated with the development of new zones of crevassing, suggesting that these channels may cause ice fracture. We conclude that basal channels can form and grow quickly as a result of warm ocean water intrusion, and that they can structurally weaken ice shelves, potentially leading to rapid ice shelf loss in some areas.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krapp, R.H.; Berge, J.; Florentino De Souza Silva, A.P.; Gulliksen, B.; Werner, I.

    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 (Decembe

  7. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a comparison of parameterizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Reijmer

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Retention and refreezing of meltwater are acknowledged to be important processes for the mass budget of polar glaciers and ice sheets. Several parameterizations of these processes exist for use in energy and mass balance models. Due to a lack of direct observations, validation of these parameterizations is difficult. In this study we compare a set of 6 refreezing parameterizations against output of the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2, applied to the Greenland ice sheet. In RACMO2, refreezing is explicitly calculated in a snow model that calculates vertical profiles of temperature, density and liquid water content. For consistency, the parameterizations are forced with output (surface temperature, precipitation and melt of RACMO2. For the ice sheet-integrated amount of refreezing and its inter-annual variations, all parameterizations give similar results, especially after some tuning. However, the spatial distributions differ significantly. Results are especially sensitive to the choice of the depth of the thermally active layer, which determines the cold content of the snow in most parameterizations.

  8. Discharge of debris from ice at the margin of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, P.G.; Waller, R.I.; Patterson, C.J.; Jones, A.P.; Robinson, Z.P.

    2002-01-01

    Sediment production at a terrestrial section of the ice-sheet margin in West Greenland is dominated by debris released through the basal ice layer. The debris flux through the basal ice at the margin is estimated to be 12-45 m3 m-1 a-1. This is three orders of magnitude higher than that previously reported for East Antarctica, an order of magnitude higher than sites reported from in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, but an order of magnitude lower than values previously reported from tidewater glaciers in Alaska and other high-rate environments such as surging glaciers. At our site, only negligible amounts of debris are released through englacial, supraglacial or subglacial sediment transfer. Glacio-fluvial sediment production is highly localized, and long sections of the ice-sheet margin receive no sediment from glaciofluvial sources. These findings differ from those of studies at more temperate glacial settings where glaciofluvial routes are dominant and basal ice contributes only a minor percentage of the debris released at the margin. These data on debris flux through the terrestrial margin of an outlet glacier contribute to our limited knowledge of debris production from the Greenland ice sheet.

  9. Ice core melt features in relation to Antarctic coastal climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaczmarska, M.; Isaksson, E.; Karlöf, L.; Brandt, O.; Winther, J.G.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Johnsen, S.J.

    2006-01-01

    Measurement of light intensity transmission was carried out on an ice core S100 from coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML). Ice lenses were observed in digital pictures of the core and recorded as peaks in the light transmittance record. The frequency of ice layer occurrence was compared with climate pro

  10. Impact of surface wind biases on the Antarctic sea ice concentration budget in climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, O.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T.; Holland, P. R.; Uotila, P.; Zunz, V.; Kimura, N.

    2016-09-01

    We derive the terms in the Antarctic sea ice concentration budget from the output of three models, and compare them to observations of the same terms. Those models include two climate models from the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and one ocean-sea ice coupled model with prescribed atmospheric forcing. Sea ice drift and wind fields from those models, in average over April-October 1992-2005, all exhibit large differences with the available observational or reanalysis datasets. However, the discrepancies between the two distinct ice drift products or the two wind reanalyses used here are sometimes even greater than those differences. Two major findings stand out from the analysis. Firstly, large biases in sea ice drift speed and direction in exterior sectors of the sea ice covered region tend to be systematic and consistent with those in winds. This suggests that sea ice errors in these areas are most likely wind-driven, so as errors in the simulated ice motion vectors. The systematic nature of these biases is less prominent in interior sectors, nearer the coast, where sea ice is mechanically constrained and its motion in response to the wind forcing more depending on the model rheology. Second, the intimate relationship between winds, sea ice drift and the sea ice concentration budget gives insight on ways to categorize models with regard to errors in their ice dynamics. In exterior regions, models with seemingly too weak winds and slow ice drift consistently yield a lack of ice velocity divergence and hence a wrong wintertime sea ice growth rate. In interior sectors, too slow ice drift, presumably originating from issues in the physical representation of sea ice dynamics as much as from errors in surface winds, leads to wrong timing of the late winter ice retreat. Those results illustrate that the applied methodology provides a valuable tool for prioritizing model improvements based on the ice concentration budget-ice drift biases-wind biases

  11. The Sentinel-1 Mission: New Opportunities for Ice Sheet Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Nagler

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The Sentinel satellite constellation series, developed by the European Space Agency, represents the dedicated space component of the European Copernicus program, committed to long-term operational services in a wide range of application domains. Here, we address the potential of the Sentinel-1 mission for mapping and monitoring the surface velocity of glaciers and ice sheets. We present an ice velocity map of Greenland, derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR data acquired in winter 2015 by Sentinel-1A, the first satellite of the Copernicus program in orbit. The map is assembled from about 900 SAR scenes acquired in Interferometric Wide swath (IW mode, applying the offset tracking technique. We discuss special features of IW mode data, describe the procedures for producing ice velocity maps, and assess the uncertainty of the ice motion product. We compare the Sentinel-1 ice motion product with velocity maps derived from high resolution SAR data of the TerraSAR-X mission and from PALSAR data. Beyond supporting operational services, the Sentinel-1 mission offers enhanced capabilities for comprehensive and long-term observation of key climate variables, such as the motion of ice masses.

  12. 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.

  13. Ice-sheet sourced juxtaposed turbidite systems in Labrador Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, R.; Klaucke, I.; Ryan, William B. F.; Piper, D.J.W.

    1997-01-01

    Ice-sheet sourced Pleistocene turbidite systems of the Labrador Sea are different from non-glacially influenced systems in their facies distribution and depositional processes. Two large-scale sediment dispersal systems are juxtaposed, one mud-dominated and associated with the Northwest Atlantic Mid-Ocean Channel (NAMOC), the other sand-dominated and forming a huge submarine braided sandplain. Co-existence of the two systems reflects grain-size separation of the coarse and fine fractions on an enormous scale, caused by sediment winnowing at the entrance points of meltwater from the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) to the sea (Hudson Strait, fiords) and involves a complex interplay of depositional and redepositional processes. The mud-rich NAMOC system is multisourced and represents a basinwide converging system of tributary canyons and channels. It focusses its sand load to the central trunk channel in basin centre, in the fashion of a "reverse" deep-sea fan. The sand plain received its sediment from the Hudson Strait by turbidity currents that were generated either by failure of glacial prodelta slopes at the ice margin, or by direct meltwater discharges with high bedload concentration. We speculate that the latter might have been related to subglacial-lake outburst flooding through the Hudson Strait, possibly associated with ice-rafting (Heinrich) events.

  14. ESA ice sheet CCI: derivation of the optimal method for surface elevation change detection of the Greenland ice sheet – round robin results

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna; Khvorostovsky, Kirill; Ticconi, F.

    2015-01-01

    For more than two decades, radar altimetry missions have provided continuous elevation estimates of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). Here, we propose a method for using such data to estimate ice-sheet-wide surface elevation changes (SECs). The final data set will be based on observations acquired ...

