WorldWideScience

Sample records for greenland ice investigating

  1. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeh, N.

    1984-01-01

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

  2. (CH4)-C-14 Measurements in Greenland Ice: Investigating Last Glacial Termination CH4 Sources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrenko, V. V.; Smith, A. M.; Brook, E. J.

    2009-01-01

    contributions to this increase. We present measurements of (CH4)-C-14 in glacial ice, targeting this transition, performed by using ice samples obtained from an ablation site in west Greenland. Measured (CH4)-C-14 values were higher than predicted under any scenario. Sample (CH4)-C-14 appears to be elevated...

  3. 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...

  4. Greenland Ice Sheet flow response to runoff variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Investigating the Greenland ice sheet evolution under changing climate using a three-dimensional full-Stokes model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.

    2010-12-01

    available data, the geothermal heat flux at the bedrock is prescribed as spatially constant and the lateral sides are open boundaries. A non-linear Weertman law is used for the basal sliding. The project goal is to better assess the effects of dynamical changes of the Greenland ice sheet on sea level rise under global-warming conditions. Hence, the simulations have been conducted in order to investigate the ice sheet evolution using the climate forcing experiments defined in the SeaRISE project. For that purpose, four different experiments have been conducted, (i) constant climate control run beginning at present (epoch 2004-1-1 0:0:0) and running up to 500 years holding the climate constant to its present state, (ii) constant climate forcing with increased basal lubrication, (iii) AR4 climate run forced by anomalies derived from results given in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (AR4) for the A1B emission scenario, (iv) AR4 climate run with increased basal lubrication.

  6. Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Ice flow Modelling of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lisbeth Tangaa

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

  8. 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...

  9. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has become one of the main contributors to global sea level rise, predominantly through increased meltwater runoff. The main drivers of Greenland ice sheet runoff, however, remain poorly understood. Here we show that clouds enhance meltwater runoff by about one-third relative

  10. Balance velocities of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    The effects of a new hypothesis about mountain building in Greenland on ice sheet initiation are investigated using an ice sheet model in combination with a climate model. According to this hypothesis, low-relief landscapes near sea level characterised Greenland in Miocene times until two phases...... superimposed by cold and warm excursions. The modelling results show that no ice initiates in the case of the low-lying and almost flat topography prior to the uplifts. However, the results demonstrate a significant ice sheet growth in response to the orographically induced increase in precipitation...... sheet by providing anchoring points which are not available to the same extent in the lower topographies. However, the results also reveal a Föhn effect that inhibits ice sheet expansion into the interior Greenland and thus shifts the threshold of formation of inland ice towards colder temperatures...

  12. Balance Velocities of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Early Holocene climate oscillations recorded in three Greenland ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Sune Olander; Vinther, Bo Møllesøe; Clausen, Henrik Brink

    2007-01-01

    around 9.3 ka before present, and the Preboreal Oscillation during the first centuries of the Holocene. For each of these sections, we present a d18O anomaly curve and a common accumulation signal that represents regional changes in the accumulation rate over the Greenland ice cap.......A new ice core chronology for the Greenland DYE-3, GRIP, and NGRIP ice cores has been constructed, making it possible to compare the d18O and accumulation signals recorded in the three cores on an almost annual scale throughout the Holocene. We here introduce the new time scale and investigate d18O...

  16. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Destabilization of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, N. J.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjaer, K. H.

    . Here, we reveal that the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), which extends more than 600 km into the interior of the ice sheet, is now undergoing dynamic thinning after more than a quarter of a century of stability. This sector of the GrIS is of particular interest in sea level projections, because...

  18. Ice age plant refugia in East Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby

    1979-01-01

    From the distribution of plants it has been inferred by some botanists that ice-free areas existed in East Greenland accommodating a flora which survived one or several ice ages in the area. Comparing this evidence with recent information on the chronology of glaciations and post-glacial vegetati...

  19. Advancing land-terminating ice cliffs in Northwest Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinz, Rainer; Abermann, Jakob; Steiner, Jakob

    2017-04-01

    Land-terminating ice cliffs are intriguing features that occur in various ice-covered regions around the world both in high and low latitudes. Over flat terrain land-terminating ice cliffs can only persist under a complex interplay between certain climatic and ice dynamic conditions with "cold" and "dry" being the common pillars for their occurrence. In North Greenland, dry calving ice cliffs are an abundant feature, however, to our knowledge, detailed investigations are limited to studies more than six decades ago in the Thule area. Rough estimates state that approximately 45% of the ice sheet in Northwest Greenland terminate as cliffs on land. The ice cliff position and its change with time is a combined signal of the ice flow and mass balance at the cliff. The ice flow is triggered by a mass imbalance upstream the ice cliff integrating a potentially long response time, basal sliding and ice deformation, whereas the mass balance of the ice cliff is determined by the sum of the energy fluxes at the cliff face and the calving flux. Studies during the 1950s and 1960s report counterintuitive results with a generally negative mass balance and a reduction of ice cliff height versus a net advance of the cliff. This intriguing evolvement warrants closer attention as it remained unstudied thereafter even though it is likely relevant for a large portion of cold and dry North Greenland. Thus, the purpose of this contribution is to build a relevant basis for future process studies by (i) determining the occurrence of ice cliffs in Northern Greenland, (ii) classifying them by obvious morphological distinctions such as height and steepness and (iii) give a first-order estimate on percentage of advancing vs retreating areas. Repeating the past study above using recent space-borne earth observation data (digital elevation models from 1985, 2007 and 2015) we mapped the evolution of the ice sheet margin. Results at the same cliff and at another independent location in Northwest

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Recent Progress in Greenland Ice Sheet Modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. High-resolution Greenland Ice Core data show abrupt climate change happens in few years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Andersen, Katrine Krogh; Bigler, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    The last two abrupt warmings at the onset of our present warm interglacial period, interrupted by the Younger Dryas cooling event, were investigated at high temporal resolution from the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core. The deuterium excess, a proxy of Greenland precipitation moisture...

  4. The Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  5. Ice age plant refugia in East Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby

    1979-01-01

    From the distribution of plants it has been inferred by some botanists that ice-free areas existed in East Greenland accommodating a flora which survived one or several ice ages in the area. Comparing this evidence with recent information on the chronology of glaciations and post-glacial vegetation...... of Greenland. 14 C dating and amino-acid age estimates of marine sediments show that lowland areas near the outer coast have been ice-free for at least 40,000 years. The vegetation history, as reflected in pollen diagrams extending back to ca. 10,000 yr. B.P., has shown that many of the extant species...... immigrated from northern Europe and North America in post-glacial times. This contingency includes both some thermophilous species that were suggested as survivors by one group of botanists, and some extremely "hardy" species that were thought to have survived by another group. From the palynological...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Brief communication "The aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Citterio

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses is the first high resolution dataset documenting the mid-1980s areal extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and all the local glaciers and ice caps. The total glacierized area excluding nunataks was 1 804 638 km2 ± 2178 km2, of which 88 083 ± 1240 km2 belonged to local glaciers and ice caps (GIC substantially independent from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This new result of GIC glacierized area is higher than most previous estimates, 81% greater than Weng's (1995 measurements, but is in line with contemporary findings based on independent data sources. A comparison between our map and the recently released Rastner et al. (2012 inventory and GIMP (Greenland Ice Mapping Project Ice-Cover Mask (Howat and Negrete, 2013 shows potential for change-assessment studies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, J.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change...... a significant acceleration in mass loss at elevations above 1200 m. Both the improved mass loss estimate along the ice sheet margin and the acceleration at higher elevations have implications for predictions of the elastic adjustment of the lithosphere caused by present-day ice mass changes. Our study shows...... change. Our results show that adding Airborne Topographic Mapper and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor data to the ICESat data increases the catchment-wide estimate of ice volume loss by 11%, mainly due to an improved volume loss estimate along the ice sheet margin. Furthermore, our results show...

  9. Greenland Ice Shelves and Ice Tongues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels

    2017-01-01

    literature and physical properties are reviewed. There exists a difference between: (1) Floating glaciers in northern Greenland (>77°N) which experience bottom melting as their dominant ablation mechanism and calve relatively thin, but large (km-sized) tabular icebergs (‘ice islands’), and (2) Grounded...... glaciers further south (iceberg calving provides the dominant ablation mechanism. The relatively smaller iceberg discharge in northern Greenland is closely related to the occurrence of extended floating glacier sections, allowing bottom melting estimated at up to 10 m year−1 for locations...

  10. EBSD in Antarctic and Greenland Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. Synchronizing ice cores from the Renland and Agassiz ice caps to the Greenland Ice Core Chronology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther, Bo Møllesøe; Clausen, Henrik Brink; Fischer, D. A.

    2008-01-01

    Four ice cores from the Agassiz ice cap in the Canadian high arctic and one ice core from the Renland ice cap in eastern Greenland have been synchronized to the Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05) which is based on annual layer counts in the DYE-3, GRIP and NGRIP ice cores. Volcanic....... Annual layer thicknesses in the Agassiz ice cores point to a well-developed Raymond bump in the Agassiz ice cap....... reference horizons, seen in electrical conductivity measurements (ECM) have been used to carry out the synchronization throughout the Holocene. The Agassiz ice cores have been matched to the NGRIP ice core ECM signal, while the Renland core has been matched to the GRIP ice core ECM signal, thus tying...

  12. Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Albert, M. R.; Aldahan, A.

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new No...

  13. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance and to ice discharge, which are forced by internal or external (atmospheric/oceanic/basal) fluctuations. Regardless of the measurement method, observations over the last two decades show an increase in ice loss rate, associated with speeding up of glaciers and enhanced melting. However, both ice discharge and melt-induced mass losses exhibit rapid short-term fluctuations that, when extrapolated into the future, could yield erroneous long-term trends. In this paper we review the GrIS mass loss over more than a century by combining satellite altimetry, airborne altimetry, interferometry, aerial photographs and gravimetry data sets together with modelling studies. We revisit the mass loss of different sectors and show that they manifest quite different sensitivities to atmospheric and oceanic forcing. In addition, we discuss recent progress in constructing coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere models required to project realistic future sea-level changes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    The Greenland cryosphere is undergoing rapid changes, and these are documented by remote sensing from space. In this paper, an inversion scheme is used to derive mass changes from gravity changes observed by GRACE, and to derive the mean annual mass loss for the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is esti...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Greenland 5 km DEM, Ice Thickness, and Bedrock Elevation Grids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A Digital Elevation Model (DEM), ice thickness grid, and bedrock elevation grid of Greenland acquired as part of the PARCA program are available in ASCII text format...

  19. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

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

  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...... flow models. In a local ice cap in East Greenland (Geikie Plateau) repeated GPS, airborne laser altimetry and SAR interferometry have been used to study ice movements in the more climatically variable coastal zone, where meter-level annual elevation changes are possible due to the high precipitation...

  1. Elevation Change Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    Several decades of ice-penetrating radar surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have observed numerous widespread internal reflections. Analysis of this radiostratigraphy has produced valuable insights into ice sheet dynamics and motivates additional mapping of these reflections. Here we present a comprehensive deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected over Greenland by The University of Kansas between 1993 and 2013. To map this radiostratigraphy efficiently, we developed new techniques for predicting reflection slope from the phase recorded by coherent radars. When integrated along track, these slope fields predict the radiostratigraphy and simplify semiautomatic reflection tracing. Core-intersecting reflections were dated using synchronized depth-age relationships for six deep ice cores. Additional reflections were dated by matching reflections between transects and by extending reflection-inferred depth-age relationships using the local effective vertical strain rate. The oldest reflections, dating to the Eemian period, are found mostly in the northern part of the ice sheet. Within the onset regions of several fast-flowing outlet glaciers and ice streams, reflections typically do not conform to the bed topography. Disrupted radiostratigraphy is also observed in a region north of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream that is not presently flowing rapidly. Dated reflections are used to generate a gridded age volume for most of the ice sheet and also to determine the depths of key climate transitions that were not observed directly. This radiostratigraphy provides a new constraint on the dynamics and history of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Phase information predicts reflection slope and simplifies reflection tracingReflections can be dated away from ice cores using a simple ice flow modelRadiostratigraphy is often disrupted near the onset of fast ice flow.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck

    this threshold towards colder temperatures in line with a recent study, but the new threshold value depends on the choice of method. It was found using the adaptive patterns that the Greenland ice sheet can reform under present-day conditions. A further study where additional coupling between the ice-sheet model...... is investigated as well as its early history. The studies are performed using an ice-sheet model in combination with relevant forcing from observed and modeled climate. Changes in ice-sheet geometry influences atmospheric flow (and vice versa) hereby changing the forcing patterns. Changes in the overall climate...... for the build-up of the Greenland ice sheet that lead to the intensification of the Northern Hemisphere glaciations at the end of the Pliocene. A study of output from the climate model, EC-EARTH, reveals some of the challenges faced when using this to force ice-sheet evolution or when full coupling of ice...

  6. Advancing land-terminating ice margin in North Greenland - characteristics, evolution, and first field measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, J. F.; Prinz, R.; Abermann, J.

    2017-12-01

    More than 40% of the ice sheet in North Greenland terminate on land, however the characteristics of this ice margin and response to a changing climate have so far received little attention. While land-terminating ice cliffs are a feature commonly found and studied in other regions, detailed investigations in Greenland were only carried out more than six decades ago in the Thule area (Red Rock, Northwest Greenland). These studies showed a continuous advance at one location over multiple years, while the local mass balance was reported negative. The purpose of our study is to revisit the location previously studied and extend the analysis to the complete Northern ice margin employing newly available high-resolution digital terrain models (Arctic DEM). First results show that the advance at Red Rock is indeed long-term, continuing unabated today at rates of up to several meter per year. Similar magnitudes were found for large other stretches along the ice margin. With our study we aim to show (a) the main characteristics of the land-terminating ice margin in Northern Greenland, namely its slope and aspect distribution and comparison to spatial datasets of flow velocity and mass balance and (b) to provide further explanations of physical processes driving the advance. We have therefore mapped the complete ice margin and present the first results of this analysis. First field work provides new data on energy fluxes and ice temperatures at the Red Rock site as well as high resolution DEMs obtained with the use of UAVs.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Greenland ice mass balance from GPS, GRACE and ICESat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjær, Kurt H.; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup

    Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to future sea-level rise. The GrIS has seen dramatic changes over the last two decades and mass loss has been accelerating, owing to a combination of increased runoff and discharge of ice...... Greenland, using stereoscopic coverage by aerial photographs recorded in 1985, and subsequent comparative surface elevation data from ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) and ATM (Airborne Topographic Mapper) supplemented with measurements from GPS and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment...

  11. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    Since the 1990s mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated substantially increasing its contribution to global sea level rise, especially during the past decade. Even though the current global sea level budget is well understood, providing better estimates of the mass loss is essential...... that the ice margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet responds highly dynamic and variable to climate change and oceanic forcing, with behavior additionally being governed by regional/local settings, e.g. topographical settings such as low-lying/mountainous areas and the presence or absence of deep fjords or shelf...

  12. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss from GRACE Monthly Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René

    2010-01-01

    , as is the case with those estimated from GRACE data. In this chapter we have used a generalized inversion method to estimate the Greenland ice sheet mass change from the monthly global gravity solutions, provided by three different GRACE processing centers; CSR, JPL and GFZ. In order to derive mass change from...... these monthly global gravity models, we first calculate the gravity trend from these. When isolating the gravity trend signal, which is caused by the ice mass change, we first subtract the signal produced by the postglacial rebound (PGR) in Greenland. This is done by a simple method based on the ice history......The Greenland ice sheet is currently experiencing a net mass loss. There are however large discrepancies between the published qualitative mass loss estimates, based on different data sets and methods. There are even large differences between the results based on the same data sources...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-07-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizcaino, Miren; Michailidou, Egli

    2017-04-01

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

  15. Limited Impact of Subglacial Supercooling Freeze-on for Greenland Ice Sheet Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, Christine F.; Karlsson, Nanna B.; Werder, Mauro A.

    2018-02-01

    Large units of disrupted radiostratigraphy (UDR) are visible in many radio-echo sounding data sets from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This study investigates whether supercooling freeze-on rates at the bed can cause the observed UDR. We use a subglacial hydrology model to calculate both freezing and melting rates at the base of the ice sheet in a distributed sheet and within basal channels. We find that while supercooling freeze-on is a phenomenon that occurs in many areas of the ice sheet, there is no discernible correlation with the occurrence of UDR. The supercooling freeze-on rates are so low that it would require tens of thousands of years with minimal downstream ice motion to form the hundreds of meters of disrupted radiostratigraphy. Overall, the melt rates at the base of the ice sheet greatly overwhelm the freeze-on rates, which has implications for mass balance calculations of Greenland ice.

  16. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    IS and the paleo-temperature reconstructions retrieved from ice cores.The dynamical firn model developed in this thesis explains13 % of the observed volume change of the GrIS from 2003-2008, without contributing to the global sea-level rise. This emphasizes the need for well constraint firn-compaction models. Here...... compaction on ice sheet scales. The modeling objectives are multiple and aim at estimating the contribution from the firn to the observed volume change of the GrIS and to the diffusion of stable water isotopes. The firn modeling then provides crucial information on total mass balance of the Gr......-sheet configurations formed by the variation of both internal-model parameters and external climate forcing. To investigate the importance of the validation, a multi-metric validation approach is applied to the ensemble members. The validation shows that the commonly used validation measures, such as the total ice...

  17. Greenland ice sheet albedo variability and feedback: 2000-2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Box, J. E.; van As, D.; Fausto, R. S.; Mottram, R.; Langen, P. P.; Steffen, K.

    2015-12-01

    Absorbed solar irradiance represents the dominant source of surface melt energy for Greenland ice. Surface melting has increased as part of a positive feedback amplifier due to surface darkening. The 16 most recent summers of observations from the NASA MODIS sensor indicate a darkening exceeding 6% in July when most melting occurs. Without the darkening, the increase in surface melting would be roughly half as large. A minority of the albedo decline signal may be from sensor degradation. So, in this study, MOD10A1 and MCD43 albedo products from MODIS are evaluated for sensor degradation and anisotropic reflectance errors. Errors are minimized through calibration to GC-Net and PROMICE Greenland snow and ice ground control data. The seasonal and spatial variability in Greenland snow and ice albedo over a 16 year period is presented, including quantifying changing absorbed solar irradiance and melt enhancement due to albedo feedback using the DMI HIRHAM5 5 km model.

  18. North and northeast Greenland ice discharge from satellite radar interferometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rignot, E.J.; Gogineni, S.P.; Krabill, W.B.

    1997-01-01

    Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier...... front, because basal melting is extensive at the underside of the floating glacier sections. The results suggest that the north and northeast parts of the Greenland ice sheet may be thinning and contributing positively to sea-level rise.......Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier...

  19. Ice flux divergence anomalies on 79north Glacier, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seroussi, H.; Morlighem, M.; Rignot, E.

    2011-01-01

    onto a regular grid using a scheme (here block kriging) that does not conserve mass or ice flux. This problem is not unique to 79north Glacier but is common to all conventional ice thickness surveys of glaciers and ice sheets; and fundamentally limits the application of ice thickness grids to high......The ice flux divergence of a glacier is an important quantity to examine because it determines the rate of temporal change of its thickness. Here, we combine high-resolution ice surface velocity observations of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79north) Glacier, a major outlet glacier in north Greenland......, with a dense grid of ice thickness data collected with an airborne radar sounder in 1998, to examine its ice flux divergence. We detect large variations, up to 100 m/yr, in flux divergence on grounded ice that are incompatible with what we know of the glacier surface mass balance, basal mass balance...

  20. 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...

  1. Continuous analysis of phosphate in a Greenland shallow ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Svensson, Anders; Bigler, Matthias; Vallelonga, Paul; Kettner, Ernesto; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe

    2010-05-01

    Phosphate is an important and sometimes limiting nutrient for primary production in the oceans. Because of deforestation and the use of phosphate as a fertilizer changes in the phosphate cycle have occurred over the last centuries. On longer time scales, sea level changes are thought to have also caused changes in the phosphate cycle. Analyzing phosphate concentrations in ice cores may help to gain important knowledge about those processes. In the present study, we attach a phosphate detection line to an existing continuous flow analysis (CFA) setup for ice core analysis at the University of Copenhagen. The CFA system is optimized for high-resolution measurements of insoluble dust particles, electrolytic melt water conductivity, and the concentrations of ammonium and sodium. For the phosphate analysis we apply a continuous and highly sensitive absorption method that has been successfully applied to determine phosphate concentrations of sea water (Zhang and Chi, 2002). A line of melt water from the CFA melt head (1.01 ml per minute) is combined with a molybdate blue reagent and an ascorbic acid buffer. An uncompleted reaction takes place in five meters of heated mixing coils before the absorption measurement at a wavelength of 710 nanometer takes place in a 2 m long liquid waveguide cell (LWCC) with an inner volume of 0.5 ml. The method has a detection limit of around 0.1 ppb and we are currently investigating a possible interference from molybdate reacting with silicates that are present in low amounts in the ice. Preliminary analysis of early Holocene samples from the NGRIP ice core show phosphate concentration values of a few ppb. In this study, we will attempt to determine past levels of phosphate in a shallow Northern Greenland firn core with an annual layer thickness of about 20 cm ice equivalent. With a melt speed of 2.5 cm ice per minute our method should allow the resolution of any seasonal variability in phosphate concentrations.

  2. Magnetization of Greenland ice and its relationship with dust content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanci, L.; Kent, D. V.; Biscaye, P. E.; Steffensen, J. P.

    2004-05-01

    We estimate the concentration of fine magnetic particles in ice samples from the North Greenland Ice Core Project core from the central Greenland ice sheet, using low-temperature (77K) isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) analysis and compare it with the mass concentration of aerosol dust. Samples were taken from six climatic intervals, spanning the time from the Holocene (Preboreal) back to the Last Glacial Dansgaard/Oeschger cycle 5. The mean IRM intensity of the ice varies by a factor of 3 from glacial to interglacial stages, being lower during interglacials. The IRM acquisition curves of the ice do not quite saturate at the maximum available field of 0.8 T and show a relatively broad coercivity, which is compatible with a mixture of maghemite or magnetite and hematite. Comparison of the IRM intensity and total dust mass shows a remarkably good correlation but also reveals a large background magnetization, which may be essentially constant over the different climatic stages. IRM suggests that the dust properties are independent of the background signal and that the dust aerosol has a magnetization within about 30% of pristine loess from the Chinese Loess Plateau, which is considered to have the same source in the same east Asian deserts as dust in Greenland ice. Ice contamination and the flux of extraterrestrial dust particles were considered in order to explain the origin of the background magnetization. Nevertheless, we could not find a convincing explanation for this signal, which represents a considerable part of the IRM signal and is the dominant component during interglacial intervals, without invoking the presence of undetected dust mass. The alternative hypothesis of a varying magnetization of the ice dust at different climatic periods would suggest that different sources of aerosol are active during different climatic periods. This, however, has not proven to be the case so far for studies of the provenance of dust in Greenland ice.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanderVeen, Cornelius

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Sea ice and pollution-modulated changes in Greenland ice core methanesulfonate and bromine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maselli, Olivia J.; Chellman, Nathan J.; Grieman, Mackenzie; Layman, Lawrence; McConnell, Joseph R.; Pasteris, Daniel; Rhodes, Rachael H.; Saltzman, Eric; Sigl, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Reconstruction of past changes in Arctic sea ice extent may be critical for understanding its future evolution. Methanesulfonate (MSA) and bromine concentrations preserved in ice cores have both been proposed as indicators of past sea ice conditions. In this study, two ice cores from central and north-eastern Greenland were analysed at sub-annual resolution for MSA (CH3SO3H) and bromine, covering the time period 1750-2010. We examine correlations between ice core MSA and the HadISST1 ICE sea ice dataset and consult back trajectories to infer the likely source regions. A strong correlation between the low-frequency MSA and bromine records during pre-industrial times indicates that both chemical species are likely linked to processes occurring on or near sea ice in the same source regions. The positive correlation between ice core MSA and bromine persists until the mid-20th century, when the acidity of Greenland ice begins to increase markedly due to increased fossil fuel emissions. After that time, MSA levels decrease as a result of declining sea ice extent but bromine levels increase. We consider several possible explanations and ultimately suggest that increased acidity, specifically nitric acid, of snow on sea ice stimulates the release of reactive Br from sea ice, resulting in increased transport and deposition on the Greenland ice sheet.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. North and northeast Greenland ice discharge from satellite radar interferometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rignot, E.J.; Gogineni, S.P.; Krabill, W.B.

    1997-01-01

    Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier...

  7. An energy balance model for the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  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

  9. An assessment of key model parametric uncertainties in projections of Greenland Ice Sheet behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. J. Applegate

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Lack of knowledge about the values of ice sheet model input parameters introduces substantial uncertainty into projections of Greenland Ice Sheet contributions to future sea level rise. Computer models of ice sheet behavior provide one of several means of estimating future sea level rise due to mass loss from ice sheets. Such models have many input parameters whose values are not well known. Recent studies have investigated the effects of these parameters on model output, but the range of potential future sea level increases due to model parametric uncertainty has not been characterized. Here, we demonstrate that this range is large, using a 100-member perturbed-physics ensemble with the SICOPOLIS ice sheet model. Each model run is spun up over 125 000 yr using geological forcings and subsequently driven into the future using an asymptotically increasing air temperature anomaly curve. All modeled ice sheets lose mass after 2005 AD. Parameters controlling surface melt dominate the model response to temperature change. After culling the ensemble to include only members that give reasonable ice volumes in 2005 AD, the range of projected sea level rise values in 2100 AD is ~40 % or more of the median. Data on past ice sheet behavior can help reduce this uncertainty, but none of our ensemble members produces a reasonable ice volume change during the mid-Holocene, relative to the present. This problem suggests that the model's exponential relation between temperature and precipitation does not hold during the Holocene, or that the central-Greenland temperature forcing curve used to drive the model is not representative of conditions around the ice margin at this time (among other possibilities. Our simulations also lack certain observed physical processes that may tend to enhance the real ice sheet's response. Regardless, this work has implications for other studies that use ice sheet models to project or hindcast the behavior of the Greenland Ice

  10. Mass balance and surface movement of the Greenland Ice Sheet at Summit, Central Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidberg, C.S.; Keller, K.; Gundestrup, N.S.

    1997-01-01

    During the GRIP deep drilling in Central Greenland, the ice sheet topography and surface movement at Summit has been mapped with GPS. Measurements of the surface velocity are presented for a strain net consisting of 13 poles at distances of 25-60 km from the GRIP site. Some results are: The GRIP...

  11. Basal melting and Eemian ice along the main ice ridge in northern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchardt, Susanne Lilja

    The variation of the basal melt rate and the location of the Eemian layer in the ice column are investigated along the ice divide between the NorthGRIP and NEEM ice core drill sites in northern Greenland. At NorthGRIP an ice core was drilled in the period 1996-2004, and the stable isotope record (d...... the line. A Dansgaard-Johnsen model is then used to simulate the ice flow along the flow line from NorthGRIP to NEEM. One- as well as two-dimensional approaches are taken. The basal melt rates and other unknown flow parameters are determined using a Monte Carlo method. The Monte Carlo solution...... is constrained by isochrones revealed in radio-echo sounding images of the ice. The obtained results indicate a high spatial variability in the basal melt rate in the area, and values between zero and 25 mm/yr are found. The results indicate that there is little or no basal melting at NEEM. The location...

  12. Unusual surface morphology from digital elevation models of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ekholm, Simon; Keller, K.; Bamber, J.L.

    1998-01-01

    In this study of the North Greenland ice sheet, we have used digital elevation models to investigate the topographic signatures of a large ice flow feature discovered in 1993 and a unique surface anomaly which we believe has not been observed previously. The small scale topography of the flow...... feature is revealed in striking detail in a high-pass filtered elevation model. Furthermore, ice penetrating radar show that the sub-stream bed is rough with undulation amplitude increasing downstream. The new feature consists of two large depressions in the ice sheet connected by a long curving trench...

  13. Sensitivity of ice flow in Greenland to errors in model forcing, using the Ice Sheet System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, N.; Larour, E. Y.; Seroussi, H.; Morlighem, M.; Halkides, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    A clear understanding of how ice sheets respond to climate change requires an examination ice sheet model uncertainty. This includes the quantification of uncertainties associated with model forcing, as well as the clarification of exactly what error sources most influence modeled ice flow dynamics. The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is a finite-element model capable of simulating transient ice flow on an anisotropic mesh that can be refined to higher resolutions. This model also considers longitudinal stresses in the areas of enhanced ice flow, offering a distinct advantage in terms of modeling fast-flowing outlet glaciers. With use of established uncertainty quantification capabilities within ISSM, we compare the sensitivity of ice flow within key basins of the Greenland Ice Sheet to errors in various forcing, including surface mass balance components and temperature. We investigate how these errors propagate through the model as uncertainties in estimates of Greenland ice discharge. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Modeling, Analysis and Prediction (MAP) Program.

  14. Implications of changing scattering properties on Greenland ice sheet volume change from Cryosat-2 altimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg

    2017-01-01

    Long-term observations of surface elevation change of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is of utmost importance when assessing the state of the ice sheet. Satellite radar altimetry offers a long time series of data over the GrIS, starting with ERS-1 in 1991. ESA's Cryosat-2 mission, launched in 2010......) in the elevation change algorithm, to correct for temporal changes in the ratio between surface- and volume-scatter in Cryosat-2 observations. We present elevation and volume changes for the Greenland ice sheet in the period from 2010 until 2014. The waveform parameters considered here are the backscatter...... coefficient, and the leading edge width, which are both available in the ESA Cryosat-2 Level-2i data product. Investigations into relocation of radar reflection points are also included. Inter-comparison of the Cryosat-2 derived elevation changes with those derived from Operation IceBridge laser data suggests...

  15. Clouds and their Impacts on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  16. Operation of a Radar Altimeter over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grund, Matthew D.

    1996-01-01

    This thesis presents documentation for the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) pulse compression radar altimeter and its role in the NASA Multisensor Airborne Altimetry Experiment over Greenland in 1993. The AAFE Altimeter is a Ku-band microwave radar which has demonstrated 14 centimeter range precision in operation over arctic ice. Recent repairs and improvements were required to make the Greenland missions possible. Transmitter, receiver and software modifications, as well as the integration of a GPS receiver are thoroughly documented. Procedures for installation, and operation of the radar are described. Finally, suggestions are made for further system improvements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    In order to ensure long-term climate data records for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), ESA have launched the Climate Change Initiative (CCI). This work presents the preliminary steps towards the Ice Sheet CCI's surface elevation change (SEC) derivation using radar altimeter data. In order to find...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    In order to ensure long-term climate data records for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), ESA have launched the Climate Change Initiative (CCI). This work presents the preliminary steps towards the Ice Sheet CCI's surface elevation change (SEC) derivation using radar altimeter data. In order to find t...

  1. Snapshots of the Greenland ice sheet configuration in the Pliocene to early Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne M.; Reeh, Niels; Japsen, Peter

    2011-01-01

    from the deposits of the Kap Kobenhavn Formation, North Greenland. Our experiments show that no coherent ice sheet is likely to have existed in Greenland during the Mid-Pliocene Warmth and that only local ice caps may have been present in the coastal mountains of East Greenland. Our results illustrate......The geometry of the ice sheets during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene is not well constrained. Here we apply an ice-flow model in the study of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) during three extreme intervals of this period constrained by geological observations and climate reconstructions. We study...

  2. Paleo response of the Northeast Greenland ice stream to changes in ice geometry and anomalously high geothermal flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muresan, Ioana S.; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Aschwanden, Andy; Rogozhina, Irina; MacGregor, Joseph A.; Fahnestock, Mark A.; Kjær, Kurt H.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Kjeldsen, Kristian K.

    2017-04-01

    The Northeast Greenland ice stream (NEGIS) extends more than 600 km into the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the observed recent increase in surface melting and dynamic thinning have raised questions about its future stability. Most numerical modelling studies have focused on understanding ice dynamics and processes occurring at the terminus, and a higher-dimension modelling characterization of the ice stream, especially 100-600 km upstream glacier, is still missing. Using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model we investigate the sensitivity of the NEGIS ice flow to past changes in ice geometry, anomalously high geothermal flux and subglacial hydrology routing. We use two subglacial hydrology models. In the first model, the water in the subglacial layer is not conserved and it is only stored locally in a layer of subglacial till up to 2 m. In the second model, the water is conserved in the map-plane and the excess water is transported downstream glacier horizontally. On millennial time scales (here 120 ka), the basal topography influences the spatial pattern of the ice flow by changing the longitudinal stress gradients in the ice, while the thermal boundary conditions at the base of the ice sheet influence the ice flow through changes in basal melt rates and subsequent basal sliding. Field observations interpreted together with numerical simulations suggest that a combination of anomalously high geothermal flux and subglacial hydrology routing, bed topography and time-evolved ice geometry could explain the observed speed and shape of the NEGIS. The model performance is assessed against observed ice flow velocities, surface elevation change from satellite and airborne laser and radar altimetry, and reconstructed terminus retreat.

  3. The liquid water balance of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...

  7. Mass balance and surface movement of the Greenland Ice Sheet at Summit, Central Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidberg, C.S.; Keller, K.; Gundestrup, N.S.

    1997-01-01

    During the GRIP deep drilling in Central Greenland, the ice sheet topography and surface movement at Summit has been mapped with GPS. Measurements of the surface velocity are presented for a strain net consisting of 13 poles at distances of 25-60 km from the GRIP site. Some results are: The GRIP...... site is located approximately 2 km NW of the topographic summit; the surface velocity at the GISP 2 site is 1.7 m/yr in the W direction. The present mass balance at Summit is calculated to be -0.03+/-0.04 m/yr, i.e. close to steady state. This result is the best now available for Summit. A small...... thinning rate might be a transient response of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to the temperature increase at the Wisconsin-Holocene transition....

  8. 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?...

  9. Surface water hydrology and the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Ice stratigraphy at the Pakitsoq ice margin, West Greenland, derived from gas records

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaefer, H.; Petrenko, V. V.; Brook, E. J.

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal ice-core sites, where ancient ice is exposed at the glacier surface, offer unique opportunities for paleo-studies of trace components requiring large sample volumes. Following previous work at the Pakitsoq ice margin in West Greenland, we use a combination of geochemical parameters...... measured in the ice matrix (delta O-18(ice)) and air occlusions (delta O-18(atm), delta N-15 of N-2 and methane concentration) to date ice layers from specific climatic intervals. The data presented here expand our understanding of the stratigraphy and three-dimensional structure of ice layers outcropping...... at Pakitsoq. Sections containing ice from every distinct climatic interval during Termination I, including Last Glacial Maximum, Bolling/Allerod, Younger Dryas and the early Holocene, are identified. In the early Holocene, we find evidence for climatic fluctuations similar to signals found in deep ice cores...

  11. 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...... Climate Initiative, as a contribution to the global Climate Observing System. The ECV data produced for the Greenlandice sheet include detailed grids of elevation changes and ice flow velocities, as well as line data of grounding lines and calving front locations for major outlet glaciers. The “ice_sheets......_cci” goal is to generate a consistent, validated, long-term and timely set of ECV’s, a.o. to improve the impact of satellite data on climate research and coupled ice sheet/climate models. Special focus is on use of data from ESA missions such as ERS, Envisat and the new Sentinel missions, but in the 2nd...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-07-21

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

  13. Solitary Waves of Ice Loss Detected in Greenland Crustal Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, S.; Ivins, E. R.; Larour, E. Y.

    2017-12-01

    The annual cycle and secular trend of Greenland mass loading are well recorded in measurements of solid Earth deformation. While bedrock vertical displacements are in phase with loading as inferred from space observations, horizontal motions have received almost no attention. The horizontal bedrock displacements can potentially track the spatiotemporal detail of mass changes with great fidelity. Our analysis of Greenland crustal motion data reveals that a significant excitation of horizontal amplitudes occurs during the intense Greenland melting. A suite of space geodetic observations and climate reanalysis data cannot explain these large horizontal displacements. We discover that solitary seasonal waves of substantial mass transport traveled through Rink Glacier in 2010 and 2012. We deduce that intense summer melting enhanced either basal lubrication or shear softening, or both, causing the glacier to thin dynamically. The newly routed upstream sublglacial water was likely to be both retarded and inefficient, thus providing a causal mechanism for the prolonged ice transport to continue well into the winter months. As the climate continues to produce increasingly warmer spring and summer, amplified seasonal waves of mass transport may become ever more present in years of future observations. Increased frequency of amplified seasonal mass transport may ultimately strengthen the Greenland's dynamic ice mass loss, a component of the balance that will have important ramifications for sea level rise. This animation shows a solitary wave passing through Rink Glacier, Greenland, in 2012, recorded by the motion of a GPS station (circle with arrow). Darker blue colors within the flow indicate mass loss, red colors show mass gain. The star marks the center of the wave. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

  14. On Deriving Requirements for the Surface Mass Balance forcing of a Greenland Ice Sheet Model using Uncertainty Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, N.; Larour, E. Y.; Box, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    During July of 2012, the percentage of the Greenland surface exposed to melt was the largest in recorded history. And, even though evidence of increased melt rates had been captured by remote sensing observations throughout the last decade, this particular event took the community by surprise. How Greenland ice flow will respond to such an event or to increased frequencies of extreme melt events in the future is unclear, as it requires detailed comprehension of Greenland surface climate and the ice sheet's sensitivity to associated uncertainties. With established uncertainty quantification (UQ) tools embedded within the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), we conduct decadal-scale forward modeling experiments to 1) quantify the spatial resolution needed to effectively force surface mass balance (SMB) in various regions of the ice sheet and 2) determine the dynamic response of Greenland outlet glaciers to variations in SMB. First, we perform sensitivity analyses to determine how perturbations in SMB affect model output; results allow us to investigate the locations where variations most significantly affect ice flow, and on what spatial scales. Next, we apply Monte-Carlo style sampling analyses to determine how errors in SMB propagate through the model as uncertainties in estimates of Greenland ice discharge and regional mass balance. This work is performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere Program.

  15. How Will Sea Ice Loss Affect the Greenland Ice Sheet? On the Puzzling Features of Greenland Ice-Core Isotopic Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausata, Francesco S. R.; Legrande, Allegra N.; Roberts, William H. G.

    2016-01-01

    The modern cryosphere, Earth's frozen water regime, is in fast transition. Greenland ice cores show how fast theses changes can be, presenting evidence of up to 15 C warming events over timescales of less than a decade. These events, called Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events, are believed to be associated with rapid changes in Arctic sea ice, although the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The modern demise of Arctic sea ice may, in turn, instigate abrupt changes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The Arctic Sea Ice and Greenland Ice Sheet Sensitivity (Ice2Ice Chttps://ice2ice.b.uib.noD) initiative, sponsored by the European Research Council, seeks to quantify these past rapid changes to improve our understanding of what the future may hold for the Arctic. Twenty scientists gathered in Copenhagen as part of this initiative to discuss the most recent observational, technological, and model developments toward quantifying the mechanisms behind past climate changes in Greenland. Much of the discussion focused on the causes behind the changes in stable water isotopes recorded in ice cores. The participants discussed sources of variability for stable water isotopes and framed ways that new studies could improve understanding of modern climate. The participants also discussed how climate models could provide insights into the relative roles of local and nonlocal processes in affecting stable water isotopes within the Greenland Ice Sheet. Presentations of modeling results showed how a change in the source or seasonality of precipitation could occur not only between glacial and modern climates but also between abrupt events. Recent fieldwork campaigns illustrate an important role of stable isotopes in atmospheric vapor and diffusion in the final stable isotope signal in ice. Further, indications from recent fieldwork campaigns illustrate an important role of stable isotopes in atmospheric vapor and diffusion in the final stable isotope signal in ice. This feature complicates

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. S. Babonis

    2016-06-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. High Arctic Holocene temperature record from the Agassiz ice cap and Greenland ice sheet evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecavalier, Benoit S; Fisher, David A; Milne, Glenn A; Vinther, Bo M; Tarasov, Lev; Huybrechts, Philippe; Lacelle, Denis; Main, Brittany; Zheng, James; Bourgeois, Jocelyne; Dyke, Arthur S

    2017-06-06

    We present a revised and extended high Arctic air temperature reconstruction from a single proxy that spans the past ∼12,000 y (up to 2009 CE). Our reconstruction from the Agassiz ice cap (Ellesmere Island, Canada) indicates an earlier and warmer Holocene thermal maximum with early Holocene temperatures that are 4-5 °C warmer compared with a previous reconstruction, and regularly exceed contemporary values for a period of ∼3,000 y. Our results show that air temperatures in this region are now at their warmest in the past 6,800-7,800 y, and that the recent rate of temperature change is unprecedented over the entire Holocene. The warmer early Holocene inferred from the Agassiz ice core leads to an estimated ∼1 km of ice thinning in northwest Greenland during the early Holocene using the Camp Century ice core. Ice modeling results show that this large thinning is consistent with our air temperature reconstruction. The modeling results also demonstrate the broader significance of the enhanced warming, with a retreat of the northern ice margin behind its present position in the mid Holocene and a ∼25% increase in total Greenland ice sheet mass loss (∼1.4 m sea-level equivalent) during the last deglaciation, both of which have implications for interpreting geodetic measurements of land uplift and gravity changes in northern Greenland.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  20. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age, implications on sea level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular......) and end moraines marking the ice extent of the LIA, which thereby enables us to obtain vertical point-based differences associated with changes in ice extent. These point measurements are combined with contemporary ice surface differences derived using NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) from 2002...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck

    is investigated as well as its early history. The studies are performed using an ice-sheet model in combination with relevant forcing from observed and modeled climate. Changes in ice-sheet geometry influences atmospheric flow (and vice versa) hereby changing the forcing patterns. Changes in the overall climate...... for the build-up of the Greenland ice sheet that lead to the intensification of the Northern Hemisphere glaciations at the end of the Pliocene. A study of output from the climate model, EC-EARTH, reveals some of the challenges faced when using this to force ice-sheet evolution or when full coupling of ice...... also alter the patterns. On this basis, output from a climate model is used to construct adaptive forcing patterns that are computationally fast and takes into account that the patterns respond to changes in a non-uniform way both spatially and temporally. The adaptive patterns were applied to study...

  2. Radiostratigraphy and Age Structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet V001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains the traced deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected by The University of...

  3. Electrical conductivity measurements from the GISP2 and GRIP Greenland ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Clausen, Henrik Brink; Taylor, K. C.

    1993-01-01

    THE direct-current electrical conductivity of glacial ice depends on its acidity1-3, and can also indicate changes in climate, as ice formed in cold, dusty periods has a high concentration of alkaline dust1,4,5, which significantly reduces the conductivity6,7 compared to warmer, less dusty periods....... Here we present electrical conductivity records for the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) and Greenland Ice-core Project (GRIP) ice cores, drilled 28 km apart to enable direct comparison of the results. The upper parts of both records are consistent with previous evidence from other Greenland cores...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Currently available Digital Elevation Models(DEMs) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) were originally derived from radar altimetry data, e.g. Bamber (Bamber et al., 2001) and later improved by photoclinometry to fill the regions between orbits (Scambos and Haran, 2002). The elevation error...... of these DEMs is a few meters in the higher part (above 2000 m) of the ice sheet, but it can be as much as 50-100 meters in marginal regions. The relatively low resolution and accuracy poses a problem, especially for ice sheet modeling. Although accurate elevation data have been collected by airborne...... m)), a high resolution, consistent DEM of GrIS is not yet available. This is due to various problems, such as different error sources in the data and different dates of data acquisition. In order to overcome these difficulties, we generated a multi-resolution DEM of GrIS, reflecting June 2008...

  5. Crustal displacements in Greenland caused by ice mass variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Karina

    Isstrøm and Jakobshavn Isbræ. GIA is an important correction in gravity-based mass balance estimates. It is therefore important to obtain reliable GIA predictions. Observed rates of crustal displacement can be used to constrain the GIA response, assuming that the presentday response, can be accurately....... Gradients of crustal displacement rates near Upernavik Isstrøm and Jakobshavn Isbræ are modeled and compared to observed rates, to assess the mass balance of these glaciers. By considering displacement gradients, contributions from the mass loss of the rest of the ice sheet and GIA are reduced. Hence......The climate of the Earth is changing. A consequence of this is observed at the polar regions such as Greenland, where the ice sheet is melting with an increasing rate. The unloading of ice causes the Earth to respond elastically in terms of uplift and an outward horizontal deformation of the crust...

  6. Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall

    OpenAIRE

    Doyle, Samuel H.; Hubbard, Alun; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Box, Jason E.; van As, Dirk; Scharrer, Kilian; Meierbachtol, Toby W.; Smeets, Paul C. J. P.; Harper, Joel T.; Johansson, Emma; Mottram, Ruth H.; Mikkelsen, Andreas B.; Wilhelms, Frank; Patton, Henry; Christoffersen, Poul

    2015-01-01

    Intense rainfall events significantly affect Alpine and Alaskan glaciers through enhanced melting, ice-flow acceleration and subglacial sediment erosion, yet their impact on the Greenland ice sheet has not been assessed. Here we present measurements of ice velocity, subglacial water pressure and meteorological variables from the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet during a week of warm, wet cyclonic weather in late August and early September 2011. We find that extreme surface runoff fro...

  7. Accelerated mass loss from Greenland ice sheet : Links to atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seo, Ki-Weon; Waliser, Duane E.; Lee, Choon-Ki; Tian, Baijun; Scambos, Ted; Kim, Baek-Min; van Angelen, Jan H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470; van den Broeke, Michiel R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643

    Understanding the mechanisms that drive the mass imbalance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is critical to the accurate projection of its contribution to future sea level rise. Greenland's ice mass loss has been accelerating recently. Using satellite Earth-gravity and regional climate model data,

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Olaizola

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Since the launch in 2002 of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE satellites, several estimates of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS have been produced. To obtain ice mass changes, the GRACE data need to be corrected for the effect of deformation changes of the Earth's crust. Recently, a new method has been proposed where ice mass changes and bedrock changes are simultaneously solved. Results show bedrock subsidence over almost the entirety of Greenland in combination with ice mass loss which is only half of the currently standing estimates. This subsidence can be an elastic response, but it may however also be a delayed response to past changes. In this study we test whether these subsidence patterns are consistent with ice dynamical modeling results. We use a 3-D ice sheet–bedrock model with a surface mass balance forcing based on a mass balance gradient approach to study the pattern and magnitude of bedrock changes in Greenland. Different mass balance forcings are used. Simulations since the Last Glacial Maximum yield a bedrock delay with respect to the mass balance forcing of nearly 3000 yr and an average uplift at present of 0.3 mm yr−1. The spatial pattern of bedrock changes shows a small central subsidence as well as more intense uplift in the south. These results are not compatible with the gravity based reconstructions showing a subsidence with a maximum in central Greenland, thereby questioning whether the claim of halving of the ice mass change is justified.

  9. Interannual Variability of the Sea-Ice-Induced Salt Flux in the Greenland Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Leif Toudal; Coon, M.D.

    2001-01-01

    The Greenland Sea is one of the few places in the World Ocean where deep convection takes place. The convection process is initiated by a density increase originating from rapid cooling and/or a salt flux to the upper layer of the ocean due to brine rejection from ice formation (Rudels, 1990......; Visbeck and others, 1995). The predominant ice types in the Greenland Sea arc frazil/grease ice and pancake ice. A numerical model has been developed relating ice formation and decay of these ice types as observed by the SMMR and SSM/I microwave radiometers and evaluating their contribution to salt...... redistribution in the Greenland Sea. The model has been used to calculate spatial distribution of the annual integrated net salt flux to the Greenland Sea from ice production and advection for the period 1979-97....

  10. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Marin; Wolken, G.; Burgess, D.; Cogley, J.G.; Copland, L.; Thomson, L.; Arendt, A.; Wouters, B.; Kohler, J.; Andreassen, L.M.; O'Neel, Shad; Pelto, M.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps cover an area of over 400 000 km2 in the Arctic, and are a major influence on global sea level (Gardner et al. 2011, 2013; Jacob et al. 2012). They gain mass by snow accumulation and lose mass by meltwater runoff. Where they terminate in water (ocean or lake), they also lose mass by iceberg calving. The climatic mass balance (Bclim, the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual meltwater runoff) is a widely used index of how glaciers respond to climate variability and change. The total mass balance (ΔM) is defined as the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual mass losses (by iceberg calving plus runoff).

  11. A sea ice model for the marginal ice zone with an application to the Greenland Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Leif Toudal; Coon, Max D.

    2004-01-01

    A model is presented that describes the formation, transport, and desalinization of frazil and pancake ice as it is formed in marginal seas. This model uses as input the total ice concentration evaluated from Special Sensor Microwave Imager and wind speed and direction. The model calculates...... the areal concentration, thickness, volume concentration, and salinity of frazil ice as well as the areal concentration, thickness, and salinity of pancakes. A simple parameterization for the Odden region of the Greenland Sea is presented. The model is run for the winter of 1996-1997. There are direct...... observations of the thickness and salinity of pancakes and the volume concentration of frazil ice to compare with the model. The model results compare very well with the measured data. This new ice model can be tuned to work in marginal seas elsewhere to calculate ice thickness, motion, and brine rejection...

  12. A model-based study of ice and freshwater transport variability along both sides of Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lique, Camille; Treguier, Anne Marie [CNRS-Ifremer-UBO-IRD, Laboratoire de Physique des Oceans, Brest (France); Scheinert, Markus [IFM-GEOMAR, Leibniz-Institut fuer Meereswissenshaften, Kiel (Germany); Penduff, Thierry [Laboratoire des Ecoulements Geophysiques et Industriels, Grenoble (France); The Florida State University, Department of Oceanography, Tallahassee, FL (United States)

    2009-10-15

    We investigate some aspects of the variability of the Arctic freshwater content during the 1965-2002 period using the DRAKKAR eddy admitting global ocean/sea-ice model (12 km resolution in the Arctic). A comparison with recent mooring sections shows that the model realistically represents the major advective exchanges with the Arctic basin, through Bering, Fram and Davis Straits, and the Barents Sea. This allows the separate contributions of the inflows and outflows across each section to be quantified. In the model, the Arctic freshwater content variability is explained by the sea-ice flux at Fram and the combined variations of ocean freshwater inflow (at Bering) and outflow (at Fram and Davis). At all routes, except trough Fram Strait, the freshwater transport variability is mainly accounted for by the liquid component, with small contributions from the sea-ice flux. The ocean freshwater transport variability through both Davis and Fram is controlled by the variability of the export branch (Baffin Island Current and East Greenland Current, respectively), the variability of the inflow branches playing a minor role. We examine the respective role of velocity and salinity fluctuations in the variability of the ocean freshwater transport. Fram and Davis Straits offer a striking contrast in this regard. Freshwater transport variations across Davis Strait are completely determined by the variations of the total volume flux (0.91 correlation). On the other hand, the freshwater transport through Fram Strait depends both on variations of volume transport and salinity. As a result, there is no significant correlation between the variability of freshwater flux at Fram and Davis, although the volume transports on each side of Greenland are strongly anti-correlated (-0.84). Contrary to Davis Strait, the salinity of water carried by the East Greenland Current through Fram Strait varies strongly due to the ice-ocean flux north of Greenland. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Reconstructing surface elevation changes for the Greenland Ice Sheet (1993-2013) and analysis of Zachariae Isstrom, northeast Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Kyle

    Previous studies investigating the velocity and elevation change records of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) revealed rapid and complex changes. It is therefore imperative to determine changes with both high spatial and temporal resolutions. By fusing multiple laser altimetry data sets, the Surface Elevation Reconstruction and Change (SERAC) program is capable of reconstructing surface elevation changes with high spatial and temporal resolution over the entire GrIS. The input data include observations from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission (2003-2009) as well as data collected by NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-2013) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) (2007-2012) airborne laser altimetry systems. This study extends the record of surface elevation changes over the GrIS by adding 2012 and 2013 laser altimetry data to the previous 1993-2011 record. Extending the record leads to a new, more accurate and detailed altimetry record for 1993-2013. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are fused with laser altimetry data over Zachariae Isstrom, northeast Greenland to analyze surface elevation changes and associated thinning rates during 1978-2014. Little to no elevation change occurred over Zachariae Isstrom from 1978-1999, however, from 1999-2014 elevation changes near the calving front became increasingly negative and accelerated. Calving front position showed steady retreat and grounding line position has been retreating towards the interior of the ice sheet at an increasing rate from 2010-2014 when compared to the 1996-2010 period. The measured elevation changes near the calving front have brought a large portion of the glacier close to the height of flotation. If the current thinning trend continues this portion of the glacier will reach flotation within the next 2-5 years allowing for further retreat and increased vulnerability to retreat for sections of

  15. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...... summer clouds have a cooling effect over tundra and a warming effect over ice, reflecting the spatial variation in albedo. The complex interactions between factors affecting SEB across surface types remain a challenge for understanding current and future conditions. Extended monitoring activities coupled...

