WorldWideScience

Sample records for greenland ice melting

  1. 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...... melting due to ocean-ice interaction. OMG will track ocean conditions and ice loss at glaciers around Greenland through the year 2020, providing critical information about ocean-driven Greenland ice mass loss in a warming climate....

  2. How much can Greenland melt? An upper bound on mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet through surface melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.; Bassis, J. N.

    2015-12-01

    With observations showing accelerated mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface melt, the Greenland Ice Sheet is becoming one of the most significant contributors to sea level rise. The contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet o sea level rise is likely to accelerate in the coming decade and centuries as atmospheric temperatures continue to rise, potentially triggering ever larger surface melt rates. However, at present considerable uncertainty remains in projecting the contribution to sea level of the Greenland Ice Sheet both due to uncertainty in atmospheric forcing and the ice sheet response to climate forcing. Here we seek an upper bound on the contribution of surface melt from the Greenland to sea level rise in the coming century using a surface energy balance model coupled to an englacial model. We use IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP8.5, RCP6, RCP4.5, RCP2.6) climate scenarios from an ensemble of global climate models in our simulations to project the maximum rate of ice volume loss and related sea-level rise associated with surface melting. To estimate the upper bound, we assume the Greenland Ice Sheet is perpetually covered in thick clouds, which maximize longwave radiation to the ice sheet. We further assume that deposition of black carbon darkens the ice substantially turning it nearly black, substantially reducing its albedo. Although assuming that all melt water not stored in the snow/firn is instantaneously transported off the ice sheet increases mass loss in the short term, refreezing of retained water warms the ice and may lead to more melt in the long term. Hence we examine both assumptions and use the scenario that leads to the most surface melt by 2100. Preliminary models results suggest that under the most aggressive climate forcing, surface melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributes ~1 m to sea level by the year 2100. This is a significant contribution and ignores dynamic effects. We also examined a lower bound

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  4. Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Temperature, Melt, and Mass Loss: 2000-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Williams, Richard S., Jr.; Luthcke, Scott B.; DiGirolamo, Nocolo

    2007-01-01

    Extensive melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet has been documented by a variety of ground and satellite measurements in recent years. If the well-documented warming continues in the Arctic, melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet will likely accelerate, contributing to sea-level rise. Modeling studies indicate that an annual or summer temperature rise of 1 C on the ice sheet will increase melt by 20-50% therefore, surface temperature is one of the most important ice-sheet parameters to study for analysis of changes in the mass balance of the ice-sheet. The Greenland Ice Sheet contains enough water to produce a rise in eustatic sea level of up to 7.0 m if the ice were to melt completely. However, even small changes (centimeters) in sea level would cause important economic and societal consequences in the world's major coastal cities thus it is extremely important to monitor changes in the ice-sheet surface temperature and to ultimately quantify these changes in terms of amount of sea-level rise. We have compiled a high-resolution, daily time series of surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet, using the I-km resolution, clear-sky land-surface temperature (LST) standard product from the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), from 2000 - 2006. We also use Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, averaged over 10-day periods, to measure change in mass of the ice sheet as it melt and snow accumulates. Surface temperature can be used to determine frequency of surface melt, timing of the start and the end of the melt season, and duration of melt. In conjunction with GRACE data, it can also be used to analyze timing of ice-sheet mass loss and gain.

  5. 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.

  6. Climate change and forest fires synergistically drive widespread melt events of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keegan, Kaitlin M; Albert, Mary R; McConnell, Joseph R; Baker, Ian

    2014-06-03

    In July 2012, over 97% of the Greenland Ice Sheet experienced surface melt, the first widespread melt during the era of satellite remote sensing. Analysis of six Greenland shallow firn cores from the dry snow region confirms that the most recent prior widespread melt occurred in 1889. A firn core from the center of the ice sheet demonstrated that exceptionally warm temperatures combined with black carbon sediments from Northern Hemisphere forest fires reduced albedo below a critical threshold in the dry snow region, and caused the melting events in both 1889 and 2012. We use these data to project the frequency of widespread melt into the year 2100. Since Arctic temperatures and the frequency of forest fires are both expected to rise with climate change, our results suggest that widespread melt events on the Greenland Ice Sheet may begin to occur almost annually by the end of century. These events are likely to alter the surface mass balance of the ice sheet, leaving the surface susceptible to further melting.

  7. 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...

  8. Greenland ice sheet melt from MODIS and associated atmospheric variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Hall, Dorothy K; Shuman, Christopher A; Worthen, Denise L; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E

    2014-03-16

    Daily June-July melt fraction variations over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (2000-2013) are associated with atmospheric blocking forming an omega-shape ridge over the GIS at 500 hPa height. Blocking activity with a range of time scales, from synoptic waves breaking poleward (days) to full-fledged blocks (≥5 days), brings warm subtropical air masses over the GIS controlling daily surface temperatures and melt. The temperature anomaly of these subtropical air mass intrusions is also important for melting. Based on the years with the greatest melt (2002 and 2012) during the MODIS era, the area-average temperature anomaly of 2 standard deviations above the 14 year June-July mean results in a melt fraction of 40% or more. Though the summer of 2007 had the most blocking days, atmospheric temperature anomalies were too small to instigate extreme melting. Short-term atmospheric blocking over Greenland contributes to melt episodesAssociated temperature anomalies are equally important for the meltDuration and strength of blocking events contribute to surface melt intensity.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Vulnerability of Southeast Greenland Glaciers to Warm Atlantic Water From Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E.; Mouginot, J.; Wood, M.; Bjørk, A. A.; Morlighem, M.

    2018-03-01

    We employ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Operation IceBridge high-resolution airborne gravity from 2016, NASA's Ocean Melting Greenland bathymetry from 2015, ice thickness from Operation IceBridge from 2010 to 2015, and BedMachine v3 to analyze 20 major southeast Greenland glaciers. The results reveal glacial fjords several hundreds of meters deeper than previously thought; the full extent of the marine-based portions of the glaciers; deep troughs enabling warm, salty Atlantic Water (AW) to reach the glacier fronts and melt them from below; and few shallow sills that limit the access of AW. The new oceanographic and topographic data help to fully resolve the complex pattern of historical ice front positions from the 1930s to 2017: glaciers exposed to AW and resting on retrograde beds have retreated rapidly, while glaciers perched on shallow sills or standing in colder waters or with major sills in the fjords have remained stable.

  12. Bathymetry and retreat of Southeast Greenland glaciers from Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E. J.; Morlighem, M.; Bjork, A. A.; Mouginot, J.; Wood, M.

    2017-12-01

    Southeast Greenland has been one of the largest contributors to ice mass loss in Greenland in part because of significant changes in glacier dynamics. The leading hypothesis for the changes in glacier dynamics is that enhanced thermal forcing from the ocean has dislodged a number of glaciers from their anchoring positions and some of them retreated rapidly along a reverse bed. The glaciers response has been observed to vary significantly from one fjord to the next, but until now there was not enough data to understand or interpret these changes. In particular, there was no data on glacier bed topography and seafloor bathymetry in the fjords. Here we present the results of new fjord mapping by the NASA Ocean Melting Greenland mission combined with a recent high-resolution airborne gravity survey by NASA Operation IceBridge. We combine these data with a reconstruction of the bed using a mass conservation approach upstream extending into the glacial fjords for the first time. In the fjord and along the ice-ocean transition, we employ a 3D inversion of gravity data to infer the bed elevation along a set of 9 survey boxes spanning south of Helheim Glacier to the southern tip of Southeast Greenland. We combine the results with an analysis of the glacier front history since the 1930's and Conductivity Temperature Depth data obtained in the fjord by OMG in 2016. The data reveals bed elevations several 100-m deeper than previously thought, for almost all the glaciers, up to 500 m for some of them. For many glaciers, the bed profiles help to completely understand the history of retreat of the glaciers. For instance, glaciers stranded on sills have been stable; glaciers on a reverse slope have retreated rapidly; and glaciers with a normal slope have retreated slowly. The mapping also helps document the extent of the marine portion of the glacier basins. In many of the fjords, we document the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water which fuels large melt rates. We employ

  13. The 1988-2003 Greenland ice sheet melt extent using passive microwave satellite data and a regional climate model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fettweis, Xavier; Ypersele, Jean-Pascal van [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique de G. Lemaitre, Louvain-La-Neuve (Belgium); Gallee, Hubert [CNRS, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement, Grenoble (France); Lefebre, Filip [Vito-IMS (Flemish Institute for Technological Research-Integral Environmental Studies), Mol (Belgium)

    2006-10-15

    Measurements from ETH-Camp and JAR1 AWS (West Greenland) as well as coupled atmosphere-snow regional climate simulations have highlighted flaws in the cross-polarized gradient ratio (XPGR) technique used to identify melt from passive microwave satellite data. It was found that dense clouds (causing notably rainfall) on the ice sheet severely perturb the XPGR melt signal. Therefore, the original XPGR melt detection algorithm has been adapted to better incorporate atmospheric variability over the ice sheet and an updated melt trend for the 1988-2003 period has been calculated. Compared to the original algorithm, the melt zone area increase is eight times higher (from 0.2 to 1.7% year{sup -1}). The increase is higher with the improved XPGR technique because rainfall also increased during this period. It is correlated to higher atmospheric temperatures. Finally, the model shows that the total ice sheet runoff is directly proportional to the melt extent surface detected by satellites. These results are important for the understanding of the effect of Greenland melting on the stability of the thermohaline circulation. (orig.)

  14. 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...

  15. 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...... 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....

  16. 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

    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 from melt and rainfall led to a widespread acceleration in ice flow that extended 140 km into the ice-sheet interior....... We suggest that the late-season timing was critical in promoting rapid runoff across an extensive bare ice surface that overwhelmed a subglacial hydrological system in transition to a less-efficient winter mode. Reanalysis data reveal that similar cyclonic weather conditions prevailed across southern...

  17. 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.

  18. Climate Variability, Melt-Flow Acceleration, and Ice Quakes at the Western Slope of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, K.; Zwally, J. H.; Rial, J. A.; Behar, A.; Huff, R.

    2006-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet experienced surface melt increase over the past 15 years with record melt years in 1987, 1991, 1998, 2002 and 2005. For the western part of the ice sheet the melt area increased by 30 percent (1979-2005). Monthly mean air temperatures increased in spring and fall by 0.23 deg. C per year since 1990, extending the length of melt and total ablation. Winter air temperatures increased by as much as 0.5 deg. C per year during the past 15 years. The equilibrium line altitude ranged between 400 and 1530 m above sea level at 70 deg. north along the western slope of the ice sheet for the past 15 years, equaling a horizontal distance of 100 km. The ELA has been below the Swiss Camp (1100 m elevation) in the nineties, and since 1997 moved above the Swiss Camp height. An increase in ELA leads to an increase in melt water run-off which has been verified by regional model studies (high-resolution re-analysis). Interannual variability of snow accumulation varies from 0.3 to 2.0 m, whereas snow and ice ablation ranges from 0 to 1.5 m water equivalent at Swiss Camp during 1990-2005. A GPS network (10 stations) monitors ice velocity, acceleration, and surface height change at high temporal resolution throughout the year. The network covers a range of 500 and 1500 m above sea level, close to the Ilulissat Icefjord World Heritage region. The ice sheet continued to accelerate during the height of the melt season with short-term velocity increases up to 100 percent, and vertical uplift rates of 0.5 m. There seems to be a good correlation between the change in ice velocity and total surface melt, suggesting that melt water penetrates to great depth through moulins and cracks, lubricating the bottom of the ice sheet. A new bore-hole video movie will be shown from a 110 m deep moulin close to Swiss Camp. A PASSCAL array of 10 portable, 3-component seismic stations deployed around Swiss Camp from May to August 2006 detected numerous microearthquakes within the ice

  19. 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

  20. Empirical Retrieval of Surface Melt Magnitude from Coupled MODIS Optical and Thermal Measurements over the Greenland Ice Sheet during the 2001 Ablation Season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampkin, Derrick; Peng, Rui

    2008-08-22

    Accelerated ice flow near the equilibrium line of west-central Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) has been attributed to an increase in infiltrated surface melt water as a response to climate warming. The assessment of surface melting events must be more than the detection of melt onset or extent. Retrieval of surface melt magnitude is necessary to improve understanding of ice sheet flow and surface melt coupling. In this paper, we report on a new technique to quantify the magnitude of surface melt. Cloud-free dates of June 10, July 5, 7, 9, and 11, 2001 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) daily reflectance Band 5 (1.230-1.250μm) and surface temperature images rescaled to 1km over western Greenland were used in the retrieval algorithm. An optical-thermal feature space partitioned as a function of melt magnitude was derived using a one-dimensional thermal snowmelt model (SNTHERM89). SNTHERM89 was forced by hourly meteorological data from the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) at reference sites spanning dry snow, percolation, and wet snow zones in the Jakobshavn drainage basin in western GIS. Melt magnitude or effective melt (E-melt) was derived for satellite composite periods covering May, June, and July displaying low fractions (0-1%) at elevations greater than 2500m and fractions at or greater than 15% at elevations lower than 1000m assessed for only the upper 5 cm of the snow surface. Validation of E-melt involved comparison of intensity to dry and wet zones determined from QSCAT backscatter. Higher intensities (> 8%) were distributed in wet snow zones, while lower intensities were grouped in dry zones at a first order accuracy of ~ ±2%.

  1. Greenland inland ice melt-off: Analysis of global gravity data from the GRACE satellites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Andersen, Ole Baltazar; Svendsen, Peter L.

    2011-01-01

    This paper gives an introductory analysis of gravity data from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) twin satellites. The data consist of gravity data in the form of 10-day maximum values of 1◦ by 1◦ equivalent water height (EWH) in meters starting at 29 July 2002 and ending at 25...... August 2010. Results focussing on Greenland show statistically significant mass loss interpreted as inland ice melt-off to the SE and NW with an acceleration in the melt-off occurring to the NW and a possible deceleration to the SE. Also, there are strong indications of a transition taking place...

  2. 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

  3. Towards an assessment of the balance state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boeggild, C.E.; Mayer, C.; Podlech, S.; Taurisano, A.; Nielsen, S.

    2004-07-01

    The climate of Europe is strongly influenced by heat transport by ocean currents flowing from equatorial regions towards the Arctic. During recent years, research has been increasingly focused on factors affecting this circulation, e.g. the freshwater budget of the Arctic that is influenced by glacial melt water from north and East Greenland outlet glaciers. Furthermore, the climate is affected by snow cover, which, apart from its contribution to the freshwater budget, provides feedback effects in that it reflects most of the solar radiation. Apart from Arctic sea-ice cover, the Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest permanent ice- and snow-covered area in the northern hemisphere, with an area of 1.67 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2} and by far the largest storage of ice with a volume of 2.93 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 3}. Most of the mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet occurs in the marginal region of the ice sheet, which is also the area where the largest changes in albedo occur. The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) has for many years carried out research along the Greenland Ice Sheet margin to monitor changes of mass balance and melt conditions. (BA)

  4. Hypsometric Amplification of Greenland Ice Sheet Meltwater Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    van As, D.; Hasholt, B.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; Holtegaard Nielsen, M.; Box, J.; Claesson Liljedahl, L.; Lindback, K.; Pitcher, L. H.

    2017-12-01

    Proglacial discharge monitoring provides valuable insights in Greenland ice sheet meltwater release. We use a 2006-2016 discharge time series from the Watson River draining 12000 km2 of the ice sheet in southwest Greenland to investigate the large variability in catchment-total meltwater production. An observationally-constrained reconstruction of past discharge shows that meltwater release has on average increased by a factor of 1.5 since 2003 compared to the 1949-2002 period, and that interannual variability has disproportionally increased by a factor of 2.1, suggesting that melt amplifiers are at play. We derive a hypsometric amplification factor of 1.6, which is the result of the exponential melt area increase with rising temperature. Peak meltwater discharge events such as during the July 2012 flooding are due to this and other melt amplifiers, but also require intense melting over a period exceeding the multi-day transit time for high-elevation meltwater to pass through the glacial drainage system.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ice shelf melt rates in Greenland and Antarctica using time-tagged digital imagery from World View and TanDEM-X

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charolais, A.; Rignot, E. J.; Milillo, P.; Scheuchl, B.; Mouginot, J.

    2017-12-01

    The floating extensions of glaciers, or ice shelves, melt vigorously in contact with ocean waters. Melt is non uniform, with the highest melt taking place in the deepest part of the cavity, where thermal forcing is the greatest because of 1) the pressure dependence of the freezing point of the seawater/ice mixture and 2) subglacial water injects fresh, buoyant, cold melt water to fuel stronger ice-ocean interactions. Melt also forms along preferential channels, which are not stationary, and create lines of weakness in the shelf. Ice shelf melt rates have been successfully measured from space over the entire Antarctic continent and on the ice shelves in Greenland using an Eulerian approach that combines ice thickness, ice velocity vectors, surface mass balance data, and measurements of ice thinning rates. The Eulerian approach is limited by the precision of the thickness gradients, typically of a few km, and requires significant spatial averaging to remove advection effects. A Lagrangian approach has been shown to be robust to advection effects and provides higher resolution details. We implemented a Lagrangian methodology for time-tagged World View DEMs by the Polar Geoscience Center (PGS) at the University of Minnesota and time-tagged TanDEM-X DEMs separated by one year. We derive melt rates on a 300-m grid with a precision of a few m/yr. Melt is strongest along grounding lines and along preferred channels. Channels are non-stationary because melt is not the same on opposite sides of the channels. Examining time series of data and comparing with the time-dependent grounding line positions inferred from satellite radar interferometry, we evaluate the magnitude of melt near the grounding line and even within the grounding zone. A non-zero melt rate in the grounding zone has vast implications for ice sheet modeling. This work is funded by a grant from NASA Cryosphere Program.

  10. Quantifying the surface energy fluxes in South Greenland during the 2012 high melt episodes using in-situ observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Fausto

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Two high melt episodes occurred on the Greenland ice sheet in July 2012, during which nearly the entire ice sheet surface experienced melting. Observations from an automatic weather station (AWS in the lower ablation area in South Greenland reveal the largest daily melt rates (up to 28 cm d-1 ice equivalent ever recorded on the ice sheet. The two melt episodes lasted 6 days, equivalent to 6% of the June-August melt period, but contributed 14 % to the total annual ablation of 8.5 m ice equivalent. We employ a surface energy balance model driven by AWS data to quantify the relative importance of the energy budget components contributing to melt through the melt season. During the days with largest daily melt rates, surface turbulent heat input peaked at 552 Wm-2, 77 % of the surface melt energy, which is otherwise typically dominated by absorbed solar radiation. We find that rain contributed ca. 7 % to melt during these episodes.

  11. Greenland iceberg melt variability from high-resolution satellite observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Enderlin

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Iceberg discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet accounts for up to half of the freshwater flux to surrounding fjords and ocean basins, yet the spatial distribution of iceberg meltwater fluxes is poorly understood. One of the primary limitations for mapping iceberg meltwater fluxes, and changes over time, is the dearth of iceberg submarine melt rate estimates. Here we use a remote sensing approach to estimate submarine melt rates during 2011–2016 for 637 icebergs discharged from seven marine-terminating glaciers fringing the Greenland Ice Sheet. We find that spatial variations in iceberg melt rates generally follow expected patterns based on hydrographic observations, including a decrease in melt rate with latitude and an increase in melt rate with iceberg draft. However, we find no longitudinal variations in melt rates within individual fjords. We do not resolve coherent seasonal to interannual patterns in melt rates across all study sites, though we attribute a 4-fold melt rate increase from March to April 2011 near Jakobshavn Isbræ to fjord circulation changes induced by the seasonal onset of iceberg calving. Overall, our results suggest that remotely sensed iceberg melt rates can be used to characterize spatial and temporal variations in oceanic forcing near often inaccessible marine-terminating glaciers.

  12. A Synthesis of the Basal Thermal State of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macgregor, J. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Catania, G. A.; Aschwanden, A.; Clow, G. D.; Colgan, W. T.; Gogineni, S. P.; Morlighem, M.; Nowicki, S. M. J.; Paden, J. D.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Greenland's thick ice sheet insulates the bedrock below from the cold temperatures at the surface, so the bottom of the ice is often tens of degrees warmer than at the top, because the ice bottom is slowly warmed by heat coming from the Earth's depths. Knowing whether Greenland's ice lies on wet, slippery ground or is anchored to dry, frozen bedrock is essential for predicting how this ice will flow in the future. But scientists have very few direct observations of the thermal conditions beneath the ice sheet, obtained through fewer than two dozen boreholes that have reached the bottom. Our study synthesizes several independent methods to infer the Greenland Ice Sheet's basal thermal state -whether the bottom of the ice is melted or not-leading to the first map that identifies frozen and thawed areas across the whole ice sheet. This map will guide targets for future investigations of the Greenland Ice Sheet toward the most vulnerable and poorly understood regions, ultimately improving our understanding of its dynamics and contribution to future sea-level rise. It is of particular relevance to ongoing Operation IceBridge activities and future large-scale airborne missions over Greenland.

  13. Evolution of ocean-induced ice melt beneath Zachariæ Isstrøm, Northeast Greenland combining observations and an ocean general circulation model from 1978 to present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, C.; Rignot, E. J.; Menemenlis, D.; Millan, R.; Bjørk, A. A.; Khan, S. A.; Charolais, A.

    2017-12-01

    Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major ice stream in northeast Greenland, lost a large fraction of its ice shelf during the last decade. We study the evolution of subaqueous melting of its floating section from 1978 to present. The ice shelf melt rate depends on thermal forcing from warm, salty, subsurface ocean waters of Atlantic origin (AW), the mixing of AW with fresh, buoyant subglacial discharge at the calving margin, and the shape of the sub-ice-shelf cavity. Subglacial discharge doubled as a result of enhanced ice sheet runoff caused by warmer air temperatures. Ocean thermal forcing has increased due to enhanced advection of AW. Using an Eulerian method, MEaSUREs ice velocity, Operation IceBridge (OIB) ice thickness, and RACMO2.3 surface balance data, we evaluate the ice shelf melt rate in 1978, 1999 and 2010. The melt rate doubled from 1999 to 2010. Using a Lagrangian method with World View imagery, we map the melt rate in detail from 2011 to 2016. We compare the results with 2D simulations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), at a high spatial resolution (20-m horizontal and 40-m vertical grid spacing), using OIB ice thickness and sub-ice-shelf cavity for years 1978, 1996, 2010 and 2011, combined with in-situ ocean temperature/salinity data from Ocean Melting Greenland (OMG) 2017. We find that winter melt rates are 2 3 times smaller than summer rates and melt rates increase by one order magnitude during the transition from ice shelf termination to near-vertical calving wall termination. As the last remaining bits of floating ice shelf disappear, ice-ocean interaction will therefore play an increasing role in driving the glacier retreat into its marine-based basin. This work was performed under a contract with NASA Cryosphere Program at UC Irvine and Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  14. Probability based hydrologic catchments of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, B. D.

    2015-12-01

    Greenland Ice Sheet melt water impacts ice sheet flow dynamics, fjord and coastal circulation, and sediment and biogeochemical fluxes. Melt water exiting the ice sheet also is a key term in its mass balance. Because of this, knowledge of the area of the ice sheet that contributes melt water to a given outlet (its hydrologic catchment) is important to many ice sheet studies and is especially critical to methods using river runoff to assess ice sheet mass balance. Yet uncertainty in delineating ice sheet hydrologic catchments is a problem that is rarely acknowledged. Ice sheet catchments are delineated as a function of both basal and surface topography. While surface topography is well known, basal topography is less certain because it is dependent on radar surveys. Here, I a present a Monte Carlo based approach to delineating ice sheet catchments that quantifies the impact of uncertain basal topography. In this scheme, over many iterations I randomly vary the ice sheet bed elevation within published error bounds (using Morlighem et al., 2014 bed and bed error datasets). For each iteration of ice sheet bed elevation, I calculate the hydraulic potentiometric surface and route water over its path of 'steepest' descent to delineate the catchment. I then use all realizations of the catchment to arrive at a probability map of all major melt water outlets in Greenland. I often find that catchment size is uncertain, with small, random perturbations in basal topography leading to large variations in catchments size. While some catchments are well defined, others can double or halve in size within published basal topography error bars. While some uncertainty will likely always remain, this work points to locations where studies of ice sheet hydrology would be the most successful, allows reinterpretation of past results, and points to where future radar surveys would be most advantageous.

  15. How Greenland melts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van den Broeke M.R.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Satellite altimetry and gravimetry show that the Greenland ice sheet has been losing volume and mass since the beginning of this century. However, from these short time series of direct measurements we cannot infer what the causes of the mass loss are, i.e. ice dynamics or surface processes, or that maybe the ice sheet returns to normal after a period of volume increase and mass gain. By modelling and observing the individual components of the ice sheet mass balance, i.e. snowfall, meltwater runoff and iceberg production, we are able to identify the processes that led to the recent mass loss. We conclude that the Greenland ice sheet is significantly out of balance. Acceleration of outlet glaciers and increased runoff have contributed equally to recent Greenland mass loss. The potential for mass loss by surface processes, however, was three times greater than actually observed, due to refreezing and enhanced snowfall.

  16. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Clouds have a profound influence on both the Arctic and global climate, while they still represent one of the key uncertainties in climate models, limiting the fidelity of future climate projections. The potentially important role of thin liquid-containing clouds over Greenland in enhancing ice sheet melt has recently gained interest, yet current research is spatially and temporally limited, focusing on particular events, and their large scale impact on the surface mass balance remains unknown. We used a combination of satellite remote sensing (CloudSat - CALIPSO), ground-based observations and climate model (RACMO) data to show that liquid-containing clouds warm the Greenland ice sheet 94% of the time. High surface reflectivity (albedo) for shortwave radiation reduces the cloud shortwave cooling effect on the absorbed fluxes, while not influencing the absorption of longwave radiation. Cloud warming over the ice sheet therefore dominates year-round. Only when albedo values drop below ~0.6 in the coastal areas during summer, the cooling effect starts to overcome the warming effect. The year-round excess of energy due to the presence of liquid-containing clouds has an extensive influence on the mass balance of the ice sheet. Simulations using the SNOWPACK snow model showed not only a strong influence of these liquid-containing clouds on melt increase, but also on the increased sublimation mass loss. Simulations with the Community Earth System Climate Model for the end of the 21st century (2080-2099) show that Greenland clouds contain more liquid water path and less ice water path. This implies that cloud radiative forcing will be further enhanced in the future. Our results therefore urge the need for improving cloud microphysics in climate models, to improve future projections of ice sheet mass balance and global sea level rise.

  17. 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....

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Radiation Climatology of the Greenland Ice Sheet Derived from Greenland Climate Network Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Konrad; Box, Jason

    2003-01-01

    The magnitude of shortwave and longwave dative fluxes are critical to surface energy balance variations over the Greenland ice sheet, affecting many aspects of its climate, including melt rates, the nature of low-level temperature inversions, the katabatic wind regime and buoyant stability of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, reliable measurements of the radiative fluxes over the ice sheet are few in number, and have been of limited duration and areal distribution (e.g. Ambach, 1960; 1963, Konzelmann et al., 1994, Harding et al., 1995, Van den Broeke, 1996). Hourly GC-Net radiation flux measurements spanning 1995-2001 period have been used to produce a monthly dataset of surface radiation balance components. The measurements are distributed widely across Greenland and incorporate multiple sensors

  2. 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.

  3. The PolarSEEDS project: communicating Greenland melting through visualization and sonification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, M.; Perl, J.; Saltz, I.; Ham, E.

    2013-12-01

    During fall of 2011 a group of faculty at the City College of New York from the Science and Art Divisions drafted a concept for a project about communicating results from his research concerning the melting of the Greenland ice sheet through 'unconventional' venues, such as Visual Arts and Music. The opportunity to build a team and perform a project came to reality when the City College of New York (CCNY) called for the City SEED call proposal (therefore the name POLARSEEDS). The call was looking to fund innovative interdisciplinary work that could create connections among different disciplines within CCNY. The faculty members of the project were affiliated with the Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Tedesco), the Music Dept. and the Sonic Arts Center (Perl) and Art Dept. (Saltz and Ham). The PolarSEEDS project involved also six students at graduate and master level from the three departments. The project culminated in an exhibition at CCNY in which soundscapes obtained from sounds recorded during fieldwork in Greenland were combined with sonifications of the outputs of a climate model used to study melting in Greenland to generate ambient sounds. At the exhibit, many sonifications of the model outputs were available at computer stations together with the explanation of the different approaches undertaken to generate them. Large aerial photos of supraglacial streams and lakes over Greenland were exhibited together with infographics addressing some of the causes and implications of melting. Videos showing either footage of melting features or the impact of albedo on melting (through ad hoc experiments carried out in laboratory and filmed for the exhibit) were also exhibited. Lastly, the visitors had the opportunity to play an interactive web game developed for the project in which they had to balance the amount of clouds, solar radiation, rain and snow to keep the Greenland ice sheet from melting completely and flood New York City. In my presentation, I will

  4. Mass balance of Greenland and the Canadian Ice Caps from combined altimetry and GRACE inversion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The combination of GRACE and altimetry data may yield a high resolution mass balance time series of the Greenlandice sheet, highlighting the varying individual mass loss behaviour of major glaciers. By including the Canadian arctic ice caps in the estimation, a more reliable estimate of the mass...... loss of both Greenlandand the Canadian ice caps may be obtained, minimizing the leakage errors otherwise unavoidable by GRACE. Actually, the absolute value of the Greenlandice sheet mass loss is highly dependent on methods and how the effects of Arctic Canadian ice caps are separated in the GRACE...... loss of the ice caps and ice sheet basins for the period 2003-15. This period shows a marked increase of ice sheet melt, especially in NW and NE Greenland, but also show large variability, with the melt anomaly year of 2012 showing a record mass loss, followed by 2013 with essentially no Greenland mass...

  5. Arctic Amplification and the Northward shift of a new Greenland melting record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Marco; Mote, Thomas; Fettweis, Xavier; Hanna, Edward; Booth, James; Jeyaratnam, Jeyavinoth; Datta, Rajashree; Briggs, Kate

    2016-04-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, here we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean was responsible for a northward shift of surface melting records over Greenland, and for increased accumulation in the south during the summer of 2015. Concurrently, new records of mean monthly zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were also set. An unprecedented (1948 - 2015) and sustained jet stream easterly flow promoted enhanced runoff, increased surface temperatures and decreased albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south. The exceptional 2015 summer Arctic atmospheric conditions are consistent with the anticipated effects of Arctic Amplification, including slower zonal winds and increased jet stream wave amplitude. Properly addressing the impact of Arctic Amplification on surface runoff of the Greenland ice sheet is crucial for rigorously quantifying its contribution to current and future sea level rise, and the relative impact of freshwater discharge on the surrounding ocean.

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding Greenland ice sheet hydrology using an integrated multi-scale approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rennermalm, A K; Moustafa, S E; Mioduszewski, J; Robinson, D A; Chu, V W; Smith, L C; Forster, R R; Hagedorn, B; Harper, J T; Mote, T L; Shuman, C A; Tedesco, M

    2013-01-01

    Improved understanding of Greenland ice sheet hydrology is critically important for assessing its impact on current and future ice sheet dynamics and global sea level rise. This has motivated the collection and integration of in situ observations, model development, and remote sensing efforts to quantify meltwater production, as well as its phase changes, transport, and export. Particularly urgent is a better understanding of albedo feedbacks leading to enhanced surface melt, potential positive feedbacks between ice sheet hydrology and dynamics, and meltwater retention in firn. These processes are not isolated, but must be understood as part of a continuum of processes within an integrated system. This letter describes a systems approach to the study of Greenland ice sheet hydrology, emphasizing component interconnections and feedbacks, and highlighting research and observational needs. (letter)

  8. A characterization of Greenland Ice Sheet surface melt and runoff in contemporary reanalyses and a regional climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard eCullather

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available For the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS, large-scale melt area has increased in recent years and is detectable via remote sensing, but its relation to runoff is not known. Historical, modeled melt area and runoff from Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-Replay, the Interim Re-Analysis of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-I, the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR, the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR, and the Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR are examined. These sources compare favorably with satellite-derived estimates of surface melt area for the period 2000-2012. Spatially, the models markedly disagree on the number of melt days in the interior of the southern part of the ice sheet, and on the extent of persistent melt areas in the northeastern GrIS. Temporally, the models agree on the mean seasonality of daily surface melt and on the timing of large-scale melt events in 2012. In contrast, the models disagree on the amount, seasonality, spatial distribution, and temporal variability of runoff. As compared to global reanalyses, time series from MAR indicate a lower correlation between runoff and melt area (r2 = 0.805. Runoff in MAR is much larger in the second half of the melt season for all drainage basins, while the ASR indicates larger runoff in the first half of the year. This difference in seasonality for the MAR and to an extent for the ASR provide a hysteresis in the relation between runoff and melt area, which is not found in the other models. The comparison points to a need for reliable observations of surface runoff.

  9. 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.

  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.

    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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Detection of Supra-Glacial Lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet Using MODIS Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verin, Gauthier; Picard, Ghislain; Libois, Quentin; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Roux, Antoine

    2015-04-01

    During melt season, supra-glacial lakes form on the margins of the Greenland ice sheet. Because of their size exceeding several kilometers, and their concentration, they affect surface albedo leading to an amplification of the regional melt. Furthermore, they foster hydro-fracturing that propagate liquid water to the bedrock and therefore enhance the basal lubrication which may affect the ice motion. It is known that Greenland ice sheet has strongly responded to recent global warming. As air temperature increases, melt duration and melt intensity increase and surface melt area extends further inland. These recent changes may play an important role in the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. In this context, it is essential to better monitor and understand supra-glacial spatio-temporal dynamics in order to better assess future sea level rise. In this study MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) images have been used to detect supra-glacial lakes. The observation site is located on the West margin of the ice sheet, between 65°N and 70°N where the concentration of lake is maximum. The detection is performed by a fully automatic algorithm using images processing techniques introduced by Liang et al. (2012) which can be summarized in three steps: the selection of usable MODIS images, mainly we exclude images with too many clouds. The detection of lake and the automatic correction of false detections. This algorithm is capable to tag each individual lake allowing a survey of all lake geometrical properties over the entire melt season. We observed a large population of supra-glacial lakes over 14 melt seasons, from 2000 to 2013 on an extended area of 70.000 km2. In average, lakes are observed from June 9 ± 8.7 days to September 13 ± 13.9 days, and reach a maximum total area of 699 km2 ± 146 km2. As the melt season progresses, lakes form higher in altitude up to 1800 m above sea level. Results show a very strong inter-annual variability in term of

  15. Observed runoff, jokulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Hasholt, Bent [UNIV OF COPENHAGEN

    2009-01-01

    This study fills the gap in hydrologic measurements of runoff exiting a part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), the Kangerlussuaq drainage area, West Greenland. The observations are of value for obtaining knowledge about the terrestrial freshwater and sediment output from part of the GrIS and the strip of land between the GrIS and the ocean, in the context of varying ice sheet surface melt and influx entering the ocean. High-resolution stage, discharge and suspended sediment load show a decrease in runoff of {approx} 25% and in sediment load of {approx} 40% from 2007 to 2008 in response to a decrease in the summer accumulated number of positive degree days. During the 2007 and 2008 runoff season, joekulhlaups are observed at Kangerlussuaq, drained from an ice-dammed lake at the margin of the GrIS.

  16. 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

  17. Modelling seasonal meltwater forcing of the velocity of land-terminating margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koziol, Conrad P.; Arnold, Neil

    2018-03-01

    Surface runoff at the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) drains to the ice-sheet bed, leading to enhanced summer ice flow. Ice velocities show a pattern of early summer acceleration followed by mid-summer deceleration due to evolution of the subglacial hydrology system in response to meltwater forcing. Modelling the integrated hydrological-ice dynamics system to reproduce measured velocities at the ice margin remains a key challenge for validating the present understanding of the system and constraining the impact of increasing surface runoff rates on dynamic ice mass loss from the GrIS. Here we show that a multi-component model incorporating supraglacial, subglacial, and ice dynamic components applied to a land-terminating catchment in western Greenland produces modelled velocities which are in reasonable agreement with those observed in GPS records for three melt seasons of varying melt intensities. This provides numerical support for the hypothesis that the subglacial system develops analogously to alpine glaciers and supports recent model formulations capturing the transition between distributed and channelized states. The model shows the growth of efficient conduit-based drainage up-glacier from the ice sheet margin, which develops more extensively, and further inland, as melt intensity increases. This suggests current trends of decadal-timescale slowdown of ice velocities in the ablation zone may continue in the near future. The model results also show a strong scaling between average summer velocities and melt season intensity, particularly in the upper ablation area. Assuming winter velocities are not impacted by channelization, our model suggests an upper bound of a 25 % increase in annual surface velocities as surface melt increases to 4 × present levels.

  18. Molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter associated with the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatia, Maya P.; Das, Sarah B.; Longnecker, Krista; Charette, Matthew A.; Kujawinski, Elizabeth B.

    2010-07-01

    Subsurface microbial oxidation of overridden soils and vegetation beneath glaciers and ice sheets may affect global carbon budgets on glacial-interglacial timescales. The likelihood and magnitude of this process depends on the chemical nature and reactivity of the subglacial organic carbon stores. We examined the composition of carbon pools associated with different regions of the Greenland ice sheet (subglacial, supraglacial, proglacial) in order to elucidate the type of dissolved organic matter (DOM) present in the subglacial discharge over a melt season. Electrospray ionization (ESI) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry coupled to multivariate statistics permitted unprecedented molecular level characterization of this material and revealed that carbon pools associated with discrete glacial regions are comprised of different compound classes. Specifically, a larger proportion of protein-like compounds were observed in the supraglacial samples and in the early melt season (spring) subglacial discharge. In contrast, the late melt season (summer) subglacial discharge contained a greater fraction of lignin-like and other material presumably derived from underlying vegetation and soil. These results suggest (1) that the majority of supraglacial DOM originates from autochthonous microbial processes on the ice sheet surface, (2) that the subglacial DOM contains allochthonous carbon derived from overridden soils and vegetation as well as autochthonous carbon derived from in situ microbial metabolism, and (3) that the relative contribution of allochthonous and autochthonous material in subglacial discharge varies during the melt season. These conclusions are consistent with the hypothesis that, given sufficient time (e.g., overwinter storage), resident subglacial microbial communities may oxidize terrestrial material beneath the Greenland ice sheet.

  19. Quantifying Local Ablation Rates for the Greenland Ice Sheet Using Terrestrial LIDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershner, C. M.; Pitcher, L. H.; LeWinter, A.; Finnegan, D. C.; Overstreet, B. T.; Miège, C.; Cooper, M. G.; Smith, L. C.; Rennermalm, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    Quantifying accurate ice surface ablation or melt rates for the Greenland Ice Sheet is important for calibrating and validating surface mass balance models and constraining sea level rise estimates. Common practice is to monitor surface ablation at defined points by manually measuring ice surface lowering in relation to stakes inserted into the ice / snow. However, this method does not account for the effects of local topography, solar zenith angle, and local variations in ice surface albedo/impurities on ablation rates. To directly address these uncertainties, we use a commercially available terrestrial LIDAR scanner (TLS) to monitor daily melt rates in the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet for 7 consecutive days in July 2016. Each survey is registered to previous scans using retroreflective cylinders and is georeferenced using static GPS measurements. Bulk ablation will be calculated using multi-temporal differential LIDAR techniques, and difficulties in referencing scans and collecting high quality surveys in this dynamic environment will be discussed, as well as areas for future research. We conclude that this novel application of TLS technology provides a spatially accurate, higher fidelity measurements of ablation across a larger area with less interpolation and less time spent than using traditional manual point based methods alone. Furthermore, this sets the stage for direct calibration, validation and cross-comparison with existing airborne (e.g. NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper - ATM - onboard Operation IceBridge and NASA's Land, Vegetation & Ice Sensor - LVIS) and forthcoming spaceborne sensors (e.g. NASA's ICESat-2).