  15. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Antarctic Martian meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites, and polar ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Becker, L. [Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)]|[National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, CA (United States); Glavin, D.P.; Bada, J.L. [Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Recent analyses of the carbonate globules present in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 have detected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the ppm level. The distribution of PAHs observed in ALH84001 was interpreted as being inconsistent with a terrestrial origin and were claimed to be indigenous to the meteorite, perhaps derived from an ancient martian biota. We have examined PAHs in the Antarctic shergottite EETA79001, which is also considered to be from Mars, as well as several Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites. We have found that many of the same PAHs detected in the ALH84001 carbonate globules are present in Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites and in both the matrix and carbonate (druse) component of EETA79001. We also investigated PAHs in polar ice and found that carbonate is an effective scavenger of PAHs in ice meltwater. Moreover, the distribution of PAHs in the carbonate extract of Antarctic Allan Hills ice is remarkably similar to that found in both EETA79001 and ALH84001. The reported presence of L-amino acids of apparent terrestrial origin in the EETA79001 druse material suggests that this meteorite is contaminated with terrestrial organics probably derived from Antarctic ice meltwater that had percolated through the meteorite. Our data suggests that the PAHs observed in both ALH84001 and EETA79001 are derived from either the exogenous delivery of organics to Mars or extraterrestrial and terrestrial PAHs present in the ice meltwater or, more likely, from a mixture of these sources. It would appear that PAHs are not useful biomarkers in the search for extinct or extant life on Mars. 33 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  16. Greenland ice sheet initiation and Arctic sea ice coincide with Eocene and Oligocene CO2 changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripati, Aradhna; Darby, Dennis

    2016-04-01

    Earth's modern ocean-climate system is largely defined by the presence of glacial ice on landmasses in both hemispheres. Northern Hemisphere ice was previously thought to have formed no earlier than the Miocene or Oligocene, about 20-30 million years after the widespread onset of Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Controversially, the episodic presence of seasonal Arctic sea ice and glacial ice in the Northern Hemisphere beginning in the early Oligocene to Middle Eocene has been inferred from multiple observations. Here we use precise source determinations based on geochemical measurements of ice-rafted debris (IRD) from an ODP core in the Greenland Sea (75° N) to constrain glacial ice and sea ice-rafting in the Northern Hemisphere during the middle Eocene through early Oligocene. The chemical fingerprint of 2,334 detrital Fe oxide grains indicates most of these grains are from Greenland with >98% certainty. Thus the coarse IRD in the Greenland Sea originates from widespread areas of east Greenland as far south as the Denmark Strait area (~68° N), with additional IRD sources from the circum-Arctic Ocean. This is the first definitive evidence that mid-Eocene IRD in the Greenland Sea is from Greenland. Episodic glaciation of different source regions on Greenland is synchronous with times of ice-rafting in the western Arctic and ephemeral perennial Arctic ice cover. Intervals of bipolar glacial ice storage in the middle Eocene through early Oligocene coincide with evidence for periods of reduced CO2, associated with carbon cycle perturbations.

  17. Evidence for link between modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice and underestimated westerly wind changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; Cai, Wenju; England, Matthew H.; Cowan, Tim

    2016-02-01

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea ice coverage increased over 1979-2013. However, the majority of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 models simulate a decline. Mechanisms causing this discrepancy have so far remained elusive. Here we show that weaker trends in the intensification of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind jet simulated by the models may contribute to this disparity. During austral summer, a strengthened jet leads to increased upwelling of cooler subsurface water and strengthened equatorward transport, conducive to increased sea ice. As the majority of models underestimate summer jet trends, this cooling process is underestimated compared with observations and is insufficient to offset warming in the models. Through the sea ice-albedo feedback, models produce a high-latitude surface ocean warming and sea ice decline, contrasting the observed net cooling and sea ice increase. A realistic simulation of observed wind changes may be crucial for reproducing the recent observed sea ice increase.

  18. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, A.; Bigler, M.; Fischer, H.; Johnsen, S. J.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Parrenin, F.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Steffensen, J. P.; Vinther, B. M.; Wegner, A.

    2012-04-01

    The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major reference horizon close to the Marine Isotope Stage 3/4 (MIS 3/4) boundary. Up to now, no tephra has been associated with Toba neither in Greenland nor in Antarctic ice cores, but based on Toba tephra identified in marine records from the Arabian Sea it is very likely that Greenland ice core acidity spikes related to Toba occur towards the end of Greenland Interstadial 20 (GI-20). Furthermore, the linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records suggests that the Antarctica counterpart should be situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP) and Antarctic (EDML) ice cores based on matching of a pattern of bi-polar volcanic spikes and annual layer counting in both cores around 74 ka BP. The synchronization pattern covers some 2000 years in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes 5 major and several minor acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The most prominent acidity spikes in this time interval that occur towards the end of GI-20, are those thought to originate from Toba, but the proposed linking is independent of the source of the volcanic spikes. Although the linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores around Toba is already quite well constrained by matching of gas records, the relative phasing between ice cores from the two hemispheres still has some uncertainty related to the offset in the age of ice and air bubbles in the ice cores (delta-gas age). The identification of a direct Toba synchronization may help to determine the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate during this period and to constrain delta-gas ages. It also provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic

  19. Preservation of a Preglacial Landscape Under the Center of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierman, Paul R.; Corbett, Lee B.; Graly, Joseph A.; Neumann, Thomas Allen; Lini, Andrea; Crosby, Benjamin T.; Rood, Dylan H.

    2014-01-01

    Continental ice sheets typically sculpt landscapes via erosion; under certain conditions, ancient landscapes can be preserved beneath ice and can survive extensive and repeated glaciation. We used concentrations of atmospherically produced cosmogenic beryllium-10, carbon, and nitrogen to show that ancient soil has been preserved in basal ice for millions of years at the center of the ice sheet at Summit, Greenland. This finding suggests ice sheet stability through the Pleistocene (i.e., the past 2.7 million years). The preservation of this soil implies that the ice has been non-erosive and frozen to the bed for much of that time, that there was no substantial exposure of central Greenland once the ice sheet became fully established, and that preglacial landscapes can remain preserved for long periods under continental ice sheets

  20. Proteomic Alterations of Antarctic Ice Microalga Chlamydomonas sp. Under Low-Temperature Stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guang-Feng Kan; Jin-Lai Miao; Cui-Juan Shi; Guang-You Li

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga can survive and thrive in cold channels or pores in the Antarctic ice layer. In order to understand the adaptive mechanisms to low temperature, in the present study we compared two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) profiles of normal and low temperature-stressed Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cells. In addition, new protein spots induced by low temperature were identified with peptide mass fingerprinting based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and database searching. Well-resolved and reproducible 2-DE patterns of both normal and low temperature-stressed cells were acquired. A total of 626 spots was detected in control cells and 652 spots were detected in the corresponding low temperature-stressed cells. A total of 598 spots was matched between normal and stressed cells. Two newly synthesized proteins (a and b) in low temperature-stressed cells were characterized. Protein spot A (53 kDa, pI 6.0) was similar to isopropylmalate/homocitrate/citramalate synthases, which act in the transport and metabolism of amino acids. Protein spot b (25 kDa, pI 8.0) was related to glutathione S-transferase, which functions as a scavenger of active oxygen, free radicals, and noxious metabolites. The present study is valuable for the application of ice microalgae, establishing an ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. proteome database, and screening molecular biomarkers for further studies.

  1. Influence of ice-sheet geometry and supraglacial lakes on seasonal ice-flow variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joughin, I.; Das, S. B.; Flowers, G. E.; Behn, M. D.; Alley, R. B.; King, M. A.; Smith, B. E.; Bamber, J. L.; van den Broeke, M. R.; van Angelen, J. H.

    2013-01-01

    Supraglacial lakes play an important role in establishing hydrological connections that allow lubricating seasonal meltwater to reach the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Here we use new surface velocity observations to examine the influence of supraglacial lake drainages and surface melt rate on ic

  2. A study of the dark region in the western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wientjes, I.G.M.

    2011-01-01

    The western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet contains a region that is darker than the surrounding ice. This region is several tens of kilometres wide and stretched parallel to the margin of the ice sheet for more than 350 kilometres. The dark appearance implies low radiance and therefore lo

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Den Broeke, M.R.; Enderlin, E.M.; Howat, I.M.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Noël, B.P.Y.; Jan Van De Berg, W.; Van Meijgaard, E.; Wouters, B.

    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 independe

  4. 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

  5. Shallow ice approximation, second order shallow ice approximation, and full Stokes models: A discussion of their roles in palaeo-ice sheet modelling and development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchner, N.; Ahlkrona, J.; Gowan, E. J.; Lötstedt, P.; Lea, J. M.; Noormets, R.; von Sydow, L.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Benham, T.