  16. Retrieving a common accumulation record from Greenland ice cores for the past 1800 years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Katrine K.; Ditlevsen, Peter D.; Rasmussen, Sune Olander

    2006-01-01

    In the accumulation zone of the Greenland ice sheet the annual accumulation rate may be determined through identification of the annual cycle in the isotopic climate signal and other parameters that exhibit seasonal variations. On an annual basis the accumulation rate in different Greenland ice c...... rates gradually decrease from a distinct maximum in A.D. 1394 to very dry conditions in the late 17th century and thus reflect the Little Ice Age.......In the accumulation zone of the Greenland ice sheet the annual accumulation rate may be determined through identification of the annual cycle in the isotopic climate signal and other parameters that exhibit seasonal variations. On an annual basis the accumulation rate in different Greenland ice...... cores is highly variable, and the degree of correlation between accumulation series from different ice cores is low. However, when using multiyear averages of the different accumulation records, the correlation increases significantly. A statistical model has been developed to estimate the common...

  17. Extending remote sensing estimates of Greenland ice sheet melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, M.; Loveland, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Melt Area Detection Index (MADI), a remote sensing algorithm to discriminate between dry and wet snow, has been previously developed and applied to the western portion of the Greenland ice sheet for the years 2000-2006, using Moderate Resolution Imaging Radiospectrometer (MODIS) data (Chylek et al, 2007). We extend that work both spatially and temporally by taking advantage of newly available data, and developing algorithms that facilitate the sensing of cloud cover and the automated inference of wet snow regions. The automated methods allow the development of a composite melt area data product with 0.25 km^2 spatial resolution and approximately two week temporal resolution. We discuss melt area dynamics that are inferred from this high resolution composite melt area. Chylek, P., M. McCabe, M. K. Dubey, and J. Dozier (2007), Remote sensing of Greenland ice sheet using multispectral near-infrared and visible radiances, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S20, doi:10.1029/2007JD008742.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selmes, Nick; Murray, Tavi; James, Timothy

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  20. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glaciers...... of increasing dynamic induced ice loss. GRACE data show that this increased mass loss initiated in 2005 ceased in late 2009, thus, defining a dynamic thinning event as seen previous along the coast in southeast Greenland. Here, we present a multi-decadal perspective on ice mass change from northwestern...... records with a 25 m grid resolution and vertical uncertainty of 4.6m. Comparative DEMs were derived from laser altimetry data recorded in 2005 and 2010. Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) can be partitioned into surface mass balance (SMB) processes (runoff and precipitation) and ice dynamics...

  1. Contrasting evidence of Holocene ice margin retreat, south-western Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levy, L. B.; Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Davidson, T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Constraining the Greenland Ice Sheet's (GrIS) response to Holocene climate change provides calibrations for ice sheet models that hindcast past ice margin fluctuations. Ice sheet models predict enhanced ice retreat in south-western Greenland during the middle Holocene; however, few geological...... observations corroborating the extensive retreat are available. We present new data from lake sediment cores from the Isua region, south-western Greenland, which provide constraints on Holocene fluctuations of the GrIS margins. Our data indicate that the main GrIS margin was 30 km west of its present...... factor in ice retreat. The late retreat at Isua is in contrast to the early retreat observed in the Godthåbsfjord area and is probably related to the lack of fjords extending to the present Isua ice margin. Our data are not consistent with current ice sheet models that overestimate the middle Holocene...

  2. Meltwater and Sediment Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Benjamin D.

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is an important part of the Earth system, impacting climate, the land it occupies, and the ocean it borders. Its meltwater delivers fresh water to fjords and the coastal ocean, influencing sea level, ocean circulation, and sea ice formation. Its sediment decreases fjord light availability and delivers nutrients to the ocean. Sediment also fills fjord basins, builds Greenland's continental shelf, and serves as an archive of the Earth's past. GrIS baseline meltwater and sediment dynamics are poorly characterized. Only one river out of approximately 300 in Greenland has a discharge record longer than 5 years and sediment dynamics have been studied at limited locations. Even less well understood is how `downstream' systems respond to GrIS mass loss, the rate of which has quadrupled since the 1990s. This dissertation employs both field and satellite techniques to better characterize understudied meltwater and sediment dynamics of the GrIS. In Chapter 2, I assessed Greenland river plume dynamics between 2000 and 2012 using NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) imagery. Sediment plumes did not respond uniformly to increased melt. Plume size grew for only 50% of study rivers, likely due to highly variable sediment export from the GrIS. Concurrently with this work, I developed a novel cloud mask (Chapter 3). I then explored water and sediment dynamics of an unprecedented 160 rivers using Landsat7 imagery and the Google Earth Engine cloud-computing platform. Certain outlets are hotspots of sediment export and erosion. Further, the island as a whole is a hotspot of global sediment production: from 1 % of the Earth's land surface, it generates 5% to 12% the total sediment export to the ocean. This sediment is a significant, bioavailable source of iron in the ocean (Chapter 4). Finally, I developed two space-based discharge-estimation techniques. This work gauged two unstudied rivers and unified techniques using river

  3. Changes in Greenland ice bed conditions inferred from seismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyokuni, Genti; Takenaka, Hiroshi; Takagi, Ryota; Kanao, Masaki; Tsuboi, Seiji; Tono, Yoko; Childs, Dean; Zhao, Dapeng

    2018-04-01

    Basal conditions of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are a key research topic in climate change studies. The recent construction of a seismic network has provided a new opportunity for direct, real-time, and continuous monitoring of the GrIS. Here we use ambient noise surface wave data from seismic stations all over Greenland for a 4.5-year period to detect changes in Rayleigh-wave phase velocity between seismic station pairs. We observe clear seasonal and long-term velocity changes for many pairs, and propose a plausible mechanism for these changes. Dominant factors driving the velocity changes might be seasonal and long-term pressurization/depressurization of the GrIS and shallow bedrock by air and ice mass loading/unloading. However, heterogeneity of the GrIS basal conditions might impose strong regionalities on the results. An interesting feature is that, even at adjacent two station pairs in the inland GrIS, one pair shows velocity decrease while another shows velocity increase as a response to the high air and snow pressure. The former pair might be located on a thawed bed that decreases velocity by increased meltwater due to pressure melting, whereas the latter pair might be located on a frozen bed that increases velocity by compaction of ice and shallow bedrock. The results suggest that surface waves are very sensitive to the GrIS basal conditions, and further observations will contribute to a more direct and quantitative estimation of water balance in the Arctic region.

  4. A new programme for monitoring the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Gravesen, Peter; Bech Andersen, Signe

    2008-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at a dramatic rate in recent years, raising political concern worldwide due to the possible impact on global sea level rise and climate dynamics (Luthcke et al. 2006; Rignot & Kanagaratnam 2006; Velicogna & Wahr 2006; IPCC 2007; Shepherd & Wingham 2007...... for Monitoring of the Green land Ice Sheet (PROMICE), designed and operated by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in collaboration with the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark and Asiaq (Greenland Survey). The aim of the programme is to quantify the annual mass loss...... of the Greenland ice sheet, track changes in the extent of local glaciers and ice caps, and track changes in the position of the ice-sheet margin....

  5. Aerial photographs reveal late-20th-century dynamic ice loss in northwestern greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Korsgaard, Niels J

    2012-01-01

    Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent...... primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gillet-Chaulet

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Ice-dammed lake drainage in west Greenland: Drainage pattern and implications on ice flow and bedrock motion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Bjørk, Anders

    2017-01-01

    of surface loading in addition to ice mass change, when assessing glacial isostatic adjustment or elastic rebound using geodetic data. Moreover, the results illustrates a linkage between subglacial discharge and ice surface velocity, important for assessing ice flux, and thus mass balance, in a future......Ice-dammed lakes drain frequently in Greenland, but the impacts of these events differ between sites. Here we study the quasi-cyclic behavior of the ~40 km2 Lake Tininnilik in west Greenland and its impact on ice flow and crustal deformation. Data reveal rapid drainage of 1.83 ± 0.17 km3 of water...... in less than 7 days in 2010, leading to a speedup of the damming glacier, and an instantaneous modeled elastic bedrock uplift of 18.6 ± 0.1 mm confirmed by an independent lakeside GPS record. Since ice-dammed lakes are common on Greenland, our results highlight the importance of including other sources...

  8. Ice-dammed lake drainage in west Greenland: Drainage pattern and implications on ice flow and bedrock motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Nielsen, Karina; Mouginot, Jeremie

    2017-07-01

    Ice-dammed lakes drain frequently in Greenland, but the impacts of these events differ between sites. Here we study the quasi-cyclic behavior of the 40 km2 Lake Tininnilik in west Greenland and its impact on ice flow and crustal deformation. Data reveal rapid drainage of 1.83 ± 0.17 km3 of water in less than 7 days in 2010, leading to a speedup of the damming glacier, and an instantaneous modeled elastic bedrock uplift of 18.6 ± 0.1 mm confirmed by an independent lakeside GPS record. Since ice-dammed lakes are common on Greenland, our results highlight the importance of including other sources of surface loading in addition to ice mass change, when assessing glacial isostatic adjustment or elastic rebound using geodetic data. Moreover, the results illustrates a linkage between subglacial discharge and ice surface velocity, important for assessing ice flux, and thus mass balance, in a future warming climate.

  9. Current and future darkening of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Marco; Stroeve, Julienne; Fettweis, Xavier; Warren, Stephen; Doherty, Sarah; Noble, Erik; Alexander, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    Surface melting over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) promotes snow grains growth, reducing albedo and further enhancing melting through the increased amount of absorbed solar radiation. Using a combination of remote sensing data and outputs of a regional climate model, we show that albedo over the GIS decreased significantly from 1996 to 2012. Further, we show that most of this darkening can be accounted for by enhanced snow grain growth and the expansion of areas where bare ice is exposed, both of which are driven by increases in snow warming. An analysis of the impact of light-absorbing impurities on albedo trends detected from spaceborne measurements was inconclusive because the estimated impact for concentrations of impurities of order of magnitude found in Greenland is within the albedo uncertainty retrievable from space-based instruments. However, neither models nor observations show an increase in pollutants (black carbon and associated organics) in the atmosphere over the GIS in this time period. Additionally, we could not identify trends in the number of fires over North America and Russia, assumed to be among the sources of soot for Greenland. We did find that a 'dark band' of tilted ice plays a crucial role in decreasing albedo along the west margin, and there is some indication that dust deposition to the GIS may be decreasing albedo in this region but this is not conclusive. In addition to looking at the direct impact of impurities on albedo, we estimated the impact of impurities on albedo via their influence on grain growth and found it is relatively small (~ 1- 2 %), though more sophisticated analysis needs to be carried out. Projections obtained under different warming scenarios consistently point to a continued darkening, with anomalies in albedo driven solely by the effects of climate warming of as much as -0.12 along the west margin of the GIS by the end of this century (with respect to year 2000). Projected darkening is likely underestimated

  10. Sonification of cryoconite landscapes over the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, M.

    2015-12-01

    Sonification is the use of non-speech audio to convey information. In sonification, several elements can be altered, modified or manipulated to change the perception of the sound, and in turn, the perception of the information being transmitted. For example, an increase or decrease in pitch, tempo and amplitude can be used to convey the information but this can also happen by varying other less commonly used components. One of the advantages of using sonification lies in the temporal, spatial, amplitude, and frequency resolution that offer complementary and supplementary possibilities with respect to visualization techniques. Two years ago, the outcomes of the PolarSEEDS project (www.polaseeds.org), consisting of sonification of time series of albedo, melting and surface temperature over the Greenland ice sheet, were presented in this very same session. The work that I will discuss in this presentation builds on the PolarSEEDS experience, focusing on the fascinating microcosm of cryoconite. Cryoconite is a unique and extremely fascinating form of glacial cover consisting of aggregated rock dust, inorganic and detrital organic matter, and active microbial colonies. It can be seen as 'living stones', with this ecosystem containing the only form of life that is sustained on the majestic surface of the Greenland ice sheet. Microbes are, indeed, the catalyst for cryoconite formation and growth. The cryoconite constituents radiate metabolic heat promoting glacier hole development, melt water formation, and decreasing glacier surface albedo. Lower albedos cause a positive feedback that further contributes to glacier ablation. Despite their importance, cryoconite systems are poorly studied and little is known about their evolution. In the talk, I will first present and discuss previous sonification projects whose main focus was on the polar regions; then, I will present new sonifications based on data quantifying the distribution and evolution of cryoconite over the west

  11. Improving volume loss estimates of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 2002-2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    interferometry. Direct mass changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are obtained using gravitational change measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission. All of these methods have limitations. Satellite radar altimetry (e.g. from European Remote Sensing Satellites...... and mass redistribution within the solid Earth. The accuracy of ice mass and ice volume estimates can be assessed by comparing results from different techniques. Here, we focus on volume loss estimates from ICESat, ATM and LVIS data. We estimate catchment-wide ice volume change in northwest Greenland......Studies have been carried out using various methods to estimate the Greenland ice sheet mass balance. Remote sensing techniques used to determine the ice sheet volume includes airborne and satellite radar and laser methods and measurements of ice flow of outlet glaciers use InSAR satellite radar...

  12. Glaciological and chemical studies on ice cores from Hans Tausen ice cap, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, H.B.; Stampe, Mia; Hammer, C.U.

    2001-01-01

    The paper presents studies of various chemical and isotopical parameters from ice cores drilled in the northernmost located ice cap, Hans Tausen Iskappe, Pearyland, Greenland (HT). The 346 m main core (MC95) was drilled to bedrock in 1995 as well as a 35 m shallow core (SC95). A 60 m shallow core...... are selected for an analysis of dust and water soluble chemical components, including F-, CH3SO2-, Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+. Coulter counter technique was used for the dust measurements and the chemical analysis were carried out by ion chromatography....

  13. Movements of female polar bears (Usrus maritimus) in the East Greenland pack ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2003-01-01

    The movements of two adult female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in East Greenland and the Greenland Sea area were studied by use of satellite telemetry between the fall of 1994 and the summer of 1998. One female was tracked for 621 days, the other for 1,415 days. During this time the females used...... for a closer monitoring of the effects of this change on the East Greenland polar bear population....... movement rates varied between 0.32 and 0.76km/h. Both bears had very large home ranges (242,000 and 468,000 km(2)) within the dynamic pack ice of the Greenland Sea. The facts that the bears made extensive use of the offshore sea ice and that there is a marked reduction of the Greenland Sea ice call...

  14. Mass loss of Greenland from GRACE, IceSat and CryoSat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    CryoSat data over the Greenland Ice Sheet are used to continue elevation height change data over the Greenland ice sheet, following a decade of detailed monitoring of ice sheet changes with GRACE and IceSat. The combination and validation of the different data for measuring changes is quantified...... is the joint utilization of both altimetry and gravity field change measurements for consistent estimates of regional change patterns. In the paper we analyze GRACE, IceSat and CryoSat data since 2003, and present consistent estimates of overall mass changes with average values around -220 GT/year, showing...

  15. 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

  16. Higher surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by high-resolution climate modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ettema, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831913; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; van Meijgaard, E.; van de Berg, W.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831611; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Box, J.E.; Bales, R.C.

    2009-01-01

    High-resolution (∼11 km) regional climate modeling shows total annual precipitation on the Greenland ice sheet for 1958–2007 to be up to 24% and surface mass balance up to 63% higher than previously thought. The largest differences occur in coastal southeast Greenland, where the much higher

  17. Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance: evaluating simulations and making projections with regional climate models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rae, J.G.L.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, G.; Edwards, T.L.; Fettweis, X.; Gregory, J.M.; Hewitt, H.T.; Lowe, J.A.; Lucas-Picher, P.; Mottram, R.H.; Payne, A.J.; Ridley, J.K.; Shannon, S.R.; van de Berg, W.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831611; van de Wal, R.S.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643

    2012-01-01

    Four high-resolution regional climate models (RCMs) have been set up for the area of Greenland, with the aim of providing future projections of Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB), and its contribution to sea level rise, with greater accuracy than is possible from coarser-resolution

  18. Multi-decadal dynamic thinning on the northwest margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    Ice mass changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet have been estimated since the early 1990s from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission, of ice sheet thinning from satellite radar altimetry and airborne laser altimetry, and of increased velocities of outlet glaciers...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Sustained high basal motion of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by borehole deformation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryser, Claudia; Luethi, Martin P.; Andrews, Lauren C.

    2014-01-01

    Ice deformation and basal motion characterize the dynamical behavior of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). We evaluate the contribution of basal motion from ice deformation measurements in boreholes drilled to the bed at two sites in the western marginal zone of the GrIS. We find a sustained high am...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Polarimetric C-Band SAR Observations of Sea Ice in the Greenland Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Bjørn Bavnehøj; Nghiem, S.V.; Kwok, R.

    1998-01-01

    The fully polarimetric EMISAR acquired C-band radar signatures of sea ice in the Greenland Sea during a campaign in March 1995. The authors present maps of polarimetric signatures over an area containing various kinds of ice and discuss the use of polarimetric SAR for identification of ice types...

  3. Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doyle, Samuel H.; Hubbard, Alun; van de Wal, Roderik S.W.

    2015-01-01

    Intense rainfall events significantly affect Alpine and Alaskan glaciers through enhanced melting, ice-flow acceleration and subglacial sediment erosion, yet their impact on the Greenland ice sheet has not been assessed. Here we present measurements of ice velocity, subglacial water pressure and ...

  4. Biogeochemical cycling in a subarctic fjord adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meire, L.

    2016-01-01

    Temperatures in the Arctic have increased rapidly in recent years resulting in the melting of sea ice and glaciers at unprecedented rates. In 2012, sea ice extent across the Arctic reached a record minimum and the melt extent of Greenland Ice Sheet reached a record maximum. The accelerated mass loss

  5. Latitudinal gradients in sea ice and primary production determine Arctic seabird colony size in Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, Kristin L; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Nyeland, Jens; Mosbech, Anders; Boertmann, David

    2008-12-07

    Sea ice loss will indirectly alter energy transfer through the pelagic food web and ultimately impact apex predators. We quantified spring-time trends in sea ice recession around each of 46 thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) colonies in west Greenland across 20 degrees of latitude and investigated the magnitude and timing of the associated spring-time primary production. A geographical information system was used to extract satellite-based observations of sea ice concentration from the Nimbus-7 scanning multichannel microwave radiometer (SMMR, 1979-1987) and the Defence Meteorological Satellite Programs Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSMI, 1987-2004), and satellite-based observations of chlorophyll a from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS: EOS-Terra satellite) in weekly intervals in circular buffers around each colony site (150 km in radius). Rapid recession of high Arctic seasonal ice cover created a temporally predictable primary production bloom and associated trophic cascade in water gradually exposed to solar radiation. This pattern was largely absent from lower latitudes where little to no sea ice resulted in a temporally variable primary production bloom driven by nutrient cycling and upwelling uncoupled to ice. The relationship between the rate and variability of sea ice recession and colony size of thick-billed murres shows that periodical confinement of the trophic cascade at high latitudes determines the carrying capacity for Arctic seabirds during the breeding period.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-16

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

  8. Future ice ages and the challenges related to final disposal of nuclear waste: The Greenland Ice Sheet Hydrology Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtinen, A.; Claesson-Liljedahl, L.; Näslund, J.-O.; Ruskeeniemi, T.

    2009-04-01

    A deep geological repository for nuclear waste is designed to keep radiotoxic material separated from mankind and the environment for several hundreds of thousands of years. Within this time perspective glacial conditions are expected in high latitudes/Canada and North Europe. Climate induced changes such as the growth of ice sheets and permafrost will influence and alter the ground surface and subsurface environment, which may impact repository safety. In order to understand how climate change, particularly cooling and glaciation, might affect a repository in the long term, the use of present-day analogues helps to reduce the uncertainties and support the assumptions made in safety assessments. There are major uncertainties concerning hydrological processes related to glacial conditions. The impact of glaciations on any planned repository is a key consideration when performing safety assessments as it is one of the strongest perturbations related to climate change in the long term. The main aspects that need to be further investigated include: 1) to what extent does the meltwater produced by an ice sheet penetrates into the bedrock; 2) what is the pressure situation under an ice sheet, driving ground water flow; 3) how much oxygenated water will reach repository depth; 4) to what depth does glacial meltwater penetrate into the bedrock ; 5)what chemical composition does such water has when and if it reaches repository depth; and 6) can taliks (unfrozen ground in a permafrost area) act as concentrated discharge points of deep groundwater potentially transporting radionuclides in case of repository failure? Field data is needed in order to achieve a better and integrated understanding of the problems discussed above. Thus, research in a natural analogue site in Greenland has been planned and initiated by the Finnish (Posiva), Swedish (SKB) and Canadian (NWMO) nuclear waste management companies. The Greenland ice sheet and the Kangerlussuaq area (west Greenland

  9. Spread of ice mass loss into northwest Greenland observed by GRACE and GPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, John; Bevis, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements from three long-term sites on bedrock adjacent to the ice sheet. The GRACE results provide a direct measure of mass loss averaged over scales of a few hundred km. The GPS data are used to monitor crustal uplift caused by ice mass loss close to the sites......Greenland's main outlet glaciers have more than doubled their contribution to global sea level rise over the last decade. Recent work has shown that Greenland's mass loss is still increasing. Here we show that the ice loss, which has been well-documented over southern portions of Greenland, is now....... The GRACE results can be used to predict crustal uplift, which can be compared with the GPS data. In addition to showing that the northwest ice sheet margin is now losing mass, the uplift results from both the GPS measurements and the GRACE predictions show rapid acceleration in southeast Greenland in late...

  10. GNET detected an anomalous "spike" in ice loss in Greenland during the 2010 melting season

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bevis, Michael G; Wahr, John M; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    et al., 2011). This result confirms the ability of GPS networks in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere to directly sense ice mass changes at sub-annual as well as longer timescales. GNET and similar GPS networks can therefore mitigate the loss of ice mass measurements following the anticipated......The Greenland GPS Network (GNET) uses GPS geodesy to measure the displacement of bedrock exposed near the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The amplitudes of the observed vertical velocities indicate that over most of coastal Greenland these displacements are dominated by the solid earth......’s instantaneous elastic response to contemporary losses in ice mass. Superimposed on longer term trends, an anomalous ‘pulse’ of uplift accumulated at many GNET stations during a ~5 month period in 2010, and we will show that this anomalous uplift is spatially correlated with the 2010 melting day anomaly (Tedesco...

  11. Greenland 5 km DEM, Ice Thickness, and Bedrock Elevation Grids, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A Digital Elevation Model (DEM), ice thickness grid, and bedrock elevation grid of Greenland acquired as part of the PARCA program are available in ASCII text format...

  12. Digital SAR Mosaic and Elevation Map of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Digital SAR Mosaic and Elevation Map of the Greenland Ice Sheet CD-ROM combines the most detailed synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image mosaic available with the...

  13. Digital SAR Mosaic and Elevation Map of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Digital SAR Mosaic and Elevation Map of the Greenland Ice Sheet CD-ROM combines the most detailed synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image mosaic available with the...

  14. Likely Basal Thermal State of the Greenland Ice Sheet V001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Likely Basal Thermal State of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) product contains key data sets that show how the likely basal thermal state was inferred from...

  15. Greenland coastal air temperatures linked to Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea ice conditions during autumn through regional blocking patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballinger, Thomas J.; Hanna, Edward; Hall, Richard J.; Miller, Jeffrey; Ribergaard, Mads H.; Høyer, Jacob L.

    2018-01-01

    Variations in sea ice freeze onset and regional sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea are linked to autumn surface air temperatures (SATs) around coastal Greenland through 500 hPa blocking patterns, 1979-2014. We find strong, statistically significant correlations between Baffin Bay freeze onset and SSTs and SATs across the western and southernmost coastal areas, while weaker and fewer significant correlations are found between eastern SATs, SSTs, and freeze periods observed in the neighboring Greenland Sea. Autumn Greenland Blocking Index values and the incidence of meridional circulation patterns have increased over the modern sea ice monitoring era. Increased anticyclonic blocking patterns promote poleward transport of warm air from lower latitudes and local warm air advection onshore from ocean-atmosphere sensible heat exchange through ice-free or thin ice-covered seas bordering the coastal stations. Temperature composites by years of extreme late freeze conditions, occurring since 2006 in Baffin Bay, reveal positive monthly SAT departures that often exceed 1 standard deviation from the 1981-2010 climate normal over coastal areas that exhibit a similar spatial pattern as the peak correlations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Steger

    2017-11-01

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

  18. Recent greenland accumulation estimated from regional climate model simulations and ice core analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dethloff, K.; Schwager, M.; Christensen, J. H.

    2002-01-01

    The accumulation defined as "precipitation minus evaporation" over Greenland has been simulated with the high-resolution limited-area regional climate model HIRHAM4 applied over an Arctic integration domain. This simulation is compared with a revised estimate of annual accumulation rate...... distribution over Greenland taking into account information from a new set of ice core analyses, based on surface sample collections from the North Greenland Traverse. The region with accumulation rates below 150 mm yr-1 in central-northwest Greenland is much larger than previously assumed and extends about...

  19. Holocene climate variability on millennial scales recorded in Greenland ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Witt

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate variability is triggered by several solar and orbital cycles as well as by the intern ocean dynamics. Consequently, paleoclimate proxy records are expected to vary on very different time scales ranging from subdecadal to millennial duration. We demonstrate, that Foster's (Foster, 1996 wavelet analysis technique is an appropriate tool for investigating temporarily changing spectral properties of records characterized by awkward sampling quality, which is a typical feature of climate proxy records. By applying it to the Holocene part of different glaciochemical records of Greenland ice cores we proof evidence for a significant contribution of the 1.47 kiloyears cycle over alomst the entire Holocene.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Tedstone

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  2. Evolution of a Greenland Ice sheet Including Shelves and Regional Sea Level Variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Sarah; Reerink, Thomas; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Helsen, Michiel; Goelzer, Heiko

    2016-04-01

    Observational evidence, including offshore moraines and marine sediment cores infer that at the Last Glacial maximum (LGM) the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) grounded out across the Davis Strait into Baffin Bay, with fast flowing ice streams extending out to the continental shelf break along the NW margin. These observations lead to a number of questions as to weather the GIS and Laurentide ice sheet (LIS) coalesced during glacial maximums, and if so, did a significant ice shelf develop across Baffin Bay and how would such a configuration impact on the relative contribution of these ice sheets to eustatic sea level (ESL). Most previous paleo ice sheet modelling simulations of the GIS recreated an ice sheet that either did not extend out onto the continental shelf or utilised a simplified marine ice parameterisation to recreate an extended GIS, and therefore did not fully include ice shelf dynamics. In this study we simulate the evolution of the GIS from 220 kyr BP to present day using IMAU-ice; a 3D thermodynamical ice sheet model which fully accounts for grounded and floating ice, calculates grounding line migration and ice shelf dynamics. As there are few observational estimates of the long-term (yrs) sub marine basal melting rates (mbm) for the GIS, we developed a mbm parameterization within IMAU-ice controlled primarily by changes in paleo water depth. We also investigate the influence of the LIS on the GIS evolution by including relative sea level forcing's derived from a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment model. We will present results of how changes in the mbm directly impacts on the ice sheet dynamics, timing and spatial extent of the GIS at the glacial maximums, but also on the rate of retreat and spatial extent at the Last interglacial (LIG) minimum. Results indicate that with the inclusion of ice shelf dynamics, a larger GIS is generated which is grounded out into Davis strait, up to a water depth of -750 m, but significantly reduces the GIS contribution to Last

  3. Improving volume loss estimates of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 2002-2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    interferometry. Direct mass changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are obtained using gravitational change measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission. All of these methods have limitations. Satellite radar altimetry (e.g. from European Remote Sensing Satellites......Studies have been carried out using various methods to estimate the Greenland ice sheet mass balance. Remote sensing techniques used to determine the ice sheet volume includes airborne and satellite radar and laser methods and measurements of ice flow of outlet glaciers use InSAR satellite radar...

  4. Impact of MODIS Sensor Calibration Updates on Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Reflectance and Albedo Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Kimberly A.; Polashenski, Chris M.; Chen, Justin; Tedesco, Marco

    2017-01-01

    We evaluate Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface reflectance and albedo trends using the newly released Collection 6 (C6) MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) products over the period 2001-2016. We find that the correction of MODIS sensor degradation provided in the new C6 data products reduces the magnitude of the surface reflectance and albedo decline trends obtained from previous MODIS data (i.e., Collection 5, C5). Collection 5 and 6 data product analysis over GrIS is characterized by surface (i.e., wet vs. dry) and elevation (i.e., 500-2000 m, 2000 m and greater) conditions over the summer season from 1 June to 31 August. Notably, the visible-wavelength declining reflectance trends identified in several bands of MODIS C5 data from previous studies are only slightly detected at reduced magnitude in the C6 versions over the dry snow area. Declining albedo in the wet snow and ice area remains over the MODIS record in the C6 product, albeit at a lower magnitude than obtained using C5 data. Further analyses of C6 spectral reflectance trends show both reflectance increases and decreases in select bands and regions, suggesting that several competing processes are contributing to Greenland Ice Sheet albedo change. Investigators using MODIS data for other ocean, atmosphere and/or land analyses are urged to consider similar re-examinations of trends previously established using C5 data.

  5. Impact of MODIS sensor calibration updates on Greenland Ice Sheet surface reflectance and albedo trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Kimberly A.; Polashenski, Chris M.; Chen, Justin; Tedesco, Marco

    2017-08-01

    We evaluate Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface reflectance and albedo trends using the newly released Collection 6 (C6) MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) products over the period 2001-2016. We find that the correction of MODIS sensor degradation provided in the new C6 data products reduces the magnitude of the surface reflectance and albedo decline trends obtained from previous MODIS data (i.e., Collection 5, C5). Collection 5 and 6 data product analysis over GrIS is characterized by surface (i.e., wet vs. dry) and elevation (i.e., 500-2000 m, 2000 m and greater) conditions over the summer season from 1 June to 31 August. Notably, the visible-wavelength declining reflectance trends identified in several bands of MODIS C5 data from previous studies are only slightly detected at reduced magnitude in the C6 versions over the dry snow area. Declining albedo in the wet snow and ice area remains over the MODIS record in the C6 product, albeit at a lower magnitude than obtained using C5 data. Further analyses of C6 spectral reflectance trends show both reflectance increases and decreases in select bands and regions, suggesting that several competing processes are contributing to Greenland Ice Sheet albedo change. Investigators using MODIS data for other ocean, atmosphere and/or land analyses are urged to consider similar re-examinations of trends previously established using C5 data.

  6. Impact of MODIS sensor calibration updates on Greenland Ice Sheet surface reflectance and albedo trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. A. Casey

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available We evaluate Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS surface reflectance and albedo trends using the newly released Collection 6 (C6 MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer products over the period 2001–2016. We find that the correction of MODIS sensor degradation provided in the new C6 data products reduces the magnitude of the surface reflectance and albedo decline trends obtained from previous MODIS data (i.e., Collection 5, C5. Collection 5 and 6 data product analysis over GrIS is characterized by surface (i.e., wet vs. dry and elevation (i.e., 500–2000 m, 2000 m and greater conditions over the summer season from 1 June to 31 August. Notably, the visible-wavelength declining reflectance trends identified in several bands of MODIS C5 data from previous studies are only slightly detected at reduced magnitude in the C6 versions over the dry snow area. Declining albedo in the wet snow and ice area remains over the MODIS record in the C6 product, albeit at a lower magnitude than obtained using C5 data. Further analyses of C6 spectral reflectance trends show both reflectance increases and decreases in select bands and regions, suggesting that several competing processes are contributing to Greenland Ice Sheet albedo change. Investigators using MODIS data for other ocean, atmosphere and/or land analyses are urged to consider similar re-examinations of trends previously established using C5 data.

  7. The accuracy of satellite radar altimeter data over the Greenland ice sheet determined from airborne laser data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bamber, J.L.; Ekholm, Simon; Krabill, W.

    1998-01-01

    The 336 days of the geodetic phase of ERS-1 provides dense coverage, by satellite radar altimetry, of the whole of the Greenland ice sheet. These data have been used to produce a digital elevation model of the ice sheet. The errors present in the altimeter data were investigated via a comparison......, to 10.3 m +/- 8.4 m for a slope of 0.7 degrees ( the half power beam-width of the ERS-1 radar altimeter). An explanation for the behaviour of the difference as a function of surface slope is given in terms of the pattern of surface roughness on the ice sheet....

  8. 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

  9. Mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps 2003-2008 revealed from ICES at laser altimetry data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolch, T.; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    2013-01-01

    The recently finalized inventory of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps (GIC) allows for the first time to determine the mass changes of the GIC separately from the ice sheet using space-borne laser altimetry data. Corrections for firn compaction and density that are based on climatic conditions...

  10. Modelling the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet and neighbouring ice caps : A dynamical and statistical downscaling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noël, B.P.Y.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370612345

    2018-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is the world’s second largest ice mass, storing about one tenth of the Earth’s freshwater. If totally melted, global sea level would rise by 7.4 m, affecting low-lying regions worldwide. Since the mid-1990s, increased atmospheric and oceanic temperatures have

  11. Photophysiology and albedo-changing potential of the ice algal community on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yallop, Marian L; Anesio, Alexandre M; Perkins, Rupert G; Cook, Joseph; Telling, Jon; Fagan, Daniel; MacFarlane, James; Stibal, Marek; Barker, Gary; Bellas, Chris; Hodson, Andy; Tranter, Martyn; Wadham, Jemma; Roberts, Nicholas W

    2012-12-01

    Darkening of parts of the Greenland ice sheet surface during the summer months leads to reduced albedo and increased melting. Here we show that heavily pigmented, actively photosynthesising microalgae and cyanobacteria are present on the bare ice. We demonstrate the widespread abundance of green algae in the Zygnematophyceae on the ice sheet surface in Southwest Greenland. Photophysiological measurements (variable chlorophyll fluorescence) indicate that the ice algae likely use screening mechanisms to downregulate photosynthesis when exposed to high intensities of visible and ultraviolet radiation, rather than non-photochemical quenching or cell movement. Using imaging microspectrophotometry, we demonstrate that intact cells and filaments absorb light with characteristic spectral profiles across ultraviolet and visible wavelengths, whereas inorganic dust particles typical for these areas display little absorption. Our results indicate that the phototrophic community growing directly on the bare ice, through their photophysiology, most likely have an important role in changing albedo, and subsequently may impact melt rates on the ice sheet.

  12. Surface Energy and Mass Balance Model for Greenland Ice Sheet and Future Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaojian

    The Greenland Ice Sheet contains nearly 3 million cubic kilometers of glacial ice. If the entire ice sheet completely melted, sea level would raise by nearly 7 meters. There is thus considerable interest in monitoring the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Each year, the ice sheet gains ice from snowfall and loses ice through iceberg calving and surface melting. In this thesis, we develop, validate and apply a physics based numerical model to estimate current and future surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The numerical model consists of a coupled surface energy balance and englacial model that is simple enough that it can be used for long time scale model runs, but unlike previous empirical parameterizations, has a physical basis. The surface energy balance model predicts ice sheet surface temperature and melt production. The englacial model predicts the evolution of temperature and meltwater within the ice sheet. These two models can be combined with estimates of precipitation (snowfall) to estimate the mass balance over the Greenland Ice Sheet. We first compare model performance with in-situ observations to demonstrate that the model works well. We next evaluate how predictions are degraded when we statistically downscale global climate data. We find that a simple, nearest neighbor interpolation scheme with a lapse rate correction is able to adequately reproduce melt patterns on the Greenland Ice Sheet. These results are comparable to those obtained using empirical Positive Degree Day (PDD) methods. Having validated the model, we next drove the ice sheet model using the suite of atmospheric model runs available through the CMIP5 atmospheric model inter-comparison, which in turn built upon the RCP 8.5 (business as usual) scenarios. From this exercise we predict how much surface melt production will increase in the coming century. This results in 4-10 cm sea level equivalent, depending on the CMIP5 models. Finally, we try to bound melt water

  13. Present-day mass changes for the Greenland ice sheet and their interaction with bedrock adjustment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/328212164; 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

  15. Three decades of elevation change of the Geikie Plateau ice cap, East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlstrom, A. P.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg, L.; Citterio, M.; Kjaer, K.; Bjork, A. A.; Khan, S. A.; Andersen, S. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Geikie Plateau is a major marine-terminating local ice cap located in central East Greenland just south of Scoresby Sund, covering approx. 7,500 sqkm. South of this region, the Greenland ice sheet has experienced dramatic ice loss over the recent decade, whereas the response has been less prominent north of the region. For the Geikie Plateau itself, ICESat elevation measurements show a thinning of the ice margin and a slight thickening of the interior over the period 2002-2009 (Bolch et al., 2013). However, a longer time span is required to evaluate volume change in the context of climate change. In this work we will compare remotely sensed elevation data collected over more than three decades from the Geikie Ice Cap to evaluate volume change. Elevation data was obtained from aerial stereophotogrammetry based on orthophotos from 1981, spaceborne laser altimetry from ICESat over the period 2002-2009, aerial laser altimetry by the NASA IceBridge campaign 2010-2012 and aerial laser altimetry by the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Geodata Agency covering 1996-2012. The comparison will facilitate an enhanced understanding of recent mass loss from ice caps and glaciers in East Greenland which is home to nearly half the local ice masses in Greenland.

  16. Using Airborne SAR Interferometry to Measure the Elevation of a Greenland Ice Cap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen; Keller, K.; Madsen, S.N.

    2000-01-01

    A digital elevation model (DEM) of an ice cap in Greenland has been generated from airborne SAR interferometry data, calibrated with a new algorithm, and compared with airborne laser altimetry profiles and carrier-phase differential GPS measurements of radar reflectors deployed on the ice cap...

  17. First identification and characterization of Borrobol-type tephra in the Greenland ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cook, Eliza; Davies, Siwan M.; Guðmundsdóttir, Esther R.

    2018-01-01

    Contiguous sampling of ice spanning key intervals of the deglaciation from the Greenland ice cores of NGRIP, GRIP and NEEM has revealed three new silicic cryptotephra deposits that are geochemically similar to the well-known Borrobol Tephra (BT). The BT is complex and confounded by the younger cl...

  18. A Meteorological Experiment in the Melting Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.; Vugts, H.F.

    1993-01-01

    Preliminary results are described from a glaciometeorological experiment carried out in the margin (melting zone) of the Greenland ice sheet in the summers of 1990 and 1991. This work was initiated within the framework of a Dutch research program on land ice and sea level change. Seven

  19. Drainage of the ice-dammed Lake Tinninilik, West Greenland; implication on bedrock uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Bjørk, Anders Anker

    Drainage of ice-dammed lakes is regularly observed along the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. However, the speed of the drainage events and implications can vary depending on the size of the lakes and the local settings. Here, we assess the drainage pattern of Lake Tinninilik, dammed...

  20. Photobiology of sea ice algae during initial spring growth in Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hawes, Ian; Lund-Hansen, Lars Chresten; Sorrell, Brian Keith

    2012-01-01

    We undertook a series of measurements of photophysiological parameters of sea ice algae over 12 days of early spring growth in a West Greenland Fjord, by variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging. Imaging of the ice–water interface showed the development of ice algae in 0.3–0.4 mm wide brine...

  1. Temperature thresholds for degree-day modelling of Greenland ice sheet melt rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broeke, M.R.; Bus, C.; Ettema, J.; Smeets, P.

    2010-01-01

    [1] Degree‐day factors (DDFs) are calculated for the ice sheet ablation zone in southwest Greenland, using measurements of automatic weather stations and a regional atmospheric climate model. The rapid increase of DDFs for snow and ice towards higher elevations is caused by the increasing dominance

  2. Modelling the short-term response of the Greenland ice-sheet to global warming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1997-01-01

    A two-dimensional vertically integrated ice flow model has been developed to test the importance of various processes and concepts used for the prediction of the contribution of the Greenland ice-sheet to sea-level rise over the next 350 y (short-term response). The mass balance is modelled by the

  3. Future climate warming increases Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fyke, J.G.; Vizcaino, M.; Lipscomb, W.; Price, S.

    2014-01-01

    The integrated surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) has large interannual variability. Long-term future changes to this variability will affect GrIS dynamics, freshwater fluxes, regional oceanography, and detection of changes in ice volume trends. Here we analyze a simulated

  4. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance Reconstruction. Part I: Net Snow Accumulation (1600–2009)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Box, J.E.; Cressie, N.; Bromwich, D.H.; Jung, J.-H.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; van Angelen, J.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470; Forster, R.R.; Miège, C.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Vinther, B.; McConnell, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    Ice core data are combined with Regional Atmospheric Climate Model version 2 (RACMO2) output (1958–2010) to develop a reconstruction of Greenland ice sheet net snow accumulation rate, ^At(G), spanning the years 1600–2009. Regression parameters from regional climate model (RCM) output regressed on 86

  5. A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noël, Brice; van den Berg, J.W.; Lhermitte, S.L.M.; Wouters, B; Machguth, Horst; Howat, Ian; Citterio, M.; Moholdt, G; Lenaerts, Jan T M; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2017-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) contributes about 43% to contemporary sea level rise. While patterns of GrIS mass loss are well studied, the spatial and temporal evolution of GICs mass loss and the acting processes have remained unclear.

  6. Geophysical Investigations of Saline Permafrost at Ilulissat, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Foged, Niels Nielsen; Butzbach, Rune

    2008-01-01

    The technical properties and general state of permafrost in Greenland is not well documented. A new coordinated investigation has been initiated, for ground temperature measurements and permafrost mapping in Greenlandic towns in sporadic, discontinuous and continuous permafrost zones. We present...... properties, and the sediments have a limited heat capacity available, should the temperature conditions change....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Measurements of black carbon and its impact over Southwest Greenland Ice Sheet from 2016 to 2017.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cintron, I.; Leidman, S. Z.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Mazurek, M.

    2017-12-01

    Black carbon (BC) is recognized as the second most important anthropogenic atmospheric warming species, only after carbon dioxide (CO2), since its radiative forcing has been estimated to +0.4 W m-2. Light absorbing aerosols, such as BC, have a significant impact on snow reflectivity decline, which contributes to the accelerated melting seen in recent years in the region. In Greenland, the ice sheet mass loss has tripled since the mid 1950s in concert with sharply lowered albedo and increased absorption of solar radiation enhancing surface melt. Presence of BC is likely to enhance solar absorption, yet the impact is not well understood partly due to scarce availability of direct measurements of BC in the Greenland accumulation zone. Here, we are investigating how much of the change in the observed snowmelt in the southwest GrIS can be attributed to deposition of light absorbing aerosols, such as BC. To this end we collected snow samples at different depths, in five different sites on the southwest GrIS and applied the Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiative (SNICAR) model. Finally, results from BC mass annual concentration distribution and mixing state using the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) will be discussed.

  9. Towards monitoring surface and subsurface lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet using Sentinel-1 SAR and Landsat-8 OLI imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Katie E.; Willis, Ian C.; Benedek, Corinne L.; Williamson, Andrew G.; Tedesco, Marco

    2017-07-01

    Supraglacial lakes are an important component of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s mass balance and hydrology, with their drainage affecting ice dynamics. This study uses imagery from the recently launched Sentinel-1A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite to investigate supraglacial lakes in West Greenland. A semi-automated algorithm is developed to detect surface lakes from Sentinel-1 images during the 2015 summer. A combined Landsat-8 and Sentinel-1 dataset, which has a comparable temporal resolution to MODIS (3 days versus daily) but a higher spatial resolution (25-40 m versus 250-500 m), is then used together with a fully-automated lake drainage detection algorithm. Rapid ( 4 days) drainages are investigated for both small (Sheet.

  10. Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles observed in the Greenland ReCAP ice core project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjær, Helle Astrid; Vallelonga, Paul; Vinther, Bo; Simonsen, Marius; Maffezzoli, Niccoló; Gkinis, Vasileios; Svensson, Anders; Jensen, Camilla Marie; Dallmayr, Remi; Spolaor, Andrea; Edwards, Ross

    2017-04-01

    The new REnland ice CAP (RECAP) ice core was drilled in summer 2015 in Greenland and measured by means of Continuous flow analysis (CFA) during the last 3 months of 2015. The Renland ice core was obtained as part of the ReCAP project, extending 584.11 meters to the bottom of the Renland ice cap located in east Greenland. The unique position on a mountain saddle above 2000 meters altitude, but close to the coast, ensures that the Renland ice core offers high accumulation, but also reaches far back in time. Results show that despite the short length the RECAP ice core holds ice all the way back to the past warm interglacial period, the Eemian. The glacial section is strongly thinned and covers on 20 meters of the ReCAP core, but nonetheless due to the high resolution of the measurements all 25 expected DO events could be identified. The record was analyzed for multiple elements including the water isotopes, forest fire tracers NH4+ and black carbon, insoluble dust particles by means of Abakus laser particle counter and the dust ion Ca2+, sea salt Na+, and sea ice proxies as well as acidity useful for finding volcanic layers to date the core. Below the glacial section another 20 meters of warm Eemian ice have been analysed. Here we present the chemistry results as obtained by continuous flow analysis (CFA) and compare the glacial section with the chemistry profile from other Greenland ice cores.

  11. Development of ice floe tracker algorithm to measure Lagrangian statistics in the eastern Greenland coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Rosalinda; Wilhelmus, Monica M.; Schodlok, Michael; Klein, Patrice

    2017-11-01

    Sea ice export through Fram Strait is a key component of the Arctic climate system. The East Greenland Current (EGC) carries most of the sea ice southwards until it melts. Lagrangian methods using sea ice buoys have been used to map ice features in polar regions. However, their spatial and temporal coverage is limited. Satellite data can provide a better tool to map sea ice flow and its variability. Here, an automated sea ice floe detection algorithm uses ice floes as tracers for surface ocean currents. We process Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite images to track ice floes (length scale 5-10 km) in the north-eastern Greenland Sea region. Our matlab-based routines effectively filter out clouds and adaptively modify the images to segment and identify ice floes. Ice floes were tracked based on persistent surface features common in successive images throughout 2016. Their daily centroid locations were extracted and its resulting trajectories are used to describe surface circulation and its variability using differential kinematic parameters. We will discuss the application of this method to a longer time series and larger spatial coverage. This enables us to derive the inter-annual variability of mesoscale features along the eastern coast of Greenland. Supported by UCR Mechanical Engineering Departmental Fellowship.

  12. Ice algal bloom development on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, C J; Anesio, A M; Cook, J; Tedstone, A; Poniecka, E; Holland, A; Fagan, D; Tranter, M; Yallop, M L

    2018-02-10

    It is fundamental to understand the development of Zygnematophycean (Streptophyte) micro-algal blooms within Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) supraglacial environments, given their potential to significantly impact both physical (melt) and chemical (carbon and nutrient cycling) surface characteristics. Here we report on a space-for-time assessment of a GrIS ice-algal bloom, achieved by sampling an ∼ 85 km transect spanning the south-western GrIS bare ice zone during the 2016 ablation season. Cell abundances ranged from 0 to 1.6 × 104 cells ml-1, with algal biomass demonstrated to increase in surface ice with time since snow line retreat (R2 = 0.73, P < 0.05). A suite of light harvesting and photo-protective pigments were quantified across transects (chlorophylls, carotenoids and phenols) and shown to increase in concert with algal biomass. Ice-algal communities drove net autotrophy of surface ice, with maximal rates of net production averaging 0.52 ± 0.04 mg C l-1 d-1, and a total accumulation of 1.306 Gg C (15.82 ± 8.14 kg C km-2) predicted for the 2016 ablation season across an 8.24 × 104 km2 region of the GrIS. By advancing our understanding of ice-algal bloom development, this study marks an important step toward projecting bloom occurrence and impacts into the future. © FEMS 2018.

  13. Microalgal composition and primary production in Arctic sea ice: a seasonal study from Kobbeijord (Kangerluarsunnguaq), West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Ditte Marie; Rysgaard, Søren; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the microalgal community in sea ice and in the water column of Kobbefjord, west Greenland, through an entire sea ice season, Temporal variation in physical (photosynthetically active radiation [PAR), temperature, brine volume) and chemical (salinity, nutrient concentration......) properties confirmed that sea ice is a very dynamic habitat. Nevertheless, a viable sea ice algal comuunity was present throughout the year, with a species succession from flagellate dominance (dinoflagellates and cryptophytes) in December to February, followed by Chaetoceros simplex (a centric diatom...... (maxima of 1.8 and 2.6 mu g chl](-1) in March and May, respectively). Primary production mirrored biomass dynamic, which had 2 seasonal peaks of ca. 21 and 15 mg Cm-2 d(-1). Integrated primary production over 7 mo was 0.8 g Cm-2 in sea ice and 94.4 g C m(-2) in the water column, with the vast majority...

  14. Mass loss of Greenland from GRACE, IceSat and CryoSat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    CryoSat data over the Greenland Ice Sheet are used to continue elevation height change data over the Greenland ice sheet, following a decade of detailed monitoring of ice sheet changes with GRACE and IceSat. The combination and validation of the different data for measuring changes is quantified...... by using available airborne lidar data from IceBridge and CryoVEx. There is a special challenge of using CryoSat as fill-in between EnviSat and Sentinel-3 for the longterm measurements of surface elevation changes, a key essential climate variable in the ESA Climate Change Initiative. Another challenge...... is the joint utilization of both altimetry and gravity field change measurements for consistent estimates of regional change patterns. In the paper we analyze GRACE, IceSat and CryoSat data since 2003, and present consistent estimates of overall mass changes with average values around -220 GT/year, showing...

  15. Observations of runoff and sediment and dissolved loads from the Greenland Ice Sheet at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 to 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasholt, Bent; Mikkelsen, Andreas Peter Bech; Nielsen, Morten Holtegaard

    2012-01-01

    Observations from 2007 to 2010 of runoff, sediment and solute delivery from a segment of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and the proglacial landscape draining into the fjord at Kangerlussuaq are presented. The observations include at least three jökulhlaups and extreme recordings from 2010.......g. Norway. The sandur in the proglacial area acts as a sediment sink for a lot of the sediments from the GrIS....

  16. Sea-ice thickness from airborne laser altimetry over the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidegaard, Sine Munk; Forsberg, René

    2002-01-01

    We present a new method to measure ice thickness of polar sea-ice freeboard heights, using airborne laser altimetry combined with a precise geoid model, giving estimates of thickness of ice through isostatic equilibrium assumptions. In the paper we analyze a number of flights from the Polar Sea off...... Northern Greenland, and estimate accuracies of the estimated freeboard values to be at a 13 cm level, corresponding to about 1 m in absolute thickness....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  18. Duration of Greenland Stadial 22 and ice-gas Δage from counting of annual layers in Greenland NGRIP ice core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bigler

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available High-resolution measurements of chemical impurities and methane concentrations in Greenland ice core samples from the early glacial period allow the extension of annual-layer counted chronologies and the improvement of gas age-ice age difference (Δage essential to the synchronization of ice core records. We report high-resolution measurements of a 50 m section of the NorthGRIP ice core and corresponding annual layer thicknesses in order to constrain the duration of the Greenland Stadial 22 (GS-22 between Greenland Interstadials (GIs 21 and 22, for which inconsistent durations and ages have been reported from Greenland and Antarctic ice core records as well as European speleothems. Depending on the chronology used, GS-22 occurred between approximately 89 (end of GI-22 and 83 kyr b2k (onset of GI-21. From annual layer counting, we find that GS-22 lasted between 2696 and 3092 years and was followed by a GI-21 pre-cursor event lasting between 331 and 369 yr. Our layer-based counting agrees with the duration of stadial 22 as determined from the NALPS speleothem record (3250 ± 526 yr but not with that of the GICC05modelext chronology (2620 yr or an alternative chronology based on gas-marker synchronization to EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice core. These results show that GICC05modelext overestimates accumulation and/or underestimates thinning in this early part of the last glacial period. We also revise the possible ranges of NorthGRIP Δdepth (5.49 to 5.85 m and Δage (498 to 601 yr at the warming onset of GI-21 as well as the Δage range at the onset of the GI-21 precursor warming (523 to 654 yr, observing that temperature (represented by the δ15N proxy increases before CH4 concentration by no more than a few decades.

  19. Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gad, Ulrik Pram

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between Greenland and the European Union (EU) can best be understood by exploring the development from Danish colonialism to a future independent Greenlandic state. In 1985, Greenland became the first territory ever to leave the European Economic Community (EEC) when it opted...... for status as an ‘overseas country or territory’. The manner in which Greenland had to follow Denmark into the EEC in 1973 – whereby Greenlanders saw control over their fisheries move from distant Copenhagen to even-more-distant Brussels – was pivotal for the Greenlandic demands for home rule that succeeded...

  20. Gas records from the West Greenland ice margin covering the Last Glacial termination: a horizontal ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrenko, V.; Severinghaus, J.P.; Brook, E.J.

    2006-01-01

    and Preboreal intervals. Extensive sections of ice from the Holocene and most ages within the last glacial period are probably also present. Very accurate dating has been possible in the ice section containing the Younger Dryas-Preboreal abrupt climate transition signal. The ice at Pakitsoq is folded and non......Certain sites along ice sheet margins provide an easily accessible and almost unlimited supply of ancient ice at the surface. Measurements of gases in trapped air from ice outcropping at Pakitsoq, West Greenland, demonstrate that ancient air is mostly well preserved. No alterations in delta O-18......(atm) and delta N-15 of N-2 are apparent, and alterations in methane are found in only a few ice sections. Using measurements of these gases, we have unambiguously identified a stratigraphic section containing ice from the end of last glacial period as well as Bolling-Allerod, Younger Dryas...