  20. A Climate-Data Record (CDR) of the "Clear-Sky" Surface Temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Comiso, Josefino C.; DiGirolamo, Nocolo E.; Shuman, Christopher A.

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a climate-data record (CDR) of "clear-sky" ice-surface temperature (IST) of the Greenland Ice Sheet using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The CDR provides daily and monthly-mean IST from March 2000 through December 2010 on a polar stereographic projection at a resolution of 6.25 km. The CDR is amenable to extension into the future using Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data. Regional "clear-sky" surface temperature increases since the early 1980s in the Arctic, measured using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) infrared data, range from 0.57 +/- 0.02 to 0.72 +/- 0.1 c per decade. Arctic warming has important implications for ice-sheet mass balance because much of the periphery of the Greenland Ice Sheet is already near O C during the melt season, and is thus vulnerable to rapid melting if temperatures continue to increase. An increase in melting of the ice sheet would accelerate sea-level rise, an issue affecting potentially billions of people worldwide. The IST CDR will provide a convenient data set for modelers and for climatologists to track changes of the surface temperature of the ice sheet as a whole and of the individual drainage basins on the ice sheet. The daily and monthly maps will provide information on surface melt as well as "clear-sky" temperature. The CDR will be further validated by comparing results with automatic-weather station data and with satellite-derived surface-temperature products.

  1. 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

    2017-12-12

    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-km 2 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. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Simple models for the simulation of submarine melt for a Greenland glacial system model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckmann, Johanna; Perrette, Mahé; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2018-01-01

    Two hundred marine-terminating Greenland outlet glaciers deliver more than half of the annually accumulated ice into the ocean and have played an important role in the Greenland ice sheet mass loss observed since the mid-1990s. Submarine melt may play a crucial role in the mass balance and position of the grounding line of these outlet glaciers. As the ocean warms, it is expected that submarine melt will increase, potentially driving outlet glaciers retreat and contributing to sea level rise. Projections of the future contribution of outlet glaciers to sea level rise are hampered by the necessity to use models with extremely high resolution of the order of a few hundred meters. That requirement in not only demanded when modeling outlet glaciers as a stand alone model but also when coupling them with high-resolution 3-D ocean models. In addition, fjord bathymetry data are mostly missing or inaccurate (errors of several hundreds of meters), which questions the benefit of using computationally expensive 3-D models for future predictions. Here we propose an alternative approach built on the use of a computationally efficient simple model of submarine melt based on turbulent plume theory. We show that such a simple model is in reasonable agreement with several available modeling studies. We performed a suite of experiments to analyze sensitivity of these simple models to model parameters and climate characteristics. We found that the computationally cheap plume model demonstrates qualitatively similar behavior as 3-D general circulation models. To match results of the 3-D models in a quantitative manner, a scaling factor of the order of 1 is needed for the plume models. We applied this approach to model submarine melt for six representative Greenland glaciers and found that the application of a line plume can produce submarine melt compatible with observational data. Our results show that the line plume model is more appropriate than the cone plume model for simulating

  5. Assessing the accuracy of Greenland ice sheet ice ablation measurements by pressure transducer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fausto, R. S.; van As, D.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2012-04-01

    In the glaciological community there is a need for reliable mass balance measurements of glaciers and ice sheets, ranging from daily to yearly time scales. Here we present a method to measure ice ablation using a pressure transducer. The pressure transducer is drilled into the ice, en-closed in a hose filled with a liquid that is non-freezable at common Greenlandic temperatures. The pressure signal registered by the transducer is that of the vertical column of liquid over the sensor, which can be translated in depth knowing the density of the liquid. As the free-standing AWS moves down with the ablating surface and the hose melts out of the ice, an increasingly large part of the hose will lay flat on the ice surface, and the hydrostatic pressure from the vertical column of liquid in the hose will get smaller. This reduction in pressure provides us with the ablation rate. By measuring at (sub-) daily timescales this assembly is well-suited to monitor ice ablation in remote regions, with clear advantages over other well-established methods of measuring ice ablation in the field. The pressure transducer system has the potential to monitor ice ablation for several years without re-drilling and the system is suitable for high ablation areas. A routine to transform raw measurements into ablation values will also be presented, including a physically based method to remove air pressure variability from the signal. The pressure transducer time-series is compared to that recorded by a sonic ranger for the climatically hostile setting on the Greenland ice sheet.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Using Airborne Lidar Data from IcePod to Measure Annual and Seasonal Ice Changes Over Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frearson, N.; Bertinato, C.; Das, I.

    2014-12-01

    The IcePod is a multi-sensor airborne science platform that supports a wide suite of instruments, including a Riegl VQ-580 infrared scanning laser, GPS-inertial positioning system, shallow and deep-ice radars, visible-wave and infrared cameras, and upward-looking pyrometer. These instruments allow us to image the ice from top to bottom, including the surface of melt-water plumes that originate at the ice-ocean boundary. In collaboration with the New York Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing, the IcePod is flown on LC-130 aircraft, which presents the unique opportunity to routinely image the Greenland ice sheet several times within a season. This is particularly important for mass balance studies, as we can measure elevation changes during the melt season. During the 2014 summer, laser data was collected via IcePod over the Greenland ice sheet, including Russell Glacier, Jakobshavn Glacier, Eqip Glacier, and Summit Camp. The Icepod will also be routinely operated in Antarctica. We present the initial testing, calibration, and error estimates from the first set of laser data that were collected on IcePod. At a survey altitude of 1000 m, the laser swath covers ~ 1000 m. A Northrop-Grumman LN-200 tactical grade IMU is rigidly attached to the laser scanner to provide attitude data at a rate of 200 Hz. Several methods were used to determine the lever arm between the IMU center of navigation and GPS antenna phase center, terrestrial scanning laser, total station survey, and optimal estimation. Additionally, initial bore sight calibration flights yielded misalignment angles within an accuracy of ±4 cm. We also performed routine passes over the airport ramp in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, comparing the airborne GPS and Lidar data to a reference GPS-based ground survey across the ramp, spot GPS points on the ramp and a nearby GPS base station. Positioning errors can severely impact the accuracy of a laser altimeter when flying over remote regions such as across the ice sheets

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Estimation of Melt Ponds over Arctic Sea Ice using MODIS Surface Reflectance Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Y.; Cheng, X.; Liu, J.

    2017-12-01

    Melt ponds over Arctic sea ice is one of the main factors affecting variability of surface albedo, increasing absorption of solar radiation and further melting of snow and ice. In recent years, a large number of melt ponds have been observed during the melt season in Arctic. Moreover, some studies have suggested that late spring to mid summer melt ponds information promises to improve the prediction skill of seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum. In the study, we extract the melt pond fraction over Arctic sea ice since 2000 using three bands MODIS weekly surface reflectance data by considering the difference of spectral reflectance in ponds, ice and open water. The preliminary comparison shows our derived Arctic-wide melt ponds are in good agreement with that derived by the University of Hamburg, especially at the pond distribution. We analyze seasonal evolution, interannual variability and trend of the melt ponds, as well as the changes of onset and re-freezing. The melt pond fraction shows an asymmetrical growth and decay pattern. The observed melt ponds fraction is almost within 25% in early May and increases rapidly in June and July with a high fraction of more than 40% in the east of Greenland and Beaufort Sea. A significant increasing trend in the melt pond fraction is observed for the period of 2000-2017. The relationship between melt pond fraction and sea ice extent will be also discussed. Key Words: melt ponds, sea ice, Arctic

  16. 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.

  17. Ice-Dammed Lake Drainage Evolution at Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L. Carrivick

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available KEY POINTS/HIGHLIGHTSTwo rapid ice-dammed lake drainage events gauged and ice dam geometry measured.A melt enlargement model is developed to examine the evolution of drainage mechanism(s.Lake temperature dominated conduit melt enlargement and we hypothesize a flotation trigger.Glaciological and hydraulic factors that control the timing and mechanisms of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs remain poorly understood. This study used measurements of lake level at 15 min intervals and known lake bathymetry to calculate lake outflow during two GLOF events from the northern margin of Russell Glacier, west Greenland. We used measured ice surface elevation, interpolated subglacial topography and likely conduit geometry to inform a melt enlargement model of the outburst evolution. The model was tuned to best-fit the hydrograph rising limb and timing of peak discharge in both events; it achieved Mean Absolute Errors of <5%. About one third of the way through the rising limb, conduit melt enlargement became the dominant drainage mechanism. Lake water temperature, which strongly governed the enlargement rate, preconditioned the high peak discharge and short duration of these floods. We hypothesize that both GLOFs were triggered by ice dam flotation, and localized hydraulic jacking sustained most of their early-stage outflow, explaining the particularly rapid water egress in comparison to that recorded at other ice-marginal lakes. As ice overburden pressure relative to lake water hydraulic head diminished, flow became confined to a subglacial conduit. This study has emphasized the inter-play between ice dam thickness and lake level, drainage timing, lake water temperature and consequently rising stage lake outflow and flood evolution.

  18. Recent Greenland Thinning from Operation IceBridge ATM and LVIS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutterley, T. C.; Velicogna, I.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate regional thinning rates in Greenland using two Operation IceBridge lidar instruments, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS). IceBridge and Pre-IceBridge ATM data are available from 1993 to present and IceBridge and Pre-Icebridge LVIS data are available from 2007 to present. We compare different techniques for combining the two datasets: overlapping footprints, triangulated irregular network meshing and radial basis functions. We validate the combination for periods with near term overlap of the two instruments. By combining the two lidar datasets, we are able to investigate intra-annual, annual, interannual surface elevation change. We investigate both the high melt season of 2012 and the low melt season of 2013. In addition, the major 2015 IceBridge Arctic campaign provides new crucial data for determining seasonal ice sheet thinning rates. We compare our LVIS/ATM results with surface mass balance outputs from two regional climate models: the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO) and the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR). We also investigate the thinning rates of major outlet glaciers.

  19. Greenland deep boreholes inform on sliding and deformation of the basal ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl-Jensen, D.

    2017-12-01

    Repeated measurements of the deformation of the deep boreholes on the Greenland ice sheet informs on the basal sliding, near basal deformation and in general on the horizontal velocity through the ice. Results of the logging of the boreholes at Dye3, GRIP, NGRIP, NEEM and Camp Century through the last 40 years by the Danish Ice and Climate group will be presented and discussed. The results on the flow will be compared with the information on ice properties, impurity load and bedrock entrained material from the deep ice cores and the radio echo sounding images near the drill sites.The results show that the basal movement often happens in an impurity rich zone above the bedrock while pure basal sliding is limited even in the presence of basal water and significant basal melt.Most of the deep ice core sites are located close to ice divides where the surface velocity is limited so significant basal sliding is not expected. Exceptions are the surface velocities at Camp Century and Dye 3, both being 13 m/yr.Finally, the ongoing deep drilling at EGRIP will shortly be presented where we are drilling in the center of the North East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-24

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markus, Thorsten; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Miller, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    In order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freeze-up and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freeze-up. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freeze-up for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (O.4 days/decade), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e. towards earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0day/decade for the Bering Sea to -7.3 days/decade for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend towards later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Laptev/East Siberian Seas observe the strongest trends with 7 days/decade. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 1O days/decade are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea the Laptev/East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Those trends are statistically significant a1 the 99% level.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Seasonal monitoring of melt and accumulation within the deep percolation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet and comparison with simulations of regional climate modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilig, Achim; Eisen, Olaf; MacFerrin, Michael; Tedesco, Marco; Fettweis, Xavier

    2018-06-01

    Increasing melt over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) recorded over the past several years has resulted in significant changes of the percolation regime of the ice sheet. It remains unclear whether Greenland's percolation zone will act as a meltwater buffer in the near future through gradually filling all pore space or if near-surface refreezing causes the formation of impermeable layers, which provoke lateral runoff. Homogeneous ice layers within perennial firn, as well as near-surface ice layers of several meter thickness have been observed in firn cores. Because firn coring is a destructive method, deriving stratigraphic changes in firn and allocation of summer melt events is challenging. To overcome this deficit and provide continuous data for model evaluations on snow and firn density, temporal changes in liquid water content and depths of water infiltration, we installed an upward-looking radar system (upGPR) 3.4 m below the snow surface in May 2016 close to Camp Raven (66.4779° N, 46.2856° W) at 2120 m a.s.l. The radar is capable of quasi-continuously monitoring changes in snow and firn stratigraphy, which occur above the antennas. For summer 2016, we observed four major melt events, which routed liquid water into various depths beneath the surface. The last event in mid-August resulted in the deepest percolation down to about 2.3 m beneath the surface. Comparisons with simulations from the regional climate model MAR are in very good agreement in terms of seasonal changes in accumulation and timing of onset of melt. However, neither bulk density of near-surface layers nor the amounts of liquid water and percolation depths predicted by MAR correspond with upGPR data. Radar data and records of a nearby thermistor string, in contrast, matched very well for both timing and depth of temperature changes and observed water percolations. All four melt events transferred a cumulative mass of 56 kg m-2 into firn beneath the summer surface of 2015. We find that

  7. Hypsometric amplification and routing moderation of Greenland ice sheet meltwater release

    Science.gov (United States)

    van As, Dirk; Mikkelsen, Andreas Bech; Holtegaard Nielsen, Morten; Box, Jason E.; Claesson Liljedahl, Lillemor; Lindbäck, Katrin; Pitcher, Lincoln; Hasholt, Bent

    2017-06-01

    Concurrent ice sheet surface runoff and proglacial discharge monitoring are essential for understanding Greenland ice sheet meltwater release. We use an updated, well-constrained river discharge time series from the Watson River in southwest Greenland, with an accurate, observation-based ice sheet surface mass balance model of the ˜ 12 000 km2 ice sheet area feeding the river. For the 2006-2015 decade, we find a large range of a factor of 3 in interannual variability in discharge. The amount of discharge is amplified ˜ 56 % by the ice sheet's hypsometry, i.e., area increase with elevation. A good match between river discharge and ice sheet surface meltwater production is found after introducing elevation-dependent transit delays that moderate diurnal variability in meltwater release by a factor of 10-20. The routing lag time increases with ice sheet elevation and attains values in excess of 1 week for the upper reaches of the runoff area at ˜ 1800 m above sea level. These multi-day routing delays ensure that the highest proglacial discharge levels and thus overbank flooding events are more likely to occur after multi-day melt episodes. Finally, for the Watson River ice sheet catchment, we find no evidence of meltwater storage in or release from the en- and subglacial environments in quantities exceeding our methodological uncertainty, based on the good match between ice sheet runoff and proglacial discharge.

  8. Simulation of the Greenland Ice Sheet over two glacial–interglacial cycles: investigating a sub-ice-shelf melt parameterization and relative sea level forcing in an ice-sheet–ice-shelf model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Bradley

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Observational evidence, including offshore moraines and sediment cores, confirm that at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS expanded to a significantly larger spatial extent than seen at present, grounding into Baffin Bay and out onto the continental shelf break. Given this larger spatial extent and its close proximity to the neighbouring Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS and Innuitian Ice Sheet (IIS, it is likely these ice sheets will have had a strong non-local influence on the spatial and temporal behaviour of the GrIS. Most previous paleo ice-sheet modelling simulations recreated an ice sheet that either did not extend out onto the continental shelf or utilized a simplified marine ice parameterization which did not fully include the effect of ice shelves or neglected the sensitivity of the GrIS to this non-local bedrock signal from the surrounding ice sheets. In this paper, we investigated the evolution of the GrIS over the two most recent glacial–interglacial cycles (240 ka BP to the present day using the ice-sheet–ice-shelf model IMAU-ICE. We investigated the solid earth influence of the LIS and IIS via an offline relative sea level (RSL forcing generated by a glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA model. The RSL forcing governed the spatial and temporal pattern of sub-ice-shelf melting via changes in the water depth below the ice shelves. In the ensemble of simulations, at the glacial maximums, the GrIS coalesced with the IIS to the north and expanded to the continental shelf break to the southwest but remained too restricted to the northeast. In terms of the global mean sea level contribution, at the Last Interglacial (LIG and LGM the ice sheet added 1.46 and −2.59 m, respectively. This LGM contribution by the GrIS is considerably higher (∼  1.26 m than most previous studies whereas the contribution to the LIG highstand is lower (∼  0.7 m. The spatial and temporal behaviour of the northern margin was

  9. 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....

  10. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levy, L. B.; Larsen, N. 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...

  12. Greenland in Warm (1.5 °C) and Warmer (RCP 8.5) Worlds: The Influence of the Paris Agreement on Ice Sheet Surface Melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reusch, D. B.

    2017-12-01

    Melting on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet has been changing dramatically as global air temperatures have increased in recent decades, including melt extent often exceeding the 1981-2010 median through much of the melt season and the onset of intermittent melt moving to earlier in the year. To evaluate potential future change, we investigate surface melting characteristics under both "low" (limited to 1.5 °C) and "high" (RCP 8.5) warming scenarios including analysis of differences in scenario outcomes. Climatologies of melt-relevant variables are developed from two publicly available ensembles of CESM1-CAM5-BGC GCM runs: the 30-member Large Ensemble (CESM LE; Kay et al. 2015) for historical calibration and the RCP 8.5 scenario and the 11-member Low Warming ensemble (CESM LW; Sanderson et al. 2017) for the 1.5 °C scenario. For higher spatial resolution (15 km) and improved polar-centric model physics, we also apply the regional forecast model Polar WRF to decadal subsets (1996-2005; 2071-80) using GCM data archived at sub-daily resolution for boundary conditions. Models were skill-tested against ERA-Interim Reanalysis (ERAI) and AWS observations. For example, CESM LE tends to overpredict both maximum (above-freezing) and minimum daily average surface temperatures compared to observations from the GC-Net Swiss Camp AWS. Ensembles of members differing only by initial conditions allow us to also estimate intramodel uncertainty. Historical (1981-2000) CESM LE spatially averaged July temperatures are 2 +/- 0.2 °C cooler than ERAI while local anomalies in individual members reach up to +/- 2 °C. As expected, Greenland does not escape future (2081-2100) warming (and expectations of more widespread surface melting) even in the LW scenario, but positive changes versus ERAI are mostly coastal (2-3 °C) with the interior showing only minor change (+/- 1 °C). In contrast, under RCP 8.5, the entire ice sheet has warmed by 2-6 °C, or a median increase of 5 °C versus

  13. Hypsometric amplification and routing moderation of Greenland ice sheet meltwater release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. van As

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Concurrent ice sheet surface runoff and proglacial discharge monitoring are essential for understanding Greenland ice sheet meltwater release. We use an updated, well-constrained river discharge time series from the Watson River in southwest Greenland, with an accurate, observation-based ice sheet surface mass balance model of the  ∼  12 000 km2 ice sheet area feeding the river. For the 2006–2015 decade, we find a large range of a factor of 3 in interannual variability in discharge. The amount of discharge is amplified  ∼  56 % by the ice sheet's hypsometry, i.e., area increase with elevation. A good match between river discharge and ice sheet surface meltwater production is found after introducing elevation-dependent transit delays that moderate diurnal variability in meltwater release by a factor of 10–20. The routing lag time increases with ice sheet elevation and attains values in excess of 1 week for the upper reaches of the runoff area at  ∼  1800 m above sea level. These multi-day routing delays ensure that the highest proglacial discharge levels and thus overbank flooding events are more likely to occur after multi-day melt episodes. Finally, for the Watson River ice sheet catchment, we find no evidence of meltwater storage in or release from the en- and subglacial environments in quantities exceeding our methodological uncertainty, based on the good match between ice sheet runoff and proglacial discharge.

  14. 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

    ) supraglacial lake drainage events from MODIS. Results confirm that the origin of the sediment plume is meltwater release from the ice sheet. Interannual variations in plume area reflect interannual variations in surface melting. Plumes appear almost immediately with seasonal surface-melt onset, provided...... the estuary is free of landfast sea ice. A seasonal hysteresis between melt extent and plume area suggests late-season exhaustion in sediment supply. Analysis of plume sensitivity to supraglacial events is less conclusive, with 69% of melt pulses and 38% of lake drainage events triggering an increase in plume...... area. We conclude that remote sensing of sediment plume behavior offers a novel tool for detecting the presence, timing and interannual variability of meltwater release from the ice sheet....

  15. The melt pond fraction and spectral sea ice albedo retrieval from MERIS data: validation and trends of sea ice albedo and melt pond fraction in the Arctic for years 2002-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istomina, L.; Heygster, G.; Huntemann, M.; Schwarz, P.; Birnbaum, G.; Scharien, R.; Polashenski, C.; Perovich, D.; Zege, E.; Malinka, A.; Prikhach, A.; Katsev, I.

    2014-10-01

    The presence of melt ponds on the Arctic sea ice strongly affects the energy balance of the Arctic Ocean in summer. It affects albedo as well as transmittance through the sea ice, which has consequences on the heat balance and mass balance of sea ice. An algorithm to retrieve melt pond fraction and sea ice albedo (Zege et al., 2014) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) data is validated against aerial, ship borne and in situ campaign data. The result show the best correlation for landfast and multiyear ice of high ice concentrations (albedo: R = 0.92, RMS = 0.068, melt pond fraction: R = 0.6, RMS = 0.065). The correlation for lower ice concentrations, subpixel ice floes, blue ice and wet ice is lower due to complicated surface conditions and ice drift. Combining all aerial observations gives a mean albedo RMS equal to 0.089 and a mean melt pond fraction RMS equal to 0.22. The in situ melt pond fraction correlation is R = 0.72 with an RMS = 0.14. Ship cruise data might be affected by documentation of varying accuracy within the ASPeCT protocol, which is the reason for discrepancy between the satellite value and observed value: mean R = 0.21, mean RMS = 0.16. An additional dynamic spatial cloud filter for MERIS over snow and ice has been developed to assist with the validation on swath data. The case studies and trend analysis for the whole MERIS period (2002-2011) show pronounced and reasonable spatial features of melt pond fractions and sea ice albedo. The most prominent feature is the melt onset shifting towards spring (starting already in weeks 3 and 4 of June) within the multiyear ice area, north to the Queen Elizabeth Islands and North Greenland.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Evidence of local and regional freshening of Northeast Greenland coastal waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sejr, Mikael K.; Stedmon, Colin A; Bendtsen, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    The supply of freshwater to fjord systems in Greenland is increasing as a result of climate change-induced acceleration in ice sheet melt. However, insight into the marine implications of the melt water is impaired by lack of observations demonstrating the fate of freshwater along the Greenland...... coast and providing evaluation basis for ocean models. Here we present 13 years of summer measurements along a 120 km transect in Young Sound, Northeast Greenland and show that sub-surface coastal waters are decreasing in salinity with an average rate of 0.12 ± 0.05 per year. This is the first...... observational evidence of a significant freshening on decadal scale of the waters surrounding the ice sheet and comes from a region where ice sheet melt has been less significant. It implies that ice sheet dynamics in Northeast Greenland could be of key importance as freshwater is retained in southward flowing...

  20. 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...... the glacier flows into a large submarine basin with a negative bed slope near the grounding line. Our findings unfold the next step in mass loss of the GrIS as we show a heightened risk of rapid sustained loss from Northeast Greenland on top of the thinning in Southeast and Northwestern Greenland....

  1. Endmembers of Ice Shelf Melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boghosian, A.; Child, S. F.; Kingslake, J.; Tedesco, M.; Bell, R. E.; Alexandrov, O.; McMichael, S.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of surface melt on ice shelves have defined a spectrum of meltwater behavior. On one end the storage of meltwater in persistent surface ponds can trigger ice shelf collapse as in the 2002 event leading to the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf. On the other, meltwater export by rivers can stabilize an ice shelf as was recently shown on the Nansen Ice Shelf. We explore this dichotomy by quantifying the partitioning between stored and transported water on two glaciers adjacent to floating ice shelves, Nimrod (Antarctica) and Peterman (Greenland). We analyze optical satellite imagery (LANDSAT, WorldView), airborne imagery (Operation IceBridge, Trimetrogon Aerial Phototography), satellite radar (Sentinel-1), and digital elevation models (DEMs) to categorize surface meltwater fate and map the evolution of ice shelf hydrology and topographic features through time. On the floating Peterman Glacier tongue a sizable river exports water to the ocean. The surface hydrology of Nimrod Glacier, geometrically similar to Peterman but with ten times shallower surface slope, is dominated by storage in surface lakes. In contrast, the Nansen has the same surface slope as Nimrod but transports water through surface rivers. Slope alone is not the sole control on ice shelf hydrology. It is essential to track the storage and transport volumes for each of these systems. To estimate water storage and transport we analyze high resolution (40 cm - 2 m) modern and historical DEMs. We produce historical (1957 onwards) DEMs with structure-from-motion photogrammetry. The DEMs are used to constrain water storage potential estimates of observed basins and water routing/transport potential. We quantify the total volume of water stored seasonally and interannually. We use the normalize difference water index to map meltwater extent, and estimate lake water depth from optical data. We also consider the role of stored water in subsurface aquifers in recharging surface water after

  2. Polar Ice Caps: a Canary for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honsaker, W.; Lowell, T. V.; Sagredo, E.; Kelly, M. A.; Hall, B. L.

    2010-12-01

    Ice caps are glacier masses that are highly sensitive to climate change. Because of their hypsometry they can have a binary state. When relatively slight changes in the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) either intersect or rise above the land the ice can become established or disappear. Thus these upland ice masses have a fast response time. Here we consider a way to extract the ELA signal from independent ice caps adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. It may be that these ice caps are sensitive trackers of climate change that also impact the ice sheet margin. One example is the Istorvet Ice Cap located in Liverpool Land, East Greenland (70.881°N, 22.156°W). The ice cap topography and the underlying bedrock surface dips to the north, with peak elevation of the current ice ranging in elevation from 1050 to 745 m.a.s.l. On the eastern side of the ice mass the outlet glaciers extending down to sea level. The western margin has several small lobes in topographic depressions, with the margin reaching down to 300 m.a.s.l. Topographic highs separate the ice cap into at least 5 main catchments, each having a pair of outlet lobes toward either side of the ice cap. Because of the regional bedrock slope each catchment has its own elevation range. Therefore, as the ELA changes it is possible for some catchments of the ice cap to experience positive mass balance while others have a negative balance. Based on weather observations we estimate the present day ELA to be ~1000 m.a.s.l, meaning mass balance is negative for the majority of the ice cap. By tracking glacier presence/absence in these different catchments, we can reconstruct small changes in the ELA. Another example is the High Ice Cap (informal name) in Milne Land (70.903°N, 25.626°W, 1080 m), East Greenland. Here at least 4 unconformities in ice layers found near the southern margin of the ice cap record changing intervals of accumulation and ablation. Therefore, this location may also be sensitive to slight

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    . 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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....... Under conditions that are colder than the present, the ice can overcome the Föhn effect, flow into the interior and form a coherent ice sheet. The results thus indicate that the Greenland Ice Sheet of today is a relict formed under colder conditions. The modelling results are consistent...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Meltwater-induced changes in the structure and behavior of Greenland's firn

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFerrin, M. J.; Machguth, H.; van As, D.; Charalampidis, C.; Heilig, A.; Vandecrux, B.; Stevens, C.; Abdalati, W.

    2017-12-01

    As surface melt increases across the Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate, Greenland's accumulation zone has absorbed a progressively greater volume of water. In low-accumulation regions lacking perennial aquifers, this meltwater has refrozen into subsurface ice, which is now fundamentally altering the structure of near-surface firn layers. Here we present an extensive collection of firn cores, in situ radar, NASA IceBridge radar, thermistor string measurements, in situ FirnCover compaction data and regional climate model results to illustrate several distinct ways that Greenland's percolation zone is being fundamentally altered by increasing surface melt. The bulk density of the top 20 meters' firn in the wet-snow facies has increased by up to 40% in the past 50 years, due primarily to an up to six-fold increase in firn ice content. Firn compaction rates have changed both in their annual magnitude and have been delayed in their seasonal phase by up to three months, driven primarily by an increased release of latent heat as water refreezes at depth. When firn exceeds a threshold of excess melt in which seasonal snow can no longer accommodate summer melt, individual refrozen ice layers at depth have annealed together to form low-permeability ice slabs (LPISs). These multi-meter thick layers of ice perched over porous firn block percolation to depth and increase the size of the runoff zone. LPISs are a type of "hybrid facies" capable both of running water off the surface, while continuing to slowly compact porous firn at depth. Currently LPISs cover approximately 5% of Greenland's current accumulation zone, but we project them to extend across 15-50% of the accumulation zone by 2100 under different forcing scenarios. These observed changes in the structure and behavior of Greenland's firn have serious implications for future runoff of the ice sheet. Additionally, they challenge modern assumptions which we use to quantify the mass balance of the Greenland ice

  11. An explanation for the dark region in the western melt zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. G. M. Wientjes

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The western part of the Greenland ice sheet contains a region that is darker than the surrounding ice. This feature has been analysed with the help of MODIS images. The dark region appears every year during the summer season and can always be found at the same location, which makes meltwater unlikely as the only source for the low albedos. Spectral information indicates that the ice in this region contains more debris than the ice closer to the margin. ASTER images reveal a wavy pattern in the darker ice. Based on these findings we conclude that ice, containing dust from older periods, is presently outcropping near the margin, leading to albedos lower than observed for the remaining ablation area. Therefore it can be concluded that the accumulation of meltwater is a result rather than a cause of the darkening.

  12. Highly temporally resolved response to seasonal surface melt of the Zachariae and 79N outlet glaciers in Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rathmann, N. M.; Hvidberg, C. S.; Solgaard, A. M.

    2017-01-01

    The seasonal response to surface melting of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream outlets, Zachariae and 79N, is investigated using new highly temporally resolved surface velocity maps for 2016 combined with numerical modelling. The seasonal speed-up at 79N of 0.15km/yr is suggested to be driven by ...

  13. A Stabilizing Feedback Between Cloud Radiative Effects and Greenland Surface Melt: Verification From Multi-year Automatic Weather Station Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zender, C. S.; Wang, W.; van As, D.

    2017-12-01

    Clouds have strong impacts on Greenland's surface melt through the interaction with the dry atmosphere and reflective surfaces. However, their effects are uncertain due to the lack of in situ observations. To better quantify cloud radiative effects (CRE) in Greenland, we analyze and interpret multi-year radiation measurements from 30 automatic weather stations encompassing a broad range of climatological and topographical conditions. During melt season, clouds warm surface over most of Greenland, meaning the longwave greenhouse effect outweighs the shortwave shading effect; on the other hand, the spatial variability of net (longwave and shortwave) CRE is dominated by shortwave CRE and in turn by surface albedo, which controls the potential absorption of solar radiation when clouds are absent. The net warming effect decreases with shortwave CRE from high to low altitudes and from north to south (Fig. 1). The spatial correlation between albedo and net CRE is strong (r=0.93, palbedo determines the net CRE seasonal trend, which decreases from May to July and increases afterwards. On an hourly timescale, we find two distinct radiative states in Greenland (Fig. 2). The clear state is characterized by clear-sky conditions or thin clouds, when albedo and solar zenith angle (SZA) weakly correlates with CRE. The cloudy state is characterized by opaque clouds, when the combination of albedo and SZA strongly correlates with CRE (r=0.85, palbedo and solar zenith angle, explains the majority of the CRE variation in spatial distribution, seasonal trend in the ablation zone, and in hourly variability in the cloudy radiative state. Clouds warm the brighter and colder surfaces of Greenland, enhance snow melt, and tend to lower the albedo. Clouds cool the darker and warmer surfaces, inhibiting snow melt, which increases albedo, and thus stabilizes surface melt. This stabilizing mechanism may also occur over sea ice, helping to forestall surface melt as the Arctic becomes dimmer.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. MIS-11 duration key to disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Alexander; Alvarez-Solas, Jorge; Calov, Reinhard; Ganopolski, Andrey; Montoya, Marisa

    2017-07-01

    Palaeo data suggest that Greenland must have been largely ice free during Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS-11). However, regional summer insolation anomalies were modest during this time compared to MIS-5e, when the Greenland ice sheet likely lost less volume. Thus it remains unclear how such conditions led to an almost complete disappearance of the ice sheet. Here we use transient climate-ice sheet simulations to simultaneously constrain estimates of regional temperature anomalies and Greenland's contribution to the MIS-11 sea-level highstand. We find that Greenland contributed 6.1 m (3.9-7.0 m, 95% credible interval) to sea level, ~7 kyr after the peak in regional summer temperature anomalies of 2.8 °C (2.1-3.4 °C). The moderate warming produced a mean rate of mass loss in sea-level equivalent of only around 0.4 m per kyr, which means the long duration of MIS-11 interglacial conditions around Greenland was a necessary condition for the ice sheet to disappear almost completely.

  18. 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

    Understanding the behavior of large outlet glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet is critical for assessing the impact of climate change on sea level rise. The flow of marine-terminating outlet glaciers is partly governed by calving-related processes taking place at the terminus but is also in...

  19. 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...

  20. The sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet to glacial-interglacial oceanic forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabone, Ilaria; Blasco, Javier; Robinson, Alexander; Alvarez-Solas, Jorge; Montoya, Marisa

    2018-04-01

    Observations suggest that during the last decades the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has experienced a gradually accelerating mass loss, in part due to the observed speed-up of several of Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers. Recent studies directly attribute this to warming North Atlantic temperatures, which have triggered melting of the outlet glaciers of the GrIS, grounding-line retreat and enhanced ice discharge into the ocean, contributing to an acceleration of sea-level rise. Reconstructions suggest that the influence of the ocean has been of primary importance in the past as well. This was the case not only in interglacial periods, when warmer climates led to a rapid retreat of the GrIS to land above sea level, but also in glacial periods, when the GrIS expanded as far as the continental shelf break and was thus more directly exposed to oceanic changes. However, the GrIS response to palaeo-oceanic variations has yet to be investigated in detail from a mechanistic modelling perspective. In this work, the evolution of the GrIS over the past two glacial cycles is studied using a three-dimensional hybrid ice-sheet-shelf model. We assess the effect of the variation of oceanic temperatures on the GrIS evolution on glacial-interglacial timescales through changes in submarine melting. The results show a very high sensitivity of the GrIS to changing oceanic conditions. Oceanic forcing is found to be a primary driver of GrIS expansion in glacial times and of retreat in interglacial periods. If switched off, palaeo-atmospheric variations alone are not able to yield a reliable glacial configuration of the GrIS. This work therefore suggests that considering the ocean as an active forcing should become standard practice in palaeo-ice-sheet modelling.

  1. Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Different bulk and active bacterial communities in cryoconite from the margin and interior of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stibal, Marek; Schostag, Morten; Cameron, Karen A.

    2015-01-01

    composition of cryoconite over a melt season at two contrasting sites at the margin and in the interior of the Greenland ice sheet, using sequence analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction of coextracted 16S rDNA and rRNA. Significant differences were found between bulk (rDNA) and potentially active...

  4. 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...

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. Response of the Atlantic Ocean circulation to Greenland Ice Sheet melting in a strongly-eddying ocean model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijer, W.; Maltrud, M.E.; Hecht, M.W.; Dijkstra, H.A.; Kliphuis, M.

    2012-01-01

    The sensitivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to high-latitude freshwater input is one of the key uncertainties in the climate system. Considering the importance of the AMOC for global heat transports, and the vulnerability of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to global

  8. Abrupt Greenland Ice Sheet runoff and sea water temperature changes since 1821, recorded by coralline algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamenos, N.; Hoey, T.; Bedford, J.; Claverie, T.; Fallick, A. E.; Lamb, C. M.; Nienow, P. W.; O'Neill, S.; Shepherd, I.; Thormar, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) contains the largest store of fresh water in the northern hemisphere, equivalent to ~7.4m of eustatic sea level rise, but its impacts on current, past and future sea level, ocean circulation and European climate are poorly understood. Previous estimates of GrIS melt, from 26 years of satellite observations and temperature driven melt-models over 48 years, show a trend of increasing melt. There are however no runoff data of comparable duration with which to validate temperature-based runoff models, or relationships between the spatial extent of melt and runoff. Further, longer runoff records that extend GrIS melt records to centennial timescales will enable recently observed trends to be put into a better historical context. We measured Mg/Ca, δ18O and structural cell size in annual growth bands of red coralline algae to reconstruct: (1) near surface sea water temperature; and, (2) melt/runoff from the GrIS. (1) Temperature: we reconstructed the longest (1821-2009) sub-annual resolution record of water temperature in Disko Bugt (western Greenland) showing an abrupt change in temperature oscillation patterns during the 1920s which may be attributable to the interaction between atmospheric temperature and mass loss from Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier. (2) GrIS runoff: using samples from distal parts of Søndre Strømfjord we produced the first reconstruction of decadal (1939-2002) GrIS runoff. We observed significant negative relationships between historic runoff, relative salinity and marine summer temperature. Our reconstruction shows a trend of increasing reconstructed runoff since the mid 1980s. In situ summer marine temperatures followed a similar trend. We suggest that since 1939 atmospheric temperatures have been important in forcing runoff. Subject to locating in situ coralline algae samples, these methods can be applied across hundreds to thousands of years. These results show that our technique has significant potential to enhance

  9. An approach to estimate the freshwater contribution from glacial melt and precipitation in East Greenland shelf waters using colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stedmon, Colin; Granskog, Mats A.; Dodd, Paul A.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in the supply and storage of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean and its subsequent export to the North Atlantic can potentially influence ocean circulation and climate. In order to understand how the Arctic freshwater budget is changing and the potential impacts, it is important to develop......, and precipitation) and sea ice melt. We develop this approach further and investigate the use of an additional tracer, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), which is largely specific to freshwater originating from Arctic rivers. A robust relationship between the freshwater contribution from meteoric water...... processes (riverine input and sea ice formation), while previously, these waters where thought to be derived from open sea processes (cooling and sea ice formation) in the northern Barents and Kara Seas. In Greenlandic coastal waters the meteoric water contribution is influenced by Greenland ice sheet...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Translating hydrologically-relevant variables from the ice sheet model SICOPOLIS to the Greenland Analog Project hydrologic modeling domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallot, Dorothée; Applegate, Patrick; Pettersson, Rickard

    2013-04-01

    Projecting future climate and ice sheet development requires sophisticated models and extensive field observations. Given the present state of our knowledge, it is very difficult to say what will happen with certainty. Despite the ongoing increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the possibility that a new ice sheet might form over Scandinavia in the far distant future cannot be excluded. The growth of a new Scandinavian Ice Sheet would have important consequences for buried nuclear waste repositories. The Greenland Analogue Project, initiated by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB), is working to assess the effects of a possible future ice sheet on groundwater flow by studying a constrained domain in Western Greenland by field measurements (including deep bedrock drilling in front of the ice sheet) combined with numerical modeling. To address the needs of the GAP project, we interpolated results from an ensemble of ice sheet model runs to the smaller and more finely resolved modeling domain used in the GAP project's hydrologic modeling. Three runs have been chosen with three fairly different positive degree-day factors among those that reproduced the modern ice margin at the borehole position. The interpolated results describe changes in hydrologically-relevant variables over two time periods, 115 ka to 80 ka, and 20 ka to 1 ka. In the first of these time periods, the ice margin advances over the model domain; in the second time period, the ice margin retreats over the model domain. The spatially-and temporally dependent variables that we treated include the ice thickness, basal melting rate, surface mass balance, basal temperature, basal thermal regime (frozen or thawed), surface temperature, and basal water pressure. The melt flux is also calculated.