    2016-09-01

    Full Stokes ice sheet models provide the most accurate description of ice sheet flow, and can therefore be used to reduce existing uncertainties in predicting the contribution of ice sheets to future sea level rise on centennial time-scales. The level of accuracy at which millennial time-scale palaeo-ice sheet simulations resolve ice sheet flow lags the standards set by Full Stokes models, especially, when Shallow Ice Approximation (SIA) models are used. Most models used in paleo-ice sheet modeling were developed at a time when computer power was very limited, and rely on several assumptions. At the time there was no means of verifying the assumptions by other than mathematical arguments. However, with the computer power and refined Full Stokes models available today, it is possible to test these assumptions numerically. In this paper, we review (Ahlkrona et al., 2013a) where such tests were performed and inaccuracies in commonly used arguments were found. We also summarize (Ahlkrona et al., 2013b) where the implications of the inaccurate assumptions are analyzed for two paleo-models - the SIA and the SOSIA. We review these works without resorting to mathematical detail, in order to make them accessible to a wider audience with a general interest in palaeo-ice sheet modelling. Specifically, we discuss two implications of relevance for palaeo-ice sheet modelling. First, classical SIA models are less accurate than assumed in their original derivation. Secondly, and contrary to previous recommendations, the SOSIA model is ruled out as a practicable tool for palaeo-ice sheet simulations. We conclude with an outlook concerning the new Ice Sheet Coupled Approximation Level (ISCAL) method presented in Ahlkrona et al. (2016), that has the potential to match the accuracy standards of full Stokes model on palaeo-timescales of tens of thousands of years, and to become an alternative to hybrid models currently used in palaeo-ice sheet modelling. The method is applied to an ice

  6. Enthalpy benchmark experiments for numerical ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kleiner

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We present benchmark experiments to test the implementation of enthalpy and the corresponding boundary conditions in numerical ice sheet models. The first experiment tests particularly the functionality of the boundary condition scheme and the basal melt rate calculation during transient simulations. The second experiment addresses the steady-state enthalpy profile and the resulting position of the cold–temperate transition surface (CTS. For both experiments we assume ice flow in a parallel-sided slab decoupled from the thermal regime. Since we impose several assumptions on the experiment design, analytical solutions can be formulated for the proposed numerical experiments. We compare simulation results achieved by three different ice flow-models with these analytical solutions. The models agree well to the analytical solutions, if the change in conductivity between cold and temperate ice is properly considered in the model. In particular, the enthalpy gradient at the cold side of the CTS vanishes in the limit of vanishing conductivity in the temperate ice part as required from the physical jump conditions at the CTS.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol

  8. Refreezing on the Greenland ice sheet: a model comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Christian; Reijmer, Carleen; van den Broeke, Michiel; Ligtenberg, Stefan; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Noël, Brice

    2016-04-01

    Mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is an important contributor to global sea level rise. Besides calving, surface melt is the dominant source of mass loss. However, only part of the surface melt leaves the ice sheet as runoff whereas the other part percolates into the snow cover and refreezes. Due to this process, part of the meltwater is (intermediately) stored. Refreezing thus impacts the surface mass balance of the ice sheet but it also affects the vertical structure of the snow cover due to transport of mass and energy. Due to the sparse availability of in situ data and the demand of future projections, it is inevitable to use numerical models to simulate refreezing and related processes. Currently, the magnitude of refrozen mass is neither well constrained nor well validated. In this study, we model the snow and firn layer, and compare refreezing on the GrIS as modelled with two different numerical models. Both models are forced with meteorological data from the regional climate model RACMO 2 that has been shown to simulate realistic conditions for Greenland. One model is the UU/IMAU firn densification model (FDM) that can be used both in an on- and offline mode with RACMO 2. The other model is SNOWPACK; a model originally designed to simulate seasonal snow cover in alpine conditions. In contrast to FDM, SNOWPACK accounts for snow metamorphism and microstructure and contains a more physically based snow densification scheme. A first comparison of the models indicates that both seem to be able to capture the general spatial and temporal pattern of refreezing. Spatially, refreezing occurs mostly in the ablation zone and decreases in the accumulation zone towards the interior of the ice sheet. Below the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) where refreezing occurs in seasonal snow cover on bare ice, the storage effect is only intermediate. Temporal patterns on a seasonal range indicate two peaks in refreezing; one at the beginning of the melt season where

  9. Widespread Refreezing of Both Surface and Basal Melt Water Beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Tinto, K. J.; Das, I.; Wolovick, M.; Chu, W.; Creyts, T. T.; Frearson, N.

    2013-12-01

    The isotopically and chemically distinct, bubble-free ice observed along the Greenland Ice Sheet margin both in the Russell Glacier and north of Jacobshavn must have formed when water froze from subglacial networks. Where this refreezing occurs and what impact it has on ice sheet processes remain unclear. We use airborne radar data to demonstrate that freeze-on to the ice sheet base and associated deformation produce large ice units up to 700 m thick throughout northern Greenland. Along the ice sheet margin, in the ablation zone, surface meltwater, delivered via moulins, refreezes to the ice sheet base over rugged topography. In the interior, water melted from the ice sheet base is refrozen and surrounded by folded ice. A significant fraction of the ice sheet is modified by basal freeze-on and associated deformation. For the Eqip and Petermann catchments, representing the ice sheet margin and interior respectively, extensive airborne radar datasets show that 10%-13% of the base of the ice sheet and up to a third of the catchment width is modified by basal freeze-on. The interior units develop over relatively subdued topography with modest water flux from basal melt where conductive cooling likely dominates. Steps in the bed topography associated with subglacial valley networks may foster glaciohydraulic supercooling. The ablation zone units develop where both surface melt and crevassing are widespread and large volumes of surface meltwater will reach the base of the ice sheet. The relatively steep topography at the upslope edge of the ablation zone units combined with the larger water flux suggests that supercooling plays a greater role in their formation. The ice qualities of the ablation zone units should reflect the relatively fresh surface melt whereas the chemistry of the interior units should reflect solute-rich basal melt. Changes in basal conditions such as the presence of till patches may contribute to the formation of the large basal units near the

  10. Accurate and stable time stepping in ice sheet modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Cheng, Gong; von Sydow, Lina

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we introduce adaptive time step control for simulation of evolution of ice sheets. The discretization error in the approximations is estimated using "Milne's device" by comparing the result from two different methods in a predictor-corrector pair. Using a predictor-corrector pair the expensive part of the procedure, the solution of the velocity and pressure equations, is performed only once per time step and an estimate of the local error is easily obtained. The stability of the numerical solution is maintained and the accuracy is controlled by keeping the local error below a given threshold using PI-control. Depending on the threshold, the time step $\\Delta t$ is bound by stability requirements or accuracy requirements. Our method takes a shorter $\\Delta t$ than an implicit method but with less work in each time step and the solver is simpler. The method is analyzed theoretically with respect to stability and applied to the simulation of a 2D ice slab and a 3D circular ice sheet. %The automatic...

  11. Accurate and stable time stepping in ice sheet modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Gong; Lötstedt, Per; von Sydow, Lina

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we introduce adaptive time step control for simulation of the evolution of ice sheets. The discretization error in the approximations is estimated using "Milne's device" by comparing the result from two different methods in a predictor-corrector pair. Using a predictor-corrector pair the expensive part of the procedure, the solution of the velocity and pressure equations, is performed only once per time step and an estimate of the local error is easily obtained. The stability of the numerical solution is maintained and the accuracy is controlled by keeping the local error below a given threshold using PI-control. Depending on the threshold, the time step Δt is bound by stability requirements or accuracy requirements. Our method takes a shorter Δt than an implicit method but with less work in each time step and the solver is simpler. The method is analyzed theoretically with respect to stability and applied to the simulation of a 2D ice slab and a 3D circular ice sheet. The stability bounds in the experiments are explained by and agree well with the theoretical results.

  12. Estimating the future ice sheet hydropower potential in Paakitsoq, Ilulissat, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Mottram, R.H.; Nielsen, C.

    2008-01-01

    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...

  13. The study on an Antarctic sea ice identification algorithm of the HY-2A microwave scatterometer data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZOU Juhong; ZENG Tao; GUO Maohua; CUI Songxue

    2016-01-01

    An Antarctic sea ice identification algorithm on the HY-2A scatterometer (HSCAT) employs backscattering coefficient (σ0) and active polarization ratio (APR) for a preliminary sea ice identification. Then standard deviation (STD) filtering and space filtering are carried out. Finally, it is used to identify sea ice. A process uses aσ0, STD threshold and an APR as sea ice indicators. The sea ice identification results are verified using the sea ice distribution data of the ASMR2 released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center as a reference. The results show very good consistence of sea ice development trends, seasonal changes, area distribution, and sea ice edge distribution of the sea ice identification results obtained by this algorithm relative to the ASMR2 sea ice results. The accuracy of a sea ice coverage is 90.8% versus the ASMR2 sea ice results. This indicates that this algorithm is reliable.