  1. Insight into biogeochemical inputs and composition of Greenland Ice Sheet surface snow and glacial forefield river catchment environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Karen; Hagedorn, Birgit; Dieser, Markus; Christner, Brent; Choquette, Kyla; Sletten, Ronald; Lui, Lu; Junge, Karen

    2014-05-01

    The volume of freshwater transported from Greenland to surrounding marine waters has tended to increase annually over the past four decades as a result of warmer surface air temperatures (Bamber et al 2012, Hanna et al 2008). Ice sheet run off is estimated to make up approximately of third of this volume (Bamber et al 2012). However, the biogeochemical composition and seeding sources of the Greenland Ice Sheet supraglacial landscape is largely unknown. In this study, the structure and diversity of surface snow microbial assemblages from two regions of the western Greenland Ice Sheet ice-margin was investigated through the sequencing of small subunit rRNA genes. Furthermore, the origins of microbiota were investigated by examining correlations to molecular data obtained from marine, soil, freshwater and atmospheric environments and to geochemical analytes measured in the snow. Snow was found to contain a diverse assemblage of bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) and eukarya (Alveolata, Fungi, Stramenopiles and Viridiplantae). Phylotypes related to archaeal Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota phyla were also identified. The structure of microbial assemblages was found to have strong similarities to communities sampled from marine and air environments, and sequences obtained from the South-West region, near Kangerlussuaq, which is bordered by an extensive periglacial expanse, had additional resemblances to soil originating communities. Strong correlations were found between bacterial beta diversity and Na+ and Cl- concentrations. These data suggest that surface snow from western regions of Greenland contain microbiota that are most likely derived from exogenous, wind transported sources. Downstream of the supraglacial environment, Greenland's rivers likely influence the ecology of localized estuary and marine systems. Here we characterize the geochemical and biotic composition of a glacial and glacial forefield fed river catchment in

  2. Elastic uplift in southeast Greenland due to rapid ice mass loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Van dam, Tonie; Hamilton, Gordon S.

    2007-01-01

    The rapid unloading of ice from the southeastern sector of the Greenland ice sheet between 2001 and 2006 caused an elastic uplift of 35 mm at a GPS site in Kulusuk. Most of the uplift results from ice dynamic-induced volume losses on two nearby outlet glaciers. Volume loss from Helheim Glacier......, calculated from sequential digital elevation models, contributes about 16 mm of the observed uplift, with an additional 5 mm from volume loss of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The remaining uplift signal is attributed to significant melt-induced ice volume loss from the ice sheet margin along the southeast coast...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Extreme Low Light Requirement for Algae Growth Underneath Sea Ice: A Case Study From Station Nord, NE Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancke, Kasper; Lund-Hansen, Lars C.; Lamare, Maxim L.; Højlund Pedersen, Stine; King, Martin D.; Andersen, Per; Sorrell, Brian K.

    2018-02-01

    Microalgae colonizing the underside of sea ice in spring are a key component of the Arctic foodweb as they drive early primary production and transport of carbon from the atmosphere to the ocean interior. Onset of the spring bloom of ice algae is typically limited by the availability of light, and the current consensus is that a few tens-of-centimeters of snow is enough to prevent sufficient solar radiation to reach underneath the sea ice. We challenge this consensus, and investigated the onset and the light requirement of an ice algae spring bloom, and the importance of snow optical properties for light penetration. Colonization by ice algae began in May under >1 m of first-year sea ice with ˜1 m thick snow cover on top, in NE Greenland. The initial growth of ice algae began at extremely low irradiance (algae growth below the sea ice. This was supported by radiative-transfer modeling of light attenuation. Implications are an earlier productivity by ice algae in Arctic sea ice than recognized previously.

  5. Iceberg distribution around the Greenland Ice Sheet from Sentinel-1 imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, S.; Stearns, L. A.

    2017-12-01

    Icebergs around Greenland play an important role in the climate system by transporting freshwater away from the margins of the ice sheet and into the ocean. Iceberg size largely dictates their residence time in fjords, and in many Greenland fjords iceberg melt makes up a substantial fraction of the total freshwater flux. Despite the crucial role that icebergs play in ice sheet and ocean dynamics, they are poorly quantified and therefore remain poorly represented in coupled climate models. We present a continuous time series of iceberg distribution around the Greenland Ice Sheet from 2014 - 2017. Our iterative Constant False Alarm Rate (CFAR) algorithm automatically identifies icebergs in ESA's Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. We create monthly mosaics of the Greenland Ice Sheet and surrounding ocean at 40 m resolution, and extract iceberg characteristics from each mosaic. By examining the spatial and temporal distribution of icebergs around the ice sheet, we can better quantify glacier calving styles and seasonal variability. Furthermore, our distribution maps can be used to improve coupling between ice sheet and ocean models so that they can more accurately simulate the transfer of freshwater flux from the cryosphere to the ocean.

  6. Spatiotemporal Variability of Meltwater Refreezing in Southwest Greenland Ice Sheet Firn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rennermalm, A. K.; Hock, R.; Tedesco, M.; Corti, G.; Covi, F.; Miège, C.; Kingslake, J.; Leidman, S. Z.; Munsell, S.

    2017-12-01

    A substantial fraction of the summer meltwater formed on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet is retained in firn, while the remaining portion runs to the ocean through surface and subsurface channels. Refreezing of meltwater in firn can create impenetrable ice lenses, hence being a crucial process in the redistribution of surface runoff. To quantify the impact of refreezing on runoff and current and future Greenland surface mass balance, a three year National Science Foundation funded project titled "Refreezing in the firn of the Greenland ice sheet: Spatiotemporal variability and implications for ice sheet mass balance" started this past year. Here we present an overview of the project and some initial results from the first field season in May 2017 conducted in proximity of the DYE-2 site in the percolation zone of the Southwest Greenland ice sheet at elevations between 1963 and 2355 m a.s.l.. During this fieldwork two automatic weather stations were deployed, outfitted with surface energy balance sensors and 16 m long thermistor strings, over 300 km of ground penetrating radar data were collected, and five 20-26 m deep firn cores were extracted and analyzed for density and stratigraphy. Winter snow accumulation was measured along the radar tracks. Preliminary work on the firn-core data reveals increasing frequency and thickness of ice lenses at lower ice-sheet elevations, in agreement with other recent work in the area. Data collected within this project will facilitate advances in our understanding of the spatiotemporal variability of firn refreezing and its role in the hydrology and surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. J. Stone

    2013-03-01

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

  8. Ice-dynamic projections of the Greenland ice sheet in response to atmospheric and oceanic warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. J. Fürst

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Continuing global warming will have a strong impact on the Greenland ice sheet in the coming centuries. During the last decade (2000–2010, both increased melt-water runoff and enhanced ice discharge from calving glaciers have contributed 0.6 ± 0.1 mm yr−1 to global sea-level rise, with a relative contribution of 60 and 40% respectively. Here we use a higher-order ice flow model, spun up to present day, to simulate future ice volume changes driven by both atmospheric and oceanic temperature changes. For these projections, the flow model accounts for runoff-induced basal lubrication and ocean warming-induced discharge increase at the marine margins. For a suite of 10 atmosphere and ocean general circulation models and four representative concentration pathway scenarios, the projected sea-level rise between 2000 and 2100 lies in the range of +1.4 to +16.6 cm. For two low emission scenarios, the projections are conducted up to 2300. Ice loss rates are found to abate for the most favourable scenario where the warming peaks in this century, allowing the ice sheet to maintain a geometry close to the present-day state. For the other moderate scenario, loss rates remain at a constant level over 300 years. In any scenario, volume loss is predominantly caused by increased surface melting as the contribution from enhanced ice discharge decreases over time and is self-limited by thinning and retreat of the marine margin, reducing the ice–ocean contact area. As confirmed by other studies, we find that the effect of enhanced basal lubrication on the volume evolution is negligible on centennial timescales. Our projections show that the observed rates of volume change over the last decades cannot simply be extrapolated over the 21st century on account of a different balance of processes causing ice loss over time. Our results also indicate that the largest source of uncertainty arises from the surface mass balance and the underlying climate change

  9. Elevation change and remote-sensing mass-balance methods on the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Reeh, Niels; Christensen, Erik Lintz

    The mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is virtually impossible to obtain with traditional ground-based methods alone due to its vast size. It is thus desirable to develop mass-balance methods depending on remote sensing instead and this field has experienced a dramatic development within...... the last decade. Large amounts of data have been collected from satellite and airborne platforms, yielding surface elevation changes and surface velocity fields. Here we present data from the Greenland Ice-Sheet margin acquired with a new small-scale airborne system, designed for regional high......-density coverage. During campaigns in 2000, 2003 and 2005, we have collected and processed ice-sheet surface elevation and ice-thickness data, acquired with a laser altimeter and a 60~MHz ice-penetrating radar. Both instruments were mounted on a small Twin-Otter aircraft which were positioned using three onboard...

  10. High-resolution ice thickness and bed topography of a land-terminating section of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindbäck, K.; Pettersson, R.; Doyle, S. H.

    2014-01-01

    . The covered area is one of the most studied regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet with studies of mass balance, dynamics, and supraglacial lakes, and our combined dataset can be valuable for detailed studies of ice sheet dynamics and hydrology. The compiled datasets of ground-based and airborne radar surveys......We present ice thickness and bed topography maps with high spatial resolution (250 to 500 m) of a and-terminating section of the Greenland Ice Sheet derived from combined ground-based and airborne radar surveys. The data have a total area of ~12000 km2 and cover the whole ablation area...... of the outlet glaciers of Isunnguata Sermia, Russell, Leverett, Ørkendalen and Isorlersuup up to the long-term mass balance equilibrium line altitude at ~1600 m above sea level. The bed topography shows highly variable subglacial trough systems, and the trough of the Isunnguata Sermia Glacier is over...

  11. Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheet Mass Changes and Effects on Global Sea Level

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    2017-01-01

    . The yearly mass balance estimates, based on point mass inversion methods, have relatively large errors, both due to uncertainties in the glacial isostatic adjustment processes, especially for Antarctica, leakage from unmodelled ocean mass changes, and (for Greenland) difficulties in separating mass signals...... from the Greenland ice sheet and the adjacent Canadian ice caps. The limited resolution of GRACE affects the uncertainty of total mass loss to a smaller degree; we illustrate the “real” sources of mass changes by including satellite altimetry elevation change results in a joint inversion with GRACE...

  12. Late Holocene spatio-temporal variability of the south Greenland Ice Sheet and adjacent mountain glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, G.; Carlson, A. E.; Rood, D. H.; Axford, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The late Holocene, with its spatially complex pattern of centennial-scale climate variation, is an ideal time period to test the response of the cryosphere to atmospheric and oceanic temperature changes. The south Greenland Ice Sheet (sGrIS), with its proximity to areas of North Atlantic Deep Water formation and a large spectrum of glaciological regimes over a relatively small area, provides an excellent location to examine the spatial heterogeneity of ice-sheet and glacier responses to climate change. Here, we will present 50 Be-10 surface exposure ages from eight moraines in six locations around the margin of the sGrIS. These moraines are located just outboard of historical moraines, and will therefore allow us to constrain the timing of the most extensive prehistoric late-Holocene advance and retreat of ice margins draining the sGrIS and independent valley glaciers. The dataset includes both marine- and land-terminating glaciers draining the sGrIS, the low-altitude Qassimiut lobe, the high-altitude alpine Julianhåb ice cap and isolated valley glaciers. This diverse dataset will allow us to determine to what extent late-Holocene centennial-scale behavior of the ice-sheet and glacier margins were synchronous, perhaps in response to an external climate forcing, or more stochastic, governed instead by local factors such as basal thermal regime, bedrock topography, or microclimates. This has implications for understanding the forcings and responses of cryospheric changes at timescales relevant to human society. In addition to providing context for paleoclimatic and glacial geologic investigations, this work will inform future sea-level projections by providing targets for validating high-resolution ice-sheet and glacier models.

  13. Possible contribution of ice-sheet/lithosphere interactions to past glaciological changes in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, R. B.; Parizek, B. R.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Pollard, D.; Stevens, N. T.; Pourpoint, M.

    2017-12-01

    Ice-lithosphere interactions may have influenced the history of ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change. The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) is sensitive to warming, and is likely to be largely removed if subjected to relatively small additional temperature increases. The recent report (Schaefer et al., 2016, Nature) of near-complete GIS removal under modest Pleistocene forcing suggests that GIS sensitivity may be even greater than generally modeled, but lack of major Holocene retreat is more consistent with existing models. As shown by Stevens et al. (2016, JGR), peak lithospheric flexural stresses associated with ice-age GIS cycling are of the same order as dike-driving stresses in plutonic systems, and migrate over ice-age cycles. The full analysis by Stevens et al. suggests the possibility that the onset of cyclic ice-sheet loading allowed deep melt associated with the passage of the Icelandic hot spot beneath Greenland to work up though the crust to or near the base of the ice sheet, helping explain the anomalous geothermal heat fluxes observed at the head of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream and elsewhere in the northern part of GIS. If ice-age cycling aided extraction of an existing reservoir of melted rock, then geothermal heat flux would have risen with the onset of extraction and migration, but with a subsequent fall associated with reservoir depletion. Simple parameterized flow-model simulations confirm intuition that a higher geothermal flux makes deglaciation easier, with the northern part of the ice sheet especially important. Large uncertainties remain in quantification, but we suggest the hypothesis that, following the onset of ice-age cycling, deglaciation of the GIS first became easier and then more difficult in response to feedbacks involving the ice sheet and the geological system beneath. In turn, this suggests that evidence of past deglaciation under moderate forcing is consistent with existing ice-sheet models.

  14. A SAR Ice-Motion Processing Chain in Support of PROMICE (Programme for the Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merryman Boncori, John Peter; Dall, Jørgen; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports on the development of a SAR icemotion processing chain developed for the PROMICE project – a long-term program funded by the Danish ministry of Climate and Energy to monitor the mass budget of the Greenland ice sheet. The end goal of the SAR data processing is to output map-pro...

  15. Ice flow dynamics and surface meltwater flux at a land-terminating sector of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, Andrew A. W.; Hubbard, Alun; Joughin, Ian

    2013-01-01

    We present satellite-derived velocity patterns for the two contrasting melt seasons of 2009-10 across Russell Glacier catchment, a western, land-terminating sector of the Greenland ice sheet which encompasses the K(angerlussuaq)-transect. Results highlight great spatial heterogeneity in flow, ind...

  16. The Effect of Topographic Shadowing by Ice on Irradiance in the Greenland Ice Sheet Ablation Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidman, S. Z.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Ryan, J.; Cooper, M. G.; Smith, L. C.

    2017-12-01

    Accurately predicting runoff contributions to global sea level rise requires more refined surface mass balance (SMB) models of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Topographic shadowing has shown to be important in the SMB of snow-covered regions, yet SMB models for the GrIS generally ignore how surface topography affects spatial variability of incoming solar radiation on a surface. In the ablation zone of Southwest Greenland, deeply incised supraglacial drainage features, fracturing, and large-scale bed deformation result in extensive areas of rough surface topography. This topography blocks direct radiation such that shadowed areas receive less energy for melting while other topographic features such as peaks recieve more energy. In this study, we quantify how shadowing from local topography features changes incoming solar radiation. We apply the ArcGIS Pro Solar Radiation Toolset to calculate the direct and diffuse irradiance in sunlit and shadowed areas by determining the sun's movement for every half hour increment of 2016. Multiple digital elevation models (DEMs) with spatial resolutions ranging from 0.06 to 5m were derived from fixed wing and quadcopter UAV imagery collected in summer 2016 and the ArcticDEM dataset. Our findings show that shadowing significantly decreases irradiance compared to smoothed surfaces where local topography is removed. This decrease is exponentially proportional to the DEM pixel sized with 5m DEMs only able to capture a small percentage of the effect. Applying these calculations to the ArcticDEM to cover a larger study area indicates that decreases in irradiance are nonlinearly proportional to elevation with highly crevassed areas showing a larger effect from shadowing. Even so, shading at higher elevations reduces irradiance enough to result in several centimeters snow water equivalence (SWE) per year of over-prediction of runoff in SMB models. Furthermore, analysis of solar radiation products shows that shadowing predicts albedo

  17. Investigating Margin and Grounding Line Dynamics with a Coupled Ice and Sea Level Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchar, J.; Milne, G. A.

    2017-12-01

    We present results from the coupling of an adaptive mesh glaciological model (BISICLES) with a model of glacial isostatic adjustment and sea level. We apply this coupled model to study the deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from the last glacial maximum. The proximity of the GrIS to the much larger Laurentide results in an east-west gradient in sea level rates across Greenland during the deglaciation. We investigate the impacts of this sea level gradient on ice and grounding line dynamics at the margins, as well as the influence of both local and non-local ice on sea level and ice dynamics.

  18. Surface melt effects on Cryosat-2 elevation retrievals in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, T.; McMillan, M.; Shepherd, A.; Leeson, A.; Cornford, S. L.; Hogg, A.; Gilbert, L.; Muir, A. S.; Briggs, K.

    2017-12-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been an acceleration in the rate of mass losses from the Greenland ice sheet. This acceleration is, in part, attributed to an increasingly negative surface mass balance (SMB), linked to increasing melt water runoff rates due to enhanced surface melting. Understanding the past, present and future evolution in surface melting is central to ongoing monitoring of ice sheet mass balance and, in turn, to building realistic future projections. Currently, regional climate models are commonly used for this purpose, because direct in-situ observations are spatially and temporally sparse due to the logistics and resources required to collect such data. In particular, modelled SMB is used to estimate the extent and magnitude of surface melting, which influences (1) many geodetic mass balance estimates, and (2) snowpack microwave scattering properties. The latter is poorly understood and introduces uncertainty into radar altimeter estimates of ice sheet evolution. Here, we investigate the changes in CryoSat-2 waveforms and elevation measurements caused by the onset of surface melt in the summer months over the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. Specifically, we use CryoSat-2 SARIn mode data acquired between 2011 and 2016, to characterise the effect of high variability in surface melt during this period, and to assess the associated impact on estimates of ice mass balance.

  19. Sea ice as a source of sea salt aerosol to Greenland ice cores: a model-based study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. Rhodes

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Growing evidence suggests that the sea ice surface is an important source of sea salt aerosol and this has significant implications for polar climate and atmospheric chemistry. It also suggests the potential to use ice core sea salt records as proxies for past sea ice extent. To explore this possibility in the Arctic region, we use a chemical transport model to track the emission, transport, and deposition of sea salt from both the open ocean and the sea ice, allowing us to assess the relative importance of each. Our results confirm the importance of sea ice sea salt (SISS to the winter Arctic aerosol burden. For the first time, we explicitly simulate the sea salt concentrations of Greenland snow, achieving values within a factor of two of Greenland ice core records. Our simulations suggest that SISS contributes to the winter maxima in sea salt characteristic of ice cores across Greenland. However, a north–south gradient in the contribution of SISS relative to open-ocean sea salt (OOSS exists across Greenland, with 50 % of winter sea salt being SISS at northern sites such as NEEM (77° N, while only 10 % of winter sea salt is SISS at southern locations such as ACT10C (66° N. Our model shows some skill at reproducing the inter-annual variability in sea salt concentrations for 1991–1999, particularly at Summit where up to 62 % of the variability is explained. Future work will involve constraining what is driving this inter-annual variability and operating the model under different palaeoclimatic conditions.

  20. What is important to get right when modelling the Greenland ice sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottram, Ruth; Langen, Peter; Boberg, Fredrik; Fausto, Robert; Vandecrux, Baptiste; Box, Jason; Hesselbjerg Christensen, Jens

    2017-04-01

    Ice sheet and glacier models need accurate surface mass balance inputs to accurately reproduce ice sheet extent and likely evolution. In recent years a number of different regional climate models (RCMs) have produced subtly different estimates of ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) for the Greenland ice sheet. While the total ice sheet SMB number is often similar from these, there can be substantial differences spatially and in terms of the components of surface mass balance: precipitation, melt, runoff, retention and sublimation. The substantial increase in the amount of observational data available from Greenland allows us to compare not only models and data but also to optimize models to get the best SMB estimates. Using carefully designed sensitivity experiments we explore the importance of albedo, retention and refreezing parameters choices, precipitation, model resolution and topography in HIRHAM5, a typical RCM run at 5km resolution over Greenland, to create the best possible representations of surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. Our analysis shows that the 5km resolution of HIRHAM more accurately captures precipitation over the ice sheet, compared with the old 25km resolution. Compared with 68 ice cores from the accumulation area the simulated mean annual net accumulation bias is -5% (correlation coefficient of 0.90). The retention scheme of the model is able to reproduce the subsurface temperature structure and occurrence of perennial firn aquifers and perched ice layers. However, small differences in parameter choices, while important locally, are not significant over the whole ice sheet. Modelled SMB compares favourably with 1041 PROMICE observations. Varying parameter choices means that a regression slope of 0.95-0.97 can be obtained (depending on model configuration) with a correlation coefficient of 0.75-0.86 and mean bias -3%. Our experiments clearly show that albedo choices are more important to modelled SMB than retention parameters

  1. Developmentof improved basal friction parameterizations using ISSM: Preliminary results for Greenland's Jakobshavn Ice Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halkides, D. J.; Larour, E.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H.

    2012-04-01

    In ice flow models, the basal friction law links velocity at the ice-bed interface to drag at the glacial base. Accurate ice stream simulation relies on parameterization of this relationship, but basal drag cannot be measured observationally, remaining a key unknown in ice flow modeling. The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), developed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in collaboration with UC Irvine, is a state of the art, finite-element model capable of simulating 3-D transient ice flow on an anisotropic mesh and incorporating data assimilation through use of inverse control methods. As part of a larger development effort to improve simulation/understanding of ice sheet evolution in Greenland and Antarctica, we present preliminary results from ISSM for the sensitivity of Greenland's Jakobshavn ice stream to a range of friction law parameterizations, with model-data comparisons for the surface flow field. This work has implications for ice sheet model development and understanding of ice sheet slippage events. This work was performed at JPL under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Modeling, Analysis and Prediction (MAP) Program.

  2. Seismic evidence for complex sedimentary control of Greenland Ice Sheet flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, Bernd; Hubbard, Alun L; Booth, Adam D; Bougamont, Marion; Dow, Christine F; Doyle, Samuel H; Christoffersen, Poul; Lindbäck, Katrin; Pettersson, Rickard; Fitzpatrick, Andrew A W; Jones, Glenn A

    2017-08-01

    The land-terminating margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet has slowed down in recent decades, although the causes and implications for future ice flow are unclear. Explained originally by a self-regulating mechanism where basal slip reduces as drainage evolves from low to high efficiency, recent numerical modeling invokes a sedimentary control of ice sheet flow as an alternative hypothesis. Although both hypotheses can explain the recent slowdown, their respective forecasts of a long-term deceleration versus an acceleration of ice flow are contradictory. We present amplitude-versus-angle seismic data as the first observational test of the alternative hypothesis. We document transient modifications of basal sediment strengths by rapid subglacial drainages of supraglacial lakes, the primary current control on summer ice sheet flow according to our numerical model. Our observations agree with simulations of initial postdrainage sediment weakening and ice flow accelerations, and subsequent sediment restrengthening and ice flow decelerations, and thus confirm the alternative hypothesis. Although simulated melt season acceleration of ice flow due to weakening of subglacial sediments does not currently outweigh winter slowdown forced by self-regulation, they could dominate over the longer term. Subglacial sediments beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet must therefore be mapped and characterized, and a sedimentary control of ice flow must be evaluated against competing self-regulation mechanisms.

  3. Tomographic SAR analysis of subsurface ice structure in Greenland: first results

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Banda, Francesco; Dall, Jørgen; Tebaldini, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Due to the increased melting of ice sheets over the last decades, monitoring of ice dynamics and structure with remote sensing instruments is of extreme importance to achieve a deeper insight on related environmental issues. The study presented in this paper documents an attempt of mapping ice...... structure with P-band SAR tomography. First results from ESA IceSAR 2012 campaign carried out in south-west Greenland are presented. It is found that significant penetration in the upper layers of glacial subsurface can be achieved up to an extent of about 20–60 m, conditional on the different type...

  4. Sea ice and primary production proxies in surface sediments from a High Arctic Greenland fjord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ribeiro, Sofia; Sejr, Mikael K.; Limoges, Audrey

    2017-01-01

    that IP25 records from fjords need to be carefully considered and not directly compared to marine settings. The sea ice-associated biomarker HBI III revealed an open-water signature, with highest concentrations near the mid-July ice edge. This proxy evaluation is an important step towards reliable......In order to establish a baseline for proxy-based reconstructions for the Young Sound–Tyrolerfjord system (Northeast Greenland), we analysed the spatial distribution of primary production and sea ice proxies in surface sediments from the fjord, against monitoring data from the Greenland Ecosystem...... Monitoring Programme. Clear spatial gradients in organic carbon and biogenic silica contents reflected marine influence, nutrient availability and river-induced turbidity, in good agreement with in situ measurements. The sea ice proxy IP25 was detected at all sites but at low concentrations, indicating...

  5. Tomographic Observation and Bedmapping of Glaciers in Western Greenland with IceBridge Sounding Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoqing; Paden, John; Jezek, Ken; Rignot, Eric; Gim, Young

    2013-01-01

    We produced the high resolution bedmaps of several glaciers in western Greenland from IceBridge Mission sounding radar data using tomographic sounding technique. The bedmaps cover 3 regions: Russell glaciers, Umanaq glaciers and Jakobshavn glaciers of western Greenland. The covered areas is about 20x40 km(sup 2) for Russell glaciers and 300x100 sq km, and 100x80 sq km for Jakobshavn glaciers. The ground resolution is 50 meters and the average ice thickness accuracy is 10 to 20 meters. There are some void areas within the swath of the tracks in the bedmaps where the ice thickness is not known. Tomographic observations of these void areas indicate that the surface and shallow sub-surface pockets, likely filled with water, are highly reflective and greatly weaken the radar signal and reduce the energy reaching and reflected from the ice sheet bottom.

  6. Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (2003-2008) from ICESat data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Nielsen, Karina

    2011-01-01

    of the Greenland ice sheet. Firn dynamics and surface densities are important factors that contribute to the mass change derived from remote-sensing altimetry. The volume change derived from ICESat data is corrected for changes in firn compaction over the observation period, vertical bedrock movement...... and an intercampaign elevation bias in the ICESat data. Subsequently, the corrected volume change is converted into mass change by the application of a simple surface density model, in which some of the ice dynamics are accounted for. The firn compaction and density models are driven by the HIRHAM5 regional climate......ICESat has provided surface elevation measurements of the ice sheets since the launch in January 2003, resulting in a unique dataset for monitoring the changes of the cryosphere. Here, we present a novel method for determining the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet, derived from ICESat...

  7. The fate of the Greenland Ice Sheet in a geoengineered, high CO2 world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Peter J.; Lunt, Daniel J.; Stone, Emma J.; Ridgwell, Andy

    2009-10-01

    Solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering has been proposed as one means of helping avoid the occurrence of dangerous climate change and undesirable state transitions ('tipping points') in the Earth system. The irreversible melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is a case in point—a state transition that could occur as a result of CO2-driven elevated global temperatures, and one leading to potentially catastrophic sea-level rise. SRM schemes such as the creation of a 'sunshade' or injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere could reduce incoming solar radiation, and in theory balance, in a global mean, the greenhouse warming resulting from elevated concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Previous work has highlighted that a geoengineered world would have: warming towards the poles, cooling in the tropics, and a reduction in the global hydrological cycle, which may have important implications for the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using a fully coupled global climate model in conjunction with an ice sheet model, we assess the consequences for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet of the reorganization of climate patterns by the combination of high CO2 and geoengineering. We find that Greenland surface temperature and precipitation anomalies, compared to the pre-industrial situation, decrease almost linearly with increasing levels of SRM geoengineering, but that these combine to create a highly non-linear response of the ice sheet. The substantial melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet predicted for four times pre-industrial CO2 levels is prevented in our model with only a partial application of SRM, and hence without having to fully restore the global average temperature back to pre-industrial levels. This suggests that the degree of SRM geoengineering required to mitigate the worst impacts of greenhouse warming, such as sea-level rise, need not be as extensive as generally assumed.

  8. The fate of the Greenland Ice Sheet in a geoengineered, high CO2 world

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irvine, Peter J; Lunt, Daniel J; Stone, Emma J; Ridgwell, Andy

    2009-01-01

    Solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering has been proposed as one means of helping avoid the occurrence of dangerous climate change and undesirable state transitions ('tipping points') in the Earth system. The irreversible melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is a case in point-a state transition that could occur as a result of CO 2 -driven elevated global temperatures, and one leading to potentially catastrophic sea-level rise. SRM schemes such as the creation of a 'sunshade' or injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere could reduce incoming solar radiation, and in theory balance, in a global mean, the greenhouse warming resulting from elevated concentrations of CO 2 in the atmosphere. Previous work has highlighted that a geoengineered world would have: warming towards the poles, cooling in the tropics, and a reduction in the global hydrological cycle, which may have important implications for the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using a fully coupled global climate model in conjunction with an ice sheet model, we assess the consequences for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet of the reorganization of climate patterns by the combination of high CO 2 and geoengineering. We find that Greenland surface temperature and precipitation anomalies, compared to the pre-industrial situation, decrease almost linearly with increasing levels of SRM geoengineering, but that these combine to create a highly non-linear response of the ice sheet. The substantial melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet predicted for four times pre-industrial CO 2 levels is prevented in our model with only a partial application of SRM, and hence without having to fully restore the global average temperature back to pre-industrial levels. This suggests that the degree of SRM geoengineering required to mitigate the worst impacts of greenhouse warming, such as sea-level rise, need not be as extensive as generally assumed.

  9. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes...... in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of similar to 3000 measurements from......-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland....

  10. Sources, cycling and export of nitrogen on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. L. Wadham

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Fjord and continental shelf environments in the polar regions are host to some of the planet's most productive ecosystems and support economically important fisheries. Their productivity, however, is often critically dependent upon nutrient supply from upstream terrestrial environments delivered via river systems. In glacially fed coastal ecosystems, riverine nutrients are largely sourced from melting snow and ice. The largest and most extensive glacially fed coastal ecosystem in the Arctic is that bordering the Greenland Ice Sheet. The future primary productivity of this ecosystem, however, is uncertain. A potential increase in primary productivity driven by reduced sea ice extent and associated increased light levels may be curtailed by insufficient nutrient supply, and specifically nitrogen. Research on small valley glaciers indicates that glaciers are important sources of nitrogen to downstream environments. However, no data exist from ice sheet systems such as Greenland. Time series of nitrogen concentrations in runoff are documented from a large Greenland glacier, demonstrating seasonally elevated fluxes to the ocean. Fluxes are highest in mid-summer, when nitrogen limitation is commonly reported in coastal waters. It is estimated that approximately half of the glacially exported nitrogen is sourced from microbial activity within glacial sediments at the surface and bed of the ice sheet, doubling nitrogen fluxes in runoff. Summer dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes from the Greenland Ice Sheet (30–40 Gg are a similar order of magnitude to those from a large Arctic river (Holmes et al., 2012. Nitrogen yields from the ice sheet (236 kg TDN km−2 a−1, however, are approximately double those from Arctic riverine catchments. We assert that this ice sheet nitrogen subsidy to Arctic coastal ecosystems may be important for understanding coastal biodiversity, productivity and fisheries and should be considered in future

  11. Properties of horizontally oriented ice crystals observed by polarization lidar over summit, Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neely Ryan R.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A source of error in microphysical retrievals and model simulations is the assumption that clouds are composed of only randomly oriented ice crystals. This assumption is frequently not true, as evidenced by optical phenomena such as parhelia. Here, observations from the Cloud, Aerosol and Polarization Backscatter Lidar at Summit, Greenland are utilized along with other sensors and beam imaging to examine the properties of horizontally oriented ice crystals and the environment conditions in which they occur.

  12. Sources, cycling and export of nitrogen on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadham, Jemma Louise; Hawkings, Jonathan; Telling, Jon; Chandler, Dave; Alcock, Jon; O'Donnell, Emily; Kaur, Preeti; Bagshaw, Elizabeth; Tranter, Martyn; Tedstone, Andre; Nienow, Peter

    2016-11-01

    Fjord and continental shelf environments in the polar regions are host to some of the planet's most productive ecosystems and support economically important fisheries. Their productivity, however, is often critically dependent upon nutrient supply from upstream terrestrial environments delivered via river systems. In glacially fed coastal ecosystems, riverine nutrients are largely sourced from melting snow and ice. The largest and most extensive glacially fed coastal ecosystem in the Arctic is that bordering the Greenland Ice Sheet. The future primary productivity of this ecosystem, however, is uncertain. A potential increase in primary productivity driven by reduced sea ice extent and associated increased light levels may be curtailed by insufficient nutrient supply, and specifically nitrogen. Research on small valley glaciers indicates that glaciers are important sources of nitrogen to downstream environments. However, no data exist from ice sheet systems such as Greenland. Time series of nitrogen concentrations in runoff are documented from a large Greenland glacier, demonstrating seasonally elevated fluxes to the ocean. Fluxes are highest in mid-summer, when nitrogen limitation is commonly reported in coastal waters. It is estimated that approximately half of the glacially exported nitrogen is sourced from microbial activity within glacial sediments at the surface and bed of the ice sheet, doubling nitrogen fluxes in runoff. Summer dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes from the Greenland Ice Sheet (30-40 Gg) are a similar order of magnitude to those from a large Arctic river (Holmes et al., 2012). Nitrogen yields from the ice sheet (236 kg TDN km-2 a-1), however, are approximately double those from Arctic riverine catchments. We assert that this ice sheet nitrogen subsidy to Arctic coastal ecosystems may be important for understanding coastal biodiversity, productivity and fisheries and should be considered in future biogeochemical modelling studies of coastal

  13. Ancient biomolecules from deep ice cores reveal a forested southern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cappellini, Enrico; Boomsma, Wouter Krogh

    2007-01-01

    It is difficult to obtain fossil data from the 10% of Earth's terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets, and hence, knowledge of the paleoenvironments of these regions has remained limited. We show that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the...... evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections....

  14. Past collapse and late Holocene reestablishment of the Petermann Ice Tongue, Northwest Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, B. T.; Stoner, J. S.; Mix, A. C.; Jakobsson, M.; Jennings, A. E.; Walczak, M.; Dyke, L. M.

    2017-12-01

    Petermann Glacier, Northwest Greenland, has been a stable outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet on historical timescales. Yet, anomalous calving events in 2010 and 2012 and oceanographic studies over the last decade indicate that Petermann Glacier and its ice tongue are especially sensitive to ice-ocean interactions, leading many to speculate on its future stability. To place these observations in the context of a longer timeframe and better understand the sensitivity of Petermann Glacier to future climate change, a 2015 international and interdisciplinary expedition of the Icebreaker Oden collected a suite of sediment cores from Petermann Fjord, spanning the mid to late Holocene and forming a transect from beneath the modern ice tongue to the mouth of the fjord (25 - 80 km from the modern grounding line). We characterize the stratigraphy ( 5.5 - 6.5 m at piston core sites) using a combination of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanning geochemistry, computed tomography (CT) scanning, and particle-size specific magnetic measurements on these cores and nearby terrestrial samples. Age-depth modeling, based on radiocarbon dated benthic foraminifera, is in progress with reservoir age corrections assessed using paleomagnetic comparisons to regional and global records. We observe changes in the composition and spatial pattern of ice rafted debris (IRD) and sediment fabric that reveal a dynamic history. Following early Holocene deglaciation of the region, a paleo-ice tongue broke up and an extended period of seasonally open marine conditions ensued through the middle Holocene. This ice-tongue collapse was followed by a large increase in the relative abundance of Petermann sourced IRD of non-local granitic composition. This granitic IRD component steadily declined through the middle Holocene, reaching negligible contributions when the ice tongue was reestablished in the late Holocene. Regional paleoenvironmental studies suggest warmer oceanographic and atmospheric conditions

  15. Test of Newton's inverse-square law in the Greenland ice cap

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ander, M.E.; Zumberge, M.A.; Lautzenhiser, T.

    1989-01-01

    An Airy-type geophysical experiment was conducted in a 2-km-deep hole in the Greenland ice cap at depths between 213 and 1673 m to test for possible violations of Newton's inverse-square law. An anomalous gravity gradient was observed. We cannot unambiguously attribute it to a breakdown of Newtonian gravity because we have shown that it might be due to unexpected geological features in the rock below the ice

  16. The pattern of anthropogenic signal emergence in Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fyke, J.G.; Vizcaino, M.; Lipscomb, W.H.

    2014-01-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) trends influence observed Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass loss, but the component of these trends related to anthropogenic forcing is unclear. Here we study the simulated spatial pattern of emergence of an anthropogenically derived GrIS SMB signal between 1850 and 2100

  17. Sustained mass loss of the northeast Greenland ice sheet triggered by regional warming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khan, S.A.; Kjaer, K.H.; et al, [No Value; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Muresan, I.S.

    2014-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has been one of the largest contributors to global sea-level rise over the past 20 years, accounting for 0.5 mm yr−1 of a total of 3.2 mm yr−1. A significant portion of this contribution is associated with the speed-up of an increased number of glaciers in southeast and

  18. Topography and Penetration of the Greenland Ice Sheet Measured with Airborne SAR Interferometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen; Madsen, Søren Nørvang; Keller, K.

    2001-01-01

    A digital elevation model (DEM) of the Geikie ice sap in East Greenland has been generated from interferometric C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data acquired with the airborne EMISAR system. GPS surveyed radar reflectors and an airborne laser altimeter supplemented the experiment. The accur...

  19. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in g...

  20. Firn Meltwater Retention on the Greenland Ice Sheet: A Model Comparison

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steger, C.R.; Reijmer, C.H.; van den Broeke, MR; Wever, N.; Forster, R.R.; Koenig, L.S.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Lehning, M.; Lhermitte, S.L.M.; Ligtenberg, SRM; Miège, C.; Noël, Brice

    2017-01-01

    Runoff has recently become the main source of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and is an important contributor to global sea level rise. Linking runoff to surface meltwater production is complex, as meltwater can be retained within the firn by refreezing or perennial liquid water storage. To

  1. Firn meltwater retention on the Greenland Ice Sheet: a model comparison

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steger, C.R.; Reijmer, C.H.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Wever, N.; Forster, R.R.; Koenig, Lora S.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Lehning, M.; Lhermitte, S.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Miege, Clement; Noël, B.P.Y.

    2017-01-01

    Runoff has recently become the main source of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and is an important contributor to global sea level rise. Linking runoff to surface meltwater production is complex, as meltwater can be retained within the firn by refreezing or perennial liquid water storage. To

  2. The 1958-2009 Greenland ice sheet surface melt and the mid-tropospheric atmospheric circulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Mabille, G.; Erpicum, M.; Nicolay, S.; van den Broeke, M.R.

    2010-01-01

    In order to assess the impact of the mid-tropospheric circulation over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) on surface melt, as simulated by the regional climate model MAR, an automatic Circulation type classification (CTC) based on 500 hPa geopotential height from reanalyses is developed. General

  3. Coupled simulations of Greenland Ice Sheet and climate change up to AD 2300

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vizcaino, Miren; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Ziemen, Florian; Rodehacke, Christian B.; Greve, Ralf; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations indicate a high sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to climate change. We examine the coupling between the GrIS surface mass balance, elevation, and dynamical flow with one of the few coupled GrIS and atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. Bidirectional coupling

  4. The observed katabatic flow at the edge of the Greenland ice sheet during GIMEX-91

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broeke, M.R. van den; Duynkerke, P.G.; Oerlemans, J.

    1994-01-01

    Observations performed in the melting zone of the Greenland ice sheet and over the adjacent tundra in the summer of 1991 are described. The experimental area is the region near St ndre Stromfjord (67°N, 54°W), which is relatively dry and sunny, resulting in the highest mean temperature in

  5. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker; Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Abermann, Jakob; Andersen, Morten L.; Andersen, Signe B.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Box, Jason E.; Braithwaite, Roger J.; Bøggild, Carl E.; Citterio, Michele; Clement, Poul; Colgan, William; Fausto, Robert S.; Gleie, Karin; Gubler, Stefanie; Hasholt, Bent; Hynek, Bernhard; Knudsen, Niels T.; Larsen, Signe H.; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Oerlemans, Johannes; Oerter, Hans; Olesen, Ole B.; Smeets, C. J P Paul; Steffen, Konrad; Stober, Manfred; Sugiyama, Shin; Van As, Dirk; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.; Van De Wal, Roderik S W

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in

  6. Brief Communication "Expansion of meltwater lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. van den Broeke

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Forty years of satellite imagery reveal that meltwater lakes on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet have expanded substantially inland to higher elevations with warming. These lakes are important because they provide a mechanism for bringing water to the ice bed, causing sliding. Inland expansion of lakes could accelerate ice flow by bringing water to previously frozen bed, potentially increasing future rates of mass loss. Increasing lake elevations closely follow the rise of the mass balance equilibrium line over much of the ice sheet, suggesting no physical limit on lake expansion. Data are not yet available to detect a corresponding change in ice flow, and the potential effects of lake expansion on ice sheet dynamics are not included in ice sheet models.

  7. Direct observations of evolving subglacial drainage beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Lauren C; Catania, Ginny A; Hoffman, Matthew J; Gulley, Jason D; Lüthi, Martin P; Ryser, Claudia; Hawley, Robert L; Neumann, Thomas A

    2014-10-02

    Seasonal acceleration of the Greenland Ice Sheet is influenced by the dynamic response of the subglacial hydrologic system to variability in meltwater delivery to the bed via crevasses and moulins (vertical conduits connecting supraglacial water to the bed of the ice sheet). As the melt season progresses, the subglacial hydrologic system drains supraglacial meltwater more efficiently, decreasing basal water pressure and moderating the ice velocity response to surface melting. However, limited direct observations of subglacial water pressure mean that the spatiotemporal evolution of the subglacial hydrologic system remains poorly understood. Here we show that ice velocity is well correlated with moulin hydraulic head but is out of phase with that of nearby (0.3-2 kilometres away) boreholes, indicating that moulins connect to an efficient, channelized component of the subglacial hydrologic system, which exerts the primary control on diurnal and multi-day changes in ice velocity. Our simultaneous measurements of moulin and borehole hydraulic head and ice velocity in the Paakitsoq region of western Greenland show that decreasing trends in ice velocity during the latter part of the melt season cannot be explained by changes in the ability of moulin-connected channels to convey supraglacial melt. Instead, these observations suggest that decreasing late-season ice velocity may be caused by changes in connectivity in unchannelized regions of the subglacial hydrologic system. Understanding this spatiotemporal variability in subglacial pressures is increasingly important because melt-season dynamics affect ice velocity beyond the conclusion of the melt season.

  8. Meltwater storage in low-density near-surface bare ice in the Greenland ice sheet ablation zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. G. Cooper

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available We document the density and hydrologic properties of bare, ablating ice in a mid-elevation (1215 m a.s.l. supraglacial internally drained catchment in the Kangerlussuaq sector of the western Greenland ice sheet. We find low-density (0.43–0.91 g cm−3, μ = 0.69 g cm−3 ice to at least 1.1 m depth below the ice sheet surface. This near-surface, low-density ice consists of alternating layers of water-saturated, porous ice and clear solid ice lenses, overlain by a thin (< 0.5 m, even lower density (0.33–0.56 g cm−3, μ = 0.45 g cm−3 unsaturated weathering crust. Ice density data from 10 shallow (0.9–1.1 m ice cores along an 800 m transect suggest an average 14–18 cm of specific meltwater storage within this low-density ice. Water saturation of this ice is confirmed through measurable water levels (1–29 cm above hole bottoms, μ = 10 cm in 84 % of cryoconite holes and rapid refilling of 83 % of 1 m drilled holes sampled along the transect. These findings are consistent with descriptions of shallow, depth-limited aquifers on the weathered surface of glaciers worldwide and confirm the potential for substantial transient meltwater storage within porous low-density ice on the Greenland ice sheet ablation zone surface. A conservative estimate for the  ∼  63 km2 supraglacial catchment yields 0.009–0.012 km3 of liquid meltwater storage in near-surface, porous ice. Further work is required to determine if these findings are representative of broader areas of the Greenland ice sheet ablation zone, and to assess the implications for sub-seasonal mass balance processes, surface lowering observations from airborne and satellite altimetry, and supraglacial runoff processes.

  9. Towards multi-decadal to multi-millennial ice core records from coastal west Greenland ice caps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Sarah B.; Osman, Matthew B.; Trusel, Luke D.; McConnell, Joseph R.; Smith, Ben E.; Evans, Matthew J.; Frey, Karen E.; Arienzo, Monica; Chellman, Nathan

    2017-04-01

    The Arctic region, and Greenland in particular, is undergoing dramatic change as characterized by atmospheric warming, decreasing sea ice, shifting ocean circulation patterns, and rapid ice sheet mass loss, but longer records are needed to put these changes into context. Ice core records from the Greenland ice sheet have yielded invaluable insight into past climate change both regionally and globally, and provided important constraints on past surface mass balance more directly, but these ice cores are most often from the interior ice sheet accumulation zone, at high altitude and hundreds of kilometers from the coast. Coastal ice caps, situated around the margins of Greenland, have the potential to provide novel high-resolution records of local and regional maritime climate and sea surface conditions, as well as contemporaneous glaciological changes (such as accumulation and surface melt history). But obtaining these records is extremely challenging. Most of these ice caps are unexplored, and thus their thickness, age, stratigraphy, and utility as sites of new and unique paleoclimate records is largely unknown. Access is severely limited due to their high altitude, steep relief, small surface area, and inclement weather. Furthermore, their relatively low elevation and marine moderated climate can contribute to significant surface melting and degradation of the ice stratigraphy. We recently targeted areas near the Disko Bay region of central west Greenland where maritime ice caps are prevalent but unsampled, as potential sites for new multi-decadal to multi-millennial ice core records. In 2014 & 2015 we identified two promising ice caps, one on Disko Island (1250 m. asl) and one on Nuussuaq Peninsula (1980 m. asl) based on airborne and ground-based geophysical observations and physical and glaciochemical stratigraphy from shallow firn cores. In spring 2015 we collected ice cores at both sites using the Badger-Eclipse electromechanical drill, transported by a medley

  10. Inter-annual and geographical variations in the extent of bare ice and dark ice on the Greenland ice sheet derived from MODIS satellite images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rigen eShimada

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Areas of dark ice have appeared on the Greenland ice sheet every summer in recent years. These are likely to have a great impact on the mass balance of the ice sheet because of their low albedo. We report annual and geographical variations in the bare ice and dark ice areas that appeared on the Greenland Ice Sheet from 2000 to 2014 by using MODIS satellite images. The July monthly mean of the extent of bare ice showed a positive trend over these 15 years, and large annual variability ranging from 89,975 km2 to 279,075 km2, 5% and 16% of the entire ice sheet, respectively. The extent of dark ice also showed a positive trend and varied annually, ranging from 3,575 km2 to 26,975 km2, 4% and 10% of the bare ice extent. These areas are geographically varied, and their expansion is the greatest on the western side, particularly the southwestern side of the ice sheet. The bare ice extent correlates strongly with the monthly mean air temperature in July, suggesting that the extent was determined by snow melt. The dark ice extent also correlates with the air temperature; however, the correlation is weaker. The dark ice extent further correlates negatively with solar radiation. This suggests that the extent of dark ice is not only controlled by snow melt on the ice, but also by changes in the surface structures of the bare ice surface, such as cryoconite holes, which are associated with impurities appearing on the ice surface.

  11. Inter-annual and geographical variations in the extent of bare ice and dark ice on the Greenland ice sheet derived from MODIS satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Rigen; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Aoki, Teruo

    2016-04-01

    Areas of dark ice have appeared on the Greenland ice sheet every summer in recent years. These are likely to have a great impact on the mass balance of the ice sheet because of their low albedo. We report annual and geographical variations in the bare ice and dark ice areas that appeared on the Greenland Ice Sheet from 2000 to 2014 by using MODIS satellite images. The July monthly mean of the extent of bare ice showed a positive trend over these 15 years, and large annual variability ranging from 89,975 km2 to 279,075 km2, 5% and 16% of the entire ice sheet, respectively. The extent of dark ice also showed a positive trend and varied annually, ranging from 3,575 km2 to 26,975 km2, 4% and 10% of the bare ice extent. These areas are geographically varied, and their expansion is the greatest on the western side, particularly the southwestern side of the ice sheet. The bare ice extent correlates strongly with the monthly mean air temperature in July, suggesting that the extent was determined by snow melt. The dark ice extent also correlates with the air temperature; however, the correlation is weaker. The dark ice extent further correlates negatively with solar radiation. This suggests that the extent of dark ice is not only controlled by snow melt on the ice, but also by changes in the surface structures of the bare ice surface, such as cryoconite holes, which are associated with impurities appearing on the ice surface.

  12. Biomass Burning and the 2012 Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, H. D.; Soja, A. J.; Polashenski, C.; Fairlie, T. D.; Winker, D. M.; Trepte, C. R.

    2017-12-01

    This study is the part of the Sunlight Absorption on the Greenland ice sheet Experiment (SAGE) project investigating the impact of light absorbing impurities (e.g., aerosols) on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Satellite observations, [e.g. Oceansat-2 (OS2) and the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradionmeter (MODIS)] discovered an unusually large melt event in July 2012. NASA sensors showed that nearly 98.6% of the GrIS experienced melting at or near surface [Nghiem et al., 2012]. In this study, we question the extent to which biomass burning derived aerosols enhanced melting across the GrIS. Random points [59 total, 13 coincident with snow pit sites and 46 gridded] are selected across the entire extent of the GrIS from April 1st to August 31st 2012, and then the NASA Langley Trajectory Model (LaTM) is used to simulate the transport of potentially smoke-filled air parcels backwards for 5 days form these points, evaluation the back trajectory for coincidence with active fire detections. The trajectory model is initialized for 24-hour sustained injection from each site, and air parcels are released from the surface to 2 km at 200m intervals. With the trajectory model outputs, we are able to identify trajectories that have coincidences with fires. We focus on events in April through July when the GrIS albedo was dramatically decreased. We also utilize Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data to verify smoke-aerosol signatures in boreal regions based on the NASA LaTM results. The results of this study will help us better understand the transport of biomass burning plumes and black carbon deposition that could lead to enhanced GrIS melting.

  13. Inferring firn permeability from pneumatic testing on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommers, A. N.; Rajaram, H.; MacFerrin, M. J.; Weber, E. P.; Colgan, W. T.; Stevens, C.

    2016-12-01

    In some parts of the accumulation zone of the Greenland ice sheet, summer temperatures can be warm enough to cause melting at the surface; the meltwater percolates into the firn, refreezes, and creates ice lenses within the firn column. This is an important process to consider when estimating the surface mass balance of the ice sheet. The rate of meltwater percolation depends on the permeability of the firn, a property that has not been well constrained in the presence of refrozen ice lenses. We present a novel, inexpensive method to infer firn permeability from pneumatic testing in the field, based on a well-established technique used in environmental engineering in designing soil vapor extraction systems. To illustrate the capabilities of this method, we infer both horizontal and vertical permeability from pilot tests at six sites on the Greenland ice sheet: KAN-U, DYE-2, EKT, NASA-SE, Saddle, and EastGRIP. These sites cover a range of conditions from mostly dry firn (EastGRIP), to firn with several ice lenses from refrozen meltwater (Saddle, NASA-SE, EKT), to firn with considerable ice lenses (DYE-2 and KAN-U). The inferred permeability in firn without refrozen ice lenses at EastGRIP agrees well with the range previously reported using an air permeameter to measure permeability through firn core samples at Summit, Greenland. At sites with ice lenses, we find high degrees of anisotropy, with vertical permeability much lower than horizontal permeability. The method presented here is a promising technique for measuring firn permeability, particularly as meltwater production increases in the accumulation zone and ice lenses from refrozen melt layers become more prevalent. In these initial proof-of-concept tests, we estimate that the inferred permeabilities represent effective permeability on the meter scale. With appropriately higher vacuum pressures and more detailed monitoring, effective permeabilities over a larger scale may be quantified reliably.

  14. A new multiple spatial resolution estimate of the bedrock elevation of the Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Jennifer; Bamber, Jonathan; Plummer, Joel; Gogineni, Sivaprasad; Rignot, Eric

    2010-05-01

    Gridded bedrock elevation for the Greenland ice sheet has previously been determined with 5 km postings. The true resolution of the data set was, in places, however, considerably coarser than this due to the across-track spacing of flight lines. Errors were estimated to be on the order of a few percent in the centre of the ice sheet but increasing markedly in relative magnitude near the margins, where, for numerical modelling, accurate thickness is particularly critical. We use new airborne and satellite estimates of ice thickness and surface elevation to determine the bed topography for the whole of Greenland. In particular, the University of Kansas have in recent years, flown an airborne ice-penetrating radar system with close flightline spacing over several key outlet glacier systems. This allows us to produce a multi-resolution bedrock elevation dataset with the high spatial resolution needed for ice dynamic modelling over these key outlet glaciers and coarser resolution over the more sparsely sampled interior. Airborne ice thickness and elevation from CReSIS obtained between 1993 and 2009 are combined with JPL, DONNEES data covering the marginal areas along the south west coast from 2009. Data collected in the 1970's by the Technical University of Denmark were also used in interior areas with sparse coverage from other sources. Marginal elevation data from the ICESat laser altimeter were used to help constrain the ice thickness and bed topography close to the ice sheet margin where, typically, the terrestrial observations have poor sampling between flight tracks.