  13. Surface-atmosphere decoupling limits accumulation at Summit, Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkelhammer, Max; Noone, David C; Steen-Larsen, Hans Christian; Bailey, Adriana; Cox, Christopher J; O'Neill, Michael S; Schneider, David; Steffen, Konrad; White, James W C

    2016-04-01

    Despite rapid melting in the coastal regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet, a significant area (~40%) of the ice sheet rarely experiences surface melting. In these regions, the controls on annual accumulation are poorly constrained owing to surface conditions (for example, surface clouds, blowing snow, and surface inversions), which render moisture flux estimates from myriad approaches (that is, eddy covariance, remote sensing, and direct observations) highly uncertain. Accumulation is partially determined by the temperature dependence of saturation vapor pressure, which influences the maximum humidity of air parcels reaching the ice sheet interior. However, independent proxies for surface temperature and accumulation from ice cores show that the response of accumulation to temperature is variable and not generally consistent with a purely thermodynamic control. Using three years of stable water vapor isotope profiles from a high altitude site on the Greenland Ice Sheet, we show that as the boundary layer becomes increasingly stable, a decoupling between the ice sheet and atmosphere occurs. The limited interaction between the ice sheet surface and free tropospheric air reduces the capacity for surface condensation to achieve the rate set by the humidity of the air parcels reaching interior Greenland. The isolation of the surface also acts to recycle sublimated moisture by recondensing it onto fog particles, which returns the moisture back to the surface through gravitational settling. The observations highlight a unique mechanism by which ice sheet mass is conserved, which has implications for understanding both past and future changes in accumulation rate and the isotopic signal in ice cores from Greenland.

  14. Late Quaternary glaciation history of northernmost Greenland - Evidence of shelf-based ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Kjær, Kurt H.; Funder, Svend Visby

    2010-01-01

    We present the mapping of glacial landforms and sediments from northernmost Greenland bordering 100 km of the Arctic Ocean coast. One of the most important discoveries is that glacial landforms, sediments, including till fabric measurements, striae and stoss-lee boulders suggest eastward ice......-flow along the coastal plain. Volcanic erratic boulders document ice-transport from 80 to 100 km west of the study area. We argue that these findings are best explained by local outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet and local ice caps that merged to form a shelf-based ice in the Arctic Ocean...... and possibly confirming an extensive ice shelf in the Lincoln Sea between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. It is speculated that the shelf-based ice was largely affected by the presence of thick multiyear sea ice in the Arctic Ocean that prevented it from breaking up and forced the outlet glaciers to flow...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Ice-dammed lake drainage evolution at Russell Glacier, west Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Tweed, Fiona S.; Ng, Felix; Quincey, Duncan J.; Mallalieu, Joseph; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Mikkelsen, Andreas B.; Palmer, Steven J.; Yde, Jacob C.; Homer, Rachel; Russell, Andrew J.; Hubbard, Alun

    2017-11-01

    Glaciological and hydraulic factors that control the timing and mechanisms of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs) remain poorly understood. This study used measurements of lake level at fifteen minute intervals and known lake bathymetry to calculate lake outflow during two GLOF events from the northern margin of Russell Glacier, west Greenland. We used measured ice surface elevation, interpolated subglacial topography and likely conduit geometry to inform a melt enlargement model of the outburst evolution. The model was tuned to best-fit the hydrograph’s rising limb and timing of peak discharge in both events; it achieved Mean Absolute Errors of Lake water temperature, which strongly governed the enlargement rate, preconditioned the high peak discharge and short duration of these floods. We hypothesize that both GLOFs were triggered by ice dam flotation, and localised hydraulic jacking sustained most of their early-stage outflow, explaining the particularly rapid water egress in comparison to that recorded at other ice-marginal lakes. As ice overburden pressure relative to lake water hydraulic head diminished, flow became confined to a subglacial conduit. This study has emphasised the inter-play between ice dam thickness and lake level, drainage timing, lake water temperature and consequently rising stage lake outflow and flood evolution.

  20. How robust are in situ observations for validating satellite-derived albedo over the dark zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J.; Hubbard, A., II; Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Doyle, S. H.; Cook, J.; Stibal, M.; Smith, L. C.; Box, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    Calibration and validation of satellite-derived ice sheet albedo data require high-quality, in situ measurements commonly acquired by up and down facing pyranometers mounted on automated weather stations (AWS). However, direct comparison between ground and satellite-derived albedo can only be justified when the measured surface is homogeneous at the length-scale of both satellite pixel and in situ footprint. We used digital imagery acquired by an unmanned aerial vehicle to evaluate point-to-pixel albedo comparisons across the western, ablating margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Our results reveal that in situ measurements overestimate albedo by up to 0.10 at the end of the melt season because the ground footprints of AWS-mounted pyranometers are insufficient to capture the spatial heterogeneity of the ice surface as it progressively ablates and darkens. Statistical analysis of 21 AWS across the entire Greenland Ice Sheet reveals that almost half suffer from this bias, including some AWS located within the wet snow zone.

  1. CryoSat-2 Processing and Model Interpretation of Greenland Ice Sheet Volume Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, J.; Gardner, A. S.; Sandberg Sorensen, L.

    2015-12-01

    CryoSat-2 was launched in late 2010 tasked with monitoring the changes of the Earth's land and sea ice. It carries a novel radar altimeter allowing the satellite to monitor changes in highly complex terrain, such as smaller ice caps, glaciers and the marginal areas of the ice sheets. Here we present on the development and validation of an independent elevation retrieval processing chain and respective elevation changes based on ESA's L1B data. Overall we find large improvement in both accuracy and precision over Greenland relative to ESA's L2 product when comparing against both airborne data and crossover analysis. The seasonal component and spatial sampling of the surface elevation changes where also compared against ICESat derived changes from 2003-2009. The comparison showed good agreement between the to product on a local scale. However, a global sampling bias was detected in the seasonal signal due to the clustering of CryoSat-2 data in higher elevation areas. The retrieval processing chain presented here does not correct for changes in surface scattering conditions and appears to be insensitive to the 2012 melt event (Nilsson et al., 2015). This in contrast to the elevation changes derived from ESA's L2 elevation product, which where found to be sensitive to the effects of the melt event. The positive elevation bias created by the event introduced a discrepancy between the two products with a magnitude of roughly 90 km3/year. This difference can directly be attributed to the differences in retracking procedure pointing to the importance of the retracking of the radar waveforms for altimetric volume change studies. Greenland 2012 melt event effects on CryoSat-2 radar altimetry./ Nilsson, Johan; Vallelonga, Paul Travis; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Hirabayashi, Motohiro; Goto-Azuma, Kumiko; Hvidberg, Christine S.; Kjær, Helle A.; Satow, Kazuhide.

  2. Bergy Bit and Melt Water Trajectories in Godthåbsfjord (SW Greenland) Observed by the Expendable Ice Tracker

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carlson, D.F.; Boone, W.; Meire, L.; Abermann, J.; Rysgaard, S.

    2017-01-01

    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

  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. 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

  5. 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...... between 62N and 66N. Citation: Khan, S. A., J. Wahr, L. A. Stearns, G. S. Hamilton, T. van Dam, K. M. Larson, and O. Francis (2007), Elastic uplift in southeast Greenland due to rapid ice mass loss....

  6. 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...

  7. 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

    sheet has emphasized the risk of sudden changes in catchment supply. In this study, we present a thorough investigation of hydropower feasibility at the Paakitsoq basin, near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The catchment is completely dominated by the Greenland ice sheet which provides large quantities...... of meltwater during the summer season. However, geometrical changes in the ice sheet, for example due to a retreat or an advance of the ice sheet margin, could change the hydrological catchment within the ice sheet. Such a change would have a devastating economical impact as a hydropower plant is a significant...... 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    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 northwest Greenland. Here, we show that the northeast Greenland ice stream, which extends more than 600 km into the interior of the ice sheet, is now undergoing sustained dynamic thinning, linked to regional warming, after more than a quarter of a century of stability. This sector of the Greenland ice sheet...... 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...

  10. Greenland ice core evidence for spatial and temporal variability of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chylek, P.; Folland, C.K.; Frankcombe, L.M.; Dijkstra, H.A.; Lesins, G.; Dubey, M.

    2012-01-01

    [1] The Greenland δ18O ice core record is used as a proxy for Greenland surface air temperatures and to interpret Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) variability. An analysis of annual δ18O data from six Arctic ice cores (five from Greenland and one from Canada's Ellesmere Island) suggests a

  11. 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.

  12. A Climate-Data Record (CDR) of the "Clear Sky" Surface Temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Comiso, J. C.; DiGirolamo, N. E.; Shuman, C. A.

    2011-01-01

    To quantify the ice-surface temperature (IST) we are developing a climate-data record (CDR) of monthly IST of the Greenland ice sheet, from 1982 to the present using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data at 5-km resolution. "Clear-sky" surface temperature increases have been measured from the early 1980s to the early 2000s in the Arctic using AVHRR data, showing increases ranging from 0.57-0.02 (Wang and Key, 2005) to 0.72 0.10 deg C per decade (Comiso, 2006). Arctic warming has implications for ice-sheet mass balance because much of the periphery of the ice sheet is near 0 deg C in the melt season and is thus vulnerable to more extensive melting (Hanna et al., 2008). The algorithm used for this work has a long history of measuring IST in the Arctic with AVHRR (Key and Haefliger, 1992). The data are currently available from 1981 to 2004 in the AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP) dataset (Fowler et al., 2000). J. Key1NOAA modified the AVHRR algorithm for use with MODIS (Hall et al., 2004). The MODIS algorithm is now being processed over Greenland. Issues being addressed in the production of the CDR are: time-series bias caused by cloud cover, and cross-calibration between AVHRR and MODIS instruments. Because of uncertainties, time series of satellite ISTs do not necessarily correspond with actual surface temperatures. The CDR will be validated by comparing results with in-situ (see Koenig and Hall, in press) and automatic-weather station data (e.g., Shuman et al., 2001).

  13. 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 (days) and slow (> 4 days) drainages are investigated for both small (summer. Drainage events of small lakes occur at lower elevations (mean 159 m), and slightly earlier (mean 4.5 days) in the melt season than those of large lakes. The analysis is extended manually into the early winter to calculate the dates and elevations of lake freeze-through more precisely than is possible with optical imagery (mean 30 August; 1270 m mean elevation). Finally, the Sentinel-1 imagery is used to detect subsurface lakes and, for the first time, their dates of appearance and freeze-through (mean 9 August and 7 October, respectively). These subsurface lakes occur at higher elevations than the surface lakes detected in this study (mean 1593 m and 1185 m, respectively). Sentinel-1 imagery therefore provides great potential for tracking melting, water movement and freezing within both the firn zone and ablation area of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  14. An ice sheet model validation framework for the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Stephen F.; Hoffman, Matthew J.; Bonin, Jennifer A.; Howat, Ian M.; Neumann, Thomas; Saba, Jack; Tezaur, Irina; Guerber, Jeffrey; Chambers, Don P.; Evans, Katherine J.; Kennedy, Joseph H.; Lenaerts, Jan; Lipscomb, William H.; Perego, Mauro; Salinger, Andrew G.; Tuminaro, Raymond S.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Nowicki, Sophie M. J.

    2017-01-01

    We propose a new ice sheet model validation framework - the Cryospheric Model Comparison Tool (CmCt) - that takes advantage of ice sheet altimetry and gravimetry observations collected over the past several decades and is applied here to modeling of the Greenland ice sheet. We use realistic simulations performed with the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM) along with two idealized, non-dynamic models to demonstrate the framework and its use. Dynamic simulations with CISM are forced from 1991 to 2013, using combinations of reanalysis-based surface mass balance and observations of outlet glacier flux change. We propose and demonstrate qualitative and quantitative metrics for use in evaluating the different model simulations against the observations. We find that the altimetry observations used here are largely ambiguous in terms of their ability to distinguish one simulation from another. Based on basin-scale and whole-ice-sheet-scale metrics, we find that simulations using both idealized conceptual models and dynamic, numerical models provide an equally reasonable representation of the ice sheet surface (mean elevation differences of framework demonstrates that our proposed metrics can distinguish relatively better from relatively worse simulations and that dynamic ice sheet models, when appropriately initialized and forced with the right boundary conditions, demonstrate a predictive skill with respect to observed dynamic changes that have occurred on Greenland over the past few decades. An extensible design will allow for continued use of the CmCt as future altimetry, gravimetry, and other remotely sensed data become available for use in ice sheet model validation.

  15. Seasonal ice dynamics of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vijay, Saurabh; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    2018-01-01

    and temporal details. This study focus on the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), which consists of three main outlets, 79 North glacier (79N), Zachariae Isstrøm (ZI) and Storstrømmen Glacier (SG). While both 79 North and Storstrømmen have floating tongues, Zachariae Isstrøm is mostly grounded...

  16. Observations of Pronounced Greenland Ice Sheet Firn Warming and Implications for Runoff Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polashenski, Chris; Courville, Zoe; Benson, Carl; Wagner, Anna; Chen, Justin; Wong, Gifford; Hawley, Robert; Hall, Dorothy

    2014-01-01

    Field measurements of shallow borehole temperatures in firn across the northern Greenland ice sheet are collected during May 2013. Sites first measured in 19521955 are revisited, showing long-term trends in firn temperature. Results indicate a pattern of substantial firn warming (up to +5.7C) at midlevel elevations (1400-2500 m) and little temperature change at high elevations (2500 m). We find that latent heat transport into the firn due to meltwater percolation drives the observed warming. Modeling shows that heat is stored at depth for several years, and energy delivered from consecutive melt events accumulates in the firn. The observed warming is likely not yet in equilibrium with recent melt production rates but captures the progression of sites in the percolation facies toward net runoff production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Matthew G.; Smith, Laurence C.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Miège, Clément; Pitcher, Lincoln H.; Ryan, Jonathan C.; Yang, Kang; Cooley, Sarah W.

    2018-03-01

    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 (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.

  18. Evidence for ephemeral middle Eocene to early Oligocene Greenland glacial ice and pan-Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripati, Aradhna; Darby, Dennis

    2018-03-12

    Earth's modern climate is defined by the presence of ice at both poles, but that ice is now disappearing. Therefore understanding the origin and causes of polar ice stability is more critical than ever. Here we provide novel geochemical data that constrain past dynamics of glacial ice on Greenland and Arctic sea ice. Based on accurate source determinations of individual ice-rafted Fe-oxide grains, we find evidence for episodic glaciation of distinct source regions on Greenland as far-ranging as ~68°N and ~80°N synchronous with ice-rafting from circum-Arctic sources, beginning in the middle Eocene. Glacial intervals broadly coincide with reduced CO 2 , with a potential threshold for glacial ice stability near ~500 p.p.m.v. The middle Eocene represents the Cenozoic onset of a dynamic cryosphere, with ice in both hemispheres during transient glacials and substantial regional climate heterogeneity. A more stable cryosphere developed at the Eocene-Oligocene transition, and is now threatened by anthropogenic emissions.

  19. 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...... source, switched mode within 1 to 3 years over these transitions and initiated a more gradual change (over 50 years) of the Greenland air temperature, as recorded by stable water isotopes. The onsets of both abrupt Greenland warmings were slightly preceded by decreasing Greenland dust deposition...

  20. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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...... estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and thus have a significant impact on the estimate of the volume...... change. Our results show that adding Airborne Topographic Mapper and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor data to the ICESat data increases the catchment-wide estimate of ice volume loss by 11%, mainly due to an improved volume loss estimate along the ice sheet margin. Furthermore, our results show...

  5. Multiscale Models of Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Sea ice reflectance or albedo , a key parameter in climate modeling, is primarily determined by melt pond and ice floe configurations. Ice - albedo ...determine their albedo - a key parameter in climate modeling. Here we explore the possibility of a conceptual sea ice climate model passing through a...bifurcation points. Ising model for melt ponds on Arctic sea ice Y. Ma, I. Sudakov, and K. M. Golden Abstract: The albedo of melting

  6. 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...... no indication of meltwater percolation below 9 m depth or complete filling of pore volume above, firn at 10 and 15 m depth was respectively 4.2-4.5 ºC and 1.7 ºC higher than in a conductivity-only simulation. Even though meltwater percolation in 2012 was inefficient, firn between 2 and 15 m depth the following...

  7. Circulation and fjord-shelf exchange during the ice-covered period in Young Sound-Tyrolerfjord, Northeast Greenland (74°N)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, W.; Rysgaard, S.; Kirillov, S.; Dmitrenko, I.; Bendtsen, J.; Mortensen, J.; Meire, L.; Petrusevich, V.; Barber, D. G.

    2017-07-01

    Fjords around Greenland connect the Greenland Ice Sheet to the ocean and their hydrography and circulation are determined by the interplay between atmospheric forcing, runoff, topography, fjord-shelf exchange, tides, waves, and seasonal growth and melt of sea ice. Limited knowledge exists on circulation in high-Arctic fjords, particularly those not impacted by tidewater glaciers, and especially during winter, when they are covered with sea-ice and freshwater input is low. Here, we present and analyze seasonal observations of circulation, hydrography and cross-sill exchange of the Young Sound-Tyrolerfjord system (74°N) in Northeast Greenland. Distinct seasonal circulation phases are identified and related to polynya activity, meltwater and inflow of coastal water masses. Renewal of basin water in the fjord is a relatively slow process that modifies the fjord water masses on a seasonal timescale. By the end of winter, there is two-layer circulation, with outflow in the upper 45 m and inflow extending down to approximately 150 m. Tidal analysis showed that tidal currents above the sill were almost barotropic and dominated by the M2 tidal constituent (0.26 m s-1), and that residual currents (∼0.02 m s-1) were relatively small during the ice-covered period. Tidal pumping, a tidally driven fjord-shelf exchange mechanism, drives a salt flux that is estimated to range between 145 kg s-1 and 603 kg s-1. Extrapolation of these values over the ice-covered period indicates that tidal pumping is likely a major source of dense water and driver of fjord circulation during the ice-covered period.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric (Editor)

    1999-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. Implications for carbon processing beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet from dissolved CO2 and CH4 concentrations of subglacial discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pain, A.; Martin, J.; Martin, E. E.

    2017-12-01

    Subglacial carbon processes are of increasing interest as warming induces ice melting and increases fluxes of glacial meltwater into proglacial rivers and the coastal ocean. Meltwater may serve as an atmospheric source or sink of carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4), depending on the magnitudes of subglacial organic carbon (OC) remineralization, which produces CO2 and CH4, and mineral weathering reactions, which consume CO2 but not CH4. We report wide variability in dissolved CO2 and CH4 concentrations at the beginning of the melt season (May-June 2017) between three sites draining land-terminating glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Two sites, located along the Watson River in western Greenland, drain the Isunnguata and Russell Glaciers and contained 1060 and 400 ppm CO2, respectively. In-situ CO2 flux measurements indicated that the Isunnguata was a source of atmospheric CO2, while the Russell was a sink. Both sites had elevated CH4 concentrations, at 325 and 25 ppm CH4, respectively, suggesting active anaerobic OC remineralization beneath the ice sheet. Dissolved CO2 and CH4 reached atmospheric equilibrium within 2.6 and 8.6 km downstream of Isunnguata and Russell discharge sites, respectively. These changes reflect rapid gas exchange with the atmosphere and/or CO2 consumption via instream mineral weathering. The third site, draining the Kiagtut Sermiat in southern Greenland, had about half atmospheric CO2 concentrations (250 ppm), but approximately atmospheric CH4 concentrations (2.1 ppm). Downstream CO2 flux measurements indicated ingassing of CO2 over the entire 10-km length of the proglacial river. CO2 undersaturation may be due to more readily weathered lithologies underlying the Kiagtut Sermiat compared to Watson River sites, but low CH4 concentrations also suggest limited contributions of CO2 and CH4 from OC remineralization. These results suggest that carbon processing beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet may be more variable than previously recognized

  11. A synthesis of the basal thermal state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Aschwanden, Andy; Clow, Gary D.; Colgan, William T.; Gogineni, Prasad S.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Nowicki, Sophie M .J.; Paden, John D; Price, Stephen F.; Seroussi, Helene

    2016-01-01

    The basal thermal state of an ice sheet (frozen or thawed) is an important control upon its evolution, dynamics and response to external forcings. However, this state can only be observed directly within sparse boreholes or inferred conclusively from the presence of subglacial lakes. Here we synthesize spatially extensive inferences of the basal thermal state of the Greenland Ice Sheet to better constrain this state. Existing inferences include outputs from the eight thermomechanical ice-flow models included in the SeaRISE effort. New remote-sensing inferences of the basal thermal state are derived from Holocene radiostratigraphy, modern surface velocity and MODIS imagery. Both thermomechanical modeling and remote inferences generally agree that the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream and large portions of the southwestern ice-drainage systems are thawed at the bed, whereas the bed beneath the central ice divides, particularly their west-facing slopes, is frozen. Elsewhere, there is poor agreement regarding the basal thermal state. Both models and remote inferences rarely represent the borehole-observed basal thermal state accurately near NorthGRIP and DYE-3. This synthesis identifies a large portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet (about one third by area) where additional observations would most improve knowledge of its overall basal thermal state.

  12. A synthesis of the basal thermal state of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Aschwanden, Andy; Clow, Gary D; Colgan, William T; Gogineni, S Prasad; Morlighem, Mathieu; Nowicki, Sophie M J; Paden, John D; Price, Stephen F; Seroussi, Hélène

    2016-08-10

    The basal thermal state of an ice sheet (frozen or thawed) is an important control upon its evolution, dynamics and response to external forcings. However, this state can only be observed directly within sparse boreholes or inferred conclusively from the presence of subglacial lakes. Here we synthesize spatially extensive inferences of the basal thermal state of the Greenland Ice Sheet to better constrain this state. Existing inferences include outputs from the eight thermomechanical ice-flow models included in the SeaRISE effort. New remote-sensing inferences of the basal thermal state are derived from Holocene radiostratigraphy, modern surface velocity and MODIS imagery. Both thermomechanical modeling and remote inferences generally agree that the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream and large portions of the southwestern ice-drainage systems are thawed at the bed, whereas the bed beneath the central ice divides, particularly their west-facing slopes, is frozen. Elsewhere, there is poor agreement regarding the basal thermal state. Both models and remote inferences rarely represent the borehole-observed basal thermal state accurately near NorthGRIP and DYE-3. This synthesis identifies a large portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet (about one third by area) where additional observations would most improve knowledge of its overall basal thermal state.

  13. 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.)

  14. Cloud screening and melt water detection over melting sea ice using AATSR/SLSTR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istomina, Larysa; Heygster, Georg

    2014-05-01

    With the onset of melt in the Arctic Ocean, the fraction of melt water on sea ice, the melt pond fraction, increases. The consequences are: the reduced albedo of sea ice, increased transmittance of sea ice and affected heat balance of the system with more heat passing through the ice into the ocean, which facilitates further melting. The onset of melt, duration of melt season and melt pond fraction are good indicators of the climate state of the Arctic and its change. In the absence of reliable sea ice thickness retrievals in summer, melt pond fraction retrieval from satellite is in demand as input for GCM as an indicator of melt state of the sea ice. The retrieval of melt pond fraction with a moderate resolution radiometer as AATSR is, however, a non-trivial task due to a variety of subpixel surface types with very different optical properties, which give non-unique combinations if mixed. In this work this has been solved by employing additional information on the surface and air temperature of the pixel. In the current work, a concept of melt pond detection on sea ice is presented. The basis of the retrieval is the sensitivity of AATSR reflectance channels 550nm and 860nm to the amount of melt water on sea ice. The retrieval features extensive usage of a database of in situ surface albedo spectra. A tree of decisions is employed to select the feasible family of in situ spectra for the retrieval, depending on the melt stage of the surface. Reanalysis air temperature at the surface and brightness temperature measured by the satellite sensor are analyzed in order to evaluate the melting status of the surface. Case studies for FYI and MYI show plausible retrieved melt pond fractions, characteristic for both of the ice types. The developed retrieval can be used to process the historical AATSR (2002-2012) dataset, as well as for the SLSTR sensor onboard the future Sentinel-3 mission (scheduled for launch in 2015), to keep the continuity and obtain longer time sequence

  15. 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....

  16. 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

    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......) does not work on sloping surfaces and is affected by radar penetration into the snow. InSAR estimates require knowledge of outlet glacier thickness. GRACE has limited spatial resolution and is affected by mass variations not just from ice changes, but also from hydrologic and ocean mass variability...... 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...

  17. 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

    there was little change at all. The driving factor during this step was calving caused by rising sea level. This lasted until c. 10 ka, but may have been consumated before the Younger Dryas. The second step began with a glacier-readvance between 10 and 9.5 ka, and after this the fjord glaciers began to retreat....... Maximum Holocene uplift was attained in areas of the 10 ka ice margin, indicating that the uplift is essentially a response to the melting and unloading of ice that began at this time. In suppport of this, recent results in West, North and East Greenland indicate that the...

  18. 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...

  19. BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morlighem, M.; Williams, C. N.; Rignot, E.

    2017-01-01

    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine‐terminating glaciers. Here we...... present a new compilation of Greenland bed topography that assimilates seafloor bathymetry and ice thickness data through a mass conservation approach. A new 150 m horizontal resolution bed topography/bathymetric map of Greenland is constructed with seamless transitions at the ice/ocean interface...

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  2. Ancient Biomolecules from Deep Ice Cores Reveal a Forested Southern Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cappellini, Enrico; Boomsma, Wouter; Nielsen, Rasmus; Hebsgaard, Martin B.; Brand, Tina B.; Hofreiter, Michael; Bunce, Michael; Poinar, Hendrik N.; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Johnsen, Sigfus; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Bennike, Ole; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Nathan, Roger; Armitage, Simon; de Hoog, Cees-Jan; Alfimov, Vasily; Christl, Marcus; Beer, Juerg; Muscheler, Raimund; Barker, Joel; Sharp, Martin; Penkman, Kirsty E.H.; Haile, James; Taberlet, Pierre; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Casoli, Antonella; Campani, Elisa; Collins, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    One of the major difficulties in paleontology is the acquisition of fossil data from the 10% of Earth’s terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets. Here we reveal that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores and allow reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than two kilometers of ice, was once inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects that may date back more than 450 thousand years. The results provide the first direct 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. PMID:17615355

  3. Toward Monitoring Surface and Subsurface Lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet Using Sentinel-1 SAR and Landsat-8 OLI Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie E. Miles

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 vs. daily but a higher spatial resolution (25–40 vs. 250–500 m, is then used together with a fully automated lake drainage detection algorithm. Rapid (<4 days and slow (>4 days drainages are investigated for both small (<0.125 km2, the minimum size detectable by MODIS and large (≥0.125 km2 lakes through the summer. Drainage events of small lakes occur at lower elevations (mean 159 m, and slightly earlier (mean 4.5 days in the melt season than those of large lakes. The analysis is extended manually into the early winter to calculate the dates and elevations of lake freeze-through more precisely than is possible with optical imagery (mean 30 August; 1,270 m mean elevation. Finally, the Sentinel-1 imagery is used to detect subsurface lakes and, for the first time, their dates of appearance and freeze-through (mean 9 August and 7 October, respectively. These subsurface lakes occur at higher elevations than the surface lakes detected in this study (mean 1,593 and 1,185 m, respectively. Sentinel-1 imagery therefore provides great potential for tracking melting, water movement and freezing within both the firn zone and ablation area of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  4. 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....

  5. Impact of ice cover and freshwater discharge on the pelagic food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    -scale ocean and the ice sheet - for two reasons. First, it is plausible that a sizable portion of the observed glacier acceleration and retreat was triggered by increased submarine melting of the glaciers’ margins. Second, the melt water from Greenland must transit through the fjord before reaching Greenland......Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) quadrupled over the past two decades owing to increased surface melt and the widespread retreat and speedup of marine-terminating glaciers. These physical changes have sparked interest in Greenland’s glacial fjords - the conduits between the large......’s continental shelves - where it can impact the ocean circulation and the downstream marine ecosystems. Using data collected from several Greenland fjord/glacier systems we show that the freshwater discharge in these coastal waters is mediated by a complex interplay of atmospheric forcing, subglacial processes...

  6. Evaluation of a 12-km Satellite-Era Reanalysis of Surface Mass Balance for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullather, R. I.; Nowicki, S.; Zhao, B.; Max, S.

    2016-12-01

    The recent contribution to sea level change from the Greenland Ice Sheet is thought to be strongly driven by surface processes including melt and runoff. Global reanalyses are potential means of reconstructing the historical time series of ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB), but lack spatial resolution needed to resolve ablation areas along the periphery of the ice sheet. In this work, the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2) is used to examine the spatial and temporal variability of surface melt over the Greenland Ice Sheet. MERRA-2 is produced for the period 1980 to the present at a grid spacing of ½° latitude by ⅝° longitude, and includes snow hydrology processes including compaction, meltwater percolation and refreezing, runoff, and a prognostic surface albedo. The configuration of the MERRA-2 system allows for the background model - the Goddard Earth Observing System model, version 5 (GEOS-5) - to be carried in phase space through analyzed states via the computation of analysis increments, a capability referred to as "replay". Here, a MERRA-2 replay integration is conducted in which atmospheric forcing fields are interpolated and adjusted to sub- atmospheric grid-scale resolution. These adjustments include lapse-rate effects on temperature, humidity, precipitation, and other atmospheric variables that are known to have a strong elevation dependency over ice sheets. The surface coupling is performed such that mass and energy are conserved. The atmospheric forcing influences the surface representation, which operates on land surface tiles with an approximate 12-km spacing. This produces a high-resolution, downscaled SMB which is interactively coupled to the reanalysis model. We compare the downscaled SMB product with other reanalyses, regional climate model values, and a second MERRA-2 replay in which the background model has been replaced with a 12-km, non-hydrostatic version of GEOS-5. The assessment

  7. 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.

  8. 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.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    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,

  9. Understanding Ice Shelf Basal Melting Using Convergent ICEPOD Data Sets: ROSETTA-Ice Study of Ross Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Frearson, N.; Tinto, K. J.; Das, I.; Fricker, H. A.; Siddoway, C. S.; Padman, L.

    2017-12-01

    The future stability of the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica will be susceptible to increases in both surface and basal melt as the atmosphere and ocean warm. The ROSETTA-Ice program is targeted at using the ICEPOD airborne technology to produce new constraints on Ross Ice Shelf, the underlying ocean, bathymetry, and geologic setting, using radar sounding, gravimetry and laser altimetry. This convergent approach to studying the ice-shelf and basal processes enables us to develop an understanding of the fundamental controls on ice-shelf evolution. This work leverages the stratigraphy of the ice shelf, which is detected as individual reflectors by the shallow-ice radar and is often associated with surface scour, form close to the grounding line or pinning points on the ice shelf. Surface accumulation on the ice shelf buries these reflectors as the ice flows towards the calving front. This distinctive stratigraphy can be traced across the ice shelf for the major East Antarctic outlet glaciers and West Antarctic ice streams. Changes in the ice thickness below these reflectors are a result of strain and basal melting and freezing. Correcting the estimated thickness changes for strain using RIGGS strain measurements, we can develop decadal-resolution flowline distributions of basal melt. Close to East Antarctica elevated melt-rates (>1 m/yr) are found 60-100 km from the calving front. On the West Antarctic side high melt rates primarily develop within 10 km of the calving front. The East Antarctic side of Ross Ice Shelf is dominated by melt driven by saline water masses that develop in Ross Sea polynyas, while the melting on the West Antarctic side next to Hayes Bank is associated with modified Continental Deep Water transported along the continental shelf. The two sides of Ross Ice Shelf experience differing basal melt in part due to the duality in the underlying geologic structure: the East Antarctic side consists of relatively dense crust, with low amplitude

  10. 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

    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...... studies of the Greenland ice sheet mass balance, based on different remote-sensing techniques....... 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...

  11. Ice-ocean interaction and calving front morphology at two west Greenland tidewater outlet glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauché, N.; Hubbard, A.; Gascard, J.-C.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Koppes, M.; Sole, A.; Christoffersen, P.; Patton, H.

    2014-08-01

    Warm, subtropical-originating Atlantic water (AW) has been identified as a primary driver of mass loss across the marine sectors of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), yet the specific processes by which this water mass interacts with and erodes the calving front of tidewater glaciers is frequently modelled and much speculated upon but remains largely unobserved. We present a suite of fjord salinity, temperature, turbidity versus depth casts along with glacial runoff estimation from Rink and Store glaciers, two major marine outlets draining the western sector of the GrIS during 2009 and 2010. We characterise the main water bodies present and interpret their interaction with their respective calving fronts. We identify two distinct processes of ice-ocean interaction which have distinct spatial and temporal footprints: (1) homogenous free convective melting which occurs across the calving front where AW is in direct contact with the ice mass, and (2) localised upwelling-driven melt by turbulent subglacial runoff mixing with fjord water which occurs at distinct injection points across the calving front. Throughout the study, AW at 2.8 ± 0.2 °C was consistently observed in contact with both glaciers below 450 m depth, yielding homogenous, free convective submarine melting up to ~200 m depth. Above this bottom layer, multiple interactions are identified, primarily controlled by the rate of subglacial fresh-water discharge which results in localised and discrete upwelling plumes. In the record melt year of 2010, the Store Glacier calving face was dominated by these runoff-driven plumes which led to a highly crenulated frontal geometry characterised by large embayments at the subglacial portals separated by headlands which are dominated by calving. Rink Glacier, which is significantly deeper than Store has a larger proportion of its submerged calving face exposed to AW, which results in a uniform, relatively flat overall frontal geometry.

  12. 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 northern region of Pituffik, near Thule, throughout the 2011 melt season. Betaproteobacteria dominated all DNA and RT-rRNA assemblage libraries (mean abundance 38.0 ± 10.5 %), and a further 21 classes were identified with > 0.5 % mean abundance. Rhodoferax related operational taxonomic units featured as the most abundant assemblages in both DNA and RT-rRNA sequence libraries (6.61 % and 8.35 % respectively). Correlations of bacterial assemblages to both dissolved and particulate chemistries were calculated, and comparisons of assemblages to sequence libraries from likely seeding environments were utilized to suggest the functionality and predominant sources of biota. Together, these studies look to address the biogeochemical sources and composition of samples from hydrological entry and exits points of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  13. Design and results of the ice sheet model initialisation initMIP-Greenland: an ISMIP6 intercomparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Goelzer

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Earlier large-scale Greenland ice sheet sea-level projections (e.g. those run during the ice2sea and SeaRISE initiatives have shown that ice sheet initial conditions have a large effect on the projections and give rise to important uncertainties. The goal of this initMIP-Greenland intercomparison exercise is to compare, evaluate, and improve the initialisation techniques used in the ice sheet modelling community and to estimate the associated uncertainties in modelled mass changes. initMIP-Greenland is the first in a series of ice sheet model intercomparison activities within ISMIP6 (the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6, which is the primary activity within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6 focusing on the ice sheets. Two experiments for the large-scale Greenland ice sheet have been designed to allow intercomparison between participating models of (1 the initial present-day state of the ice sheet and (2 the response in two idealised forward experiments. The forward experiments serve to evaluate the initialisation in terms of model drift (forward run without additional forcing and in response to a large perturbation (prescribed surface mass balance anomaly; they should not be interpreted as sea-level projections. We present and discuss results that highlight the diversity of data sets, boundary conditions, and initialisation techniques used in the community to generate initial states of the Greenland ice sheet. We find good agreement across the ensemble for the dynamic response to surface mass balance changes in areas where the simulated ice sheets overlap but differences arising from the initial size of the ice sheet. The model drift in the control experiment is reduced for models that participated in earlier intercomparison exercises.

  14. 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

    ’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...

  15. Using ice melting and ice rolling technologies to remove ice from sub-transmission and transmission lines at Manitoba Hydro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farias, A. R.

    1999-01-01

    Development of an of an Ice Storm Management program by Manitoba Hydro to reduce ice storm damage to its 8 kV feeders to 115 kV transmission lines, is discussed. The program consists of the de-icing of overhead lines, either by ice melting, or ice rolling. Ice melting involves the placement of a three-phase short at a calculated point. The term ice rolling denotes a process of mechanically stripping the ice from conductors. The most recent major ice storm experienced by Manitoba Hydro was in the winter of 1997/1998. During the period from February 6 to February 17, 1998, a total of 83 'ice melt' procedures were performed to melt the ice from 2,628 km of overhead line (7,883 km of conductor), in addition to 'ice rolling'. This paper describes Manitoba Hydro's 25-years' experience with ice melting and it also describes the advantages and disadvantages of both ice melting and ice rolling. Although not a panacea to combat the effects of ice storms, ice melting was found to be the most effective way of removing ice from overhead transmission and sub-transmission lines. Ice rolling was also found to be effective. Other tools that have been found to be useful by various utilities in combating ice storm damage include improved structure and line design, system design that provide more redundancies and emergency sources, and standby generators at critical load points

  16. Pressure melting and ice skating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colbeck, S. C.

    1995-10-01

    Pressure melting cannot be responsible for the low friction of ice. The pressure needed to reach the melting temperature is above the compressive failure stress and, if it did occur, high squeeze losses would result in very thin films. Pure liquid water cannot coexist with ice much below -20 °C at any pressure and friction does not increase suddenly in that range. If frictional heating and pressure melting contribute equally, the length of the wetted contact could not exceed 15 μm at a speed of 5 m/s, which seems much too short. If pressure melting is the dominant process, the water films are less than 0.08 μm thick because of the high pressures.

  17. 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.

  18. Annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet interpolated from historical and newly compiled observation data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Dayong; Liu, Yuling; Huang, Shengli

    2012-01-01

    The estimation of ice/snow accumulation is of great significance in quantifying the mass balance of ice sheets and variation in water resources. Improving the accuracy and reducing uncertainty has been a challenge for the estimation of annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet. In this study, we kriged and analyzed the spatial pattern of accumulation based on an observation data series including 315 points used in a recent research, plus 101 ice cores and snow pits and newly compiled 23 coastal weather station data. The estimated annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet is 31.2 g cm−2 yr−1, with a standard error of 0.9 g cm−2 yr−1. The main differences between the improved map developed in this study and the recently published accumulation maps are in the coastal areas, especially southeast and southwest regions. The analysis of accumulations versus elevation reveals the distribution patterns of accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Modelling snow accumulation on Greenland in Eemian, glacial inception, and modern climates in a GCM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Punge

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Changing climate conditions on Greenland influence the snow accumulation rate and surface mass balance (SMB on the ice sheet and, ultimately, its shape. This can in turn affect local climate via orography and albedo variations and, potentially, remote areas via changes in ocean circulation triggered by melt water or calving from the ice sheet. Examining these interactions in the IPSL global model requires improving the representation of snow at the ice sheet surface. In this paper, we present a new snow scheme implemented in LMDZ, the atmospheric component of the IPSL coupled model. We analyse surface climate and SMB on the Greenland ice sheet under insolation and oceanic boundary conditions for modern, but also for two different past climates, the last glacial inception (115 kyr BP and the Eemian (126 kyr BP. While being limited by the low resolution of the general circulation model (GCM, present-day SMB is on the same order of magnitude as recent regional model findings. It is affected by a moist bias of the GCM in Western Greenland and a dry bias in the north-east. Under Eemian conditions, the SMB decreases largely, and melting affects areas in which the ice sheet surface is today at high altitude, including recent ice core drilling sites as NEEM. In contrast, glacial inception conditions lead to a higher mass balance overall due to the reduced melting in the colder summer climate. Compared to the widely applied positive degree-day (PDD parameterization of SMB, our direct modelling results suggest a weaker sensitivity of SMB to changing climatic forcing. For the Eemian climate, our model simulations using interannually varying monthly mean forcings for the ocean surface temperature and sea ice cover lead to significantly higher SMB in southern Greenland compared to simulations forced with climatological monthly means.