  14. Multi-temporal satellite analysis of Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, and consequences for its stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rankl, Melanie; Fürst, Johannes; Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Braun, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Antarctic Peninsula (AP) ice shelves have been affected by ice front retreat and surface lowering over the past decades. 12 major ice shelves have disintegrated or significantly retreated and have been affected by volume loss. Longterm ice shelf thinning is twice as high at western AP ice shelves than at eastern AP ice shelves. Wilkins Ice Shelf (WIS), located at the western AP, has undergone considerable ice front retreat since the 1990s. It lost ~ 5000 km² of its size since then. Surface lowering at WIS was found to be the largest at AP ice shelves between 1978 and 2008. Here, we analyze time-series of satellite data in order to assess dynamic changes of WIS following the ice front retreat between 1994 and 2010. We present multi-temporal changes in surface velocities and deduced products, such as strain rate and stress regimes. Surface flow was derived from SAR intensity offset tracking applied to ALOS PALSAR image pairs. In addition, we show variations in ice thickness between 2003 and 2012 derived from TanDEM-X satellite acquisitions and altimetry datasets (CryoSAT-2, ICESat). The bistatic TanDEM-X acquisitions are very suitable for interferometric processing due to highly coherent image pairs. The results showed surface velocity speed up during break-up of an ice bridge between two confining islands in 2006-2008, when an area of ~ 1800 km² broke off. A sharp transition between compressive and extensive in-flow strain rates evolved at the narrowest part of the ice bridge, which contributed to the formation of a crack and hence, failure of the ice bridge in April 2009. First principal stresses were estimated to amount to ~ 250 kPa in the vicinity of the crack formation. The imaging TanDEM-X radar geometry allowed for a comprehensive ice thickness mapping of the ice shelf in 2012 and resolved many details due to the high spatial resolution. The ice thickness at WIS was found to be very heterogeneous. Thickness changes between 2003 and 2012 revealed increased

  15. The effect of greenhouse gas concentrations and ice sheets on the glacial AMOC in a coupled climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klockmann, Marlene; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Marotzke, Jochem

    2016-09-01

    Simulations with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) are used to study the sensitivity of the AMOC and the deep-ocean water masses during the Last Glacial Maximum to different sets of forcings. Analysing the individual contributions of the glacial forcings reveals that the ice sheets cause an increase in the overturning strength and a deepening of the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) cell, while the low greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations cause a decrease in overturning strength and a shoaling of the NADW cell. The effect of the orbital configuration is negligible. The effects of the ice sheets and the GHG reduction balance each other in the deep ocean so that no shoaling of the NADW cell is simulated in the full glacial state. Experiments in which different GHG concentrations with linearly decreasing radiative forcing are applied to a setup with glacial ice sheets and orbital configuration show that GHG concentrations below the glacial level are necessary to cause a shoaling of the NADW cell with respect to the pre-industrial state in MPI-ESM. For a pCO2 of 149 ppm, the simulated overturning state and the deep-ocean water masses are in best agreement with the glacial state inferred from proxy data. Sensitivity studies confirm that brine release and shelf convection in the Southern Ocean are key processes for the shoaling of the NADW cell. Shoaling occurs only when Southern Ocean shelf water contributes significantly to the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water.

  16. Firn structure of Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, from in-situ geophysical surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, B.; Brisbourne, A.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Bevan, S. L.; Luckman, A. J.; Hubbard, B. P.; Ashmore, D.; Holland, P.; Jansen, D.; King, E. C.; O'Leary, M.; McGrath, D.

    2015-12-01

    Rising surface temperatures have been causing firn layers on Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves to compact, a process that is strongly implicated in ice shelf disintegration. Firn compaction is expected to warm the ice column and given sufficiently wet and compacted firn layers, to allow meltwater to penetrate into surface crevasses and thus enhance the potential for hydrofracture. On Larsen C Ice Shelf a compacting firn layer has previously been inferred from airborne radar and satellite data, with strongly reduced air contents in Larsen C's north and north-west. The hydrological processes governing firn compaction, and the detailed firn structures they produce, have so far remained uncertain however. Using integrated seismic refraction, MASW (Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves), seismoelectric and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data, we reveal vertical and horizontal changes in firn structure across Larsen C Ice Shelf. Particular attention is paid to the spatial prevalence of refrozen meltwaters within firn, such as the massive subsurface ice layer discovered recently by the NERC-funded MIDAS project in Cabinet Inlet in Larsen C's extreme northwest. Such ice layers or lenses are particularly dramatic manifestations of increased ice shelf densities and temperatures, and contrast sharply with the relatively uncompacted firn layers present in the ice shelf's southeast. We consider our observations in the context of a one-dimensional firn model for Larsen C Ice Shelf that includes melt percolation and refreezing, and discuss temporal changes in firn layer structures due to surface melt and ponding.

  17. 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

  18. RTOPO-1: A consistent dataset for Antarctic ice shelf topography and global ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry (i.e. ice-shelf draft and ocean bathymetry). Existing global or pan-Antarctic data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional fields into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-minute bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. Locations of the merging line have been carefully adjusted in order to get the best out of each data set. High-resolution gridded data for the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves and for Pine Island Glacier have been carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam ship survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), gridded, and again carefully merged into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-minute data set contains consistent masks for open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, and bare land surface. The Ice Shelf Cavern Geometry Team: Anne Le Brocq, Tara Deen, Eugene Domack, Pierre Dutrieux, Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dorothea Graffe, Hartmut Hellmer, Angelika Humbert, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Astrid Lambrecht, Keith Makinson, Fred Niederjasper, Frank Nitsche, Ole Anders Nøst, Lars Henrik Smedsrud, and Walter Smith

  19. Data assimilation and prognostic whole ice sheet modelling with the variationally derived, higher order, open source, and fully parallel ice sheet model VarGlaS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Brinkerhoff

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available We introduce a novel, higher order, finite element ice sheet model called VarGlaS (Variational Glacier Simulator, which is built on the finite element framework FEniCS. Contrary to standard procedure in ice sheet modelling, VarGlaS formulates ice sheet motion as the minimization of an energy functional, conferring advantages such as a consistent platform for making numerical approximations, a coherent relationship between motion and heat generation, and implicit boundary treatment. VarGlaS also solves the equations of enthalpy rather than temperature, avoiding the solution of a contact problem. Rather than include a lengthy model spin-up procedure, VarGlaS possesses an automated framework for model inversion. These capabilities are brought to bear on several benchmark problems in ice sheet modelling, as well as a 500 yr simulation of the Greenland ice sheet at high resolution. VarGlaS performs well in benchmarking experiments and, given a constant climate and a 100 yr relaxation period, predicts a mass evolution of the Greenland ice sheet that matches present-day observations of mass loss. VarGlaS predicts a thinning in the interior and thickening of the margins of the ice sheet.

  20. Subsurface imaging reveals a confined aquifer beneath an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dugan, H. A.; Doran, P. T.; Tulaczyk, S.;

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water oases are rare under extreme cold desert conditions found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. Here we report geophysical results that indicate that Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the region, is nearly frozen and underlain by widespread cryoconcentrated brine. A ground...... Geophysical survey finds low resistivities beneath a lake in Antarctic Dry Valleys Liquid brine abundant beneath Antarctic lake Aquifer provides microbial refugium in cold desert environment...... penetrating radar survey profiled 20 m into lake ice and facilitated bathymetric mapping of the upper lake basin. An airborne transient electromagnetic survey revealed a low-resistivity zone 30-100 m beneath the lake surface. Based on previous knowledge of brine chemistry and local geology, we interpret...

  1. Source identification and distribution reveals the potential of the geochemical Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belt, S. T.; Smik, L.; Brown, T. A.; Kim, J.-H.; Rowland, S. J.; Allen, C. S.; Gal, J.-K.; Shin, K.-H.; Lee, J. I.; Taylor, K. W. R.

    2016-01-01

    The presence of a di-unsaturated highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) lipid biomarker (diene II) in Southern Ocean sediments has previously been proposed as a proxy measure of palaeo Antarctic sea ice. Here we show that a source of diene II is the sympagic diatom Berkeleya adeliensis Medlin. Furthermore, the propensity for B. adeliensis to flourish in platelet ice is reflected by an offshore downward gradient in diene II concentration in >100 surface sediments from Antarctic coastal and near-coastal environments. Since platelet ice formation is strongly associated with super-cooled freshwater inflow, we further hypothesize that sedimentary diene II provides a potentially sensitive proxy indicator of landfast sea ice influenced by meltwater discharge from nearby glaciers and ice shelves, and re-examination of some previous diene II downcore records supports this hypothesis. The term IPSO25—Ice Proxy for the Southern Ocean with 25 carbon atoms—is proposed as a proxy name for diene II. PMID:27573030

  2. The Sahelian agro-ecosystem vulnerability to an acceleration of ice-sheet melting during the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defrance, Dimitri; Ramstein, Gilles; Charbit, Sylvie; Sultan, Benjamin; Dumas, Christophe; Vrac, Mathieu; Swingedouw, Didier; Gemenne, François; Alvarez-Solas, Jorge; Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul

    2016-04-01

    During the 20th century, Sahelian drought episodes like those between 1972 and 1982 showed the vulnerability of the Sahelian agro-ecosystem provoking significant intraregional southward human migrations, to or near the coast. According to the latest IPCC report, the Sahel could become increasingly impacted by climate change during the 21st century because of a lagged and shorter rainfall season having the potential to induce a drastic destabilization of the Sahelian agro-ecosystem and to heavily impact the population. Such effects could be further amplified by a net increase of the Sahelian population. Drastic climate changes over tropical areas also occurred in the past: weakening of the West African Monsoon and megadrought Sahelian episodes have been reported with a close correspondence between the large rainfall decrease and the massive freshwater discharges following ice-sheet melting or iceberg surges. During the last decades a continuous acceleration of ice-sheet mass loss has been observed and post IPCC-AR5 studies suggest the ice-sheet contribution to future sea-level rise could be revised upward due partly to the lack of an accurate representation of ice-ocean interactions. The release of freshwater discharge in response to ice-sheet instability could have large consequences on the most vulnerable regions, such as the tropical areas. To investigate the impacts of large ice-sheet instability during the 21st century, we first explore the climatic signature of Greenland or Antarctic ice-sheet collapse scenarios corresponding to 0.5 to 1.5 meter of sea-level rise, superimposed to the RCP8.5 scenario. We show that a freshwater discharge coming from Greenland melting induces a significant decrease of summer monsoon rainfall, that may lead to changes in agricultural practices. Combined with increasing demography, this has the potential to induce important human migration flows. Without adaptation measures, we estimate that tens to hundreds million people could be

  3. Self-consistent ice-sheet properties: ice dynamics, temperature, accumulation, delta-age and chronologies for ice cores and radar isochrones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, J.; Waddington, E. D.; Conway, H.

    2011-12-01

    Ice sheet behavior has not previously been modeled to force self-consistency, to determine histories of accumulation, temperature, and ice dynamics that incorporate the ice-age/gas-age offset (delta-age) and sparse depth-age measurements from ice cores. An iterative scheme is used to combine several modular components into one self-consistent model. The goal is to determine a suite of histories constrained by the depth-age data from ice cores and ice radar that are part of a physically self-consistent ice sheet. The model is tested using a synthetic data set resembling WAIS divide. Using synthetic data provides proof of concept that histories of accumulation, temperature and ice dynamics can be recovered by the self-consistent model, and that the depth-age from ice cores and ice radar can be matched. Results from synthetic data show we can recover the ice-sheet properties used to generate the data and we can improve the depth-age chronologies by interpolating with an ice-flow model where data are sparse. When this self-consistent model can be applied to field data, results will (1) improve chronologies for ice cores and radar layers, (2) determine histories of accumulation for GCM modelling, and (3) improve estimates of past ice sheet configurations, incorporating data from ice cores and ice radar.

  4. Modelling heterogeneous meltwater percolation on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligtenberg, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has experienced an increase of surface meltwater production over the last decades, with the latest record set in the summer of 2012. For current and future ice sheet mass balance assessments, it is important to quantify what part of this meltwater reaches the ocean and contributes to sea level change. Meltwater produced at the surface has several options: it can infiltrate the local firn pack, where it is either stored temporarily or refrozen, or it can run off along the surface or via en-glacial drainage systems. In this study, we focus on the first; more specifically, in which manner meltwater percolates the firn column. Over the past years, GrIS research has shown that meltwater does not infiltrate the firn pack homogeneously (i.e. matrix flow), but that inhomogeneities in horizontal firn layers causes preferential flow paths for meltwater (i.e. piping). Although this process has been observed and studied on a few isolated sites, it has never been examined on the entire GrIS. To do so, we use the firn model IMAU-FDM with new parameterizations for preferential flow, impermeable ice lenses and sub-surface runoff. At the surface, IMAU-FDM is forced with realistic climate data from the regional climate model RACMO2.3. The model results are evaluated with temperatures and density measurements from firn cores across the GrIS. By allowing for heterogeneous meltwater percolation, the model is able to store heat and mass much deeper in the firn column. This is, however, in part counteracted by the inclusion of impermeability of ice lenses, which causes part of the meltwater to run off horizontally.

  5. Modeling brine and nutrient dynamics in Antarctic sea ice: the case of dissolved silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, M.; Goosse, H.; de Montety, A.; Fichefet, T.; Tremblay, B.; Tison, J.

    2009-12-01

    Sea ice ecosystems are characterized by micro-algae living in brine inclusions. The growth rate of ice algae depends on light and nutrient supply. Here, the interactions between nutrients and brine dynamics under the influence of algae are investigated using a one-dimensional model. The model includes snow and ice thermodynamics with brine physics and an idealized sea ice biological component, characterized by one nutrient, namely dissolved silica (DSi). In the model, DSi follows brine motion and is consumed by ice algae. Depending on physical ice characteristics, the brine flow is either advective, diffusive or turbulent. The vertical profiles of ice salinity and DSi concentration are solutions of advection-diffusion equations. The model is configured to simulate the typical thermodynamic regimes of first-year Antarctic pack ice. The simulated vertical profiles of salinity and DSi qualitatively reproduce observations. Analysis of results highlights the role of convection in the lowermost 5-10 cm of ice. Convection mixes saline, nutrient-poor brine with comparatively fresh, nutrient-rich seawater. This implies a rejection of salt to the ocean and a flux of DSi to the ice. In presence of growing algae, the simulated ocean-to-ice DSi flux increases by 0-115% compared to an abiotic situation. In turn, primary production and brine convection act in synergy to form a nutrient pump. The other important processes are the flooding of the surface by seawater and the percolation of meltwater. The former refills nutrients near the ice surface in spring. The latter, if present, tends to expell nutrients from the ice in summer. Sketch of salt (left) and nutrient (right) exchanges at the ice-ocean interface proposed in this paper.

  6. Evaluation of recent GRACE monthly solution series with an ice sheet perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    GRACE monthly global gravity field solutions have undergone a remarkable evolution, leading to the latest (Release 5) series by CSR, GFZ, and JPL, to new series by other processing centers, such as ITSG and AIUB, as well as to efforts to derive combined solutions, particularly by the EGSIEM (European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management) project. For applications, such as GRACE inferences on ice sheet mass balance, the obvious question is on what GRACE solution series to base the assessment. Here we evaluate different GRACE solution series (including the ones listed above) in a unified framework. We concentrate on solutions expanded up to degree 90 or higher, since this is most appropriate for polar applications. We empirically assess the error levels in the spectral as well as in the spatial domain based on the month-to-month scatter in the high spherical harmonic degrees. We include empirical assessment of error correlations. We then apply all series to infer Antarctic and Greenland mass change time series and compare the results in terms of apparent signal content and noise level. We find that the ITSG solutions show lowest noise level in the high degrees (above 60). A preliminary combined solution from the EGSIEM project shows lowest noise in the degrees below 60. This virtue maps into the derived ice mass time series, where the EGSIEM-based results show the lowest noise in most cases. Meanwhile, there is no indication that any of the considered series systematically dampens actual geophysical signals.

  7. Satellite Remote Sensing of Snow Depth on Antarctic Sea Ice: An Inter-Comparison of Two Empirical Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Stefan Kern; Burcu Ozsoy-Çiçek

    2016-01-01

    Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a key role for sea ice physical processes and complicates retrieval of sea ice thickness using altimetry. Current methods of snow depth retrieval are based on satellite microwave radiometry, which perform best for dry, homogeneous snow packs on level sea ice. We introduce an alternative approach based on in-situ measurements of total (sea ice plus snow) freeboard and snow depth, which we use to compute snow depth on sea ice from Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation S...

  8. Antarctic Ice-Shelf Front Dynamics from ICESat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Time variable elevation profiles from ICESat Laser Altimetry over the period 2003-2009 provide a means to quantitatively detect and track topographic features on polar ice surfaces. The results of this study provide a measure of the horizontal motion of ice-shelf fronts. We examine the time histories of elevation profiles crossing the ice fronts of the Ross, Ronne, Filchner, Riiser-Larson and Fimbul shelves. This provides a basis for estimating dynamics in two dimensions, i.e. in elevation and horizontally in the along-track direction. Ice front velocities, corrected for ground-track intersection angle, range from nearly static to 1.1 km/yr. In many examples, a decrease in elevation up to 1 m/yr near the shelf frontis also detectable. Examples of tabular calving along shelf fronts are seen in some elevation profiles and are confirmed by corresponding MODIS imagery.

  9. The build-up, configuration, and dynamical sensitivity of the Eurasian ice-sheet complex to Late Weichselian climatic and oceanic forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Henry; Hubbard, Alun; Andreassen, Karin; Winsborrow, Monica; Stroeven, Arjen P.

    2016-12-01

    The Eurasian ice-sheet complex (EISC) was the third largest ice mass during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), after the Antarctic and North American ice sheets. Despite its global significance, a comprehensive account of its evolution from independent nucleation centres to its maximum extent is conspicuously lacking. Here, a first-order, thermomechanical model, robustly constrained by empirical evidence, is used to investigate the dynamics of the EISC throughout its build-up to its maximum configuration. The ice flow model is coupled to a reference climate and applied at 10 km spatial resolution across a domain that includes the three main spreading centres of the Celtic, Fennoscandian and Barents Sea ice sheets. The model is forced with the NGRIP palaeo-isotope curve from 37 ka BP onwards and model skill is assessed against collated flowsets, marginal moraines, exposure ages and relative sea-level history. The evolution of the EISC to its LGM configuration was complex and asynchronous; the western, maritime margins of the Fennoscandian and Celtic ice sheets responded rapidly and advanced across their continental shelves by 29 ka BP, yet the maximum aerial extent (5.48 × 106 km2) and volume (7.18 × 106 km3) of the ice complex was attained some 6 ka later at c. 22.7 ka BP. This maximum stand was short-lived as the North Sea and Atlantic margins were already in retreat whilst eastern margins were still advancing up until c. 20 ka BP. High rates of basal erosion are modelled beneath ice streams and outlet glaciers draining the Celtic and Fennoscandian ice sheets with extensive preservation elsewhere due to frozen subglacial conditions, including much of the Barents and Kara seas. Here, and elsewhere across the Norwegian shelf and North Sea, high pressure subglacial conditions would have promoted localised gas hydrate formation.

  10. The Roles of Sea-Ice, Light and Sedimentation in Structuring Shallow Antarctic Benthic Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Graeme F; Stark, Jonathan S; Palmer, Anne S; Riddle, Martin J; Johnston, Emma L

    2017-01-01

    On polar coasts, seasonal sea-ice duration strongly influences shallow marine environments by affecting environmental conditions, such as light, sedimentation, and physical disturbance. Sea-ice dynamics are changing in response to climate, but there is limited understanding of how this might affect shallow marine environments and benthos. Here we present a unique set of physical and biological data from a single region of Antarctic coast, and use it to gain insights into factors shaping polar benthic communities. At sites encompassing a gradient of sea-ice duration, we measured temporal and spatial variation in light and sedimentation and hard-substrate communities at different depths and substrate orientations. Biological trends were highly correlated with sea-ice duration, and appear to be driven by opposing gradients in light and sedimentation. As sea-ice duration decreased, there was increased light and reduced sedimentation, and concurrent shifts in community structure from invertebrate to algal dominance. Trends were strongest on shallower, horizontal surfaces, which are most exposed to light and sedimentation. Depth and substrate orientation appear to mediate exposure of benthos to these factors, thereby tempering effects of sea-ice and increasing biological heterogeneity. However, while light and sedimentation both varied spatially with sea-ice, their dynamics differed temporally. Light was sensitive to the site-specific date of sea-ice breakout, whereas sedimentation fluctuated at a regional scale coincident with the summer phytoplankton bloom. Sea-ice duration is clearly the overarching force structuring these shallow Antarctic benthic communities, but direct effects are imposed via light and sedimentation, and mediated by habitat characteristics.

  11. The present and future state of the Antarctic firn layer

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Firn is the transitional product between fresh snow and glacier ice and acts as a boundary between the atmosphere and the glacier ice of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). Spatiotemporal variations in firn layer characteristics are therefore important to consider when assessing the mass balance of the AIS. In this thesis, a firn densification model, forced with a realistic climate, is used to examine contemporary (1979-2012) and future (2000-2200) variations in the Antarctic firn layer. Currently...

  12. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age, implications on sea level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular...... for modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of the past GrIS contribution to SLR have been derived using a number of different approaches, e.g. surface mass balance (SMB) calculations combined with estimates of ice discharge found by in correlating SMB anomalies and calving rates. Here...

  13. Proxies and measurement techinques for mineral dust in antarctic ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruth..[], Urs; Bigler, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    To improve quantitative interpretation of ice core aeolian dust records, a systematic methodological comparison was made. This involved methods for water-insoluble particle counting (Coulter counter and laser-sensing particle detector), soluble ion analysis (ion chromatography and continuous flow...... analysis), elemental analysis (inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy at pH 1 and after full acid digestion), and water-insoluble elemental analysis (proton induced X-ray emission). Antarctic ice core samples covering the last deglaciation from the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and the EPICA Dronning Maud Land...

  14. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM-19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a

  15. Greenland Ice Sheet surface melt:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kang Yang; ManChun Li

    2014-01-01

    Surface melt has great impacts on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass balance and thereby has become the focus of significant GrIS research in recent years. The production, transport, and release processes of surface meltwater are the keys to understanding the poten-tial impacts of the GrIS surface melt. These hydrological processes can elucidate the following scientific questions:How much melt-water is produced atop the GrIS? What are the characteristics of the meltwater-formed supraglacial hydrological system? How does the meltwater influence the GrIS motion? The GrIS supraglacial hydrology has a number of key roles and yet continues to be poorly understood or documented. This paper summarizes the current understanding of the GrIS surface melt, emphasizing the three essential supraglacial hydrological processes:(1) meltwater production:surface melt modeling is an important approach to acquire surface melt information, and areas, depths, and volumes of supraglacial lakes extracted from remotely sensed imagery can also provide surface melt information;(2) meltwater transport:the spatial distributions of supraglacial lakes, supraglacial streams, moulins, and crevasses demonstrate the characteristics of the supraglacial hydrological system, revealing the meltwater transport process;and (3) meltwater release:the release of meltwater into the englacial and the subglacial ice sheet has important but undetermined impacts on the GrIS motion. The correlation between surface runoff and the GrIS motion speed is employed to understand these influences.

  16. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise.

  17. Late Pleistocene variations in Antarctic sea ice II: effect of interhemispheric deep-ocean heat exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Thomas J.; Parkinson, Claire L.

    1988-10-01

    Variations in production rates of warm North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) have been proposed as a mechanism for linking climate fluctuations in the northern and southern hemispheres during the Pleistocene. We have tested this hypothesis by examining the sensitivity of a thermodynamic/dynamic model for Antarctic sea ice to changes in vertical ocean heat flux and comparing the simulations with modified CLIMAP sea-ice maps for 18 000 B.P. Results suggest that changes in NADW production rates, and the consequent changes in the vertical ocean heat flux in the Antarctic, can only account for about 20% 30% of the overall variance in Antarctic sea-ice extent. This conclusion has been validated against an independent geological data set involving a time series of sea-surface temperatures from the subantarctic. The latter comparison suggests that, although the overall influence of NADW is relatively minor, the linkage may be much more significant at the 41 000-year obliquity period. Despite some limitations in the models and geological data, we conclude that NADW variations may have played only a modest role in causing late Pleistocene climate change in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere. Our conclusion is consistent with calculations by Manabe and Broccoli (1985) suggesting that atmospheric CO2 changes may be more important for linking the two hemispheres.

  18. The present and future state of the Antarctic firn layer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Firn is the transitional product between fresh snow and glacier ice and acts as a boundary between the atmosphere and the glacier ice of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). Spatiotemporal variations in firn layer characteristics are therefore important to consider when assessing the mass balance of the A

  19. Near-field sea-level variability in northwest Europe and ice sheet stability during the last interglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, A. J.; Barlow, N. L. M.; Busschers, F. S.; Cohen, K. M.; Gehrels, W. R.; Wake, L. M.

    2015-10-01

    Global sea level during the Last Interglacial (LIG, Marine Isotope Sub-stage 5e) peaked between c. 5.5 and 9 m above present, implying significant melt from Greenland and Antarctica. Relative sea level (RSL) observations from several far- and intermediate-field sites suggest abrupt fluctuations or jumps in RSL during the LIG highstand that require one or more episodes of ice-sheet collapse and regrowth. Such events should be manifest as unique sea-level fingerprints, recorded in far-, intermediate- and near-field sites depending on the source(s) of ice-mass change involved. To date, though, no coherent evidence of such fluctuations has been reported from near-field RSL studies in northwest Europe. This is an important problem because RSL fluctuations during the LIG are portrayed as warning signs for how polar ice sheets may behave in a future, warmer than present, world. Here we review the evidence for RSL change during the LIG using stratigraphic data from the best resolved highstand records that exist in the near-field of northwest Europe, from a range of settings that include lagoonal, shallow marine, tidal flat, salt marsh and brackish-water fluviatile environments. Consideration of previously published stratigraphic records from two sites in the Eemian coastal-marine embayment that existed in the central Netherlands, yields no clear indications for abrupt RSL change during the attainment of the near-field highstand. Nor do we find any such indications common to other records from countries bordering the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the White Sea. Two modelling experiments that explore the global signal of hypothetical sea-level oscillations caused by partial collapse and regrowth of either the Greenland or Antarctic LIG ice-sheet, show that the North Sea region is relatively insensitive to mass changes sourced from Greenland but should clearly register events with an Antarctic origin, especially those that occur late in the LIG. The lack of evidence for

  20. Greenland Ice Sheet supraglacial stream morphology and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, V.; Smith, L. C.; Yang, K.; Legleiter, C. J.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Forster, R. R.; Gleason, C. J.; Pitcher, L. H.; Moustafa, S.

    2013-12-01

    Recently observed increases in temperature and melt extent over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) have prompted studies gauging the response of the ice sheet and outlet glaciers to increasing meltwater input. Satellite images show supraglacial streams abundantly covering the western ablation zone throughout the melt season that transport large volumes of meltwater into moulins and to the ice edge, yet these streams remain poorly studied. Here, we present a high-resolution study of five different supraglacial stream networks in the western GrIS ablation zone, manually digitized from panchromatic and multispectral WorldView-1/2 imagery. These high-resolution stream networks, with drainage areas ranging between 0.5 - 31 km2 in size and 500 - 1800 m in elevation, are compared with large rivers extracted from multispectral WorldView-2 imagery using an automated remote sensing method, and can help define scaling properties of larger rivers as well as constrain remotely sensed retrievals of discharge. Four of these stream networks contain field measurements of stream hydraulics from a field campaign during 20 July - 20 August 2012. This extensive field campaign provided 77 cross-sectional measurements of water flow velocity, stream depth, width, and water surface slope from traditional field surveys, and also provided longitudinal measurements of water surface velocity and elevation from river drifters. Additionally, two highly sampled sites at 500 m and 875 m elevation provide measurements of ablation rate, stream incision rate, and stream and air temperatures. These drainage networks are categorized by discharge, glacier slope, width-to-depth ratio, channel roughness, Froude number, meander wavelength, sinuosity, and channel pattern. Such measurements form a critical first assessment of GrIS supraglacial stream morphology and dynamics.

  1. Characteristics and primary productivity of East Antarctic pack ice during the winter-spring transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugalde, Sarah C.; Westwood, Karen J.; van den Enden, Rick; McMinn, Andrew; Meiners, Klaus M.

    2016-09-01

    Microbial communities have evolved mechanisms to allow them to survive within the challenging and changing pack ice environment. One such mechanism may be the exudation of photosynthetically-derived organic carbon into various extracellular pools. During the 2nd Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment (SIPEX-2), East Antarctic pack ice productivity and subsequent carbon allocation were quantified, together with physico-biogeochemical characteristics (29 September-28 October, 2012). Mean ice thickness ranged between 0.80 and 2.16 m, and typically exhibited a warm ice interior with weak temperature gradients. All stations, with one exception, were layered with granular (mean: 78%), columnar (mean: 15%), and mixed granular/columnar (mean: 4%) ice. Highest ice brine-volume fractions were at the ice-water interface, but all ice had high brine-volume fractions conducive for brine percolation (mean: 15%). Dissolved inorganic nutrient concentrations in the brine were scattered around theoretical dilution lines (TDLs), with some values of nitrate and nitrite, ammonium and silicic acid falling below TDLs, indicating nutrient depletion. Bulk ice dissolved organic carbon was low (mean: 64 μmol kg-1), but most samples showed enrichment in relation to TDLs. Microbial biomass (bacterial and algal) was low, and generally showed maxima in the sea-ice interior. Bottom ice algal communities were dominated by pennate diatom species (mean: 86% of total cell abundance). 14C-total primary productivity (14C-TPP) ranged from mean: 61%), with the remaining proportion allocated to 14C-colloidal organic carbon. Production of 14C-extracellular polymeric substances was not detected at any station.

  2. Modelling snowdrift sublimation on an Antarctic ice shelf

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Déry, S. J.; König-Langlo, G.; Ettema, J.; Kuipers Munneke, P.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we estimate the contribution of snowdrift sublimation (SUds) to the surface mass balance at Neumayer, located on the Ekström ice shelf in Eastern Antarctica. A single column version of the RACMO2-ANT model is used as a physical interpolation tool of high-quality radiosonde and surface

  3. An Antarctic ice core recording both supernovae and solar cycles

    CERN Document Server

    Motizuki, Yuko; Makishima, Kazuo; Bamba, Aya; Nakai, Yoichi; Yano, Yasushige; Igarashi, Makoto; Motoyama, Hideaki; Kamiyama, Kokichi; Suzuki, Keisuke; Imamura, Takashi

    2009-01-01

    Ice cores are known to be rich in information regarding past climates, and the possibility that they record astronomical phenomena has also been discussed. Rood et al. were the first to suggest, in 1979, that nitrate ion (NO3-) concentration spikes observed in the depth profile of a South Pole ice core might correlate with the known historical supernovae (SNe), Tycho (AD 1572), Kepler (AD 1604), and SN 1181 (AD 1181). Their findings, however, were not supported by subsequent examinations by different groups using different ice cores, and the results have remained controversial and confusing. Here we present a precision analysis of an ice core drilled in 2001 at Dome Fuji station in Antarctica. It revealed highly significant three NO3- spikes dating from the 10th to the 11th century. Two of them are coincident with SN 1006 (AD 1006) and the Crab Nebula SN (AD 1054), within the uncertainty of our absolute dating based on known volcanic signals. Moreover, by applying time-series analyses to the measured NO3- con...

  4. Linking climate history and ice crystalline fabric evolution in polar ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Joseph Huston

    An ice sheet consists of an unfathomable number of grains that typically have a preferred orientation of the crystalline lattices, termed fabric. At the surface of ice sheets, the microstructural processes which control the grain structure and fabric evolution are influenced by climate variables. Layers of firn, in different climate regimes, may have an observable variation in fabric which can persist deep into the ice sheet; fabric may have 'memory' of these past climate regimes. To model the evolution of a subtle variation in fabric below the firn-ice transition, we have developed and released an open-source Fabric Evolution with Recrystallization (FEvoR) model. FEvoR is an anisotropic stress model that distributes stresses through explicit nearest-neighbor interaction. The model includes parameterizations of grain growth, rotation recrystallization and migration recrystallization which account for the major recrystallization processes that affect the macroscopic grain structure and fabric evolution. Using this model, we explore the evolution of a subtle variation in near-surface fabric using both constant applied stress and a stress-temperature history based on data from Taylor Dome, East Antarctica. Our results show that a subtle fabric variation will be preserved for ≈200 ka in compressive stress regimes with temperatures typical of polar ice-sheets. The addition of shear to compressive stress regimes preserves fabric variations longer than in compression-only regimes because shear drives a positive feedback between crystal rotation and deformation. We find that temperature affects how long the fabric variation is preserved, but does not affect the strain-integrated fabric evolution profile except when crossing the thermal-activation-energy threshold (≈ -10°C). Even at high temperatures, migration recrystallization does not rid the fabric of its memory under most conditions. High levels of nearest-neighbor interactions between grains will rid the fabric

  5. Infill of tunnel valleys associated with landward‐flowing ice sheets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moreau, Julien; Huuse, Mads

    2014-01-01

    The southern termination of the Middle and Late Pleistocene Scandinavian ice sheets was repeatedly located in the southern North Sea (sNS) and adjacent, north-sloping land areas. Giant meltwater-excavated valleys (tunnel valleys) formed at the southern termination of the ice sheets and contain a ...

  6. Geothermal Heat Flux Underneath Ice Sheets Estimated From Magnetic Satellite Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox Maule, Cathrine; Purucker, M.E.; Olsen, Nils;

    The geothermal heat flux is an important factor in the dynamics of ice sheets, and it is one of the important parameters in the thermal budgets of subglacial lakes. We have used satellite magnetic data to estimate the geothermal heat flux underneath the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. By ...

  7. Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE): first temperature and ablation record

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van As, D.; Fausto, R.S.; Ahlström, A.P.; Andersen, S.B.; Andersen, M.L.; Citterio, M.; Edelvang, K.; Gravesen, P.; Machguth, H.; Nick, F.M.; Nielsen, S.; Weidick, A.

    2011-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is reacting to climate change. Yet, mass-budget estimates differ considerably, partly due to climatic variability and partly to uncertainties in the techniques of assessing mass change (IPCC 2007). Nevertheless, all recent estimates agree that the ice sheet is losing mass (e.

  8. Ice-sheet configuration in the CMIP5/PMIP3 Last Glacial Maximum experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Abe-Ouchi

    2015-11-01

    stationary waves. Differences between the climate response to the CMIP5/PMIP3 composite and any individual ice-sheet reconstruction are smaller than those between the CMIP5/PMIP3 composite and the ice sheet used in the last phase of PMIP (PMIP2.

  9. Spaceborne measurement of Greenland ice sheet changes: the ESA Greenland CCI project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Meister, Rakia

    The ESA “Greenland_ice_sheet_cci” project is currently making past and present space measurements of Greenland ice sheet changes available for use by scientists, stakeholders and the general public. The data are part of a large set of ECV’s (Essential Climate Variables) made available by the ESA ...

  10. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low-frequency, long-duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  11. Investigating the evolution of major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial-interglacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Bonelli

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available A 2.5-dimensional climate model of intermediate complexity, CLIMBER-2, fully coupled with the GREMLINS 3-D thermo-mechanical ice sheet model is used to simulate the evolution of major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and to investigate the ice sheets responses to both insolation and atmospheric CO2 concentration. This model reproduces the main phases of advance and retreat of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial cycle, although the amplitude of these variations is less pronounced than those based on sea level reconstructions. At the last glacial maximum, the simulated ice volume is 52.5×1015 m3 and the spatial distribution of both the American and Eurasian ice complexes is in reasonable agreement with observations, with the exception of the marine parts of these former ice sheets.
    A set of sensitivity studies has also been performed to assess the sensitivity of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to both insolation and atmospheric CO2. Our results suggest that the decrease of summer insolation is the main factor responsible for the early build up of the North American ice sheet around 120 kyr BP, in agreement with benthic foraminifera δ18O signals. In contrast, low insolation and low atmospheric CO2 concentration are both necessary to trigger a long-lasting glaciation over Eurasia.

  12. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

  13. Boundary layer new particle formation over East Antarctic sea ice – possible Hg-driven nucleation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol observations above the Southern Ocean and Antarctic sea ice are scarce. Measurements of aerosols and atmospheric composition were made in East Antarctic pack ice on board the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis during the spring of 2012. One particle formation event was observed during the 32 days of observations. This event occurred on the only day to exhibit extended periods of global irradiance in excess of 600 W m−2. Within the single air mass influencing the measurements, number concentrations of particles larger than 3 nm (CN3 reached almost 7700 cm−3 within a few hours of clouds clearing, and grew at rates of 5.6 nm h−1. Formation rates of 3 nm particles were in the range of those measured at other Antarctic locations at 0.2–1.1 ± 0.1 cm−3 s−1. Our investigations into the nucleation chemistry found that there were insufficient precursor concentrations for known halogen or organic chemistry to explain the nucleation event. Modelling studies utilising known sulfuric acid nucleation schemes could not simultaneously reproduce both particle formation or growth rates. Surprising correlations with total gaseous mercury (TGM were found that, together with other data, suggest a mercury-driven photochemical nucleation mechanism may be responsible for aerosol nucleation. Given the very low vapour pressures of the mercury species involved, this nucleation chemistry is likely only possible where pre-existing aerosol concentrations are low and both TGM concentrations and solar radiation levels are relatively high (∼ 1.5 ng m−3 and ≥ 600 W m−2, respectively, such as those observed in the Antarctic sea ice boundary layer in this study or in the global free troposphere, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.

  14. Antifreeze protein-induced superheating of ice inside Antarctic notothenioid fishes inhibits melting during summer warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cziko, Paul A; DeVries, Arthur L; Evans, Clive W; Cheng, Chi-Hing Christina

    2014-10-07

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) of polar marine teleost fishes are widely recognized as an evolutionary innovation of vast adaptive value in that, by adsorbing to and inhibiting the growth of internalized environmental ice crystals, they prevent death by inoculative freezing. Paradoxically, systemic accumulation of AFP-stabilized ice could also be lethal. Whether or how fishes eliminate internal ice is unknown. To investigate if ice inside high-latitude Antarctic notothenioid fishes could melt seasonally, we measured its melting point and obtained a decadal temperature record from a shallow benthic fish habitat in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. We found that AFP-stabilized ice resists melting at temperatures above the expected equilibrium freezing/melting point (eqFMP), both in vitro and in vivo. Superheated ice was directly observed in notothenioid serum samples and in solutions of purified AFPs, and ice was found to persist inside live fishes at temperatures more than 1 °C above their eqFMP for at least 24 h, and at a lower temperature for at least several days. Field experiments confirmed that superheated ice occurs naturally inside wild fishes. Over the long-term record (1999-2012), seawater temperature surpassed the fish eqFMP in most summers, but never exceeded the highest temperature at which ice persisted inside experimental fishes. Thus, because of the effects of AFP-induced melting inhibition, summer warming may not reliably eliminate internal ice. Our results expose a potentially antagonistic pleiotropic effect of AFPs: beneficial freezing avoidance is accompanied by melting inhibition that may contribute to lifelong accumulation of detrimental internal ice crystals.

  15. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age, implications on sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Kjaer, K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, S. A.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Larsen, N. K.; Long, A. J.; Woodroffe, S.; Milne, G. A.; Wahr, J. M.; Geruo, A.; Bamber, J. L.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2013-12-01

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular for modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of the past GrIS contribution to SLR have been derived using a number of different approaches, e.g. surface mass balance (SMB) calculations combined with estimates of ice discharge found by in correlating SMB anomalies and calving rates. Here, we adopt a novel geometric approach to determine the post-Little Ice Age (LIA) mass loss of the GrIS. We use high quality aerial stereo photogrammetric imagery recorded between 1978 and 1987 to map morphological features such as trim lines (boundary between freshly eroded and non-eroded bedrock) 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 2002-2010, NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003-2009, and NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) from 2010, to estimate mass loss throughout the 20th and early 21st Century. We present mass balance estimates of the GrIS since retreat commence from the maximum extent of the LIA to 2010 derived for three intervals, LIAmax (1900) - 1978/87, 1978/87 - 2002, and 2002 - 2010. Results suggest that despite highly spatially- and temporally variable post-LIA mass loss, the total mass loss and thus the contribution from the GrIS to global SLR has accelerated significantly during the 20th Century.

  16. Effect of elevated CO2 concentration on microalgal communities in Antarctic pack ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coad, Thomas; McMinn, Andrew; Nomura, Daiki; Martin, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing changes to oceanic pH and CO2 concentrations that will impact many marine organisms, including microalgae. Phytoplankton taxa have shown mixed responses to these changes with some doing well while others have been adversely affected. Here, the photosynthetic response of sea-ice algal communities from Antarctic pack ice (brine and infiltration microbial communities) to a range of CO2 concentrations (400 ppm to 11,000 ppm in brine algae experiments, 400 ppm to 20,000 ppm in the infiltration ice algae experiment) was investigated. Incubations were conducted as part of the Sea-Ice Physics and Ecosystem Experiment II (SIPEX-2) voyage, in the austral spring (September-November), 2012. In the brine incubations, maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and relative electron transfer rate (rETRmax) were highest at ambient and 0.049% (experiment 1) and 0.19% (experiment 2) CO2 concentrations, although, Fv/Fm was consistently between 0.53±0.10-0.68±0.01 across all treatments in both experiments. Highest rETRmax was exhibited by brine cultures exposed to ambient CO2 concentrations (60.15). In a third experiment infiltration ice algal communities were allowed to melt into seawater modified to simulate the changed pH and CO2 concentrations of future springtime ice-edge conditions. Ambient and 0.1% CO2 treatments had the highest growth rates and Fv/Fm values but only the highest CO2 concentration produced a significantly lower rETRmax. These experiments, conducted on natural Antarctic sea-ice algal communities, indicate a strong level of tolerance to elevated CO2 concentrations and suggest that these communities might not be adversely affected by predicted changes in CO2 concentration over the next century.

  17. A model of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet, using observations of glacial isostatic adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Evan J.; Tregoning, Paul; Purcell, Anthony; Montillet, Jean-Philippe; McClusky, Simon

    2016-05-01

    We present the results of a new numerical model of the late glacial western Laurentide Ice Sheet