  15. Airborne Laser Altimetry Mapping of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Application to Mass Balance Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Wright, W.; Yungel, J.

    2000-01-01

    In 1998 and '99, the Arctic Ice Mapping (AIM) program completed resurveys of lines occupied 5 years earlier revealing elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet and identifying areas of significant thinning, thickening and balance. In planning these surveys, consideration had to be given to the spatial constraints associated with aircraft operation, the spatial nature of ice sheet behavior, and limited resources, as well as temporal issues, such as seasonal and interannual variability in the context of measurement accuracy. This paper examines the extent to which the sampling and survey strategy is valid for drawing conclusions on the current state of balance of the Greenland ice sheet. The surveys covered the entire ice sheet with an average distance of 21.4 km between each location on the ice sheet and the nearest flight line. For most of the ice sheet, the elevation changes show relatively little spatial variability, and their magnitudes are significantly smaller than the observed elevation change signal. As a result, we conclude that the density of the sampling and the accuracy of the measurements are sufficient to draw meaningful conclusions on the state of balance of the entire ice sheet over the five-year survey period. Outlet glaciers, however, show far more spatial and temporal variability, and each of the major ones is likely to require individual surveys in order to determine its balance.

  16. Towards a new common Greenland Ice Core Chronology for the last 5000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winstrup, Mai; Olander Rasmussen, Sune; Møllesøe Vinther, Bo; Cook, Eliza; Svensson, Anders; McConnell, Joe; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder

    2017-04-01

    Since the development of the Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05), it has been widely used as a reference chronology in paleoclimate research. However, recent research (Sigl et al, 2015) demonstrated that this timescale has small, but significant, issues over historical time. These discrepancies was found by counting annual layers in high-resolution chemistry records from the NEEM S1 shallow core, and confirmed by linking via 10Be marker horizons to the layer-counted WAIS Divide ice core, Antarctica, and accurately-dated tree-ring series. This work showed that a revision of GICC05 is required prior to 1250AD. We here refine and extend this work. Layer-counting in a single core will always involve some uncertainty, and we hence use data from multiple Greenland ice cores, for which high-resolution impurity records recently have been measured. These ice cores have been synchronized using volcanic marker horizons, and the layer-counting is performed automatically using the StratiCounter algorithm (Winstrup et al, 2012), while ensuring that the number of layers between volcanic horizons are the same in all cores. Based on this extended multiple-core data set, we are further able to extend the new Greenland timescale another few thousand years back in time. This will, among others, provide a new ice-core date for the catastrophic volcanic eruption ( 1600 BC) that destroyed the Greek Minoan culture, an important time marker in Greek history.

  17. Oceans Melting Greenland: Early Results from NASA's Ocean-Ice Mission in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenty, Ian; Willis, Josh K.; Khazendar, Ala

    2016-01-01

    the continental shelf, and about the extent to which the ocean interacts with glaciers. Early results from NASA's five-year Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, based on extensive hydrographic and bathymetric surveys, suggest that many glaciers terminate in deep water and are hence vulnerable to increased...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauptmann, Aviaja L.; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Cameron, Karen A.; Bælum, Jacob; Plichta, Damian R.; Dalgaard, Marlene; Stibal, Marek

    2017-07-01

    Globally emitted contaminants accumulate in the Arctic and are stored in the frozen environments of the cryosphere. Climate change influences the release of these contaminants through elevated melt rates, resulting in increased contamination locally. Our understanding of how biological processes interact with contamination in the Arctic is limited. Through shotgun metagenomic data and binned genomes from metagenomes we show that microbial communities, sampled from multiple surface ice locations on the Greenland ice sheet, have the potential for resistance to and degradation of contaminants. The microbial potential to degrade anthropogenic contaminants, such as toxic and persistent polychlorinated biphenyls, was found to be spatially variable and not limited to regions close to human activities. Binned genomes showed close resemblance to microorganisms isolated from contaminated habitats. These results indicate that, from a microbiological perspective, the Greenland ice sheet cannot be seen as a pristine environment.

  19. Mass balance of the Amitsulôq ice cap, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Bøggild, Carl Egede; Olesen, Ole B.

    2007-01-01

    We present detailed mass balance measurements from the Amitsulôq ice cap in West Greenland spanning from 1982 to 1990. The data includes summer and winter balances from 26 stake locations distributed over five transects covering the whole ice cap. The mass balance measurements are combined...... with a recent satellite-derived digital elevation model to calculate the specific balance, which is in turn compared to discharge data from the adjacent Tasersiaq basin. The correlation between specific summer balance and discharge is R2 = 0.93 indicating that the basin discharge is dominated by glacial...... meltwater, linking the hydropower potential of the basin closely to the fate of the adjoining Greenland ice-sheet margin....

  20. Comparison of northern and central Greenland ice cores records of methanesulfonate covering the last glacial period

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonsell, U.; Hansson, M. E.; Siggaard-Andersen, M-L-

    2007-01-01

    Methanesulfonate (MS-) is measured in ice cores with the objective to obtain a proxy record of marine phytoplankton production of dimethylsulfide (DMS). We present a continuous MS- record covering the last glacial period from the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) ice core and compare...... MS- concentrations were higher during the cold marine isotopic stages (MIS) 2 and 4 and lower during the warm MIS 5. This long-term trend in MS-, which is similar to the inverse of the corresponding trend in d 18O, is not detected in the GISP2 MS- record. A systematic response in MS- concentrations...... to changes between Greenland stadials and interstadials is only detected in the GISP2 record. The different responses of the MS- signals to climate change during the last glacial period are possibly related to the partitioning of air masses reaching the two sites. In contrast to observations from Antarctic...

  1. Investigating the potential for "water piracy" in North East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Nanna B.; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe

    2013-04-01

    The incorporation of subglacial processes in ice flow models remains a challenge while at the same time observational evidence increasingly underscores the important role liquid water plays in ice flow dynamics. One of the many problems ice flow models face (that also includes scarcity of data at the bed and the deformational properties of water-saturated sediments) is the different time-scales on which the processes operate. For example, observations indicate that subglacial water may be re-routed to a neighbouring ice stream in response to changes in surface elevation. This implies that ice flow models have to allow for changes in ice flow mode where, depending on the basal properties, the flow may be dominated by deformation or basal sliding. The re-routing of water between neighbouring ice streams is often termed "water piracy" and in this study we demonstrate that the potential for water piracy exists even in regions with very small surface elevation changes. We use a simple, vertically integrated, 2D-plane ice flow model based on the shallow ice flow approximation to model the large-scale changes in surface elevation of North East Greenland in response to gravity and mass balance. Considering time-scales of 100-500 years the model predicts changes in elevation of less than a metre per year which is in agreement with data from remote sensing. We then calculate the corresponding changes in hydrological pressure potential and use evidence from radio-echo sounding data to identify areas with basal melting and thus potential liquid water production. The corresponding change in hydrological pressure potential in response to the surface elevation changes is sufficient to divert the subglacial water to different pathways. This change in subglacial water pathways could be sufficient to change the ice flow mode from deformation to sliding and might initiate speed-up and/or slow-down of the ice streams at the margins of the basin.

  2. An improved mass budget for the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enderlin, E.M.; Howat, I.M.; Jeong, S.; Noh, M.-J.; van Angelen, J.H.; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643

    2014-01-01

    Extensive ice thickness surveys by NASA’s Operation IceBridge enable over a decade of ice discharge measurements at high precision for the majority of Greenland’s marine-terminating outlet glaciers, prompting a reassessment of the temporal and spatial distribution of glacier change.

  3. 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...

  4. Future projections of the Greenland ice sheet energy balance driving the surface melt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Franco

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, simulations at 25 km resolution are performed over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, using the regional climate model MAR forced by four RCP scenarios from three CMIP5 global circulation models (GCMs, in order to investigate the projected changes of the surface energy balance (SEB components driving the surface melt. Analysis of 2000–2100 melt anomalies compared to melt results over 1980–1999 reveals an exponential relationship of the GrIS surface melt rate simulated by MAR to the near-surface air temperature (TAS anomalies, mainly due to the surface albedo positive feedback associated with the extension of bare ice areas in summer. On the GrIS margins, the future melt anomalies are preferentially driven by stronger sensible heat fluxes, induced by enhanced warm air advection over the ice sheet. Over the central dry snow zone, the surface albedo positive feedback induced by the increase in summer melt exceeds the negative feedback of heavier snowfall for TAS anomalies higher than 4 °C. In addition to the incoming longwave flux increase associated with the atmosphere warming, GCM-forced MAR simulations project an increase of the cloud cover decreasing the ratio of the incoming shortwave versus longwave radiation and dampening the albedo feedback. However, it should be noted that this trend in the cloud cover is contrary to that simulated by ERA-Interim–forced MAR for recent climate conditions, where the observed melt increase since the 1990s seems mainly to be a consequence of more anticyclonic atmospheric conditions. Finally, no significant change is projected in the length of the melt season, which highlights the importance of solar radiation absorbed by the ice sheet surface in the melt SEB.

  5. The accuracy of satellite radar altimeter data over the Greenland ice sheet determined from airborne laser data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bamber, J.L.; Ekholm, Simon; Krabill, W.

    1998-01-01

    The 336 days of the geodetic phase of ERS-1 provides dense coverage, by satellite radar altimetry, of the whole of the Greenland ice sheet. These data have been used to produce a digital elevation model of the ice sheet. The errors present in the altimeter data were investigated via a comparison ......, to 10.3 m +/- 8.4 m for a slope of 0.7 degrees ( the half power beam-width of the ERS-1 radar altimeter). An explanation for the behaviour of the difference as a function of surface slope is given in terms of the pattern of surface roughness on the ice sheet....... with airborne laser altimeter data an absolute accuracy typically in the range 2-10 cm +/- 10 cm. Comparison of differences between the radar and laser derived elevations, showed a correlation with surface slope. The difference between the two data sets ranged from 84 cm +/- 79 cm for slopes below 0.1 degrees...

  6. Socio-economic and cultural aspecrs of changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moshøj, Charlotte Margaret

    2009-01-01

    ! is chapter evaluates the possibility for projecting socio-economic and cultural impacts on Greenland’s society caused directly or indirectly by changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet. ! ere are, as yet, no well-documented direct causative links between the conditions for a society dictated by nature......, and the way a given society develops. ! is chapter describes the development of the modern Greenland society from a historical perspective and introduces a number of speci" c cases that illustrate the propensity for change in a society that is derived from the Inuit culture. ! e Inuit culture has survived...

  7. Timing and origin of recent regional ice-mass loss in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sasgen, Ingo; van den Broeke, Michiel; Bamber, J.L.Jonathan L.

    2012-01-01

    Within the last decade, the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its surroundings have experienced record high surface temperatures (Mote, 2007; Box et al., 2010), ice sheet melt extent (Fettweis et al., 2011) and record-low summer sea-ice extent (Nghiem et al., 2007). Using three independent data sets......-off (M/R) and precipitation (P) all contribute, in a complex and regionally variable interplay, to the increasingly negative mass balance of the GrIS observed within the last decade. Interannual variability in P along the northwest and west coasts of the GrIS largely explains the apparent regional mass...

  8. The role of synoptic weather variability in Greenland ice sheet dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, J. M.; Radic, V.

    2017-12-01

    Much of the large uncertainty in predictions of future global sea level rise is due to our limited understanding of Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) motion and its interactions with climate. Over the next century, climate models predict that the GrIS will experience not only gradual warming, but also changes in atmospheric circulation, hydrology, and weather, including a northward shift of the North Atlantic storm track, with greater frequency and intensity of rain storms over the GrIS. Recent studies of GrIS dynamics have focused on the effects of increased seasonal mean meltwater on ice velocities, finding only a modest impact due to compensation by subglacial drainage systems, but subglacial hydraulic theory indicates that variability on shorter timescales is also relevant: short-term surges in meltwater or rainfall can overload drainage systems at rates faster than they can adjust, leading to water pressure spikes and ice acceleration. If the magnitude or frequency of these transient ice accelerations increase substantially as synoptic weather patterns change over the next century, there could be a significant cumulative impact on seasonal mean ice velocities. However, this issue has not been addressed in the literature and represents a major source of uncertainty. In this study, we investigate the role of synoptic weather variability in GrIS dynamics, with the ultimate goal of evaluating the relationships between extreme weather events and ice sheet flow in different seasons and regions of the GrIS. As a first step, we apply the machine learning technique of self-organizing maps to atmospheric reanalysis data to categorize the predominant synoptic weather systems over the GrIS domain, evaluating atmospheric moisture transport and rainfall to assess the impacts of each weather system on GrIS surface hydrology. The preliminary results presented here will be used in conjunction with ice velocity satellite measurements in future work, to identify any correlations

  9. 110 years of local glacier and ice cap changes in Central- and North East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjork, A. A.; Aagaard, S.; Kjaer, K. H.; Khan, S. A.; Box, J.

    2014-12-01

    The local glaciers and ice caps of Greenland are becoming more apparent players in global sea-level rise, and their contribution to future changes is significant. Very little information on their historical fluctuations exists as much of the focus has been on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Now, we can for the first time present historic data that spans 110 years for more than 200 of the local glaciers and ice caps covering this large and important region of the Arctic. The central- and north eastern part of Greenland is of particular interest as these areas are predicted to exhibit a more active behavior with higher mass loss in the future - simultaneously with an increase in precipitation. Our results show that the glaciers and ice caps in the region are responding very rapidly to changes in temperature and precipitation. The present retreat is the fastest observed within the last eight decades, only surpassed by the rapid post LIA retreat. The 1930s was the golden era for scientific exploration in Central- and North East Greenland as several large expeditions visited the area and photographed from land, sea and air. We use historic recordings from Danish and Norwegian aerial missions and terrestrial recordings from the renowned American Explorer Louise Boyd. These unique pictures from the early 1930s form the backbone of the study and are supplemented the more recent aerial photographs the 1940s and onwards and satellite imagery from the mid-1960s and up until present. From high resolution aerial photographs we are able to map the maximum extent of the glaciers during the LIA (Little Ice Age), from which retreat in this area is estimated to commence in 1900. Using a new SMB (Surface Mass Balance) model and its components covering the entire observational period along with high resolution DEMs and historic sea-ice records we are now able to extract valuable information on the past and present triggers of glacial change.

  10. The mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet: sensitivity to climate change as revealed by energy-balance modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

    The sensitivity of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet to climate change is studied with an energy-balance model of the ice/snow surface, applied at 200 m elevation intervals for four characteristic regions of the ice sheet. Solar radiation, longwave radiation, turbulent heat fluxes

  11. Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shannon, Sarah R.; Payne, Antony J.; Bartholomew, Ian D.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Fettweis, Xavier; Gagliardini, Olivier; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Goelzer, Heiko; Hoffman, Matthew J.; Huybrechts, Philippe; Mair, Douglas W. F.; Nienow, Peter W.; Perego, Mauro; Price, Stephen F.; Smeets, C. J. P. Paul; Sole, Andrew J.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Zwinger, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    We assess the effect of enhanced basal sliding on the flow and mass budget of the Greenland ice sheet, using a newly developed parameterization of the relation between meltwater runoff and ice flow. A wide range of observations suggest that water generated by melt at the surface of the ice sheet

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    -track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a bedrock topography derived from an airborne 60 MHz ice-penetrating radar. The extent of the delineation was calculated from a water-pressure potential as a function of the ice-sheet surface and bedrock elevations and a hydraulic factor κ describing the relative......The hydrological ice-sheet basin draining into the Tasersiaq lake, West Greenland (66°13'N, 50°30'W), was delineated, First using standard digital elevation models (DEMs) for ice-sheet surface and bedrock, and subsequently using a new high-resolution dataset, with a surface DEM derived from repeat...

  13. Multicomponent modelling of summer acceleration at the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koziol, C. P.; Arnold, N. S.

    2017-12-01

    Increasing surface runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet due to a warming climate not only accelerates ice mass loss by altering surface mass balance, but may also lead to increased dynamic losses. This is because surface melt draining to the bed can reduce ice-bed coupling, leading to faster ice flow. Understanding the impact of surface melt on ice dynamics is important for constraining the contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet to sea level rise. The aim of this research is to numerically model the influence of surface runoff on ice velocities during the summer melt season. A multicomponent model integrating the main components of the ice sheet system is presented and applied to the Russell Glacier Area. This model consists of a surface hydrology model, interfaced with a coupled subglacial hydrology model/ice flow model. A key challenge for simulations applying a coupled ice-flow/hydrology model is state and parameter initialization. This challenge is addressed by a workflow for incorporating modelled subglacial water pressures into inversions of basal drag. The subglacial hydrology model is run for a winter season, and the output is used to invert for basal drag at the start of the melt season. The coupled ice-flow/hydrology model is initialized using this workflow and driven using output from the supraglacial hydrology model. Three recent melt seasons are modelled. To a first order, predicted ice velocities match measured velocities at multiple GPS sites. This affirms the conceptual model that summer velocity patterns are driven by transitions between distributed and channelized subglacial hydrological systems.

  14. Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN): Contributions to Science and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, K. R.; Bonaime, S.; Clinton, J. F.; Dahl-Jensen, T.; Debski, W. M.; Giardini, D.; Govoni, A.; Kanao, M.; Larsen, T. B.; Lasocki, S.; Lee, W. S.; McCormack, D. A.; Mykkeltveit, S.; Nettles, M.; Stutzmann, E.; Strollo, A.; Sweet, J. R.; Tsuboi, S.; Vallee, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) is a broadband, multi-use seismological network, enhanced by selected geodetic observations, designed with the capability to allow researchers to understand the changes currently occurring in the Arctic, and with the operational characteristics necessary to enable response to those changes as understanding improves. GLISN was established through an international collaboration, with 10 nations coordinating their efforts to develop the current 34-station observing network during the last eight years. All of the data collected are freely and openly available in near-real time. The network was designed to transform the community capability for recording, analysis, and interpretation of seismic signals generated by discrete events in Greenland and the Arctic, as well as those traversing the region. Data from the network support a wide range of uses, including estimation of the properties of the solid Earth that control isostatic adjustment rates and set key boundary conditions for ice-sheet evolution; analysis of tectonic earthquakes throughout Greenland and the Arctic; study of the seismic signals associated with large calving events and changing glacier dynamics; and variations in ice and snow properties within the Greenland Ice Sheet. Recordings from the network have also provided invaluable data for rapid evaluation and understanding of the devastating landslide and tsunami that occurred near Nuugaatsiaq, Greenland, in June, 2017. The GLISN strategy of maximizing data quality from a network of approximately evenly distributed stations, delivering data in near-real time, and archiving a continuous data stream easily accessible to researchers, allows continuous discovery of new uses while also facilitating the generation of data products, such as catalogs of tectonic and glacial earthquakes and GPS-based estimates of snow height, that allow for assessment of change over time.

  15. Variability of Surface Temperature and Melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet, 2000-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Comiso, Josefino, C.; Shuman, Christopher A.; Koenig, Lora S.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2012-01-01

    Enhanced melting along with surface-temperature increases measured using infrared satellite data, have been documented for the Greenland Ice Sheet. Recently we developed a climate-quality data record of ice-surface temperature (IST) of the Greenland Ice Sheet using the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 1ST product -- http://modis-snow-ice.gsfc.nasa.gov. Using daily and mean monthly MODIS 1ST maps from the data record we show maximum extent of melt for the ice sheet and its six major drainage basins for a 12-year period extending from March of 2000 through December of 2011. The duration of the melt season on the ice sheet varies in different drainage basins with some basins melting progressively earlier over the study period. Some (but not all) of the basins also show a progressively-longer duration of melt. The short time of the study period (approximately 12 years) precludes an evaluation of statistically-significant trends. However the dataset provides valuable information on natural variability of IST, and on the ability of the MODIS instrument to capture changes in IST and melt conditions indifferent drainage basins of the ice sheet.

  16. Timing of the Little Ice Age in southern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, Kurt H.; Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Bjørk, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    retreat. Our results show that the advance of glaciers during the LIA occurs early after the Medieval Warm Period terminating soon after 1200 AD and culminates c. 1500-1600 AD. Historical maps also show that many glaciers on the western coast occupy a still-stand near the LIA maximum until 1900 AD before...... retreat commence. Thus in southern Greenland, we define LIA as the period between the first signs of Late Holocene glacier readvance and the latest onset of retreat – i.e. from ca. 1200 to c. 1900. During this period northern hemisphere annual mean temperatures, although fluctuating, were generally below...... the Arctic. Furthermore, the glacier response seems to be mirrored by a oceanic cooling between 500-1000 AD, followed by onset of the LIA at 1150-1250 AD as seen in the relative strength of warm subsurface water and the influence of the East Greenland Current....

  17. First identification of cryptotephra from the Kamchatka Peninsula in a Greenland ice core: Implications of a widespread marker deposit that links Greenland to the Pacific northwest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cook, Eliza; Portnyagin, Maxim; Ponomareva, Vera

    2018-01-01

    Peninsula in Greenland ice and the first finding of the KHG tephra outside Kamchatka. The NGRIP KHG has an age of 7872 ± 50 a BP 1950, and this date will help improve age models for Kamchatka, where existing age estimates of KHG are too young, thus highlighting the importance of locating long-range, low......Contiguous sampling of Holocene ice from the NGRIP core, Greenland, has revealed a new rhyolitic cryptotephra that is geochemically identical to the KHG tephra, a widespread marker deposit originating from the Khangar volcano, Kamchatka. This is the first identification of tephra from the Kamchatka......-concentration cryptotephra deposits in well-dated ice cores. In Greenland KHG is located close to the termination of the 8.2 ka BP cooling event that is also a climate feature in palaeo-records of Kamchatka. This tie-point therefore provides a unique opportunity to synchronise records of environmental change in distal...

  18. First identification of cryptotephra from the Kamchatka Peninsula in a Greenland ice core: Implications of a widespread marker deposit that links Greenland to the Pacific northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Eliza; Portnyagin, Maxim; Ponomareva, Vera; Bazanova, Lilia; Svensson, Anders; Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter

    2018-02-01

    Contiguous sampling of Holocene ice from the NGRIP core, Greenland, has revealed a new rhyolitic cryptotephra that is geochemically identical to the KHG tephra, a widespread marker deposit originating from the Khangar volcano, Kamchatka. This is the first identification of tephra from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Greenland ice and the first finding of the KHG tephra outside Kamchatka. The NGRIP KHG has an age of 7872 ± 50 a BP 1950, and this date will help improve age models for Kamchatka, where existing age estimates of KHG are too young, thus highlighting the importance of locating long-range, low-concentration cryptotephra deposits in well-dated ice cores. In Greenland KHG is located close to the termination of the 8.2 ka BP cooling event that is also a climate feature in palaeo-records of Kamchatka. This tie-point therefore provides a unique opportunity to synchronise records of environmental change in distal locations.

  19. The Distribution of Basal Water Beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet from Radio-Echo Sounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, T.; Williams, C.; Schroeder, D. M.; Martos, Y. M.; Cooper, M.; Siegert, M. J.; Paden, J. D.; Huybrechts, P.; Bamber, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    There is widespread, but often indirect, evidence that a significant fraction of the Greenland Ice Sheet is thawed at the bed. This includes major outlet glaciers and around the NorthGRIP ice-core in the interior. However, the ice-sheet-wide distribution of basal water is poorly constrained by existing observations, and the spatial relationship between basal water and other ice-sheet and subglacial properties is therefore largely unexplored. In principle, airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) surveys provide the necessary information and spatial coverage to infer the presence of basal water at the ice-sheet scale. However, due to uncertainty and spatial variation in radar signal attenuation, the commonly used water diagnostic, bed-echo reflectivity, is highly ambiguous and prone to spatial bias. Here we introduce a new RES diagnostic for the presence of basal water which incorporates both sharp step-transitions and rapid fluctuations in bed-echo reflectivity. This has the advantage of being (near) independent of attenuation model, and enables a decade of recent Operation Ice Bride RES survey data to be combined in a single map for basal water. The ice-sheet-wide water predictions are compared with: bed topography and drainage network structure, existing knowledge of the thermal state and geothermal heat flux, and ice velocity. In addition to the fast flowing ice-sheet margins, we also demonstrate widespread water routing and storage in parts of the slow-flowing northern interior. Notably, this includes a quasi-linear `corridor' of basal water, extending from NorthGRIP to Petermann glacier, which spatially correlates with a region of locally high (magnetic-derived) geothermal heat flux. The predicted water distribution places a new constraint upon the basal thermal state of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and could be used as an input for ice-sheet model simulations.

  20. Meltwater chemistry and solute export from a Greenland ice sheet catchment, Watson River, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, N. Tvis; Hasholt, Bent

    2014-01-01

    –2010 for the Watson River sector of the GrIS that drains into the fjord Kangerlussuaq. The hydrochemistry is dominated by Ca2+ and HCO3− with a relatively high molar K+/Na+ ratio of 0.6 ± 0.1, typical for meltwaters draining a gneissic lithology. Low molar Ca2+/Na+ and Mg2+/Na+ ratios indicate that weathering....... However, when normalized by discharge the denudation rates are comparable to other Arctic sites. When extrapolating the results from the Watson River catchment to the entire Greenland for 2007–2010, the solute export from Greenland meltwater varied between 7.1 × 106 and 7.8 × 106 tons, whilst the major...

  1. Increasing water vapor transport to the Greenland Ice Sheet revealed using self-organizing maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattingly, Kyle S.; Ramseyer, Craig A.; Rosen, Joshua J.; Mote, Thomas L.; Muthyala, Rohi

    2016-09-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has been losing mass in recent decades, with an acceleration in mass loss since 2000. In this study, we apply a self-organizing map classification to integrated vapor transport data from the ERA-Interim reanalysis to determine if these GrIS mass loss trends are linked to increases in moisture transport to Greenland. We find that "moist" days (i.e., days featuring anomalously intense water vapor transport to Greenland) were significantly more common during 2000-2015 compared to 1979-1994. Furthermore, the two most intense GrIS melt seasons during the last 36 years were either preceded by a record percentage of moist winter days (2010) or occurred during a summer with a record frequency of moist days (2012). We hypothesize that moisture transport events alter the GrIS energy budget by increasing downwelling longwave radiation and turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent energy.

  2. Decadal slowdown of a land-terminating sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet despite warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedstone, Andrew J; Nienow, Peter W; Gourmelen, Noel; Dehecq, Amaury; Goldberg, Daniel; Hanna, Edward

    2015-10-29

    Ice flow along land-terminating margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) varies considerably in response to fluctuating inputs of surface meltwater to the bed of the ice sheet. Such inputs lubricate the ice-bed interface, transiently speeding up the flow of ice. Greater melting results in faster ice motion during summer, but slower motion over the subsequent winter, owing to the evolution of an efficient drainage system that enables water to drain from regions of the ice-sheet bed that have a high basal water pressure. However, the impact of hydrodynamic coupling on ice motion over decadal timescales remains poorly constrained. Here we show that annual ice motion across an 8,000-km(2) land-terminating region of the west GIS margin, extending to 1,100 m above sea level, was 12% slower in 2007-14 compared with 1985-94, despite a 50% increase in surface meltwater production. Our findings suggest that, over these three decades, hydrodynamic coupling in this section of the ablation zone resulted in a net slowdown of ice motion (not a speed-up, as previously postulated). Increases in meltwater production from projected climate warming may therefore further reduce the motion of land-terminating margins of the GIS. Our findings suggest that these sectors of the ice sheet are more resilient to the dynamic impacts of enhanced meltwater production than previously thought.

  3. Detection of Organic Matter in Greenland Ice Cores by Deep-UV Fluorescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, M.; Malaska, M.; Wanger, G.; Bhartia, R.; Eshelman, E.; Abbey, W.; Priscu, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is an Earthly analog for icy ocean worlds in the outer Solar System. Future missions to such worlds including Europa, Enceladus, and Titan may potentially include spectroscopic instrumentation to examine the surface/subsurface. The primary goal of our research is to test deep UV/Raman systems for in the situ detection and localization of organics in ice. As part of this effort we used a deep-UV fluorescence instrument able to detect naturally fluorescent biological materials such as aromatic molecules found in proteins and whole cells. We correlated these data with more traditional downstream analyses of organic material in natural ices. Supraglacial ice cores (2-4 m) were collected from several sites on the southwest outlet of the Greenland Ice Sheet using a 14-cm fluid-free mechanical coring system. Repeat spectral mapping data were initially collected longitudinally on uncut core sections. Cores were then cut into 2 cm thick sections along the longitudinal axis, slowly melted and analyzed for total organic carbon (TOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), and bacterial density. These data reveal a spatial correlation between organic matter concentration, cell density, and the deep UV fluorescence maps. Our results provide a profile of the organics embedded within the ice from the top surface into the glacial subsurface, and the TOC:TDN data from the clean interior of the cores are indicative of a biological origin. This work provides a background dataset for future work to characterize organic carbon in the Greenland Ice Sheet and validation of novel instrumentation for in situ data collection on icy bodies.

  4. A new regional high-resolution map of basal and surface topography for the Greenland ice-sheet margin at Paakitsoq, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mottram, R.; Nielsen, C.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2009-01-01

    In 2005 an airborne survey was carried out from a Twin Otter aircraft at Pâkitsup Akuliarusersua (Paakitsoq) near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The survey aimed to measure ice thickness with a 60 MHz cohrent radar and surface elevation with a scanning laser altimeter.......In 2005 an airborne survey was carried out from a Twin Otter aircraft at Pâkitsup Akuliarusersua (Paakitsoq) near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The survey aimed to measure ice thickness with a 60 MHz cohrent radar and surface elevation with a scanning laser altimeter....

  5. Levels of ammonium, sulfate, chloride, calcium, and sodium in snow and ice from southern Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busenberg, E.; Langway, C.C. Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical analysis of surface snows and dated ice core samples from Dye 3, Greenland, suggests that the ammonium cation is a major constituent in all samples and that the annual ammonium levels present in the south Greenland samples have varied from 3.3 to 26.3 μg/kg between the seventeenth century and the present time. The annual range of 1974--1975 surface samples was between 3.8 and 8.8 μg/kg, while the mean was 5.7 +- 1.8 μ/kg. The recent large-scale uses of fixed nitrogen fertilizers and industrial pollution have apparently not affected the levels of ammonia reaching southern Greenland. The sodium and chloride present are predominantly derived from ocean spray, while more than 90% of the calcium is of continental origin. The levels of these three elements have not apparently been affected by human activity since the industrial revolution. Sulfate levels have increased dramatically since the industrial revolution, suggesting that sulfate of anthropogenic origin is the most important source of sulfate in modern snows from southern Greenland. The amount of the sulfuric acid neutralized by the ammonium cations was approximately 100% in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, dropping to approximately 20% in the 1974--1975 samples. These figures imply that there has been in increase in the acidity of precipitation in southern Greenland since the end of the eighteenth ce

  6. Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    -line are augmented by one where an intermediate ice sheet configuration is coupled back to the GCM. Forcing the ISM with GCM fields corresponding to the ice-free state leads to extensive regrowth which, however, is halted when the intermediate recoupling step is included. This inhibition of further growth is due...

  7. Oceanic Transport of Surface Meltwater from the Southern Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Hao; Castelao, Renato M.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Tedesco, Marco; Bracco, Annalisa; Yager, Patricia L.; Mote, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has undergone accelerating mass losses during recent decades. Freshwater runoff from ice melt can influence fjord circulation and dynamic1 and the delivery of bioavailable micronutrients to the ocean. It can also have climate implications, because stratification in the adjacent Labrador Sea may influence deep convection and the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Yet, the fate of the meltwater in the ocean remains unclear. Here, we use a high-resolution ocean model to show that only 1-15% of the surface meltwater runoff originating from southwest Greenland is transported westwards. In contrast, up to 50-60% of the meltwater runoff originating from southeast Greenland is transported westwards into the northern Labrador Sea, leading to significant salinity and stratification anomalies far from the coast. Doubling meltwater runoff, as predicted in future climate scenarios, results in a more-than-double increase in anomalies offshore that persists further into the winter. Interannual variability in offshore export of meltwater is tightly related to variability in wind forcing. The new insight that meltwaters originating from the west and east coasts have different fates indicates that future changes in mass loss rates and surface runoff will probably impact the ocean differently, depending on their Greenland origins.

  8. Oceanic transport of surface meltwater from the southern Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Hao; Castelao, Renato M.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Tedesco, Marco; Bracco, Annalisa; Yager, Patricia L.; Mote, Thomas L.

    2016-07-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has undergone accelerating mass losses during recent decades. Freshwater runoff from ice melt can influence fjord circulation and dynamics and the delivery of bioavailable micronutrients to the ocean. It can also have climate implications, because stratification in the adjacent Labrador Sea may influence deep convection and the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Yet, the fate of the meltwater in the ocean remains unclear. Here, we use a high-resolution ocean model to show that only 1-15% of the surface meltwater runoff originating from southwest Greenland is transported westwards. In contrast, up to 50-60% of the meltwater runoff originating from southeast Greenland is transported westwards into the northern Labrador Sea, leading to significant salinity and stratification anomalies far from the coast. Doubling meltwater runoff, as predicted in future climate scenarios, results in a more-than-double increase in anomalies offshore that persists further into the winter. Interannual variability in offshore export of meltwater is tightly related to variability in wind forcing. The new insight that meltwaters originating from the west and east coasts have different fates indicates that future changes in mass loss rates and surface runoff will probably impact the ocean differently, depending on their Greenland origins.

  9. Links Between Acceleration, Melting, and Supraglacial Lake Drainage of the Western Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, M. J.; Catania, G. A.; Newmann, T. A.; Andrews, L. C.; Rumrill, J. A.

    2012-01-01

    The impact of increasing summer melt on the dynamics and stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet is not fully understood. Mounting evidence suggests seasonal evolution of subglacial drainage mitigates or counteracts the ability of surface runoff to increase basal sliding. Here, we compare subdaily ice velocity and uplift derived from nine Global Positioning System stations in the upper ablation zone in west Greenland to surface melt and supraglacial lake drainage during summer 2007. Starting around day 173, we observe speedups of 6-41% above spring velocity lasting approximately 40 days accompanied by sustained surface uplift at most stations, followed by a late summer slowdown. After initial speedup, we see a spatially uniform velocity response across the ablation zone and strong diurnal velocity variations during periods of melting. Most lake drainages were undetectable in the velocity record, and those that were detected only perturbed velocities for approximately 1 day, suggesting preexisting drainage systems could efficiently drain large volumes of water. The dynamic response to melt forcing appears to 1) be driven by changes in subglacial storage of water that is delivered in diurnal and episodic pulses, and 2) decrease over the course of the summer, presumably as the subglacial drainage system evolves to greater efficiency. The relationship between hydrology and ice dynamics observed is similar to that observed on mountain glaciers, suggesting that seasonally large water pressures under the ice sheet largely compensate for the greater ice thickness considered here. Thus, increases in summer melting may not guarantee faster seasonal ice flow.

  10. Local processes and regional patterns - Interpreting a multi-decadal altimetry record of Greenland Ice Sheet changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; Babonis, G. S.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; van der Veen, C. J.; Khan, S. A.; Porter, D. F.

    2016-12-01

    This study presents a new, comprehensive reconstruction of Greenland Ice Sheet elevation changes, generated using the Surface Elevation And Change detection (SERAC) approach. 35-year long elevation-change time series (1980-2015) were obtained at more than 150,000 locations from observations acquired by NASA's airborne and spaceborne laser altimeters (ATM, LVIS, ICESat), PROMICE laser altimetry data (2007-2011) and a DEM covering the ice sheet margin derived from stereo aerial photographs (1970s-80s). After removing the effect of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) and the elastic crustal response to changes in ice loading, the time series were partitioned into changes due to surface processes and ice dynamics and then converted into mass change histories. Using gridded products, we examined ice sheet elevation, and mass change patterns, and compared them with other estimates at different scales from individual outlet glaciers through large drainage basins, on to the entire ice sheet. Both the SERAC time series and the grids derived from these time series revealed significant spatial and temporal variations of dynamic mass loss and widespread intermittent thinning, indicating the complexity of ice sheet response to climate forcing. To investigate the regional and local controls of ice dynamics, we examined thickness change time series near outlet glacier grounding lines. Changes on most outlet glaciers were consistent with one or more episodes of dynamic thinning that propagates upstream from the glacier terminus. The spatial pattern of the onset, duration, and termination of these dynamic thinning events suggest a regional control, such as warming ocean and air temperatures. However, the intricate spatiotemporal pattern of dynamic thickness change suggests that, regardless of the forcing responsible for initial glacier acceleration and thinning, the response of individual glaciers is modulated by local conditions. We use statistical methods, such as principal

  11. A new, multi-resolution bedrock elevation map of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, J. A.; Bamber, J. L.; Grisbed Consortium

    2010-12-01

    Gridded bedrock elevation for the Greenland ice sheet has previously been constructed with a 5 km posting. The true resolution of the data set was, in places, however, considerably coarser than this due to the across-track spacing of ice-penetrating radar transects. Errors were estimated to be on the order of a few percent in the centre of the ice sheet, increasing markedly in relative magnitude near the margins, where accurate thickness is particularly critical for numerical modelling and other applications. We use new airborne and satellite estimates of ice thickness and surface elevation to determine the bed topography for the whole of Greenland. This is a dynamic product, which will be updated frequently as new data, such as that from NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge, becomes available. The University of Kansas has in recent years, flown an airborne ice-penetrating radar system with close flightline spacing over several key outlet glacier systems. This allows us to produce a multi-resolution bedrock elevation dataset with the high spatial resolution needed for ice dynamic modelling over these key outlet glaciers and coarser resolution over the more sparsely sampled interior. Airborne ice thickness and elevation from CReSIS obtained between 1993 and 2009 are combined with JPL/UCI/Iowa data collected by the WISE (Warm Ice Sounding Experiment) covering the marginal areas along the south west coast from 2009. Data collected in the 1970’s by the Technical University of Denmark were also used in interior areas with sparse coverage from other sources. Marginal elevation data from the ICESat laser altimeter and the Greenland Ice Mapping Program were used to help constrain the ice thickness and bed topography close to the ice sheet margin where, typically, the terrestrial observations have poor sampling between flight tracks. The GRISBed consortium currently consists of: W. Blake, S. Gogineni, A. Hoch, C. M. Laird, C. Leuschen, J. Meisel, J. Paden, J. Plummer, F

  12. The response of the southern Greenland ice sheet to the Holocene thermal maximum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Nicolaj Krog; Kjær, Kurt H.; Lecavalier, Benoit

    2015-01-01

    in Greenland were 2–4 °C warmer than the present. Records from five new threshold lakes complemented with existing geological data from south of 70°N show that the ice margin was retracted behind its present-day extent in all sectors for a limited period between ca. 7 and 4 cal. kyr B.P. and in most sectors...

  13. Modeling the Sulfate Deposition to the Greenland Ice Sheet From the Laki Eruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oman, L.; Robock, A.; Stenchikov, G.; Thordarson, T.; Gao, C.

    2005-12-01

    Using the state of the art Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) modelE general circulation model, simulations were conducted of the chemistry and transport of aerosols resulting from the 1783-84 Laki (64°N) flood lava eruption. A set of 3 ensemble simulations from different initial conditions were conducted by injecting our estimate of the SO2 gas into the atmosphere by the 10 episodes of the eruption and allowing the sulfur chemistry model to convert this gas into sulfate aerosol. The SO2 gas and sulfate aerosol is transported by the model and wet and dry deposition is calculated over each grid box during the simulation. We compare the resulting sulfate deposition to the Greenland Ice Sheet in the model to 23 ice core measurements and find very good agreement. The model simulation deposits a range of 169 to over 300 kg/km2 over interior Greenland with much higher values along the coastal areas. This compares to a range of 62 to 324 kg/km2 for the 23 ice core measurements with an average value of 158 kg/km2. This comparison is one important model validation tool. Modeling and observations show fairly large spatial variations in the deposition of sulfate across the Greenland Ice Sheet for the Laki eruption, but the patterns are similar to those we modeled for the 1912 Katmai and 1991 Pinatubo eruptions. Estimates of sulfate loading based on single ice cores can show significant differences, so ideally several ice cores should be combined in reconstructing the sulfate loading of past volcanic eruptions, taking into account the characteristic spatial variations in the deposition pattern.

  14. Controlling Factors on the Future Distribution of Supraglacial-lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igneczi, A.; Sole, A. J.; Livingstone, S. J.; Leeson, A.; Fettweis, X.; Selmes, N.; Gourmelen, N.; Briggs, K.

    2016-12-01

    Supraglacial-lakes (SGL) are considered a key element of the hydrological system of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Their presence reduces the surface albedo and facilitates hydrological connectivity between the supraglacial and subglacial drainage systems through hydrofracture, which affects ice flow speed, warms the ice and influences the magnitude and timing of freshwater delivery to the oceans. SGLs are widespread on the GrIS and expected to spread inland during the 21st century due to atmospheric warming. However, less is known about their precise future distribution and volume, while underlying controls are poorly constrained. Here, we present an ice sheet-wide survey of potential SGL locations, derived from digital elevation models. This was used in combination with SGL volume estimations derived from MODIS imagery and Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) surface mass balance outputs to estimate and analyse the distribution of SGLs during the 21st century. The transfer of bedrock undulations to the ice surface, which is assumed to control the distribution of surface depressions and thus SGLs, was tested by comparing the wavelength spectra of bedrock and ice surface undulations with ice thickness and the basal slip ratio. Our results demonstrate: (1) that the distribution of ice surface depressions is controlled by basal topography and ice dynamics; (2) the increase in SGL volume during the 21st century is predicted to be significant and spatially heterogeneous; (3) the largest increase is expected in the north-eastern sector of the GrIS whereas in west Greenland, where the most SGLs are currently observed, SGL expansion will be relatively modest.

  15. Ice Velocities Around the 2000 Meter Traverse in Greenland

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains traverse measurements used to infer the mass balance of central parts of the ice sheet upslope from the traverse, and results from this work...

  16. Sunlight Absorption on the Greenland Ice Sheet Experiment (SAGE) - Tracing black carbon from emissions to deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polashenski, C.; Soja, A. J.; Thomas, J. L.; Dibb, J. E.; Choi, H. D.; Flanner, M.; Bergin, M.; Casey, K.; Chen, J.; Courville, Z.; Lai, A.; Schauer, J. J.; Shafer, M. M.; Ward, J. L.

    2016-12-01

    The SAGE project seeks to understand the impact of light absorbing impurities on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). In general, the project has found that black carbon and dust concentrations in snow were low in the dry snow zones of the GrIS during 2012-2014 and that their concentrations do not appear to be trending relative to observations of these concentrations in snow over recent decades. We provide a revised analysis of MODIS albedo trends on the GrIS using new collection 6 data. These indicate that observed albedo of dry snow is not substantially trending. Sensor drift which had been present in collection 5 data has been substantially removed and the observed albedo of dry snow on the GrIS is now showing near zero trend. Episodic enhancements in BC deposition are, however, found in specific layers in our extensive snow pit observations. These peak enhancements include concentrations of up to 40 ng/g BC and would have reduced the albedo of the snow by 0.01-0.02. If timed correctly, the deposition of such a layer could be an important factor in initiating a melt-albedo feedback. Here we present an overview of synthesis work seeking to trace the formation of such a layer back to emission sources and call attention to multiple presentations making up the project. Collectively, the work traces a specific enhanced deposition event occurring on the northwest region of the ice sheet in early August 2013 to source fires in Canada. We summarize the multi-modal approach including remote sensing of aerosols, atmospheric trajectory modeling, chemical transport modeling, and coupled Earth system modeling. The emission, transport, and deposition of the enhanced event is observed and predicted by these tools and we find general agreement between these several modes of sensing and predicting. Further investigations explore other events where BC was emitted and even transported over the ice sheet but did not cause deposition events, resulting in no BC signature in the snow. We

  17. Chronology and alteration of cyclic drainage events for ice-dammed Lake Tiningnilik, Greenland, in 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haase, Eric Juergen; Furuya, Masato; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup

    On the west coast of Greenland near Disko Bay an outlet glacier named Sarquardliup sermia forms an ice dam across a valley to produce Lake Tiningnilik. Expeditions in the early 20th century reported that the lake drains cyclically about every 10 years establishing an important baseline for a stable...... pattern in nature lasting through the 19th and 20th centuries until now. In summer 2010 the lake drained after just 7 years and at a lower water stand than the 2003 pre-drainage levels. This represents an adjustment to new equilibrium conditions with the ice dam and might be an index of recent local...

  18. Direct observation of salts as micro-inclusions in the Greenland GRIP ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Sakurai, Toshimitsu; Iizuka, Yoshinori

    2009-01-01

    We provide the first direct evidence that a number of water-soluble compounds, in particular calcium sulfate (CaSO4·2H2O) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3), are present as solid, micron-sized inclusions within the Greenland GRIP ice core. The compounds are detected by two independent methods: micro...... distributions of the micro-inclusions. These results suggest that water-soluble aerosols in the GRIP ice core are dependable proxies for past atmospheric conditions. Udgivelsesdato: December...

  19. Cascading lake drainage on the Greenland Ice Sheet triggered by tensile shock and fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoffersen, Poul; Bougamont, Marion; Hubbard, Alun; Doyle, Samuel H; Grigsby, Shane; Pettersson, Rickard

    2018-03-14

    Supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet are expanding inland, but the impact on ice flow is equivocal because interior surface conditions may preclude the transfer of surface water to the bed. Here we use a well-constrained 3D model to demonstrate that supraglacial lakes in Greenland drain when tensile-stress perturbations propagate fractures in areas where fractures are normally absent or closed. These melt-induced perturbations escalate when lakes as far as 80 km apart form expansive networks and drain in rapid succession. The result is a tensile shock that establishes new surface-to-bed hydraulic pathways in areas where crevasses transiently open. We show evidence for open crevasses 135 km inland from the ice margin, which is much farther inland than previously considered possible. We hypothesise that inland expansion of lakes will deliver water and heat to isolated regions of the ice sheet's interior where the impact on ice flow is potentially large.

  20. Direct observation of salts as micro-inclusions in the Greenland GRIP ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Sakurai, Toshimitsu; Iizuka, Yoshinori

    2009-01-01

    We provide the first direct evidence that a number of water-soluble compounds, in particular calcium sulfate (CaSO4·2H2O) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3), are present as solid, micron-sized inclusions within the Greenland GRIP ice core. The compounds are detected by two independent methods: micro......-Raman spectroscopy of a solid ice sample, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of individual inclusions remaining after sublimation. CaSO4·2H2O is found in abundance throughout the Holocene and the last glacial period, while CaCO3 exists mainly in the glacial period ice. We also present size and spatial...... distributions of the micro-inclusions. These results suggest that water-soluble aerosols in the GRIP ice core are dependable proxies for past atmospheric conditions. Udgivelsesdato: December...

  1. Land motion due to 20th century mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjeldsen, K. K.; Khan, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying the contribution from ice sheets and glaciers to past sea level change is of great value for understanding sea level projections into the 21st century. However, quantifying and understanding past changes are equally important, in particular understanding the impact in the near-field where the signal is highest. We assess the impact of 20th century mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet on land motion using results from Kjeldsen et al, 2015. These results suggest that the ice sheet on average lost a minimum of 75 Gt/yr, but also show that the mass balance was highly spatial- and temporal variable, and moreover that on a centennial time scale changes were driven by a decreasing surface mass balance. Based on preliminary results we discuss land motion during the 20th century due to mass balance changes and the driving components surface mass balance and ice dynamics.

  2. A Bayesian Retrieval of Greenland Ice Sheet Internal Temperature from Ultra-wideband Software-defined Microwave Radiometer (UWBRAD) Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Y.; Durand, M. T.; Jezek, K. C.; Yardim, C.; Bringer, A.; Aksoy, M.; Johnson, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    The ultra-wideband software-defined microwave radiometer (UWBRAD) is designed to provide ice sheet internal temperature product via measuring low frequency microwave emission. Twelve channels ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 GHz are covered by the instrument. A Greenland air-borne demonstration was demonstrated in September 2016, provided first demonstration of Ultra-wideband radiometer observations of geophysical scenes, including ice sheets. Another flight is planned for September 2017 for acquiring measurements in central ice sheet. A Bayesian framework is designed to retrieve the ice sheet internal temperature from simulated UWBRAD brightness temperature (Tb) measurements over Greenland flight path with limited prior information of the ground. A 1-D heat-flow model, the Robin Model, was used to model the ice sheet internal temperature profile with ground information. Synthetic UWBRAD Tb observations was generated via the partially coherent radiation transfer model, which utilizes the Robin model temperature profile and an exponential fit of ice density from Borehole measurement as input, and corrupted with noise. The effective surface temperature, geothermal heat flux, the variance of upper layer ice density, and the variance of fine scale density variation at deeper ice sheet were treated as unknown variables within the retrieval framework. Each parameter is defined with its possible range and set to be uniformly distributed. The Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach is applied to make the unknown parameters randomly walk in the parameter space. We investigate whether the variables can be improved over priors using the MCMC approach and contribute to the temperature retrieval theoretically. UWBRAD measurements near camp century from 2016 was also treated with the MCMC to examine the framework with scattering effect. The fine scale density fluctuation is an important parameter. It is the most sensitive yet highly unknown parameter in the estimation framework

  3. Spatial pattern of mass loss processes across the Greenland Ice Sheet from the Little Ice Age to 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, K. H.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Kjeldsen, K. K.

    The Greenland Ice Sheet loses mass through surface meltwater runoff and discharge from marine terminating outlet glaciers. The spatial variability and magnitude of these processes have been studied and described in detail for the past decades. Here, we combine the mass loss between the LIA to 2010...... (ICESat) from 2003-2009, NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) from 2010, and ASTER (Silcast AST14DMO) co-registered to ICESat, to estimate mass loss throughout the 20th and early 21st Century. The mass balance estimates of the GrIS since retreat from maximum LIA is combined with a SMB model...... correspond to those that experienced considerable thinning throughout the 20th century. Consequently, comparing the 20th century thinning pattern to that of the last decade, and assuming a similar warming pattern, we argue that the present sensitivity distribution will hold also for future ice sheet mass...

  4. Quaternary evolution and ice sheet history of contrasting landscapes in Uummannaq and Sukkertoppen, western Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beel, C. R.; Lifton, N. A.; Briner, J. P.; Goehring, B. M.

    2016-10-01

    Constraining the history of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is important for improving our understanding of ice sheet dynamics and landscape evolution processes. We analyzed in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al in 26 rock samples from two high-elevation landscapes adjacent to the GIS, minimally eroded by past glaciations and of differing character in Uummannaq (n = 16) and Sukkertoppen (n = 10), western Greenland. The Uummannaq region is characterized by a marine embayment with islands and peninsulas, where the margin of the GIS is marine-based, whereas the Sukkertoppen landscape resides within the wide terrestrial fringe outboard of the land-terminating portion of the southwestern GIS margin. We targeted landscapes for sampling with highly weathered surfaces adjacent to cold-based portions of extant ice caps (indicated by preservation of fragile, dead vegetation emerging from beneath retreating ice margins). Paired isotope results require differing surface histories between the two areas. Many surfaces in the Uummannaq region have minimum exposure durations up to ca. 300 kyr, but with no significant burial. Most surfaces in the Sukkertoppen region, however, yield complex exposure histories with minimum cumulative exposure durations up to ca. 100 kyr and minimum cumulative burial durations up to ca. 400 kyr, yielding minimum total surface histories of up to 500 ka. These findings suggest that parts of the Uummannaq landscape may have been continuously exposed throughout much of the middle and late Quaternary. On the other hand, the high-altitude surfaces in the Sukkertoppen region were largely preserved beneath minimally-erosive, cold-based ice during the same period. Data from the Uummannaq region thus stand in contrast not only to the Sukkertoppen region, but also to other sites surrounding Baffin Bay reported in previous studies. We hypothesize that surfaces in the Uummannaq region may have remained as nunataks above the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice sheet surface

  5. Classification of new-ice in the Greenland Sea using Satellite SSM/I radiometer and SeaWinds scatterometer data and comparison with ice model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonboe, Rasmus; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2005-01-01

    In the ice covered waters of the Greenland Sea the polarisation ratio of QuikSCAT SeaWinds Ku-band (13.4 GHz) scatterometer measurements and the polarisation ratio of DMSP-SSM/I 19 GHz radiometer measurements are used in combination to classify new-ice and mature ice. In particular, the formation...... of the new-(frazil/pancake)-ice 'Odden' (8 degrees W, 75 degrees N) March 11th-18th, 2001, is used in the study. The results of the ice cover classification in the Greenland Sea are compared to model parameters from a sea ice model. The classification of each ice pixel is performed using its backscatter...

  6. Sustained High Basal Motion of the Greenland Ice Sheet Revealed by Borehole Deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryser, Claudia; Luthi, Martin P.; Andrews, Lauren C.; Hoffman, Matthew, J.; Catania, Ginny A.; Hawley, Robert L.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Kristensen, Steen S.

    2014-01-01

    Ice deformation and basal motion characterize the dynamical behavior of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). We evaluate the contribution of basal motion from ice deformation measurements in boreholes drilled to the bed at two sites in the western marginal zone of the GrIS. We find a sustained high amount of basal motion contribution to surface velocity of 44-73 percent in winter, and up to 90 percent in summer. Measured ice deformation rates show an unexpected variation with depth that can be explained with the help of an ice-flow model as a consequence of stress transfer from slippery to sticky areas. This effect necessitates the use of high-order ice-flow models, not only in regions of fast-flowing ice streams but in all temperate-based areas of the GrIS. The agreement between modeled and measured deformation rates confirms that the recommended values of the temperature-dependent flow rate factor A are a good choice for ice-sheet models.

  7. Tidal Modulation of Ice Flow on Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim Glaciers, East Greenland, from High-Rate GPS Measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.; Elosegui, P.

    Boundary conditions at the frontal margins of tidewater glaciers provide important constraints on the balance of forces affecting ice flow and iceberg calving. For many large outlet glaciers in Greenland, the type of boundary condition (floating vs grounded ice) is not well known, owing to limited...

  8. Elevation change of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface mass balance and firn processes, 1960-2014

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.; Ligtenberg, S. R M; Noël, B. P Y; Howat, I. M.; Box, J. E.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; McConnell, J. R.; Steffen, K.; Harper, J. T.; Das, S. B.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.

    2015-01-01

    Observed changes in the surface elevation of the Greenland Ice Sheet are caused by ice dynamics, basal elevation change, basal melt, surface mass balance (SMB) variability, and by compaction of the overlying firn. The last two contributions are quantified here using a firn model that includes

  9. Estimating the rates of mass change, ice volume change and snow volume change in Greenland from ICESat and GRACE data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slobbe, D.C.; Ditmar, P.G.; Lindenbergh, R.C.

    2008-01-01

    The focus of this paper is on the quantification of ongoing mass and volume changes over the Greenland ice sheet. For that purpose, we used elevation changes derived from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry mission and monthly variations of the Earth’s gravity field

  10. Differences in plankton community structure and carbon cycling along a climate gradient from the Greenland Ice Sheet to offshore waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arendt, K.E.; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Rysgaard, S.

    . Protozooplankton accounts for 20-38% of the carbon turnover in the offshore and inland areas. However, protozooplankton like copepods has low ability to turn over the primary production close to the Ice Sheet. Increased run of from the Greenland Ice Sheet due to global warming could displace the existing climate...

  11. Holocene glacial history of the west Greenland Ice Sheet inferred from cosmogenic exposure ages and threshold lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Nicolaj Krog; Kjaer, K. H.; Colding, Sune Oluf

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we use a combination of 10Be exposure ages and threshold lakes to constrain the ice sheet history in Godthåbs- and Buksefjorden, west Greenland (63-64°N) during the Holocene. The 10Be cosmogenic exposure ages have been used to quantify both the ice retreat and thinning of the west......) and this suggest that the ice sheet in this area may have been more retracted and probably more sensitive to climate change than other areas in south and west Greenland....

  12. Envisat-derived elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet, and a comparison with ICESat results in the accumulation area

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Meister, Rakia

    2015-01-01

    We show, for the first time over the Greenland ice sheet, that an along track method for deriving rates of elevationchange can successfully be applied to Envisat radar altimetry data (2002–2010). The results provide improved resolution and coverage compared to previous results obtained from cross......-over methods. Also, we find that temporal changes in the elevation change rate can be derived from Envisat data, and show clearexamples of this by generating five-year running means for selected areas of the Greenland ice sheet. For a period between 2003 and 2009, the elevation of the ice sheetswas measured...

  13. Measurement of spectral sea ice albedo at Qaanaaq fjord in northwest Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanikawa, T.

    2017-12-01

    The spectral albedos of sea ice were measured at Qaanaaq fjord in northwest Greenland. Spectral measurements were conducted for sea ice covered with snow and sea ice without snow where snow was artificially removed around measurement point. Thickness of the sea ice was approximately 1.3 m with 5 cm of snow over the sea ice. The measurements show that the spectral albedos of the sea ice with snow were lower than those of natural pure snow especially in the visible regions though the spectral shapes were similar to each other. This is because the spectral albedos in the visible region have information of not only the snow but also the sea ice under the snow. The spectral albedos of the sea ice without the snow were approximately 0.4 - 0.5 in the visible region, 0.05-0.25 in the near-infrared region and almost constant of approximately 0.05 in the region of 1500 - 2500 nm. In the visible region, it would be due to multiple scattering by an air bubble within the sea ice. In contrast, in the near-infrared and shortwave infrared wavelengths, surface reflection at the sea ice surface would be dominant. Since a light absorption by the ice in these regions is relatively strong comparing to the visible region, the light could not be penetrated deeply within the sea ice, resulting that surface reflection based on Fresnel reflection would be dominant. In this presentation we also show the results of comparison between the radiative transfer calculation and spectral measurement data.

  14. Tracing Internal Radar Layers in the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Panton, Christian

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

  15. Continuous methane measurements from a late Holocene Greenland ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rhodes, R.H.; Mitchell, L.E.; Brook, E.J.

    2013-01-01

    that are reproduced by discrete measurements. We show for the first time that methane spikes present in thin and infrequent layers in polar, glacial ice are accompanied by elevated concentrations of carbon- and nitrogen-based chemical impurities, and suggest that biological in-situ production may be responsible....

  16. Sensitivity of the North Atlantic climate to Greenland Ice Sheet melting during the Last Interglacial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Bakker

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available During the Last Interglacial (LIG; ~130 000 yr BP, part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS melted due to a warmer than present-day climate. However, the impact of this melting on the LIG climate in the North Atlantic region is relatively unknown. Using the LOVECLIM Earth system model of intermediate complexity, we have systematically tested the sensitivity of the LIG climate to increased freshwater runoff from the GIS. In addition, experiments have been performed to investigate the impact of an idealized reduction of both surface elevation and extent of the GIS on the LIG climate. Based on changes in the maximum sea-ice cover and the strength of the overturning circulation, three regimes have been identified, which are characterized by a specific pattern of surface temperature change in the North Atlantic region. By comparing the simulated deep ocean circulation with proxy-based reconstructions, the most realistic simulated climate could be discerned. The resulting climate is characterized by a shutdown of deep convection and a subsequent ~4 °C cooling in the Labrador Sea. Furthermore, a cooling of ~1 °C over the North Atlantic Ocean between 40° N and 70° N is seen. The prescribed reduction in surface elevation and extent of the GIS results in a local warming of up to 4 °C and amplifies the freshwater-forced reduction in deep convection and the resultant cooling in the Nordic Seas. A further comparison of simulated summer temperatures with both continental and oceanic proxy records reveals that the partial melting of the GIS during the LIG could have delayed maximum summer temperatures in the western part of the North Atlantic region relative to the insolation maximum.

  17. Ice-Ocean Interactions to the North-West of Greenland: Glaciers, Straits, Ice Bridges, and the Rossby Radius (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muenchow, A.; Falkner, K. K.; Melling, H.; Johnson, H. L.; Huntley, H. S.; Ryan, P.; Friends Of Petermann

    2010-12-01

    Petermann Glacier at 81 N latitude is a major outlet glacier adjacent to Nares Strait. It terminates in a long (70 km), narrow (16 km) and thin (50 m) floating tongue and has a grounding line more than 500 m below sea level. A calving event in 2010 reduced the floating area by 25% and produced a single 240 km2 ice island currently moving south in Nares Strait where it will likely interact with island to potentially create a temporary polynya in Nares Strait. The 2010 calving from Petermann Glacier contributes bridge formed regularly at the southern end of Nares Strait creating the North-Water polynya near 79 N latitude. Since 2006 this ice bridge has largely failed to form, leading, perhaps, to the occasional formation of a secondary ice bridge 300 km to the north where Nares Strait connects to the Arctic Ocean. However, this ice bridge appears to form for shorter periods only. Consequently Arctic sea ice can now exit the Arctic in winter via pathways to the west of Greenland all year. We speculate that this changed ocean and sea ice regime in Nares Strait and the Arctic Ocean may contribute to the recently observed calving events in Petermann Fjord.

  18. 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.

  19. A new field experiment in the Greenland ice cap to test Newton's inverse square law

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ander, M.E.; Nieto, M.M.; Zumberge, M.A.; Parker, R.L.; Lautzenhiser, T.; Aiken, C.L.V.; Ferguson, J.F.; McMechan, G.A.

    1989-01-01

    Recent experimental evidence suggests that Newton's law of gravity may not be precise. There are modern theories of quantum gravity that, in their attempts to unify gravity with other forces of nature, predict non-Newtonian gravitational forces that could have ranges on the order of 10 2 --10 5 m. If they exist, these forces would be apparent as violations of Newton's inverse square law. A geophysical experiment was carried out to search for possible finite-range, non-Newtonian gravity over depths of 213--1673 m in the glacial ice of the Greenland ice cap. The principal reason for this choice of experimental site is that a hole drilled through the ice cap already existed and the uniformity of the ice eliminates one of the major sources of uncertainty arising in the first of earlier studies, namely, the heterogeneity of the rocks through which a mine shaft or drill hole passes. This paper presents observations made in the summer of 1987 at Dye 3, Greenland, in the 2033-m-deep borehole, which reached the basement rock

  20. Seafloor geomorphology and glacimarine sedimentation associated with fast-flowing ice sheet outlet glaciers in Disko Bay, West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streuff, Katharina; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Hogan, Kelly; Jennings, Anne; Lloyd, Jeremy M.; Noormets, Riko; Nielsen, Tove; Kuijpers, Antoon; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Weinrebe, Wilhelm

    2017-08-01

    Fast-flowing outlet glaciers currently drain the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), delivering ice, meltwater and debris to the fjords around Greenland. Although such glaciers strongly affect the ice sheet's mass balance, their glacimarine processes and associated products are still poorly understood. This study provides a detailed analysis of lithological and geophysical data from Disko Bay and the Vaigat Strait in central West Greenland. Disko Bay is strongly influenced by Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland's fastest-flowing glacier, which currently drains ∼7% of the ice sheet. Streamlined glacial landforms record the former flow of an expanded Jakobshavn Isbræ and adjacent GIS outlets through Disko Bay and the Vaigat Strait towards the continental shelf. Thirteen vibrocores contain a complex set of lithofacies including diamict, stratified mud, interbedded mud and sand, and bioturbated mud deposited by (1) suspension settling from meltwater plumes and the water column, (2) sediment gravity flows, and (3) iceberg rafting and ploughing. The importance of meltwater-related processes to glacimarine sedimentation in West Greenland fjords and bays is emphasised by the abundance of mud preserved in the cores. Radiocarbon dates constrain the position of the ice margin during deglaciation, and suggest that Jakobshavn Isbræ had retreated into central Disko Bay before 10.6 cal ka BP and to beyond Isfjeldsbanken by 7.6-7.1 cal ka BP. Sediment accumulation rates were up to 1.7 cm a-1 for ice-proximal glacimarine mud, and ∼0.007-0.05 cm a-1 for overlying distal sediments. In addition to elucidating the deglacial retreat history of Jakobshavn Isbræ, our findings show that the glacimarine sedimentary processes in West Greenland are similar to those in East Greenland, and that variability in such processes is more a function of time and glacier proximity than of geographic location and associated climatic regime.

  1. Carbonaceous particles reveal that Late Holocene dust causes the dark region in the western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wientjes, I.G.M.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Schwikowski, M.; Zapf, A.; Fahrni, S.; Wacker, L.

    2012-01-01

    A dark region in the western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet is caused by outcropping ice layers that contain more dust than the surrounding brighter ice. These higher amounts of dust were deposited in the accumulation zone of the ice sheet and travelled with the ice to the ablation zone.

  2. Meltwater retention in a transect across the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bøggild, Carl Egede; Forsberg, René; Reeh, Niels

    2005-01-01

    Meltwater retention by freezing is a highly climate-sensitive term in the mass budget since the cold content is directly controlled by winter climate, which is expected to change most in an anthropogenic-driven climate change. Meltwater released at the surface percolates into dry snow in a pattern...... with alternating horizontal and vertical water-flow directions, where the processes of pore refreezing (RF) (vertical flow) and superimposed ice (SI) formation (horizontal flow) occur. The flow cannot be forecasted and quantified when water first enters cold, dry snow. However, because the two processes are driven...... at similar to 1400 m a.s.l. in the west and similar to 1600 m a.s.l. in the east. Since the SI potential is high in most places and the warming from SI formation predominately occurs near to the surface, it is argued that winter cooling effectively recharges the cold content of the snow/firn/ice pack...

  3. Snapshots of the Greenland ice sheet configuration in the Pliocene to early Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne M.; Reeh, Niels; Japsen, Peter

    2011-01-01

    The geometry of the ice sheets during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene is not well constrained. Here we apply an ice-flow model in the study of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) during three extreme intervals of this period constrained by geological observations and climate reconstructions. We study...... the extent of the GIS during the Mid-Pliocene Warmth (3.3-3.0 Ma), its advance across the continental shelf during the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene glaciations (3.0-2.4 Ma) as implied by offshore geological studies, and the transition from glacial to interglacial conditions around 2.4 Ma as deduced...... the variability of the GIS during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene and underline the importance of including independent estimates of the GIS in studies of climate during this period. We conclude that the GIS did not exist throughout the Pliocene to early Pleistocene, and that it melted during interglacials even...

  4. The Greenland ice sheet during LGM – a model based on field observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjær, Kurt H.

    based on observations on land, such as weathering limits on coastal mountains, major moraine belts, and altitudes of marine limits. Extrapolation from this gave estimates of LGM ice cover on the shelf ranging from inner to outer shelf, often under the assumption that it had to be either or......In the light of recent years¿ intense discussion on the role of Greenland Ice Sheet in global warming its reaction to past climatic change can contribute valuable information. We have updated the evidence for LGM (c. 23-20 kaBP) icesheet coverage. previous reviews An important part of the main...... The issue is complicated by the circumstance that during LGM (Last glacial maximum) the ice sheet margins around the whole perimeter stood on the shelf and “classical” evidence, such as large moraine belts, extensive sandurs and major drainage diversions do not apply. The first estimates were therefore...

  5. The Greenland ice sheet during LGM – a model based on field observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjær, Kurt H.

    combine this new evidence with the older observations. This model is conservative because it is, as far as possible, based on tangible evidence minimising the amount of speculation. The LGM ice sheet in this model covered c. 2.7 mio km2, 65% more than the present. Two thirds of this excess relative......In the light of recent years¿ intense discussion on the role of Greenland Ice Sheet in global warming its reaction to past climatic change can contribute valuable information. We have updated the evidence for LGM (c. 23-20 kaBP) icesheet coverage. previous reviews An important part of the main...... The issue is complicated by the circumstance that during LGM (Last glacial maximum) the ice sheet margins around the whole perimeter stood on the shelf and “classical” evidence, such as large moraine belts, extensive sandurs and major drainage diversions do not apply. The first estimates were therefore...

  6. Runoff simulations from the Greenland ice sheet at Kangerlussuaq from 2006-2007 to 2007/08. West Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Hasholt, Bent [UNIV OF COPENHAGEN; Van Den Broeke, Michiel [UTRECHT UNIV; Liston, Glen [COLORADO STATE UNIV

    2009-01-01

    This study focuses on runoff from a large sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) - the Kangerlussuaq drainage area, West Greenland - for the runoff observation period 2006/07 to 2007/08. SnowModel, a state-of-the-art snow-evolution modeling system, was used to simulate winter accumulation and summer ablation processes, including runoff. Independent in situ end-of-winter snow depth and high-resolution runoff observations were used for validation of simulated accumulation and ablation processes. Runoff was modeled on both daily and hourly time steps, filling a data gap of runoff exiting part of the GrIS. Using hourly meteorological driving data instead of smoothed daily-averaged data produced more realistic meteorological conditions in relation to snow and melt threshold surface processes, and produced 6-17% higher annual cumulative runoff. The simulated runoff series yielded useful insights into the present conditions of inter-seasonal and inter-annual variability of Kangerlussuaq runoff, and provided an acceptable degree of agreement between simulated and observed runoff. The simulated spatial runoff distributions, in some areas of the GrIS terminus, were as high as 2,750 mm w.eq. of runoff for 2006/07, while only 900 mm w.eq was simulated for 2007/08. The simulated total runoff from Kangerlussuaq was 1.9 km{sup 3} for 2006/07 and 1.2 km{sup 3} for 2007/08, indicating a reduction of 35-40% caused by the climate conditions and changes in the GrIS freshwater storage. The reduction in runoff from 2006/07 to 2007/08 occurred simultaneously with the reduction in the overall pattern of satellite-derived GrIS surface melt from 2007 to 2008.

  7. Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance: evaluating simulations and making projections with regional climate models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. L. Rae

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Four high-resolution regional climate models (RCMs have been set up for the area of Greenland, with the aim of providing future projections of Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB, and its contribution to sea level rise, with greater accuracy than is possible from coarser-resolution general circulation models (GCMs. This is the first time an intercomparison has been carried out of RCM results for Greenland climate and SMB. Output from RCM simulations for the recent past with the four RCMs is evaluated against available observations. The evaluation highlights the importance of using a detailed snow physics scheme, especially regarding the representations of albedo and meltwater refreezing. Simulations with three of the RCMs for the 21st century using SRES scenario A1B from two GCMs produce trends of between −5.5 and −1.1 Gt yr−2 in SMB (equivalent to +0.015 and +0.003 mm sea level equivalent yr−2, with trends of smaller magnitude for scenario E1, in which emissions are mitigated. Results from one of the RCMs whose present-day simulation is most realistic indicate that an annual mean near-surface air temperature increase over Greenland of ~ 2°C would be required for the mass loss to increase such that it exceeds accumulation, thereby causing the SMB to become negative, which has been suggested as a threshold beyond which the ice sheet would eventually be eliminated.

  8. Direct measurements of meltwater runoff on the Greenland ice sheet surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laurence C.; Yang, Kang; Pitcher, Lincoln H.; Overstreet, Brandon T.; Chu, Vena W.; Rennermalm, Åsa K.; Ryan, Jonathan C.; Cooper, Matthew G.; Gleason, Colin J.; Tedesco, Marco; Jeyaratnam, Jeyavinoth; van As, Dirk; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Langen, Peter L.; Cullather, Richard I.; Zhao, Bin; Willis, Michael J.; Hubbard, Alun; Box, Jason E.; Jenner, Brittany A.; Behar, Alberto E.

    2017-12-01

    Meltwater runoff from the Greenland ice sheet surface influences surface mass balance (SMB), ice dynamics, and global sea level rise, but is estimated with climate models and thus difficult to validate. We present a way to measure ice surface runoff directly, from hourly in situ supraglacial river discharge measurements and simultaneous high-resolution satellite/drone remote sensing of upstream fluvial catchment area. A first 72-h trial for a 63.1-km2 moulin-terminating internally drained catchment (IDC) on Greenland's midelevation (1,207–1,381 m above sea level) ablation zone is compared with melt and runoff simulations from HIRHAM5, MAR3.6, RACMO2.3, MERRA-2, and SEB climate/SMB models. Current models cannot reproduce peak discharges or timing of runoff entering moulins but are improved using synthetic unit hydrograph (SUH) theory. Retroactive SUH applications to two older field studies reproduce their findings, signifying that remotely sensed IDC area, shape, and supraglacial river length are useful for predicting delays in peak runoff delivery to moulins. Applying SUH to HIRHAM5, MAR3.6, and RACMO2.3 gridded melt products for 799 surrounding IDCs suggests their terminal moulins receive lower peak discharges, less diurnal variability, and asynchronous runoff timing relative to climate/SMB model output alone. Conversely, large IDCs produce high moulin discharges, even at high elevations where melt rates are low. During this particular field experiment, models overestimated runoff by +21 to +58%, linked to overestimated surface ablation and possible meltwater retention in bare, porous, low-density ice. Direct measurements of ice surface runoff will improve climate/SMB models, and incorporating remotely sensed IDCs will aid coupling of SMB with ice dynamics and subglacial systems.

  9. Efficient meltwater drainage through supraglacial streams and rivers on the southwest Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laurence C; Chu, Vena W; Yang, Kang; Gleason, Colin J; Pitcher, Lincoln H; Rennermalm, Asa K; Legleiter, Carl J; Behar, Alberto E; Overstreet, Brandon T; Moustafa, Samiah E; Tedesco, Marco; Forster, Richard R; LeWinter, Adam L; Finnegan, David C; Sheng, Yongwei; Balog, James

    2015-01-27

    Thermally incised meltwater channels that flow each summer across melt-prone surfaces of the Greenland ice sheet have received little direct study. We use high-resolution WorldView-1/2 satellite mapping and in situ measurements to characterize supraglacial water storage, drainage pattern, and discharge across 6,812 km(2) of southwest Greenland in July 2012, after a record melt event. Efficient surface drainage was routed through 523 high-order stream/river channel networks, all of which terminated in moulins before reaching the ice edge. Low surface water storage (3.6 ± 0.9 cm), negligible impoundment by supraglacial lakes or topographic depressions, and high discharge to moulins (2.54-2.81 cm⋅d(-1)) indicate that the surface drainage system conveyed its own storage volume every importance of supraglacial river drainage to true outflow from the ice edge. However, Isortoq discharges tended lower than runoff simulations from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) regional climate model (0.056-0.112 km(3)⋅d(-1) vs. ∼0.103 km(3)⋅d(-1)), and when integrated over the melt season, totaled just 37-75% of MAR, suggesting nontrivial subglacial water storage even in this melt-prone region of the ice sheet. We conclude that (i) the interior surface of the ice sheet can be efficiently drained under optimal conditions, (ii) that digital elevation models alone cannot fully describe supraglacial drainage and its connection to subglacial systems, and (iii) that predicting outflow from climate models alone, without recognition of subglacial processes, may overestimate true meltwater export from the ice sheet to the ocean.

  10. A review of the bipolar see-saw from synchronized and high resolution ice core water stable isotope records from Greenland and East Antarctica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Landais, A.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Stenni, B.; Selmo, E.; Roche, D.M.V.A.P.; Jouzel, J.; Lambert, F.; Guillevic, M.; Bazin, L.; Arzel, O.; Vinther, B.; Gkinis, V.; Popp, T.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous ice core records are now available that cover the Last Glacial cycle both in Greenland and in Antarctica. Recent developments in coherent ice core chronologies now enable us to depict with a precision of a few centuries the relationship between climate records in Greenland and Antarctica

  11. 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

  12. High resolution ice thickness, bed topography, and roughness of a land terminating section of the western Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindback, K.; Pettersson, R.; Doyle, S. H.

    We present ice thickness and bed topography maps with high spatial resolution (250-500 m) of a large land terminating section of the western Greenland Ice Sheet. The maps cover the Isunnguata Sermia, Russell, and Leverett outlet glaciers and their catchment areas up to an elevation of ~1,700 m...... above sea level. The bed topography shows an intricate subglacial trough system, resembling the landscape in the proglacial area. We also calculate the hydraulic potential to get a proxy of the subglacial routing of water in the area. To analyse the geomorphological conditions of the bed, we calculated...... velocities also coincide with an overdeepened trough system in the northern parts of the area; an area where active smoothing could be taking place. The southern parts consist of high bed elevations and have generally high roughness values; the bedrock likely consists of hard unreworked orthogneiss...

  13. Spatial and temporal distribution of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since AD 1900

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Korsgaard, Niels J.; Bjørk, Anders A

    2015-01-01

    The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to changes in temperature during the twentieth century remains contentious, largely owing to difficulties in estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of ice mass changes before 1992, when Greenland-wide observations first became available....... The only previous estimates of change during the twentieth century are based on empirical modelling and energy balance modelling. Consequently, no observation-based estimates of the contribution from the GIS to the global-mean sea level budget before 1990 are included in the Fifth Assessment Report...... of the nineteenth century. We estimate the total ice mass loss and its spatial distribution for three periods: 1900-1983 (75.1 ± 29.4 gigatonnes per year), 1983-2003 (73.8 ± 40.5 gigatonnes per year), and 2003-2010 (186.4 ± 18.9 gigatonnes per year). Furthermore, using two surface mass balance models we partition...

  14. SEMIC: an efficient surface energy and mass balance model applied to the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Krapp

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We present SEMIC, a Surface Energy and Mass balance model of Intermediate Complexity for snow- and ice-covered surfaces such as the Greenland ice sheet. SEMIC is fast enough for glacial cycle applications, making it a suitable replacement for simpler methods such as the positive degree day (PDD method often used in ice sheet modelling. Our model explicitly calculates the main processes involved in the surface energy and mass balance, while maintaining a simple interface and requiring minimal data input to drive it. In this novel approach, we parameterise diurnal temperature variations in order to more realistically capture the daily thaw–freeze cycles that characterise the ice sheet mass balance. We show how to derive optimal model parameters for SEMIC specifically to reproduce surface characteristics and day-to-day variations similar to the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional, version 2 and its incorporated multilayer snowpack model SISVAT (Soil Ice Snow Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer. A validation test shows that SEMIC simulates future changes in surface temperature and surface mass balance in good agreement with the more sophisticated multilayer snowpack model SISVAT included in MAR. With this paper, we present a physically based surface model to the ice sheet modelling community that is general enough to be used with in situ observations, climate model, or reanalysis data, and that is at the same time computationally fast enough for long-term integrations, such as glacial cycles or future climate change scenarios.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-15

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

  16. Basin-scale partitioning of Greenland ice sheet mass balance components (2007-2011)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M.L.; Stenseng, Lars; Skourup, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    The current deficit in Greenland ice sheet mass balance is due to both a decrease in surface mass balance (SMB) input and an increase in ice discharge (D) output. While SMB processes are beginning to be well captured by observationally-constrained climate modeling, insight into D is relatively...... of the gate. Using a 1961-1990 reference climatology SMB field from the MAR regional climate model, we quantify ice sheet mass balance within eighteen basins. We find a 2007-2011 mean D of 515±57 Gtyr-1. We find a 2007-2011 mean total mass balance of -262±21 Gtyr-1, which is equal to a 0.73 mm yr-1 global sea...... limited. We use InSAR-derived velocities, in combination with ice thickness observations, to quantify the mass flux (F) across a flux perimeter around the ice sheet at ~1700 m elevation. To quantify D, we correct F for SMB, as well as changes in volume due to ice dynamics, in the area downstream...

  17. Microwave signatures of ice hydrometeors from ground-based observations above Summit, Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Pettersen

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Multi-instrument, ground-based measurements provide unique and comprehensive data sets of the atmosphere for a specific location over long periods of time and resulting data compliment past and existing global satellite observations. This paper explores the effect of ice hydrometeors on ground-based, high-frequency passive microwave measurements and attempts to isolate an ice signature for summer seasons at Summit, Greenland, from 2010 to 2013. Data from a combination of passive microwave, cloud radar, radiosonde, and ceilometer were examined to isolate the ice signature at microwave wavelengths. By limiting the study to a cloud liquid water path of 40 g m−2 or less, the cloud radar can identify cases where the precipitation was dominated by ice. These cases were examined using liquid water and gas microwave absorption models, and brightness temperatures were calculated for the high-frequency microwave channels: 90, 150, and 225 GHz. By comparing the measured brightness temperatures from the microwave radiometers and the calculated brightness temperature using only gas and liquid contributions, any residual brightness temperature difference is due to emission and scattering of microwave radiation from the ice hydrometeors in the column. The ice signature in the 90, 150, and 225 GHz channels for the Summit Station summer months was isolated. This measured ice signature was then compared to an equivalent brightness temperature difference calculated with a radiative transfer model including microwave single-scattering properties for several ice habits. Initial model results compare well against the 4 years of summer season isolated ice signature in the high-frequency microwave channels.

  18. Comparison of Solar Energetic Particle Events and Impulsive Nitrate Increases in Greenland Ice Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, H. E.; Kepko, L.; Shea, M. A.; Smart, D. F.

    2004-12-01

    Using nitrate measurements from Greenland ice cores we examine the correlation of nitrate spikes and solar proton events. We choose a few large space-age events for analysis, focusing particular attention on the amplitude and timing of the nitrate increase in relation to the onset and characteristics of the SEP event. A time delay between nitrate spikes and SEP onset has previously been observed to be a few weeks, which is much faster than current atmospheric downward transport theory allows. Independent confirmation or invalidation of the previous analysis of this short delay has not been attempted before.

  19. Greenland meltwater storage in firn limited by near-surface ice formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; MacFerrin, Mike; van As, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    above sea level), firn has undergone substantial densification, while at lower elevations, where melt is most abundant, porous firn has lost most of its capability to retain meltwater. Here, the formation of near-surface ice layers renders deep pore space difficult to access, forcing meltwater to enter......,4) of Greenland's firn pore space is available for meltwater storage, making the firn an important buffer against contribution to sea level rise for decades to come(3). Here, we employ in situ observations and historical legacy data to demonstrate that surface runoff begins to dominate over meltwater storage well...

  20. Placers of Cosmic Dust in the Blue Ice Lakes of Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maurette, M.; Hammer, C.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1986-01-01

    A concentration process occurring in the melt zone of the Greenland ice cap has produced the richest known deposit of cosmic dust on the surface of the earth. Extraterrestrial particles collected from this region are well preserved and are collectable in large quantities. The collected particles ...... are generally identical to cosmic spheres found on the ocean floor, but a pure glass type was discovered that has not been seen in deep-sea samples. Iron-rich spheres are conspicuously rare in the collected material....

  1. The Greenland ice sheet - a model for its culmination and decay during and after the last glacial maximum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Hansen, Louise

    1996-01-01

    coastal mountains onto the coastline, but the glaciers did not cover the shelf. Break up probably began after c. 15 ka, and took place in two discrete steps. First, the shelf and major inlets were cleared of marine based ice. There was little thinning of the ice on land, and in the northern parts...... rapidly. Within a few millenia all the presently ice free land was exposed. The frequency distribution of "Cvdates show that the nearshore marine and terrestrial biotopes emerged in this period. The discharge of ice was both by calving and melting, and the driving force was probably increased insolation...... LGM, only southern Greenland (south of lat. 69°-72°N) saw a major expansion of the ice sheet with thick cover over the present coastline and onto the shelf. In the north, outlet glaciers filled fjord basins, including the Nares Strait between Canada and Greenland, and piedmont glaciers descended from...

  2. Microparticles, soil, derived chemical components and sea salt in the Hans Tausen Ice Cap ice core from Peary Island, North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, J.P.; Andersen, M.L.S; Stampe, Mia

    2001-01-01

    Selected segments of the 344 m deep ice core from Hans Tausen ice cap in Peary Land, North Greenland have been stratigraphically analyzed for chemical impurities and insoluble microparticles (Dust). Two different components of the microparticles have been identified by their different sizedistrib...... melting and the influence from local sources got weaker. Today the impurity content of Hans Tausen snow is comparable to that of the Central Greenland ice sheet with the exception of the influence of soluble crustal material from the ice free Peary Land area which remains....... to be a result of melt water run-off. Compared to Central Greenland ice cores the Hans Tausen ice is strongly enriched in soluble crustal material from local sources manifested by high concentrations of Ca2+ and nss Mg2+. In the bottom 100 m section our results indicate a loss of Ca2+ and Mg2+ relative to dust...... due to melt water run-off. Sea salt concentrations show little variation with depth, and our results indicate, that the sea salt in Hans Tausen ice is from remote sources. The North Polar Sea has not been a significant source of sea salt in the life time of the Hans Tausen ice cap. All our results...

  3. Growth of plants on the Late Weichselian ice-sheet during Greenland interstadial-1?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zale, R.; Huang, Y.-T.; Bigler, C.; Wood, J. R.; Dalén, L.; Wang, X.-R.; Segerström, U.; Klaminder, J.

    2018-04-01

    Unglaciated forelands and summits protruding from ice-sheets are commonly portrayed as areas where plants first establish at the end of glacial cycles. But is this prevailing view of ice-free refugia too simplistic? Here, we present findings suggesting that surface debris supported plant communities far beyond the rim of the Late Weichselian Ice-sheet during Greenland interstadial 1 (GI-1 or Bølling-Allerød interstadial). We base our interpretations upon findings from terrigenous sediments largely resembling 'plant-trash' deposits in North America (known to form as vegetation established on stagnant ice became buried along with glacial debris during the deglaciation). In our studied deposit, we found macrofossils (N = 10) overlapping with the deglaciation period of the area (9.5-10 cal kyr BP) as well as samples (N = 2) with ages ranging between 12.9 and 13.3 cal kyr BP. The latter ages indicate growth of at least graminoids during the GI-1 interstadial when the site was near the geographic center of the degrading ice-sheet. We suggest that exposure of englacial material during GI-1 created patches of supraglacial debris capable of supporting vascular plants three millennia before deglaciation. The composition and resilience of this early plant community remain uncertain. Yet, the younger group of macrofossils, in combination with pollen and ancient DNA analyses of inclusions, imply that shrubs (Salix sp., Betula sp. and Ericaceae sp) and even tree species (Larix) were present in the debris during the final deglaciation stage.

  4. Subglacial water drainage, storage, and piracy beneath the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindbäck, K.; Pettersson, R.; Hubbard, A. L.; Doyle, S. H.; As, D.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; Fitzpatrick, A. A.

    2015-09-01

    Meltwater drainage across the surface of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is well constrained by measurements and modeling, yet despite its critical role, knowledge of its transit through the subglacial environment remains limited. Here we present a subglacial hydrological analysis of a land-terminating sector of the GrIS at unprecedented resolution that predicts the routing of surface-derived meltwater once it has entered the basal drainage system. Our analysis indicates the probable existence of small subglacial lakes that remain undetectable by methods using surface elevation change or radar techniques. Furthermore, the analysis suggests transient behavior with rapid switching of subglacial drainage between competing catchments driven by seasonal changes in the basal water pressure. Our findings provide a cautionary note that should be considered in studies that attempt to relate and infer future response from surface temperature, melt, and runoff from point measurements and/or modeling with measurements of proglacial discharge and ice dynamics.

  5. Thermal tracing of retained meltwater in the lower accumulation area of the Southwestern Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Charalampidis, Charalampos; Van As, Dirk; Colgan, William T.

    2016-01-01

    We present in situ firn temperatures from the extreme 2012 melt season in the southwestern lower accumulation area of the Greenland ice sheet. The upper 2.5 m of snow and firn was temperate during the melt season, when vertical meltwater percolation was inefficient due to a similar to 5.5 m thick...... ice layer underlying the temperate firn. Meltwater percolation and refreezing beneath 2.5 m depth only occurred after the melt season. Deviations from temperatures predicted by pure conductivity suggest that meltwater refroze in discrete bands at depths of 2.0-2.5, 5.0-6.0 and 8.0-9.0 m. While we find...

  6. Glacier dynamics at Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers, southeast Greenland, since the Little Ice Age

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2014-01-01

    Observations over the past decade show significant ice loss associated with the speed-up of glaciers in southeast Greenland from 2003, followed by a deceleration from 2006. These short-term, episodic, dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance on the decadal scale. To improve...... temperature to records of thickness and velocity change suggest that both glaciers are highly sensitive to short-term atmospheric and ocean forcing, and respond very quickly to small fluctuations. On century timescales, however, multiple external parameters (e.g. outlet glacier shape) may dominate the mass...... change. These findings suggest that special care must be taken in the projection of future dynamic ice loss....

  7. Possible evidence for non-Newtonian gravity in the Greenland ice gap

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ander, M.E.

    1988-01-01

    An Airy-type geophysical experiment was conducted down a 2 km deep hole in the Greenland ice cap in order to test for possible violations of Newton's inverse square law by making gravity measurements over a range of 213 m to 1460 m. A significant departure from Newtonian gravity was observed. This result can be explained by the existence of an attractive non-Newtonian component of gravity with a strength of about 3.4% that of Newtonian gravity at a scale of 1460 m. Unfortunately, we cannot completely, unambiguously attribute it to a breakdown of Newtonian gravity because we have shown that lateral density variations in the bedrock beneath the ice can cause such apparent departures. If such variations existed, they would have to be rather unusual but certainly no impossible. 8 refs

  8. Sustained mass loss of the northeast Greenland ice sheet triggered by regional warming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjaer, Kurt H.; Bevis, Michael

    2014-01-01

    is of particular interest, because the drainage basin area covers 16% of the ice sheet (twice that of Jakobshavn Isbrae) and numerical model predictions suggest no significant mass loss for this sector, leading to an under-estimation of future global sea-level rise. The geometry of the bedrock and monotonic trend......The Greenland ice sheet has been one of the largest contributors to global sea-level rise over the past 20 years, accounting for 0.5 mm yr(-1) of a total of 3.2 mm yr(-1). A significant portion of this contribution is associated with the speed-up of an increased number of glaciers in southeast...

  9. Holocene landscape history and ground ice distribution in Svalbard and NE-Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cable, Stefanie

    This PhD study contributes to the scarce knowledge of permafrost dynamics in mountainous terrain. In High-Arctic valleys, on Svalbard and in NE-Greenland, linkages between geomorphology and ground ice- and carbon distribution have been described, quantified and compared between landscape types...... and locations. To achieve this, detailed geomorphological mapping was combined with cryostratigraphic and laboratory analyses (grain size, solutes, radiocarbon- and optically stimulated luminescence-age) of 31 permafrost cores (up to 16 m) from seven different landforms. Ground ice in permafrost has been......, and the Holocene climate history; linkages which need to be assessed prior to meaningful upscaling of ground conditions. The study further shows that valley bottom permafrost is a valuable archive for Holocene landscape and permafrost dynamics. The polygenetic permafrost is tied to sea level variation, delta...

  10. Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Stephen F; Payne, Antony J; Howat, Ian M; Smith, Benjamin E

    2011-05-31

    We use a three-dimensional, higher-order ice flow model and a realistic initial condition to simulate dynamic perturbations to the Greenland ice sheet during the last decade and to assess their contribution to sea level by 2100. Starting from our initial condition, we apply a time series of observationally constrained dynamic perturbations at the marine termini of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The initial and long-term diffusive thinning within each glacier catchment is then integrated spatially and temporally to calculate a minimum sea-level contribution of approximately 1 ± 0.4 mm from these three glaciers by 2100. Based on scaling arguments, we extend our modeling to all of Greenland and estimate a minimum dynamic sea-level contribution of approximately 6 ± 2 mm by 2100. This estimate of committed sea-level rise is a minimum because it ignores mass loss due to future changes in ice sheet dynamics or surface mass balance. Importantly, > 75% of this value is from the long-term, diffusive response of the ice sheet, suggesting that the majority of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics during the past decade is yet to come. Assuming similar and recurring forcing in future decades and a self-similar ice dynamical response, we estimate an upper bound of 45 mm of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics by 2100. These estimates are constrained by recent observations of dynamic mass loss in Greenland and by realistic model behavior that accounts for both the long-term cumulative mass loss and its decay following episodic boundary forcing.

  11. Atmospheric summer teleconnections and Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass variations: insights from MERRA-2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim, Young-Kwon; Schubert, Siegfried D; Molod, Andrea M; Cullather, Richard I; Zhao, Bin; Nowicki, Sophie M J; Lee, Jae N; Velicogna, Isabella

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between leading atmospheric teleconnection patterns and Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) temperature, precipitation, and surface mass balance (SMB) are investigated for the last 36 summers (1979–2014) based on Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 reanalyses. The results indicate that the negative phase of both the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation, associated with warm and dry conditions for the GrIS, lead to SMB decreases within 0–1 months. Furthermore, the positive phase of the East Atlantic (EA) pattern often lags the negative NAO, reflecting a dynamical linkage between these modes that acts to further enhance the warm and dry conditions over the GrIS, leading to a favorable environment for enhanced surface mass loss. The development of a strong negative NAO in combination with a strong positive EA in recent years leads to significantly larger GrIS warming compared to when the negative NAO occurs in combination with a negative or weak positive EA (0.69 K versus 0.13 K anomaly). During 2009 and 2011, weakened (as compared to conditions during the severe surface melt cases of 2010 and 2012) local high pressure blocking produced colder northerly flow over the GrIS inhibiting warming despite the occurrence of a strong negative NAO, reflecting an important role for the EA during those years. In particular, the EA acts with the NAO to enhance warming in 2010 and 2012, and weaken high pressure blocking in 2009 and 2011. In general, high pressure blocking primarily impacts the western areas of the GrIS via advective temperature increases, while changes in net surface radiative fluxes account for both western and eastern GrIS temperature changes. (letter)

  12. First Measurements of Osmium Concentration and Isotopic Composition in a Summit, Greenland Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osterberg, E. C.; Sharma, M.; Hawley, R. L.; Courville, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Osmium (Os) is one of the rarer elements in the environment and therefore one of the most difficult to accurately measure, but its isotopically distinctive crustal, mantle-derived, and extra-terrestrial sources make it a valuable geochemical tracer. Recent state-of-the-art analyses of precipitation, river water, and ocean water samples from around the world have revealed elevated concentrations of Os with a characteristically low (unradiogenic) Os isotopic signature (187Os/188Os). This unusual low Os isotopic signal has been interpreted as evidence for widespread Os pollution due to the smelting of Platinum Group Element (PGE) sulfide ores for use in automobile catalytic converters. However, an environmental time series of Os concentrations and isotopic composition spanning the pre-industrial to modern era has not previously been developed to evaluate changes in atmospheric Os sources through time. Here we present the first measurements of Os concentration and isotopic composition (to our knowledge) in a 100 m-long ice core collected from Summit, Greenland, spanning from ca. 1700 to 2010 AD. Due to the extremely low Os concentrations in snow (10-15 g/g), these analyses have only recently become possible with advances in Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) and ultra-clean analytical procedures. Initial results indicate that the 187Os/188Os of Greenland snow was unradiogenic (187Os/188Os = 0.13-0.15) for at least several periods over the past 300 years, including both pre-anthropogenic and modern times. Os concentrations in the Summit ice core are relatively high (11-52 pg/kg) compared to previously measured precipitation in North America, Europe, Asia and Antarctic sea ice (0.35-23 pg/kg). The low (unradiogenic) isotopic composition are consistent with extraterrestrial (cosmic dust and meteorites; 187Os/188Os = 0.13) and possibly volcanic (187Os/188Os = 0.15-0.6) Os sources, although the Os isotopic composition of volcanic emissions is poorly constrained

  13. Inter-annual Variations in Snow/Firn Density over the Greenland Ice Sheet by Combining GRACE gravimetry and Envisat Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, X.; Shum, C. K.; Guo, J.; Howat, I.; Jezek, K. C.; Luo, Z.; Zhou, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Satellite altimetry has been used to monitor elevation and volume change of polar ice sheets since the 1990s. In order to derive mass change from the measured volume change, different density assumptions are commonly used in the research community, which may cause discrepancies on accurately estimating ice sheets mass balance. In this study, we investigate the inter-annual anomalies of mass change from GRACE gravimetry and elevation change from Envisat altimetry during years 2003-2009, with the objective of determining inter-annual variations of snow/firn density over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). High positive correlations (0.6 or higher) between these two inter-annual anomalies at are found over 93% of the GrIS, which suggests that both techniques detect the same geophysical process at the inter-annual timescale. Interpreting the two anomalies in terms of near surface density variations, over 80% of the GrIS, the inter-annual variation in average density is between the densities of snow and pure ice. In particular, at the Summit of Central Greenland, we validate the satellite data estimated density with the in situ data available from 75 snow pits and 9 ice cores. This study provides constraints on the currently applied density assumptions for the GrIS.

  14. EBSD analysis of subgrain boundaries and dislocation slip systems in Antarctic and Greenland ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Kuiper, Ernst-Jan N.; Pennock, Gill M.; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Drury, Martyn R.

    2017-09-01

    Ice has a very high plastic anisotropy with easy dislocation glide on basal planes, while glide on non-basal planes is much harder. Basal glide involves dislocations with the Burgers vector b = 〈a〉, while glide on non-basal planes can involve dislocations with b = 〈a〉, b = [c], and b = 〈c + a〉. During the natural ductile flow of polar ice sheets, most of the deformation is expected to occur by basal slip accommodated by other processes, including non-basal slip and grain boundary processes. However, the importance of different accommodating processes is controversial. The recent application of micro-diffraction analysis methods to ice, such as X-ray Laue diffraction and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), has demonstrated that subgrain boundaries indicative of non-basal slip are present in naturally deformed ice, although so far the available data sets are limited. In this study we present an analysis of a large number of subgrain boundaries in ice core samples from one depth level from two deep ice cores from Antarctica (EPICA-DML deep ice core at 656 m of depth) and Greenland (NEEM deep ice core at 719 m of depth). EBSD provides information for the characterization of subgrain boundary types and on the dislocations that are likely to be present along the boundary. EBSD analyses, in combination with light microscopy measurements, are presented and interpreted in terms of the dislocation slip systems. The most common subgrain boundaries are indicative of basal 〈a〉 slip with an almost equal occurrence of subgrain boundaries indicative of prism [c] or 〈c + a〉 slip on prism and/or pyramidal planes. A few subgrain boundaries are indicative of prism 〈a〉 slip or slip of 〈a〉 screw dislocations on the basal plane. In addition to these classical polygonization processes that involve the recovery of dislocations into boundaries, alternative mechanisms are discussed for the formation of subgrain boundaries that are not related to the

  15. Mass loss from the southern half of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Kjær, Kurt H.; Bjørn, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    retreat. Our results show that the advance of glaciers during the LIA occurs early after the Medieval Warm Period terminating soon after 1200 AD and culminates c. 1500-1600 AD. Historical maps also show that many glaciers on the western coast occupy a still-stand near the LIA maximum until 1900 AD before...... retreat commence. Thus in southern Greenland, we define LIA as the period between the first signs of Late Holocene glacier readvance and the latest onset of retreat – i.e. from ca. 1200 to c. 1900. During this period northern hemisphere annual mean temperatures, although fluctuating, were generally below...... the Arctic. Furthermore, the glacier response seems to be mirrored by a oceanic cooling between 500-1000 AD, followed by onset of the LIA at 1150-1250 AD as seen in the relative strength of warm subsurface water and the influence of the East Greenland Current....

  16. Dark zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet controlled by distributed biologically-active impurities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Jonathan C; Hubbard, Alun; Stibal, Marek; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D; Cook, Joseph; Smith, Laurence C; Cameron, Karen; Box, Jason

    2018-03-14

    Albedo-a primary control on surface melt-varies considerably across the Greenland Ice Sheet yet the specific surface types that comprise its dark zone remain unquantified. Here we use UAV imagery to attribute seven distinct surface types to observed albedo along a 25 km transect dissecting the western, ablating sector of the ice sheet. Our results demonstrate that distributed surface impurities-an admixture of dust, black carbon and pigmented algae-explain 73% of the observed spatial variability in albedo and are responsible for the dark zone itself. Crevassing and supraglacial water also drive albedo reduction but due to their limited extent, explain just 12 and 15% of the observed variability respectively. Cryoconite, concentrated in large holes or fluvial deposits, is the darkest surface type but accounts for <1% of the area and has minimal impact. We propose that the ongoing emergence and dispersal of distributed impurities, amplified by enhanced ablation and biological activity, will drive future expansion of Greenland's dark zone.

  17. Meteoric smoke fallout over the Holocene epoch revealed by iridium and platinum in Greenland ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielli, Paolo; Barbante, Carlo; Plane, John M C; Varga, Anita; Hong, Sungmin; Cozzi, Giulio; Gaspari, Vania; Planchon, Frédéric A M; Cairns, Warren; Ferrari, Christophe; Crutzen, Paul; Cescon, Paolo; Boutron, Claude F

    2004-12-23

    An iridium anomaly at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary layer has been attributed to an extraterrestrial body that struck the Earth some 65 million years ago. It has been suggested that, during this event, the carrier of iridium was probably a micrometre-sized silicate-enclosed aggregate or the nanophase material of the vaporized impactor. But the fate of platinum-group elements (such as iridium) that regularly enter the atmosphere via ablating meteoroids remains largely unknown. Here we report a record of iridium and platinum fluxes on a climatic-cycle timescale, back to 128,000 years ago, from a Greenland ice core. We find that unexpectedly constant fallout of extraterrestrial matter to Greenland occurred during the Holocene, whereas a greatly enhanced input of terrestrial iridium and platinum masked the cosmic flux in the dust-laden atmosphere of the last glacial age. We suggest that nanometre-sized meteoric smoke particles, formed from the recondensation of ablated meteoroids in the atmosphere at altitudes >70 kilometres, are transported into the winter polar vortices by the mesospheric meridional circulation and are preferentially deposited in the polar ice caps. This implies an average global fallout of 14 +/- 5 kilotons per year of meteoric smoke during the Holocene.

  18. Inverse stochastic-dynamic models for high-resolution Greenland ice core records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boers, Niklas; Chekroun, Mickael D.; Liu, Honghu; Kondrashov, Dmitri; Rousseau, Denis-Didier; Svensson, Anders; Bigler, Matthias; Ghil, Michael

    2017-12-01

    Proxy records from Greenland ice cores have been studied for several decades, yet many open questions remain regarding the climate variability encoded therein. Here, we use a Bayesian framework for inferring inverse, stochastic-dynamic models from δ18O and dust records of unprecedented, subdecadal temporal resolution. The records stem from the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP), and we focus on the time interval 59-22 ka b2k. Our model reproduces the dynamical characteristics of both the δ18O and dust proxy records, including the millennial-scale Dansgaard-Oeschger variability, as well as statistical properties such as probability density functions, waiting times and power spectra, with no need for any external forcing. The crucial ingredients for capturing these properties are (i) high-resolution training data, (ii) cubic drift terms, (iii) nonlinear coupling terms between the δ18O and dust time series, and (iv) non-Markovian contributions that represent short-term memory effects.

  19. The Greenland Ice Sheet at the peak of warming during the previous Interglacial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. O. Rybak

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Last Interglacial (LIG or the Eemian between ca. 130 and 115 kyr BP is probably the best analogue for future climate warming for which increasingly better proxy data are becoming available. The volume of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS during this period is of particular interest to better assess how much and how fast sea-level can rise in a future Earth undergoing gradual climatic warming. Sea-level during the LIG is inferred to have been up to 9 meter higher than today, but contribution of the GrIS into this rise remains unclear. Various ice-sheet modeling studies have come up with a very broad range of the LIG volume loss by the GrIS to between 60 cm and 6 m of equivalent sea-level rise. This wide range is explained by the sensitivity of GrIS models to the imposed climatic conditions and to poor knowledge of the LIG climate itself in terms of the magnitude and precise timing of the maximum warming, as well as in terms of spatial and annual patterns. To partially circumvent these uncertainties we made use of the newest temperature record over the Central Greenland reconstructed from the isotopic composition of the recently obtained NEEM ice core containing undisturbed LIG segment to build the climatic forcing of the model. The NEEM record unequivocally indicates times of the start and of the end of the LIG warming in Greenland as well as the duration of the warmest time period within the Eemian. Using a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet model, we produced an ensemble of possible LIG configurations by varying only four key parameters for temperature, precipitation rate, surface melting magnitude and melting pattern within realistic bounds. The outcome of a series of the numerical experiments is a variety of glaciologically consistent GrIS geometries corresponding to a wide range of possible «climates». To constrain the ensemble of GrIS geometries, we used data inferred from 5 Greenland ice cores such as the presence or absence of

  20. Greenland ice sheet beyond 2100: Simulating its evolution and influence using the coupled climate-ice sheet model EC-Earth - PISM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, S.; Christensen, J. H.; Madsen, M. S.; Ringgaard, I. M.; Petersen, R. A.; Langen, P. P.

    2017-12-01

    Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is observed undergoing a rapid change in the recent decades, with an increasing area of surface melting and ablation and a speeding mass loss. Predicting the GrIS changes and their climate consequences relies on the understanding of the interaction of the GrIS with the climate system on both global and local scales, and requires climate model systems incorporating with an explicit and physically consistent ice sheet module. In this work we study the GrIS evolution and its interaction with the climate system using a fully coupled global climate model with a dynamical ice sheet model for the GrIS. The coupled model system, EC-EARTH - PISM, consisting of the atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model system EC-EARTH, and the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM), has been employed for a 1400-year simulation forced by CMIP5 historical forcing from 1850 to 2005 and continued along an extended RCP8.5 scenario with the forcing peaking at 2200 and stabilized hereafter. The simulation reveals that, following the anthropogenic forcing increase, the global mean surface temperature rapidly rises about 10 °C in the 21st and 22nd century. After the forcing stops increasing after 2200, the temperature change slows down and eventually stabilizes at about 12.5 °C above the preindustrial level. In response to the climate warming, the GrIS starts losing mass slowly in the 21st century, but the ice retreat accelerates substantially after 2100 and ice mass loss continues hereafter at a constant rate of approximately 0.5 m sea level rise equivalence per 100 years, even as the warming rate gradually levels off. Ultimately the volume and extent of GrIS reduce to less than half of its preindustrial value. To understand the interaction of GrIS with the climate system, the characteristics of atmospheric and oceanic circulation in the warm climate are analyzed. The circulation patterns associated with the negative surface mass balance that leads to GrIS retreat are investigated

  1. QUANTIFYING REGIONAL SEA LEVEL RISE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diandong Ren

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study projects the sea level contribution from the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS through to 2100, using a recently developed ice dynamics model forced by atmospheric parameters derived from three different climate models (CGCMs. The geographical pattern of the near-surface ice warming imposes a divergent flow field favoring mass loss through enhanced ice flow. The calculated average mass loss rate during the latter half of the 21st century is ~0.64±0.06 mm/year eustatic sea level rise, which is significantly larger than the IPCC AR4 estimate from surface mass balance. The difference is due largely to the positive feedbacks from reduced ice viscosity and the basal sliding mechanism present in the ice dynamics model. This inter-model, inter-scenario spread adds approximately a 20% uncertainty to the IPCC ice model estimates. The sea level rise is geographically non-uniform and reaches 1.69±0.24 mm/year by 2100 for the northeast coastal region of the United States, amplified by the expected weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC. In contrast to previous estimates, which neglected the GrIS fresh water input, both sides of the North Atlantic Gyre are projected to experience sea level rises. The impacts on a selection of major cities on both sides of the Atlantic and in the Pacific and southern oceans also are assessed. The other ocean basins are found to be less affected than the Atlantic Ocean.

  2. Greenland ice sheet model parameters constrained using simulations of the Eemian Interglacial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Robinson

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Using a new approach to force an ice sheet model, we performed an ensemble of simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet evolution during the last two glacial cycles, with emphasis on the Eemian Interglacial. This ensemble was generated by perturbing four key parameters in the coupled regional climate-ice sheet model and by introducing additional uncertainty in the prescribed "background" climate change. The sensitivity of the surface melt model to climate change was determined to be the dominant driver of ice sheet instability, as reflected by simulated ice sheet loss during the Eemian Interglacial period. To eliminate unrealistic parameter combinations, constraints from present-day and paleo information were applied. The constraints include (i the diagnosed present-day surface mass balance partition between surface melting and ice discharge at the margin, (ii the modeled present-day elevation at GRIP; and (iii the modeled elevation reduction at GRIP during the Eemian. Using these three constraints, a total of 360 simulations with 90 different model realizations were filtered down to 46 simulations and 20 model realizations considered valid. The paleo constraint eliminated more sensitive melt parameter values, in agreement with the surface mass balance partition assumption. The constrained simulations resulted in a range of Eemian ice loss of 0.4–4.4 m sea level equivalent, with a more likely range of about 3.7–4.4 m sea level if the GRIP δ18O isotope record can be considered an accurate proxy for the precipitation-weighted annual mean temperatures.

  3. Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet Derived from Paleoclimate Reanalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badgeley, J.; Steig, E. J.; Hakim, G. J.; Anderson, J.; Tardif, R.

    2017-12-01

    Modeling past ice-sheet behavior requires independent knowledge of past surface mass balance. Though models provide useful insight into ice-sheet response to climate forcing, if past climate is unknown, then ascertaining the rate and extent of past ice-sheet change is limited to geological and geophysical constraints. We use a novel data-assimilation framework developed under the Last Millennium Reanalysis Project (Hakim et al., 2016) to reconstruct past climate over ice sheets with the intent of creating an independent surface mass balance record for paleo ice-sheet modeling. Paleoclimate data assimilation combines the physics of climate models and the time series evidence of proxy records in an offline, ensemble-based approach. This framework allows for the assimilation of numerous proxy records and archive types while maintaining spatial consistency with known climate dynamics and physics captured by the models. In our reconstruction, we use the Community Climate System Model version 4, CMIP5 last millennium simulation (Taylor et al., 2012; Landrum et al., 2013) and a nearly complete database of ice core oxygen isotope records to reconstruct Holocene surface temperature and precipitation over the Greenland Ice Sheet on a decadal timescale. By applying a seasonality to this reconstruction (from the TraCE-21ka simulation; Liu et al., 2009), our reanalysis can be used in seasonally-based surface mass balance models. Here we discuss the methods behind our reanalysis and the performance of our reconstruction through prediction of unassimilated proxy records and comparison to paleoclimate reconstructions and reanalysis products.

  4. Shelf ice glaciation in the Arctic Ocean? New results from northernmost Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjaer, K.; Moller, P.; Larsen, N. K.

    2007-12-01

    Bounding on the last remaining patch of permanent sea ice and capped by an ice sheet with meltwater sufficient to disrupt the thermohaline circulation, North Greenland is strategically located for contributing to the understanding of the climate system. The coastal plain, which faces the Arctic Ocean, more than 100 km long and 15 km wide, is covered by a continuous blanket of Quaternary sediment that spans at least the period since the last deglaciation c. 9000 years ago, and is capped by an array of glacial and marine landforms. This area therefore contains an unsurpassed source for recording marine and glacial activities along the world's northernmost coast - a source which, owing to its inaccessibility, has largely remained untapped. Preliminary results from the 'LongTerm Project', which ended this summer, show that at least two major glacial events hit the coasts by the end of the last ice age. One of them was possibly a large scale expansion of the Inland Ice resulting in formation of a 100,000 km2 ice shelf in the Arctic Ocean - a type of glaciation, which has usually been thought to be an Antarctic speciality. Even more significantly, abundant accumulations of glacio- fluvial and -lacustrine sediments show that heat transfer to these extreme latitudes by the end of the last ice age was sufficient to allow massive melting of land-based ice. Finally, among the summer's surprises was the discovery of thick piles of raised marine sediments along the coast, allowing a detailed record of sea level history and faunal change, which can be correlated with a terrestrial record from cores, obtained from two lakes on the coastal plain.

  5. Expanding Greenland Ice Sheet Enhances Sensitivity of Plio-Pleistocene Climate to Obliquity Forcing in the Kiel Climate Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhaoyang; Latif, Mojib; Park, Wonsun

    2017-10-01

    Proxy data suggest the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation during the Plio-Pleistocene transition from 3.2 to 2.5 Ma before present resulted in enhanced climate variability at the obliquity (41 kyr) frequency. Here we investigate the influence of the expanding Greenland ice sheet on the mean climate and obliquity-related variability in a series of climate model simulations. These suggest that an expanding GrIS weakens the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) by 1 Sverdrup, mainly due to reduced heat loss in the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian Sea. Moreover, the growing GrIS amplifies the Hadley circulation response to obliquity forcing driving variations in freshwater export from the tropical Atlantic and in turn variations of the AMOC. The stronger AMOC response to obliquity forcing, by about a factor of 2, results in a stronger global mean near-surface temperature response. We conclude that the AMOC response to obliquity forcing is important to understand the enhanced climate variability at the obliquity frequency during the Plio-Pleistocene transition.

  6. Three recent ice entrapments of Arctic cetaceans in West Greenland and the eastern Canadian High Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Three ice entrapments of Monodontids have been reported in the western North Atlantic since 1993. Hunters in Disko Bay, West Greenland, discovered one in March 1994 that included about 150 narwhals (Monodon monoceros. The entrapment occurred during a sudden cold period which caused ice to form rapidly. The trapped whales were subject to hunting, but about 50 of the killed whales could not be retrieved in the ice. The whales were trapped in a small opening in the ice and because of that they would probably have succumbed even if not discovered by hunters. Two entrapments involving white whales or belugas (Delphinapterus leucas occurred in the eastern Canadian Arctic in May 1999; one in Lancaster Sound discovered by polar bear (Ursus maritimus researchers and one in Jones Sound discovered by hunters. The first included one bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus and about 40 belugas that were being preyed upon by polar bears. The second involved at least 170 belugas, of which about 100 were killed by polar bears and 17 were taken by hunters. The entrapments in Disko Bay and Jones Sound both occurred in areas where entrapments have previously been reported, whereas the one in Lancaster Sound was in a new area.

  7. Snowmelt on the Greenland Ice Sheet as Derived From Passive Microwave Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalati, Waleed; Steffen, Konrad

    1997-01-01

    The melt extent of the snow on the Greenland ice sheet is of considerable importance to the ice sheet's mass and energy balance, as well as Arctic and global climates. By comparing passive microwave satellite data to field observations, variations in melt extent have been detected by establishing melt thresholds in the cross-polarized gradient ratio (XPGR). The XPGR, defined as the normalized difference between the 19-GHz horizontal channel and the 37-GHz vertical channel of the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), exploits the different effects of snow wetness on different frequencies and polarizations and establishes a distinct melt signal. Using this XPGR melt signal, seasonal and interannual variations in snowmelt extent of the ice sheet are studied. The melt is found to be most extensive on the western side of the ice sheet and peaks in late July. Moreover, there is a notable increasing trend in melt area between the years 1979 and 1991 of 4.4% per year, which came to an abrupt halt in 1992 after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. A similar trend is observed in the temperatures at six coastal stations. The relationship between the warming trend and increasing melt trend between 1979 and 1991 suggests that a 1 C temperature rise corresponds to an increase in melt area of 73000 sq km, which in general exceeds one standard deviation of the natural melt area variability.

  8. Revised estimates of Greenland ice sheet thinning histories based on ice-core records

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecavalier, B.S.; Milne, G.A.; Fisher, D.A.

    2013-01-01

    -based reconstructions and, to some extent, the estimated elevation histories. A key component of the ice core analysis involved removing the influence of vertical surface motion on the dO signal measured from the Agassiz and Renland ice caps. We re-visit the original analysis with the intent to determine if the use...

  9. Assessing spatio-temporal variability and trends in modelled and measured Greenland Ice Sheet albedo (2000-2013)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alexander, P. M.; Tedesco, M.; Fettweis, X.; Van De Wal, R. S W|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; Smeets, C. J P P|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/191522236; Van Den Broeke, M. R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643

    2014-01-01

    Accurate measurements and simulations of Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface albedo are essential, given the role of surface albedo in modulating the amount of absorbed solar radiation and meltwater production. In this study, we assess the spatio-temporal variability of GrIS albedo during June, July,

  10. Melting trends over the Greenland ice sheet (1958–2009) from spaceborne microwave data and regional climate models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Tedesco, M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Ettema, J.

    2011-01-01

    To study near-surface melt changes over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) since 1979, melt extent estimates from two regional climate models were compared with those obtained from spaceborne microwave brightness temperatures using two different remote sensing algorithms. The results from the two models

  11. GPS based surface displacements – a proxy for discharge and sediment transport from the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasholt, Bent; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Mikkelsen, Andreas Bech

    2014-01-01

    The elastic respond of the Earth’s surface to mass changes has been measured with Global Positioning System (GPS). Mass loss as accumulated runoff and sediment transport from a 10000 km2 segment of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) correlated very well (R2=0.83) with GPS measured uplift. Accumulated...

  12. Improved GRACE regional mass balance estimates of the Greenland ice sheet cross-validated with the input-output method

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, Zheng; Schrama, Ernst J. O.; van der Wal, Wouter; van den Broeke, Michiel; Enderlin, Ellyn M.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we use satellite gravimetry data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) to estimate regional mass change of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and neighboring glaciated regions using a least squares inversion approach. We also consider results from the input–output

  13. Improved GRACE regional mass balance estimates of the Greenland ice sheet cross-validated with the input–output method

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, Z.; Schrama, E.J.O.; van der Wal, W.; van den Broeke, MR; Enderlin, EM

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we use satellite gravimetry data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) to estimate regional mass change of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and neighboring glaciated regions using a least squares inversion approach. We also consider results from the input–output

  14. Sensitivity of Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance to surface albedo parameterization: a study with a regional climate model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Angelen, J.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Lhermitte, S.; Fettweis, X.; Kuipers Munneke, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831891; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; van Meijgaard, E.; Smeets, C.J.P.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/191522236

    2012-01-01

    We present a sensitivity study of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet, as modeled using a regional atmospheric climate model, to various parameter settings in the albedo scheme. The snow albedo scheme uses grain size as a prognostic variable and further depends on cloud cover,

  15. Estimating Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Franco, B.; Tedesco, M.; van Angelen, J.H.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Gallee, H

    2012-01-01

    We report future projections of Surface Mass Balance (SMB) over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) obtained with the regional climate model MAR, forced by the outputs of three CMIP5 General Circulation Models (GCMs) when considering two different warming scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The GCMs

  16. Assessment of the surface mass balance along the K-transect (Greenland ice sheet) from satellite-derived albedos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.; Greuell, W.

    This paper explores the potential of using satellite-derived albedos to estimate the surface mass balance of the Kangerlussuaq transect (K-transect; Greenland ice sheet). We first retrieved surface albedos from Advanced Very High Resolution Radar data by using, among other techniques, a new

  17. Sea ice breakup and marine melt of a retreating tidewater outlet glacier in northeast Greenland (81 degrees N)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Jorgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic cause accelerated mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and reduced sea ice cover. Tidewater outlet glaciers represent direct connections between glaciers and the ocean where melt rates at the ice-ocean interface are influenced by ocean temperature and circulation...... glacier is a floating ice shelf with near-glacial subsurface temperatures at the freezing point. Melting from the surface layer significantly influenced the ice foot morphology of the glacier terminus. Hence, melting of the tidewater outlet glacier was found to be critically dependent on the retreat....... However, few measurements exist near outlet glaciers from the northern coast towards the Arctic Ocean that has remained nearly permanently ice covered. Here we present hydrographic measurements along the terminus of a major retreating tidewater outlet glacier from Flade Isblink Ice Cap. We show...

  18. First identification of cryptotephra from Kamchatka in a Greenland ice core and new tephra links between distal climate records from Greenland and the northwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, E.; Ponomareva, V.; Portnyagin, M.; Bazanova, L.; Svensson, A.; Davies, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    Our work presents new correlations between cryptotephra deposits found in Greenland ice cores and widespread tephra layers found in terrestrial and marine records in the northern Pacific, providing: 1) a unique opportunity to examine climate records in distal locations and 2) an independent assessment of radiocarbon dates and marine reservoir calculations, using ages derived from Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05).Low concentrations of tephra grains from two well-known eruptions from northern Pacific Arc volcanoes have been traced in the NGRIP and NEEM ice cores; the first from a Holocene eruption from Khangar volcano in the Kamchatka Peninsula (eastern Russia), and the second from an eruption during the late glacial/interglacial transition (LGIT) from Towada in Japan. Correlations were based on the chronological position of layers and geochemical characterisation by EPMA and LA-ICP-MS to derive major oxide and trace element concentrations. In NGRIP the rhyolitic KHG tephra from Khangar volcano (western Kamchatka) has a GICC05 age of 7950 ± 41 years b2k and is located close to the termination of the 8.2 ka cold event that affected the Northern Hemisphere. KHG is a key terrestrial marker deposit in Kamchatka and is stratigraphically significant as it marks the end of this cold event in Kamchatka in a number of records. This is the first finding of the KHG tephra outside Kamchatka and the first confirmed identification of any Kamchatka tephra in Greenland ice. Additionally, the correlation of a rhyolitic cryptotephra in found in NEEM and NGRIP to a widespread Japanese deposit, Towada To-H (15,706 ± 113 a b2k) represents the first long range tie-point to be established within the LGIT, creating an opportunity help validate local marine reservoir effect calculations of cores containing To-H from the forearc terrace of the Japan Trench. The findings highlight the relevance of locating long-range, low-concentration cryptotephra deposits in well-dated ice cores.

  19. Life on thin ice: Insights from Uummannaq, Greenland for connecting climate science with Arctic communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baztan, Juan; Cordier, Mateo; Huctin, Jean-Michel; Zhu, Zhiwei; Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul

    2017-09-01

    What are the links between mainstream climate science and local community knowledge? This study takes the example of Greenland, considered one of the regions most impacted by climate change, and Inuit people, characterized as being highly adaptive to environmental change, to explore this question. The study is based on 10 years of anthropological participatory research in Uummannaq, Northwest Greenland, along with two fieldwork periods in October 2014 and April 2015, and a quantitative bibliometric analysis of the international literature on sea ice - a central subject of concern identified by Uummannaq community members during the fieldwork periods. Community members' perceptions of currently available scientific climate knowledge were also collected during the fieldwork. This was done to determine if community members consider available scientific knowledge salient and if it covers issues they consider relevant. The bibliometric analysis of the sea ice literature provided additional insight into the degree to which scientific knowledge about climate change provides information relevant for the community. Our results contribute to the ongoing debate on the missing connections between community worldviews, cultural values, livelihood needs, interests and climate science. Our results show that more scientific research efforts should consider local-level needs in order to produce local-scale knowledge that is more salient, credible and legitimate for communities experiencing climate change. In Uummannaq, as in many Inuit communities with similar conditions, more research should be done on sea ice thickness in winter and in areas through which local populations travel. This paper supports the growing evidence that whenever possible, climate change research should focus on environmental features that matter to communities, at temporal and spatial scales relevant to them, in order to foster community adaptations to change. We recommend such research be connected to and

  20. Greenland ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise buffered by meltwater storage in firn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, J; Humphrey, N; Pfeffer, W T; Brown, J; Fettweis, X

    2012-11-08

    Surface melt on the Greenland ice sheet has shown increasing trends in areal extent and duration since the beginning of the satellite era. Records for melt were broken in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. Much of the increased surface melt is occurring in the percolation zone, a region of the accumulation area that is perennially covered by snow and firn (partly compacted snow). The fate of melt water in the percolation zone is poorly constrained: some may travel away from its point of origin and eventually influence the ice sheet's flow dynamics and mass balance and the global sea level, whereas some may simply infiltrate into cold snow or firn and refreeze with none of these effects. Here we quantify the existing water storage capacity of the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet and show the potential for hundreds of gigatonnes of meltwater storage. We collected in situ observations of firn structure and meltwater retention along a roughly 85-kilometre-long transect of the melting accumulation area. Our data show that repeated infiltration events in which melt water penetrates deeply (more than 10 metres) eventually fill all pore space with water. As future surface melt intensifies under Arctic warming, a fraction of melt water that would otherwise contribute to sea-level rise will fill existing pore space of the percolation zone. We estimate the lower and upper bounds of this storage sink to be 322 ± 44 gigatonnes and  1,289(+388)(-252) gigatonnes, respectively. Furthermore, we find that decades are required to fill this pore space under a range of plausible future climate conditions. Hence, routing of surface melt water into filling the pore space of the firn column will delay expansion of the area contributing to sea-level rise, although once the pore space is filled it cannot quickly be regenerated.

  1. Spatial Variability of accumulation across the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone from ground-penetrating-radar and shallow firn cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G.; Osterberg, E. C.; Hawley, R. L.; Marshall, H. P.; Birkel, S. D.; Meehan, T. G.; Graeter, K.; Overly, T. B.; McCarthy, F.

    2017-12-01

    The mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in a warming climate is of critical interest to scientists and the general public in the context of future sea-level rise. Increased melting in the GrIS percolation zone over the past several decades has led to increased mass loss at lower elevations due to recent warming. Uncertainties in mass balance are especially large in regions with sparse and/or outdated in situ measurements. This study is the first to calculate in situ accumulation over a large region of western Greenland since the Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment campaign during the 1990s. Here we analyze 5000 km of 400 MHz ground penetrating radar data and sixteen 25-33 m-long firn cores in the western GrIS percolation zone to determine snow accumulation over the past 50 years. The cores and radar data were collected as part of the 2016-2017 Greenland Traverse for Accumulation and Climate Studies (GreenTrACS). With the cores and radar profiles we capture spatial accumulation gradients between 1850-2500 m a.s.l and up to Summit Station. We calculate accumulation rates and use them to validate five widely used regional climate models and to compare with IceBridge snow and accumulation radars. Our results indicate that while the models capture most regional spatial climate patterns, they lack the small-scale spatial variability captured by in situ measurements. Additionally, we evaluate temporal trends in accumulation at ice core locations and throughout the traverse. Finally, we use empirical orthogonal function and correlation analyses to investigate the principal drivers of radar-derived accumulation rates across the western GrIS percolation zone, including major North Atlantic climate modes such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and Greenland Blocking Index.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. van den Broeke

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available 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 independent gravity change observations from GRACE shows good agreement for the overlapping period 2002–2015, giving confidence in the partitioning of recent GrIS mass changes. The estimated 1995 value of D and the 1958–1995 average value of SMB are similar at 411 and 418 Gt yr−1, respectively, suggesting that ice flow in the mid-1990s was well adjusted to the average annual mass input, reminiscent of an ice sheet in approximate balance. Starting in the early to mid-1990s, SMB decreased while D increased, leading to quasi-persistent negative MB. About 60 % of the associated mass loss since 1991 is caused by changes in SMB and the remainder by D. The decrease in SMB is fully driven by an increase in surface melt and subsequent meltwater runoff, which is slightly compensated by a small ( <  3 % increase in snowfall. The excess runoff originates from low-lying ( <  2000 m a.s.l. parts of the ice sheet; higher up, increased refreezing prevents runoff of meltwater from occurring, at the expense of increased firn temperatures and depleted pore space. With a 1991–2015 average annual mass loss of  ∼  0.47 ± 0.23 mm sea level equivalent (SLE and a peak contribution of 1.2 mm SLE in 2012, the GrIS has recently become a major source of global mean sea level rise.

  3. Microbial degradation of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on the Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stibal, Marek; Bælum, Jacob; Holben, William E; Sørensen, Sebastian R; Jensen, Anders; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2012-08-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) receives organic carbon (OC) of anthropogenic origin, including pesticides, from the atmosphere and/or local sources, and the fate of these compounds in the ice is currently unknown. The ability of supraglacial heterotrophic microbes to mineralize different types of OC is likely a significant factor determining the fate of anthropogenic OC on the ice sheet. Here we determine the potential of the microbial community from the surface of the GrIS to mineralize the widely used herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Surface ice cores were collected and incubated for up to 529 days in microcosms simulating in situ conditions. Mineralization of side chain- and ring-labeled [(14)C]2,4-D was measured in the samples, and quantitative PCR targeting the tfdA genes in total DNA extracted from the ice after the experiment was performed. We show that the supraglacial microbial community on the GrIS contains microbes that are capable of degrading 2,4-D and that they are likely present in very low numbers. They can mineralize 2,4-D at a rate of up to 1 nmol per m(2) per day, equivalent to ∼26 ng C m(-2) day(-1). Thus, the GrIS should not be considered a mere reservoir of all atmospheric contaminants, as it is likely that some deposited compounds will be removed from the system via biodegradation processes before their potential release due to the accelerated melting of the ice sheet.

  4. Characterization of icebergs and floating sea ice in the Yung Sund fjord in Greenland from satellite radar and optical images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillaso, Stephane; Gay, Michel; Gervaise, Cedric

    2017-04-01

    At the Zackenberg site, sea ice starts to move between June and September resulting in icebergs flowing freely on the sea. Splitting into smaller parts, they reduce in size. Icebergs represent a risk for maritime transport and needs to be studied. In order to determine iceberg density per surface unit, size distribution, and movement of icebergs, we need to observe, detect, range and track them. The use of SAR images is particularly well adapted in regions where cloud cover is very present. We focused our study on the Yung Sund fjord in Greenland, where lots of icebergs and sea ice are generated during the summer. In the beginning of July, sea ice breaks up first, followed by icebergs created by the different glaciers based in the ocean. During our investigation, we noticed that the iceberg and sea ice were drifting very fast and thus, we needed to adapt our methodology. To achieve our goal, we collected all remote sensing data available in the region, principally Sentinel 1/2 and LandSAT 8 during one ice free season (from July 1st 2016 to September 30th, 2016). We developed an original approach in order to detect, characterize and track icebergs and sea ice independently from data. The iceberg detection was made using a watershed technique. The advantage of this technique is that it can be applied to both optical and radar images. For the latter, calibrated intensity is transformed into an image using a scaling function, in order to make ice brighter. Land data is masked using a topographic map. When data is segmented, a statistical test derived from the CFAR approach is performed to isolate an iceberg and floating sea ice from the ocean. Finally, a method, such SIFT or BRISK is used to identify and track the different segmented object. These approaches give a representation of the object and make the tracking easier and independent of the scale and rotation, which can occur because icebergs are dependent on ocean currents and wind. Finally, to fill in the gap

  5. Comparison of modelled runoff with observed proglacial discharge across the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, S.; Rennermalm, A.; van As, D.; Overeem, I.; Tedesco, M.; Mote, T. L.; Koenig, L.; Smith, L. C.; Hagedorn, B.; Sletten, R. S.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; Hasholt, B.; Hall, D. K.; Fettweis, X.; Pitcher, L. H.; Hubbard, A.

    2017-12-01

    Greenland ice sheet surface ablation now dominates its total mass loss contributions to sea-level rise. Despite the increasing importance of Greenland's sea-level contribution, a quantitative inter-comparison between modeled and measured melt, runoff and discharge across multiple drainage basins is conspicuously lacking. Here we investigate the accuracy of model discharge estimates from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale (MAR v3.5.2) regional climate model by comparison with in situ proglacial river discharge measurements at three West Greenland drainage basins - North River (Thule), Watson River (Kangerlussuaq), and Naujat Kuat River (Nuuk). At each target catchment, we: 1) determine optimal drainage basin delineations; 2) assess primary drivers of melt; 3) evaluate MAR at daily, 5-, 10- and 20-day time scales; and 4) identify potential sources for model-observation discrepancies. Our results reveal that MAR resolves daily discharge variability poorly in the Nuuk and Thule basins (r2 = 0.4-0.5), but does capture variability over 5-, 10-, and 20-day means (r2 > 0.7). Model agreement with river flow data, though, is reduced during periods of peak discharge, particularly for the exceptional melt and discharge events of July 2012. Daily discharge is best captured by MAR across the Watson River basin, whilst there is lower correspondence between modeled and observed discharge at the Thule and Naujat Kuat River basins. We link the main source of model error to an underestimation of cloud cover, overestimation of surface albedo, and apparent warm bias in near-surface air temperatures. For future inter-comparison, we recommend using observations from catchments that have a self-contained and well-defined drainage area and an accurate discharge record over variable years coincident with a reliable automatic weather station record. Our study highlights the importance of improving MAR modeled surface albedo, cloud cover representation, and delay functions to reduce model

  6. Steady-state simulations of the Greenland ice sheet using a three-dimensional full-Stokes model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddik, Hakime; Greve, Ralf; Zwinger, Thomas; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2010-05-01

    A three-dimensional, thermo-mechanically coupled model is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. The model implements the full-Stokes equations for the ice dynamics, and the system is solved with the finite-element method (FEM) using the open source multi-physics package Elmer (http://www.csc.fi/elmer/). The finite-element mesh for the computational domain has been created using the Greenland surface and bedrock DEM data with a spatial resolution of 5 km (Bamber and others, 2001). The study is particularly aimed at better understanding the ice dynamics near the major Greenland ice streams. For this purpose, mesh refinement to obtain improved computed solutions on these areas has been introduced. The meshing procedure starts with the bedrock footprint where a mesh with triangle elements and a resolution of 1 km are employed at the vicinities of the North-East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) and the Jakobshavn (JIS), Kangerdlugssuaq (KL) and Helheim (HH) ice streams. A size function is then applied so that the mesh resolution becomes coarser away of the ice streams up to a maximum horizontal element size of 20 km. The final three-dimensional mesh is obtained by extruding the 2D footprint with 10 vertical layers, so that the resulting mesh contains 230760 prism elements and 132740 nodes. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations involves direct and iterative solvers depending on the simulation case, and both methods are coupled with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface is parameterized as a function of the latitude and the surface elevation, the geothermal heat flux at the bedrock is prescribed as spatially constant and the lateral sides are open boundaries. The simulations have been conducted in order to obtain steady-state results for the velocity and temperature fields for the entire ice sheet. The model computes the results with both bedrock sliding and melting used alternatively so

  7. Calculation of mass discharge of the Greenland ice sheet in the Earth System Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. O. Rybak

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Mass discharge calculation is a challenging task for the ice sheet modeling aimed at evaluation of their contribution to the global sea level rise during past interglacials, as well as one of the consequences of future climate change. In Greenland, ablation is the major source of fresh water runoff. It is approximately equal to the dynamical discharge (iceberg calving. Its share might have still larger during the past interglacials when the margins of the GrIS retreated inland. Refreezing of the melted water and its retention are two poorly known processes playing as a counterpart of melting and, thus, exerting influence on the run off. Interaction of ice sheets and climate is driven by energy and mass exchange processes and is complicated by numerous feed-backs. To study the complex of these processes, coupling of an ice sheet model and a climate model (i.e. models of the atmosphere and the ocean in one model is required, which is often called the Earth System Model (ESM. Formalization of processes of interaction between the ice sheets and climate within the ESM requires elaboration of special techniques to deal with dramatic differences in spatial and temporal variability scales within each of three ESM’s blocks. In this paper, we focus on the method of coupling of a Greenland ice sheet model (GrISM with the climate model INMCM having been developed in the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of Russian Academy of Sciences. Our coupling approach consists in applying of a special buffer model, which serves as an interface between GrISM and INMCM. A simple energy and water exchange model (EWBM-G allows realistic description of surface air temperature and precipitation fields adjusted to a relief of elevation of the GrIS surface. In a series of diagnostic numerical experiments with the present-day GrIS geometry and the modeled climate we studied sensitivity of the modeled surface mass balance and run off to the key EWBM-G parameters and compared

  8. Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet - a study of ICESat data, surface density and firn compaction modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, L. S.; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Nielsen, K.

    2010-01-01

    in estimating the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. We find firn dynamics and surface densities to be important factors in deriving the mass loss from remote sensing altimetry. The volume change derived from ICESat data is corrected for firn compaction, vertical bedrock movement and an intercampaign...... elevation bias in the ICESat data. Subsequently, the corrected volume change is converted into mass change by surface density modelling. The firn compaction and density models are driven by a dynamically downscaled simulation of the HIRHAM5 regional climate model using ERA-Interim reanalysis lateral......ICESat has provided surface elevation measurements of the ice sheets since the launch in January 2003, resulting in a unique data set for monitoring the changes of the cryosphere. Here we present a novel method for determining the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet derived from ICESat...

  9. IceCube systematic errors investigation: Simulation of the ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resconi, Elisa; Wolf, Martin [Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg (Germany); Schukraft, Anne [RWTH, Aachen University (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    IceCube is a neutrino observatory for astroparticle and astronomy research at the South Pole. It uses one cubic kilometer of Antartica's deepest ice (1500 m-2500 m in depth) to detect Cherenkov light, generated by charged particles traveling through the ice, with an array of phototubes encapsulated in glass pressure spheres. The arrival time as well as the charge deposited of the detected photons represent the base measurements that are used for track and energy reconstruction of those charged particles. The optical properties of the deep antarctic ice vary from layer to layer. Measurements of the ice properties and their correct modeling in Monte Carlo simulation is then of primary importance for the correct understanding of the IceCube telescope behavior. After a short summary about the different methods to investigate the ice properties and to calibrate the detector, we show how the simulation obtained by using this information compares to the measured data and how systematic errors due to uncertain ice properties are determined in IceCube.

  10. Quantifying Black Carbon Deposition Over the Greenland Ice Sheet from Forest Fires in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, J. L.; Polashenski, C. M.; Soja, Amber J.; Marelle, L.; Casey, K. A.; Choi, H. D.; Raut, J.-C.; Wiedinmyer, C.; Emmons, L. K.; Fast, J. D.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Black carbon (BC) concentrations observed in 22 snowpits sampled in the northwest sector of the Greenland ice sheet in April 2014 have allowed us to identify a strong and widespread BC aerosol deposition event, which was dated to have accumulated in the pits from two snow storms between 27 July and 2 August 2013. This event comprises a significant portion (57 on average across all pits) of total BC deposition over 10 months (July 2013 to April 2014). Here we link this deposition event to forest fires burning in Canada during summer 2013 using modeling and remote sensing tools. Aerosols were detected by both the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (on board CALIPSO) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (Aqua) instruments during transport between Canada and Greenland. We use high-resolution regional chemical transport modeling (WRF-Chem) combined with high-resolution fire emissions (FINNv1.5) to study aerosol emissions, transport, and deposition during this event. The model captures the timing of the BC deposition event and shows that fires in Canada were the main source of deposited BC. However, the model underpredicts BC deposition compared to measurements at all sites by a factor of 2100. Underprediction of modeled BC deposition originates from uncertainties in fire emissions and model treatment of wet removal of aerosols. Improvements in model descriptions of precipitation scavenging and emissions from wildfires are needed to correctly predict deposition, which is critical for determining the climate impacts of aerosols that originate from fires.

  11. Quantifying black carbon deposition over the Greenland ice sheet from forest fires in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, J. L.; Polashenski, C. M.; Soja, A. J.; Marelle, L.; Casey, K. A.; Choi, H. D.; Raut, J.-C.; Wiedinmyer, C.; Emmons, L. K.; Fast, J. D.; Pelon, J.; Law, K. S.; Flanner, M. G.; Dibb, J. E.

    2017-08-01

    Black carbon (BC) concentrations observed in 22 snowpits sampled in the northwest sector of the Greenland ice sheet in April 2014 have allowed us to identify a strong and widespread BC aerosol deposition event, which was dated to have accumulated in the pits from two snow storms between 27 July and 2 August 2013. This event comprises a significant portion (57% on average across all pits) of total BC deposition over 10 months (July 2013 to April 2014). Here we link this deposition event to forest fires burning in Canada during summer 2013 using modeling and remote sensing tools. Aerosols were detected by both the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (on board CALIPSO) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (Aqua) instruments during transport between Canada and Greenland. We use high-resolution regional chemical transport modeling (WRF-Chem) combined with high-resolution fire emissions (FINNv1.5) to study aerosol emissions, transport, and deposition during this event. The model captures the timing of the BC deposition event and shows that fires in Canada were the main source of deposited BC. However, the model underpredicts BC deposition compared to measurements at all sites by a factor of 2-100. Underprediction of modeled BC deposition originates from uncertainties in fire emissions and model treatment of wet removal of aerosols. Improvements in model descriptions of precipitation scavenging and emissions from wildfires are needed to correctly predict deposition, which is critical for determining the climate impacts of aerosols that originate from fires.

  12. Regions of open water and melting sea ice drive new particle formation in North East Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall Osto, M; Geels, C; Beddows, D C S; Boertmann, D; Lange, R; Nøjgaard, J K; Harrison, Roy M; Simo, R; Skov, H; Massling, A

    2018-04-17

    Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and growth significantly influences the indirect aerosol-cloud effect within the polar climate system. In this work, the aerosol population is categorised via cluster analysis of aerosol number size distributions (9-915 nm, 65 bins) taken at Villum Research Station, Station Nord (VRS) in North Greenland during a 7 year record (2010-2016). Data are clustered at daily averaged resolution; in total, we classified six categories, five of which clearly describe the ultrafine aerosol population, one of which is linked to nucleation events (up to 39% during summer). Air mass trajectory analyses tie these frequent nucleation events to biogenic precursors released by open water and melting sea ice regions. NPF events in the studied regions seem not to be related to bird colonies from coastal zones. Our results show a negative correlation (r = -0.89) between NPF events and sea ice extent, suggesting the impact of ultrafine Arctic aerosols is likely to increase in the future, given the likely increased sea ice melting. Understanding the composition and the sources of Arctic aerosols requires further integrated studies with joint multi-component ocean-atmosphere observation and modelling.

  13. Contribution of Greenland ice sheet melting to sea level rise during the last interglacial period: an approach combining ice sheet modelling and proxy data

    OpenAIRE

    A. Quiquet; C. Ritz; H. J. Punge; D. Salas y Mélia

    2012-01-01

    In the context of global warming, the contribution of the two major ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland, to global sea level rise is a subject of key importance for the scientific community (4th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, IPCC-AR4, Meehl et al., 2007). By the end of the next century, a 3–5 °C warm up is expected in Greenland. Similar temperatures in this region were reached during the last interglacial (LIG) period due to a change in orbital configura...

  14. Mapping ice-bonded permafrost with electrical methods in Sisimiut, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Permafrost delineation and thickness determination is of great importance in engineering related projects in arctic areas. In this paper, 2D geoelectrical measurements are applied and evaluated for permafrost mapping in an area in West Greenland. Multi-electrode resistivity profiles (MEP) have been...... collected and are compared with borehole information. It is shown that the permafrost thickness in this case is grossly overestimated by a factor of two to three. The difference between the inverted 2D resistivity sections and the borehole information is explained by macro-anisotropy due to the presence...... of horizontal ice-lenses in the frozen clay deposits. It is concluded that where the resistivity method perform well for lateral permafrost mapping, great care should be taken in evaluating permafrost thickness based on 2D resistivity profiles alone. Additional information from boreholes or other geophysical...

  15. High spatial variation in terrestrial arthropod species diversity and composition near the Greenland ice cap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph James

    2016-01-01

    conclude that Arctic arthropod species assemblages vary substantially over short distances due to local soil characteristics, while regional variation in the species pool is likely influenced by geographic barriers, i.e., inland ice sheet, glaciers, mountains and large water bodies. In order to predict......Arthropods form a major part of the terrestrial species diversity in the Arctic, and are particularly sensitive to temporal changes in the abiotic environment. It is assumed that most Arctic arthropods are habitat generalists and that their diversity patterns exhibit low spatial variation....... The empirical basis for this assumption, however, is weak. We examine the degree of spatial variation in species diversity and assemblage structure among five habitat types at two sites of similar abiotic conditions and plant species composition in southwest Greenland, using standardized field collection...

  16. Outlet Glacier and Margin Elevation Changes: Near - Coastal Thinning of The Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Wright, W.; Yungel, J.; hide

    2000-01-01

    Repeat surveys by aircraft laser altimeter in 1993/4 and 1998/9 reveal significant thinning along 70% of the coastal parts of the Greenland ice sheet at elevations below about 2000 m. Thinning rates of more than 1 m/yr are common along many outlet glaciers, at all latitudes and, in some cases, at elevations up to 1500 m. Warmer summers along parts of the coast may have caused a few tens of cm/yr additional melting, but most of the observed thinning probably results from increased glacier velocities and associated creep rates. Three glaciers in the northeast all show patterns of thickness change indicative of surging behavior, and one has been independently documented as a surging glacier. There are a few areas of significant thickening (over 1 m/yr), and these are probably related to higher than normal accumulation rates during the observation period.

  17. Disentangling the Roles of Atmospheric and Oceanic Forcing on the Last Deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisling, B. A.; Deconto, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    Today the Greenland Ice Sheet loses mass via both oceanic and atmospheric processes. However, the relative importance of these mass balance components is debated, especially their potential impact on ongoing and future mass imbalance. Discerning the impact of oceanic versus atmospheric forcing during past periods of mass loss provides potential insight into the future behavior of the ice sheet. Here we present an ensemble of Greenland Ice Sheet simulations of the last deglaciation, designed to assess separately the roles of the ocean and the atmosphere in driving mass loss over the last twenty thousand years. We use twenty-eight different ocean forcing scenarios along with a cutting-edge reconstruction of time-evolving atmospheric conditions based on climate model output and δ15N-based temperature reconstructions to generate a range of ice-sheet responses during the deglaciation. We then compare the simulated timing of ice-retreat in individual catchments with estimates based on both 10Be (exposure) and 14C (minimum-limiting) dates. These experiments allow us to identify the ocean forcing scenario that best match the data on a local-to-regional (i.e., 100-1000 km) scales, providing an assessment of the relative importance of ocean and atmospheric forcing components around the periphery of Greenland. We use these simulations to quantify the importance of the three major mass balance terms (calving, oceanic melting, and surface melting) and assess the uncertainty of the relative influence of these factors during the most recent periods of major ice loss. Our results show that mass balance components around different sectors of the ice sheet respond differently to forcing, with oceanic components driving the majority of retreat in south and east Greenland and atmospheric forcing dominating in west and north Greenland In addition, we target three areas at high spatial resolution ( 1 km) around Greenland currently undergoing substantial change (Jakobshavn, Petermann

  18. Resolving climate change in the period 15-23 ka in Greenland ice cores: A new application of spectral trend analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, M.G.G.; Nio, D.S.; Böhm, A.R.; Seijmonsbergen, H.C.; de Graaff, L.W.S.

    2009-01-01

    Northern Hemisphere climate history through and following the Last Glacial Maximum is recorded in detail in ice cores from Greenland. However, the period between Greenland Interstadials 1 and 2 (15-23 ka), i.e. the period of deglaciation following the last major glaciation, has been difficult to

  19. On the Utilization of Ice Flow Models and Uncertainty Quantification to Interpret the Impact of Surface Radiation Budget Errors on Estimates of Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance and Regional Estimates of Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, N.; Larour, E. Y.; Gardner, A. S.; Lang, C.; Miller, C. E.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2016-12-01

    How Greenland ice flow may respond to future increases in surface runoff and to increases in the frequency of extreme melt events is unclear, as it requires detailed comprehension of Greenland surface climate and the ice sheet's sensitivity to associated uncertainties. With established uncertainty quantification tools run within the framework of Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), we conduct decadal-scale forward modeling experiments to 1) quantify the spatial resolution needed to effectively force distinct components of the surface radiation budget, and subsequently surface mass balance (SMB), in various regions of the ice sheet and 2) determine the dynamic response of Greenland ice flow to variations in components of the net radiation budget. The Glacier Energy and Mass Balance (GEMB) software is a column surface model (1-D) that has recently been embedded as a module within ISSM. Using the ISSM-GEMB framework, we perform sensitivity analyses to determine how perturbations in various components of the surface radiation budget affect model output; these model experiments allow us predict where and on what spatial scale the ice sheet is likely to dynamically respond to changes in these parameters. Preliminary results suggest that SMB should be forced at at least a resolution of 23 km to properly capture dynamic ice response. In addition, Monte-Carlo style sampling analyses reveals that the areas with the largest uncertainty in mass flux are located near the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), upstream of major outlet glaciers in the North and West of the ice sheet. Sensitivity analysis indicates that these areas are also the most vulnerable on the ice sheet to persistent, far-field shifts in SMB, suggesting that continued warming, and upstream shift in the ELA, are likely to result in increased velocities, and consequentially SMB-induced thinning upstream of major outlet glaciers. Here, we extend our investigation to consider various components of the surface radiation

  20. Spatial gradients of temperature, accumulation and δ18O-ice in Greenland over a series of Dansgaard–Oeschger events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Guillevic

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Air and water stable isotope measurements from four Greenland deep ice cores (GRIP, GISP2, NGRIP and NEEM are investigated over a series of Dansgaard–Oeschger events (DO 8, 9 and 10, which are representative of glacial millennial scale variability. Combined with firn modeling, air isotope data allow us to quantify abrupt temperature increases for each drill site (1σ = 0.6 °C for NEEM, GRIP and GISP2, 1.5 °C for NGRIP. Our data show that the magnitude of stadial–interstadial temperature increase is up to 2 °C larger in central and North Greenland than in northwest Greenland: i.e., for DO 8, a magnitude of +8.8 °C is inferred, which is significantly smaller than the +11.1 °C inferred at GISP2. The same spatial pattern is seen for accumulation increases. This pattern is coherent with climate simulations in response to reduced sea-ice extent in the Nordic seas. The temporal water isotope (δ18O–temperature relationship varies between 0.3 and 0.6 (±0.08 ‰ °C−1 and is systematically larger at NEEM, possibly due to limited changes in precipitation seasonality compared to GISP2, GRIP or NGRIP. The gas age−ice age difference of warming events represented in water and air isotopes can only be modeled when assuming a 26% (NGRIP to 40% (GRIP lower accumulation than that derived from a Dansgaard–Johnsen ice flow model.

  1. Simulations of the Greenland ice sheet 100 years into the future with the full Stokes model Elmer/Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.

    2011-12-01

    The full Stokes thermo-mechanically coupled model Elmer/Ice is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. Elmer/Ice employs the finite element method to solve the full Stokes equations, the temperature evolution equation and the evolution equation of the free surface. The general framework of this modeling effort is a contribution to the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) assessment project, a community-organized effort to estimate the likely range of ice sheet contributions to sea level rise over the next few hundred years (http://tinyurl.com/srise-lanl, http://tinyurl.com/srise-umt). The present geometry (surface and basal topographies) is derived from data where the basal topography was created with the preservation of the troughs at the Jakobshavn Ice Stream, Helheim, Kangerdlussuaq and Petermann glaciers. A mesh of the computational domain is created using an initial footprint which contains elements of 5 km horizontal resolution and to limit the number elements on the footprint while maximizing the spatial resolution, an anisotropic mesh adaptation scheme is employed based on the Hessian matrix of the observed surface velocities. The adaptation is carried out with the tool YAMS and the final footprint is vertically extruded to form a 3D mesh of 320880 elements with 17 equidistant, terrain-following layers. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations employs direct solvers with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface uses the present-day mean annual air temperature given by a parameterization or directly from the available data, the geothermal heat flux at the bedrock is given by data and the lateral sides are open boundaries. A non-linear Weertman law is used for the basal sliding. Results for the SeaRISE 2011 sensitivity experiments are presented so that six different experiments have been conducted, grouped in two sets. The Set C (three experiments) applies a change to

  2. MEaSUREs Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) Digital Elevation Model from GeoEye and WorldView Imagery, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set consists of an enhanced resolution digital elevation model (DEM) for the Greenland Ice Sheet. The DEM is derived from sub-meter resolution,...

  3. Glacial landforms identified in high-resolution bathymetry indicate past Greenland ice sheet dynamics in Melville Bay, northeast Baffin Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slabon, Patricia; Dorschel, Boris; Jokat, Wilfried; Myklebust, Reidun; Hebbeln, Dierk; Gebhardt, Catalina

    2017-04-01

    The maximum glacial extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and its advance and retreat across the continental shelf are crucial to better understand past ice-sheet dynamics and to predict its future development in times of climate change. Analyses of distribution and shape of glacial landforms are, thus, used to interpret information on ice-stream advances and retreats across the shelf. This study focuses on the past dynamics of the northwest GIS across the Greenland continental shelf. The research area is located in the Melville Bay, northeast Baffin Bay. Our interpretations base on analyses of high-resolution swath-bathymetric data acquired in 2010 and 2015 with the research vessels RV Polarstern and RV Maria S. Merian. The bathymetric data provide information along and across the axes of the major cross-shelf troughs of Melville Bay, allowing us to reconstruct the ice-sheet dynamics between the shelf edge and the present-day coast. The results of the analyses show glacial landforms that document former dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). Moraines at the shelf edge give evidence for the maximum GIS extent. Grounding-zone wedges (GZWs), till lobes and glacial lineations define a pattern of variable ice-stream retreat in the individual cross-shelf troughs. Slow ice-stream retreat occurred in the northern cross-shelf trough compared to more episodic retreats in the central and southern cross-shelf troughs of Melville Bay. Periods of ice sheet grounding-zone stabilizations are indicated by large GZW-complexes on the mid- to inner shelf. Finally, the northwest GIS retreated across the inner continental shelf before 8.41 ka BP as revealed by an age-dated geological sample. Furthermore, on inter-trough banks, evidence has been found for minor ice-stream activity on localized ice domes. The glacial landforms across the northwest Greenland continental shelf, thus, host records of varying and discontinuous ice-sheet retreats since the last glacial maximum.

  4. Satellite-derived submarine melt rates and mass balance (2011-2015) for Greenland's largest remaining ice tongues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Nat; Straneo, Fiammetta; Heimbach, Patrick

    2017-12-01

    Ice-shelf-like floating extensions at the termini of Greenland glaciers are undergoing rapid changes with potential implications for the stability of upstream glaciers and the ice sheet as a whole. While submarine melting is recognized as a major contributor to mass loss, the spatial distribution of submarine melting and its contribution to the total mass balance of these floating extensions is incompletely known and understood. Here, we use high-resolution WorldView satellite imagery collected between 2011 and 2015 to infer the magnitude and spatial variability of melt rates under Greenland's largest remaining ice tongues - Nioghalvfjerdsbræ (79 North Glacier, 79N), Ryder Glacier (RG), and Petermann Glacier (PG). Submarine melt rates under the ice tongues vary considerably, exceeding 50 m a-1 near the grounding zone and decaying rapidly downstream. Channels, likely originating from upstream subglacial channels, give rise to large melt variations across the ice tongues. We compare the total melt rates to the influx of ice to the ice tongue to assess their contribution to the current mass balance. At Petermann Glacier and Ryder Glacier, we find that the combined submarine and aerial melt approximately balances the ice flux from the grounded ice sheet. At Nioghalvfjerdsbræ the total melt flux (14.2 ± 0.96 km3 a-1 w.e., water equivalent) exceeds the inflow of ice (10.2 ± 0.59 km3 a-1 w.e.), indicating present thinning of the ice tongue.

  5. Deglaciation-induced uplift and seasonal variations patterns of bedrock displacement in Greenland ice sheet margin observed from GPS, GRACE and InSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Q.; Amelung, F.; Wdowinski, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is rapidly shrinking with the fastest retreat and thinning occurring at the ice sheet margin and near the outlet glaciers. The changes of the ice mass cause an elastic response of the bedrock. Theoretically, ice mass loss during the summer melting season is associated with bedrock uplift, whereas increasing ice mass during the winter months is associated with bedrock subsidence. Here we examine the annual changes of the vertical displacements measured at 37 GPS stations and compare the results with Greenland drainage basins' gravity from GRACE. We use both Fourier Series (FS) analysis and Cubic Smoothing Spline (CSS) method to estimate the phases and amplitudes of seasonal variations. Both methods show significant differences seasonal behaviors in southern and northern Greenland. The average amplitude of bedrock displacements (3.29±0.02mm) in south Greenland is about 2 times larger than the north (1.65±0.02mm). The phase of bedrock maximum uplift (November) is considerably consistent with the time of minimum ice mass load in south Greenland (October). However, the phase of bedrock maximum uplift in north Greenland (February) is 4 months later than the minimum ice mass load in north Greenland basins (October). In addition, we present ground deformation near several famous glaciers in Greenland such as Petermann glacier and Jakobshavn glacier. We process InSAR data from TerraSAR-X and Sentinel satellite, based on small baseline interferograms. We observed rapid deglaciation-induced uplift and seasonal variations on naked bedrock near the glacier ice margin.

  6. Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of microorganisms isolated from a deep greenland glacier ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miteva, V. I.; Sheridan, P. P.; Brenchley, J. E.

    2004-01-01

    We studied a sample from the GISP 2 (Greenland Ice Sheet Project) ice core to determine the diversity and survival of microorganisms trapped in the ice at least 120,000 years ago. Previously, we examined the phylogenetic relationships among 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences in a clone library obtained by PCR amplification from genomic DNA extracted from anaerobic enrichments. Here we report the isolation of nearly 800 aerobic organisms that were grouped by morphology and amplified rDNA restriction analysis patterns to select isolates for further study. The phylogenetic analyses of 56 representative rDNA sequences showed that the isolates belonged to four major phylogenetic groups: the high-G+C gram-positives, low-G+C gram-positives, Proteobacteria, and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The most abundant and diverse isolates were within the high-G+C gram-positive cluster that had not been represented in the clone library. The Jukes-Cantor evolutionary distance matrix results suggested that at least 7 isolates represent new species within characterized genera and that 49 are different strains of known species. The isolates were further categorized based on the isolation conditions, temperature range for growth, enzyme activity, antibiotic resistance, presence of plasmids, and strain-specific genomic variations. A significant observation with implications for the development of novel and more effective cultivation methods was that preliminary incubation in anaerobic and aerobic liquid prior to plating on agar media greatly increased the recovery of CFU from the ice core sample.

  7. An efficient regional energy-moisture balance model for simulation of the Greenland Ice Sheet response to climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Robinson

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available In order to explore the response of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS to climate change on long (centennial to multi-millennial time scales, a regional energy-moisture balance model has been developed. This model simulates seasonal variations of temperature and precipitation over Greenland and explicitly accounts for elevation and albedo feedbacks. From these fields, the annual mean surface temperature and surface mass balance can be determined and used to force an ice sheet model. The melt component of the surface mass balance is computed here using both a positive degree day approach and a more physically-based alternative that includes insolation and albedo explicitly. As a validation of the climate model, we first simulated temperature and precipitation over Greenland for the prescribed, present-day topography. Our simulated climatology compares well to observations and does not differ significantly from that of a simple parameterization used in many previous simulations. Furthermore, the calculated surface mass balance using both melt schemes falls within the range of recent regional climate model results. For a prescribed, ice-free state, the differences in simulated climatology between the regional energy-moisture balance model and the simple parameterization become significant, with our model showing much stronger summer warming. When coupled to a three-dimensional ice sheet model and initialized with present-day conditions, the two melt schemes both allow realistic simulations of the present-day GIS.

  8. The effects of the uncertainties in geothermal heat flux distribution on the present-day Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, I.; Hagedoorn, J. M.; Martinec, Z.; Fleming, K.; Soucek, O.; Greve, R.; Thomas, M.

    2012-04-01

    The thermodynamic state of basal ice layers determines to a large extent the overall dynamic behavior of grounded ice masses, especially by (i) the formation of basal temperate ice that undergoes enhanced deformation, and (ii) by the process of basal melting, which controls sliding processes and most basal transport phenomena. One of major uncertainties in understanding the basal thermal conditions of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) originates from our poor knowledge of the geothermal heat flux (GHF) that enters basal ice layers from the underlying bedrock. This study analyzes the range of results that arise from the models of the present-day GIS due to ill-constrained GHF distribution in the Greenland region. Within the context of dynamic GIS modeling, we consider the following questions: (i) What is the significance of the differences between the existing GHF models for thermomechanical ice-sheet modeling studies dealing with the past evolution and present-day state of the GIS? (ii) How well do paleoclimatic simulations controlled by each GHF model agree with the today's knowledge of the GIS's thermal state and thickness? (iii) What portion of the misfit between the ice-sheet model results and observations can be attributed to other source of uncertainties, namely the GIS history. In order to answer these questions, we consider three GHF models available in the published literature, based on the tectonic-regionalization model (Pollack et al. [1993]), seismic-tomography model (Shapiro and Ritzwoller [2004]) and magnetic-data model (Fox Maule et al. [2009]) and use these models to force paleoclimatic ice-sheet simulations throughout the last 150 thousand years of the GIS history. From the results of paleoclimatic simulations and sensitivity experiments, we conclude that differences in the GHF maps have a major effect on the history and present-day state of the GIS, exerting a strong influence on the evolution and current thermal regime of its basal layer. The ice

  9. Sea ice breakup and marine melt of a retreating tidewater outlet glacier in northeast Greenland (81°N)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Jørgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic cause accelerated mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and reduced sea ice cover. Tidewater outlet glaciers represent direct connections between glaciers and the ocean where melt rates at the ice-ocean interface are influenced by ocean temperature and circulation....... However, few measurements exist near outlet glaciers from the northern coast towards the Arctic Ocean that has remained nearly permanently ice covered. Here we present hydrographic measurements along the terminus of a major retreating tidewater outlet glacier from Flade Isblink Ice Cap. We show...... that the region is characterized by a relatively large change of the seasonal freshwater content, corresponding to ∼2 m of freshwater, and that solar heating during the short open water period results in surface layer temperatures above 1 °C. Observations of temperature and salinity supported that the outlet...

  10. Ice-margin and meltwater dynamics during the mid-Holocene in the Kangerlussuaq area of west Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Yde, Jacob; Russell, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

    Land-terminating parts of the west Greenland ice sheet have exhibited highly dynamic meltwater regimes over the last few decades including episodes of extremely intense runoff driven by ice surface ablation, ponding of meltwater in an increasing number and size of lakes, and sudden outburst floods...... analysis of the landforms reveals a mid-Holocene land-terminating ice margin that was predominantly cold-based. This ice margin underwent sustained active retreat but with multiple minor advances. Over c.1000years meltwater runoff became impounded within numerous and extensive proglacial lakes...... perched fans and deltas and perched braidplain terraces. Overall, meltwater sourcing, routing and the proglacial runoff regime during the mid-Holocene in this land-terminating part of the ice sheet was spatiotemporally variable, but in a manner very similar to that of the present day....

  11. Improved retrieval of land ice topography from CryoSat-2 data and its impact for volume-change estimation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nilsson, Johan; Gardner, Alex; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg

    2016-01-01

    A new methodology for retrieval of glacier and ice sheet elevations and elevation changes from CryoSat-2 data is presented. Surface elevations and elevation changes determined using this approach show significant improvements over ESA's publicly available CryoSat-2 elevation product (L2 Baseline......-B). The results are compared to near-coincident airborne laser altimetry from NASA's Operation IceBridge and seasonal height amplitudes from the Ice, Cloud, and Elevation Satellite (ICESat). Applying this methodology to CryoSat-2 data collected in interferometric synthetic aperture mode (SIN) over the high......-relief regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet we find an improvement in the root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 27 and 40% compared to ESA's L2 product in the derived elevation and elevation changes, respectively. In the interior part of the ice sheet, where CryoSat-2 operates in low-resolution mode (LRM), we find...

  12. Decreasing cloud cover drives the recent mass loss on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofer, Stefan; Tedstone, Andrew J; Fettweis, Xavier; Bamber, Jonathan L

    2017-06-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has been losing mass at an accelerating rate since the mid-1990s. This has been due to both increased ice discharge into the ocean and melting at the surface, with the latter being the dominant contribution. This change in state has been attributed to rising temperatures and a decrease in surface albedo. We show, using satellite data and climate model output, that the abrupt reduction in surface mass balance since about 1995 can be attributed largely to a coincident trend of decreasing summer cloud cover enhancing the melt-albedo feedback. Satellite observations show that, from 1995 to 2009, summer cloud cover decreased by 0.9 ± 0.3% per year. Model output indicates that the GrIS summer melt increases by 27 ± 13 gigatons (Gt) per percent reduction in summer cloud cover, principally because of the impact of increased shortwave radiation over the low albedo ablation zone. The observed reduction in cloud cover is strongly correlated with a state shift in the North Atlantic Oscillation promoting anticyclonic conditions in summer and suggests that the enhanced surface mass loss from the GrIS is driven by synoptic-scale changes in Arctic-wide atmospheric circulation.

  13. Sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet to Interglacial Climate Forcing: MIS 5e Versus MIS 11

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachmayani, Rima; Prange, Matthias; Lunt, Daniel J.; Stone, Emma J.; Schulz, Michael

    2017-11-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is thought to have contributed substantially to high global sea levels during the interglacials of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e and 11. Geological evidence suggests that the mass loss of the GrIS was greater during the peak interglacial of MIS 11 than MIS 5e, despite a weaker boreal summer insolation. We address this conundrum by using the three-dimensional thermomechanical ice sheet model Glimmer forced by Community Climate System Model version 3 output for MIS 5e and MIS 11 interglacial time slices. Our results suggest a stronger sensitivity of the GrIS to MIS 11 climate forcing than to MIS 5e forcing. Besides stronger greenhouse gas radiative forcing, the greater MIS 11 GrIS mass loss relative to MIS 5e is attributed to a larger oceanic heat transport toward high latitudes by a stronger Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. The vigorous MIS 11 ocean overturning, in turn, is related to a stronger wind-driven salt transport from low to high latitudes promoting North Atlantic Deep Water formation. The orbital insolation forcing, which causes the ocean current anomalies, is discussed.

  14. Modelling the climate and surface mass balance of polar ice sheets using RACMO2 - Part 1: Greenland (1958-2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Brice; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Melchior van Wessem, J.; van Meijgaard, Erik; van As, Dirk; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Lhermitte, Stef; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Smeets, C. J. P. Paul; van Ulft, Lambertus H.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2018-03-01

    We evaluate modelled Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) near-surface climate, surface energy balance (SEB) and surface mass balance (SMB) from the updated regional climate model RACMO2 (1958-2016). The new model version, referred to as RACMO2.3p2, incorporates updated glacier outlines, topography and ice albedo fields. Parameters in the cloud scheme governing the conversion of cloud condensate into precipitation have been tuned to correct inland snowfall underestimation: snow properties are modified to reduce drifting snow and melt production in the ice sheet percolation zone. The ice albedo prescribed in the updated model is lower at the ice sheet margins, increasing ice melt locally. RACMO2.3p2 shows good agreement compared to in situ meteorological data and point SEB/SMB measurements, and better resolves the spatial patterns and temporal variability of SMB compared with the previous model version, notably in the north-east, south-east and along the K-transect in south-western Greenland. This new model version provides updated, high-resolution gridded fields of the GrIS present-day climate and SMB, and will be used for projections of the GrIS climate and SMB in response to a future climate scenario in a forthcoming study.

  15. Tracking millennial-scale Holocene glacial advance and retreat using osmium isotopes: Insights from the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney, Alan D.; Selby, David; Llyod, Jeremy M.; Roberts, David H.; Luckge, Andreas; Sageman, Bradley B.; Prouty, Nancy G.

    2016-01-01

    High-resolution Os isotope stratigraphy can aid in reconstructing Pleistocene ice sheet fluctuation and elucidating the role of local and regional weathering fluxes on the marine Os residence time. This paper presents new Os isotope data from ocean cores adjacent to the West Greenland ice sheet that have excellent chronological controls. Cores MSM-520 and DA00-06 represent distal to proximal sites adjacent to two West Greenland ice streams. Core MSM-520 has a steadily decreasing Os signal over the last 10 kyr (187Os/188Os = 1.35–0.81). In contrast, Os isotopes from core DA00-06 (proximal to the calving front of Jakobshavn Isbræ) highlight four stages of ice stream retreat and advance over the past 10 kyr (187Os/188Os = 2.31; 1.68; 2.09; 1.47). Our high-resolution chemostratigraphic records provide vital benchmarks for ice-sheet modelers as we attempt to better constrain the future response of major ice sheets to climate change. Variations in Os isotope composition from sediment and macro-algae (seaweed) sourced from regional and global settings serve to emphasize the overwhelming effect weathering sources have on seawater Os isotope composition. Further, these findings demonstrate that the residence time of Os is shorter than previous estimates of ∼104 yr.

  16. Biomass Burning Emissions and Transport of Black Carbon (BC) to the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, H. D.; Soja, A. J.; Polashenski, C.; Thomas, J. L.; Dibb, J. E.; Fairlie, T. D.; Winker, D. M.; Flanner, M.; Bergin, M.; Casey, K.; Courville, Z.; Trepte, C. R.; Lai, A.; Schauer, J. J.; Shafer, M. M.

    2016-12-01

    This study is the part of the SAGE project investigating the impact of light absorbing impurities (e.g., aerosols) on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Previously ice-core snow samples collected on the GrIS indicated that black carbon (BC) concentrations were significantly enhanced, which could contribute to a decrease in albedo. Along with high levels of BC, the samples also showed significant amounts of ammonia, indicating the BC was sourced from biomass burning - likely from active forest fires in Eurasia and North America in July and August of 2013. In this study, we simulate the transport of potential smoke-filled air parcels using the NASA Langley Trajectory Model (LaTM), running in a backwards mode from selected ice-core sample sites on the GrIS from June 1st to August 31st 2013. The trajectory model is initialized for 24-hour sustained injection from each site, and air parcels are released from the surface to 2 km at 200m intervals. With the trajectory model outputs, we are able to identify trajectories that have coincidences with fires. As a case study, we focus on an event in early August 2013 when episodic enhancements in black carbon deposition are found in snow pit observations. We also utilize Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data to verify smoke-aerosol signatures in boreal regions based on the NASA LaTM results from late July to early August. We ran backward and forward trajectories from the CALIOP aerosol signatures to verify coincidence with fire events and transport to the GrIS. We found large fires burning west side of the Hudson Bay in late July. CALIOP data captured thick smoke plumes on July 28th over that region and backward/forward trajectories and MODIS Terra/Aqua images support the transport of smoke from these fires to the GrIS.

  17. Fluxes of microbes, organic aerosols, dust, sea-salt Na ions, non-sea-salt Ca ions, and methanesulfonate onto Greenland and Antarctic ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Price

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Using a spectrofluorimeter with 224-nm laser excitation and six emission bands from 300 to 420 nm to measure fluorescence intensities at 0.3-mm depth intervals in ice cores, 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 autofluorescence spectra different from Trp (denoted "non-Trp" as a function of depth in ice cores from West Antarctica (WAIS Divide and Siple Dome and Greenland (GISP2. The ratio of fluxes of microbial cells onto West Antarctic (WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 0.13±0.06; the ratio of non-Trp aerosols onto WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 0.16±0.08; and the ratio of non-sea-salt Ca2+ ions (a proxy for dust grains onto WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 0.06±0.03. All of these are roughly comparable to the ratio of fluxes of dust onto Antarctic versus Greenland sites (0.08±0.05. By contrast to those values, which are considerably lower than unity, the ratio of fluxes of methanesulfonate (MSA onto Antarctic versus Greenland sites is 1.9±0.4 and the ratio of sea-salt Na2+ ions onto WAIS Divide versus Greenland sites is 3.0±2. These ratios are more than an order of magnitude higher than those in the first grouping. We infer that the correlation of microbes and non-Trp aerosols with non-sea-salt Ca and dust suggests a largely terrestrial rather than marine origin. The lower fluxes of microbes, non-Trp aerosols, non-sea-salt Ca and dust onto WAIS Divide ice than onto Greenland ice may be due to the smaller areas of their source regions and less favorable wind patterns for transport onto Antarctic ice than onto Greenland ice. The correlated higher relative fluxes of MSA and marine Na onto Antarctic versus Greenland ice is consistent with the view that both originate largely on or around sea ice, with the Antarctic sea ice being far more extensive than that around Greenland.

  18. Climate response to the meltwater runoff from Greenland ice sheet: evolving sensitivity to discharging locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yonggang; Hallberg, Robert; Sergienko, Olga; Samuels, Bonnie L.; Harrison, Matthew; Oppenheimer, Michael

    2017-11-01

    Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) might have lost a large amount of its volume during the last interglacial and may do so again in the future due to climate warming. In this study, we test whether the climate response to the glacial meltwater is sensitive to its discharging location. Two fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models, CM2G and CM2M, which have completely different ocean components are employed to do the test. In each experiment, a prescribed freshwater flux of 0.1 Sv is discharged from one of the four locations around Greenland—Petermann, 79 North, Jacobshavn and Helheim glaciers. The results from both models show that the AMOC weakens more when the freshwater is discharged from the northern GIS (Petermann and 79 North) than when it is discharged from the southern GIS (Jacobshavn and Helheim), by 15% (CM2G) and 31% (CM2M) averaged over model year 50-300 (CM2G) and 70-300 (CM2M), respectively. This is due to easier access of the freshwater from northern GIS to the deepwater formation site in the Nordic Seas. In the long term (> 300 year), however, the AMOC change is nearly the same for freshwater discharged from any location of the GIS. The East Greenland current accelerates with time and eventually becomes significantly faster when the freshwater is discharged from the north than from the south. Therefore, freshwater from the north is transported efficiently towards the south first and then circulates back to the Nordic Seas, making its impact to the deepwater formation there similar to the freshwater discharged from the south. The results indicate that the details of the location of meltwater discharge matter if the short-term ( 300 years) climate response is focused upon.

  19. Use and Limitations of a Climate-Quality Data Record to Study Temperature Trends on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Comiso, Josefino C.; Shuman, Christopher A.; Koenig, Lora S.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2011-01-01

    Enhanced melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been documented in recent literature along with surface-temperature increases measured using infrared satellite data since 1981. Using a recently-developed climate-quality data record, 11- and 12-year trends in the clear-sky ice-surface temperature (IST) of the Greenland Ice Sheet have been studied using the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) IST product. Daily and monthly MODIS ISTs of the Greenland Ice Sheet beginning on 1 March 2000 and continuing through 31 December 2010 are now available at 6.25-km spatial resolution on a polar stereographic grid as described in Hall et al. (submitted). This record will be elevated in status to a climate-data record (CDR) when more years of data become available either from the MODIS on the Terra or Aqua satellites, or from the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) to be launched in October 2011. Maps showing the maximum extent of melt for the entire ice sheet and for the six major drainage basins have been developed from the MODIS IST dataset. Twelve-year trends of the duration of the melt season on the ice sheet vary in different drainage basins with some basins melting progressively earlier over the course of the study period. Some (but not all) of the basins also show a progressively-longer duration of melt. IST 12-year trends are compared with in-situ data, and climate data from the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) Reanalysis.

  20. Automatic Detection of the Holocene Transition in Radio-Echo Sounding Data from the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, N. B.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Gogineni, S. P.; Paden, J.; Hvidberg, C. S.

    2012-04-01

    Radio-echo sounding has provided important insights into the subsurface properties of the Greenland Ice-Sheet. Recent years have seen increasing interest in englacial radio reflectors (or internal layers) because their stratigraphy reflects both mass balance rates and flow dynamics. Thus patterns of internal layers contain information about the past behaviour of an ice mass. Unfortunately retrieving this information often relies on a large amount of user interaction and can be very time consuming. As the amount of radio-echo sounding data increases, the development of quantitative techniques for digitising internal layers in radar data is a logical step forward. In this study we present an automated method for estimating the elevation of the Holocene transition in radio-echo sounding data from Greenland. The data was collected by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), University of Kansas. The automated method is based on the observation that the CReSIS radio-echo data often display a characteristic appearance: the upper half of the radio-echo data contains numerous internal layering and appears much darker than the lower, older part, where only a few visible layers can be seen. Compared to the depth-age relationship from the NorthGRIP ice core this change in the radar-echo data coincides with the transition to the Holocene period. The method obtains a good match with manually traced data and also returns an estimate of the confidence in its output. The depth of the Holocene transition will provide insight into the large-scale variation of mass balance and basal melt rate over the Greenland Ice Sheet and will assist in efforts to model the past evolution of the ice sheet.

  1. Greenland NEEM ice core records of As, Cd, Cr and Mo during the period of 1820-1970 AD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, K.; Han, Y.; Moon, J.; Hur, S. D.; Hong, S.

    2016-12-01

    Greenland snow and ice core records of various trace elements showed that the large -scale atmospheric cycles of these elements have been strongly modified by human activities. However, such snow and ice core records are only available for the very few elements such as lead (Pb), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and thallium (Tl), because concentrations of most of elements in Greenland snow and ice are extremely low at the low and sub-pg/g level. We here present an annual resolution record of changes in the occurrence of arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo) and Cd from Greenland NEEM ice core samples covering the period from 1820 to1970. To our knowledge, long-term trends of As, Cr, and Mo have never been reconstructed from Greenland ice cores at such a high resolution. Barium (Ba) was also analyzed to calculate the crustal enrichment factors (EFc), using concentration ratios between the four trace elements and Ba in the samples and in the mean upper continental crust. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cr and Mo are 1.3 80.4 pg/g, 0.005 21.2 pg/g, 4.3 98.3 pg/g and 0.1 6.4 pg/g, respectively. To help emphasize the main features of anthropogenic inputs, individual data points were averaged for a decadal period, while the whole data before 1850 were averaged as the preindustrial period. All the measured elements show two distinct peaks in concentrations, but contrasting situations are observed for the different elements. As and Cd show a rapid increase in concentrations from 1870 to 1880s and from 1930 to 1940s, while Cr and Mo show peaks during the 1900s and 1960s. The temporal trends of the EFs appear to match with those of concentrations for each element. The different patterns in the periods reaching peaks in concentrations and EFs are likely due to the primary anthropogenic sources for the different element. Anthropogenic As and Cd are mainly emitted from non-ferrous metals production, while Cr and Mo are from fossil fuel combustion. Our first comprehensive

  2. Sensitivity of Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance to surface albedo parameterization: a study with a regional climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. van Angelen

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available We present a sensitivity study of the surface mass balance (SMB of the Greenland Ice Sheet, as modeled using a regional atmospheric climate model, to various parameter settings in the albedo scheme. The snow albedo scheme uses grain size as a prognostic variable and further depends on cloud cover, solar zenith angle and black carbon concentration. For the control experiment the overestimation of absorbed shortwave radiation (+6% at the K-transect (west Greenland for the period 2004–2009 is considerably reduced compared to the previous density-dependent albedo scheme (+22%. To simulate realistic snow albedo values, a small concentration of black carbon is needed, which has strongest impact on melt in the accumulation area. A background ice albedo field derived from MODIS imagery improves the agreement between the modeled and observed SMB gradient along the K-transect. The effect of enhanced meltwater retention and refreezing is a decrease of the albedo due to an increase in snow grain size. As a secondary effect of refreezing the snowpack is heated, enhancing melt and further lowering the albedo. Especially in a warmer climate this process is important, since it reduces the refreezing potential of the firn layer that covers the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  3. Atmospheric river impacts on Greenland Ice Sheet surface melt and mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattingly, K.; Mote, T. L.

    2017-12-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has accelerated during the early part of the 21st Century. Several episodes of widespread GrIS melt in recent years have coincided with intense poleward moisture transport by atmospheric rivers (ARs), suggesting that variability in the frequency and intensity of these events may be an important driver of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the GrIS. ARs may contribute to GrIS surface melt through the greenhouse effect of water vapor, the radiative effects of clouds, condensational latent heating within poleward-advected air masses, and the energy provided by liquid precipitation. However, ARs may also provide significant positive contributions to GrIS SMB through enhanced snow accumulation. Prior research on the role of ARs in Arctic climate has consisted of case studies of ARs associated with major GrIS melt events or examined the effects of poleward moisture flux on Arctic sea ice. In this study, a long-term (1979-2016) record of intense moisture transport events affecting Greenland is compiled using a conventional AR identification algorithm as well as a self-organizing map (SOM) classification applied to integrated water vapor transport (IVT) data from several atmospheric reanalysis datasets. An analysis of AR effects on GrIS melt and SMB is then performed with GrIS surface melt data from passive microwave satellite observations and the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) regional climate model. Results show that meltwater production is above normal during and after AR impact days throughout the GrIS during all seasons, with surface melt enhanced most by strong (> 85th percentile IVT) and extreme (> 95th percentile IVT) ARs. This relationship holds at the seasonal scale, as the total amount of water vapor transported to the GrIS by ARs is significantly greater during above-normal melt seasons. ARs exert a more complex influence on SMB. Normal (< 85th percentile IVT) ARs generally do not have a substantial impact on

  4. Albedo Spatial Variability and Causes on the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G.; Osterberg, E. C.; Hawley, R. L.; Koffman, B. G.; Marshall, H. P.; Birkel, S. D.; Dibb, J. E.

    2016-12-01

    Many recent studies have concluded that Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) mass loss has been accelerating over recent decades, but spatial and temporal variations in GIS mass balance remain poorly understood due to a complex relationship among precipitation and temperature changes, increasing melt and runoff, ice discharge, and surface albedo. Satellite measurements from MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) indicate that albedo has been declining over the past decade, but the cause and extent of GIS albedo change remains poorly constrained by field data. As fresh snow (albedo > 0.85) warms and melts, its albedo decreases due to snow grain growth, promoting solar absorption, higher snowpack temperatures and further melt. However, dark impurities like soot and dust can also significantly reduce snow albedo, even in the dry snow zone. While many regional climate models (e.g. the Regional Atmospheric Climate MOdel - RACMO2) calculate albedo spatial resolutions on the order of 10-30 km, and MODIS averages albedo over 500 m, surface features like sastrugi can affect albedo on much smaller scales. Here we assess the relative importance of grain size and shape vs. impurity concentrations on albedo in the western GIS percolation zone. We collected broadband albedo measurements (300-2500 nm at 3-8 nm resolution) at 35 locations using an ASD FieldSpec4 spectroradiometer to simultaneously quantify radiative fluxes and spectral reflectance. Measurements were collected on 10 x 10 m, 1 x 1 km, 5 x 5 km, and 10 x 10 km grids to determine the spatial variability of albedo as part of the 850-km Greenland Traverse for Accumulation and Climate Studies (GreenTrACS) traverse from Raven/Dye 2 to Summit. Additionally, we collected shallow (0-50 cm) snow pit samples every 5 cm at ASD measurement sites to quantify black carbon and mineral dust concentrations and size distributions using a Single Particle Soot Photometer and Coulter Counter, respectively. Preliminary results

  5. Constraining ice mass loss from Jakobshavn Isbræ (Greenland) using InSAR-measured crustal uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Lin; Wahr, John; Howat, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Jakobshavn Isbræ in west Greenland has been undergoing dramatic thinning since 1997. Applying the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique to Radarsat-1 SAR data, we measure crustal uplift near Jakobshavn Isbræ caused by recent ice mass loss. The crustal uplift is predominantly......SAR-estimated deformation rates during 2004–2008 and the corresponding short-scale components of a deformation model that is based on changes in ice elevation measured by NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM). We are also able to use the InSAR-measured deformation to invert for the spatial pattern of ice thinning....... Overall, our results suggest that despite the inherent difficulties of working with a signal that has significant large-scale components, InSAR-measured crustal deformation can be used to study the ice mass loss of a rapidly thinning glacier and its surrounding catchment, providing both a constraint...

  6. New geoid of Greenland: A case study of terrain and ice effects, GOCE and use of local sea level data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Jensen, Tim Enzlberger

    2015-01-01

    by least squares collocation. The impact of GOCE and the new terrestrial data yielded a much improved geoid, as evidenced by comparison to GPS measurements along fjords, which serves as a proxy for GPS leveling data, and comparisons to new GPS leveling data in Iceland. The comparisons show significant...... being the only gravity field data over the interior, and terrain and ice thickness models being insufficient both in terms of resolution and accuracy. This data situation has in the later years changed substantially, first of all due to GOCE, but also new airborne gravity and ice thickness data from...... the NASA IceBridge mission, and new terrain models from ASTER, SPOT-5 and digital photogrammetry. In the paper we use all available data to make a new geoid of Greenland and surrounding ocean regions, using remove-restore techniques for ice and topography, spherical FFT techniques and downward continuation...

  7. Heat sources for glacial ice melt in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord: The role of subglacial freshwater discharge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Jørgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk

    2015-01-01

    The melting of tidewater outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributes significantly to global sea level rise. Accelerated mass loss is related to melt-processes in front of calving glaciers, yet the role of ocean heat transports is poorly understood. Here we present the first direct...... measurements from a subglacial plume in front of a calving tidewater outlet glacier. Surface salinity in the plume corresponded to a meltwater content of 7 %, which is indicative of significant entrainment of warm bottom water and, according to plume model calculations, significant ice melt. Energy balance...... of the area near the glacier showed that ice melt was mainly due to ocean heat transport and that direct plume-associated melt was only important in periods with high meltwater discharge rates of ~100 m3 s−1. Ocean mixing outside of the plume area was thus the primary heat source for melting glacier ice....

  8. 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.

  9. The Holocene thermal maximum in the Nordic Seas: the impact of Greenland Ice Sheet melt and other forcings in a coupled atmosphere–sea-ice–ocean model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Blaschek

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The relatively warm early Holocene climate in the Nordic Seas, known as the Holocene thermal maximum (HTM, is often associated with an orbitally forced summer insolation maximum at 10 ka BP. The spatial and temporal response recorded in proxy data in the North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas reveals a complex interaction of mechanisms active in the HTM. Previous studies have investigated the impact of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS, as a remnant from the previous glacial period, altering climate conditions with a continuous supply of melt water to the Labrador Sea and adjacent seas and with a downwind cooling effect from the remnant LIS. In our present work we extend this approach by investigating the impact of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS on the early Holocene climate and the HTM. Reconstructions suggest melt rates of 13 mSv for 9 ka BP, which result in our model in an ocean surface cooling of up to 2 K near Greenland. Reconstructed summer SST gradients agree best with our simulation including GIS melt, confirming that the impact of the early Holocene GIS is crucial for understanding the HTM characteristics in the Nordic Seas area. This implies that modern and near-future GIS melt can be expected to play an active role in the climate system in the centuries to come.

  10. Sea ice breakup and marine melt of a retreating tidewater outlet glacier in northeast Greenland (81°N).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendtsen, Jørgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk; K Ehn, Jens; Boone, Wieter; Galindo, Virginie; Hu, Yu-Bin; Dmitrenko, Igor A; Kirillov, Sergei A; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Kristoffersen, Yngve; G Barber, David; Rysgaard, Søren

    2017-07-10

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic cause accelerated mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and reduced sea ice cover. Tidewater outlet glaciers represent direct connections between glaciers and the ocean where melt rates at the ice-ocean interface are influenced by ocean temperature and circulation. However, few measurements exist near outlet glaciers from the northern coast towards the Arctic Ocean that has remained nearly permanently ice covered. Here we present hydrographic measurements along the terminus of a major retreating tidewater outlet glacier from Flade Isblink Ice Cap. We show that the region is characterized by a relatively large change of the seasonal freshwater content, corresponding to ~2 m of freshwater, and that solar heating during the short open water period results in surface layer temperatures above 1 °C. Observations of temperature and salinity supported that the outlet glacier is a floating ice shelf with near-glacial subsurface temperatures at the freezing point. Melting from the surface layer significantly influenced the ice foot morphology of the glacier terminus. Hence, melting of the tidewater outlet glacier was found to be critically dependent on the retreat of sea ice adjacent to the terminus and the duration of open water.

  11. Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Sasgen, Ingo; Bevis, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice...

  12. Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (2003-2008) from ICESat data - the impact of interpolation, sampling and firn density

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, L. S.; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Nielsen, K.

    2011-01-01

    ICESat has provided surface elevation measurements of the ice sheets since the launch in January 2003, resulting in a unique dataset for monitoring the changes of the cryosphere. Here, we present a novel method for determining the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet, derived from ICESat altim...

  13. Combined diurnal variations of discharge and hydrochemistry of the Isunnguata Sermia outlet, Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graly, Joseph; Harrington, Joel; Humphrey, Neil

    2017-05-01

    In order to examine daily cycles in meltwater routing and storage in the Isunnguata Sermia outlet of the Greenland Ice Sheet, variations in outlet stream discharge and in major element hydrochemistry were assessed over a 6-day period in July 2013. Over 4 days, discharge was assessed from hourly photography of the outlet from multiple vantages, including where midstream naled ice provided a natural gauge. pH, electrical conductivity, suspended sediment, and major element and anion chemistry were measured in samples of stream water collected every 3 h.Photography and stream observations reveal that although river width and stage have only slight diurnal variation, there are large diurnal changes in discharge shown by the doubling in width of what we term the active channel, which is characterized by large standing waves and fast flow. The concentration of dissolved solutes follows a sinusoidal diurnal cycle, except for large and variable increases in dissolved solutes during the stream's waning flow. Solute concentrations vary by ˜ 30 % between diurnal minima and maxima. Discharge maxima and minima lag temperature and surface melt by 3-7 h; diurnal solute concentration minima and maxima lag discharge by 3-6 h.This phase shift between discharge and solute concentration suggests that during high flow, water is either encountering more rock material or is stored in longer contact with rock material. We suggest that expansion of a distributed subglacial hydrologic network into seldom accessed regions during high flow could account for these phenomena, and for a spike of partial silicate reaction products during waning flow, which itself suggests a pressure threshold-triggered release of stored water.

  14. Synchronizing Greenland ice-core records and the Meerfelder maar sediment record via the global cosmogenic radionuclide signature and insights on climate around 11,230 years BP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekhaldi, F.; Czymzik, M.; Brauer, A.; Martin-Puertas, C.; Aldahan, A.; Possnert, G.; Muscheler, R.

    2017-12-01

    The causal investigation of multiple paleoclimate records relies on the accuracy of their respective chronostratigraphy. To achieve relative synchronization, cosmogenic radionuclides are an excellent tool because their common signature is global and can be retrieved and measured in different paleoclimate archives. For instance, 10Be can be measured in both ice cores and lake sediments (Berggren et al., 2013; Czymzik et al., 2016) which allows for both archives to be anchored onto radiocarbon timescales by synchronizing 10Be with 14C. We investigate the period 11,500-11,000 years BP when a short cold climate spell is known, from ice-core proxy records, to have occurred in Greenland shortly after the onset of the Holocene - the Preboreal Oscillation (PBO). This period also coincides with one of the largest and longest-lived increase in 14C production rate during the Holocene, which most likely corresponds to a grand solar minimum (around 11,230-11,000 years BP). In consequence, this period ideally illustrates the potential of using a known and clear signal in the production rate of cosmogenic radionuclides as a synchronizing tool, such as caused by large variations in solar activity. Here we measure 10Be in Meerfelder Maar (a well-dated and widely used sediment record from Germany) around 11,230 years BP which allows us to align the 10Be signal in both the Meerfelder Maar (MFM) sediment record and the GRIP ice core to IntCal13. Doing so, we report that i) the structure of the grand solar minimum is well-preserved in the 10Be signal of MFM sediments, ii) the PBO in Greenland occurs during high levels of solar activity and is not clearly observed in MFM, and iii) the PBO in Greenland ends precisely at the onset of the grand solar minimum at 11,230 years BP which also corresponds to a depositional change in MFM sediments (Martin-Puertas et al., 2017). These results thus suggest that changes in solar activity could have been a forcing at play eventually resulting in the

  15. Greenland ice sheet surface mass-balance modeling in a 131-Yr perspective, 1950-2080

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Liston, Glen E.; Hiemstra, Christopher A.

    2010-01-01

    and correct RCM output data before they were used as input for SnowModel. Satellite observations and independent SMB studies were used to validate the SnowModel output and confirmthemodel's robustness. The authors simulated an ~90% increase in end-of-summer surface melt extent (0.483 × 106 km2) from 1950......Fluctuations in the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) and freshwater influx to the surrounding oceans closely follow climate fluctuations and are of considerable importance to the global eustatic sea level rise.Astate-of-the-art snow-evolution modeling system(SnowModel) was used...... to 2080 and a melt index (above 2000-m elevation) increase of 138% (1.96 × 106 km2 × days). The greatest difference in melt extent occurred in the southern part of theGrIS, and the greatest changes in the number of melt dayswere seen in the eastern part of the GrIS (~50%-70%) and were lowest in the west...

  16. Derivation of high spatial resolution albedo from UAV digital imagery: application over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Jonathan C.; Hubbard, Alun; Box, Jason E.; Brough, Stephen; Cameron, Karen; Cook, Joseph M.; Cooper, Matthew; Doyle, Samuel H.; Edwards, Arwyn; Holt, Tom; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram; Jones, Christine; Pitcher, Lincoln H.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Smith, Laurence C.; Stibal, Marek; Snooke, Neal

    2017-05-01

    Measurements of albedo are a prerequisite for modelling surface melt across the Earth's cryosphere, yet available satellite products are limited in spatial and/or temporal resolution. Here, we present a practical methodology to obtain centimetre resolution albedo products with accuracies of 5% using consumer-grade digital camera and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies. Our method comprises a workflow for processing, correcting and calibrating raw digital images using a white reference target, and upward and downward shortwave radiation measurements from broadband silicon pyranometers. We demonstrate the method with a set of UAV sorties over the western, K-sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The resulting albedo product, UAV10A1, covers 280 km2, at a resolution of 20 cm per pixel and has a root-mean-square difference of 3.7% compared to MOD10A1 and 4.9% compared to ground-based broadband pyranometer measurements. By continuously measuring downward solar irradiance, the technique overcomes previous limitations due to variable illumination conditions during and between surveys over glaciated terrain. The current miniaturization of multispectral sensors and incorporation of upward facing radiation sensors on UAV packages means that this technique will likely become increasingly attractive in field studies and used in a wide range of applications for high temporal and spatial resolution surface mapping of debris, dust, cryoconite and bioalbedo and for directly constraining surface energy balance models.

  17. Derivation of High Spatial Resolution Albedo from UAV Digital Imagery: Application over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan C. Ryan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Measurements of albedo are a prerequisite for modeling surface melt across the Earth's cryosphere, yet available satellite products are limited in spatial and/or temporal resolution. Here, we present a practical methodology to obtain centimeter resolution albedo products with accuracies of ±5% using consumer-grade digital camera and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV technologies. Our method comprises a workflow for processing, correcting and calibrating raw digital images using a white reference target, and upward and downward shortwave radiation measurements from broadband silicon pyranometers. We demonstrate the method with a set of UAV sorties over the western, K-sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The resulting albedo product, UAV10A1, covers 280 km2, at a resolution of 20 cm per pixel and has a root-mean-square difference of 3.7% compared to MOD10A1 and 4.9% compared to ground-based broadband pyranometer measurements. By continuously measuring downward solar irradiance, the technique overcomes previous limitations due to variable illumination conditions during and between surveys over glaciated terrain. The current miniaturization of multispectral sensors and incorporation of upward facing radiation sensors on UAV packages means that this technique could become increasingly common in field studies and used for a wide range of applications. These include the mapping of debris, dust, cryoconite and bioalbedo, and directly constraining surface energy balance models.

  18. SMMR-SSM/I derived Greenland Sea ice variability: links with Indian and Korean Monsoons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhu, Amita; Oh, Jaiho; Kim, In-won; Kripalani, R. H.; Pandithurai, G.

    2018-02-01

    Greenland Sea ice area (GRESIA) in boreal autumn and its association with the subsequent summer monsoon rainfall over India and South Korea is assessed for the period 1983-2013. It is found that GRESIA in the month of October has a significant positive relation (correlation coefficient (cc) = 0.45) with the subsequent Indian monsoon rainfall (IMR) while having a significant negative relation (cc = -0.40) with the ensuing Korean monsoon rainfall (KMR). GRESIA episodes in the preceding autumn impact the ensuing summer monsoon rainfall over India (South Korea) adversely (favourably). While central Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) play a mediating role in transmitting the GRESIA signal towards the Indian subcontinent, snow over eastern Eurasia, just north of the Korea-Japan peninsula, plays a mediating role in transmitting the GRESIA signal towards the Korean peninsula. Although, the anomalies of equatorial central Pacific SSTs and eastern Eurasian snow play a crucial role in modulating IMR and KMR respectively, the GRESIA variability also plays a dominant role in modulating the monsoon variability over both the regions. Thus, a combination of autumn GRESIA along with SSTs over the central Pacific and snow over the eastern Eurasia, may possibly serve as a unique precursor to presage Asia's two diverse regional subsystems.

  19. Estimation of the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance for the 20th and 21st centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Fettweis

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Results from a regional climate simulation (1970–2006 over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS reveals that more than 97% of the interannual variability of the modelled Surface Mass Balance (SMB can be explained by the GrIS summer temperature anomaly and the GrIS annual precipitation anomaly. This multiple regression is then used to empirically estimate the GrIS SMB since 1900 from climatological time series. The projected SMB changes in the 21st century are investigated with the set of simulations performed with atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4. These estimates show that the high surface mass loss rates of recent years are not unprecedented in the GrIS history of the last hundred years. The minimum SMB rate seems to have occurred earlier in the 1930s and corresponds to a zero SMB rate. The AOGCMs project that the SMB rate of the 1930s would be common at the end of 2100. The temperature would be higher than in the 1930s but the increase of accumulation in the 21st century would partly offset the acceleration of surface melt due to the temperature increase. However, these assumptions are based on an empirical multiple regression only validated for recent/current climatic conditions, and the accuracy and time homogeneity of the data sets and AOGCM results used in these estimations constitute a large uncertainty.

  20. Liquid water flow and retention on the Greenland Ice Sheet in the regional climate model HIRHAM5: local and large-scale impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langen, Peter L.; Fausto, Robert S.; Vandecrux, Baptiste; Mottram, Ruth H.; Box, Jason E.

    2016-12-01

    To improve Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance (SMB) simulation, the subsurface scheme of the HIRHAM5 regional climate model was extended to include snow densification, varying hydraulic conductivity, irreducible water saturation and other effects on snow liquid water percolation and retention. Sensitivity experiments to investigate the effects of the additions and the impact of different parameterization choices are presented. Compared with 68 accumulation area ice cores, the simulated mean annual net accumulation bias is -5% (correlation coefficient of 0.90). Modeled SMB in the ablation area compares favorably with 1041 PROMICE observations with regression slope of 0.95-0.97 (depending on model configuration), correlation coefficient of 0.75-0.86 and mean bias -3%. Weighting ablation area SMB biases at low- and high-elevation with the amount of runoff from these areas, we estimate ice sheet-wide mass loss biases in the ablation area at -5% and -7% using observed (MODIS-derived) and internally calculated albedo, respectively. Comparison with observed melt day counts shows that patterns of spatial (correlation 0.9) and temporal (correlation coefficient of 0.9) variability are realistically represented in the simulations. However, the model tends to underestimate the magnitude of inter-annual variability (regression slope 0.7) and overestimate that of spatial variability (slope 1.2). In terms of subsurface temperature structure and occurrence of perennial firn aquifers and perched ice layers, the most important model choices are the albedo implementation and irreducible water saturation parameterization. At one percolation area location, for instance, the internally calculated albedo yields too high subsurface temperatures below 5 m, but when using an implementation of irreducible saturation allowing higher values, an ice layer forms in 2011, reducing the deep warm bias in subsequent years. On the other hand, prior to the formation of the ice layer, observed

  1. Sea Ice Retreat and its Impact on the Intensity of Open-Ocean Convection in the Greenland and Iceland Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, K.; Våge, K.; Pickart, R. S.; Renfrew, I.

    2016-12-01

    The air-sea transfer of heat and freshwater plays a critical role in the global climate system. This is particularly true for the Greenland and Iceland Seas, where these fluxes drive ocean convection that contributes to Denmark Strait Overflow Water, the densest component of the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). This buoyancy transfer is most pronounced during the winter downstream of the ice edge, where the cold and dry Arctic air first comes in contact with the relatively warm ocean surface. Here we show that the wintertime retreat of sea ice in the region, combined with different rates of warming for the atmosphere and sea surface of the Greenland and Iceland Seas, has resulted in statistically significant reductions of approximately 20% in the magnitude of the winter air-sea heat fluxes since 1979. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that modes of climate variability other than the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are required to fully characterize the regional air-sea interaction in this region. Mixed-layer model simulations imply that a continued decrease in atmospheric forcing will exceed a threshold for the Greenland Sea whereby convection will become depth limited, reducing the ventilation of mid-depth waters in the Nordic Seas. In the Iceland Sea, further reductions have the potential to decrease the supply of the densest overflow waters to the AMOC.

  2. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Helsen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model EC-Earth by taking a constant value for areas with thick perennial snow cover. This is an important reason why the surface mass balance (SMB of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS is poorly resolved in the model. The purpose of this study is to improve the SMB forcing of the GrIS by evaluating different parameter settings within a snow albedo scheme. By allowing ice-sheet albedo to vary as a function of wet and dry conditions, the spatial distribution of albedo and melt rate improves. Nevertheless, the spatial distribution of SMB in EC-Earth is not significantly improved. As a reason for this, we identify omissions in the current snow albedo scheme, such as separate treatment of snow and ice and the effect of refreezing. The resulting SMB is downscaled from the lower-resolution global climate model topography to the higher-resolution ice-sheet topography of the GrIS, such that the influence of these different SMB climatologies on the long-term evolution of the GrIS is tested by ice-sheet model simulations. From these ice-sheet simulations we conclude that an albedo scheme with a short response time of decaying albedo during wet conditions performs best with respect to long-term simulated ice-sheet volume. This results in an optimized albedo parameterization that can be used in future EC-Earth simulations with an interactive ice-sheet component.

  3. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helsen, Michiel M.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Reerink, Thomas J.; Bintanja, Richard; Madsen, Marianne S.; Yang, Shuting; Li, Qiang; Zhang, Qiong

    2017-08-01

    The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model EC-Earth by taking a constant value for areas with thick perennial snow cover. This is an important reason why the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is poorly resolved in the model. The purpose of this study is to improve the SMB forcing of the GrIS by evaluating different parameter settings within a snow albedo scheme. By allowing ice-sheet albedo to vary as a function of wet and dry conditions, the spatial distribution of albedo and melt rate improves. Nevertheless, the spatial distribution of SMB in EC-Earth is not significantly improved. As a reason for this, we identify omissions in the current snow albedo scheme, such as separate treatment of snow and ice and the effect of refreezing. The resulting SMB is downscaled from the lower-resolution global climate model topography to the higher-resolution ice-sheet topography of the GrIS, such that the influence of these different SMB climatologies on the long-term evolution of the GrIS is tested by ice-sheet model simulations. From these ice-sheet simulations we conclude that an albedo scheme with a short response time of decaying albedo during wet conditions performs best with respect to long-term simulated ice-sheet volume. This results in an optimized albedo parameterization that can be used in future EC-Earth simulations with an interactive ice-sheet component.

  4. Abundance, viability and diversity of the indigenous microbial populations at different depths of the NEEM Greenland ice core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanya Miteva

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The 2537-m-deep North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM core provided a first-time opportunity to perform extensive microbiological analyses on selected, recently drilled ice core samples representing different depths, ages, ice structures, deposition climates and ionic compositions. Here, we applied cultivation, small subunit (SSU rRNA gene clone library construction and Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS targeting the V4–V5 region, to examine the microbial abundance, viability and diversity in five decontaminated NEEM samples from selected depths (101.2, 633.05, 643.5, 1729.75 and 2051.5 m deposited 300–80 000 years ago. These comparisons of the indigenous glacial microbial populations in the ice samples detected significant spatial and temporal variations. Major findings include: (a different phylogenetic diversity of isolates, dominated by Actinobacteria and fungi, compared to the culture-independent diversity, in which Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were more frequent; (b cultivation of a novel alphaproteobacterium; (c dominance of Cyanobacteria among the SSU rRNA gene clones from the 1729.75-m ice; (d identification of Archaea by NGS that are rarely detected in glacial ice; (e detection of one or two dominant but different genera among the NGS sequences from each sample; (f finding dominance of Planococcaceae over Bacillaceae among Firmicutes in the brittle and the 2051.5-m ice. The overall beta diversity between the studied ice core samples examined at the phylum/class level for each approach showed that the population structure of the brittle ice was significantly different from the two deep clathrated ice samples and the shallow ice core.

  5. Investigation and Retrofitting Proposal for a Panbo Type House in Sisimiut, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qu, Jing; Vladyková, Petra; Villumsen, Arne

    since December 2010. The results of the investigation show that the house has some serious problems influencing proper functions, such as thermal bridges, poor thermal comfort and high energy consumption. A retrofitting plan, including having an additional paper insulation layer and exterior climate...... to the harsh climate in Greenland and the low building standard in the earlier period, it is still a major challenge for Greenlandic building industry to retrofit existing buildings....

  6. Geochemical cycling and depositional patterns across the northeast region of the Greenland Ice Sheet as determined from trace element chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, G. J.; Osterberg, E. C.; Courville, Z.; Hawley, R. L.; Lutz, E.; Overly, T. B.

    2012-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is both a repository of climate history and a major driver in Arctic and global climate. Between 1952 and 1955, Carl Benson led a series of traverses of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), and characterized the GIS via mapping of the spatial distribution of annual net accumulation and classifying the diagenetic glacier facies (Benson, 1962). While polar ice sheets represent a unique archive of past atmospheric and climatic conditions, little information exists on large-scale geographical trends in trace element snow chemistry across GIS because of the remote, challenging location. In the spring of 2011, we undertook a 1120 km traverse of the GIS from Thule Air Base to Summit Station. Samples from 11 snow pits and 3 firn cores, dated by stable water isotopes, were analyzed and evaluated in seasonal resolution for their trace element content (23Na, 24Mg, 27Al, 32S, 39K, 44Ca, 47Ti, 51V, 52Cr, 55Mn, 56Fe, 59Co, 63Cu, 66Zn, 75As, 88Sr, 111Cd, 133Cs, 138Ba, 139La, 140Ce, 141Pr, 208Pb, 209Bi, 238U). Here, we present an initial analysis of the spatial gradients of these trace elements and an interpretation of how their depositional patterns characterize the GIS. The seasonal trends coupled with spatial variability of certain trace elements establish the behavior of specific aerosols (e.g. dust, sea salt, pollution), which will be useful in quantifying geochemical cycling across the GIS and comparing characterizations with results from Benson's traverses. Benson, CS. 1962. Stratigraphic studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland Ice Sheet. SIPRE Research Report, 70, 89 pp.

  7. Partitioning of melt energy and meltwater fluxes in the ablation zone of the west Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. van den Broeke

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available We present four years (August 2003–August 2007 of surface mass balance data from the ablation zone of the west Greenland ice sheet along the 67° N latitude circle. Sonic height rangers and automatic weather stations continuously measured accumulation/ablation and near-surface climate at distances of 6, 38 and 88 km from the ice sheet margin at elevations of 490, 1020 and 1520 m a.s.l. Using a melt model and reasonable assumptions about snow density and percolation characteristics, these data are used to quantify the partitioning of energy and mass fluxes during melt episodes. The lowest site receives very little winter accumulation, and ice melting is nearly continuous in June, July and August. Due to the lack of snow accumulation, little refreezing occurs and virtually all melt energy is invested in runoff. Higher up the ice sheet, the ice sheet surface freezes up during the night, making summer melting intermittent. At the intermediate site, refreezing in snow consumes about 10% of the melt energy, increasing to 40% at the highest site. The sum of these effects is that total melt and runoff increase exponentially towards the ice sheet margin, each time doubling between the stations. At the two lower sites, we estimate that radiation penetration causes 20–30% of the ice melt to occur below the surface.

  8. Characterizing supraglacial meltwater channel hydraulics on the Greenland Ice Sheet from in situ observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleason, Colin J.; Smith, Laurence C.; Chu, Vena W.; Legleiter, Carl; Pitcher, Lincoln H.; Overstreet, Brandon T.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Forster, Richard R.; Yang, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Supraglacial rivers on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) transport large volumes of surface meltwater toward the ocean, yet have received relatively little direct research. This study presents field observations of channel width, depth, velocity, and water surface slope for nine supraglacial channels on the southwestern GrIS collected between 23 July and 20 August, 2012. Field sites are located up to 74 km inland and span 494-1485 m elevation, and contain measured discharges larger than any previous in situ study: from 0.006 to 23.12 m3/s in channels 0.20 to 20.62 m wide. All channels were deeply incised with near vertical banks, and hydraulic geometry results indicate that supraglacial channels primarily accommodate greater discharges by increasing velocity. Smaller streams had steeper water surface slopes (0.74-8.83%) than typical in terrestrial settings, yielding correspondingly high velocities (0.40-2.60 m/s) and Froude numbers (0.45-3.11) with supercritical flow observed in 54% of measurements. Derived Manning's n values were larger and more variable than anticipated from channels of uniform substrate, ranging from 0.009 to 0.154 with a mean value of 0.035 +/- 0.027 despite the absence of sediment, debris, or other roughness elements. Ubiquitous micro-depressions in shallow sections of the channel bed may explain some of these roughness values. However, we find that other, unobserved sources of flow resistance likely contributed to these elevated n values: future work should explicitly consider additional sources of flow resistance beyond bed roughness in supraglacial channels. We conclude that hydraulic modelling for these channels must allow for both sub- and supercritical flow, and most importantly must refrain from assuming that all ice-substrate channels exhibit similar hydraulic behavior, especially for Froude numbers and Manning's n. Finally, this study highlights that further theoretical and empirical work on supraglacial channel hydraulics is

  9. The first complete inventory of the local glaciers and ice caps on Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Rastner

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Glacier inventories provide essential baseline information for the determination of water resources, glacier-specific changes in area and volume, climate change impacts as well as past, potential and future contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Although Greenland is heavily glacierised and thus highly relevant for all of the above points, a complete inventory of its glaciers was not available so far. Here we present the results and details of a new and complete inventory that has been compiled from more than 70 Landsat scenes (mostly acquired between 1999 and 2002 using semi-automated glacier mapping techniques. A digital elevation model (DEM was used to derive drainage divides from watershed analysis and topographic attributes for each glacier entity. To serve the needs of different user communities, we assigned to each glacier one of three connectivity levels with the ice sheet (CL0, CL1, CL2; i.e. no, weak, and strong connection to clearly, but still flexibly, distinguish the local glaciers and ice caps (GIC from the ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. In total, we mapped ~ 20 300 glaciers larger than 0.05 km2 (of which ~ 900 are marine terminating, covering an area of 130 076 ± 4032 km2, or 89 720 ± 2781 km2 without the CL2 GIC. The latter value is about 50% higher than the mean value of more recent previous estimates. Glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2 contribute only 1.5% to the total area but more than 50% (11 000 to the total number. In contrast, the 25 largest GIC (> 500 km2 contribute 28% to the total area, but only 0.1% to the total number. The mean elevation of the GIC is 1700 m in the eastern sector and around 1000 m otherwise. The median elevation increases with distance from the coast, but has only a weak dependence on mean glacier aspect.

  10. 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...... from the European Space Agency’s Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT), European Remote Sensing (ERS)-1 and -2, CryoSat-2, and, in the longer term, Sentinel-3 satellites. In order to find the best-performing method, an intercomparison exercise has been carried out in which the scientific community...... was asked to provide their best SEC estimates as well as feedback sheets describing the applied method. Due to the hitherto few radar-based SEC analyses as well as the higher accuracy of laser data, the participants were asked to use either ENVISAT radar or ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite...

  11. Contributions to the building and upgrading of the Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reusch, A. M.; Childs, D.; Anderson, K. R.

    2011-12-01

    The GLISN project began in 2009 and is now a 10-nation collaborative project (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and the USA) with a long-term goal of establishing a real-time broadband seismic network of 25 stations within and around Greenland. The GLISN project provides publicly available data distributed by the IRIS Data Management Center that researchers can use in the characterization of tectonic and glacial earthquakes as well as other cryo-seismic phenomena (e.g. iceberg calving events, seiches, tidal patterns, and the draining of supra-glacial lakes). Cooperation among the 10 nations has provided a wealth of material and knowledge resources, contributing to the success of the project as a whole. At the same time, involving multiple intra-national and international organizations has also required increased efforts in coordination and shared decision-making. As of August 2011, the IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center has contributed to the effort by building, installing and maintaining 6 new and upgrading 5 existing broadband seismic stations at both coastal and interior sites. Three of the 11 GLISN stations were installed along the main ice divide. Two of these ridge sites are equipped with borehole sensors in addition to the standard surface sensor, and all 3 stations have real-time geodetic-quality GPS receivers. The GLISN stations take advantage of the latest methods and technologies field-tested in Antarctica and other high-latitude regions by the PASSCAL Instrument Center. All stations are designed to operate year-round with cold-rated instrumentation, autonomous power generation (solar and wind) or protected AC power delivery systems when grid power is available. Data and state of health communication is through the Internet, when available, or via Iridium modem. The latter currently provides daily station state of health information along with a 10s data segment on an hourly basis. Development of an Iridium link is

  12. Helicopter rotor noise investigation during ice accretion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Baofeng

    An investigation of helicopter rotor noise during ice accretion is conducted using experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods. This research is the acoustic part of a joint helicopter rotor icing physics, modeling, and detection project at The Pennsylvania State University Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE). The current research aims to provide acoustic insight and understanding of the rotor icing physics and investigate the feasibility of detecting rotor icing through noise measurements, especially at the early stage of ice accretion. All helicopter main rotor noise source mechanisms and their change during ice accretion are discussed. Changes of the thickness noise, steady loading noise, and especially the turbulent boundary layer - trailing edge (TBL-TE) noise due to ice accretion are identified and studied. The change of the discrete frequency noise (thickness noise and steady loading noise) due to ice accretion is calculated by using PSU-WOPWOP, an advanced rotorcraft acoustic prediction code. The change is noticeable, but too small to be used in icing detection. The small thickness noise change is due to the small volume of the accreted ice compared to that of the entire blade, although a large iced airfoil shape is used. For the loading noise calculation, two simplified methods are used to generate the loading on the rotor blades, which is the input for the loading noise calculation: 1) compact loading from blade element momentum theory, icing effects are considered by increasing the drag coefficient; and 2) pressure loading from the 2-D CFD simulation, icing effects are considered by using the iced airfoil shape. Comprehensive rotor broadband noise measurements are carried out on rotor blades with different roughness sizes and rotation speeds in two facilities: the Adverse Environment Rotor Test Stand (AERTS) facility at The Pennsylvania State University, and The University of Maryland Acoustic Chamber (UMAC). In both facilities the

  13. Spatial and temporal melt variability at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, and its effect on ice dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M. L.; Larsen, T. B.; Nettles, M.

    2010-01-01

    influenced by the drainage of surface runoff to the bed through moulins, cracks, and other pathways. To investigate the extent of the latter effect, we develop a distributed surface-energy-balance model for Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, to calculate surface melt and thereby estimate runoff. The model...... on the lower reaches of the glacier trunk than on the upper glacier. We compare melt variations during the summer season to estimates of surface velocity derived from global positioning system surveys. Near the front of the glacier, there is a significant correlation (on >95% levels) between variations...... in runoff (estimated from surface melt) and variations in velocity, with a 1 day delay in velocity relative to melt. Although the velocity changes are small compared to accelerations previously observed following some calving events, our findings suggest that the flow speed of Helheim Glacier is sensitive...

  14. Multi-decadal record of ice dynamics on Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, East Greenland, from satellite imagery and terrestrial measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stearns, L.A.; Hamilton, G.S.; Reeh, Niels

    2005-01-01

    The history of ice velocity and calving front position of Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, a large outlet glacier in East Greenland, is reconstructed from field measurements, aerial photography and satellite imagery for the period 1950-2001. The calving terminus of the glacier has remained in approxima......The history of ice velocity and calving front position of Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, a large outlet glacier in East Greenland, is reconstructed from field measurements, aerial photography and satellite imagery for the period 1950-2001. The calving terminus of the glacier has remained...... in approximately the same position over the past similar to 50 years. There is no evidence of a change in ice motion between 1968 and 2001, based on a comparison of velocities derived from terrestrial surveying and feature tracking using sequential satellite images. Estimates of flux near the entrance to the fjord...... vs snow accumulation in the interior catchment show that Daugaard Jensen Gletscher has a small negative mass balance. This result is consistent with other mass-balance estimates for the inland region of the glacier....

  15. Implication of azelaic acid in a Greenland Ice Core for oceanic and atmospheric changes in high latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, K.; Yokoyama, K.; Fujii, Y.; Watanabe, O.

    A Greenland ice core (450 years) has been studied for low molecular weight dicarboxylic acids (C2-C10) using a capillary gas chromatography and mass spectrometer. Their molecular distribution generally showed a predominance of succinic acid (C4) followed by oxalic (C2), malonic (C3), glutaric (C5), adipic (C6), and azelaic (C9) acids. Azelaic acid, that is a specific photochemical reaction product of biogenic unsaturated fatty acids, gave a characteristic historical trend in the ice core; i.e., the concentrations are relatively low during late 16th to 19th century (Little Ice Age) but become very high in late 19th to 20th century (warmer periods) with a large peak in 1940s AD. Lower concentrations of azelaic acid may have been caused by a depressed emission of unsaturated fatty acids from seawater microlayers due to enhanced sea ice coverage during Little Ice Age. Inversely, increased concentrations of azelaic acid in late 19th to 20th century are likely interpreted by an enhanced sea-to-air emission of the precursor unsaturated fatty acids due to a retreat of sea ice and/or by the enhanced production due to a potentially increased oxidizing capability of the atmosphere.

  16. Assimilation of MODIS Ice Surface Temperature and Albedo into the Snow and Ice Model CROCUS Over the Greenland Ice Sheet Along the K-transect Stations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navari, M.; Margulis, S. A.; Bateni, S. M.; Alexander, P. M.; Tedesco, M.

    2016-12-01

    Estimating the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) is an important component of current and future projections of sea level rise. In situ measurement provides direct estimates of the SMB, but are inherently limited by their spatial extent and representativeness. Given this limitation, physically based regional climate models (RCMs) are critical for understanding GrIS physical processes and estimating of the GrIS SMB. However, the uncertainty in estimates of SMB from RCMs is still high. Surface remote sensing (RS) has been used as a complimentary tool to characterize various aspects related to the SMB. The difficulty of using these data streams is that the links between them and the SMB terms are most often indirect and implicit. Given the lack of in situ information, imperfect models, and under-utilized RS data it is critical to merge the available data in a systematic way to better characterize the spatial and temporal variation of the GrIS SMB. This work proposes a data assimilation (DA) framework that yields temporally-continuous and physically consistent SMB estimates that benefit from state-of-the-art models and relevant remote sensing data streams. Ice surface temperature (IST) is the most important factor that regulates partitioning of the net radiation into the subsurface snow/ice, sensible and latent heat fluxes and plays a key role in runoff generation. Therefore it can be expected that a better estimate of surface temperature from a data assimilation system would contribute to a better estimate of surface mass fluxes. Albedo plays an important role in the surface energy balance of the GrIS. However, even advanced albedo modules are not adequate to simulate albedo over the GrIS. Therefore, merging remotely sensed albedo product into a physically based model has a potential to improve the estimates of the GrIS SMB. In this work a MODIS-derived IST and a 16-day albedo product are independently assimilated into the snow and ice model CROCUS

  17. SAGE: Attribution of Biomass Burning Tracers sampled on the Greenland Ice Sheet in 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soja, A. J.; Choi, H. D.; Polashenski, C.; Thomas, J. L.; Dibb, J. E.; Fairlie, T. D.; Winker, D. M.; Flanner, M.; Bergin, M.; Casey, K.; Ward, J. L.; Chen, J.; Courville, Z.; Trepte, C. R.; Lai, A.; Schauer, J. J.; Shafer, M. M.

    2016-12-01

    The SAGE team traversed and sampled the snow stratigraphy representing 2012-2014 snow accumulation in the northwest sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and found evidence of aerosol deposition that originated from biomass burning (BB). Black carbon (BC) concentrations (range 2.8-43 ng/g) were closely correlated with ammonium (NH4), both of which are tracers that are indicative of BB events. Data indicated the strongest deposition events occurred in July and August of 2013. Using a combination of these in-situ samples, modeling and satellite data, the transport and attribution of deposited smoke is back-traced from the GrIS to particular fires. The Langley Research Center Trajectory Model (LaTM) is used to track deposition events from pit locations on the GrIS to particular source fires from June through August 2013, which includes 2 months when smoke is known to have strongly impacted the GrIS (July August 2013) and 1 month (June 2013) of relatively low smoke impact. Simulated smoke is injected every 100 vertical meters to 2km ( boundary layer) in the LaTM and run backwards in time and space from sample sites until coincident with fire (MODIS data). Ground-based and satellite data are used to verify transport. As an example, we focus on one case study that traces smoke from fires that started burning on July 22nd and continued to burn through July 26-29. A river of smoke crosses Canada and is transported to the GrIS, arriving August 1st-2nd. Overall, we find the largest BB events do not equate to the largest deposition events, rather this process requires a combination of: intense fires; conducive transport paths; and deposition and preservation opportunities (snowfall). Intensely burning fires produce thick smoke, which is less likely to be dispersed or diluted in transport, and the smoke is injected to higher altitudes, which ensure a faster transport. Because fire severity, extreme fire seasons, general circulation patterns and precipitating snowfall are

  18. Climatology of increased temperatures and melt at Swiss Camp, western slope of Greenland ice sheet, 1991-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, K.; McGrath, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate observations (1991-2012) will be discussed from the Swiss Camp (69deg 33‧53″N, 49deg 19‧51″W, 1176 m), located at the western slope of the Greenland ice sheet, 60 km inland from Ilulissat. The mean annual temperature of -12 C increased 3.6 C between 1991 and 2012 (1.7 C per decade) with large interannual variability in all seasons. The mean spring temperature increased from -16.0 C to -13.8 C, and the fall temperature increased from -12.4 C to -11.3 C in the same time. The winter temperature showed the largest increase of 6.5 C, whereas summer temperatures increased 3.0 C during the 21 years (1991 - 2012). Radiation has been monitored continuously at Swiss Camp since 1993. Net radiation of 50 W/ m2 was recorded in 2012, the warmest summer month on record. The entire annual snow cover melted at Swiss Camp, reducing the monthly albedo value to 0.4 with bare ice exposed. Interannual variability of snow accumulation ranged between 0.07 and 0.70 m water equivalent, whereas annual snow and ice ablation varied between +0.35 (net gain) and -1.8 m (net loss) for the time period 1991-2012. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) is no longer located at Swiss Camp (1176 m elevation) with a net surface lowering of 9.5 m since 1991. Increasing summer air temperatures have resulted in an upward migration of both the percolation facies and ablation area of the Greenland ice sheet. The 0°C isothermal migrated upward at a rate of 35 m/a over the 1995-2012 period in West Greenland. There is a 50% probability of the mean annual dry snow line migrating above Summit by 2025, at which time Summit will experience routine melt on an annual basis. The surface mass balance observations similarly indicate that the ELA has migrated upwards at a rate of 44 m/a over the 1997-2011 period in West Greenland, resulting in a more than doubling of the ablation zone width during this period. Inter-annual variability of monthly mean albedo at the Swiss Camp (1993 - 2012). Albedo at 0.5 is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Pattyn, Frank

    2017-04-01

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

  20. Isotopes in Greenland Precipitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Anne-Katrine

    the Arctic Ocean. A comprehensive database is created based on ice core and weather station data from Greenland within the period 1890-2014. Present day annual and seasonal mean values are computed for 326 locations in Greenland. Parameterization of the spatial distribution of temperature and δ18O are used...... to create the first observational-based gridded map of δ18O of precipitation for Greenland and the first gridded map of Greenland temperature, where ice core borehole temperatures are included. The database and gridded maps create a framework for conducting model-data comparison of isotope-enabled GCMs......) Constructing a new Greenland database of observations and present-day ice core measurements, and (3) Performance test of isotope-enabled CAM5 for Greenland. The recent decades of rapid Arctic sea ice decline are used as a basis for an observational-based model experiment using the isotope-enabled CAM model 3...

  1. A surface elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet from SARAL/AltiKa satellite radar altimeter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khvorostovsky, Kirill; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    Radar altimeter measurements from ERS, Envisat and Cryosat-2 ESA’s satellites have been used for study of the ice sheet elevation changes for more than two decades. The follow-on SARAL ISRO/CNES mission with the radar altimeter AltiKa on board was launched in February 2013 on the same orbit...... as Envisat. However, in contrast to the previous Ku-band radar altimeters, AltiKa operates in Ka-band (36.8 GHz) resulting in smaller footprint, better vertical resolution and decreased penetration of the signal in the snowpack. This work presents Greenland ice sheet surface elevation changes (SEC) derived...... from the first years of SARAL/AltiKa operation as part of the ESA’s Climate Change Initiative program, which addresses the GrIS as one of the Essential Climate Variables. Seasonal changes in elevation and radar altimeter waveform parameters are estimated using crossover and stacking methods...

  2. A 60 Year Record of Atmospheric Aerosol Depositions Preserved in a High-Accumulation Dome Ice Core, Southeast Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iizuka, Yoshinori; Uemura, Ryu; Fujita, Koji; Hattori, Shohei; Seki, Osamu; Miyamoto, Chihiro; Suzuki, Toshitaka; Yoshida, Naohiro; Motoyama, Hideaki; Matoba, Sumito

    2018-01-01

    The Southeastern Greenland Dome (SE-Dome) has both a high elevation and a high accumulation rate (1.01 m we yr-1), which are suitable properties for reconstructing past environmental changes with a high time resolution. For this study, we measured the major ion fluxes in a 90 m ice core drilled from the SE-Dome region in 2015 and present the records of annual ion fluxes from 1957 to 2014. From 1970 to 2010, the trend of nonsea-salt (nss) SO42- flux decreases, whereas that for NH4+ increases, tracking well with the anthropogenic SOx and NH3 emissions mainly from North America. The result suggests that these fluxes reflect histories of the anthropogenic SOx and NH3 emissions. In contrast, the decadal trend of NO3- flux differs from the decreasing trend of anthropogenic NOx emissions. Although the cause of this discrepancy remains unclear, it may be related to changes in particle formation processes and chemical scavenging rates caused by an increase in sea salt and dust and/or a decrease in nssSO42-. We also find a high average NO3- flux (1.13 mmol m-2 yr-1) in the ice core, which suggests a negligible effect from postdepositional NO3- loss. Thus, the SE-Dome region is an excellent location for reconstructing nitrate fluxes. Over a decadal time scale, our NO3- flux record is similar to those from other ice cores in Greenland high-elevation sites, suggesting that NO3- concentration records from these ice cores are reliable.

  3. Bergy Bit and Melt Water Trajectories in Godthåbsfjord (SW Greenland Observed by the Expendable Ice Tracker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel F. Carlson

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Icebergs and bergy bits makes up a significant component of the total freshwater flux from the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ocean. Observations of iceberg trajectories are biased toward larger icebergs and, as a result, the drift characteristics of smaller icebergs and bergy bits are poorly understood. In an attempt to fill this critical knowledge gap, we developed the open-source EXpendable Ice TrackEr (EXITE. EXITE is a low-cost, satellite-tracked GPS beacon capable of high-resolution temporal measurements over extended deployment periods (30 days or more. Furthermore, EXITE can transform to a surface drifter when its host iceberg capsizes or fragments. Here we describe basic construction of an EXITE beacon and present results from a deployment in Godthåbsfjord (SW Greenland in August 2016. Overall, EXITE trajectories show out-fjord surface transport, in agreement with a simple estuarine circulation paradigm. However, eddies and abrupt wind-driven reversals reveal complex surface transport pathways at time scales of hours to days.

  4. Spatial variations in snowpack chemistry, isotopic composition of NO3− and nitrogen deposition from the ice sheet margin to the coast of western Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. J. Curtis

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The relative roles of anthropogenic nitrogen (N deposition and climate change in causing ecological change in remote Arctic ecosystems, especially lakes, have been the subject of debate over the last decade. Some palaeoecological studies have cited isotopic signals (δ(15N preserved in lake sediments as evidence linking N deposition with ecological change, but a key limitation has been the lack of co-located data on both deposition input fluxes and isotopic composition of deposited nitrate (NO3−. In Arctic lakes, including those in western Greenland, previous palaeolimnological studies have indicated a spatial variation in δ(15N trends in lake sediments but data are lacking for deposition chemistry, input fluxes and stable isotope composition of NO3−. In the present study, snowpack chemistry, NO3− stable isotopes and net deposition fluxes for the largest ice-free region in Greenland were investigated to determine whether there are spatial gradients from the ice sheet margin to the coast linked to a gradient in precipitation. Late-season snowpack was sampled in March 2011 at eight locations within three lake catchments in each of three regions (ice sheet margin in the east, the central area near Kelly Ville and the coastal zone to the west. At the coast, snowpack accumulation averaged 181 mm snow water equivalent (SWE compared with 36 mm SWE by the ice sheet. Coastal snowpack showed significantly greater concentrations of marine salts (Na+, Cl−, other major cations, ammonium (NH4+; regional means 1.4–2.7 µmol L−1, total and non-sea-salt sulfate (SO42−; total 1.8–7.7, non-sea-salt 1.0–1.8 µmol L−1 than the two inland regions. Nitrate (1.5–2.4 µmol L−1 showed significantly lower concentrations at the coast. Despite lower concentrations, higher precipitation at the coast results in greater net deposition for NO3− as well as NH4+ and non-sea-salt sulfate (nss-SO42− relative to the inland regions

  5. Spatial variations in snowpack chemistry, isotopic composition of NO3- and nitrogen deposition from the ice sheet margin to the coast of western Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Chris J.; Kaiser, Jan; Marca, Alina; Anderson, N. John; Simpson, Gavin; Jones, Vivienne; Whiteford, Erika

    2018-01-01

    The relative roles of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition and climate change in causing ecological change in remote Arctic ecosystems, especially lakes, have been the subject of debate over the last decade. Some palaeoecological studies have cited isotopic signals (δ(15N)) preserved in lake sediments as evidence linking N deposition with ecological change, but a key limitation has been the lack of co-located data on both deposition input fluxes and isotopic composition of deposited nitrate (NO3-). In Arctic lakes, including those in western Greenland, previous palaeolimnological studies have indicated a spatial variation in δ(15N) trends in lake sediments but data are lacking for deposition chemistry, input fluxes and stable isotope composition of NO3-. In the present study, snowpack chemistry, NO3- stable isotopes and net deposition fluxes for the largest ice-free region in Greenland were investigated to determine whether there are spatial gradients from the ice sheet margin to the coast linked to a gradient in precipitation. Late-season snowpack was sampled in March 2011 at eight locations within three lake catchments in each of three regions (ice sheet margin in the east, the central area near Kelly Ville and the coastal zone to the west). At the coast, snowpack accumulation averaged 181 mm snow water equivalent (SWE) compared with 36 mm SWE by the ice sheet. Coastal snowpack showed significantly greater concentrations of marine salts (Na+, Cl-, other major cations), ammonium (NH4+; regional means 1.4-2.7 µmol L-1), total and non-sea-salt sulfate (SO42-; total 1.8-7.7, non-sea-salt 1.0-1.8 µmol L-1) than the two inland regions. Nitrate (1.5-2.4 µmol L-1) showed significantly lower concentrations at the coast. Despite lower concentrations, higher precipitation at the coast results in greater net deposition for NO3- as well as NH4+ and non-sea-salt sulfate (nss-SO42-) relative to the inland regions (lowest at Kelly Ville 6, 4 and 3; highest at coast 9, 17

  6. Satellite-derived, melt-season surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2000-2005) and its relationship to mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, D.K.; Williams, R.S.; Casey, K.A.; DiGirolamo, N.E.; Wan, Z.

    2006-01-01

    Mean, clear-sky surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet was measured for each melt season from 2000 to 2005 using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)–derived land-surface temperature (LST) data-product maps. During the period of most-active melt, the mean, clear-sky surface temperature of the ice sheet was highest in 2002 (−8.29 ± 5.29°C) and 2005 (−8.29 ± 5.43°C), compared to a 6-year mean of −9.04 ± 5.59°C, in agreement with recent work by other investigators showing unusually extensive melt in 2002 and 2005. Surface-temperature variability shows a correspondence with the dry-snow facies of the ice sheet; a reduction in area of the dry-snow facies would indicate a more-negative mass balance. Surface-temperature variability generally increased during the study period and is most pronounced in the 2005 melt season; this is consistent with surface instability caused by air-temperature fluctuations.

  7. Greenland ice sheet surface mass-balance modeling in a 131-year perspective, 1950-2080

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Liston, Glen [COLORADO STATE UNIV.; Hiemstra, Christopher [COLORADO STATE UNIV.; Christensen, Jens [DANISH METEOROLOGICAL INS.

    2009-01-01

    Fluctuations in the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass-balance (SMB) and freshwater influx to the surrounding oceans closely follow climate fluctuations and are of considerable importance to the global eustatic sea level rise. SnowModel, a state-of-the-art snow-evolution modeling system, was used to simulate variations in the GrIS melt extent, surface water balance components, changes in SMB, and freshwater influx to the ocean. The simulations are based on the IPCC scenario AlB modeled by the HIRHAM4 RCM (using boundary conditions from ECHAM5 AOGCM) from 1950 through 2080. In-situ meteorological station (GC-Net and WMO DMI) observations from inside and outside the GrIS were used to validate and correct RCM output data before it was used as input for SnowModel. Satellite observations and independent SMB studies were used to validate the SnowModel output and confirm the model's robustness. We simulated a {approx}90% increase in end-of-summer surface melt extent (0.483 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2}) from 1950 to 2080, and a melt index (above 2,000-m elevation) increase of 138% (1.96 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2} x days). The greatest difference in melt extent occured in the southern part of the GrIS, and the greatest changes in the number of melt days was seen in the eastern part of the GrIS ({approx}50-70%) and was lowest in the west ({approx}20-30%). The rate of SMB loss, largely tied to changes in ablation processes, lead to an enhanced average loss of 331 km{sup 3} from 1950 to 2080, an average 5MB level of -99 km{sup 3} for the period 2070-2080. GrIS surface freshwater runoff yielded an eustatic rise in sea level from 0.8 {+-} 0.1 (1950-1959) to 1.9 {+-} 0.1 mm (2070-2080) sea level equivalent (SLE) y{sup -1}. The accumulated GrIS freshwater runoff contribution from surface melting equaled 160 mm SLE from 1950 through 2080.

  8. Advancing Glaciological Applications of Remote Sensing with EO-1: (1) Mapping Snow Grain Size and Albedo on the Greenland Ice Sheet Using an Imaging Spectrometer, and (2) ALI Evaluation for Subtle Surface Topographic Mapping via Shape-from Shading

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    The Hyperion sensor, onboard NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite,is an imaging spectroradiometer with 220 spectral bands over the spectral range from 0.4 - 2.5 microns. Over the course of summer 2001, the instrument acquired numerous images over the Greenland ice sheet. Our main motivation is to develop an accurate and robust approach for measuring the broadband albedo of snow from satellites. Satellite-derived estimates of broadband have typically been plagued with three problems: errors resulting from inaccurate atmospheric correction, particularly in the visible wavelengths from the conversion of reflectance to albedo (accounting for snow BRDE); and errors resulting from regression-based approaches used to convert narrowband albedo to broadband albedo. A typerspectral method has been developed that substantially reduces these three main sources of error and produces highly accurate estimates of snow albedo. This technique uses hyperspectral data from 0.98 - 1.06 microns, spanning a spectral absorption feature centered at 1.03 microns. A key aspect of this work is that this spectral range is within an atmospheric transmission window and reflectances are largely unaffected by atmospheric aerosols, water vapor, or ozone. In this investigation, we make broadband albedo measurements at four sites on the Greenland ice sheet: Summit, a high altitude station in central Greenland; the ETH/CU camp, a camp on the equilibrium line in western Greenland; Crawford Point, a site located between Summit and the ETH/CU camp; and Tunu, a site located in northeastern Greenland at 2000 m. altitude. Each of these sites has an automated weather station (AWS) that continually measures broadband albedo thereby providing validation data.

  9. Englacial latent-heat transfer has limited influence on seaward ice flux in western Greenland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poinar, Kristin; Joughin, Ian; Lenaerts, Jan T.M.; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2017-01-01

    Surface meltwater can refreeze within firn layers and crevasses to warm ice through latent-heat transfer on decadal to millennial timescales. Earlier work posited that the consequent softening of the ice might accelerate ice flow, potentially increasing ice-sheet mass loss. Here, we calculate the

  10. 21st century projections of surface mass balance changes for major drainage systems of the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, M; Fettweis, X

    2012-01-01

    Outputs from the regional climate model Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale at a spatial resolution of 25 km are used to study 21st century projected surface mass balance (SMB) over six major drainage basins of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). The regional model is forced with the outputs of three different Earth System Models (CanESM2, NorESM1 and MIROC5) obtained when considering two greenhouse gas future scenarios with levels of CO 2 equivalent of, respectively, 850 and >1370 ppm by 2100. Results indicate that the increase in runoff due to warming will exceed the increased precipitation deriving from the increase in evaporation for all basins, with the amount of net loss of mass at the surface varying spatially. Basins along the southwest and north coast are projected to have the highest sensitivity of SMB to increasing temperatures. For these basins, the global temperature anomaly corresponding to a decrease of the SMB below the 1980–99 average (when the ice sheet was near the equilibrium) ranges between +0.60 and +2.16 °C. For the basins along the northwest and northeast, these values range between +1.50 and +3.40 °C. Our results are conservative as they do not account for ice dynamics and changes in the ice sheet topography. (letter)

  11. The seasonal cycle and interannual variability of surface energy balance and melt in the ablation zone of the west Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Smeets, C.J.P.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/191522236; van de Wal, R.S.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556

    2011-01-01

    We present the seasonal cycle and interannual variability of the surface energy balance (SEB) in the ablation zone of the west Greenland ice sheet, using seven years (September 2003–August 2010) of hourly observations from three automatic weather stations (AWS). The AWS are situated along the 67◦ N

  12. Estimating the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Franco, B.; Tedesco, M.; van Angelen, J.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Gallée, H.

    2013-01-01

    To estimate the sea level rise (SLR) originating from changes in surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), we present 21st century climate projections obtained with the regional climate model MAR (Mod`ele Atmosph´erique R´egional), forced by output of three CMIP5 (Coupled Model

  13. Temperature variations in Greenland from 10 to 110 kyr b2k derived from the NGRIP ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindler, Philippe; Leuenberger, Markus; Landais, Amaelle; Guillevic, Myriam

    2013-04-01

    During the last ice age dramatic temperature variations of up to 16 °C took place in Greenland which are now known as Dansgaard-Oeschger-events (DO-events). They most probably originate from the North Atlantic oceanic and atmospheric circulation system and are characterised by an abrupt warming within decades followed by a gradual cooling over hundreds to thousands of years. We have determined local temperature variations for DO-event 1 to 25 in Greenland based on δ15N measurements from the NorthGRIP ice core, corresponding to the period from 10 to 110 kyr b2k. The record is a composite of measurements from two laboratories, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Paris (DO 18 to 25) and the Climate and Environmental Physics Division of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern (DO 1 to 17) with new measurements from the beginning of the Holocene to DO 8. Temperature variations were reconstructed by reproducing the measured 15N/14N ratio of air enclosed in ice bubbles by the firn densification and heat diffusion model from Schwander. The reconstruction show temperature amplitudes for the DO-events ranging from 5 to 16 °C, thereby the corresponding rates of change can exceed 0.5 °C/decade. In order get an agreement between measured δ15N, Δdepth and Δage values with their modelled analogues, a lower accumulation rate than the one associated with the used ss09sea06bm1 time scale had to be assumed. We had to reduce the accumulation rate time dependently by 0 to nearly 40% with a mean reduction over the whole time period of 16%. With these adjustments both the Δdepth and the Δage values agree between model and measurements.

  14. 21st century changes in the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet simulated with the global model CESM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizcaíno, M.; Lipscomb, W. H.; Van den Broeke, M.

    2012-04-01

    We present here the first projections of 21st century surface mass balance change of the Greenland ice sheet simulated with the Community Earth System Model (CESM). CESM is a fully-coupled, global climate model developed at many research centers and universities, primarily in the U.S. The model calculates the surface mass balance in the land component (the Community Land Model, CLM), at the same resolution as the atmosphere (1 degree), with an energy-balance scheme. The snow physics included in CLM for non-glaciated surfaces (SNiCAR model, Flanner and Zender, 2005) are used over the ice sheet. The surface mass balance is calculated for 10 elevation classes, and then downscaled to the grid of the ice sheet model (5 km in this case) via vertical linear interpolation between elevation classes combined with horizontal bilinear interpolation. The ice sheet topography is fixed at present-day values for the simulations presented here. The use of elevation classes reduces computational costs while giving results that reproduce well the mass balance gradients at the steep margins of the ice sheet. The simulated present-day surface mass balance agrees well with results from regional models. We focus on the regional model RACMO (Ettema et al. 2009) to compare the results on 20th-century surface mass balance evolution and two-dimensional patterns. The surface mass balance of the ice sheet under RCP8.5. forcing becomes negative in the last decades of the 21st century. The equilibrium line becomes ~500 m higher on average. Accumulation changes are positive in the accumulation zone. We examine changes in refreezing, accumulation, albedo, surface fluxes, and the timing of the melt season.

  15. Magnetotelluric investigation in West Greenland - considering the polar electrojet, ocean and fjords

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritsen, Nynne Louise Berthou

    A magnetotelluric survey has been conducted in North West Greenland, with the purpose of investigating the subsurface. The results of two processing techniques are presented, a single station robust processing and a multiple station processing. The multiple station processing tries to eliminate...

  16. Mass loss from the southern half of the Greenland Ice Sheet since the Little Ice Age Maximum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjær, Kurt H.; Bjørk, Anders Anker

    retreat. Our results show that the advance of glaciers during the LIA occurs early after the Medieval Warm Period terminating soon after 1200 AD and culminates c. 1500-1600 AD. Historical maps also show that many glaciers on the western coast occupy a still-stand near the LIA maximum until 1900 AD before...... retreat commence. Thus in southern Greenland, we define LIA as the period between the first signs of Late Holocene glacier readvance and the latest onset of retreat – i.e. from ca. 1200 to c. 1900. During this period northern hemisphere annual mean temperatures, although fluctuating, were generally below...... the Arctic. Furthermore, the glacier response seems to be mirrored by a oceanic cooling between 500-1000 AD, followed by onset of the LIA at 1150-1250 AD as seen in the relative strength of warm subsurface water and the influence of the East Greenland Current....

  17. Acceleration of the Greenland ice sheet mass loss as observed by GRACE: Confidence and sensitivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svendsen, Peter Limkilde; Andersen, Ole Baltazar; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg

    2013-01-01

    mass loss acceleration in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, some of which will leak into the values for Greenland, depending on the approach used, and for our computations the leakage has been estimated at up to -4.7 Gt / yr2.The length of the time series of the GRACE data makes a huge difference...

  18. Chronology and alteration of cyclic drainage events for ice-dammed Lake Tiningnilik, Greenland, in 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haase, Eric Juergen; Furuya, Masato; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup

    climate change in Greenland. We take a close look at Lake Tiningnilik and previous studies to constrain the timing of the drainage events using historical air photos and satellite imagery starting in the 1940s and 1970s, respectively. Tiningnilik has been occasionally surveyed on the ground since the 1980...

  19. 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...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Statistically optimal estimation of Greenland Ice Sheet mass variations from GRACE monthly solutions using an improved mascon approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ran, J.; Ditmar, P.; Klees, R.; Farahani, H. H.

    2018-03-01

    We present an improved mascon approach to transform monthly spherical harmonic solutions based on GRACE satellite data into mass anomaly estimates in Greenland. The GRACE-based spherical harmonic coefficients are used to synthesize gravity anomalies at satellite altitude, which are then inverted into mass anomalies per mascon. The limited spectral content of the gravity anomalies is properly accounted for by applying a low-pass filter as part of the inversion procedure to make the functional model spectrally consistent with the data. The full error covariance matrices of the monthly GRACE solutions are properly propagated using the law of covariance propagation. Using numerical experiments, we demonstrate the importance of a proper data weighting and of the spectral consistency between functional model and data. The developed methodology is applied to process real GRACE level-2 data (CSR RL05). The obtained mass anomaly estimates are integrated over five drainage systems, as well as over entire Greenland. We find that the statistically optimal data weighting reduces random noise by 35-69%, depending on the drainage system. The obtained mass anomaly time-series are de-trended to eliminate the contribution of ice discharge and are compared with de-trended surface mass balance (SMB) time-series computed with the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO 2.3). We show that when using a statistically optimal data weighting in GRACE data processing, the discrepancies between GRACE-based estimates of SMB and modelled SMB are reduced by 24-47%.

  2. The effect of sea-ice loss on beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Laidre, K.L.; Simon, Malene Juul

    2009-01-01

    -ice coverage or early annual ice recession. This is in contrast to the relatively confined distribution of belugas near the coast in limited open areas in the early 1980s, when sea-ice cover was greater. However, the effects of the changes in coastal availability of belugas can also be observed...

  3. Sea-ice thickness from airborne laser altimetry over the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidegaard, Sine Munk; Forsberg, René

    2002-01-01

    We present a new method to measure ice thickness of polar sea-ice freeboard heights, using airborne laser altimetry combined with a precise geoid model, giving estimates of thickness of ice through isostatic equilibrium assumptions. In the paper we analyze a number of flights from the Polar Sea off...

  4. Antarctica, Greenland and Gulf of Alaska Land-Ice Evolution from an Iterated GRACE Global Mascon Solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Sabaka, T. J.; Loomis, B. D.; Arendt, A. A.; McCarthy, J. J.; Camp, J.

    2013-01-01

    We have determined the ice mass evolution of the Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets (AIS and GIS) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) glaciers from a new GRACE global solution of equal-area surface mass concentration parcels (mascons) in equivalent height of water. The mascons were estimated directly from the reduction of the inter-satellite K-band range-rate (KBRR) observations, taking into account the full noise covariance, and formally iterating the solution. The new solution increases signal recovery while reducing the GRACE KBRR observation residuals. The mascons were estimated with 10 day and 1 arc degree equal-area sampling, applying anisotropic constraints. An ensemble empirical mode decomposition adaptive filter was applied to the mascon time series to compute annual mass balances. The details and causes of the spatial and temporal variability of the land-ice regions studied are discussed. The estimated mass trend over the total GIS, AIS and GOA glaciers for the time period 1 December 2003 to 1 December 2010 is -380 plus or minus 31 Gt a(exp -1), equivalent to -1.05 plus or minus 0.09 mma(exp -1) sea-level rise. Over the same time period we estimate the mass acceleration to be -41 plus or minus 27 Gt a(exp -2), equivalent to a 0.11 plus or minus 0.08 mm a(exp -2) rate of change in sea level. The trends and accelerations are dependent on significant seasonal and annual balance anomalies.

  5. Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (2003–2008 from ICESat data – the impact of interpolation, sampling and firn density

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. S. Sørensen

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available ICESat has provided surface elevation measurements of the ice sheets since the launch in January 2003, resulting in a unique dataset for monitoring the changes of the cryosphere. Here, we present a novel method for determining the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet, derived from ICESat altimetry data.

    Three different methods for deriving elevation changes from the ICESat altimetry dataset are used. This multi-method approach provides a method to assess the complexity of deriving elevation changes from this dataset.

    The altimetry alone can not provide an estimate of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. Firn dynamics and surface densities are important factors that contribute to the mass change derived from remote-sensing altimetry. The volume change derived from ICESat data is corrected for changes in firn compaction over the observation period, vertical bedrock movement and an intercampaign elevation bias in the ICESat data. Subsequently, the corrected volume change is converted into mass change by the application of a simple surface density model, in which some of the ice dynamics are accounted for. The firn compaction and density models are driven by the HIRHAM5 regional climate model, forced by the ERA-Interim re-analysis product, at the lateral boundaries.

    We find annual mass loss estimates of the Greenland ice sheet in the range of 191 ± 23 Gt yr−1 to 240 ± 28 Gt yr−1 for the period October 2003 to March 2008. These results are in good agreement with several other studies of the Greenland ice sheet mass balance, based on different remote-sensing techniques.

  6. Evaluation of Satellite Remote Sensing Albedo Retrievals over the Ablation Area of the Southwestern Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Samiah E.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Roman, Miguel O.; Wang, Zhuosen; Schaaf, Crystal B.; Smith, Laurence C.; Koenig, Lora S.; Erb, Angela

    2017-01-01

    MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) albedo products have been validated over spatially uniform, snow-covered areas of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) using the so-called single 'point-to-pixel' method. This study expands on this methodology by applying a 'multiple-point-to-pixel' method and examination of spatial autocorrelation (here using semivariogram analysis) by using in situ observations, high-resolution World- View-2 (WV-2) surface reflectances, and MODIS Collection V006 daily blue-sky albedo over a spatially heterogeneous surfaces in the lower ablation zone in southwest Greenland. Our results using 232 ground-based samples within two MODIS pixels, one being more spatial heterogeneous than the other, show little difference in accuracy among narrow and broad band albedos (except for Band 2). Within the more homogenous pixel area, in situ and MODIS albedos were very close (error varied from -4% to +7%) and within the range of ASD standard errors. The semivariogram analysis revealed that the minimum observational footprint needed for a spatially representative sample is 30 m. In contrast, over the more spatially heterogeneous surface pixel, a minimum footprint size was not quantifiable due to spatial autocorrelation, and far exceeds the effective resolution of the MODIS retrievals. Over the high spatial heterogeneity surface pixel, MODIS is lower than ground measurements by 4-7%, partly due to a known in situ undersampling of darker surfaces that often are impassable by foot (e.g., meltwater features and shadowing effects over crevasses). Despite the sampling issue, our analysis errors are very close to the stated general accuracy of the MODIS product of 5%. Thus, our study suggests that the MODIS albedo product performs well in a very heterogeneous, low-albedo, area of the ice sheet ablation zone. Furthermore, we demonstrate that single 'point-to-pixel' methods alone are insufficient in characterizing and validating the variation of surface

  7. Frost flowers and sea-salt aerosols over seasonal sea-ice areas in northwestern Greenland during winter–spring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Hara

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea salts and halogens in aerosols, frost flowers, and brine play an important role in atmospheric chemistry in polar regions. Simultaneous sampling and observations of frost flowers, brine, and aerosol particles were conducted around Siorapaluk in northwestern Greenland during December 2013 to March 2014. Results show that water-soluble frost flower and brine components are sea-salt components (e.g., Na+, Cl−, Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, Br−, and iodine. Concentration factors of sea-salt components of frost flowers and brine relative to seawater were 1.14–3.67. Sea-salt enrichment of Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, and halogens (Cl−, Br−, and iodine in frost flowers is associated with sea-salt fractionation by precipitation of mirabilite and hydrohalite. High aerosol number concentrations correspond to the occurrence of higher abundance of sea-salt particles in both coarse and fine modes, and blowing snow and strong winds. Aerosol number concentrations, particularly in coarse mode, are increased considerably by release from the sea-ice surface under strong wind conditions. Sulfate depletion by sea-salt fractionation was found to be limited in sea-salt aerosols because of the presence of non-sea-salt (NSS SO42−. However, coarse and fine sea-salt particles were found to be rich in Mg. Strong Mg enrichment might be more likely to proceed in fine sea-salt particles. Magnesium-rich sea-salt particles might be released from the surface of snow and slush layer (brine on sea ice and frost flowers. Mirabilite-like and ikaite-like particles were identified only in aerosol samples collected near new sea-ice areas. From the field evidence and results from earlier studies, we propose and describe sea-salt cycles in seasonal sea-ice areas.

  8. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance: Distribution of Increased Mass Loss with Climate Warming; 2003-07 Versus 1992-2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Benner, Anita C.; Beckley, Matthew; Cornejo, Helen G.; DiMarzio, John; Giovinetto, Mario B.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; hide

    2011-01-01

    We derive mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) for 2003-07 from ICESat laser altimetry and compare them with results for 1992-2002 from ERS radar and airborne laser altimetry. The GIS continued to grow inland and thin at the margins during 2003 07, but surface melting and accelerated flow significantly increased the marginal thinning compared with the 1990s. The net balance changed from a small loss of 7 plus or minus 3 Gt a 1(sup -1) in the 1990s to 171 plus or minus 4 Gt a (sup -1) for 2003-07, contributing 0.5 mm a(sup -1) to recent global sea-level rise. We divide the derived mass changes into two components: (1) from changes in melting and ice dynamics and (2) from changes in precipitation and accumulation rate. We use our firn compaction model to calculate the elevation changes driven by changes in both temperature and accumulation rate and to calculate the appropriate density to convert the accumulation-driven changes to mass changes. Increased losses from melting and ice dynamics (17-206 Gt a(sup-1) are over seven times larger than increased gains from precipitation (10 35 Gt a(sup-1) during a warming period of approximately 2 K (10 a)(sup -1) over the GIS. Above 2000m elevation, the rate of gain decreased from 44 to 28 Gt a(sup-1), while below 2000m the rate of loss increased from 51 to 198 Gt a(sup-1). Enhanced thinning below the equilibrium line on outlet glaciers indicates that increased melting has a significant impact on outlet glaciers, as well as accelerating ice flow. Increased thinning at higher elevations appears to be induced by dynamic coupling to thinning at the margins on decadal timescales.

  9. The Annual Glaciohydrology Cycle in the Ablation Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Part 1. Hydrology Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, William; Rajaram, Harihar; Anderson, Robert; Steffen. Konrad; Phillips, Thomas; Zwally, H. Jay; Abdalati, Waleed

    2012-01-01

    We apply a novel one-dimensional glacier hydrology model that calculates hydraulic head to the tidewater-terminating Sermeq Avannarleq flowline of the Greenland ice sheet. Within a plausible parameter space, the model achieves a quasi-steady-state annual cycle in which hydraulic head oscillates close to flotation throughout the ablation zone. Flotation is briefly achieved during the summer melt season along a approx.17 km stretch of the approx.50 km of flowline within the ablation zone. Beneath the majority of the flowline, subglacial conduit storage closes (i.e. obtains minimum radius) during the winter and opens (i.e. obtains maximum radius) during the summer. Along certain stretches of the flowline, the model predicts that subglacial conduit storage remains open throughout the year. A calculated mean glacier water residence time of approx.2.2 years implies that significant amounts of water are stored in the glacier throughout the year. We interpret this residence time as being indicative of the timescale over which the glacier hydrologic system is capable of adjusting to external surface meltwater forcings. Based on in situ ice velocity observations, we suggest that the summer speed-up event generally corresponds to conditions of increasing hydraulic head during inefficient subglacial drainage. Conversely, the slowdown during fall generally corresponds to conditions of decreasing hydraulic head during efficient subglacial drainage.

  10. A daily, 1 km resolution data set of downscaled Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (1958–2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Noël

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This study presents a data set of daily, 1 km resolution Greenland ice sheet (GrIS surface mass balance (SMB covering the period 1958–2015. Applying corrections for elevation, bare ice albedo and accumulation bias, the high-resolution product is statistically downscaled from the native daily output of the polar regional climate model RACMO2.3 at 11 km. The data set includes all individual SMB components projected to a down-sampled version of the Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP digital elevation model and ice mask. The 1 km mask better resolves narrow ablation zones, valley glaciers, fjords and disconnected ice caps. Relative to the 11 km product, the more detailed representation of isolated glaciated areas leads to increased precipitation over the southeastern GrIS. In addition, the downscaled product shows a significant increase in runoff owing to better resolved low-lying marginal glaciated regions. The combined corrections for elevation and bare ice albedo markedly improve model agreement with a newly compiled data set of ablation measurements.

  11. NHM–SMAP: spatially and temporally high-resolution nonhydrostatic atmospheric model coupled with detailed snow process model for Greenland Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Niwano

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available To improve surface mass balance (SMB estimates for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS, we developed a 5 km resolution regional climate model combining the Japan Meteorological Agency Non-Hydrostatic atmospheric Model and the Snow Metamorphism and Albedo Process model (NHM–SMAP with an output interval of 1 h, forced by the Japanese 55-year reanalysis (JRA-55. We used in situ data to evaluate NHM–SMAP in the GrIS during the 2011–2014 mass balance years. We investigated two options for the lower boundary conditions of the atmosphere: an offline configuration using snow, firn, and ice albedo, surface temperature data from JRA-55, and an online configuration using values from SMAP. The online configuration improved model performance in simulating 2 m air temperature, suggesting that the surface analysis provided by JRA-55 is inadequate for the GrIS and that SMAP results can better simulate physical conditions of snow/firn/ice. It also reproduced the measured features of the GrIS climate, diurnal variations, and even a strong mesoscale wind event. In particular, it successfully reproduced the temporal evolution of the GrIS surface melt area extent as well as the record melt event around 12 July 2012, at which time the simulated melt area extent reached 92.4 %. Sensitivity tests showed that the choice of calculation schemes for vertical water movement in snow and firn has an effect as great as 200 Gt year−1 in the GrIS-wide accumulated SMB estimates; a scheme based on the Richards equation provided the best performance.

  12. NHM-SMAP: spatially and temporally high-resolution nonhydrostatic atmospheric model coupled with detailed snow process model for Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwano, Masashi; Aoki, Teruo; Hashimoto, Akihiro; Matoba, Sumito; Yamaguchi, Satoru; Tanikawa, Tomonori; Fujita, Koji; Tsushima, Akane; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Shimada, Rigen; Hori, Masahiro

    2018-02-01

    To improve surface mass balance (SMB) estimates for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), we developed a 5 km resolution regional climate model combining the Japan Meteorological Agency Non-Hydrostatic atmospheric Model and the Snow Metamorphism and Albedo Process model (NHM-SMAP) with an output interval of 1 h, forced by the Japanese 55-year reanalysis (JRA-55). We used in situ data to evaluate NHM-SMAP in the GrIS during the 2011-2014 mass balance years. We investigated two options for the lower boundary conditions of the atmosphere: an offline configuration using snow, firn, and ice albedo, surface temperature data from JRA-55, and an online configuration using values from SMAP. The online configuration improved model performance in simulating 2 m air temperature, suggesting that the surface analysis provided by JRA-55 is inadequate for the GrIS and that SMAP results can better simulate physical conditions of snow/firn/ice. It also reproduced the measured features of the GrIS climate, diurnal variations, and even a strong mesoscale wind event. In particular, it successfully reproduced the temporal evolution of the GrIS surface melt area extent as well as the record melt event around 12 July 2012, at which time the simulated melt area extent reached 92.4 %. Sensitivity tests showed that the choice of calculation schemes for vertical water movement in snow and firn has an effect as great as 200 Gt year-1 in the GrIS-wide accumulated SMB estimates; a scheme based on the Richards equation provided the best performance.

  13. Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat A.; Sasgen, Ingo; Bevis, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice...... the deglaciation history of Greenland. We reevaluate the evolution of the GrIS since LGM and obtain a loss of 1.5-m sea-level equivalent from the northwest and southeast. These same sectors are dominating modern mass loss. We suggest that the present destabilization of these marine-based sectors may increase sea...... level for centuries to come. Our new deglaciation history and GIA uplift estimates suggest that studies that use the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite mission to infer present-day changes in the GrIS may have erroneously corrected for GIA and underestimated the mass loss by about 20...

  14. Testing hypotheses of the cause of peripheral thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet: is land-terminating ice thinning at anomalously high rates?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Sole

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent observations have shown that the periphery of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS is thinning rapidly and that this thinning is greatest around marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Several theories have been proposed which provide a link between climate and ice thinning. We present surface elevation change (dh/dt data from NASA's Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA laser altimetry surveys for fourteen and eleven of the largest outlet glaciers in Southern Greenland from 1993 to 1998 and 1998 to 2006 respectively to test the applicability of these theories to the GrIS.

    Initially, outlet glacier dh/dt data are compared with data from concurrent surveys over inland ice (slow flowing ice that is not obviously draining into an outlet glacier to confirm the effect of ice flow on surface thinning rates. Land-terminating and marine-terminating outlet glacier dh/dt data are then compared from 1993 to 1998 and from 1998 to 2006. Finally, ablation anomalies (the difference between the "normal" ablation rate from 1970 to 2000 and the ablation rate in the time period of interest calculated with a positive degree day model are compared to both marine-terminating and land-terminating outlet glacier dh/dt data.

    Our results support earlier conclusions that certain marine-terminating outlet glaciers have thinned much more than land-terminating outlet glaciers during both time periods. Furthermore we show that these differences are not limited to the largest, fastest-flowing outlet glaciers – almost all marine-terminating outlet glaciers are thinning more than land-terminating outlet glaciers. There was a four fold increase in mean marine-terminating outlet glacier thinning rates below 1000 m elevation between the periods 1993 to 1998 and 1998 to 2006, while thinning rates of land-terminating outlet glaciers remained statistically unchanged. This suggests that a change in a controlling mechanism

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    It is notoriously difficult to couple surface mass balance (SMB) results from climate models to the changing geometry of an ice sheet model. This problem is traditionally avoided by using only accumulation from a climate model, and parameterizing the meltwater run-off as a function of temperature,

  16. Energy-efficient Building in Greenland: Investigation of the Energy Consumption and Indoor Climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luc, Katarzyna Marta; Kotol, Martin; Lading, Tove

    2016-01-01

    Recently, a brand new single family home was built in Sisimiut, Greenland. The building was constructed as a wooden house typical for Greenland. However, some non-traditional measures were implemented in order to reduce the energy consumption and improve indoor air quality. Assessment...... was installed in the house. It enables the evaluation of the indoor air quality, as well as building's energy performance. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the performance of the newly constructed house by and compare it with the performance of identical house built in a traditional way by using...... a computer model. The data obtained from the measurements in the new house were used to verify the model. Significant energy savings and improvements of indoor air quality were found in the new house when compared to the traditional one. Moreover, all the extra measures have a feasible payback time despite...

  17. Energy-efficient Building in Greenland: Investigation of the Energy Consumption and Indoor Climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luc, Katarzyna Marta; Kotol, Martin; Lading, Tove

    2015-01-01

    Recently, a brand new single family home was built in Sisimiut, Greenland. The building was constructed as a wooden house typical for Greenland. However, some non-traditional measures were implemented in order to reduce the energy consumption and improve indoor air quality. Assessment...... was installed in the house. It enables the evaluation of the indoor air quality, as well as building's energy performance. The aim of this investigation was to evaluatethe performance of the newly constructed house by and compare it with the performance of identical house built in a traditional way by using...... a computer model. The data obtained from the measurements in the new house were used to verify the model. Significant energy savings and improvements of indoor air quality were found in the new house when compared to the traditional one. Moreover, all the extra measures have a feasible payback time despite...

  18. Using satellite laser ranging to measure ice mass change in Greenland and Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Bonin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A least squares inversion of satellite laser ranging (SLR data over Greenland and Antarctica could extend gravimetry-based estimates of mass loss back to the early 1990s and fill any future gap between the current Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE and the future GRACE Follow-On mission. The results of a simulation suggest that, while separating the mass change between Greenland and Antarctica is not possible at the limited spatial resolution of the SLR data, estimating the total combined mass change of the two areas is feasible. When the method is applied to real SLR and GRACE gravity series, we find significantly different estimates of inverted mass loss. There are large, unpredictable, interannual differences between the two inverted data types, making us conclude that the current 5×5 spherical harmonic SLR series cannot be used to stand in for GRACE. However, a comparison with the longer IMBIE time series suggests that on a 20-year time frame, the inverted SLR series' interannual excursions may average out, and the long-term mass loss estimate may be reasonable.

  19. Using satellite laser ranging to measure ice mass change in Greenland and Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, Jennifer A.; Chambers, Don P.; Cheng, Minkang

    2018-01-01

    A least squares inversion of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data over Greenland and Antarctica could extend gravimetry-based estimates of mass loss back to the early 1990s and fill any future gap between the current Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and the future GRACE Follow-On mission. The results of a simulation suggest that, while separating the mass change between Greenland and Antarctica is not possible at the limited spatial resolution of the SLR data, estimating the total combined mass change of the two areas is feasible. When the method is applied to real SLR and GRACE gravity series, we find significantly different estimates of inverted mass loss. There are large, unpredictable, interannual differences between the two inverted data types, making us conclude that the current 5×5 spherical harmonic SLR series cannot be used to stand in for GRACE. However, a comparison with the longer IMBIE time series suggests that on a 20-year time frame, the inverted SLR series' interannual excursions may average out, and the long-term mass loss estimate may be reasonable.

  20. A century of variation in the dependence of Greenland iceberg calving on ice sheet surface mass balance and regional climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigg, G R; Wei, H L; Wilton, D J; Zhao, Y; Billings, S A; Hanna, E; Kadirkamanathan, V

    2014-06-08

    Iceberg calving is a major component of the total mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). A century-long record of Greenland icebergs comes from the International Ice Patrol's record of icebergs (I48N) passing latitude 48° N, off Newfoundland. I48N exhibits strong interannual variability, with a significant increase in amplitude over recent decades. In this study, we show, through a combination of nonlinear system identification and coupled ocean-iceberg modelling, that I48N's variability is predominantly caused by fluctuation in GrIS calving discharge rather than open ocean iceberg melting. We also demonstrate that the episodic variation in iceberg discharge is strongly linked to a nonlinear combination of recent changes in the surface mass balance (SMB) of the GrIS and regional atmospheric and oceanic climate variability, on the scale of the previous 1-3 years, with the dominant causal mechanism shifting between glaciological (SMB) and climatic (ocean temperature) over time. We suggest that this is a change in whether glacial run-off or under-ice melting is dominant, respectively. We also suggest that GrIS calving discharge is episodic on at least a regional scale and has recently been increasing significantly, largely as a result of west Greenland sources.