  1. 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...... 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...

  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. Short-term impacts of enhanced Greenland freshwater fluxes in an eddy-permitting ocean model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Marsh

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In a sensitivity experiment, an eddy-permitting ocean general circulation model is forced with realistic freshwater fluxes from the Greenland Ice Sheet, averaged for the period 1991–2000. The fluxes are obtained with a mass balance model for the ice sheet, forced with the ERA-40 reanalysis dataset. The freshwater flux is distributed around Greenland as an additional term in prescribed runoff, representing seasonal melting of the ice sheet and a fixed year-round iceberg calving flux, for 8.5 model years. By adding Greenland freshwater fluxes with realistic geographical distribution and seasonality, the experiment is designed to investigate the oceanic response to a sudden and spatially/temporally uniform amplification of ice sheet melting and discharge, rather than localized or gradual changes in freshwater flux. The impacts on regional hydrography and circulation are investigated by comparing the sensitivity experiment to a control experiment, without additional fluxes. By the end of the sensitivity experiment, the majority of additional fresh water has accumulated in Baffin Bay, and only a small fraction has reached the interior of the Labrador Sea, where winter mixed layer depth is sensitive to small changes in salinity. As a consequence, the impact on large-scale circulation is very slight. An indirect impact of strong freshening off the west coast of Greenland is a small anti-cyclonic component to the circulation around Greenland, which opposes the wind-driven cyclonic circulation and reduces net southward flow through the Canadian Archipelago by ~10%. Implications for the post-2000 acceleration of Greenland mass loss are discussed.

  4. 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

    to precipitation. Maxima of precipitation and accumulation occur at the southwestern and southeastern coasts of Greenland and are connected with cyclonic activity and the main storm tracks around Greenland. The central region of the Greenland ice sheet acts as a blocking barrier on moving weather systems...... and prohibits cyclones moving from west to east across this region and, thus prevents moisture transports....

  5. 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...... of measured surface elevation change over a 50x50~km part of the western Greenland Ice-Sheet margin near Kangerlussuaq. In this region, the mean observed elevation change has been -0.5~m from 2000 to 2003. However, the change is unevenly distributed with the northern and central part generally in balance...... 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...

  6. BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morlighem, M.; Williams, C. N.; Rignot, E.

    2017-01-01

    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine‐terminating glaciers. Here we...... present a new compilation of Greenland bed topography that assimilates seafloor bathymetry and ice thickness data through a mass conservation approach. A new 150 m horizontal resolution bed topography/bathymetric map of Greenland is constructed with seamless transitions at the ice/ocean interface......, yielding major improvements over previous data sets, particularly in the marine‐terminating sectors of northwest and southeast Greenland. Our map reveals that the total sea level potential of the Greenland ice sheet is 7.42 ± 0.05 m, which is 7 cm greater than previous estimates. Furthermore, it explains...

  7. How ice shelf morphology controls basal melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Christopher M.; Gnanadesikan, Anand; Oppenheimer, Michael

    2009-12-01

    The response of ice shelf basal melting to climate is a function of ocean temperature, circulation, and mixing in the open ocean and the coupling of this external forcing to the sub-ice shelf circulation. Because slope strongly influences the properties of buoyancy-driven flow near the ice shelf base, ice shelf morphology plays a critical role in linking external, subsurface heat sources to the ice. In this paper, the slope-driven dynamic control of local and area-integrated melting rates is examined under a wide range of ocean temperatures and ice shelf shapes, with an emphasis on smaller, steeper ice shelves. A 3-D numerical ocean model is used to simulate the circulation underneath five idealized ice shelves, forced with subsurface ocean temperatures ranging from -2.0°C to 1.5°C. In the sub-ice shelf mixed layer, three spatially distinct dynamic regimes are present. Entrainment of heat occurs predominately under deeper sections of the ice shelf; local and area-integrated melting rates are most sensitive to changes in slope in this "initiation" region. Some entrained heat is advected upslope and used to melt ice in the "maintenance" region; however, flow convergence in the "outflow" region limits heat loss in flatter portions of the ice shelf. Heat flux to the ice exhibits (1) a spatially nonuniform, superlinear dependence on slope and (2) a shape- and temperature-dependent, internally controlled efficiency. Because the efficiency of heat flux through the mixed layer decreases with increasing ocean temperature, numerical simulations diverge from a simple quadratic scaling law.

  8. 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

  9. The Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Angelen, J.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470

    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

  10. 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

    as a signal for ice-free terrain being overridden by LIA glacier advances, and data from threshold lakes showing the onset of glacier-fed lakes, thus revealing the advance-maximum phase initiating the LIA. Finally, we have compiled lichenometry results indicating the onset of bedrock vegetation succeeding ice......Northern hemisphere temperatures reached their Holocene minimum and most glaciers reached their maximum during The Little Ice Age (LIA), but the timing of specific cold intervals is site-specific. In southern Greenland, we have compiled data from organic matter incorporated in LIA sediments, used...

  11. Design and results of the ice sheet model initialisation experiments initMIP-Greenland: an ISMIP6 intercomparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goelzer, Heiko; Nowicki, Sophie; Edwards, Tamsin; Beckley, Matthew; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Aschwanden, Andy; Calov, Reinhard; Gagliardini, Olivier; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Gregory, Jonathan; Greve, Ralf; Humbert, Angelika; Huybrechts, Philippe; Kennedy, Joseph H.; Larour, Eric; Lipscomb, William H.; Le clec'h, Sébastien; Lee, Victoria; Morlighem, Mathieu; Pattyn, Frank; Payne, Antony J.; Rodehacke, Christian; Rückamp, Martin; Saito, Fuyuki; Schlegel, Nicole; Seroussi, Helene; Shepherd, Andrew; Sun, Sainan; van de Wal, Roderik; Ziemen, Florian A.

    2018-04-01

    Earlier large-scale Greenland ice sheet sea-level projections (e.g. those run during the ice2sea and SeaRISE initiatives) have shown that ice sheet initial conditions have a large effect on the projections and give rise to important uncertainties. The goal of this initMIP-Greenland intercomparison exercise is to compare, evaluate, and improve the initialisation techniques used in the ice sheet modelling community and to estimate the associated uncertainties in modelled mass changes. initMIP-Greenland is the first in a series of ice sheet model intercomparison activities within ISMIP6 (the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6), which is the primary activity within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) focusing on the ice sheets. Two experiments for the large-scale Greenland ice sheet have been designed to allow intercomparison between participating models of (1) the initial present-day state of the ice sheet and (2) the response in two idealised forward experiments. The forward experiments serve to evaluate the initialisation in terms of model drift (forward run without additional forcing) and in response to a large perturbation (prescribed surface mass balance anomaly); they should not be interpreted as sea-level projections. We present and discuss results that highlight the diversity of data sets, boundary conditions, and initialisation techniques used in the community to generate initial states of the Greenland ice sheet. We find good agreement across the ensemble for the dynamic response to surface mass balance changes in areas where the simulated ice sheets overlap but differences arising from the initial size of the ice sheet. The model drift in the control experiment is reduced for models that participated in earlier intercomparison exercises.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    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...... 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...... boundary conditions. We find an annual mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet of 210 ± 21 Gt yr-1 in the period from October 2003 to March 2008. This result is in good agreement with other studies of the Greenland ice sheet mass balance, based on different remote sensing techniques....

  14. 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.; Smeets, C.J.P.P.; van de Wal, R.S.W.

    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

  15. Seasonal variability of the circulation system in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord, Godthåbsfjord (64°N)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, John; Bendtsen, Jørgen; Lennert, Kunuk

    2014-01-01

    Many tidewater outlet glacier fjords surround the coast of Greenland, and their dynamics and circulation are of great importance for understanding the heat transport toward glaciers from the ice sheet. Thus, fjord circulation is a critical aspect for assessing the threat of global sea level rise...... due to melting of the ice sheet. However, very few observational studies describe the seasonal dynamics of fjord circulation. Here we present the first continuous current measurements (April–November) from a deep mooring deployed in a west Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord. Four distinct...... circulation phases are identified during the period, and they are related to exchange processes with coastal waters, tidal mixing, and melt processes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. During early summer, warm intermediate water is transported toward the glacier at an average velocity of about 7 cm s−1. In late...

  16. 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...

  17. Modeling the summertime evolution of sea-ice melt ponds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lüthje, Mikael; Feltham, D.L.; Taylor, P.D.

    2006-01-01

    We present a mathematical model describing the summer melting of sea ice. We simulate the evolution of melt ponds and determine area coverage and total surface ablation. The model predictions are tested for sensitivity to the melt rate of unponded ice, enhanced melt rate beneath the melt ponds...

  18. 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....

  19. Annual Greenland Accumulation Rates (2009-2012) from Airborne Snow Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Lora S.; Ivanoff, Alvaro; Alexander, Patrick M.; MacGregor, Joseph A.; Fettweis, Xavier; Panzer, Ben; Paden, John D.; Forster, Richard R.; Das, Indrani; McConnell, Joseph R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Contemporary climate warming over the Arctic is accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet through increasing surface melt, emphasizing the need to closely monitor its surface mass balance in order to improve sea-level rise predictions. Snow accumulation is the largest component of the ice sheet's surface mass balance, but in situ observations thereof are inherently sparse and models are difficult to evaluate at large scales. Here, we quantify recent Greenland accumulation rates using ultra-wideband (2-6.5 gigahertz) airborne snow radar data collected as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge between 2009 and 2012. We use a semi-automated method to trace the observed radiostratigraphy and then derive annual net accumulation rates for 2009-2012. The uncertainty in these radar-derived accumulation rates is on average 14 percent. A comparison of the radarderived accumulation rates and contemporaneous ice cores shows that snow radar captures both the annual and longterm mean accumulation rate accurately. A comparison with outputs from a regional climate model (MAR - Modele Atmospherique Regional for Greenland and vicinity) shows that this model matches radar-derived accumulation rates in the ice sheet interior but produces higher values over southeastern Greenland. Our results demonstrate that snow radar can efficiently and accurately map patterns of snow accumulation across an ice sheet and that it is valuable for evaluating the accuracy of surface mass balance models.

  20. 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

  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. New marine geophysical and sediment record of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callard, L.; Roberts, D. H.; O'Cofaigh, C.; Lloyd, J. M.; Smith, J. A.; Dorschel, B.

    2017-12-01

    The NE Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) drains 16% of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and has a sea-level equivalent of 1.1-1.4 m. Stabilised by two floating ice shelves, 79N and Zachariae Isstrom, until recently it has shown little response to increased atmospheric and oceanic warming. However, since 2010 it has experienced an accelerated rate of grounding line retreat ( 4 km) and significant ice shelf loss that indicates that this sector of the GrIS is now responding to current oceanic and/or climatic change and has the potential to be a major contributor to future global sea-level rise. The project `NEGIS', a collaboration between Durham University and AWI, aims to reconstruct the history of the NE Greenland Ice Stream from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to present using both onshore and offshore geological archives to better understand past ice stream response to a warming climate. This contribution presents results and interpretations from an offshore dataset collected on the RV Polarstern, cruises PS100 and PS109 in 2016 and 2017. Gravity and box cores, supplemented by swath bathymetric and sub-bottom profiler data, were acquired and initial core analysis including x-radiographs and MSCL data logging has been performed. Data collection focused principally in the Norske Trough and the area directly in front of the 79N ice shelf, a sub-ice shelf environment as recently as two years ago. On the outer shelf streamlined subglacial bedforms, grounding-zone wedges and moraines as well as overconsolidated subglacial tills, record an extensive ice sheet advance to the shelf edge. On the inner shelf and in front of the 79N ice shelf, deep, glacially-eroded bedrock basins are infilled with stratified sediment. The stratified muds represent deglacial and Holocene glacimarine sedimentation, and capture the recent transition from sub-ice shelf to shelf free conditions. Multiproxy palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, including foraminifera and diatom analysis, and radiocarbon

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... (GRACE) satellite gravity mission, launched in March, 2002. The GRACE results provide a direct measure of mass loss, while the GPS data are used to monitor crustal uplift caused by ice mass loss close to the GPS sites....

  4. The refreezing of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flocco, Daniela; Feltham, Daniel L.; Bailey, Eleanor; Schroeder, David

    2015-02-01

    The presence of melt ponds on the surface of Arctic sea ice significantly reduces its albedo, inducing a positive feedback leading to sea ice thinning. While the role of melt ponds in enhancing the summer melt of sea ice is well known, their impact on suppressing winter freezing of sea ice has, hitherto, received less attention. Melt ponds freeze by forming an ice lid at the upper surface, which insulates them from the atmosphere and traps pond water between the underlying sea ice and the ice lid. The pond water is a store of latent heat, which is released during refreezing. Until a pond freezes completely, there can be minimal ice growth at the base of the underlying sea ice. In this work, we present a model of the refreezing of a melt pond that includes the heat and salt balances in the ice lid, trapped pond, and underlying sea ice. The model uses a two-stream radiation model to account for radiative scattering at phase boundaries. Simulations and related sensitivity studies suggest that trapped pond water may survive for over a month. We focus on the role that pond salinity has on delaying the refreezing process and retarding basal sea ice growth. We estimate that for a typical sea ice pond coverage in autumn, excluding the impact of trapped ponds in models overestimates ice growth by up to 265 million km3, an overestimate of 26%.

  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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    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...

  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. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss from GRACE Monthly Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Forsberg, René

    2010-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is currently experiencing a net mass loss. There are however large discrepancies between the published qualitative mass loss estimates, based on different data sets and methods. There are even large differences between the results based on the same data sources, as is the ...

  10. Balance Mass Flux and Velocity Across the Equilibrium Line in Ice Drainage Systems of Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Estimates of balance mass flux and the depth-averaged ice velocity through the cross-section aligned with the equilibrium line are produced for each of six drainage systems in Greenland. (The equilibrium line, which lies at approximately 1200 m elevation on the ice sheet, is the boundary between the area of net snow accumulation at higher elevations and the areas of net melting at lower elevations around the ice sheet.) Ice drainage divides and six major drainage systems are delineated using surface topography from ERS (European Remote Sensing) radar altimeter data. The net accumulation rate in the accumulation zone bounded by the equilibrium line is 399 Gt/yr and net ablation rate in the remaining area is 231 Gt/yr. (1 GigaTon of ice is 1090 kM(exp 3). The mean balance mass flux and depth-averaged ice velocity at the cross-section aligned with the modeled equilibrium line are 0.1011 Gt kM(exp -2)/yr and 0.111 km/yr, respectively, with little variation in these values from system to system. The ratio of the ice mass above the equilibrium line to the rate of mass output implies an effective exchange time of approximately 6000 years for total mass exchange. The range of exchange times, from a low of 3 ka in the SE drainage system to 14 ka in the NE, suggests a rank as to which regions of the ice sheet may respond more rapidly to climate fluctuations.

  11. 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

    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 out...

  12. 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

    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...... from Greenland. A second glacial-interglacial transition exposed at the extreme margin of the ice is identified as another outcrop of Termination I (rather than the onset of the Eemian interglacial as postulated in earlier work). Consequently, the main structural feature at Pakitsoq is a large......-scale anticline with accordion-type folding in both exposed sequences of the glacial-Holocene transition, leading to multiple layer duplications and age reversals....

  13. 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

  14. Ice Thickness, Melting Rates and Styles of Activity in Ice-Volcano Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudmundsson, M. T.

    2005-12-01

    In most cases when eruptions occur within glaciers they lead to rapid ice melting, jokulhlaups and/or lahars. Many parameters influence the style of activity and its impact on the environment. These include ice thickness (size of glacier), bedrock geometry, magma flow rate and magma composition. The eruptions that have been observed can roughly be divided into: (1) eruptions under several hundred meters thick ice on a relatively flat bedrock, (2) eruptions on flat or sloping bed through relatively thin ice, and (3) volcanism where effects are limitied to confinement of lava flows or melting of ice by pyroclastic flows or surges. This last category (ice-contact volcanism) need not cause much ice melting. Many of the deposits formed by Pleistocene volcanism in Iceland, British Columbia and Antarctica belong to the first category. An important difference between this type of activity and submarine activity (where pressure is hydrostatic) is that pressure at vents may in many cases be much lower than glaciostatic due to partial support of ice cover over vents by the surrounding glacier. Reduced pressure favours explosive activity. Thus the effusive/explosive transition may occur several hundred metres underneath the ice surface. Explosive fragmentation of magma leads to much higher rates of heat transfer than does effusive eruption of pillow lavas, and hence much higher melting rates. This effect of reduced pressure at vents will be less pronounced in a large ice sheet than in a smaller glacier or ice cap, since the hydraulic gradient that drives water away from an eruption site will be lower in the large glacier. This may have implications for form and type of eruption deposits and their relationship with ice thickness and glacier size.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Polarimetric signatures of sea ice in the Greenland Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skriver, Henning; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    1995-01-01

    Polarimetric SAR data of sea ice have been acquired by the Danish polarimetric SAR (EMISAR) during a mission at the Greenland Sea in August 1994. Video recordings from a low-altitude acquisition have been used for interpretation of the SAR data. Also, ERS-1 SAR data and NOAA AVHRR-data have been...

  18. 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.

  19. Airborne Geophysics and Remote Sensing Applied to Study Greenland Ice Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csatho, Beata M.

    2003-01-01

    Overview of project: we combined and jointly analysed geophysical, remote sensing and glaciological data for investigating the temporal changes in ice flow and the role of geologic control on glacial drainage. The project included two different studies, the investigation of recent changes of the Kangerlussuaq glacier and the study of geologic control of ice flow in NW Greenland, around the Humboldt, Petermann and Ryder glaciers.

  20. Freshwater discharge and sediment transport to Kangerlussuaq Fjord, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Andreas Peter Bech

    the deep inner basin of Kangerlussuaq Fjord. Different melt models were applied to the MIKE SHE and MIKE 11 water routing models in order to simulate the proglacial water flows. The best melt model was a surface energy balance model. The routing model improved the modelled proglacial discharge......The main objectives of this PhD study have been to quantify the large-scale hydrological and geomorphological processes and implications related to three large proglacial rivers draining into Kangerlussuaq Fjord from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). These rivers are Watson, Umivit and Sarfartoq...... River. Hydrological processes studied are: proglacial discharge volumes and timing of this, creation of runoff (i.e. melt), storage and release features such as ice dammed lakes (jökulhlaups lakes), the role of supraglacial lakes, storage and release inside or beneath the ice and the role of the so...

  1. 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....... 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...... 2003, followed by a moderate deceleration in 2006. Because that latter deceleration is weak, southeast Greenland still appears to be losing ice mass at a much higher rate than it was prior to fall 2003. In a more general sense, the analysis described here demonstrates that GPS uplift measurements can...

  2. 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.

  3. Evaluation of a high-resolution regional climate simulation over Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lefebre, Filip [Universite catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique G. Lemaitre, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Vito - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Integral Environmental Studies, Mol (Belgium); Fettweis, Xavier; Ypersele, Jean-Pascal van; Marbaix, Philippe [Universite catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique G. Lemaitre, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Gallee, Hubert [Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Geophysique de l' Environnement, Grenoble (France); Greuell, Wouter [Utrecht University, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht (Netherlands); Calanca, Pierluigi [Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    A simulation of the 1991 summer has been performed over south Greenland with a coupled atmosphere-snow regional climate model (RCM) forced by the ECMWF re-analysis. The simulation is evaluated with in-situ coastal and ice-sheet atmospheric and glaciological observations. Modelled air temperature, specific humidity, wind speed and radiative fluxes are in good agreement with the available observations, although uncertainties in the radiative transfer scheme need further investigation to improve the model's performance. In the sub-surface snow-ice model, surface albedo is calculated from the simulated snow grain shape and size, snow depth, meltwater accumulation, cloudiness and ice albedo. The use of snow metamorphism processes allows a realistic modelling of the temporal variations in the surface albedo during both melting periods and accumulation events. Concerning the surface albedo, the main finding is that an accurate albedo simulation during the melting season strongly depends on a proper initialization of the surface conditions which mainly result from winter accumulation processes. Furthermore, in a sensitivity experiment with a constant 0.8 albedo over the whole ice sheet, the average amount of melt decreased by more than 60%, which highlights the importance of a correctly simulated surface albedo. The use of this coupled atmosphere-snow RCM offers new perspectives in the study of the Greenland surface mass balance due to the represented feedback between the surface climate and the surface albedo, which is the most sensitive parameter in energy-balance-based ablation calculations. (orig.)

  4. Mountain glaciers vs Ice sheet in Greenland - learning from a new monitoring site in West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abermann, Jakob; van As, Dirk; Wacker, Stefan; Langley, Kirsty

    2017-04-01

    Only 5 out of the 20.000 peripheral glaciers and ice caps surrounding Greenland are currently monitored due to logistical challenges and despite their significance for sea level rise. Large spatial coast-to-icesheet mass and energy balance gradients limit simple upscaling methods from ice-sheet observations, which builds the motivation for this study. We present results from a new mass and energy balance time series at Qasigiannguit glacier (64°09'N; 51°21'W) in Southwest Greenland. Inter-annual variability is discussed and the surface energy balance over two summers is quantified and a ranking of the main drivers performed. We find that short-wave net radiation is by far the most dominant energy source during summer, followed by similar amounts of net longwave radiation and sensible heat, respectively. We then relate these observations to synchronous measurements at similar latitude on an outlet glacier of the ice sheet a mere 100 km away. We find very pronounced horizontal surface mass balance gradients, with generally more positive values closer to the coast. We conclude that despite minor differences of atmospheric parameters (i.e. humidity, radiation, and temperature) the main reason for the strongly different signal is a pronounced winter precipitation gradient that translates in a different duration of ice exposure and through that an albedo gradient. Modelled energy balance gradients converted into mass changes show good agreement to measured surface mass balance gradients and we explore a latitudinal signal of these findings.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Changes in the Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet in a Warming Climate During 2003-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Luthcke, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) derived from ICESat and GRACE data both show that the net mass loss from GIS during 2003-2009 is about 175 Gt/year, which contributes 0.5mm/yr global sea-level rise. The rate of mass loss has increased significantly since the 1990's when the GIS was close to mass balance. Even though the GIS was close to mass balance during the 1990's, it was already showing characteristics of responding to8 warmer climate, specifically thinning at the margins and thickening inland at higher elevations. During 2003-2009, increased ice thinning due to increases in melting and acceleration of outlet glaciers began to strongly exceed the inland thickening from increases in accumulation. Over the entire GIS, the mass loss between the two periods, from increased melting and ice dynamics, increased by about 190 Gt/year while the mass gain, from increased precipitation and accumulation, increased by only about 15Gt/year. These ice changes occurred during a time when the temperature on GIS changed at rate of about 2K/decade. The distribution of elevation and mass changes derived from ICESat have high spatial resolution showing details over outlet glaciers, by drainage systems, and by elevation. However, information on the seasonal cycle of changes from ICESat data is limited, because the ICESat lasers were only operated during two to three campaigns per year of about 35 days duration each. In contrast, the temporal resolution of GRACE data, provided by the continuous data collection, is much better showing details of the seasonal cycle and the inter-annual variability. The differing sensitivity of the ICESat altimetry and the GRACE gravity methods to motion of the underlying bedrock from glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is used to evaluate the GIA corrections provided by models. The two data types are also combined to make estimates of the partitioning of the mass gains and losses among accumulation, melting, and ice discharge from outlet

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

    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...... 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...

  12. 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.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van den Broeke, M.R.

    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

  13. Greenland plateau jets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George William Kent Moore

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The high ice-covered topography of Greenland represents a significant barrier to atmospheric flow and, as a direct and indirect result, it plays a crucial role in the coupled climate system. The wind field over Greenland is important in diagnosing regional weather and climate, thereby providing information on the mass balance of the ice sheet as well as assisting in the interpretation of ice core data. Here, we identify a number of hitherto unrecognised features of the three-dimensional wind field over Greenland; including a 2500-km-long jet along the central ice sheet's western margin that extends from the surface into the middle-troposphere, as well as a similar but smaller scale and less intense feature along its eastern margin. We refer to these features as Greenland Plateau Jets. The jets are coupled to the downslope katabatic flow and we argue that they are maintained by the zonal temperature gradients associated with the strong temperature inversion over the central ice sheet. Their importance for Greenland's regional climate is discussed.

  14. 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

    of the snow/ice surface with lower sensitivity to changes in near-surface dielectric properties. To demonstrate the utility of the new processing methodology we produce elevations, elevation changes, and total volume changes from CryoSat-2 data for the Greenland Ice Sheet during the period January 2011...... to January 2015. We find that the Greenland Ice Sheet decreased in volume at a rate of 289 ± 20km3 a-1, with high interannual variability and spatial heterogeneity in rates of loss. This rate is 65km3 a-1 more negative than rates determined from ESA's L2 product, highlighting the importance of CryoSat-2...

  15. 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...... with GPS data and calibrated laser data....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ettema, Janneke; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; van Meijgaard, Erik; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Box, Jason E.; Bales, Roger 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. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, Martin E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models pre...

  18. 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

    Ancient air trapped inside bubbles in ice cores can now be analysed for methane concentration utilising a laser spectrometer coupled to a continuous melter system. We present a new ultra-high resolution record of atmospheric methane variability over the last 1800yr obtained from continuous analysis...... of a shallow ice core from the North Greenland Eemian project (NEEM-2011-S1) during a 4-week laboratory-based measurement campaign. Our record faithfully replicates the form and amplitudes of multi-decadal oscillations previously observed in other ice cores and demonstrates the detailed depth resolution (5.3cm......), rapid acquisition time (30mday) and good long-term reproducibility (2.6%, 2s) of the continuous measurement technique.In addition, we report the detection of high frequency ice core methane signals of non-atmospheric origin. Firstly, measurements of air from the firn-ice transition region...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across...... the GrIS, using sequence analysis and quantitative PCR of 16S rRNA genes from co-extracted DNA and RNA. Communities were found to differ across the ice sheet, with 82.8% of the total calculated variation attributed to spatial distribution on a scale of tens of kilometers separation. Amplicons related...... to Sphingobacteriaceae, Pseudanabaenaceae and WPS-2 accounted for the greatest portion of calculated dissimilarities. The bacterial communities of ice and cryoconite were moderately similar (global R = 0.360, P = 0.002) and the sampled surface type (ice versus cryoconite) did not contribute heavily towards community...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    contribution of 0.16 m sea-level equivalent from the entire Greenland ice sheet, with a centennial ice loss rate of as much as 100 Gt/yr for several millennia during the Holocene thermal maximum. Our results provide an estimate of the long-term rates of volume loss that can be expected in the future...

  1. Greenland Regional and Ice Sheet-wide Geometry Sensitivity to Boundary and Initial conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, L. C.; Narayanan, S. H. K.; Greve, R.; Heimbach, P.

    2017-12-01

    Ice sheet and glacier model outputs require inputs from uncertainly known initial and boundary conditions, and other parameters. Conservation and constitutive equations formalize the relationship between model inputs and outputs, and the sensitivity of model-derived quantities of interest (e.g., ice sheet volume above floatation) to model variables can be obtained via the adjoint model of an ice sheet. We show how one particular ice sheet model, SICOPOLIS (SImulation COde for POLythermal Ice Sheets), depends on these inputs through comprehensive adjoint-based sensitivity analyses. SICOPOLIS discretizes the shallow-ice and shallow-shelf approximations for ice flow, and is well-suited for paleo-studies of Greenland and Antarctica, among other computational domains. The adjoint model of SICOPOLIS was developed via algorithmic differentiation, facilitated by the source transformation tool OpenAD (developed at Argonne National Lab). While model sensitivity to various inputs can be computed by costly methods involving input perturbation simulations, the time-dependent adjoint model of SICOPOLIS delivers model sensitivities to initial and boundary conditions throughout time at lower cost. Here, we explore both the sensitivities of the Greenland Ice Sheet's entire and regional volumes to: initial ice thickness, precipitation, basal sliding, and geothermal flux over the Holocene epoch. Sensitivity studies such as described here are now accessible to the modeling community, based on the latest version of SICOPOLIS that has been adapted for OpenAD to generate correct and efficient adjoint code.

  2. Modeling the response of Northwest Greenland to enhanced ocean thermal forcing and subglacial discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morlighem, M.; Wood, M.; Seroussi, H. L.; Bondzio, J. H.; Rignot, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    Glacier-front dynamics is an important control on Greenland's ice mass balance. Warm and salty Atlantic water, which is typically found at a depth below 200-300 m, has the potential to trigger ice-front retreats of marine-terminating glaciers, and the corresponding loss in resistive stress leads to glacier acceleration and thinning. It remains unclear, however, which glaciers are currently stable but may retreat in the future, and how far inland and how fast they will retreat. Here, we quantify the sensitivity and vulnerability of marine-terminating glaciers along the Northwest coast of Greenland (from 72.5° to 76°N) to ocean forcing using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), and its new ice front migration capability. We rely on the ice melt parameterization from Rignot et al. 2016, and use ocean temperature and salinity from high-resolution ECCO2 simulations on the continental shelf to constrain the thermal forcing. The ice flow model includes a calving law based on a Von Mises criterion. We investigate the sensitivity of Northwest Greenland to enhanced ocean thermal forcing and subglacial discharge. We find that some glaciers, such as Dietrichson Gletscher or Alison Gletscher, are sensitive to small increases in ocean thermal forcing, while others, such as Illullip Sermia or Qeqertarsuup Sermia, are very difficult to destabilize, even with a quadrupling of the melt. Under the most intense melt experiment, we find that Hayes Gletscher retreats by more than 50 km inland into a deep trough and its velocity increases by a factor of 10 over only 15 years. The model confirms that ice-ocean interactions are the triggering mechanism of glacier retreat, but the bed controls its magnitude. This work was performed at the University of California Irvine under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cryospheric Sciences Program (#NNX15AD55G), and the National Science Foundation's ARCSS program (#1504230).

  3. Arctic sea ice melt pond fractal dimension - explained

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popovic, Predrag

    As Arctic sea ice starts to melt in the summer, pools of melt water quickly form on its surface, significantly changing its albedo, and impacting its subsequent evolution. These melt ponds often form complex geometric shapes. One characteristic of their shape, the fractal dimension of the pond boundaries, D, when plotted as a function of pond size, has been shown to transition between the two fundamental limits of D = 1 and D = 2 at some critical pond size. Here, we provide an explanation for this behavior. First, using aerial photographs, we show how this fractal transition curve changes with time, and show that there is a qualitative difference in the pond shape as ice transitions from impermeable to permeable. Namely, while ice is impermeable, maximum fractal dimension is less than 2, whereas after it becomes permeable, maximum fractal dimension becomes very close to 2. We then show how the fractal dimension of a collection of overlapping circles placed randomly on a plane also transitions from D = 1 to D = 2 at a size equal to the average size of a single circle. We, therefore, conclude that this transition is a simple geometric consequence of regular shapes connecting. The one physical parameter that can be extracted from the fractal transition curve is the length scale at which transition occurs. We provide a possible explanation for this length scale by noting that the flexural wavelength of the ice poses a fundamental limit on the size of melt ponds on permeable ice. If this is true, melt ponds could be used as a proxy for ice thickness.

  4. Optical properties of melting first-year Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Light, Bonnie; Perovich, Donald K.; Webster, Melinda A.; Polashenski, Christopher; Dadic, Ruzica

    2015-11-01

    The albedo and transmittance of melting, first-year Arctic sea ice were measured during two cruises of the Impacts of Climate on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment (ICESCAPE) project during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Spectral measurements were made for both bare and ponded ice types at a total of 19 ice stations in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. These data, along with irradiance profiles taken within boreholes, laboratory measurements of the optical properties of core samples, ice physical property observations, and radiative transfer model simulations are employed to describe representative optical properties for melting first-year Arctic sea ice. Ponded ice was found to transmit roughly 4.4 times more total energy into the ocean, relative to nearby bare ice. The ubiquitous surface-scattering layer and drained layer present on bare, melting sea ice are responsible for its relatively high albedo and relatively low transmittance. Light transmittance through ponded ice depends on the physical thickness of the ice and the magnitude of the scattering coefficient in the ice interior. Bare ice reflects nearly three-quarters of the incident sunlight, enhancing its resiliency to absorption by solar insolation. In contrast, ponded ice absorbs or transmits to the ocean more than three-quarters of the incident sunlight. Characterization of the heat balance of a summertime ice cover is largely dictated by its pond coverage, and light transmittance through ponded ice shows strong contrast between first-year and multiyear Arctic ice covers.

  5. Brief communication: Getting Greenland's glaciers right - a new data set of all official Greenlandic glacier names

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørk, A. A.; Kruse, L. M.; Michaelsen, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    Place names in Greenland can be difficult to get right, as they are a mix of Greenlandic, Danish, and other foreign languages. In addition, orthographies have changed over time. With this new data set, we give the researcher working with Greenlandic glaciers the proper tool to find the correct name for glaciers and ice caps in Greenland and to locate glaciers described in the historic literature with the old Greenlandic orthography. The data set contains information on the names of 733 glaciers, 285 originating from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and 448 from local glaciers and ice caps (LGICs).

  6. Validation and operational measurements with SUSIE – A sar ice motion processing chain developed within promice (Programme for monitoring of Greenland ice-sheet)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes the validation of an ice-motion 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 processor, named SUSIE, (Scripts and Utilities for SAR Ice...

  7. Significance of Thermal Fluvial Incision and Bedrock Transfer due to Ice Advection on Greenland Ice Sheet Topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, J. A.; Karlstrom, L.; Yang, K.

    2017-12-01

    Ice sheet surface topography reflects a complicated combination of processes that act directly upon the surface and that are products of ice advection. Using recently-available high resolution ice velocity, imagery, ice surface elevation, and bedrock elevation data sets, we seek to determine the domain of significance of two important processes - thermal fluvial incision and transfer of bedrock topography through the ice sheet - on controlling surface topography in the ablation zone. Evaluating such controls is important for understanding how melting of the GIS surface during the melt season may be directly imprinted in topography through supraglacial drainage networks, and indirectly imprinted through its contribution to basal sliding that affects bedrock transfer. We use methods developed by (Karlstrom and Yang, 2016) to identify supraglacial stream networks on the GIS, and use high resolution surface digital elevation models as well as gridded ice velocity and melt rate models to quantify surface processes. We implement a numerically efficient Fourier domain bedrock transfer function (Gudmundsson, 2003) to predict surface topography due to ice advection over bedrock topography obtained from radar. Despite a number of simplifying assumptions, the bedrock transfer function predicts the observed ice sheet surface in most regions of the GIS with ˜90% accuracy, regardless of the presence or absence of supraglacial drainage networks. This supports the hypothesis that bedrock is the most significant driver of ice surface topography on wavelengths similar to ice thickness. Ice surface topographic asymmetry on the GIS is common, with slopes in the direction of ice flow steeper than those faced opposite to ice flow, consistent with bedrock transfer theory. At smaller wavelengths, topography consistent with fluvial erosion by surface hydrologic features is evident. We quantify the effect of ice advection versus fluvial thermal erosion on supraglacial longitudinal stream

  8. Retrieval of sea ice thickness during Arctic summer using melt pond color

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istomina, L.; Nicolaus, M.; Heygster, G.

    2016-12-01

    The thickness of sea ice is an important climatic variable. Together with the ice concentration, it defines the total sea ice volume, is linked within the climatic feedback mechanisms and affects the Arctic energy balance greatly. During Arctic summer, the sea ice cover changes rapidly, which includes the presence of melt ponds, as well as reduction of ice albedo and ice thickness. Currently available remote sensing retrievals of sea ice thickness utilize data from altimeter, microwave, thermal infrared sensors and their combinations. All of these methods are compromised in summer in the presence of melt. This only leaves in situ and airborne sea ice thickness data available in summer. At the same time, data of greater coverage is needed for assimilation in global circulation models and correct estimation of ice mass balance.This study presents a new approach to estimate sea ice thickness in summer in the presence of melt ponds. Analysis of field data obtained during the RV "Polarstern" cruise ARK27/3 (August - October 2012) has shown a clear connection of ice thickness under melt ponds to their measured spectral albedo and to melt pond color in the hue-saturation-luminance color space from field photographs. An empirical function is derived from the HSL values and applied to aerial imagery obtained during various airborne campaigns. Comparison to in situ ice thickness shows a good correspondence to the ice thickness value retrieved in the melt ponds. A similar retrieval is developed for satellite spectral bands using the connection of the measured pond spectral albedo to the ice thickness within the melt ponds. Correction of the retrieved ice thickness in ponds to derive total thickness of sea ice is discussed. Case studies and application to very high resolution optical data are presented, as well as a concept to transfer the method to satellite data of lower spatial resolution where melt ponds become subpixel features.

  9. Spatial variation in energy exchange across coastal environments in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, M.; Abermann, J.; Citterio, M.; Hansen, B. U.; Larsen, S. H.; Stiegler, C.; Sørensen, L. L.; van As, D.

    2015-12-01

    The surface energy partitioning in Arctic terrestrial and marine areas is a crucial process, regulating snow, glacier ice and sea ice melt, and permafrost thaw, as well as modulating Earth's climate on both local, regional, and eventually, global scales. The Arctic region has warmed approximately twice as much as the global average, due to a number of feedback mechanisms related to energy partitioning, most importantly the snow and ice-albedo feedback. However, direct measurements of surface energy budgets in the Arctic are scarce, especially for the cold and dark winter period and over transects going from the ice sheet and glaciers to the sea. This study aims to describe annual cycles of the surface energy budget from various surface types in Arctic Greenland; e.g. glacier, snow, wet and dry tundra and sea ice, based on data from a number of measurement locations across coastal Greenland related to the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program, including Station Nord/Kronprins Christians Land, Zackenberg/Daneborg, Disko, Qaanaq, Nuuk/Kobbefjord and Upernaviarsuk. Based on the available time series, we will analyze the sensitivity of the energy balance partitioning to variations in meteorological conditions (temperature, cloudiness, precipitation). Such analysis would allow for a quantification of the spatial variation in the energy exchange in aforementioned Arctic environments. Furthermore, this study will identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps in Arctic energy budgets and related climate feedback effects.

  10. Observations of brine plumes below melting Arctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Peterson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In sea ice, interconnected pockets and channels of brine are surrounded by fresh ice. Over time, brine is lost by gravity drainage and flushing. The timing of salt release and its interaction with the underlying water can impact subsequent sea ice melt. Turbulence measurements 1 m below melting sea ice north of Svalbard reveal anticorrelated heat and salt fluxes. From the observations, 131 salty plumes descending from the warm sea ice are identified, confirming previous observations from a Svalbard fjord. The plumes are likely triggered by oceanic heat through bottom melt. Calculated over a composite plume, oceanic heat and salt fluxes during the plumes account for 6 and 9 % of the total fluxes, respectively, while only lasting in total 0.5 % of the time. The observed salt flux accumulates to 7.6 kg m−2, indicating nearly full desalination of the ice. Bulk salinity reduction between two nearby ice cores agrees with accumulated salt fluxes to within a factor of 2. The increasing fraction of younger, more saline ice in the Arctic suggests an increase in desalination processes with the transition to the new Arctic.

  11. Observations of brine plumes below melting Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Algot K.

    2018-02-01

    In sea ice, interconnected pockets and channels of brine are surrounded by fresh ice. Over time, brine is lost by gravity drainage and flushing. The timing of salt release and its interaction with the underlying water can impact subsequent sea ice melt. Turbulence measurements 1 m below melting sea ice north of Svalbard reveal anticorrelated heat and salt fluxes. From the observations, 131 salty plumes descending from the warm sea ice are identified, confirming previous observations from a Svalbard fjord. The plumes are likely triggered by oceanic heat through bottom melt. Calculated over a composite plume, oceanic heat and salt fluxes during the plumes account for 6 and 9 % of the total fluxes, respectively, while only lasting in total 0.5 % of the time. The observed salt flux accumulates to 7.6 kg m-2, indicating nearly full desalination of the ice. Bulk salinity reduction between two nearby ice cores agrees with accumulated salt fluxes to within a factor of 2. The increasing fraction of younger, more saline ice in the Arctic suggests an increase in desalination processes with the transition to the new Arctic.

  12. Arctic Sea Ice Basal Melt Onset Variability and Associated Ocean Surface Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrick, R. A.; Hutchings, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The interannual and regional variability in Arctic sea ice melt has previously been characterized only in terms of surface melting. A focus on the variability in the onset of basal melt is additionally required to understand Arctic melt patterns. Monitoring basal melt provides a glimpse into the importance of ocean heating to sea ice melt. This warming is predominantly through seawater exposure due to lead opening and the associated solar warming at the ocean's surface. We present the temporal variability in basal melt onset observed by ice mass balance buoys throughout the Arctic Ocean since 2003, providing a different perspective than the satellite microwave data used to measure the onset of surface melt. We found that melt onset varies greatly, even for buoys deployed within 100km of each other. Therefore large volumes of data are necessary to accurately estimate the variability of basal melt onset. Once the variability of basal melt onset has been identified, we can investigate how this range has been changing as a response to atmospheric and oceanic warming, changes in ice morphology as well as the intensification of the ice albedo feedback.

  13. 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...

  14. Inverse stochastic–dynamic models for high-resolution Greenland ice core records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Boers

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Characterization of rapid climate changes through isotope analyses of ice and entrapped air in the NEEM ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guillevic, Myriam

    Greenland ice core have revealed the occurrence of rapid climatic instabilities during the last glacial period, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events, while marine cores from the North Atlantic have evidenced layers of ice rafted debris deposited by icebergs melt, caused by the collapse...... mechanisms at play. Recent analytical developments have made possible to measure new paleoclimate proxies in Greenland ice cores. In this thesis we first contribute to these analytical developments by measuring the new innovative parameter 17O-excess at LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climatet de l......'Environnement, France). At the Centre for Ice and Climate (CIC, Denmark) we contribute to the development of a protocol for absolute referencing of methane gas isotopes, and making full air standard with known concentration and isotopic composition of methane. Then, air (δ15N) and water stable isotope measurements from...

  17. Isotopes in Greenland Precipitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Anne-Katrine

    Greenland ice cores offer a unique opportunity to investigate the climate system behaviour. The objective of this PhD project is to investigate isotope modelling of present- day conditions and conduct model-data comparison using Greenland ice cores. Thus this thesis investigates how the integration...... of model and data can be used to improve the understanding of climate changes. This is done through analysis of isotope modelling, observations and ice core measurements. This dissertation comprises three projects: (1) Modelling the isotopic response to changes in Arctic sea surface conditions, (2......) 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Greenland plays a large role in the gloomy picture painted of probable future sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Edward

    2012-12-01

    Goelzer et al (2012) paint a portentous picture of what is likely to happen to the global sea-level over the next 1000 years. This worrying assessment is based on our current best understanding of how the world's giant ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, as well as a quarter of a million smaller glacial ice masses, and the ocean collectively respond to ongoing climate change. Theirs is a state of the science study that integrates these key contributors of sea-level change based on the latest models and current understanding, and an integrated Earth systems modelling approach termed LOVECLIM. As they point out in their study, only a handful of global climate models to date—i.e. models that are used to make predictions of future climate change—incorporate dynamically (fully) coupled ice-sheet models. According to the scenarios presented by Goelzer et al (2012), we could see between 2.1 and 6.8 m of global sea-level rise by 3000 AD, compared with 'just' 1.1 m if the atmosphere is stabilised at 2000 CO2 levels. Much, up to some 4 m, of this contribution comes from increased melting and mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet, which is several times more sensitive than the Antarctic ice sheet to warming temperatures in these simulations. Interestingly, dynamical ice mass losses through iceberg calving become increasingly less significant for Greenland as the ice sheet retreats further inland during the 1000 yr runs (Sole et al 2008). The latest modelling studies show that around a half, perhaps more, of the recent Greenland mass losses (Barletta et al 2012, Rignot et al 2011) are already through increased melt and runoff (Hanna et al 2008, 2012, van den Broeke et al 2009); note also the recent (summer 2012) record surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet (Nghiem et al 2012) caused by atmospheric forcing (Overland et al 2012) and the potential of such events to impact on ice flow (Bartholomew et al 2011). By contrast, the greatest sea-level rise reported for

  2. Ice dynamic response to two modes of surface lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, Marco; Alexander, Patrick; Willis, Ian C; Banwell, Alison F; Arnold, Neil S; Hoffman, Matthew J

    2013-01-01

    Supraglacial lake drainage on the Greenland ice sheet opens surface-to-bed connections, reduces basal friction, and temporarily increases ice flow velocities by up to an order of magnitude. Existing field-based observations of lake drainages and their impact on ice dynamics are limited, and focus on one specific draining mechanism. Here, we report and analyse global positioning system measurements of ice velocity and elevation made at five locations surrounding two lakes that drained by different mechanisms and produced different dynamic responses. For the lake that drained slowly (>24 h) by overtopping its basin, delivering water via a channel to a pre-existing moulin, speedup and uplift were less than half those associated with a lake that drained rapidly (∼2 h) through hydrofracturing and the creation of new moulins in the lake bottom. Our results suggest that the mode and associated rate of lake drainage govern the impact on ice dynamics. (letter)

  3. Ocean impact on Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, Northeast Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Kanzow, Torsten; von Appen, Wilken-Jon; Mayer, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers around Greenland. The largest of three outlet glaciers draining the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier (also referred to as 79 North Glacier). Historic observations showed that warm waters of Atlantic origin are present in the subglacial cavity below the 80 km long floating ice tongue of the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and cause strong basal melt at the grounding line, but to date it has been unknown how those warm water enter the cavity. In order to understand how Atlantic origin waters carry heat into the subglacial cavity beneath Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, we performed bathymetric, hydrographic, and velocity observations in the vicinity of the main glacier calving front aboard RV Polarstern in summer 2016. The bathymetric multibeam data shows a 500 m deep and 2 km narrow passage downstream of a 310 m deep sill. This turned out to be the only location deep enough for an exchange of Atlantic waters between the glacier cavity and the continental shelf. Hydrographic and velocity measurements revealed a density driven plume in the vicinity of the glacier calving front causing a rapid flow of waters of Atlantic origin warmer 1°C into the subglacial cavity through the 500 m deep passage. In addition, glacially modified waters flow out of the glacier cavity below the 80 m deep ice base. In the vicinity of the glacier, the glacially modified waters form a distinct mixed layer situated above the Atlantic waters and below the ambient Polar water. At greater distances from the glacier this layer is eroded by lateral mixing with ambient water. Based on our observations we will present an estimate of the ocean heat transport into the subglacial cavity. In comparison with historic observations we find an increase in Atlantic water temperatures throughout the last 20 years. The resulting

  4. Forced convective melting at an evolving ice-water interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramudu, Eshwan; Hirsh, Benjamin; Olson, Peter; Gnanadesikan, Anand

    2015-11-01

    The intrusion of warm Circumpolar Deep Water into the ocean cavity between the base of ice shelves and the sea bed in Antarctica causes melting at the ice shelves' basal surface, producing a turbulent melt plume. We conduct a series of laboratory experiments to investigate how the presence of forced convection (turbulent mixing) changes the delivery of heat to the ice-water interface. We also develop a theoretical model for the heat balance of the system that can be used to predict the change in ice thickness with time. In cases of turbulent mixing, the heat balance includes a term for turbulent heat transfer that depends on the friction velocity and an empirical coefficient. We obtain a new value for this coefficient by comparing the modeled ice thickness against measurements from a set of nine experiments covering one order of magnitude of Reynolds numbers. Our results are consistent with the altimetry-inferred melting rate under Antarctic ice shelves and can be used in climate models to predict their disintegration. This work was supported by NSF grant EAR-110371.

  5. Experimental study of natural convection melting of ice in salt solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang, L.J.; Cheung, F.B.; Linehan, J.H.; Pedersen, D.R.

    1984-01-01

    The solid-liquid interface morphology and the micro-physical process near the moving phase boundary during natural convection melting of a horizontal layer of ice by an overlying pool of salt solution were studied experimentally. A cathetometer which amplifies the interface region was used to measure the ice melting rate. Also measured were the temperature transients of the liquid pool. Within the temperature and the density ratio ranges explored, the ice melting rate was found to be very sensitive to the ratio of pool-to-ice melt density but independent of pool-to-ice temperature difference. By varying the density ratio, three different flow regimes and morphologies of the solid-liquid interface were observed, with melt streamers emanating from the crests of the wavy interface into the pool in all three cases. The measured wavelengths (spacing) between the streamers for four different pairs of materials were correlated with the density ratio and found to agree favorably with the predictions of Taylor instability theory

  6. Firn thickness variations across the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream margins indicating nonlinear densification rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riverman, K. L.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Alley, R. B.; Peters, L. E.; Christianson, K. A.; Muto, A.

    2013-12-01

    Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) is the largest ice stream in Greenland, draining approximately 8.4% of the ice sheet's area. The flow pattern and stability mechanism of this ice stream are unique to others in Greenland and Antarctica, and merit further study to ascertain the sensitivity of this ice stream to future climate change. Geophysical methods are valuable tools for this application, but their results are sensitive to the structure of the firn and any spatial variations in firn properties across a given study region. Here we present firn data from a 40-km-long seismic profile across the upper reaches of NEGIS, collected in the summer of 2012 as part of an integrated ground-based geophysical survey. We find considerable variations in firn thickness that are coincident with the ice stream shear margins, where a thinner firn layer is present within the margins, and a thicker, more uniform firn layer is present elsewhere in our study region. Higher accumulation rates in the marginal surface troughs due to drift-snow trapping can account for some of this increased densification; however, our seismic results also highlight enhanced anisotropy within the firn and upper ice column that is confined to narrow bands within the shear margins. We thus interpret these large firn thickness variations and abrupt changes in anisotropy as indicators of firn densification dependent on the effective stress state as well as the overburden pressure, suggesting that the strain rate increases nonlinearly with stress across the shear margins. A GPS strain grid maintained for three weeks across both margins observed strong side shearing, with rapid stretching and then compression along particle paths, indicating large deviatoric stresses in the margins. This work demonstrates the importance of developing a high-resolution firn densification model when conducting geophysical field work in regions possessing a complex ice flow history; it also motivates the need for a more

  7. Using ATM laser altimetry to constrain surface mass balance estimates and supraglacial hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studinger, M.; Medley, B.; Manizade, S.; Linkswiler, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Repeat airborne laser altimetry measurements can provide large-scale field observations to better quantify spatial and temporal variability of surface processes contributing to seasonal elevation change and therefore surface mass balance. As part of NASA's Operation IceBridge the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) laser altimeter measured the surface elevation of the Greenland Ice Sheet during spring (March - May) and fall (September - October) of 2015. Comparison of the two surveys reveals a general trend of thinning for outlet glaciers and for the ice sheet in a manner related to elevation and latitude. In contrast, some thickening is observed on the west (but not on the east) side of the ice divide above 2200 m elevation in the southern half, below latitude 69°N.The observed magnitude and spatial patterns of the summer melt signal can be utilized as input into ice sheet models and for validating reanalysis of regional climate models such as RACMO and MAR. We use seasonal anomalies in MERRA-2 climate fields (temperature, precipitation) to understand the observed spatial signal in seasonal change. Aside from surface elevation change, runoff from meltwater pooling in supraglacial lakes and meltwater channels accounts for at least half of the total mass loss. The ability of the ATM laser altimeters to image glacial hydrological features in 3-D and determine the depth of supraglacial lakes could be used for process studies and for quantifying melt processes over large scales. The 1-meter footprint diameter of ATM laser on the surface, together with a high shot density, allows for the production of large-scale, high-resolution, geodetic quality DEMs (50 x 50 cm) suitable for fine-scale glacial hydrology research and as input to hydrological models quantifying runoff.

  8. BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morlighem, M.; Williams, C. N.; Rignot, E.

    2017-01-01

    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine‐terminating glaciers. Here we...... recent calving front response of numerous outlet glaciers and reveals new pathways by which AW can access glaciers with marine‐based basins, thereby highlighting sectors of Greenland that are most vulnerable to future oceanic forcing....

  9. Experimental investigation of ice and snow melting process on pavement utilizing geothermal tail water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Huajun; Zhao Jun; Chen Zhihao

    2008-01-01

    Road ice and snow melting based on low temperature geothermal tail water is of significance to realize energy cascading utilization. A small scale ice and snow melting system is built in this work. Experiments of dynamic melting processes of crushed ice, solid ice, artificial snow and natural snow are conducted on concrete pavement. The results show that the melting process of ice and snow includes three phases: a starting period, a linear period and an accelerated period. The critical value of the snow free area ratio between the linear period and the accelerated period is about 0.6. The physical properties of ice and snow, linked with ambient conditions, have an obvious effect on the melting process. The difference of melting velocity and melting time between ice and snow is compared. To reduce energy consumption, the formation of ice on roads should be avoided if possible. The idling process is an effective pathway to improve the performance of melting systems. It is feasible to utilize geothermal tail water of about 40 deg. C for melting ice and snow on winter roads, and it is unnecessary to keep too high fluid temperatures during the practical design and applications. Besides, with the exception of solid ice, the density and porosity of snow and ice tend to be decreasing and increasing, respectively, as the ambient temperature decreases

  10. Metabolome-mediated biocryomorphic evolution promotes carbon fixation in Greenlandic cryoconite holes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Joseph M; Edwards, Arwyn; Bulling, Mark; Mur, Luis A J; Cook, Sophie; Gokul, Jarishma K; Cameron, Karen A; Sweet, Michael; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L

    2016-12-01

    Microbial photoautotrophs on glaciers engineer the formation of granular microbial-mineral aggregates termed cryoconite which accelerate ice melt, creating quasi-cylindrical pits called 'cryoconite holes'. These act as biogeochemical reactors on the ice surface and provide habitats for remarkably active and diverse microbiota. Evolution of cryoconite holes towards an equilibrium depth is well known, yet interactions between microbial activity and hole morphology are currently weakly addressed. Here, we experimentally perturbed the depths and diameters of cryoconite holes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryoconite holes responded by sensitively adjusting their shapes in three dimensions ('biocryomorphic evolution') thus maintaining favourable conditions for net autotrophy at the hole floors. Non-targeted metabolomics reveals concomitant shifts in cyclic AMP and fucose metabolism consistent with phototaxis and extracellular polymer synthesis indicating metabolomic-level granular changes in response to perturbation. We present a conceptual model explaining this process and suggest that it results in remarkably robust net autotrophy on the Greenland Ice Sheet. We also describe observations of cryoconite migrating away from shade, implying a degree of self-regulation of carbon budgets over mesoscales. Since cryoconite is a microbe-mineral aggregate, it appears that microbial processes themselves form and maintain stable autotrophic habitats on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Greenland climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Swingedouw, Didier; Landais, Amaëlle

    2012-01-01

    Climate archives available from deep-sea and marine shelf sediments, glaciers, lakes and ice cores in and around Greenland allow us to place the current trends in regional climate, ice sheet dynamics, and land surface changes in a broader perspective. We show that during the last decade (2000s......), atmospheric and sea-surface temperatures are reaching levels last encountered millennia ago when northern high latitude summer insolation was higher due to a different orbital configuration. Concurrently, records from lake sediments in southern Greenland document major environmental and climatic conditions...... regional climate and ice sheet dynamics. The magnitude and rate of future changes in Greenland temperature, in response to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, may be faster than any past abrupt events occurring under interglacial conditions. Projections indicate that within one century Greenland may...

  12. 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...... of more accurate land uplift curves can account for some of the above noted discrepancy. To improve on the original analysis, we apply a geophysical model of glacial isostatic adjustment calibrated to sea-level records from the Queen Elizabeth Islands and Greenland to calculate the influence of land...... in this selection is further complicated by the possible influence of Innuitian ice during the early Holocene (12-8 ka BP). Our results indicate that a more accurate treatment of the uplift correction leads to elevation histories that are, in general, shifted down relative to the original curves at GRIP, NGRIP, DYE...

  13. 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...... (SC75) and a 51 m shallow core (SC76) was drilled at two different positions in 1975 and 1976, respectively. A 6 m shallow core (SC94) was drilled in 1994. Continuous stable isotope records exist for all of these cores, total b-activity only from SC75 and SC76. Continuous ECM inferred acidity records...... exist along the 1995 cores (MC95 and SC95) and finally detailed records of dust and water soluble ion concentrations exist on selected parts of MC95. To determine a time scale for the ice core is an important prerequisite for the interpretation of other records. The age scale is based on acid layers...

  14. 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....

  15. Supraglacial Lakes in the Percolation Zone of the Western Greenland Ice Sheet: Formation and Development using Operation IceBridge Snow Radar and ATM (2009-2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C.; Howat, I. M.; de la Peña, S.

    2015-12-01

    Surface meltwater lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet have appeared at higher elevations, extending well into the percolation zone, under recent warming, with the largest expansion occurring in the western Greenland Ice Sheet. The conditions that allow lakes to form atop firn are poorly constrained, but the formation of new lakes imply changes in the permeability of the firn at high elevations, promoting meltwater runoff. We explore the formation and evolution of new surface lakes in this region above 1500 meters, using a combination of satellite imagery and repeat Snow (2-6.5 GHz) radar echograms and LIDAR measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge of 2009-2014. We identify conditions for surface lake formation at their farthest inland extent and suggest behaviors of persistence and lake drainage are due to differences in regional ice dynamics.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Banda, Francesco; Dall, Jørgen; Tebaldini, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    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...

  17. Ice-Cliff Failure via Retrogressive Slumping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parizek, B. R.; Christianson, K.; Alley, R. B.; Voytenko, D.; Vankova, I.; Dixon, T. H.; Holland, D.

    2016-12-01

    The magnitude and rate of future sea-level rise from warming-induced ice-sheet shrinkage remain notably uncertain. Removal of most of an ice sheet by surface melting alone requires centuries to millennia. Oceanic warming may accelerate loss by removing buttressing ice shelves and thereby speeding flow of non-floating ice into the ocean, but, until recently, modeled timescales for major dynamic ice-sheet shrinkage were centuries or longer. Beyond certain thresholds, however, observations show that warming removes floating ice shelves, leaving grounded ice cliffs from which icebergs break off directly. Cliffs higher than some limit experience rapid structural failure. Recent parameterization of this process in a comprehensive ice-flow model produced much faster sea-level rise from future rapid warming than in previous modeling studies, through formation and retreat of tall ice cliffs. Fully physical representations of this process are not yet available, however. Here, we use modeling guided by terrestrial radar data from Helheim Glacier, Greenland to show that cliffs will fail by slumping and trigger rapid retreat at a threshold height that, in crevassed ice with surface melting, may be only slightly above the 100-m maximum observed today, but may be roughly twice that (180-275 m) in mechanically-competent ice under well-drained or low-melt conditions.

  18. 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.

    Huge differences in plankton community structures and biomasses are observed along a climate gradient from the Greenland Ice Sheet to offshore waters at the West Greenland coast. The offshore region has a high biomass of copepods dominated by Calanus spp., which are capable of consuming 55....... 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...... gradient. This would have a profound influence on the future plankton community structure as well as the energy transfer to higher trophic levels in Arctic coastal ecosystems....

  19. 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...... this record with the corresponding records previously presented from Greenland and, in particular, with the GISP2 ice core located 320 km south of NGRIP. Despite that the records have similar mean concentrations, their responses to climatic changes during the last glacial period are slightly different. NGRIP...... 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...

  20. The impact of melt ponds on summertime microwave brightness temperatures and sea-ice concentrations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kern, Stefan; Rösel, Anja; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2016-01-01

    % sea-ice concentration. None of the algorithms investigated performs best based on our investigation of data from summer 2009. We suggest that those algorithms which are more sensitive to melt ponds could be optimized more easily because the influence of unknown snow and sea-ice surface property...... of eight sea-ice concentration retrieval algorithms to melt ponds by comparing sea-ice concentration with the melt-pond fraction. We derive gridded daily sea-ice concentrations from microwave brightness temperatures of summer 2009. We derive the daily fraction of melt ponds, open water between ice floes......, and the ice-surface fraction from contemporary Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance data. We only use grid cells where the MODIS sea ice concentration, which is the melt-pond fraction plus the ice-surface fraction, exceeds 90 %. For one group of algorithms, e.g., Bristol and Comiso...

  1. Increasing runoff and sediment load from the Greenland ice sheet at kangerlussuaq (Sonder Stromfjord) in a 30-year perspective, 1979-2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Liston, Glen [COLORADO STATE UNIV.; Hasholt, Bent [UNIV OF COPENGAGEN; Steffen, Konrad [UNIV OF COLORADO; Van Den Broeke, Michiel [UTRECHT UNIV; Mcgrath, Daniel [UNIV OF COLORADO; Yde, Jacob [UNIV OF AARHUS

    2009-01-01

    This observation and modeling study provides insights into runoff and sediment load exiting the Watson River drainage basin, Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland during a 30 year period (1978/79-2007/08) when the climate experienced increasing temperatures and precipitation. The 30-year simulations quantify the terrestrial freshwater and sediment output from part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and the land between the GrIS and the ocean, in the context of global warming and increasing GrIS surface melt. We used a snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) to simulate the winter accumulation and summer ablation processes, including runoff and surface mass balance (SMB), of the Greenland ice sheet. Observed sediment concentrations were related to observed runoff, producing a sediment-load time series. To a large extent, the SMB fluctuations could be explained by changes in net precipitation (precipitation minus evaporation and sublimation), with 8 out of 30 years having negative SMB, mainly because of relatively low annual net precipitation. The overall trend in net precipitation and runoff increased significantly, while 5MB increased insignificantly throughout the simulation period, leading to enhanced precipitation of 0.59 km{sup 3} w.eq. (or 60%), runoff of 0.43 km{sup 3} w.eq (or 54%), and SMB of 0.16 km3 w.eq. (or 86%). Runoff rose on average from 0.80 km{sup 3} w.eq. in 1978/79 to 1.23 km{sup 3} w.eq. in 2007/08. The percentage of catchment oudet runoff explained by runoff from the GrIS decreased on average {approx} 10%, indicating that catchment runoff throughout the simulation period was influenced more by precipitation and snowmelt events, and less by runoff from the GrIS. Average variations in the increasing Kangerlussuaq runoff from 1978/79 through 2007/08 seem to follow the overall variations in satellite-derived GrIS surface melt, where 64% of the variations in simulated runoff were explained by regional melt conditions on the GrIS. Throughout the simulation

  2. Estimating the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Fettweis

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional, forced by output of three CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 general circulation models (GCMs. Our results indicate that in a warmer climate, mass gain from increased winter snowfall over the GrIS does not compensate mass loss through increased meltwater run-off in summer. Despite the large spread in the projected near-surface warming, all the MAR projections show similar non-linear increase of GrIS surface melt volume because no change is projected in the general atmospheric circulation over Greenland. By coarsely estimating the GrIS SMB changes from GCM output, we show that the uncertainty from the GCM-based forcing represents about half of the projected SMB changes. In 2100, the CMIP5 ensemble mean projects a GrIS SMB decrease equivalent to a mean SLR of +4 ± 2 cm and +9 ± 4 cm for the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios respectively. These estimates do not consider the positive melt–elevation feedback, although sensitivity experiments using perturbed ice sheet topographies consistent with the projected SMB changes demonstrate that this is a significant feedback, and highlight the importance of coupling regional climate models to an ice sheet model. Such a coupling will allow the assessment of future response of both surface processes and ice-dynamic changes to rising temperatures, as well as their mutual feedbacks.

  3. 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

    Thirteen years of GRACE data provide an excellent picture of the current mass changes of Greenland and Antarctica, with mass loss in the GRACE period 2002–2015 amounting to 265 ± 25 GT/year for Greenland (including peripheral ice caps), and 95 ± 50 GT/year for Antarctica, corresponding to 0.......72 and 0.26 mm/year average global sea level change. A significant acceleration in mass loss rate is found, especially for Antarctica, while Greenland mass loss, after a corresponding acceleration period, and a record mass loss in the summer of 2012, has seen a slight decrease in short-term mass loss trend....... 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Variable Basal Melt Rates of Antarctic Peninsula Ice Shelves, 1994-2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adusumilli, Susheel; Fricker, Helen Amanda; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Padman, Laurie; Paolo, Fernando S.; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.

    2018-05-01

    We have constructed 23-year (1994-2016) time series of Antarctic Peninsula (AP) ice-shelf height change using data from four satellite radar altimeters (ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat, and CryoSat-2). Combining these time series with output from atmospheric and firn models, we partitioned the total height-change signal into contributions from varying surface mass balance, firn state, ice dynamics, and basal mass balance. On the Bellingshausen coast of the AP, ice shelves lost 84 ± 34 Gt a-1 to basal melting, compared to contributions of 50 ± 7 Gt a-1 from surface mass balance and ice dynamics. Net basal melting on the Weddell coast was 51 ± 71 Gt a-1. Recent changes in ice-shelf height include increases over major AP ice shelves driven by changes in firn state. Basal melt rates near Bawden Ice Rise, a major pinning point of Larsen C Ice Shelf, showed large increases, potentially leading to substantial loss of buttressing if sustained.

  6. Variability of Basal Melt Beneath the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, Robert; Vaughan, David G.; Vornberger, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Observations from satellite and airborne platforms are combined with model calculations to infer the nature and efficiency of basal melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, by ocean waters. Satellite imagery shows surface features that suggest ice-shelf-wide changes to the ocean s influence on the ice shelf as the grounding line retreated. Longitudinal profiles of ice surface and bottom elevations are analyzed to reveal a spatially dependent pattern of basal melt with an annual melt flux of 40.5 Gt/a. One profile captures a persistent set of surface waves that correlates with quasi-annual variations of atmospheric forcing of Amundsen Sea circulation patterns, establishing a direct connection between atmospheric variability and sub-ice-shelf melting. Ice surface troughs are hydrostatically compensated by ice-bottom voids up to 150m deep. Voids form dynamically at the grounding line, triggered by enhanced melting when warmer-than-average water arrives. Subsequent enlargement of the voids is thermally inefficient (4% or less) compared with an overall melting efficiency beneath the ice shelf of 22%. Residual warm water is believed to cause three persistent polynyas at the ice-shelf front seen in Landsat imagery. Landsat thermal imagery confirms the occurrence of warm water at the same locations.

  7. 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...

  8. Design, fabrication, and evaluation of a partially melted ice particle cloud facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltis, Jared T.

    High altitude ice crystal clouds created by highly convective storm cells are dangerous to jet transport aircraft because the crystals are ingested into the compressor section, partially melt, accrete, and cause roll back or flame out. Current facilities to test engine particle icing are not ideal for fundamental mixed-phase ice accretion experiments or do not generate frozen droplet clouds under representative conditions. The goal of this research was to develop a novel facility capable of testing fundamental partially melted ice particle icing physics and to collect ice accretion data related to mixed-phase ice accretion. The Penn State Icing Tunnel (PSIT) has been designed and fabricated to conduct partially melted ice particle cloud accretion. The PSIT generated a cloud with air assisted atomizing nozzles. The water droplets cool from the 60psi pressure drop as the water exited the nozzle and fully glaciate while flowing in the -11.0°C tunnel air flow. The glaciated cloud flowed through a duct in the center of the tunnel where hot air was introduced. The temperature of the duct was regulated from 3.3°C to 24°C which melted particle the frozen particle from 0% to 90%. The partially melted particle cloud impinged on a temperature controlled flat plate. Ice accretion data was taken for a range of duct temperature from 3.3°C to 24°C and plate temperature from -4.5°C to 7.0°C. The particle median volumetric diameter was 23mum, the total water content was 4.5 g/m 3, the specific humidity was 1.12g/kg, and the wet bulb temperature ranged from 1.0°C to 7.0°C depending on the duct temperature. The boundaries between ice particle bounce off, ice accretion, and water run off were determined. When the particle were totally frozen and the plate surface was below freezing, the ice particle bounced off as expected. Ice accretion was seen for all percent melts tested, but the plate temperature boundary between water runoff and ice accretion increased from 0°C at 8

  9. 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

    ) 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...... waveform parameters to be applicable for correcting for changes in volume scattering. The best results in the Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric mode area of the GrIS are found when applying only the backscatter correction, whereas the best result in the Low Resolution Mode area is obtained by only......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...

  10. Coupled Long-Term Evolution of Climate and the Greenland Ice Sheet During the Last Interglacial and Implications for the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Lofverstrom, M.; Lipscomb, W.; Fyke, J. G.; Marshall, S.; Sacks, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is expected to contribute increasingly to global sea level rise by the end of this century, and potentially several meters in this millennium, but still with considerable uncertainty. The rate of Greenland melt will impact on regional sea levels. The Last Interglacial (LIG, 129 ka to 116 ka) is recognized as an important period for testing our knowledge of climate-ice sheet interactions in warm climate states. Although the LIG was discussed in the First Assessment Report of the IPCC, it gained more prominence in the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment (AR4 and AR5) with reconstructions highlighting that global mean sea level was at least 5 m higher (but probably no more than 10 m higher) than present for several thousand years during the LIG. Model results assessed for the AR5 suggest a sea level contribution of 1.4 to 4.3 m from the GrIS. These model simulations, though, did not include all the feedbacks of the climate system and the GrIS. Here, we examine the response of the Arctic climate system and the GrIS in simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) fully coupled to the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM), using a surface energy balance scheme and without bias corrections. The analysis focuses on how the GrIS responds to the imposed high boreal summer insolation of the LIG and in addition, to the long-term feedbacks of high-latitude vegetation changes. Results will highlight the evolution of the ice sheet and the surface mass balance (patterns of ablation and accumulation) as compared to data-based reconstructions for the LIG. We conclude with a discussion on how the LIG may be informative as a potential process analogue for the GrIS response for future centuries to come.

  11. 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

  12. 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...... to the physical transition of the ice cover from pancake ice to a consolidated young-ice sheet. The classification of each pixel into ice or water is done using two scatterometer parameters, namely the polarisation ratio and the daily standard deviation of the backscatter. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights...

  13. Snapshots of circum-Greenland elevation change, viewed from the PROMICE airborne surveys in 2007, 2011, and 2015

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Forsberg, René; Hvidegaard, Sine Munk

    For the Greenland ice sheet, the period from 2007-2015 is characterized by a large variability in climate conditions, with record-breaking melt in 2010 and 2012 and minor net mass loss in 2013. As a part of the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) funded by the Danish...... along the flight-path. As the only one of its kind, the repeat surveys have been performed in late summer, to coincide with the end of the balance year. With the third survey successfully conducted in 2015, a unique opportunity for evaluating elevation changes at a consistent and tailored circum...... observations from satellites to target the balance year....

  14. The dynamics of ice melting in the conditions of crybot movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zakharova Ekaterina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The mathematical modeling results of the simultaneous processes of heat and mass transfer under the conditions of intense phase changes (melting of ice during the movement of cryobot have been given. The spatial unevenness of the melting rate of ice has been taken into account. It has been established that the rate of passage of the cryobot depends essentially on its temperature. According to the results of the numerical simulation, considerable cooling of the cryobot sheath has been established. The latter is due to the high endothermic effect of melting ice.

  15. Using high resolution tritium profiles to quantify the effects of melt on two Spitsbergen ice cores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wel, L.G.; Streurman, H.J.; Isaksson, E.; Helsen, M.M.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.A.; Moore, J.C.; Meijer, H.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Ice cores from small ice caps provide valuable climatic information, additional to that of Greenland and Antarctica. However, their integrity is usually compromised by summer meltwater percolation. To determine to what extent this can affect such ice cores, we performed high-resolution tritium

  16. Using high-resolution tritium profiles to quantify the effects of melt on two Spitsbergen ice cores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wel, L.G. van der; Streurman, H.J.; Isaksson, E.; Helsen, M.M.; Wal, R.S.W. van de; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.A.; Moore, J.C.; Meijer, H.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Ice cores from small ice caps provide valuable climatic information, additional to that of Greenland and Antarctica. However, their integrity is usually compromised by summer meltwater percolation. To determine to what extent this can affect such ice cores, we performed high-resolution tritium

  17. The optical properties of greenlandic coastal waters: Modelling light penetration in a changing climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stedmon, Colin; Markager, S.S.; Pedersen, T.J.

    Greenlandic fjords are very productive and pristine ecosystems, which the local population is both intrinsically linked to and dependent on through heritage, industrial fisheries, and tourism. The availability and spectral quality of light are key parameters controlling the productivity of these ...... with a considerable amount of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the Arctic Ocean; and Godthåbsfjord a fjord in Southwest Greenland where strong tides ensure a regular supply of warm shelf water which melt glacial ice before it can leave the fjord...

  18. 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...

  19. Ocean stratification reduces melt rates at the grounding zone of the Ross Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begeman, C. B.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Marsh, O.; Mikucki, J.; Stanton, T. P.; Hodson, T. O.; Siegfried, M. R.; Powell, R. D.; Christianson, K. A.; King, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    Ocean-driven melting of ice shelves is often invoked as the primary mechanism for triggering ice loss from Antarctica. However, due to the difficulty in accessing the sub-ice-shelf ocean cavity, the relationship between ice-shelf melt rates and ocean conditions is poorly understood, particularly near the transition from grounded to floating ice, known as the grounding zone. Here we present the first borehole oceanographic observations from the grounding zone of Antarctica's largest ice shelf. Contrary to predictions that tidal currents near grounding zones should mix the water column, driving high ice-shelf melt rates, we find a stratified sub-ice-shelf water column. The vertical salinity gradient dominates stratification over a weakly unstable vertical temperature gradient; thus, stratification takes the form of a double-diffusive staircase. These conditions limit vertical heat fluxes and lead to low melt rates in the ice-shelf grounding zone. While modern grounding zone melt rates may presently be overestimated in models that assume efficient tidal mixing, the high sensitivity of double-diffusive staircases to ocean freshening and warming suggests future melt rates may be underestimated, biasing projections of global sea-level rise.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Ice sheets as a significant source of highly reactive nanoparticulate iron to the oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkings, Jon R; Wadham, Jemma L; Tranter, Martyn; Raiswell, Rob; Benning, Liane G; Statham, Peter J; Tedstone, Andrew; Nienow, Peter; Lee, Katherine; Telling, Jon

    2014-05-21

    The Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets cover ~ 10% of global land surface, but are rarely considered as active components of the global iron cycle. The ocean waters around both ice sheets harbour highly productive coastal ecosystems, many of which are iron limited. Measurements of iron concentrations in subglacial runoff from a large Greenland Ice Sheet catchment reveal the potential for globally significant export of labile iron fractions to the near-coastal euphotic zone. We estimate that the flux of bioavailable iron associated with glacial runoff is 0.40-2.54 Tg per year in Greenland and 0.06-0.17 Tg per year in Antarctica. Iron fluxes are dominated by a highly reactive and potentially bioavailable nanoparticulate suspended sediment fraction, similar to that identified in Antarctic icebergs. Estimates of labile iron fluxes in meltwater are comparable with aeolian dust fluxes to the oceans surrounding Greenland and Antarctica, and are similarly expected to increase in a warming climate with enhanced melting.

  3. Ocean Tide Influences on the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padman, Laurie; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen A.

    2018-03-01

    Ocean tides are the main source of high-frequency variability in the vertical and horizontal motion of ice sheets near their marine margins. Floating ice shelves, which occupy about three quarters of the perimeter of Antarctica and the termini of four outlet glaciers in northern Greenland, rise and fall in synchrony with the ocean tide. Lateral motion of floating and grounded portions of ice sheets near their marine margins can also include a tidal component. These tide-induced signals provide insight into the processes by which the oceans can affect ice sheet mass balance and dynamics. In this review, we summarize in situ and satellite-based measurements of the tidal response of ice shelves and grounded ice, and spatial variability of ocean tide heights and currents around the ice sheets. We review sensitivity of tide heights and currents as ocean geometry responds to variations in sea level, ice shelf thickness, and ice sheet mass and extent. We then describe coupled ice-ocean models and analytical glacier models that quantify the effect of ocean tides on lower-frequency ice sheet mass loss and motion. We suggest new observations and model developments to improve the representation of tides in coupled models that are used to predict future ice sheet mass loss and the associated contribution to sea level change. The most critical need is for new data to improve maps of bathymetry, ice shelf draft, spatial variability of the drag coefficient at the ice-ocean interface, and higher-resolution models with improved representation of tidal energy sinks.

  4. Modelling and parameterizing the influence of tides on ice-shelf melt rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jourdain, N.; Molines, J. M.; Le Sommer, J.; Mathiot, P.; de Lavergne, C.; Gurvan, M.; Durand, G.

    2017-12-01

    Significant Antarctic ice sheet thinning is observed in several sectors of Antarctica, in particular in the Amundsen Sea sector, where warm circumpolar deep waters affect basal melting. The later has the potential to trigger marine ice sheet instabilities, with an associated potential for rapid sea level rise. It is therefore crucial to simulate and understand the processes associated with ice-shelf melt rates. In particular, the absence of tides representation in ocean models remains a caveat of numerous ocean hindcasts and climate projections. In the Amundsen Sea, tides are relatively weak and the melt-induced circulation is stronger than the tidal circulation. Using a regional 1/12° ocean model of the Amundsen Sea, we nonetheless find that tides can increase melt rates by up to 36% in some ice-shelf cavities. Among the processes that can possibly affect melt rates, the most important is an increased exchange at the ice/ocean interface resulting from the presence of strong tidal currents along the ice drafts. Approximately a third of this effect is compensated by a decrease in thermal forcing along the ice draft, which is related to an enhanced vertical mixing in the ocean interior in presence of tides. Parameterizing the effect of tides is an alternative to the representation of explicit tides in an ocean model, and has the advantage not to require any filtering of ocean model outputs. We therefore explore different ways to parameterize the effects of tides on ice shelf melt. First, we compare several methods to impose tidal velocities along the ice draft. We show that getting a realistic spatial distribution of tidal velocities in important, and can be deduced from the barotropic velocities of a tide model. Then, we explore several aspects of parameterized tidal mixing to reproduce the tide-induced decrease in thermal forcing along the ice drafts.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. TopoGreenland: Lithospheric structure and topography in Central-Eastern Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thybo, H.; Shulgin, A.; Kraft, H. A.; Vinnik, L. P.

    2017-12-01

    We present models of the seismic structure of the crust and upper mantle in the interior of Greenland based on new seismological data from the TopoGreenland experiment. Until this experiment, all seismic data in Greenland was acquired close to the coast, where the crustal structure is affected by oceanic break-up. The TopoGreenland data acquisition programme in central-eastern Greenland included the first controlled source seismic experiment in interior Greenland and deployment of 24 broadband (BB) onshore stations for 3 years, partly on the ice cap. The 320 km long seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profile was acquired on the ice cap by a team of six people during two-months in summer of 2011. We present a 2D velocity model of the crust based on tomographic inversion and forward ray tracing modelling of the controlled source data. It shows a decrease of crustal thickness from 47 km below the centre of Greenland in the western to 40 km in its eastern part of the profile. High lower crustal velocities (Vp 6.8 - 7.3 km/s) below central Greenland may result from past collision tectonics or be related to the passage of the Iceland mantle plume. Crustal receiver functions in the surrounding area demonstrate constant structure along the coast and pronounced, relatively sharp variation in crustal thickness around the mountains at the edge of the ice cap. Surprisingly the thickest crust is observed below the lowest topography under the ice cap, whereas the crust is thin below the high mountains at its edge, and thins further below elevated topography out to the coast. Receiver Function interpretation of the mantle and transition zone structure shows a complicated mosaic variation that cannot be correlated to the variation in topography. The origin of the pronounced mountain ranges around the North Atlantic Ocean with average elevation above 1500 m and peak elevations of more than 3.5 km near Scoresby Sund in Eastern Greenland, is unknown. Our new results demonstrate

  8. Level-Ice Melt Ponds in the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model, CICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-06

    terms obtained using the Bitz and Lips- comb (1999) thermodynamic model. The thickness distribution ( Thorndike et al., 1975) employs 5 ice thickness...D.L., 2004. A model of melt pond evolution on sea ice. J. Geophys. Res. 109, C12007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2004JC002361. Thorndike , A.S., Rothrock

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) on 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to intense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest a global mean SLR of 15-20 cm, quantifying the separate components is of great concern - in particular...... for modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of the past GrIS contribution to SLR have been derived using a number of different approaches, e.g. surface mass balance (SMB) calculations combined with estimates of ice discharge found by in correlating SMB anomalies and calving rates. Here......-2010, NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003-2009, and NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) from 2010, to estimate mass loss throughout the 20th and early 21st Century. We present mass balance estimates of the GrIS since retreat commence from the maximum extent...

  10. An Explanation for the Arctic Sea Ice Melt Pond Fractal Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popovic, P.; Abbot, D. S.

    2016-12-01

    As Arctic sea ice melts during the summer, pools of melt water form on its surface. This decreases the ice's albedo, which signifcantly impacts its subsequent evolution. Understanding this process is essential for buiding accurate sea ice models in GCMs and using them to forecast future changes in sea ice. A feature of melt ponds that helps determine their impact on ice albedo is that they often form complex geometric shapes. One characteristic of their shape, the fractal dimension of the pond boundaries, D, has been shown to transition between the two fundamental limits of D = 1 and D = 2 at some critical pond size. Here, we provide an explanation for this behavior. First, using aerial photographs taken during the SHEBA mission, we show how this fractal transition curve changes with time, and show that there is a qualitative difference in the pond shape as ice transitions from impermeable to permeable. While ice is impermeable, the maximum fractal dimension is less than 2, whereas after it becomes permeable, the maximum fractal dimension becomes very close to 2. We then show how the fractal dimension of the boundary of a collection of overlapping circles placed randomly on a plane also transitions from D = 1 to D = 2 at a size equal to the average size of a single circle. We, therefore, conclude that this transition is a simple geometric consequence of regular shapes connecting. The one physical parameter that can be extracted from the fractal transition curve is the length scale at which transition occurs. Previously, this length scale has been associated with the typical size of snow dunes created on the ice surface during winter. We provide an alternative explanation by noting that the flexural wavelength of the ice poses a fundamental limit on the size of melt ponds on permeable ice. If this is true, melt ponds could be used as a proxy for ice thickness. Finally, we provide some remarks on how to observationally distinguish between the two ideas for what

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Inorganic carbon dynamics of melt pond-covered first year sea ice in the Canadian Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, R.J.; Crabeck, O.

    2014-01-01

    Melt pond formation is a common feature of the spring and summer Arctic sea ice. However, the role of the melt ponds formation and the impact of the sea ice melt on both the direction and size of CO2 flux between air and sea is still unknown. Here we describe the CO2-carbonate chemistry of melting...... a strong decrease of the total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2) and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) within the bulk sea ice and the brine. Later on, melt pond formation affects both the bulk sea ice and the brine system. As melt ponds are formed from melted snow the in situ melt pond...

  14. Arctic sea-ice ridges—Safe heavens for sea-ice fauna during periods of extreme ice melt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gradinger, Rolf; Bluhm, Bodil; Iken, Katrin

    2010-01-01

    The abundances and distribution of metazoan within-ice meiofauna (13 stations) and under-ice fauna (12 stations) were investigated in level sea ice and sea-ice ridges in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Canada Basin in June/July 2005 using a combination of ice coring and SCUBA diving. Ice meiofauna abundance was estimated based on live counts in the bottom 30 cm of level sea ice based on triplicate ice core sampling at each location, and in individual ice chunks from ridges at four locations. Under-ice amphipods were counted in situ in replicate ( N=24-65 per station) 0.25 m 2 quadrats using SCUBA to a maximum water depth of 12 m. In level sea ice, the most abundant ice meiofauna groups were Turbellaria (46%), Nematoda (35%), and Harpacticoida (19%), with overall low abundances per station that ranged from 0.0 to 10.9 ind l -1 (median 0.8 ind l -1). In level ice, low ice algal pigment concentrations (Turbellaria, Nematoda and Harpacticoida also were observed in pressure ridges (0-200 ind l -1, median 40 ind l -1), although values were highly variable and only medians of Turbellaria were significantly higher in ridge ice than in level ice. Median abundances of under-ice amphipods at all ice types (level ice, various ice ridge structures) ranged from 8 to 114 ind m -2 per station and mainly consisted of Apherusa glacialis (87%), Onisimus spp. (7%) and Gammarus wilkitzkii (6%). Highest amphipod abundances were observed in pressure ridges at depths >3 m where abundances were up to 42-fold higher compared with level ice. We propose that the summer ice melt impacted meiofauna and under-ice amphipod abundance and distribution through (a) flushing, and (b) enhanced salinity stress at thinner level sea ice (less than 3 m thickness). We further suggest that pressure ridges, which extend into deeper, high-salinity water, become accumulation regions for ice meiofauna and under-ice amphipods in summer. Pressure ridges thus might be crucial for faunal survival during periods of

  15. The significance of volcanic ash in Greenland ice cores during the Common Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plunkett, G.; Pilcher, J. R.; McConnell, J. R.; Sigl, M.; Chellman, N.

    2017-12-01

    Volcanic forcing is now widely regarded as a leading natural factor in short-term climate variability. Polar ice cores provide an unrivalled and continuous record of past volcanism through their chemical and particulate content. With an almost annual precision for the Common Era, the ice core volcanic record can be combined with historical data to investigate the climate and social impacts of the eruptions. The sulfate signature in ice cores is critical for determining the possible climate effectiveness of an eruption, but the presence and characterization of volcanic ash (tephra) in the ice is requisite for establishing the source eruption so that location and eruptive style can be better factored in to climate models. Here, we review the Greenland tephra record for the Common Era, and present the results of targeted sampling for tephra of volcanic events that are of interest either because of their suspected climate and societal impacts or because of their potential as isochrons in paleoenvironmental (including ice core) archives. The majority of identifiable tephras derive from Northern Hemisphere mid- to high latitude eruptions, demonstrating the significance of northern extra-tropical volcanic regions as a source of sulfates in Greenland. A number of targets are represented by sparse or no tephra, or shards that cannot be firmly correlated with a source. We consider the challenges faced in isolating and characterizing tephra from low latitude eruptions, and the implications for accurately modelling climate response to large, tropical events. Finally, we compare the ice core tephra record with terrestrial tephrostratigraphies in the circum-North Atlantic area to evaluate the potential for intercontinental tephra linkages and the refinement of volcanic histories.

  16. Seasonal migration, vertical activity and winter temperature experience of Greenland halibut Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Walbaum) in West Greenland waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boje, Jesper; Neuenfeldt, Stefan; Sparrevohn, Claus Reedtz

    2014-01-01

    resident in Disko Bay (mean range 2.6°C) than when resident in the ice fjord (mean range 1.4°C). Using the tagged halibut as a 'live tool,' we show that parts of the ice fjord are hundreds of meters deeper than previously thought. We also document the first seawater temperature measurements made beneath......The deep-water flatfish Greenland halibut Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Walbaum) is common along the West Greenland coast. In the northwestern fjords, Greenland halibut is an important socio-economic resource for the Greenland community, but due to the deep and partly ice-covered environment, very...

  17. Stochastic dynamics of melt ponds and sea ice-albedo climate feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudakov, Ivan

    Evolution of melt ponds on the Arctic sea surface is a complicated stochastic process. We suggest a low-order model with ice-albedo feedback which describes stochastic dynamics of melt ponds geometrical characteristics. The model is a stochastic dynamical system model of energy balance in the climate system. We describe the equilibria in this model. We conclude the transition in fractal dimension of melt ponds affects the shape of the sea ice albedo curve.

  18. Sea Ice Melt Pond Data from the Canadian Arctic

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains observations of albedo, depth, and physical characteristics of melt ponds on sea ice, taken during the summer of 1994. The melt ponds studied...

  19. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet over multiple timescales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    to further constrain the individual components of the current budget, and in conjunction with longer records, it is important to provide a trustworthy basis for future projections. In this thesis, using airborne- and satellite derived data combined with terrestrial and marine observations, the dynamic...... become grounded and also assuming a similar warming pattern. This thesis implies that in order to investigate the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to future climate change much is to be gained by merging and incorporating data from both marine and terrestrial geology, combined with air- and satellite...

  20. Microbial processes in glaciers and permafrost. A literature study on microbiology affecting groundwater at ice sheet melting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hallbeck, Lotta

    2009-10-01

    A repository for spent nuclear fuel will remain for hundred thousands of years. During this period, several ice ages will most likely take place. To understand the effect of melt water from ice sheets on the repository, the microbiological processes of oxygen reduction has to be elucidated. This report is a compilation of the present knowledge about biological activity in glacier environments. These environments consist of many different parts which have their own biological character depending on the prevailing physical and chemical conditions. There are, for example, ice sheets and glaciers, glacial streams and rivers, soil and water beneath the ice, soil and water in front of and beside ice sheets and glacier and deep groundwater beneath the ice. The microbiological processes of importance are consumption of oxygen by aerobic microorganisms, anaerobic organisms and their reduced metabolites, like sulphide, acetate and methane, which can act as reducing agents in biological or chemical oxygen reduction. The lithotrophic type (inorganic energy source) of metabolism is important in these cold environments. There are also microbiological processes important to radionuclide transport and the production of complexing agents, biological colloids and biofilms. The study of microbial processes in glacier and ice sheet environments is still a young scientific niche. The studies have so far mostly been concentrated to ice surfaces and the subglacial environment. The most important findings from the literature study are as follows. Primary production is ongoing in snow cover and on ice surfaces of glaciers and ice sheets. The production is dependent on the location, because of temperature and solar radiation, but also on the prevailing state of the glacier. On surfaces and in the snow cover, heterotrophic microorganisms consume oxygen and organic material. In surface ice structures anaerobic conditions may occur. The subglacial environment is very active with several types

  1. Microbial processes in glaciers and permafrost. A literature study on microbiology affecting groundwater at ice sheet melting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hallbeck, Lotta (Microbial Analytics Sweden AB, Moelnlycke (Sweden))

    2009-10-15

    A repository for spent nuclear fuel will remain for hundred thousands of years. During this period, several ice ages will most likely take place. To understand the effect of melt water from ice sheets on the repository, the microbiological processes of oxygen reduction has to be elucidated. This report is a compilation of the present knowledge about biological activity in glacier environments. These environments consist of many different parts which have their own biological character depending on the prevailing physical and chemical conditions. There are, for example, ice sheets and glaciers, glacial streams and rivers, soil and water beneath the ice, soil and water in front of and beside ice sheets and glacier and deep groundwater beneath the ice. The microbiological processes of importance are consumption of oxygen by aerobic microorganisms, anaerobic organisms and their reduced metabolites, like sulphide, acetate and methane, which can act as reducing agents in biological or chemical oxygen reduction. The lithotrophic type (inorganic energy source) of metabolism is important in these cold environments. There are also microbiological processes important to radionuclide transport and the production of complexing agents, biological colloids and biofilms. The study of microbial processes in glacier and ice sheet environments is still a young scientific niche. The studies have so far mostly been concentrated to ice surfaces and the subglacial environment. The most important findings from the literature study are as follows. Primary production is ongoing in snow cover and on ice surfaces of glaciers and ice sheets. The production is dependent on the location, because of temperature and solar radiation, but also on the prevailing state of the glacier. On surfaces and in the snow cover, heterotrophic microorganisms consume oxygen and organic material. In surface ice structures anaerobic conditions may occur. The subglacial environment is very active with several types

  2. 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 internal...... layers and a fully automated algorithm for mapping the layer slope. The layer slope is inferred by the intensity response to a slanted Gaussian filter, whereafter layers can be traced using an active contour model. With these techniques we show that it possible to trace internal layers over distances...... of hundreds kilometers with minimal operator intervention, and the methods have been successfully validated between two Greenland deep ice cores with internal match points. In order to remove any operator assistance, we show how the layer slope can be used to detect disturbances in the deep radiostratigraphy...

  3. Enhanced wintertime greenhouse effect reinforcing Arctic amplification and initial sea-ice melting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yunfeng; Liang, Shunlin; Chen, Xiaona; He, Tao; Wang, Dongdong; Cheng, Xiao

    2017-08-16

    The speeds of both Arctic surface warming and sea-ice shrinking have accelerated over recent decades. However, the causes of this unprecedented phenomenon remain unclear and are subjects of considerable debate. In this study, we report strong observational evidence, for the first time from long-term (1984-2014) spatially complete satellite records, that increased cloudiness and atmospheric water vapor in winter and spring have caused an extraordinary downward longwave radiative flux to the ice surface, which may then amplify the Arctic wintertime ice-surface warming. In addition, we also provide observed evidence that it is quite likely the enhancement of the wintertime greenhouse effect caused by water vapor and cloudiness has advanced the time of onset of ice melting in mid-May through inhibiting sea-ice refreezing in the winter and accelerating the pre-melting process in the spring, and in turn triggered the positive sea-ice albedo feedback process and accelerated the sea ice melting in the summer.

  4. Linking Regional Winter Sea Ice Thickness and Surface Roughness to Spring Melt Pond Fraction on Landfast Arctic Sea Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasha Nasonova

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic sea ice cover has decreased strongly in extent, thickness, volume and age in recent decades. The melt season presents a significant challenge for sea ice forecasting due to uncertainty associated with the role of surface melt ponds in ice decay at regional scales. This study quantifies the relationships of spring melt pond fraction (fp with both winter sea ice roughness and thickness, for landfast first-year sea ice (FYI and multiyear sea ice (MYI. In 2015, airborne measurements of winter sea ice thickness and roughness, as well as high-resolution optical data of melt pond covered sea ice, were collected along two ~5.2 km long profiles over FYI- and MYI-dominated regions in the Canadian Arctic. Statistics of winter sea ice thickness and roughness were compared to spring fp using three data aggregation approaches, termed object and hybrid-object (based on image segments, and regularly spaced grid-cells. The hybrid-based aggregation approach showed strongest associations because it considers the morphology of the ice as well as footprints of the sensors used to measure winter sea ice thickness and roughness. Using the hybrid-based data aggregation approach it was found that winter sea ice thickness and roughness are related to spring fp. A stronger negative correlation was observed between FYI thickness and fp (Spearman rs = −0.85 compared to FYI roughness and fp (rs = −0.52. The association between MYI thickness and fp was also negative (rs = −0.56, whereas there was no association between MYI roughness and fp. 47% of spring fp variation for FYI and MYI can be explained by mean thickness. Thin sea ice is characterized by low surface roughness allowing for widespread ponding in the spring (high fp whereas thick sea ice has undergone dynamic thickening and roughening with topographic features constraining melt water into deeper channels (low fp. This work provides an important contribution towards the parameterizations of fp in

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. An in situ measurement of the radio-frequency attenuation in ice at Summit Station, Greenland

    OpenAIRE

    Avva, J.; Kovac, J. M.; Miki, C.; Saltzberg, D.; Vieregg, A. G.

    2014-01-01

    We report an in situ measurement of the electric field attenuation length Lα at radio frequencies for the bulk ice at Summit Station, Greenland, made by broadcasting radio-frequency signals vertically through the ice and measuring the relative power in the return ground bounce signal. We find the depth-averaged field attenuation length to be hLαi = 947+92 −85 m at 75 MHz. While this measurement has clear radioglaciological applications, the radio clarity of the ice also has implications for t...

  8. Reconstructing Southern Greenland Ice Sheet History During the Plio-Pleistocene Intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation: Insights from IODP Site U1307

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake-Mizen, K. R.; Hatfield, R. G.; Carlson, A. E.; Walczak, M. H.; Stoner, J. S.; Xuan, C.; Lawrence, K. T.; Bailey, I.

    2017-12-01

    Should it melt entirely, the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has the potential to raise global sea-level by 7 metres. With the Arctic continuing to warm at a remarkable rate, to better understand how the GrIS will respond to future anthropogenically-induced climate change we must constrain its natural variability in the geological past. In this regard, much uncertainty exists surrounding its pre-Quaternary history; particularly during the mid-Piacenzian warm period (mPWP; 3.3-3.0 Ma) - widely considered an analogue for near-future equilibrium climate with modern atmospheric CO2 levels and elevated temperatures relative to today - and the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene onset of widespread Northern Hemisphere glaciation (NHG, 2.7 Ma). GrIS reconstructions for these intervals have been largely hampered by a lack of well-dated, high-resolution records from suitable sites. To address this, we present new high-resolution, multi-proxy records from IODP Site U1307, a North Atlantic marine sediment core recovered from the Eirik Drift just south of Greenland. Generation of a new high-resolution relative palaeointensity (RPI)-based age-model - representing the first of its kind for high-latitude sediments deposited during NHG - has enabled strong orbital age control. Our ice-rafted debris (IRD) record confirms a 2.72 Ma initiation of major southern GrIS marine-terminating glaciations, which appear to persist even through interglacial periods up to at least 2.24 Ma. XRF-scanning and IRD evidence suggests, however, that an ephemeral ice-cap of likely considerable size persisted on southern Greenland prior to the mPWP. These data, together with the analysed provenance of individual IRD, indicate marine-based GrIS margins extended southward over the NHG interval and only occurred on Greenland's southern tip from 2.7 Ma. Despite a large increase in the deposition of GrIS-derived IRD from this time, bulk sedimentation rates and magnetic grain-size dropped significantly, implying that

  9. Simple Rules Govern the Patterns of Arctic Sea Ice Melt Ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popović, Predrag; Cael, B. B.; Silber, Mary; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2018-04-01

    Climate change, amplified in the far north, has led to rapid sea ice decline in recent years. In the summer, melt ponds form on the surface of Arctic sea ice, significantly lowering the ice reflectivity (albedo) and thereby accelerating ice melt. Pond geometry controls the details of this crucial feedback; however, a reliable model of pond geometry does not currently exist. Here we show that a simple model of voids surrounding randomly sized and placed overlapping circles reproduces the essential features of pond patterns. The only two model parameters, characteristic circle radius and coverage fraction, are chosen by comparing, between the model and the aerial photographs of the ponds, two correlation functions which determine the typical pond size and their connectedness. Using these parameters, the void model robustly reproduces the ponds' area-perimeter and area-abundance relationships over more than 6 orders of magnitude. By analyzing the correlation functions of ponds on several dates, we also find that the pond scale and the connectedness are surprisingly constant across different years and ice types. Moreover, we find that ponds resemble percolation clusters near the percolation threshold. These results demonstrate that the geometry and abundance of Arctic melt ponds can be simply described, which can be exploited in future models of Arctic melt ponds that would improve predictions of the response of sea ice to Arctic warming.

  10. Simple Rules Govern the Patterns of Arctic Sea Ice Melt Ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popović, Predrag; Cael, B B; Silber, Mary; Abbot, Dorian S

    2018-04-06

    Climate change, amplified in the far north, has led to rapid sea ice decline in recent years. In the summer, melt ponds form on the surface of Arctic sea ice, significantly lowering the ice reflectivity (albedo) and thereby accelerating ice melt. Pond geometry controls the details of this crucial feedback; however, a reliable model of pond geometry does not currently exist. Here we show that a simple model of voids surrounding randomly sized and placed overlapping circles reproduces the essential features of pond patterns. The only two model parameters, characteristic circle radius and coverage fraction, are chosen by comparing, between the model and the aerial photographs of the ponds, two correlation functions which determine the typical pond size and their connectedness. Using these parameters, the void model robustly reproduces the ponds' area-perimeter and area-abundance relationships over more than 6 orders of magnitude. By analyzing the correlation functions of ponds on several dates, we also find that the pond scale and the connectedness are surprisingly constant across different years and ice types. Moreover, we find that ponds resemble percolation clusters near the percolation threshold. These results demonstrate that the geometry and abundance of Arctic melt ponds can be simply described, which can be exploited in future models of Arctic melt ponds that would improve predictions of the response of sea ice to Arctic warming.

  11. When Does the Warmest Water Reach Greenland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grist, J. P.; Josey, S. A.; Boehme, L.; Meredith, M. P.; Laidre, K. L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M. P.; Kovacs, K. M.; Lydersen, C.; Davidson, F. J. M.; Stenson, G. B.; Hammill, M. O.; Marsh, R.; Coward, A.

    2016-02-01

    The warmest water reaching the east and west coast of Greenland is found between 200 and 600 m, in the warm Atlantic Water Layer (WL). Temperature changes within the WL have been highlighted as a possible cause of accelerated melting of tidewater glaciers and therefore are an important consideration for understanding global sea level rise. However, a limited number of winter observations of the WL have prohibited determining its seasonal variability. To address this, temperature data from Argo profiling floats, a range of sources within the World Ocean Database, and unprecedented coverage from marine-mammal borne sensors have been analyzed for the period 2002-2011. A significant seasonal range in temperature ( 1-2°C) is found in the warm layer, in contrast to most of the surrounding ocean. The magnitude of the seasonal cycle is thus comparable with the 1990s warming that was associated with an increased melt rate in a marine terminating glacier of West Greenland. The phase of the seasonal cycle exhibits considerable spatial variability; with high-resolution ocean model trajectory analysis suggesting it is determined by the time taken for waters to be advected from the subduction site in the Irminger Basin. For western Greenland, the annual temperature maximum occurs near or after the turn of the calendar year. This is significant because a recent study suggested that it is in the non-summer months when fjord-shelf exchanges allow the WL to most strongly influence glacier melt rate. However this is also the time of the year when the WL is least well observed. It is therefore clear that year-round subsurface temperature measurements are still required for a complete description of the WL seasonality, and in particular to ensure that the ice-melting potential of the WL is not underestimated.

  12. Oxygen exchange and ice melt measured at the ice-water interface by eddy correlation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Long, M.H.; Koopmans, D.; Berg, P.

    2012-01-01

    heterotrophic with a daily gross primary production of 0.69 mmol O2 mĝ̂'2 dĝ̂'1 and a respiration rate of ĝ̂'2.13 mmol O2 mĝ̂'2 dĝ̂'1 leading to a net ecosystem metabolism of ĝ̂'1.45 mmol O2 mĝ̂'2 dĝ̂'1. This application of the eddy correlation technique produced high temporal resolution O2 fluxes and ice melt......This study examined fluxes across the ice-water interface utilizing the eddy correlation technique. Temperature eddy correlation systems were used to determine rates of ice melting and freezing, and O2 eddy correlation systems were used to examine O2 exchange rates driven by biological and physical...

  13. 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...

  14. Drag Moderation by the Melting of an Ice Surface in Contact with Water

    KAUST Repository

    Vakarelski, Ivan Uriev; Chan, Derek Y.  C.; Thoroddsen, Sigurdur T

    2015-01-01

    We report measurements of the effects of a melting ice surface on the hydrodynamic drag of ice-shell-metal-core spheres free falling in water at a Reynolds of number Re∼2×104–3×105 and demonstrate that the melting surface induces the early onset of the drag crisis, thus reducing the hydrodynamic drag by more than 50%. Direct visualization of the flow pattern demonstrates the key role of surface melting. Our observations support the hypothesis that the drag reduction is due to the disturbance of the viscous boundary layer by the mass transfer from the melting ice surface.

  15. Drag Moderation by the Melting of an Ice Surface in Contact with Water

    KAUST Repository

    Vakarelski, Ivan Uriev

    2015-07-24

    We report measurements of the effects of a melting ice surface on the hydrodynamic drag of ice-shell-metal-core spheres free falling in water at a Reynolds of number Re∼2×104–3×105 and demonstrate that the melting surface induces the early onset of the drag crisis, thus reducing the hydrodynamic drag by more than 50%. Direct visualization of the flow pattern demonstrates the key role of surface melting. Our observations support the hypothesis that the drag reduction is due to the disturbance of the viscous boundary layer by the mass transfer from the melting ice surface.

  16. Marginal thinning in Northwest Greenland during 2002-2011

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjær, K. H.; Wahr, J. M.

    2012-01-01

    Many glaciers along the southeast and northwest coast of Greenland have accelerated, increasing the Greenland ice sheet's (GrIS) contribution to global sea-level rise. Here, we map elevation changes in northwest Greenland during 2003-2009 using high-resolution Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satell...

  17. 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

  18. Validation of a Climate-Data Record of the "Clear-Kky" Surface Temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Surface temperatures on the Greenland Ice Sheet have been studied on the ground, using automatic weather station (AWS) data from the Greenland-Climate Network (GC-Net), and from analysis of satellite sensor data. Using Advanced Very High Frequency Radiometer (AVHRR) weekly surface temperature maps, warming of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been documented since 1981. We extended and refined this record using higher-resolution Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data from March 2000 to the present. We developed a daily and monthly climate-data record (CDR) of the "clear-sky" surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet using an ice-surface temperature (1ST) algorithm developed for use with MODIS data. Validation of this CDR is ongoing. MODIS Terra swath data are projected onto a polar stereographic grid at 6.25-km resolution to develop binary, gridded daily and mean-monthly 1ST maps. Each monthly map also has a color-coded image map that is available to download. Also included with the monthly maps is an accompanying map showing number of days in the month that were used to calculate the mean-monthly 1ST. This is important because no 1ST decision is made by the algorithm for cells that are considered cloudy by the internal cloud mask, so a sufficient number of days must be available to produce a mean 1ST for each grid cell. Validation of the CDR consists of several facets: 1) comparisons between ISTs and in-situ measurements; 2) comparisons between ISTs and AWS data; and 3) comparisons of ISTs with surface temperatures derived from other satellite instruments such as the Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+). Previous work shows that Terra MODIS ISTs are about 3 C lower than in-situ temperatures measured at Summit Camp, during the winter of 2008-09 under clear skies. In this work we begin to compare surface temperatures derived from AWS data with ISTs from the MODIS CDR. The

  19. A simple model for the evolution of melt pond coverage on permeable Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popović, Predrag; Abbot, Dorian

    2017-05-01

    As the melt season progresses, sea ice in the Arctic often becomes permeable enough to allow for nearly complete drainage of meltwater that has collected on the ice surface. Melt ponds that remain after drainage are hydraulically connected to the ocean and correspond to regions of sea ice whose surface is below sea level. We present a simple model for the evolution of melt pond coverage on such permeable sea ice floes in which we allow for spatially varying ice melt rates and assume the whole floe is in hydrostatic balance. The model is represented by two simple ordinary differential equations, where the rate of change of pond coverage depends on the pond coverage. All the physical parameters of the system are summarized by four strengths that control the relative importance of the terms in the equations. The model both fits observations and allows us to understand the behavior of melt ponds in a way that is often not possible with more complex models. Examples of insights we can gain from the model are that (1) the pond growth rate is more sensitive to changes in bare sea ice albedo than changes in pond albedo, (2) ponds grow slower on smoother ice, and (3) ponds respond strongest to freeboard sinking on first-year ice and sidewall melting on multiyear ice. We also show that under a global warming scenario, pond coverage would increase, decreasing the overall ice albedo and leading to ice thinning that is likely comparable to thinning due to direct forcing. Since melt pond coverage is one of the key parameters controlling the albedo of sea ice, understanding the mechanisms that control the distribution of pond coverage will help improve large-scale model parameterizations and sea ice forecasts in a warming climate.

  20. Warm winds from the Pacific caused extensive Arctic sea-ice melt in summer 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graversen, Rune G.; Drijfhout, Sybren [Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt (Netherlands); Mauritsen, Thorsten [Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (Germany); Tjernstroem, Michael; Maartensson, Sebastian [Stockholm University, Department of Meteorology, Stockholm (Sweden)

    2011-06-15

    During summer 2007 the Arctic sea-ice shrank to the lowest extent ever observed. The role of the atmospheric energy transport in this extreme melt event is explored using the state-of-the-art ERA-Interim reanalysis data. We find that in summer 2007 there was an anomalous atmospheric flow of warm and humid air into the region that suffered severe melt. This anomaly was larger than during any other year in the data (1989-2008). Convergence of the atmospheric energy transport over this area led to positive anomalies of the downward longwave radiation and turbulent fluxes. In the region that experienced unusual ice melt, the net anomaly of the surface fluxes provided enough extra energy to melt roughly one meter of ice during the melting season. When the ocean successively became ice-free, the surface-albedo decreased causing additional absorption of shortwave radiation, despite the fact that the downwelling solar radiation was smaller than average. We argue that the positive anomalies of net downward longwave radiation and turbulent fluxes played a key role in initiating the 2007 extreme ice melt, whereas the shortwave-radiation changes acted as an amplifying feedback mechanism in response to the melt. (orig.)

  1. Arctic Ice Melting: National Security Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence. - Hannah ... Arendt 39 How will the domestic or foreign economic policies of the United States be affected by Arctic ice melting? Increased access to the

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    and ocean load changes occurring since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~21 thousand years ago) and may be used to constrain the GrIS deglaciation history. We use data from the Greenland Global Positioning System network to directly measure GIA and estimate basinwide mass changes since the LGM. Unpredicted......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...

  4. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    Firn is defined as snow that has survived a melt season and provides the link between the high-frequency variability of the atmosphere to the ”slower” reacting ice sheet.In this thesis, firn is described by a theoretical and statistical approach to accommodate the variability in observed firn...... compaction on ice sheet scales. The modeling objectives are multiple and aim at estimating the contribution from the firn to the observed volume change of the GrIS and to the diffusion of stable water isotopes. The firn modeling then provides crucial information on total mass balance of the Gr......IS and the paleo-temperature reconstructions retrieved from ice cores.The dynamical firn model developed in this thesis explains13 % of the observed volume change of the GrIS from 2003-2008, without contributing to the global sea-level rise. This emphasizes the need for well constraint firn-compaction models. Here...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Formation of recent martian debris flows by melting of near-surface ground ice at high obliquity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costard, F; Forget, F; Mangold, N; Peulvast, J P

    2002-01-04

    The observation of small gullies associated with recent surface runoff on Mars has renewed the question of liquid water stability at the surface of Mars. The gullies could be formed by groundwater seepage from underground aquifers; however, observations of gullies originating from isolated peaks and dune crests question this scenario. We show that these landforms may result from the melting of water ice in the top few meters of the martian subsurface at high obliquity. Our conclusions are based on the analogy between the martian gullies and terrestrial debris flows observed in Greenland and numerical simulations that show that above-freezing temperatures can occur at high obliquities in the near surface of Mars, and that such temperatures are only predicted at latitudes and for slope orientations corresponding to where the gullies have been observed on Mars.

  8. Pathways of warm water to the Northeast Greenland outlet glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Kanzow, Torsten; Arndt, Jan Erik; Mayer, Christoph; Schauer, Ursula

    2015-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers surrounding the Greenland coast. The warming and accumulation of Atlantic Water in the subpolar North Atlantic has been suggested to be a potential driver of the glaciers' retreat over the last decades. The shelf regions thus play a critical role for the transport of Atlantic Water towards the glaciers, but also for the transfer of freshwater towards the deep ocean. A key region for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. This large ice stream drains the second-largest basin of the Greenland Ice Sheet and feeds three outlet glaciers. The largest one is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79°N-Glacier) featuring an 80 km long floating ice tongue. Both the ocean circulation on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the circulation in the cavity below the ice tongue are weakly constrained so far. In order to study the relevant processes of glacier-ocean interaction we combine observations and model work. Here we focus on historic and recent hydrographic observations and on the complex bathymetry in the Northeast Greenland shelf region, which is thought to steer the flux of warm Atlantic water onto the continental shelf and into the sub-ice cavity beneath the 79°N-Glacier. We present a new global topography data set, RTopo-2, which includes the most recent surveys on the Northeast Greenland continental shelf and provides a detailed bathymetry for all around Greenland. In addition, RTopo-2 contains ice and bedrock surface topographies for Greenland and Antarctica. Based on the updated ocean bathymetry and a variety of hydrographic observations we show the water mass distribution on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland. These maps enable us to discuss possible supply pathways of warm modified Atlantic waters on the continental shelf and thus potential ways of heat

  9. Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuo, Z.; Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

    The contribution of glacier melt, including the Greenland ice-sheet, to sea-level change since AD 1865 is estimated on the basis of modelled sensitivity of glacier mass balance to climate change and historical temperature data. Calculations are done in a regionally differentiated manner to overcome

  10. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Nutrient availability limits biological production in Arctic sea ice melt ponds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Heidi Louise; Thamdrup, Bo; Jeppesen, Erik

    2017-01-01

    nutrient limitation in melt ponds. We also document that the addition of nutrients, although at relative high concentrations, can stimulate biological productivity at several trophic levels. Given the projected increase in first-year ice, increased melt pond coverage during the Arctic spring and potential......Every spring and summer melt ponds form at the surface of polar sea ice and become habitats where biological production may take place. Previous studies report a large variability in the productivity, but the causes are unknown. We investigated if nutrients limit the productivity in these first...... additional nutrient supply from, e.g. terrestrial sources imply that biological activity of melt ponds may become increasingly important for the sympagic carbon cycling in the future Arctic....

  13. Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Dating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Donald Underkofler

    1990-01-01

    Presented is an activity in which a mystery setting is used to motivate students to construct their own decay curves of melting ice used as an analogy to radioactive decay. Procedures, materials, apparatus, discussion topics, presentation, and thermodynamics are discussed. (CW)

  14. The color of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Peng; Leppäranta, Matti; Cheng, Bin; Li, Zhijun; Istomina, Larysa; Heygster, Georg

    2018-04-01

    Pond color, which creates the visual appearance of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice in summer, is quantitatively investigated using a two-stream radiative transfer model for ponded sea ice. The upwelling irradiance from the pond surface is determined and then its spectrum is transformed into RGB (red, green, blue) color space using a colorimetric method. The dependence of pond color on various factors such as water and ice properties and incident solar radiation is investigated. The results reveal that increasing underlying ice thickness Hi enhances both the green and blue intensities of pond color, whereas the red intensity is mostly sensitive to Hi for thin ice (Hi 1.5 m), similar to the behavior of melt-pond albedo. The distribution of the incident solar spectrum F0 with wavelength affects the pond color rather than its intensity. The pond color changes from dark blue to brighter blue with increasing scattering in ice, and the influence of absorption in ice on pond color is limited. The pond color reproduced by the model agrees with field observations for Arctic sea ice in summer, which supports the validity of this study. More importantly, the pond color has been confirmed to contain information about meltwater and underlying ice, and therefore it can be used as an index to retrieve Hi and Hp. Retrievals of Hi for thin ice (Hi measurements than retrievals for thick ice, but those of Hp are not good. The analysis of pond color is a new potential method to obtain thin ice thickness in summer, although more validation data and improvements to the radiative transfer model will be needed in future.

  15. Rapid changes in surface water carbonate chemistry during Antarctic sea ice melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Elizabeth M.; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Venables, Hugh J.; Whitehouse, Michael J.; Korb, Rebecca E.; Watson, Andrew J.

    2010-11-01

    ABSTRACT The effect of sea ice melt on the carbonate chemistry of surface waters in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence, Southern Ocean, was investigated during January 2008. Contrasting concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA) and the fugacity of carbon dioxide (fCO2) were observed in and around the receding sea ice edge. The precipitation of carbonate minerals such as ikaite (CaCO3.6H2O) in sea ice brine has the net effect of decreasing DIC and TA and increasing the fCO2 in the brine. Deficits in DIC up to 12 +/- 3 μmol kg-1 in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) were consistent with the release of DIC-poor brines to surface waters during sea ice melt. Biological utilization of carbon was the dominant processes and accounted for 41 +/- 1 μmol kg-1 of the summer DIC deficit. The data suggest that the combined effects of biological carbon uptake and the precipitation of carbonates created substantial undersaturation in fCO2 of 95 μatm in the MIZ during summer sea ice melt. Further work is required to improve the understanding of ikaite chemistry in Antarctic sea ice and its importance for the sea ice carbon pump.

  16. Percolation blockage: A process that enables melt pond formation on first year Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polashenski, Chris; Golden, Kenneth M.; Perovich, Donald K.; Skyllingstad, Eric; Arnsten, Alexandra; Stwertka, Carolyn; Wright, Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    Melt pond formation atop Arctic sea ice is a primary control of shortwave energy balance in the Arctic Ocean. During late spring and summer, the ponds determine sea ice albedo and how much solar radiation is transmitted into the upper ocean through the sea ice. The initial formation of ponds requires that melt water be retained above sea level on the ice surface. Both theory and observations, however, show that first year sea ice is so highly porous prior to the formation of melt ponds that multiday retention of water above hydraulic equilibrium should not be possible. Here we present results of percolation experiments that identify and directly demonstrate a mechanism allowing melt pond formation. The infiltration of fresh water into the pore structure of sea ice is responsible for blocking percolation pathways with ice, sealing the ice against water percolation, and allowing water to pool above sea level. We demonstrate that this mechanism is dependent on fresh water availability, known to be predominantly from snowmelt, and ice temperature at melt onset. We argue that the blockage process has the potential to exert significant control over interannual variability in ice albedo. Finally, we suggest that incorporating the mechanism into models would enhance their physical realism. Full treatment would be complex. We provide a simple temperature threshold-based scheme that may be used to incorporate percolation blockage behavior into existing model frameworks.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. TopoGreenland: crustal structure in central-eastern Greenland along a new refraction profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans; Field Team TopoGreenland

    2013-04-01

    We present the seismic structure in the interior of Greenland based on the first measurements by the seismic refraction/wide angle reflection method. Previous seismic surveys have only been carried out offshore and near the coast of Greenland, where the crustal structure is affected by oceanic break-up and may not be representative of the interior of the island. Acquisition of geophysical data in onshore Greenland is logistically complicated by the presence of an up to 3.4 km thick ice sheet, permanently covering most of the land mass. The seismic data was acquired by a team of six people during a two-month long experiment in summer of 2011 on the ice cap in the interior of central-eastern Greenland. The EW-trending profile extends 310 km inland from the approximate edge of the stable ice cap near Scoresby Sund across the center of the ice cap. The planned extension of the profile by use of OBSs and air gun shooting in Scoresbysund Fjord to the east coast of Greenland was unfortunately canceled, because navigation was prevented by ice drift. 350 Reftek Texan receivers recorded high-quality seismic data from 8 equidistant shots along the profile. Explosive charge sizes were 1 ton at the ends and ca. 500 kg along the profile, loaded with about 125 kg at 35-85 m depth in individual boreholes. Two-dimensional velocity model based on tomographic inversion and forward ray tracing modeling shows a decrease of crustal thickness from 47 km below the center of Greenland in the western part to 40 km in the eastern part of the profile. Earlier studies show that crustal thickness further decreases eastward to ca. 30 km below the fjord system, but details of the changes are unknown. Relatively high lower crustal velocities (Vp 6.8 - 7.3) in the western part of the TopoGreenland profile may indicate past collision tectonics or may be related or to the passage of the Iceland mantle plume. The origin of the pronounced circum-Atlantic mountain ranges in Norway and eastern Greenland

  20. The Greenland Analogue Project (GAP). Literature review of hydrogeology/ hydrogeochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallroth, Thomas; Lokrantz, Hanna; Rimsa, Andrius (Bergab Consulting Geologists, Goeteborg (Sweden))

    2010-09-15

    This report is produced as part of the Greenland Analogue Project (GAP), carried out as a collaboration project with the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), Posiva Oy and the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB). The overall aim of the project is to improve the current understanding of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical processes associated with continental-scale glacial periods including with the presence of permafrost and the advance/retreat of ice sheets. The project will focus on studying how an ice sheet affects groundwater flow and water chemistry around a deep geological repository in crystalline bedrock. The Greenland Analogue Project consists of three active sub-projects (A-C) with individual objectives. Field studies are conducted in the Kangerlussuaq region, in central Western Greenland. Sub-projects A and B collectively aim at improving the understanding of ice sheet hydrology by combining investigations on surface water processes with ice sheet drilling and instrumentation. In sub-project C, the penetration of glacial melt water into the bedrock, groundwater flow and the chemical composition of water will be studied. Main planned activities in sub-project C include drilling of a deep borehole in front of the ice sheet, in which different downhole surveys, sampling and monitoring will be carried out. The primary aim of this report is to review available information about hydrogeology and hydrogeochemistry in central Western Greenland, with special emphasis on the area around Kangerlussuaq. The relevant information about this area is however very limited, and it was decided to extend the review to briefly include studies made in other regions with similar conditions in terms of geology, climate and glaciology. The number of published studies made in other areas with glaciers, ice sheets or permafrost is very large, and the review and list of references in this report is far from complete. It is also obvious that both

  1. The Greenland Analogue Project (GAP). Literature review of hydrogeology/ hydrogeochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallroth, Thomas; Lokrantz, Hanna; Rimsa, Andrius

    2010-09-01

    This report is produced as part of the Greenland Analogue Project (GAP), carried out as a collaboration project with the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), Posiva Oy and the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB). The overall aim of the project is to improve the current understanding of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical processes associated with continental-scale glacial periods including with the presence of permafrost and the advance/retreat of ice sheets. The project will focus on studying how an ice sheet affects groundwater flow and water chemistry around a deep geological repository in crystalline bedrock. The Greenland Analogue Project consists of three active sub-projects (A-C) with individual objectives. Field studies are conducted in the Kangerlussuaq region, in central Western Greenland. Sub-projects A and B collectively aim at improving the understanding of ice sheet hydrology by combining investigations on surface water processes with ice sheet drilling and instrumentation. In sub-project C, the penetration of glacial melt water into the bedrock, groundwater flow and the chemical composition of water will be studied. Main planned activities in sub-project C include drilling of a deep borehole in front of the ice sheet, in which different downhole surveys, sampling and monitoring will be carried out. The primary aim of this report is to review available information about hydrogeology and hydrogeochemistry in central Western Greenland, with special emphasis on the area around Kangerlussuaq. The relevant information about this area is however very limited, and it was decided to extend the review to briefly include studies made in other regions with similar conditions in terms of geology, climate and glaciology. The number of published studies made in other areas with glaciers, ice sheets or permafrost is very large, and the review and list of references in this report is far from complete. It is also obvious that both

  2. 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.

  3. Validation of a Climate-Data Record of the "Clear-Sky" Surface Temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Surface temperatures on the Greenland Ice Sheet have been studied on the ground, using automatic weather station (AWS) data from the Greenland-Climate Network (GC-Net), and from analysis of satellite sensor data. Using Advanced Very High Frequency Radiometer (AVHRR) weekly surface temperature maps, warming of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been documented since 1981. We extended and refined this record using higher-resolution Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data from March 2000 to the present. We developed a daily and monthly climate-data record (CDR) of the "clear-sky" surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet using an ice-surface temperature (1ST) algorithm developed for use with MODIS data. Validation of this CDR is ongoing. MODIS Terra swath data are projected onto a polar stereographic grid at 6.25-km resolution to develop binary, gridded daily and mean-monthly 1ST maps. Each monthly map also has a color-coded image map that is available to download. Also included with the monthly maps is an accompanying map showing number of days in the month that were used to calculate the mean-monthly 1ST. This is important because no 1ST decision is made by the algorithm for cells that are considered cloudy by the internal cloud mask, so a sufficient number of days must be available to produce a mean 1ST for each grid cell. Validation of the CDR consists of several facets: 1) comparisons between ISTs and in-situ measurements; 2) comparisons between ISTs and AWS data; and 3) comparisons of ISTs with surface temperatures derived from other satellite instruments such as the Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+). Previous work shows that Terra MODIS ISTs are about 3 C lower than in-situ temperatures measured at Summit Camp, during the winter of 2008-09 under clear skies. In this work we begin to compare surface temperatures derived from AWS data with ISTs from the MODIS CDR.

  4. Extreme temperature events on Greenland in observations and the MAR regional climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeson, Amber A.; Eastoe, Emma; Fettweis, Xavier

    2018-03-01

    Meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributed 1.7-6.12 mm to global sea level between 1993 and 2010 and is expected to contribute 20-110 mm to future sea level rise by 2100. These estimates were produced by regional climate models (RCMs) which are known to be robust at the ice sheet scale but occasionally miss regional- and local-scale climate variability (e.g. Leeson et al., 2017; Medley et al., 2013). To date, the fidelity of these models in the context of short-period variability in time (i.e. intra-seasonal) has not been fully assessed, for example their ability to simulate extreme temperature events. We use an event identification algorithm commonly used in extreme value analysis, together with observations from the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net), to assess the ability of the MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) RCM to reproduce observed extreme positive-temperature events at 14 sites around Greenland. We find that MAR is able to accurately simulate the frequency and duration of these events but underestimates their magnitude by more than half a degree Celsius/kelvin, although this bias is much smaller than that exhibited by coarse-scale Era-Interim reanalysis data. As a result, melt energy in MAR output is underestimated by between 16 and 41 % depending on global forcing applied. Further work is needed to precisely determine the drivers of extreme temperature events, and why the model underperforms in this area, but our findings suggest that biases are passed into MAR from boundary forcing data. This is important because these forcings are common between RCMs and their range of predictions of past and future ice sheet melting. We propose that examining extreme events should become a routine part of global and regional climate model evaluation and that addressing shortcomings in this area should be a priority for model development.

  5. Crustal structure of the Central-Eastern Greenland: results from the Topo Greenland refraction profile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Until present, seismic surveys have only been carried out offshore and near the coasts of Greenland, where the crustal structure is affected by oceanic break-up. We present the deep seismic structure of the crust of the interior of Greenland, based on the new and the only existing so far seismic...... refraction/wide-angle reflection profile. The seismic data was acquired by a team of six people during a two-month long experiment in summer of 2011 on the ice cap in the interior of central-eastern Greenland. The presence of an up to 3.4 km thick ice sheet, permanently covering most of the land mass, made...... acquisition of geophysical data logistically complicated. The profile extends 310 km inland in E-W direction from the approximate edge of the stable ice cap near the Scoresby Sund across the center of the ice cap. 350 Reftek Texan receivers recorded high-quality seismic data from 8 equidistant shots along...

  6. 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

  7. Nitrate addition has minimal short-term impacts on greenland ice sheet supraglacial prokaryotes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cameron, Karen A.; Stibal, Marek; Chrismas, Nathan

    2017-01-01

    Tropospheric nitrate levels are predicted to increase throughout the 21st century, with potential effects on terrestrial ecosystems, including the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). This study considers the impacts of elevated nitrate concentrations on the abundance and composition of dominant bulk...... and active prokaryotic communities sampled from in situ nitrate fertilization plots on the GrIS surface. Nitrate concentrations were successfully elevated within sediment-filled meltwater pools, known as cryoconite holes; however, nitrate additions applied to surface ice did not persist. Estimated bulk...... cryoconite communities were not nitrate limited at the time of sampling. Instead, temporal changes in biomass and community composition were more pronounced. As these in situ incubations were short (6 weeks), and the community composition across GrIS surface ice is highly variable, we suggest that further...

  8. Spatiotemporal variability of oxygen isotope compositions in three contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, N. Tvis; Yde, J.C.; Steffensen, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    composition is controlled by the proportion between snowmelt and ice melt with episodic inputs of rainwater and occasional storage and release of a specific water component due to changes in the subglacial drainage system. At Kuannersuit Glacier River on the island Qeqertarsuaq, the δ18O characteristics were......Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of spatio-temporal δ18O variations in glacier rivers, we have examined three glacierized catchments in Greenland...... of diurnal oscillations, and in 2003 there were large diurnal fluctuations in δ18O. At Watson River, a large catchment at the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the spatial distribution of δ18O in the river system was applied to fingerprint the relative runoff contributions from sub-catchments. Spot...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

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

  10. PIXE analysis as a tool for dating of ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansson, H.C.; Swietlicki, E.; Larsson, N.P.O.; Johnsen, S.J.

    1993-01-01

    Sections from the 2037 m long Dye 3 ice core drilled in 1979-1981 in the ice sheet of Southern Greenland were analysed with PIXE. The seven selected sections were from depths between 1778 and 1813 m, which corresponds to a time interval between about 8 500 and 10 000 years B.C. at the end of the last Ice Age. During this time period, fast climatic changes of several degrees centrigrade per century are known to have taken place. The exact time scales of these changes need yet to be verified by renewed measurements using nonconventional stratigraphic dating techniques such as PIXE. The problem is highly relevant for the prediction of climatic changes in our present age. A new sample preparation technique was developed which enables the determination of annual thicknesses of the parts of the ice core representing 10 000-40 000 years before present, where the thickness of the annual ice layers are believed to be less than 2.5 cm. More commonly used techniques of dating, such as measurements of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes δ 18 O and δD, nitrate, acidity or conductivity all have difficulties in resolving annual cycles in thicknesses of less than about 2 cm. The new technique involves sublimation of 18 cm long ice sections, after which the material contained in the ice is deposited on the thin backing. In this way, the material to be analysed is preconcentrated through the removal of the H 2 O, while still retaining the spatial distribution pattern of the various water soluble and insoluble components along the ice core. The resulting spatial resolution of the sublimation technique is estimated to be ±1 mm. A PIXE analysis was performed in contiguous millimeter steps across the sublimated ice sections. Estimations of annual ice layer thicknesses were based on the patterns of seasonal variation along the ice sections for several major and minor elements quantified with PIXE. (orig./TW)

  11. The melt pond fraction and spectral sea ice albedo retrieval from MERIS data: validation and trends of sea ice albedo and melt pond fraction in the Arctic for years 2002–2011

    OpenAIRE

    L. Istomina; G. Heygster; M. Huntemann; P. Schwarz; G. Birnbaum; R. Scharien; C. Polashenski; D. Perovich; E. Zege; A. Malinka; A. Prikhach; I. Katsev

    2014-01-01

    The presence of melt ponds on the Arctic sea ice strongly affects the energy balance of the Arctic Ocean in summer. It affects albedo as well as transmittance through the sea ice, which has consequences on the heat balance and mass balance of sea ice. An algorithm to retrieve melt pond fraction and sea ice albedo (Zege et al., 2014) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) data is validated against aerial, ship borne and in situ campaign data. The result sho...

  12. 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.

  13. A 600-year annual 10Be record from the NGRIP ice core, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berggren, A.M.; Johnsen, Sigfus Johann; Vinther, Bo Møllesøe

    2009-01-01

    in an ice core from the NGRIP site in Greenland. NGRIP and Dye-3 10Be exhibits similar long-term variability, although occasional short term differences between the two sites indicate that at least two high resolution 10Be records are needed to assess local variations and to confidently reconstruct past...

  14. The land-ice contribution to 21st-century dynamic sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, T.; Ridley, J.; Pardaens, A. K.; Hurkmans, R. T. W. L.; Payne, A. J.; Giesen, R. H.; Lowe, J. A.; Bamber, J. L.; Edwards, T. L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2014-06-01

    Climate change has the potential to influence global mean sea level through a number of processes including (but not limited to) thermal expansion of the oceans and enhanced land ice melt. In addition to their contribution to global mean sea level change, these two processes (among others) lead to local departures from the global mean sea level change, through a number of mechanisms including the effect on spatial variations in the change of water density and transport, usually termed dynamic sea level changes. In this study, we focus on the component of dynamic sea level change that might be given by additional freshwater inflow to the ocean under scenarios of 21st-century land-based ice melt. We present regional patterns of dynamic sea level change given by a global-coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model forced by spatially and temporally varying projected ice-melt fluxes from three sources: the Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland Ice Sheet and small glaciers and ice caps. The largest ice melt flux we consider is equivalent to almost 0.7 m of global mean sea level rise over the 21st century. The temporal evolution of the dynamic sea level changes, in the presence of considerable variations in the ice melt flux, is also analysed. We find that the dynamic sea level change associated with the ice melt is small, with the largest changes occurring in the North Atlantic amounting to 3 cm above the global mean rise. Furthermore, the dynamic sea level change associated with the ice melt is similar regardless of whether the simulated ice fluxes are applied to a simulation with fixed CO2 or under a business-as-usual greenhouse gas warming scenario of increasing CO2.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Fragmentation and melting of the seasonal sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, D. L.; Bateson, A.; Schroeder, D.; Ridley, J. K.; Aksenov, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Recent years have seen a rapid reduction in the summer extent of Arctic sea ice. This trend has implications for navigation, oil exploration, wildlife, and local communities. Furthermore the Arctic sea ice cover impacts the exchange of heat and momentum between the ocean and atmosphere with significant teleconnections across the climate system, particularly mid to low latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The treatment of melting and break-up processes of the seasonal sea ice cover within climate models is currently limited. In particular floes are assumed to have a uniform size which does not evolve with time. Observations suggest however that floe sizes can be modelled as truncated power law distributions, with different exponents for smaller and larger floes. This study aims to examine factors controlling the floe size distribution in the seasonal and marginal ice zone. This includes lateral melting, wave induced break-up of floes, and the feedback between floe size and the mixed ocean layer. These results are then used to quantify the proximate mechanisms of seasonal sea ice reduction in a sea ice—ocean mixed layer model. Observations are used to assess and calibrate the model. The impacts of introducing these processes to the model will be discussed and the preliminary results of sensitivity and feedback studies will also be presented.

  18. Net accumulation of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiilsholm, Sissi; Christensen, Jens Hesselbjerg; Dethloff, Klaus

    2003-01-01

    High-resolution (50 km) climate change simulations for an area covering the entire Arctic have been conducted with the regional climate model (RCM) HIRHAM. The experiments were forced at the lateral boundary by large-scale atmospheric conditions from transient climate change scenario simulations...... with HIRHAM for periods representing present-day (1961-1990) and the future (2071-2100) in the two scenarios. We find that due to a much better representation of the surface topography in the RCM, the geographical distribution of present-day accumulation rates simulated by the RCM represents a substantial...... improvement compared to the driving OAGCM. Estimates of the regional net balance are also better represented by the RCM. In the future climate the net balance for the Greenland Ice Sheet is reduced in all the simulation, but discrepancies between the amounts when based on ECHAM4/OPYC3 and HIRHAM are found...

  19. Towards Greenland Glaciation: cumulative or abrupt transition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramstein, Gilles; Tan, Ning; Ladant, Jean-baptiste; Dumas, Christophe; Contoux, Camille

    2017-04-01

    During the mid-Pliocene warming period (3-3.3 Ma BP), the global annual mean temperatures inferred by data and model studies were 2-3° warmer than pre-industrial values. Accordingly, Greenland ice sheet volume is supposed to reach at the most, only half of that of present-day [Haywood et al. 2010]. Around 2.7-2.6 Ma BP, just ˜ 500 kyr after the warming peak of mid-Pliocene, the Greenland ice sheet has reached its full size [Lunt et al. 2008]. A crucial question concerns the evolution of the Greenland ice sheet from half to full size during the 3 - 2.5 Ma period. Data show a decreasing trend of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 3 Ma to 2.5 Ma [Seki et al.2010; Bartoli et al. 2011; Martinez et al. 2015]. However, a recent study [Contoux et al. 2015] suggests that a lowering of CO2 is not sufficient to initiate a perennial glaciation on Greenland and must be combined with low summer insolation to preserve the ice sheet during insolation maxima. This suggests rather a cumulative process than an abrupt event. In order to diagnose the evolution of the ice sheet build-up, we carry on, for the first time, a transient simulation of climate and ice sheet evolutions from 3 Ma to 2.5 Ma. This strategy enables us to investigate the waxing and waning of the ice sheet during several orbital cycles. We use a tri-dimensional interpolation method designed by Ladant et al. (2014), which allows the evolution of CO2 concentration and of orbital parameters, and the evolution of the Greenland ice sheet size to be taken into account. By interpolating climatic snapshot simulations ran with various possible combinations of CO2, orbits and ice sheet sizes, we can build a continuous climatic forcing that is then used to provide 500 kyrs-long ice sheet simulations. With such a tool, we may offer a physically based answer to different CO2 reconstructions scenarios and analyse which one is the most consistent with Greenland ice sheet buildup.

  20. 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

  1. Multi-Decadal Averages of Basal Melt for Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica Using Airborne Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, I.; Bell, R. E.; Tinto, K. J.; Frearson, N.; Kingslake, J.; Padman, L.; Siddoway, C. S.; Fricker, H. A.

    2017-12-01

    Changes in ice shelf mass balance are key to the long term stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Although the most extensive ice shelf mass loss currently is occurring in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, many other ice shelves experience changes in thickness on time scales from annual to ice age cycles. Here, we focus on the Ross Ice Shelf. An 18-year record (1994-2012) of satellite radar altimetry shows substantial variability in Ross Ice Shelf height on interannual time scales, complicating detection of potential long-term climate-change signals in the mass budget of this ice shelf. Variability of radar signal penetration into the ice-shelf surface snow and firn layers further complicates assessment of mass changes. We investigate Ross Ice Shelf mass balance using aerogeophysical data from the ROSETTA-Ice surveys using IcePod. We use two ice-penetrating radars; a 2 GHz unit that images fine-structure in the upper 400 m of the ice surface and a 360 MHz radar to identify the ice shelf base. We have identified internal layers that are continuous along flow from the grounding line to the ice shelf front. Based on layer continuity, we conclude that these layers must be the horizons between the continental ice of the outlet glaciers and snow accumulation once the ice is afloat. We use the Lagrangian change in thickness of these layers, after correcting for strain rates derived using modern day InSAR velocities, to estimate multidecadal averaged basal melt rates. This method provides a novel way to quantify basal melt, avoiding the confounding impacts of spatial and short-timescale variability in surface accumulation and firn densification processes. Our estimates show elevated basal melt rates (> -1m/yr) around Byrd and Mullock glaciers within 100 km from the ice shelf front. We also compare modern InSAR velocity derived strain rates with estimates from the comprehensive ground-based RIGGS observations during 1973-1978 to estimate the potential magnitude of

  2. A Snow Density Dataset for Improving Surface Boundary Conditions in Greenland Ice Sheet Firn Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Fausto

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The surface snow density of glaciers and ice sheets is of fundamental importance in converting volume to mass in both altimetry and surface mass balance studies, yet it is often poorly constrained. Site-specific surface snow densities are typically derived from empirical relations based on temperature and wind speed. These parameterizations commonly calculate the average density of the top meter of snow, thereby systematically overestimating snow density at the actual surface. Therefore, constraining surface snow density to the top 0.1 m can improve boundary conditions in high-resolution firn-evolution modeling. We have compiled an extensive dataset of 200 point measurements of surface snow density from firn cores and snow pits on the Greenland ice sheet. We find that surface snow density within 0.1 m of the surface has an average value of 315 kg m−3 with a standard deviation of 44 kg m−3, and has an insignificant annual air temperature dependency. We demonstrate that two widely-used surface snow density parameterizations dependent on temperature systematically overestimate surface snow density over the Greenland ice sheet by 17–19%, and that using a constant density of 315 kg m−3 may give superior results when applied in surface mass budget modeling.

  3. 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.

  4. The Abandoned Ice Sheet Base at Camp Century, Greenland, in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, William; Machguth, Horst; Macferrin, Mike; Colgan, Jeff D.; Van As, Dirk; Macgregor, Joseph A.

    2016-01-01

    In 1959 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Camp Century beneath the surface of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet. There they studied the feasibility of deploying ballistic missiles within the ice sheet. The base and its wastes were abandoned with minimal decommissioning in 1967, under the assumption they would be preserved for eternity by perpetually accumulating snowfall. Here we show that a transition in ice sheet surface mass balance at Camp Century from net accumulation to net ablation is plausible within the next 75years, under a business-as-usual anthropogenic emissions scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5). Net ablation would guarantee the eventual remobilization of physical, chemical, biological, and radiological wastes abandoned at the site. While Camp Century and four other contemporaneous ice sheet bases were legally established under a Danish-U.S. treaty, the potential remobilization of their abandoned wastes, previously regarded as sequestered, represents an entirely new pathway of political dispute resulting from climate change.

  5. Efficacy of sanitized ice in reducing bacterial load on fish fillet and in the water collected from the melted ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feliciano, Lizanel; Lee, Jaesung; Lopes, John A; Pascall, Melvin A

    2010-05-01

    This study investigated the efficacy of sanitized ice for the reduction of bacteria in the water collected from the ice that melted during storage of whole and filleted Tilapia fish. Also, bacterial reductions on the fish fillets were investigated. The sanitized ice was prepared by freezing solutions of PRO-SAN (an organic acid formulation) and neutral electrolyzed water (NEW). For the whole fish study, the survival of the natural microflora was determined from the water of the melted ice prepared with PRO-SAN and tap water. These water samples were collected during an 8 h storage period. For the fish fillet study, samples were inoculated with Escherichia coli K12, Listeria innocua, and Pseudomonas putida then stored on crushed sanitized ice. The efficacies of these were tested by enumerating each bacterial species on the fish fillet and in the water samples at 12 and 24 h intervals for 72 h, respectively. Results showed that each bacterial population was reduced during the test. However, a bacterial reduction of fillet samples. A maximum of approximately 2 log CFU and > 3 log CFU reductions were obtained in the waters sampled after the storage of whole fish and the fillets, respectively. These reductions were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the water from sanitized ice when compared with the water from the unsanitized melted ice. These results showed that the organic acid formulation and NEW considerably reduced the bacterial numbers in the melted ice and thus reduced the potential for cross-contamination.

  6. A tentative record of the last 1,000 years of Greenland temperature from occluded air in the GISP2 ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobashi, T.; Severinghaus, J. P.; Barnola, J.; Kawamura, K.; Beaudette, R.

    2005-12-01

    Ice borehole temperature inversion has been used to reconstruct Greenland surface temperature during the last millennium (Dahl-Jensen et al, Science, 1998). However, this technique does not preserve high frequencies because of diffusion of heat in the ice. Here, we present a tentative reconstruction of the past 1,000 years of central Greenland temperature using nitrogen and argon isotopes from occluded air in the GISP2 ice core. This technique preserves decadal-to-centennial-scale temperature variations and complements the borehole technique. Nitrogen and argon isotopes in the porous snow layer (~80m) experience two isotopic fractionations by gravitation and temperature gradients (ΔT) between the top and bottom of the snow layer. The simultaneous analysis of argon and nitrogen isotopes allows us to separate these two effects, and obtain a history of ΔT in the layer. To a first approximation, ΔT change on decadal to centennial time scales is a surface temperature history because the heat conductivity of snow is much smaller than that of ice, and the heat capacity of the ice sheet is quite large. The preliminary ΔT history (20-year interval) shows a Medieval Warm Period in the 11th to 12th centuries and the Little Ice Age in the 15th to 19th centuries. Furthermore, the record shows a clear similarity with the Be-10 record (a proxy for solar activity) with Wolf, Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minima clearly seen in the cold periods. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that solar activity influenced Greenland temperature during the past 1000 years.

  7. Crustal structure of the Central-Eastern Greenland: results from the TopoGreenland refraction profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans

    2014-05-01

    Until present, seismic surveys have only been carried out offshore and near the coasts of Greenland, where the crustal structure is affected by oceanic break-up. We present the deep seismic structure of the crust of the interior of Greenland, based on the new and the only existing so far seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profile. The seismic data was acquired by a team of six people during a two-month long experiment in summer of 2011 on the ice cap in the interior of central-eastern Greenland. The presence of an up to 3.4 km thick ice sheet, permanently covering most of the land mass, made acquisition of geophysical data logistically complicated. The profile extends 310 km inland in E-W direction from the approximate edge of the stable ice cap near the Scoresby Sund across the center of the ice cap. 350 Reftek Texan receivers recorded high-quality seismic data from 8 equidistant shots along the profile. Explosive charge sizes were 1 ton at the ends and ca. 500 kg along the profile, loaded with about 125 kg at 35-85 m depth in individual boreholes. Given that the data acquisition was affected by the thick ice sheet, we questioned the quality of seismic records in such experiment setup. We have developed an automatic routine to check the amplitudes and spectra of the selected seismic phases and to check the differences/challenges in making seismic experiments on ice and the effects of ice on data interpretation. Using tomographic inversion and forward ray tracing modelling we have obtained the two-dimensional velocity model down to a 50 km depth. The model shows a decrease of crustal thickness from 47 km below the centre of Greenland in the western part of the profile to 40 km in its eastern part. Relatively high lower crustal velocities (Vp 6.8 - 7.3 km/s) in the western part of the TopoGreenland profile may result from past collision tectonics or, alternatively, may be related to the speculated passage of the Iceland mantle plume. Comparison of our results

  8. Ice-sheet model sensitivities to environmental forcing and their use in projecting future sea level (the SeaRISE project)

    OpenAIRE

    Bindschadler, Robert A.; Nowicki, Sophie; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Aschwanden, Andy; Choi, Hyeungu; Fastook, Jim; Granzow, Glen; Greve, Ralf; Gutowski, Gail; Herzfeld, Ute; Jackson, Charles; Johnson, Jesse; Khroulev, Constantine; Levermann, Anders; Lipscomb, William H.

    2013-01-01

    Ten ice-sheet models are used to study sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to prescribed changes of surface mass balance, sub-ice-shelf melting and basal sliding. Results exhibit a large range in projected contributions to sea-level change. In most cases, the ice volume above flotation lost is linearly dependent on the strength of the forcing. Combinations of forcings can be closely approximated by linearly summing the contributions from single forcing experiments, suggestin...

  9. 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

    Making an accurate geoid model of Greenland has always been a challenge due to the ice sheet and glaciers, and the rough topography and deep fjords in the ice free parts. Terrestrial gravity coverage has for the same reasons been relatively sparse, with an older airborne survey of the interior be...

  10. Development of road hydronic snow-ice melting system with solar energy and seasonal underground thermal energy storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Q.; Liu, Y.; Ma, C.Q.; Li, M.; Huang, Y.; Yu, M. [Jilin Univ., Changchun (China). Dept. of Thermal Energy Engineering; Liu, X.B. [Climate Master Inc., OK (United States)

    2008-07-01

    Snow and ice melting technologies that used thermal energy storage were explored. The study included analyses of solar heat slab, seasonal underground thermal energy storage, and embedded pipe technologies. Different road materials, roadbed construction methods, and underground rock and soil conditions were also discussed. New processes combining all 3 of the main technologies were also reviewed. Other thermal ice melting technologies included conductive concrete and asphalt; heating cables, and hydronic melting systems. Geothermal energy is increasingly being considered as a means of melting snow and ice from roads and other infrastructure. Researchers have also been focusing on simulating heat transfer in solar collectors and road-embedded pipes. Demonstration projects in Japan, Switzerland, and Poland are exploring the use of combined geothermal and solar energy processes to remove snow and ice from roads. Research on hydronic melting technologies is also being conducted in the United States. The study demonstrated that snow-ice melting energy storage systems will become an important and sustainable method of snow and ice removal in the future. The technology efficiently uses renewable energy sources, and provides a cost-effective means of replacing or reducing chemical melting agents. 33 refs., 1 fig.

  11. Inverse stochastic-dynamic models for high-resolution Greenland ice core records

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boers, Niklas; Chekroun, Mickael D.; Liu, Honghu

    2017-01-01

    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 18O and dust......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 18O and dust records of unprecedented, subdecadal...

  12. Seasonal variation of ice melting on varying layers of debris of Lirung Glacier, Langtang Valley, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. B. Chand

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers in the Himalayan region are often covered by extensive debris cover in ablation areas, hence it is essential to assess the effect of debris on glacier ice melt. Seasonal melting of ice beneath different thicknesses of debris on Lirung Glacier in Langtang Valley, Nepal, was studied during three seasons of 2013–14. The melting rates of ice under 5 cm debris thickness are 3.52, 0.09, and 0.85 cm d−1 during the monsoon, winter and pre-monsoon season, respectively. Maximum melting is observed in dirty ice (0.3 cm debris thickness and the rate decreases with the increase of debris thickness. The energy balance calculations on dirty ice and at 40 cm debris thickness show that the main energy source of ablation is net radiation. The major finding from this study is that the maximum melting occurs during the monsoon season than rest of the seasons.

  13. Eddy-resolving simulations of the Fimbul Ice Shelf cavity circulation: Basal melting and exchange with open ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hattermann, T.; Smedsrud, L. H.; Nøst, O. A.; Lilly, J. M.; Galton-Fenzi, B. K.

    2014-10-01

    Melting at the base of floating ice shelves is a dominant term in the overall Antarctic mass budget. This study applies a high-resolution regional ice shelf/ocean model, constrained by observations, to (i) quantify present basal mass loss at the Fimbul Ice Shelf (FIS); and (ii) investigate the oceanic mechanisms that govern the heat supply to ice shelves in the Eastern Weddell Sea. The simulations confirm the low melt rates suggested by observations and show that melting is primarily determined by the depth of the coastal thermocline, regulating deep ocean heat fluxes towards the ice. Furthermore, the uneven distribution of ice shelf area at different depths modulates the melting response to oceanic forcing, causing the existence of two distinct states of melting at the FIS. In the simulated present-day state, only small amounts of Modified Warm Deep Water enter the continental shelf, and ocean temperatures beneath the ice are close to the surface freezing point. The basal mass loss in this so-called state of "shallow melting" is mainly controlled by the seasonal inflow of solar-heated surface water affecting large areas of shallow ice in the upper part of the cavity. This is in contrast to a state of "deep melting", in which the thermocline rises above the shelf break depth, establishing a continuous inflow of Warm Deep Water towards the deep ice. The transition between the two states is found to be determined by a complex response of the Antarctic Slope Front overturning circulation to varying climate forcings. A proper representation of these frontal dynamics in climate models will therefore be crucial when assessing the evolution of ice shelf basal melting along this sector of Antarctica.

  14. Ice sheet in peril

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt

    2016-01-01

    Earth's large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are major contributors to sea level change. At present, the Greenland Ice Sheet (see the photo) is losing mass in response to climate warming in Greenland (1), but the present changes also include a long-term response to past climate transitions...

  15. Exploring the Potential Impact of Greenland Meltwater on Stratification, Photosynthetically Active Radiation, and Primary Production in the Labrador Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Hilde; Luo, Hao; Castelao, Renato M.; van Dijken, Gert L.; Mattingly, Kyle S.; Rosen, Joshua J.; Mote, Thomas L.; Arrigo, Kevin R.; Rennermalm, Åsa K.; Tedesco, Marco; Yager, Patricia L.

    2018-04-01

    In July 2012, the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) melted to an extent unprecedented over the last 100 years; we questioned the potential for such an extreme melt event to impact marine phytoplankton offshore. We hypothesized that stratification from meltwater could reduce light limitation for phytoplankton, and used a suite of numerical models to quantify the impact for 2003-2012. Because much of the 2012 meltwater discharged from southern Greenland, our study focused on the southwestern and southeastern coasts of Greenland, and the Labrador Sea. A 1-D phytoplankton model used output from a Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) coupled with a Regional Climate Model and a hydrological model of meltwater from runoff sources on the ice sheet, peripheral glaciers, and tundra. ROMS was run with and without meltwater to test the sensitivity of phytoplankton photosynthetic rates to the meltwater input. With meltwater, the pycnocline was shallower during late summer and early fall and thus light limitation on photosynthesis was reduced. Averaged over all years, added meltwater had the potential to increase gross primary production by 3-12% in the summer (July-August), and 13-60% in the fall (September-October). This meltwater effect was amplified when light was more limiting, and thus was greatest in the fall, under cloudier conditions, with higher self-shading, and with more light-sensitive phytoplankton groups. As the GrIS melt is projected to increase, late summer primary production in this region has the potential to increase as well, which could constitute an important biosphere response to high-latitude climate change.

  16. 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.

  17. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, Martin E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models...... predicting the influence of ongoing climate change. We investigated a potential meltwater proxy in Godthåbsfjord (West Greenland), where glacier meltwater causes seasonal excursions with lower oxygen isotope water (δ18Ow) values and salinity. The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) potentially records...... its potential as a palaeo-meltwater proxy. First, we confirmed that M. edulis shell calcite oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) values are in equilibrium with ambient water and generally reflect meltwater conditions. Subsequently we investigated if this species recorded the full range of δ18Ow values occurring...

  18. Joint Science Education Project: Learning about polar science in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foshee Reed, Lynn

    2014-05-01

    The Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) is a successful summer science and culture opportunity in which students and teachers from the United States, Denmark, and Greenland come together to learn about the research conducted in Greenland and the logistics involved in supporting the research. They conduct experiments first-hand and participate in inquiry-based educational activities alongside scientists and graduate students at a variety of locations in and around Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, and on the top of the ice sheet at Summit Station. The Joint Committee, a high-level forum involving the Greenlandic, Danish and U.S. governments, established the Joint Science Education Project in 2007, as a collaborative diplomatic effort during the International Polar Year to: • Educate and inspire the next generation of polar scientists; • Build strong networks of students and teachers among the three countries; and • Provide an opportunity to practice language and communication skills Since its inception, JSEP has had 82 student and 22 teacher participants and has involved numerous scientists and field researchers. The JSEP format has evolved over the years into its current state, which consists of two field-based subprograms on site in Greenland: the Greenland-led Kangerlussuaq Science Field School and the U.S.-led Arctic Science Education Week. All travel, transportation, accommodations, and meals are provided to the participants at no cost. During the 2013 Kangerlussuaq Science Field School, students and teachers gathered data in a biodiversity study, created and set geo- and EarthCaches, calculated glacial discharge at a melt-water stream and river, examined microbes and tested for chemical differences in a variety of lakes, measured ablation at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and learned about fossils, plants, animals, minerals and rocks of Greenland. In addition, the students planned and led cultural nights, sharing food, games, stories, and traditions of

  19. Impact of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice in past and future climates as simulated by MPI-ESM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich Roeckner

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The impact of melt ponds on Arctic sea ice is estimated from model simulations of the historical and future climate. The simulations were performed with and without the effect of melt ponds on sea ice melt, respectively. In the last thirty years of the historical simulations, melt ponds develop predominantly in the continental shelf regions and in the Canadian archipelago. Accordingly, the ice albedo in these regions is systematically smaller than in the no-pond simulations, the sea ice melt is enhanced, and both the ice concentration and ice thickness during the September minimum are reduced. Open ponds decrease the ice albedo, resulting in enhanced ice melt, less sea ice and further pond growth. This positive feedback entails a more realistic representation of the seasonal cycle of Northern Hemisphere sea ice area. Under the premise that the observed decline of Arctic sea ice over the period of modern satellite observations is mainly externally driven and, therefore, potentially predictable, both model versions underestimate the decline in Arctic sea ice. This presupposition, however, is challenged by our model simulations which show a distinct modulation of the downward Arctic sea ice trends by multidecadal variability. At longer time scales, an impact of pond activation on Arctic sea ice trends is more evident: In the Representative Concentration Pathway scenario RCP45, the September sea ice is projected to vanish by the end of the 21st century. In the active-pond simulation, this happens up to two decades earlier than in the no-pond simulations.

  20. 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.

  1. 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,...

  2. The WAIS Melt Monitor: An automated ice core melting system for meltwater sample handling and the collection of high resolution microparticle size distribution data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breton, D. J.; Koffman, B. G.; Kreutz, K. J.; Hamilton, G. S.

    2010-12-01

    Paleoclimate data are often extracted from ice cores by careful geochemical analysis of meltwater samples. The analysis of the microparticles found in ice cores can also yield unique clues about atmospheric dust loading and transport, dust provenance and past environmental conditions. Determination of microparticle concentration, size distribution and chemical makeup as a function of depth is especially difficult because the particle size measurement either consumes or contaminates the meltwater, preventing further geochemical analysis. Here we describe a microcontroller-based ice core melting system which allows the collection of separate microparticle and chemistry samples from the same depth intervals in the ice core, while logging and accurately depth-tagging real-time electrical conductivity and particle size distribution data. This system was designed specifically to support microparticle analysis of the WAIS Divide WDC06A deep ice core, but many of the subsystems are applicable to more general ice core melting operations. Major system components include: a rotary encoder to measure ice core melt displacement with 0.1 millimeter accuracy, a meltwater tracking system to assign core depths to conductivity, particle and sample vial data, an optical debubbler level control system to protect the Abakus laser particle counter from damage due to air bubbles, a Rabbit 3700 microcontroller which communicates with a host PC, collects encoder and optical sensor data and autonomously operates Gilson peristaltic pumps and fraction collectors to provide automatic sample handling, melt monitor control software operating on a standard PC allowing the user to control and view the status of the system, data logging software operating on the same PC to collect data from the melting, electrical conductivity and microparticle measurement systems. Because microparticle samples can easily be contaminated, we use optical air bubble sensors and high resolution ice core density

  3. Snow Dunes: A Controlling Factor of Melt Pond Distribution on Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrich, Chris; Eicken, Hajo; Polashenski, Christopher M.; Sturm, Matthew; Harbeck, Jeremy P.; Perovich, Donald K.; Finnegan, David C.

    2012-01-01

    The location of snow dunes over the course of the ice-growth season 2007/08 was mapped on level landfast first-year sea ice near Barrow, Alaska. Landfast ice formed in mid-December and exhibited essentially homogeneous snow depths of 4-6 cm in mid-January; by early February distinct snow dunes were observed. Despite additional snowfall and wind redistribution throughout the season, the location of the dunes was fixed by March, and these locations were highly correlated with the distribution of meltwater ponds at the beginning of June. Our observations, including ground-based light detection and ranging system (lidar) measurements, show that melt ponds initially form in the interstices between snow dunes, and that the outline of the melt ponds is controlled by snow depth contours. The resulting preferential surface ablation of ponded ice creates the surface topography that later determines the melt pond evolution.

  4. 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.

  5. Freshwater flux to Sermilik Fjord, SE Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Mernild

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial inputs of freshwater flux to Sermilik Fjord, SE Greenland, were estimated, indicating ice discharge to be the dominant source of freshwater. A freshwater flux of 40.4 ± 4.9×109 m3 y−1 was found (1999–2008, with an 85% contribution originated from ice discharge (65% alone from Helheim Glacier, 11% from terrestrial surface runoff (from melt water and rain, 3% from precipitation at the fjord surface area, and 1% from subglacial geothermal and frictional melting due to basal ice motion. The results demonstrate the dominance of ice discharge as a primary mechanism for delivering freshwater to Sermilik Fjord. Time series of ice discharge for Helheim Glacier, Midgård Glacier, and Fenris Glacier were calculated from satellite-derived average surface velocity, glacier width, and estimated ice thickness, and fluctuations in terrestrial surface freshwater runoff were simulated based on observed meteorological data. These simulations were compared and bias corrected against independent glacier catchment runoff observations. Modeled runoff to Sermilik Fjord was variable, ranging from 2.9 ± 0.4×109 m3 y−1 in 1999 to 5.9 ± 0.9×109 m3 y−1 in 2005. The sub-catchment runoff of the Helheim Glacier region accounted for 25% of the total runoff to Sermilik Fjord. The runoff distribution from the different sub-catchments suggested a strong influence from the spatial variation in glacier coverage, indicating high runoff volumes, where glacier cover was present at low elevations.

  6. 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

    Northern hemisphere temperatures reached their Holocene minimum and most glaciers reached their maximum during The Little Ice Age (LIA), but the timing of specific cold intervals is site-specific. In southern Greenland, we have compiled data from organic matter incorporated in LIA sediments, used...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. One million years of glaciation and denudation history in west Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strunk, Astrid; Knudsen, Mads Faurschou; Egholm, David Lundbek

    2017-01-01

    The influence of major Quaternary climatic changes on growth and decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and associated erosional impact on the landscapes, is virtually unknown beyond the last deglaciation. Here we quantify exposure and denudation histories in west Greenland by applying a novel Markov......-Chain Monte Carlo modelling approach to all available paired cosmogenic 10Be-26Al bedrock data from Greenland. We find that long-term denudation rates in west Greenland range from >50 m Myr−1 in low-lying areas to ∼2 m Myr−1 at high elevations, hereby quantifying systematic variations in denudation rate among...... different glacial landforms caused by variations in ice thickness across the landscape. We furthermore show that the present day ice-free areas only were ice covered ca. 45% of the past 1 million years, and even less at high-elevation sites, implying that the Greenland Ice Sheet for much of the time...

  9. 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....... and accumulation anomalies that are common to the three cores in the Early Holocene (7.9–11.7 ka before present). Three time periods with significant and synchronous anomalies in the d18O and accumulation signals stand out: the well-known 8.2 ka event, an event of shorter duration but of almost similar amplitude...

  10. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: Archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E.A.A.; Blicher, M.E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models...... these variations, because it precipitates its shell calcite in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater. As M. edulis shells are known to occur in raised shorelines and archaeological shell middens from previous Holocene warm periods, this species may be ideal in reconstructing past meltwater dynamics. We...

  11. Effect of periodic melting on geochemical and isotopic signals in an ice core from Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pohjola, V.A.; Moore, J.C.; Isaksson, E.; Jauhiainen, T.; Wal, R.S.W. van de; Martma, T.; Meijer, H.A.J.; Vaikmäe, R.

    2002-01-01

    [1] We examine the quality of atmospherically deposited ion and isotope signals in an ice core taken from a periodically melting ice field, Lomonosovfonna in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The aim is to determine the degree to which the signals are altered by periodic melting of the ice. We use

  12. 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

  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. Melt ponds on Arctic sea ice determined from MODIS satellite data using an artificial neural network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rösel

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Melt ponds on sea ice strongly reduce the surface albedo and accelerate the decay of Arctic sea ice. Due to different spectral properties of snow, ice, and water, the fractional coverage of these distinct surface types can be derived from multispectral sensors like the Moderate Resolution Image Spectroradiometer (MODIS using a spectral unmixing algorithm. The unmixing was implemented using a multilayer perceptron to reduce computational costs.

    Arctic-wide melt pond fractions and sea ice concentrations are derived from the level 3 MODIS surface reflectance product. The validation of the MODIS melt pond data set was conducted with aerial photos from the MELTEX campaign 2008 in the Beaufort Sea, data sets from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC for 2000 and 2001 from four sites spread over the entire Arctic, and with ship observations from the trans-Arctic HOTRAX cruise in 2005. The root-mean-square errors range from 3.8 % for the comparison with HOTRAX data, over 10.7 % for the comparison with NSIDC data, to 10.3 % and 11.4 % for the comparison with MELTEX data, with coefficient of determination ranging from R2=0.28 to R2=0.45. The mean annual cycle of the melt pond fraction per grid cell for the entire Arctic shows a strong increase in June, reaching a maximum of 15 % by the end of June. The zonal mean of melt pond fractions indicates a dependence of the temporal development of melt ponds on the geographical latitude, and has its maximum in mid-July at latitudes between 80° and 88° N.

    Furthermore, the MODIS results are used to estimate the influence of melt ponds on retrievals of sea ice concentrations from passive microwave data. Results from a case study comparing sea ice concentrations from ARTIST Sea Ice-, NASA Team 2-, and Bootstrap-algorithms with MODIS sea ice concentrations indicate an underestimation of around 40 % for sea ice concentrations retrieved with microwave

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Helsen

    2012-03-01

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

  16. Estimation of Melt Pond Fractions on First Year Sea Ice Using Compact Polarization SAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haiyan; Perrie, William; Li, Qun; Hou, Yijun

    2017-10-01

    Melt ponds are a common feature on Arctic sea ice. They are linked to the sea ice surface albedo and transmittance of energy to the ocean from the atmosphere and thus constitute an important process to parameterize in Arctic climate models and simulations. This paper presents a first attempt to retrieve the melt pond fraction from hybrid-polarized compact polarization (CP) SAR imagery, which has wider swath and shorter revisit time than the quad-polarization systems, e.g., from RADARSAT-2 (RS-2). The co-polarization (co-pol) ratio has been verified to provide estimates of melt pond fractions. However, it is a challenge to link CP parameters and the co-pol ratio. The theoretical possibility is presented, for making this linkage with the CP parameter C22/C11 (the ratio between the elements of the coherence matrix of CP SAR) for melt pond detection and monitoring with the tilted-Bragg scattering model for the ocean surface. The empirical transformed formulation, denoted as the "compact polarization and quad-pol" ("CPQP") model, is proposed, based on 2062 RS-2 quad-pol SAR images, collocated with in situ measurements. We compared the retrieved melt pond fraction with CP parameters simulated from quad-pol SAR data with results retrieved from the co-pol ratio from quad-pol SAR observations acquired during the Arctic-Ice (Arctic-Ice Covered Ecosystem in a Rapidly Changing Environment) field project. The results are shown to be comparable for observed melt pond measurements in spatial and temporal distributions. Thus, the utility of CP mode SAR for melt pond fraction estimation on first year level ice is presented.

  17. Isotope effect and deuterium excess parameter revolution in ice and snow melt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin Guan; Ni Shijun; Fan Xiao; Wu Hao

    2003-01-01

    The change of water isotope composition actually is a integrated reaction depending on the change of environment. The ice and snow melt of different seasons in high mountain can obviously influence the change of isotope composition and deuterium excess parameter of surface flow and shallow groundwater. To know the isotopic fractionation caused by this special natural background, explore its forming and evolvement, is unusually important for estimating, the relationship between the environment, climate and water resources in an area. Taking the example of isotope composition of surface flow and shallow groundwater in Daocheng, Sichuan, this paper mainly introduced the changing law of isotope composition and deuterium excess parameter of surface flow and hot-spring on conditions of ice and snow melt with different seasons in high mountain; emphatically discussed the isotope effect and deuterium excess parameter revolution in the process of ice and snow melting and its reason. (authors)

  18. Antarctic Ice Shelf Potentially Stabilized by Export of Meltwater in Surface River

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. What Models and Satellites Tell Us (and Don't Tell Us) About Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlert, A.; Jahn, A.

    2017-12-01

    Melt season length—the difference between the sea ice melt onset date and the sea ice freeze onset date—plays an important role in the radiation balance of the Arctic and the predictability of the sea ice cover. However, there are multiple possible definitions for sea ice melt and freeze onset in climate models, and none of them exactly correspond to the remote sensing definition. Using the CESM Large Ensemble model simulations, we show how this mismatch between model and remote sensing definitions of melt and freeze onset limits the utility of melt season remote sensing data for bias detection in models. It also opens up new questions about the precise physical meaning of the melt season remote sensing data. Despite these challenges, we find that the increase in melt season length in the CESM is not as large as that derived from remote sensing data, even when we account for internal variability and different definitions. At the same time, we find that the CESM ensemble members that have the largest trend in sea ice extent over the period 1979-2014 also have the largest melt season trend, driven primarily by the trend towards later freeze onsets. This might be an indication that an underestimation of the melt season length trend is one factor contributing to the generally underestimated sea ice loss within the CESM, and potentially climate models in general.

  20. Abnormal Winter Melting of the Arctic Sea Ice Cap Observed by the Spaceborne Passive Microwave Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seongsuk Lee

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The spatial size and variation of Arctic sea ice play an important role in Earth’s climate system. These are affected by conditions in the polar atmosphere and Arctic sea temperatures. The Arctic sea ice concentration is calculated from brightness temperature data derived from the Defense Meteorological Satellite program (DMSP F13 Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers (SSMI and the DMSP F17 Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS sensors. Many previous studies point to significant reductions in sea ice and their causes. We investigated the variability of Arctic sea ice using the daily and monthly sea ice concentration data from passive microwave observations to identify the sea ice melting regions near the Arctic polar ice cap. We discovered the abnormal melting of the Arctic sea ice near the North Pole even during the summer and the winter. This phenomenon is hard to explain only surface air temperature or solar heating as suggested by recent studies. We propose a hypothesis explaining this phenomenon. The heat from the deep sea in Arctic Ocean ridges and/or the hydrothermal vents might be contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice. This hypothesis could be verified by the observation of warm water column structure below the melting or thinning arctic sea ice through the project such as Coriolis dataset for reanalysis (CORA.

  1. Ice-Shelf Melt Response to Changing Winds and Glacier Dynamics in the Amundsen Sea Sector, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donat-Magnin, Marion; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Spence, Paul; Le Sommer, Julien; Gallée, Hubert; Durand, Gaël.

    2017-12-01

    It has been suggested that the coastal Southern Ocean subsurface may warm over the 21st century in response to strengthening and poleward shifting winds, with potential adverse effects on West Antarctic glaciers. However, using a 1/12° ocean regional model that includes ice-shelf cavities, we find a more complex response to changing winds in the Amundsen Sea. Simulated offshore subsurface waters get colder under strengthened and poleward shifted winds representative of the SAM projected trend. The buoyancy-driven circulation induced by ice-shelf melt transports this cold offshore anomaly onto the continental shelf, leading to cooling and decreased melt below 450 m. In the vicinity of ice-shelf fronts, Ekman pumping contributes to raise the isotherms in response to changing winds. This effect overwhelms the horizontal transport of colder offshore waters at intermediate depths (between 200 and 450 m), and therefore increases melt rates in the upper part of the ice-shelf cavities, which reinforces the buoyancy-driven circulation and further contributes to raise the isotherms. Then, prescribing an extreme grounding line retreat projected for 2100, the total melt rates simulated underneath Thwaites and Pine Island are multiplied by 2.5. Such increase is explained by a larger ocean/ice interface exposed to CDW, which is then amplified by a stronger melt-induced circulation along the ice draft. Our main conclusions are that (1) outputs from ocean models that do not represent ice shelf cavities (e.g., CMIP5 models) should not be directly used to predict the thermal forcing of future ice shelf cavities; (2) coupled ocean/ice sheet models with a velocity-dependent melt formulation are needed for future projections of glaciers experiencing a significant grounding line retreat.

  2. Sensitivity of Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance to surface albedo parameterization: a study with a regional climate model

    OpenAIRE

    Angelen, J. H.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Lhermitte, S.; Fettweis, X.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Broeke, M. R.; Meijgaard, E.; Smeets, C. J. P. P.

    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, 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...

  3. Greenland Subglacial Drainage Evolution Regulated by Weakly Connected Regions of the Bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Matthew J.; Andrews, Lauren C.; Price, Stephen F.; Catania, Ginny A.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Luthi, Martin P.; Gulley, Jason; Ryser, Claudia; Hawley, Robert L.; Morriss, Blaine

    2016-01-01

    Penetration of surface meltwater to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet each summer causes an initial increase in ice speed due to elevated basal water pressure, followed by slowdown in late summer that continues into fall and winter. While this seasonal pattern is commonly explained by an evolution of the subglacial drainage system from an inefficient distributed to efficient channelized configuration, mounting evidence indicates that subglacial channels are unable to explain important aspects of hydrodynamic coupling in late summer and fall. Here we use numerical models of subglacial drainage and ice flow to show that limited, gradual leakage of water and lowering of water pressure in weakly connected regions of the bed can explain the dominant features in late and post melt season ice dynamics. These results suggest that a third weakly connected drainage component should be included in the conceptual model of subglacial hydrology.

  4. Reconstruction of the 1979–2006 Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Fettweis

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Results from a 28-year simulation (1979–2006 over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS reveal an increase of solid precipitation (+0.4±2.5 km3 yr−2 and run-off (+7.9±3.3 km3 yr−2 of surface meltwater. The net effect of these competing factors is a significant Surface Mass Balance (SMB loss of −7.2±5.1 km3 yr−2. The contribution of changes in the net water vapour flux (+0.02±0.09 km3 yr−2 and rainfall (+0.2±0.2 km3 yr−2 to the SMB variability is negligible. The meltwater supply has increased because the GrIS surface has been warming up +2.4°C since 1979. Sensible heat flux, latent heat flux and net solar radiation have not varied significantly over the last three decades. However, the simulated downward infrared flux has increased by 9.3 W m−2 since 1979. The natural climate variability (e.g. the North Atlantic Oscillation does not explain these changes. The recent global warming, due to the greenhouse gas concentration increase induced by human activities, could be a cause of these changes. The doubling of surface meltwater flux into the ocean over the period 1979–2006 suggests that the overall ice sheet mass balance has been increasingly negative, given the likely meltwater-induced acceleration of outlet glaciers. This study suggests that increased melting overshadows over an increased accumulation in a warming scenario and that the GrIS is likely to keep losing mass in the future. An enduring GrIS melting will probably affect in the future an certain effect on the stability of the thermohaline circulation and the global sea level rise.

  5. Outlet Glacier-Ice Shelf-Ocean Interactions: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parizek, B. R.; Walker, R. T.; Rinehart, S. K.

    2009-12-01

    While the massive interior regions of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets are presently ``resting quietly", the lower elevations of many outlet glaciers are experiencing dramatic adjustments due to changes in ice dynamics and/or surface mass balance. Oceanic and/or atmospheric forcing in these marginal regions often leads to mass deficits for entire outlet basins. Therefore, coupling the wagging tail of ice-ocean interactions with the vast ice-sheet reservoirs is imperative for accurate assessments of future sea-level rise. To study ice-ocean dynamic processes, we couple an ocean-plume model that simulates ice-shelf basal melting rates based on temperature and salinity profiles combined with plume dynamics associated with the geometry of the ice-shelf cavity (following Jenkins, 1991 and Holland and Jenkins, 1999) with a two-dimensional, isothermal model of outlet glacier-ice shelf flow (as used in Alley et al., 2007; Walker et al., 2008; Parizek et al., in review). Depending on the assigned temperature and salinity profiles, the ocean model can simulate both water-mass end-members: either cold High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) or relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW), as well as between-member conditions. Notably, the coupled system exhibits sensitivity to the initial conditions. In particular, melting concentrated near the grounding line has the greatest effect in forcing grounding-line retreat. Retreat is further enhanced by a positive feedback between the ocean and ice, as the focused melt near the grounding line leads to an increase in the local slope of the basal ice, thereby enhancing buoyancy-driven plume flow and subsequent melt rates.

  6. Effect of cavity inclination on a temperature and concentration controlled double diffusive convection at ice plate melting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugawara, M.; Ishikura, T. [Akita University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Akita (Japan); Beer, H. [Technische Unversitat Darmstadt, Institut fur Technische Thermodynamik, Darmstadt (Germany)

    2005-03-01

    This paper is concerned with the double diffusive convection due to the melting of an ice plate into a calcium chloride aqueous solution inside a rectangular cavity. It is mainly considered the effect of the cavity inclination {theta} on the melting rate and the mean melting Nusselt- and Sherwood-numbers, experimentally as well as numerically. The ice plate melts spontaneously with decreasing temperature at the melting front even if initially there does not exist a temperature difference between the ice and the liquid. The concentration- and temperature-gradients near the melting front induce double diffusive convection in the liquid, which will affect the melting rate. Experiments reveal that the mean melting mass increases monotonically with increasing cavity inclination. The numerical analysis based on the laminar assumption predicts well the melting mass in the range of {theta}=0-90 , however, under-predicts the melting mass in the range of {theta}=90-180 as compared with the experimental results. (orig.)

  7. Cumulates, Dykes and Pressure Solution in the Ice-Salt Mantle of Europa: Geological Consequences of Pressure Dependent Liquid Compositions and Volume Changes During Ice-Salt Melting Reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, S.; Asphaug, E.; Bruesch, L.

    2002-12-01

    Water-salt analogue experiments used to investigate cumulate processes in silicate magmas, along with observations of sea ice and ice shelf behaviour, indicate that crystal-melt separation in water-salt systems is a rapid and efficient process even on scales of millimetres and minutes. Squeezing-out of residual melts by matrix compaction is also predicted to be rapid on geological timescales. We predict that the ice-salt mantle of Europa is likely to be strongly stratified, with a layered structure predictable from density and phase relationships between ice polymorphs, aqueous saline solutions and crystalline salts such as hydrated magnesium sulphates (determined experimentally by, inter alia, Hogenboom et al). A surface layer of water ice flotation cumulate will be separated from denser salt cumulates by a cotectic horizon. This cotectic horizon will be both the site of subsequent lowest-temperature melting and a level of neutral buoyancy for the saline melts produced. Initial melting will be in a narrow depth range owing to increasing melting temperature with decreasing pressure: the phase relations argue against direct melt-though to the surface unless vesiculation occurs. Overpressuring of dense melts due to volume expansion on cotectic melting is predicted to lead to lateral dyke emplacement and extension above the dyke tips. Once the liquid leaves the cotectic, melting of water ice will involve negative volume change. Impact-generated melts will drain downwards through the fractured zones beneath crater floors. A feature in the complex crater Mannan'an, with elliptical ring fractures around a conical depression with a central pit, bears a close resemblance to Icelandic glacier collapse cauldrons produced by subglacial eruptions. Other structures resembling Icelandic cauldrons occur along Europan banded structures, while resurgence of ice rubble within collapse structures may produce certain types of chaos region. More general contraction of the ice mantle

  8. 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

    Northern hemisphere temperatures reached their Holocene minimum and most glaciers reached their maximum during The Little Ice Age (LIA), but the timing of specific cold intervals is site-specific. In southern Greenland, we have compiled data from organic matter incorporated in LIA sediments, used...... 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...

  9. A novel multispectral glacier mapping method and its performance in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citterio, M.; Fausto, R. S.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, S. B.

    2014-12-01

    Multispectral land surface classification methods are widely used for mapping glacier outlines. Significant post-classification manual editing is typically required, and mapping glacier outlines over larger regions remains a rather labour intensive task. In this contribution we introduce a novel method for mapping glacier outlines from multispectral satellite imagery, requiring only minor manual editing.Over the last decade GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) improved the availability of glacier outlines, and in 2012 the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) attained global coverage by compiling existing and new data sources in the wake of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5). With the launch of Landsat 8 in 2013 and the upcoming ESA (European Space Agency) Sentinel 2 missions, the availability of multispectral imagery may grow faster than our ability to process it into timely and reliable glacier outline products. Improved automatic classification methods would enable a full exploitation of these new data sources.We outline the theoretical basis of the proposed classification algorithm, provide a step by step walk-through from raw imagery to finished ice cover grids and vector glacier outlines, and evaluate the performance of the new method in mapping the outlines of glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet from Landsat 8 OLI imagery. The classification output is compared against manually digitized ice margin positions, the RGI vectors, and the PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses over a sector of the Disko Island surge cluster in West Greenland, the Qassimiut ice sheet lobe in South Greenland, and the A.P. Olsen ice cap in NE Greenland.

  10. Application of GRACE to the assessment of model-based estimates of monthly Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance (2003-2012)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Nicole-Jeanne; Wiese, David N.; Larour, Eric Y.; Watkins, Michael M.; Box, Jason E.; Fettweis, Xavier; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2016-09-01

    Quantifying the Greenland Ice Sheet's future contribution to sea level rise is a challenging task that requires accurate estimates of ice sheet sensitivity to climate change. Forward ice sheet models are promising tools for estimating future ice sheet behavior, yet confidence is low because evaluation of historical simulations is challenging due to the scarcity of continental-wide data for model evaluation. Recent advancements in processing of Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data using Bayesian-constrained mass concentration ("mascon") functions have led to improvements in spatial resolution and noise reduction of monthly global gravity fields. Specifically, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's JPL RL05M GRACE mascon solution (GRACE_JPL) offers an opportunity for the assessment of model-based estimates of ice sheet mass balance (MB) at ˜ 300 km spatial scales. Here, we quantify the differences between Greenland monthly observed MB (GRACE_JPL) and that estimated by state-of-the-art, high-resolution models, with respect to GRACE_JPL and model uncertainties. To simulate the years 2003-2012, we force the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) with anomalies from three different surface mass balance (SMB) products derived from regional climate models. Resulting MB is compared against GRACE_JPL within individual mascons. Overall, we find agreement in the northeast and southwest where MB is assumed to be primarily controlled by SMB. In the interior, we find a discrepancy in trend, which we presume to be related to millennial-scale dynamic thickening not considered by our model. In the northwest, seasonal amplitudes agree, but modeled mass trends are muted relative to GRACE_JPL. Here, discrepancies are likely controlled by temporal variability in ice discharge and other related processes not represented by our model simulations, i.e., hydrological processes and ice-ocean interaction. In the southeast, GRACE_JPL exhibits larger seasonal amplitude than predicted by the

  11. Subglacial groundwater flow at Aespoe as governed by basal melting and ice tunnels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Svensson, Urban

    1999-02-01

    A high resolution three dimensional numerical model of subglacial groundwater flow is described. The model uses conductivity data from the Aespoe region and is thus site specific. It is assumed that the groundwater flow is governed by the basal melting and ice tunnels; ice surface melting is not considered. Results are presented for the meltwater transport time (to the ice margin) and maximum penetration depth. Conditions at repository depth, i.e. about 500 metres, are also analysed. The general conclusion from the study is that the model presented gives plausible results, considering the basic conceptual assumptions made. It is however questioned if the hydraulics of the ice tunnels is well enough understood; this is a topic that is suggested for further studies

  12. Arctic sea ice melt leads to atmospheric new particle formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall Osto, M; Beddows, D C S; Tunved, P; Krejci, R; Ström, J; Hansson, H-C; Yoon, Y J; Park, Ki-Tae; Becagli, S; Udisti, R; Onasch, T; O Dowd, C D; Simó, R; Harrison, Roy M

    2017-06-12

    Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and growth significantly influences climate by supplying new seeds for cloud condensation and brightness. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of whether and how marine biota emissions affect aerosol-cloud-climate interactions in the Arctic. Here, the aerosol population was categorised via cluster analysis of aerosol size distributions taken at Mt Zeppelin (Svalbard) during a 11 year record. The daily temporal occurrence of NPF events likely caused by nucleation in the polar marine boundary layer was quantified annually as 18%, with a peak of 51% during summer months. Air mass trajectory analysis and atmospheric nitrogen and sulphur tracers link these frequent nucleation events to biogenic precursors released by open water and melting sea ice regions. The occurrence of such events across a full decade was anti-correlated with sea ice extent. New particles originating from open water and open pack ice increased the cloud condensation nuclei concentration background by at least ca. 20%, supporting a marine biosphere-climate link through sea ice melt and low altitude clouds that may have contributed to accelerate Arctic warming. Our results prompt a better representation of biogenic aerosol sources in Arctic climate models.

  13. Impact of improved Greenland ice sheet surface representation in the NASA GISS ModelE2 GCM on simulated surface mass balance and regional climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, P. M.; LeGrande, A. N.; Fischer, E.; Tedesco, M.; Kelley, M.; Schmidt, G. A.; Fettweis, X.

    2017-12-01

    Towards achieving coupled simulations between the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) ModelE2 general circulation model (GCM) and ice sheet models (ISMs), improvements have been made to the representation of the ice sheet surface in ModelE2. These include a sub-grid-scale elevation class scheme, a multi-layer snow model, a time-variable surface albedo scheme, and adjustments to parameterization of sublimation/evaporation. These changes improve the spatial resolution and physical representation of the ice sheet surface such that the surface is represented at a level of detail closer to that of Regional Climate Models (RCMs). We assess the impact of these changes on simulated Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB). We also compare ModelE2 simulations in which winds have been nudged to match the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-Interim reanalysis with simulations from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale (MAR) RCM forced by the same reanalysis. Adding surface elevation classes results in a much higher spatial resolution representation of the surface necessary for coupling with ISMs, but has a negligible impact on overall SMB. Implementing a variable surface albedo scheme increases melt by 100%, bringing it closer to melt simulated by MAR. Adjustments made to the representation of topography-influenced surface roughness length in ModelE2 reduce a positive bias in evaporation relative to MAR. We also examine the impact of changes to the GrIS surface on regional atmospheric and oceanic climate in coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations with ModelE2, finding a general warming of the Arctic due to a warmer GrIS, and a cooler North Atlantic in scenarios with doubled atmospheric CO2 relative to pre-industrial levels. The substantial influence of changes to the GrIS surface on the oceans and atmosphere highlight the importance of including these processes in the GCM, in view of potential feedbacks between the ice sheet

  14. Convection-driven melting in an n-octane pool fire bounded by an ice wall

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farahani, Hamed Farmahini; Alva, Wilson Ulises Rojas; Rangwala, Ali S.

    2017-01-01

    ×3cm) placed on one side of the tray. The melting front velocity, as an indicator of the melting rate of the ice, increased from 0.04cm/min to 1cm/min. The measurement of the burning rates and flame heights showed two distinctive behaviors; an induction period from the initial self-sustained flame...... to the multi-roll location. The multi-roll structure could be the main reason for the transport of the heat received from the flame toward the ice wall which causes the melting....

  15. Holocene climate and fjord glaciations in Northeast Greenland: implications for IRD deposition in the North Atlantic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels

    2004-01-01

    been released by intensive sub-glacial melting during the long stay of the ice-islands in coastal waters. The Holocene glacial geological record from Northeast Greenland is compared to the record of ice rafted debris (IRD) from North Atlantic deep-sea sediment cores. The comparison shows that transport...... by icebergs in the form of basal debris is unlikely to be the dominant transport mechanism of IRD to deposition sites in the North Atlantic during the Holocene. The ice rafted debris is more likely to be carried at the surface of sea- (or glacier) ice. This supports the result of previous studies by other...... workers that changes of atmospheric and ocean-surface circulation and temperature are the likely causes of Holocene cycles in IRD concentration in North Atlantic deep-sea sediments....

  16. Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations that 2C Global Warming Could Be Dangerous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, J.; Sato, Makiko; Hearty, Paul; Ruedy, Reto; Kelley, Maxwell; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Russell, Gary; Tselioudis, George; Cao, Junji; Rignot, Eric; hide

    2016-01-01

    We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland. Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, thus increasing Earth's energy imbalance and heat flux into most of the global ocean's surface. Southern Ocean surface cooling, while lower latitudes are warming, increases precipitation on the Southern Ocean, increasing ocean stratification, slowing deepwater formation, and increasing ice sheet mass loss. These feedbacks make ice sheets in contact with the ocean vulnerable to accelerating disintegration. We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as exponential than by a more linear response. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years. Recent ice melt doubling times are near the lower end of the 10-40-year range, but the record is too short to confirm the nature of the response. The feedbacks, including subsurface ocean warming, help explain paleoclimate data and point to a dominant Southern Ocean role in controlling atmospheric CO2, which in turn exercised tight control on global temperature and sea level. The millennial (500-2000-year) timescale of deep-ocean ventilation affects the timescale for natural CO2 change and thus the timescale for paleo-global climate, ice sheet, and sea level changes, but this paleo-millennial timescale should not be misinterpreted as the timescale for ice sheet response to a rapid, large, human-made climate forcing. These climate feedbacks aid interpretation of events late in the prior interglacial, when sea level rose to C6-9m with evidence of extreme storms while Earth was less than 1 C

  17. Observational Evidence for Enhanced Greenhouse Effect Reinforcing Wintertime Arctic Amplification and Sea Ice Melting Onset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Y.; Liang, S.

    2017-12-01

    Despite an apparent hiatus in global warming, the Arctic climate continues to experience unprecedented changes. Summer sea ice is retreating at an accelerated rate, and surface temperatures in this region are rising at a rate double that of the global average, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Although a lot of efforts have been made, the causes this unprecedented phenomenon remain unclear and are subjects of considerable debate. In this study, we report strong observational evidence, for the first time from long-term (1984-2014) spatially complete satellite records, that increased cloudiness and atmospheric water vapor in winter and spring have caused an extraordinary downward longwave radiative flux to the ice surface, which may then amplify the Arctic wintertime ice-surface warming. In addition, we also provide observed evidence that it is quite likely the enhancement of the wintertime greenhouse effect caused by water vapor and cloudiness has advanced the time of onset of ice melting in mid-May through inhibiting sea-ice refreezing in the winter and accelerating the pre-melting process in the spring, and in turn triggered the positive sea-ice albedo feedback process and accelerated the sea ice melting in the summer.

  18. Present conditions in Greenland and the Kangerlussuaq area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielsen, A. B.

    2010-01-01

    Greenland is the world's largest island, with an area of 2.2 million square kilometres, 80 % of which is covered by the ice sheet. The climate is Arctic, but as Greenland stretches 2600 km from north to south, there is a huge variability in climate, with temperature decreasing from south to north. Due to the influence of oceanic currents, the west coast is slightly warmer than the east coast. Precipitation also decreases strongly from the south to the north, and also with distance from the coast. Kangerlussuaq is located in the dry, continental area of central west Greenland. The bedrock of Greenland is dominated by Precambrian gneisses, with sedimentary rocks occurring in some areas of East and North Greenland, and smaller areas of basalts. All of Greenland has been glaciated several times and has thus been eroded and shaped by the ice, as it still is at the ice margin. Soils are generally thin, and especially in the gneiss regions rather poor in plant nutrients. Permafrost occurs throughout the ice free areas of Greenland. It is continuous in the north, discontinuous along parts of the central east and west coast and occurs as isolated patches in the south. Kangerlussuaq is in the southernmost part of the continuous permafrost zone. The spatial variability in climate is also reflected in the vegetation zones, which range from Arctic dessert in the far north, through dwarf shrub zones with increasing plant height and density towards the south, to the arctic shrub zone in the continental parts of West Greenland and subarctic Birch forest in South Greenland. The terrestrial food chains in Greenland are generally short and with few species. Cyclic variation in population sizes has been observed in some mammal species, including lemming and caribou. Many species of mammals and birds are associated with the coastal environment, which is therefore also and important resource area for the human population. Fishery is the most economically important industry in Greenland

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Greenland from Archaean to Quaternary, Descriptive text to the 1995 Geological Map of Greenland 1:2 500 000, 2nd edition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalsbeek, Feiko

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The geological development of Greenland spans a period of nearly 4 Ga, from Eoarchaean to the Quaternary. Greenland is the largest island on Earth with a total area of 2 166 000 km2, but only c. 410 000 km2 are exposed bedrock, the remaining part being covered by a major ice sheet (the Inland Ice reaching over 3 km in thickness. The adjacent offshore areas underlain by continental crust have an area of c. 825 000 km2. Greenland is dominated by crystalline rocks of the Precambrian shield, which formed during a succession of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic orogenic events and stabilised as a part of the Laurentian shield about 1600 Ma ago. The shield area can be divided into three distinct types of basement provinces: (1 Archaean rocks (3200–2600 Ma old, with local older units up to >3800Ma that were almost unaffected by Proterozoic or later orogenic activity; (2 Archaean terrains reworked during the Palaeoproterozoic around 1900–1750 Ma ago; and (3 terrains mainly composed of juvenile Palaeoproterozoic rocks (2000–1750 Ma in age.Subsequent geological developments mainly took place along the margins of the shield. During the Proterozoic and throughout the Phanerozoic major sedimentary basins formed, notably in North and North-East Greenland, in which sedimentary successions locally reaching 18 km in thickness were deposited. Palaeozoic orogenic activity affected parts of these successions in the Ellesmerian fold belt of North Greenland and the East Greenland Caledonides; the latter also incorporates reworked Precambrian crystalline basement complexes. Late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary basins developed along the continent–ocean margins in North, East and West Greenland and are now preserved both onshore and offshore. Their development was closely related to continental break-up with formation of rift basins. Initial rifting in East Greenland in latest Devonian to earliest Carboniferous time and succeeding phases culminated with the

  2. Climate variability in West Greenland during the past 1500 years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    dos Santos Ribeiro, Sofia Isabel; Moros, Matthias; Ellegaard, Marianne

    2012-01-01

    -surface temperatures in Disko Bay are out-of-phase with Greenland ice-core reconstructed temperatures and marine proxy data from South and East Greenland. This is probably governed by an NAO-type pattern, which results in warmer sea-surface conditions with less extensive sea ice in the area for the later part....... Sea ice cover and primary productivity were identified as the two main factors driving dinoflagellate cyst community changes through time. Our data provide evidence for an opposite climate trend in West Greenland relative to the NE Atlantic region from c. AD 500 to 1050. For the same period, sea...

  3. Influence of transglutaminase treatment on the physicochemical, rheological, and melting properties of ice cream prepared from goat milk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hatice Şanlidere Aloğlu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of the transglutaminase enzyme on the physicochemical characteristics, overrun, melting resistance, rheological and sensorial properties of ice cream made from goat’s milk. Different enzyme units (0.5, 1, 2, and 4 U/g milk protein and treatment times (20 min and 60 min were applied to determine the optimum process conditions. Treatment of the transglutaminase in the ice cream mix significantly affected the rheological and melting properties of the ice cream samples. The samples prepared with higher enzyme units and enzyme-treatment times showed higher melting resistance, consistency index, and viscoelastic modulus (G’ than the ice cream mix. The correlation coefficient between melting resistance and viscoelastic modulus was found to be high (0.76. The apparent viscosity of all samples decreased with increasing the shear rate, indicating that all samples exhibited non-Newtonian shear thinning flow behavior. The sensory, overrun, and physicochemical properties of samples were not affected by the enzyme treatment. This study showed that treatment times and enzyme units are essential factors in the processing of the transglutaminase enzyme for improving the rheological and melting properties of ice cream mixes. Another significant result was that desired melting resistance could be achieved for ice cream with lower stabilizer and fat content.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Reconstruction of the Greenland ice sheet dynamics in a fully coupled Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybak, Oleg; Volodin, Evgeny; Huybrechts, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Earth system models (ESMs) are undoubtedly effective tools for studying climate dynamics. Incorporation of evolving ice sheets to ESMs is a challenging task because response times of the climate system and of ice sheets differ by several orders of magnitude. Besides, AO GCMs operate on spatial and temporal resolutions substantially differing from those of ice sheet models (ICMs). Therefore elaboration of an effective coupling methodology of an AO GCM and an ICM is the key problem of an ESM construction and utilization. Several downscaling strategies of varying complexity exist now of data exchange between modeled climate system and ice sheets. Application of a particular strategy depends on the research objectives. In our view, the optimum approach for model studying of significant environmental changes (e.g. glacial/interglacial transitions) when ice sheets undergo substantial evolution of geometry and volume would be an asynchronous coupling. The latter allows simulation in the interactive way of growth and decay of ice sheets in the changing climatic conditions. In the focus of the presentation, is the overview of coupling aspects of an AO GCM INMCM32 elaborated in the Institute of Numerical Mathematics (Moscow, Russia) to the Greenland ice sheet model (GrISM, Vrije Uninersiteit Brussel, Belgium). To provide interactive coupling of INMCM32 (spatial resolution 5°×4°, 21 vertical layers and temporal resolution 6 min. in the atmospheric block) and GrISM (spatial resolution 20×20 km, 51 vertical layers and 1 yr temporal resolution), we employ a special energy- and water balance model (EWBM-G), which serves as a buffer providing effective data exchange between INMCM32 and GrISM. EWBM-G operates in a rectangle domain including Greenland. Transfer of daily meanings of simulated climatic variables (air surface temperature and specific humidity) is provided on the lateral boundarias of the domain and inside the domain (sea level air pressure, wind speed and total

  8. 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.

  9. Incorporation of a physically based melt pond scheme into the sea ice component of a climate model

    OpenAIRE

    Flocco, Daniela; Feltham, Danny; Turner, Adrian K.

    2010-01-01

    The extent and thickness of the Arctic sea ice cover has decreased dramatically in the past few decades with minima in sea ice extent in September 2005 and 2007. These minima have not been predicted in the IPCC AR4 report, suggesting that the sea ice component of climate models should more realistically represent the processes controlling the sea ice mass balance. One of the processes poorly represented in sea ice models is the formation and evolution of melt ponds. Melt ponds accumulate on t...

  10. 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...... these components are variable between the different sectors of the GrIS, e.g. in the southeast sector of the GrIS we find substantial mass loss, possibly driven by high precipitation rates but also the presence of a large number of marine terminating glaciers. Furthermore many areas currently undergoing changes...

  11. Multi-proxy Organic Geochemical Reconstruction of Holocene Hydroclimate Near the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cluett, A.; Thomas, E. K.

    2017-12-01

    Anthropogenic warming is projected to drive profound change to the Arctic hydrological cycle within the century, most notably in the intensification of rainfall, with potential feedbacks to the climate system and cryosphere. However, the relationship between hydroclimate and cryosphere variability is poorly constrained in the long-term due to a scarcity of high-resolution hydroclimate records from the Arctic. We analyze the stable hydrogen isotopes (dD) of leaf wax biomarkers from lacustrine sediments spanning the Holocene to 9000 cal. year B.P. from Lake Gus (67.032ºN, 52.427ºW, 300 m a.s.l.; informal name), a small lake approximately 90 km from the modern western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. We interpret the signal of aquatic leaf wax isotopes in the context of a survey of 100 modern lake water samples from western Greenland across an aridity gradient to better understand the combined climatological and hydrological controls on lake water dD in the study area. We compare variability of aquatic and terrestrial leaf wax isotopes to infer changes in relative moisture throughout the Holocene, and complement our leaf wax record with analysis of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) and alkenones, to produce records of summer temperature. Pairing temperature and leaf wax isotope records provides a means to constrain the changing dD-temperature relationship throughout the Holocene and infer moisture source variability. In combination, these proxies produce a comprehensive hydroclimate record at approximately centennial scale to evaluate shifts in relative moisture, temperature, and moisture source, and to investigate the interaction between hydroclimate and Greenland Ice Sheet margin fluctuations through the Holocene.

  12. Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming could be dangerous

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hansen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland. Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface