WorldWideScience

Sample records for polar ice sheets

  1. 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

  2. ICESat's First Year of Measurements Over the Polar Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuman, C. A.

    2004-05-01

    NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission was developed to measure changes in elevation of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Its primary mission goal is to significantly refine estimates of polar ice sheet mass balance. Obtaining precise, spatially dense, ice sheet elevations through time is the first step towards this goal. ICESat data will then enable study of associations between observed ice changes and dynamic or climatic forcing factors, and thus enable improved estimation of the present and future contributions of the ice sheets to global sea level rise. ICESat was launched on January 12, 2003 and acquired science data from February 20th to March 29th with the first of the three lasers of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). Data acquisition with the second laser began on September 25th and continued until November 18th, 2003. For one-year change detection, the second laser is scheduled for operation from approximately February 17th to March 20th, 2004. Additional operational periods will be selected to 1) enable periodic measurements through the year, and 2) to support of other NASA Earth Science Enterprise missions and activities. To obtain these precise ice sheet elevations, GLAS has a 1064 nm wavelength laser operating at 40 Hz with a designed range precision of about 10 cm. The laser footprints are about 70 m in diameter on the Earth's surface and are spaced every 172 m along-track. The on-board GPS receiver enables radial orbit determinations to an accuracy better than 5 cm. The star-tracking attitude-determination system will enable laser footprints to be located to 6 m horizontally when attitude calibration is completed. The orbital altitude averages 600 km at an inclination of 94 degrees with coverage extending from 86 degrees N and S latitude. The spacecraft attitude can be controlled to point the laser beam to within 50 m of surface reference tracks over the ice sheets and to point off-nadir up to 5 degrees to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittlinger, Gérard; Farra, Véronique

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Minimum and Maximum Potential Contributions to Future Sea Level Rise from Polar Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R. M.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    New climate and ice-sheet modeling, calibrated to past changes in sea-level, is painting a stark picture of the future fate of the great polar ice sheets if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. This is especially true for Antarctica, where a substantial fraction of the ice sheet rests on bedrock more than 500-meters below sea level. Here, we explore the sensitivity of the polar ice sheets to a warming atmosphere and ocean under a range of future greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The ice sheet-climate-ocean model used here considers time-evolving changes in surface mass balance and sub-ice oceanic melting, ice deformation, grounding line retreat on reverse-sloped bedrock (Marine Ice Sheet Instability), and newly added processes including hydrofracturing of ice shelves in response to surface meltwater and rain, and structural collapse of thick, marine-terminating ice margins with tall ice-cliff faces (Marine Ice Cliff Instability). The simulations improve on previous work by using 1) improved atmospheric forcing from a Regional Climate Model and 2) a much wider range of model physical parameters within the bounds of modern observations of ice dynamical processes (particularly calving rates) and paleo constraints on past ice-sheet response to warming. Approaches to more precisely define the climatic thresholds capable of triggering rapid and potentially irreversible ice-sheet retreat are also discussed, as is the potential for aggressive mitigation strategies like those discussed at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) to substantially reduce the risk of extreme sea-level rise. These results, including physics that consider both ice deformation (creep) and calving (mechanical failure of marine terminating ice) expand on previously estimated limits of maximum rates of future sea level rise based solely on kinematic constraints of glacier flow. At the high end, the new results show the potential for more than 2m of global mean sea level rise by 2100

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Ice Sheets & Ice Cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Troels Bøgeholm

    Since the discovery of the Ice Ages it has been evident that Earth’s climate is liable to undergo dramatic changes. The previous climatic period known as the Last Glacial saw large oscillations in the extent of ice sheets covering the Northern hemisphere. Understanding these oscillations known....... The first part concerns time series analysis of ice core data obtained from the Greenland Ice Sheet. We analyze parts of the time series where DO-events occur using the so-called transfer operator and compare the results with time series from a simple model capable of switching by either undergoing...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. SEA-LEVEL RISE. Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, A; Carlson, A E; Long, A J; Milne, G A; Clark, P U; DeConto, R; Horton, B P; Rahmstorf, S; Raymo, M E

    2015-07-10

    Interdisciplinary studies of geologic archives have ushered in a new era of deciphering magnitudes, rates, and sources of sea-level rise from polar ice-sheet loss during past warm periods. Accounting for glacial isostatic processes helps to reconcile spatial variability in peak sea level during marine isotope stages 5e and 11, when the global mean reached 6 to 9 meters and 6 to 13 meters higher than present, respectively. Dynamic topography introduces large uncertainties on longer time scales, precluding robust sea-level estimates for intervals such as the Pliocene. Present climate is warming to a level associated with significant polar ice-sheet loss in the past. Here, we outline advances and challenges involved in constraining ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change with use of paleo-sea level records. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. Web-based Tools for Educators: Outreach Activities of the Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements (PRISM) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaten, D. A.; Holvoet, J. F.; Gogineni, S.

    2003-12-01

    The Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Kansas (KU) has implemented extensive outreach activities focusing on Polar Regions as part of the Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements (PRISM) project. The PRISM project is developing advanced intelligent remote sensing technology that involves radar systems, an autonomous rover, and communications systems to measure detailed ice sheet characteristics, and to determine bed conditions (frozen or wet) below active ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica. These measurements will provide a better understanding of the response of polar ice sheets to global climate change and the resulting impact the ice sheets will have on sea level rise. Many of the research and technological development aspects of the PRISM project, such as robotics, radar systems, climate change and exploration of harsh environments, can kindle an excitement and interest in students about science and technology. These topics form the core of our K-12 education and training outreach initiatives, which are designed to capture the imagination of young students, and prompt them to consider an educational path that will lead them to scientific or engineering careers. The K-12 PRISM outreach initiatives are being developed and implemented in a collaboration with the Advanced Learning Technology Program (ALTec) of the High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium (HPR*TEC). ALTec is associated with the KU School of Education, and is a well-established educational research center that develops and hosts web tools to enable teachers nationwide to network, collaborate, and share resources with other teachers. An example of an innovative and successful web interface developed by ALTec is called TrackStar. Teachers can use TrackStar over the Web to develop interactive, resource-based lessons (called tracks) on-line for their students. Once developed, tracks are added to the TrackStar database and can be accessed and modified

  12. Snow Grain Size Retrieval over the Polar Ice Sheets with the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yuekui; Marshak, Alexander; Han, Mei; Palm, Stephen P.; Harding, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Snow grain size is an important parameter for cryosphere studies. As a proof of concept, this paper presents an approach to retrieve this parameter over Greenland, East and West Antarctica ice sheets from surface reflectances observed with the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) onboard the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) at 1064 nanometers. Spaceborne lidar observations overcome many of the disadvantages in passive remote sensing, including difficulties in cloud screening and low sun angle limitations; hence tend to provide more accurate and stable retrievals. Results from the GLAS L2A campaign, which began on 25 September and lasted until 19 November, 2003, show that the mode of the grain size distribution over Greenland is the largest (approximately 300 microns) among the three, West Antarctica is the second (220 microns) and East Antarctica is the smallest (190 microns). Snow grain sizes are larger over the coastal regions compared to inland the ice sheets. These results are consistent with previous studies. Applying the broadband snow surface albedo parameterization scheme developed by Garder and Sharp (2010) to the retrieved snow grain size, ice sheet surface albedo is also derived. In the future, more accurate retrievals can be achieved with multiple wavelengths lidar observations.

  13. Global ice sheet modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-05-01

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

  14. Modelling the climate and surface mass balance of polar ice sheets using RACMO2 - Part 2: Antarctica (1979-2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchior van Wessem, Jan; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice P. Y.; van Meijgaard, Erik; Amory, Charles; Birnbaum, Gerit; Jakobs, Constantijn L.; Krüger, Konstantin; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Lhermitte, Stef; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.; Medley, Brooke; Reijmer, Carleen H.; van Tricht, Kristof; Trusel, Luke D.; van Ulft, Lambertus H.; Wouters, Bert; Wuite, Jan; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2018-04-01

    We evaluate modelled Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) near-surface climate, surface mass balance (SMB) and surface energy balance (SEB) from the updated polar version of the regional atmospheric climate model, RACMO2 (1979-2016). The updated model, referred to as RACMO2.3p2, incorporates upper-air relaxation, a revised topography, tuned parameters in the cloud scheme to generate more precipitation towards the AIS interior and modified snow properties reducing drifting snow sublimation and increasing surface snowmelt. Comparisons of RACMO2 model output with several independent observational data show that the existing biases in AIS temperature, radiative fluxes and SMB components are further reduced with respect to the previous model version. The model-integrated annual average SMB for the ice sheet including ice shelves (minus the Antarctic Peninsula, AP) now amounts to 2229 Gt y-1, with an interannual variability of 109 Gt y-1. The largest improvement is found in modelled surface snowmelt, which now compares well with satellite and weather station observations. For the high-resolution ( ˜ 5.5 km) AP simulation, results remain comparable to earlier studies. The updated model provides a new, high-resolution data set of the contemporary near-surface climate and SMB of the AIS; this model version will be used for future climate scenario projections in a forthcoming study.

  15. Ultra-Wideband Radiometry Remote Sensing of Polar Ice Sheet Temperature Profile, Sea Ice and Terrestrial Snow Thickness: Forward Modeling and Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, L.; Tan, S.; Sanamzadeh, M.; Johnson, J. T.; Jezek, K. C.; Durand, M. T.

    2017-12-01

    The recent development of an ultra-wideband software defined radiometer (UWBRAD) operating over the unprotected spectrum of 0.5 2.0 GHz using radio-frequency interference suppression techniques offers new methodologies for remote sensing of the polar ice sheets, sea ice, and terrestrial snow. The instrument was initially designed for remote sensing of the intragalcial temperature profile of the ice sheet, where a frequency dependent penetration depth yields a frequency dependent brightness temperature (Tb) spectrum that can be linked back to the temperature profile of the ice sheet. The instrument was tested during a short flight over Northwest Greenland in September, 2016. Measurements were successfully made over the different snow facies characteristic of Greenland including the ablation, wet snow and percolation facies, and ended just west of Camp Century during the approach to the dry snow zone. Wide-band emission spectra collected during the flight have been processed and analyzed. Results show that the spectra are highly sensitive to the facies type with scattering from ice lenses being the dominant reason for low Tbs in the percolation zone. Inversion of Tb to physical temperature at depth was conducted on the measurements near Camp Century, achieving a -1.7K ten-meter error compared to borehole measurements. However, there is a relatively large uncertainty in the lower part possibly due to the large scattering near the surface. Wideband radiometry may also be applicable to sea ice and terrestrial snow thickness retrieval. Modeling studies suggest that the UWBRAD spectra reduce ambiguities inherent in other sea ice thickness retrievals by utilizing coherent wave interferences that appear in the Tb spectrum. When applied to a lossless medium such as terrestrial snow, this coherent oscillation turns out to be the single key signature that can be used to link back to snow thickness. In this paper, we report our forward modeling findings in support of instrument

  16. 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.

  17. Ice sheet anisotropy measured with polarimetric ice sounding radar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    For polar ice sheets, valuable stress and strain information can be deduced from crystal orientation fabrics (COF) and their prevailing c-axis alignment. Polarimetric radio echo sounding is a promising technique to measure the anisotropic electromagnetic propagation and reflection properties asso...

  18. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    to sea level high stands during past interglacial periods. A number of AIS models have been developed and applied to try to understand the workings of the AIS and to form a robust basis for future projections of the AIS contribution to sea level change. The recent DCESS (Danish Center for Earth System......The Antarctic ice sheet is a major player in the Earth’s climate system and is by far the largest depository of fresh water on the planet. Ice stored in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) contains enough water to raise sea level by about 58 m, and ice loss from Antarctica contributed significantly...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.; Choi, H.; Wichlacz, A.; Bingham, R.; Bohlander, J.; Brunt, K.; Corr, H.; Drews, R.; Fricker, H.; Hall, M.; hide

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-03-15

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

  2. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  3. Ice sheet hydrology from observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-11-15

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

  4. Ice sheet hydrology from observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jansson, Peter

    2010-11-01

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

  5. Ice Sheet System Model as Educational Entertainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, G.

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Safe Loads on Ice Sheets (Ice Engineering. Number 13)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haynes, F. D; Carey, Kevin L; Cattabriga, Gioia

    1996-01-01

    Every winter, ice sheets that grow on lakes and rivers in northern states are used for ice roads, ice bridges, construction platforms, airstrips, and recreational activities, It becomes very important...

  7. Modeling the Fracture of Ice Sheets on Parallel Computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-10-10

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

  8. Greenland Radar Ice Sheet Thickness Measurements

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. 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...

  10. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R.; Geruo, A.; Barletta, Valentia R.; Bentley, Mike J.; Bettadpur, Srinivas; Briggs, Kate H.; Bromwich, David H.; Forsberg, Rene; Galin, Natalia; hide

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Glacial Cycles and ice-sheet modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1982-01-01

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

  15. Ice shelf fracture parameterization in an ice sheet model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sun

    2017-11-01

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

  16. Ice shelf fracture parameterization in an ice sheet model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sainan; Cornford, Stephen L.; Moore, John C.; Gladstone, Rupert; Zhao, Liyun

    2017-11-01

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

  17. A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agre...

  18. 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...

  19. Investigations of the form and flow of ice sheets and glaciers using radio-echo sounding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dowdeswell, J A; Evans, S [Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1ER (United Kingdom)

    2004-10-01

    Radio-echo sounding (RES), utilizing a variety of radio frequencies, was developed to allow glaciologists to measure the thickness of ice sheets and glaciers. We review the nature of electromagnetic wave propagation in ice and snow, including the permittivity of ice, signal attenuation and volume scattering, along with reflection from rough and specular surfaces. The variety of instruments used in RES of polar ice sheets and temperate glaciers is discussed. The applications and insights that a knowledge of ice thickness, and the wider nature of the form and flow of ice sheets, provides are also considered. The thickest ice measured is 4.7 km in East Antarctica. The morphology of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and many of the smaller ice caps and glaciers of the polar regions, has been investigated using RES. These findings are being used in three-dimensional numerical models of the response of the cryosphere to environmental change. In addition, the distribution and character of internal and basal reflectors within ice sheets contains information on, for example, ice-sheet layering and its chrono-stratigraphic significance, and has enabled the discovery and investigation of large lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Today, RES from ground-based and airborne platforms remains the most effective tool for measuring ice thickness and internal character.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Gagliardini

    2013-08-01

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

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Bayesian Inversion for Large Scale Antarctic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Ghattas, Omar

    2015-01-07

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

  5. Bayesian Inversion for Large Scale Antarctic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Ghattas, Omar

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Ice sheets on plastically-yielding beds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Ian

    2016-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. The Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    For the past 25 years, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a valuable record of ice sheet elevation change and mass balance. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which reduces their capacity to make measurements in areas of complex topographic terrain. In recent years, progress has been made towards improving ground resolution, through the implementation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or Delay-Doppler, techniques. In 2010, the launch of CryoSat-2 heralded the start of a new era of SAR Interferometric (SARIn) altimetry. However, because the satellite operated in SARIn and LRM mode over the ice sheets, many of the non-interferometric SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized for water and sea ice surfaces only. The launch of Sentinel-3, which provides full non-interferometric SAR coverage of the ice sheets, therefore presents the opportunity to further develop these SAR processing methodologies over ice sheets. Here we present results from SPICE, a 2 year study that focuses on (1) developing and evaluating Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry processing methodologies over the Polar ice sheets, and (2) investigating radar wave penetration through comparisons of Ku- and Ka-band satellite measurements. The project, which is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, has worked in advance of the operational phase of Sentinel-3, to emulate Sentinel-3 SAR and pseudo-LRM data from dedicated CryoSat-2 SAR acquisitions made at the Lake Vostok, Dome C and Spirit sites in East Antarctica, and from reprocessed SARIn data in Greenland. In Phase 1 of the project we have evaluated existing processing methodologies, and in Phase 2 we are investigating new evolutions to the Delay-Doppler Processing (DDP) and retracking chains. In this presentation we (1) evaluate the existing Sentinel-3 processing chain by

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. Environmental constraints on West Antarctic ice-sheet formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindstrom, D R; MacAyeal, D R

    1987-01-01

    Small perturbations in Antarctic environmental conditions can culminate in the demise of the Antarctic ice sheet's western sector. This may have happened during the last interglacial period, and could recur within the next millennium due to atmospheric warming from trace gas and CO/sub 2/ increases. In this study, we investigate the importance of sea-level, accumulation rate, and ice influx from the East Antarctic ice sheet in the re-establishment of the West Antarctic ice sheet from a thin cover using a time-dependent numerical ice-shelf model. Our results show that a precursor to the West Antarctic ice sheet can form within 3000 years. Sea-level lowering caused by ice-sheet development in the Northern Hemisphere has the greatest environmental influence. Under favorable conditions, ice grounding occurs over all parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet except up-stream of Thwaites Glacier and in the Ross Sea region.

  19. Improving Climate Literacy Using The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM): A Prototype Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory For Use In K-12 Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halkides, D. J.; Larour, E. Y.; Perez, G.; Petrie, K.; Nguyen, L.

    2013-12-01

    Statistics indicate that most Americans learn what they will know about science within the confines of our public K-12 education system and the media. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aim to remedy science illiteracy and provide guidelines to exceed the Common Core State Standards that most U.S. state governments have adopted, by integrating disciplinary cores with crosscutting ideas and real life practices. In this vein, we present a prototype ';Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory' (I-Lab), geared to K-12 students, educators and interested members of the general public. I-Lab will allow users to perform experiments using a state-of-the-art dynamical ice sheet model and provide detailed downloadable lesson plans, which incorporate this model and are consistent with NGSS Physical Science criteria for different grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12). The ultimate goal of this website is to improve public climate science literacy, especially in regards to the crucial role of the polar ice sheets in Earth's climate and sea level. The model used will be the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), an ice flow model developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UC Irvine, that simulates the near-term evolution of polar ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctica) and includes high spatial resolution capabilities and data assimilation to produce realistic simulations of ice sheet dynamics at the continental scale. Open sourced since 2011, ISSM is used in cutting edge cryosphere research around the globe. Thru I-Lab, students will be able to access ISSM using a simple, online graphical interface that can be launched from a web browser on a computer, tablet or smart phone. The interface will allow users to select different climate conditions and watch how the polar ice sheets evolve in time under those conditions. Lesson contents will include links to background material and activities that teach observation recording, concept articulation, hypothesis formulation and testing, and

  20. The Response of Ice Sheets to Climate Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, K.; Goldberg, D. N.; Holland, P. R.; Jordan, J. R.; Arthern, R. J.; Jenkins, A.

    2017-12-01

    West Antarctic Ice Sheet loss is a significant contributor to sea level rise. While the ice loss is thought to be triggered by fluctuations in oceanic heat at the ice shelf bases, ice sheet response to ocean variability remains poorly understood. Using a synchronously coupled ice-ocean model permitting grounding line migration, this study evaluates the response of an ice sheet to periodic variations in ocean forcing. Resulting oscillations in grounded ice volume amplitude is shown to grow as a nonlinear function of ocean forcing period. This implies that slower oscillations in climatic forcing are disproportionately important to ice sheets. The ice shelf residence time offers a critical time scale, above which the ice response amplitude is a linear function of ocean forcing period and below which it is quadratic. These results highlight the sensitivity of West Antarctic ice streams to perturbations in heat fluxes occurring at decadal time scales.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boulton, G.S.; Caban, P.; Hulton, N.

    1999-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Deglaciation of the Eurasian ice sheet complex

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  6. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-03-01

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

  7. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-03-01

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

  8. Long term ice sheet mass change rates and inter-annual variability from GRACE gravimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harig, C.

    2017-12-01

    The GRACE time series of gravimetry now stretches 15 years since its launch in 2002. Here we use Slepian functions to estimate the long term ice mass trends of Greenland, Antarctica, and several glaciated regions. The spatial representation shows multi-year to decadal regional shifts in accelerations, in agreement with increases in radar derived ice velocity. Interannual variations in ice mass are of particular interest since they can directly link changes in ice sheets to the drivers of change in the polar ocean and atmosphere. The spatial information retained in Slepian functions provides a tool to determine how this link varies in different regions within an ice sheet. We present GRACE observations of the 2013-2014 slowdown in mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet, which was concentrated in specific parts of the ice sheet and in certain months of the year. We also discuss estimating the relative importance of climate factors that control ice mass balance, as a function of location of the glacier/ice cap as well as the spatial variation within an ice sheet by comparing gravimetry with observations of surface air temperature, ocean temperature, etc. as well as model data from climate reanalysis products.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Sarah L.; Clark, Chris D.

    2009-12-01

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

  10. Outreach/education interface for Cryosphere models using the Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larour, E. Y.; Halkides, D. J.; Romero, V.; Cheng, D. L.; Perez, G.

    2014-12-01

    In the past decade, great strides have been made in the development of models capable of projecting the future evolution of glaciers and the polar ice sheets in a changing climate. These models are now capable of replicating some of the trends apparent in satellite observations. However, because this field is just now maturing, very few efforts have been dedicated to adapting these capabilities to education. Technologies that have been used in outreach efforts in Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences still have not been extended to Cryospheric Science. We present a cutting-edge, technologically driven virtual laboratory, geared towards outreach and k-12 education, dedicated to the polar ice sheets on Antarctica and Greenland, and their role as major contributors to sea level rise in coming decades. VISL (Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory) relies on state-of-the art Web GL rendering of polar ice sheets, Android/iPhone and web portability using Javascript, as well as C++ simulations (back-end) based on the Ice Sheet System Model, the NASA model for simulating the evolution of polar ice sheets. Using VISL, educators and students can have an immersive experience into the world of polar ice sheets, while at the same exercising the capabilities of a state-of-the-art climate model, all of it embedded into an education experience that follows the new STEM standards for education.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 Science Program.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stap, L. B.; van de Wal, R. S. W.; de Boer, B.; Bintanja, R.; Lourens, L. J.

    2014-12-01

    During the Cenozoic, land ice and climate interacted on many different timescales. On long timescales, the effect of land ice on global climate and sea level is mainly set by large ice sheets in North America, Eurasia, Greenland and Antarctica. The climatic forcing of these ice sheets is largely determined by the meridional temperature profile resulting from radiation and greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing. As a response, the ice sheets cause an increase in albedo and surface elevation, which operates as a feedback in the climate system. To quantify the importance of these climate-land ice processes, a zonally averaged energy balance climate model is coupled to five one-dimensional ice sheet models, representing the major ice sheets. In this study, we focus on the transient simulation of the past 800 000 years, where a high-confidence CO2 record from ice core samples is used as input in combination with Milankovitch radiation changes. We obtain simulations of atmospheric temperature, ice volume and sea level that are in good agreement with recent proxy-data reconstructions. We examine long-term climate-ice-sheet interactions by a comparison of simulations with uncoupled and coupled ice sheets. We show that these interactions amplify global temperature anomalies by up to a factor of 2.6, and that they increase polar amplification by 94%. We demonstrate that, on these long timescales, the ice-albedo feedback has a larger and more global influence on the meridional atmospheric temperature profile than the surface-height-temperature feedback. Furthermore, we assess the influence of CO2 and insolation by performing runs with one or both of these variables held constant. We find that atmospheric temperature is controlled by a complex interaction of CO2 and insolation, and both variables serve as thresholds for northern hemispheric glaciation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. B. Stap

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available During the Cenozoic, land ice and climate interacted on many different timescales. On long timescales, the effect of land ice on global climate and sea level is mainly set by large ice sheets in North America, Eurasia, Greenland and Antarctica. The climatic forcing of these ice sheets is largely determined by the meridional temperature profile resulting from radiation and greenhouse gas (GHG forcing. As a response, the ice sheets cause an increase in albedo and surface elevation, which operates as a feedback in the climate system. To quantify the importance of these climate–land ice processes, a zonally averaged energy balance climate model is coupled to five one-dimensional ice sheet models, representing the major ice sheets. In this study, we focus on the transient simulation of the past 800 000 years, where a high-confidence CO2 record from ice core samples is used as input in combination with Milankovitch radiation changes. We obtain simulations of atmospheric temperature, ice volume and sea level that are in good agreement with recent proxy-data reconstructions. We examine long-term climate–ice-sheet interactions by a comparison of simulations with uncoupled and coupled ice sheets. We show that these interactions amplify global temperature anomalies by up to a factor of 2.6, and that they increase polar amplification by 94%. We demonstrate that, on these long timescales, the ice-albedo feedback has a larger and more global influence on the meridional atmospheric temperature profile than the surface-height-temperature feedback. Furthermore, we assess the influence of CO2 and insolation by performing runs with one or both of these variables held constant. We find that atmospheric temperature is controlled by a complex interaction of CO2 and insolation, and both variables serve as thresholds for northern hemispheric glaciation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. The late Cainozoic East Antarctic ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colhoun, E.A.

    1999-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Troughs on Martian Ice Sheets: Analysis of Their Closure and Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, J.

    2000-01-01

    At the Copenhagen workshop on Martian polar processes, Ralf Greve commented that the flow regime surrounding scarps and troughs of the Martian polar ice sheets cannot be modeled using traditional "plan view" ice-sheet models. Such models are inadequate because they typically use reduced equations that embody certain simplifications applicable only to terrestrial ice sheets where the upper ice sheet surface is smooth. In response to this suggestion, we have constructed a 2-dimensional, time dependent "side view" (two spatial dimensions: one horizontal, one vertical) model of scarp closure that is designed to overcome the difficulties described by Greve. The purpose of the model is to evaluate the scales of stress variation and styles of flow closure so as to estimate errors that may be encountered by "plan view" models. We show that there may be avenues whereby the complications associated with scarp closure can be overcome in "plan view" models through appropriate parameterizations of 3-dimensional effects. Following this, we apply the flow model to simulate the evolution of a typical scarp on the North Polar Cap of Mars. Our simulations investigate: (a) the role of "radiation trapping" (see our companion abstract) in creating and maintaining "spiral-like" scarps on the ice sheet, (b) the consequences of different flowlaws and ice compositions on scarp evolution and, in particular, scarp age, and (c) the role of dust and debris in scarp evolution.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stap, L.B.

    2017-01-01

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

  2. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

  5. Grounding line transient response in marine ice sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Drouet

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine ice-sheet stability is mostly controlled by the dynamics of the grounding line, i.e. the junction between the grounded ice sheet and the floating ice shelf. Grounding line migration has been investigated within the framework of MISMIP (Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, which mainly aimed at investigating steady state solutions. Here we focus on transient behaviour, executing short-term simulations (200 yr of a steady ice sheet perturbed by the release of the buttressing restraint exerted by the ice shelf on the grounded ice upstream. The transient grounding line behaviour of four different flowline ice-sheet models has been compared. The models differ in the physics implemented (full Stokes and shallow shelf approximation, the numerical approach, as well as the grounding line treatment. Their overall response to the loss of buttressing is found to be broadly consistent in terms of grounding line position, rate of surface elevation change and surface velocity. However, still small differences appear for these latter variables, and they can lead to large discrepancies (> 100% observed in terms of ice sheet contribution to sea level when cumulated over time. Despite the recent important improvements of marine ice-sheet models in their ability to compute steady state configurations, our results question the capacity of these models to compute short-term reliable sea-level rise projections.

  6. Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-06

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

  7. Continental Ice Sheets and the Planetary Radiation Budget

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, J. van den

    2007-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    conditions, by fusing a photoclinometry DEM, SPOT and ASTER DEMs as well as elevations from ICESat, ATM and LVIS laser altimetry. The new multi-resolution DEM has a resolution of 40 m x 40 m in the marginal ice sheet regions and 250 m elsewhere. The ice sheet margin is mapped from SPOT and Landsat imagery...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Pre-LGM Northern Hemisphere ice sheet topography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Kleman

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We here reconstruct the paleotopography of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the glacial maxima of marine isotope stages (MIS 5b and 4.We employ a combined approach, blending geologically based reconstruction and numerical modeling, to arrive at probable ice sheet extents and topographies for each of these two time slices. For a physically based 3-D calculation based on geologically derived 2-D constraints, we use the University of Maine Ice Sheet Model (UMISM to calculate ice sheet thickness and topography. The approach and ice sheet modeling strategy is designed to provide robust data sets of sufficient resolution for atmospheric circulation experiments for these previously elusive time periods. Two tunable parameters, a temperature scaling function applied to a spliced Vostok–GRIP record, and spatial adjustment of the climatic pole position, were employed iteratively to achieve a good fit to geological constraints where such were available. The model credibly reproduces the first-order pattern of size and location of geologically indicated ice sheets during marine isotope stages (MIS 5b (86.2 kyr model age and 4 (64 kyr model age. From the interglacial state of two north–south obstacles to atmospheric circulation (Rocky Mountains and Greenland, by MIS 5b the emergence of combined Quebec–central Arctic and Scandinavian–Barents-Kara ice sheets had increased the number of such highland obstacles to four. The number of major ice sheets remained constant through MIS 4, but the merging of the Cordilleran and the proto-Laurentide Ice Sheet produced a single continent-wide North American ice sheet at the LGM.

  14. Influence of temperature fluctuations on equilibrium ice sheet volume

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    As the most recent warm period in Earth's history with a sea-level stand higher than present, the Last Interglacial (LIG, ∼130 to 115kyrgBP) is often considered a prime example to study the impact of a warmer climate on the two polar ice sheets remaining today. Here we simulate the Last Interglacial

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    in Russia than previously outlined and the time of termination at 18-16 cal. kyr BP was almost 10 kyr delayed compared to the southwestern part of the ice sheet. We argue that the lithology of the ice sheets' substrate, and especially the location of former proglacial lake basins, influenced the dynamics......Advance of the Late Weichselian (Valdaian) Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) in northwestern Russia took place after a period of periglacial conditions. Till of the last SIS, Bobrovo till, overlies glacial deposits from the previous Barents and Kara Sea ice sheets and marine deposits of the Last...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.)

  20. 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.

  1. VESL: The Virtual Earth Sheet Laboratory for Ice Sheet Modeling and Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    We introduce the Virtual Earth System Laboratory (VESL), a scientific modeling and visualization tool delivered through an integrated web portal for dissemination of data, simulation of physical processes, and promotion of climate literacy. The current prototype leverages NASA's Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a state-of-the-art polar ice sheet dynamics model developed at the Jet Propulsion Lab and UC Irvine. We utilize the Emscripten source-to-source compiler to convert the C/C++ ISSM engine core to JavaScript, and bundled pre/post-processing JS scripts to be compatible with the existing ISSM Python/Matlab API. Researchers using VESL will be able to effectively present their work for public dissemination with little-to-no additional post-processing. This will allow for faster publication in peer-reviewed journals and adaption of results for educational applications. Through future application of this concept to multiple aspects of the Earth System, VESL has the potential to broaden data applications in the geosciences and beyond. At this stage, we seek feedback from the greater scientific and public outreach communities regarding the ease of use and feature set of VESL, as we plan its expansion, and aim to achieve more rapid communication and presentation of scientific results.

  2. VESL: The Virtual Earth Sheet Laboratory for Ice Sheet Modeling and Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    We present the Virtual Earth System Laboratory (VESL), a scientific modeling and visualization tool delivered through an integrated web portal. This allows for the dissemination of data, simulation of physical processes, and promotion of climate literacy. The current iteration leverages NASA's Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a state-of-the-art polar ice sheet dynamics model developed at the Jet Propulsion Lab and UC Irvine. We utilize the Emscripten source-to-source compiler to convert the C/C++ ISSM engine core to JavaScript, and bundled pre/post-processing JS scripts to be compatible with the existing ISSM Python/Matlab API. Researchers using VESL will be able to effectively present their work for public dissemination with little-to-no additional post-processing. Moreover, the portal allows for real time visualization and editing of models, cloud based computational simulation, and downloads of relevant data. This allows for faster publication in peer-reviewed journals and adaption of results for educational applications. Through application of this concept to multiple aspects of the Earth System, VESL is able to broaden data applications in the geosciences and beyond. At this stage, we still seek feedback from the greater scientific and public outreach communities regarding the ease of use and feature set of VESL. As we plan its expansion, we aim to achieve more rapid communication and presentation of scientific results.

  3. Reconstructing the temperature regime of the Weichselian ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holmlund, P.

    1997-01-01

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

  4. Reconstructing the temperature regime of the Weichselian ice sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Uncertainty Quantification for Large-Scale Ice Sheet Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notz, Dirk

    2009-12-08

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

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of temperature fluctuations on equilibrium ice sheet volume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. B. Mikkelsen

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Promoting Diversity Through Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (Polar ICE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, J. D.; Hotaling, L. A.; Garza, C.; Van Dyk, P. B.; Hunter-thomson, K. I.; Middendorf, J.; Daniel, A.; Matsumoto, G. I.; Schofield, O.

    2017-12-01

    Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (ICE) is an education and outreach program designed to provide public access to the Antarctic and Arctic regions through polar data and interactions with the scientists. The program provides multi-faceted science communication training for early career scientists that consist of a face-to face workshop and opportunities to apply these skills. The key components of the scientist training workshop include cultural competency training, deconstructing/decoding science for non-expert audiences, the art of telling science stories, and networking with members of the education and outreach community and reflecting on communication skills. Scientists partner with educators to provide professional development for K-12 educators and support for student research symposia. Polar ICE has initiated a Polar Literacy initiative that provides both a grounding in big ideas in polar science and science communication training designed to underscore the importance of the Polar Regions to the public while promoting interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists and educators. Our ultimate objective is to promote STEM identity through professional development of scientists and educators while developing career awareness of STEM pathways in Polar science.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Uncertainty Quantification for Ice Sheet Science and Sea Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    In order to better quantify uncertainties in global mean sea level rise projections and in particular upper bounds, we aim at systematically evaluating the contributions from ice sheets and potential for extreme sea level rise due to sudden ice mass loss. Here, we take advantage of established uncertainty quantification tools embedded within the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) as well as sensitivities to ice/ocean interactions using melt rates and melt potential derived from MITgcm/ECCO2. With the use of these tools, we conduct Monte-Carlo style sampling experiments on forward simulations of the Antarctic ice sheet, by varying internal parameters and boundary conditions of the system over both extreme and credible worst-case ranges. Uncertainty bounds for climate forcing are informed by CMIP5 ensemble precipitation and ice melt estimates for year 2100, and uncertainty bounds for ocean melt rates are derived from a suite of regional sensitivity experiments using MITgcm. Resulting statistics allow us to assess how regional uncertainty in various parameters affect model estimates of century-scale sea level rise projections. The results inform efforts to a) isolate the processes and inputs that are most responsible for determining ice sheet contribution to sea level; b) redefine uncertainty brackets for century-scale projections; and c) provide a prioritized list of measurements, along with quantitative information on spatial and temporal resolution, required for reducing uncertainty in future sea level rise projections. Results indicate that ice sheet mass loss is dependent on the spatial resolution of key boundary conditions - such as bedrock topography and melt rates at the ice-ocean interface. This work is performed at and supported by the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Supercomputing time is also supported through a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere program.

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T.

    2011-07-01

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

  2. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK – Part 2: Dynamic equilibrium simulation of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We present a dynamic equilibrium simulation of the ice sheet-shelf system on Antarctica with the Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK. The simulation is initialized with present-day conditions for bed topography and ice thickness and then run to steady state with constant present-day surface mass balance. Surface temperature and sub-shelf basal melt distribution are parameterized. Grounding lines and calving fronts are free to evolve, and their modeled equilibrium state is compared to observational data. A physically-motivated calving law based on horizontal spreading rates allows for realistic calving fronts for various types of shelves. Steady-state dynamics including surface velocity and ice flux are analyzed for whole Antarctica and the Ronne-Filchner and Ross ice shelf areas in particular. The results show that the different flow regimes in sheet and shelves, and the transition zone between them, are captured reasonably well, supporting the approach of superposition of SIA and SSA for the representation of fast motion of grounded ice. This approach also leads to a natural emergence of sliding-dominated flow in stream-like features in this new 3-D marine ice sheet model.

  3. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK) - Part 2: Dynamic equilibrium simulation of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, M. A.; Winkelmann, R.; Haseloff, M.; Albrecht, T.; Bueler, E.; Khroulev, C.; Levermann, A.

    2011-09-01

    We present a dynamic equilibrium simulation of the ice sheet-shelf system on Antarctica with the Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK). The simulation is initialized with present-day conditions for bed topography and ice thickness and then run to steady state with constant present-day surface mass balance. Surface temperature and sub-shelf basal melt distribution are parameterized. Grounding lines and calving fronts are free to evolve, and their modeled equilibrium state is compared to observational data. A physically-motivated calving law based on horizontal spreading rates allows for realistic calving fronts for various types of shelves. Steady-state dynamics including surface velocity and ice flux are analyzed for whole Antarctica and the Ronne-Filchner and Ross ice shelf areas in particular. The results show that the different flow regimes in sheet and shelves, and the transition zone between them, are captured reasonably well, supporting the approach of superposition of SIA and SSA for the representation of fast motion of grounded ice. This approach also leads to a natural emergence of sliding-dominated flow in stream-like features in this new 3-D marine ice sheet model.

  4. Formation and interpretation of eskers beneath retreating ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creyts, T. T.; Hewitt, I.

    2017-12-01

    The retreat of the ice sheets during the Pleistocene left large and spectacular subglacial features exposed. Understanding these features gives us insight into how the ice sheets retreated, how meltwater influenced retreat, and can help inform our understanding of potential future rates of ice sheet retreat. Among these features, eskers, long sinuous ridges primarily composed of clastic sediments, lack a detailed explanation of how surface melt rates and ice sheet retreat rates influence their growth and spatial distribution. Here, we develop a theory for esker formation based on the initial work of Rothlisberger modified for sediment transport and inclusion of surface meltwater forcing. The primary subglacial ingredients include water flow through subglacial tunnels with the addition of mass balances for sediment transport. We show how eskers when water flow slows below a critical stress for sediment motion. This implies that eskers are deposited in a localized region near the snout of the ice sheet. Our findings suggest that very long eskers form sequentially as the ice front retreats. The position of the esker follows the path of the channel mouth through time, which does not necessarily coincide with the instantaneous route of the feeding channel. However, in most cases, we expect those locations to be similar. The role of surface meltwater and the climatology associated with the forcing is crucial to the lateral spacing of the eskers. We predict that high surface melt rates lead to narrower catchments but that the greater extent of the ablation area means that channels are likely larger. At the same time, for a given channel size (and hence sediment flux), the size of a deposited esker depends on a margin retreat rate. Hence, the size of the eskers is related delicately to the balance between surface melt rates and margin retreat rates. We discuss how our theory can be combined with observed esker distributions to infer the relationship between these two rates

  5. Solid and gaseous inclusions in the EDML deep ice core: origins and implications for the physical properties of polar ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, S. H.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Garbe, C. S.; Bendel, V.; Weikusat, C.; Weikusat, I.

    2010-12-01

    The great value of polar deep ice cores stems mainly from two essential features of polar ice: its crystalline structure and its impurities. They determine the physical properties of the ice matrix and provide proxies for the investigation of past climates. Experience shows that these two essential features of polar ice manifest themselves in a multiscale diversity of dynamic structures, including dislocations, grain boundaries, solid particles, air bubbles, clathrate hydrates and cloudy bands, among others. The fact that these structures are dynamic implies that they evolve with time through intricate interactions between the crystalline structure, impurities, and the ice flow. Records of these interactions have been carefully investigated in samples of the EPICA deep ice core drilled in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica (75°S, 0°E, 2882 m elevation, 2774.15 m core length). Here we show how the distributions of sizes and shapes of air bubbles correlate with impurities and the crystalline structure, how the interaction between moving grain boundaries and micro-inclusions changes with ice depth and temperature, as well as the possible causes for the abrupt change in ice rheology observed in the MIS6-MIS5e transition. We also discuss how these observations may affect the flow of the ice sheet and the interpretation of paleoclimate records. Micrograph of an EDML sample from 555m depth. One can identify air bubbles (dark, round objects), microinclusions (tiny defocused spots), and a grain boundary pinned by a bubble. The width of the image is 700 micrometers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-13

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

  8. 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.

  9. Ice-sheet flow conditions deduced from mechanical tests of ice core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miyamoto, Atsushi; Narita, Hideki; Hondoh, Takeo

    1999-01-01

    Uniaxial compression tests were performed on samples of the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) deep ice core, both in the field and later in a cold-room laboratory, in order to understand the ice-flow behavior of large ice sheets. Experiments were conducted under conditions of constant strain rate....... It was revealed that cloudy bands affect ice-deformation processes, but the details remain unclear. Udgivelsesdato: June......Uniaxial compression tests were performed on samples of the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) deep ice core, both in the field and later in a cold-room laboratory, in order to understand the ice-flow behavior of large ice sheets. Experiments were conducted under conditions of constant strain rate......-core samples with basal planes parallel to the horizontal plane of the ice sheet. The ice-flow enhancement factors show a gradual increase with depth down to approximately 2000 m. These results can be interpreted in terms of an increase in the fourth-order Schmid factor. Below 2000 m depth, the flow...

  10. 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

  11. Ice-sheet modelling accelerated by graphics cards

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-07-21

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

  13. Ice sheet-ocean interactions and sea level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimbach, Patrick

    2014-03-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has increased rapidly since the mid-1990s. Their combined loss now accounts for about one-third of global sea level rise. In Greenland, a growing body of evidence points to the marine margins of these glaciers as the region from which this dynamic response originated. Similarly, ice streams in West Antarctica that feed vast floating ice shelves have exhibited large decadal changes. We review observational evidence and present physical mechanisms that might explain the observed changes, in particular in the context of ice sheet-ocean interactions. Processes involve cover 7 orders of magnitudes of scales, ranging from mm boundary-layer processes to basin-scale coupled atmosphere-ocean variability. We discuss observational needs to fill the gap in our mechanistic understanding.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaquet, O.; Namar, R.; Jansson, P.

    2010-10-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason; O'Neel, Shad; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-02-01

    Polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers, which cover roughly 11% of the Earth's land surface, store organic carbon from local and distant sources and then release it to downstream environments. Climate-driven changes to glacier runoff are expected to be larger than climate impacts on other components of the hydrological cycle, and may represent an important flux of organic carbon. A compilation of published data on dissolved organic carbon from glaciers across five continents reveals that mountain and polar glaciers represent a quantitatively important store of organic carbon. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the repository of most of the roughly 6 petagrams (Pg) of organic carbon stored in glacier ice, but the annual release of glacier organic carbon is dominated by mountain glaciers in the case of dissolved organic carbon and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the case of particulate organic carbon. Climate change contributes to these fluxes: approximately 13% of the annual flux of glacier dissolved organic carbon is a result of glacier mass loss. These losses are expected to accelerate, leading to a cumulative loss of roughly 15 teragrams (Tg) of glacial dissolved organic carbon by 2050 due to climate change -- equivalent to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River. Thus, glaciers constitute a key link between terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes, and will be of increasing importance in land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon in glacierized regions.

  18. Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason; O'Neel, Shad; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-01-01

    Polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers, which cover roughly 11% of the Earth's land surface, store organic carbon from local and distant sources and then release it to downstream environments. Climate-driven changes to glacier runoff are expected to be larger than climate impacts on other components of the hydrological cycle, and may represent an important flux of organic carbon. A compilation of published data on dissolved organic carbon from glaciers across five continents reveals that mountain and polar glaciers represent a quantitatively important store of organic carbon. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the repository of most of the roughly 6 petagrams (Pg) of organic carbon stored in glacier ice, but the annual release of glacier organic carbon is dominated by mountain glaciers in the case of dissolved organic carbon and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the case of particulate organic carbon. Climate change contributes to these fluxes: approximately 13% of the annual flux of glacier dissolved organic carbon is a result of glacier mass loss. These losses are expected to accelerate, leading to a cumulative loss of roughly 15 teragrams (Tg) of glacial dissolved organic carbon by 2050 due to climate change — equivalent to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River. Thus, glaciers constitute a key link between terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes, and will be of increasing importance in land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon in glacierized regions.

  19. 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.

  20. Design of the MISMIP+, ISOMIP+, and MISOMIP ice-sheet, ocean, and coupled ice sheet-ocean intercomparison projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar; Cornford, Stephen; Martin, Daniel; Gudmundsson, Hilmar; Holland, David; Holland, Denise

    2015-04-01

    The MISMIP and MISMIP3D marine ice sheet model intercomparison exercises have become popular benchmarks, and several modeling groups have used them to show how their models compare to both analytical results and other models. Similarly, the ISOMIP (Ice Shelf-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project) experiments have acted as a proving ground for ocean models with sub-ice-shelf cavities.As coupled ice sheet-ocean models become available, an updated set of benchmark experiments is needed. To this end, we propose sequel experiments, MISMIP+ and ISOMIP+, with an end goal of coupling the two in a third intercomparison exercise, MISOMIP (the Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project). Like MISMIP3D, the MISMIP+ experiments take place in an idealized, three-dimensional setting and compare full 3D (Stokes) and reduced, hydrostatic models. Unlike the earlier exercises, the primary focus will be the response of models to sub-shelf melting. The chosen configuration features an ice shelf that experiences substantial lateral shear and buttresses the upstream ice, and so is well suited to melting experiments. Differences between the steady states of each model are minor compared to the response to melt-rate perturbations, reflecting typical real-world applications where parameters are chosen so that the initial states of all models tend to match observations. The three ISOMIP+ experiments have been designed to to make use of the same bedrock topography as MISMIP+ and using ice-shelf geometries from MISMIP+ results produced by the BISICLES ice-sheet model. The first two experiments use static ice-shelf geometries to simulate the evolution of ocean dynamics and resulting melt rates to a quasi-steady state when far-field forcing changes in either from cold to warm or from warm to cold states. The third experiment prescribes 200 years of dynamic ice-shelf geometry (with both retreating and advancing ice) based on a BISICLES simulation along with similar flips between warm and

  1. A sensitivity analysis for a thermomechanical model of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baratelli, F.; Castellani, G.; Vassena, C.; Giudici, M.

    2012-04-01

    The outcomes of an ice sheet model depend on a number of parameters and physical quantities which are often estimated with large uncertainty, because of lack of sufficient experimental measurements in such remote environments. Therefore, the efforts to improve the accuracy of the predictions of ice sheet models by including more physical processes and interactions with atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere can be affected by the inaccuracy of the fundamental input data. A sensitivity analysis can help to understand which are the input data that most affect the different predictions of the model. In this context, a finite difference thermomechanical ice sheet model based on the Shallow-Ice Approximation (SIA) and on the Shallow-Shelf Approximation (SSA) has been developed and applied for the simulation of the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves for the last 200 000 years. The sensitivity analysis of the model outcomes (e.g., the volume of the ice sheet and of the ice shelves, the basal melt rate of the ice sheet, the mean velocity of the Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves, the wet area at the base of the ice sheet) with respect to the model parameters (e.g., the basal sliding coefficient, the geothermal heat flux, the present-day surface accumulation and temperature, the mean ice shelves viscosity, the melt rate at the base of the ice shelves) has been performed by computing three synthetic numerical indices: two local sensitivity indices and a global sensitivity index. Local sensitivity indices imply a linearization of the model and neglect both non-linear and joint effects of the parameters. The global variance-based sensitivity index, instead, takes into account the complete variability of the input parameters but is usually conducted with a Monte Carlo approach which is computationally very demanding for non-linear complex models. Therefore, the global sensitivity index has been computed using a development of the model outputs in a

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. The role of ice sheets in the pleistocene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Unveiling climate and ice-sheet history from drilling in high-latitude margins and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escutia Dotti, Carlota

    2010-05-01

    Polar ice is an important component of the climate system, affecting global sea level, ocean circulation and heat transport, marine productivity, and albedo. During the last decades drilling in the Arctic (IODP ACEX and Bering Expeditions) and in Antarctica (ODP Legs 178, 188, IODP Expedition 318 and ANDRILL) has revealed regional information about sea ice and ice sheets development and evolution. Integration of this data with numerical modeling provide an understanding of the early development of the ice sheets and their variability through the Cenozoic. Much of this work points to atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases concentrations as important triggering mechanism driving the onset of glaciation and subsequent ice volume variability. With current increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases concentrations resulting in rapidly rising global temperatures, studies of polar climates become increasingly prominent on the research agenda. Despite of the relevance of the high-latitudes in the global climate systems, the short- and long-term history of the ice sheets and sea-ice and its relationships with paleoclimatic, paleoceanographic, and sea level changes is still poorly understood. A multinational, multiplatform scientific drilling strategy is being developed to recover key physical evidence from selected high-latitude areas. This strategy is aimed at addressing key knowledge gaps about the role of polar ice in climate change, targeting questions such as timing of events, rates of change, tipping points, regional variations, and northern vs. southern hemispheres (in phase or out-of-phase) variability. This data is critical to provide constrains to sea-ice and ice sheet models, which are the basis for forecasting the future of the cryosphere in a warming world.

  9. Data assimilation of surface altimetry on the North-Easter Ice Stream using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larour, Eric; Utke, Jean; Morlighem, Mathieu; Seroussi, Helene; Csatho, Beata; Schenk, Anton; Rignot, Eric; Khazendar, Ala

    2014-05-01

    Extensive surface altimetry data has been collected on polar ice sheets over the past decades, following missions such as Envisat and IceSat. This data record will further increase in size with the new CryoSat mission, the ongoing Operation IceBridge Mission and the soon to launch IceSat-2 mission. In order to make the best use of these dataset, ice flow models need to improve on the way they ingest surface altimetry to infer: 1) parameterizations of poorly known physical processes such as basal friction; 2) boundary conditions such as Surface Mass Balance (SMB). Ad-hoc sensitivity studies and adjoint-based inversions have so far been the way ice sheet models have attempted to resolve the impact of 1) on their results. As for boundary conditions or the lack thereof, most studies assume that they are a fixed quantity, which, though prone to large errors from the measurement itself, is not varied according to the simulated results. Here, we propose a method based on automatic differentiation to improve boundary conditions at the base and surface of the ice sheet during a short-term transient run for which surface altimetry observations are available. The method relies on minimizing a cost-function, the best fit between modeled surface evolution and surface altimetry observations, using gradients that are computed for each time step from automatic differentiation of the ISSM (Ice Sheet System Model) code. The approach relies on overloaded operators using the ADOLC (Automatic Differentiation by OverLoading in C++) package. It is applied to the 79 North Glacier, Greenland, for a short term transient spanning a couple of decades before the start of the retreat of the Zachariae Isstrom outlet glacier. Our results show adjustments required on the basal friction and the SMB of the whole basin to best fit surface altimetry observations, along with sensitivities each one of these parameters has on the overall cost function. Our approach presents a pathway towards assimilating

  10. SST and ice sheet impacts on the MIS-13 climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muri, Helene; Berger, Andre; Yin, Qiuzhen; Sundaram, Suchithra [Universite catholique de Louvain, Georges Lemaitre Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), Earth and Life Institute (ELI), Louvain la Neuve (Belgium); Voldoire, Aurore; Melia, David Salas Y. [CNRM-GAME Meteo-France/CNRS, Toulouse Cedex (France)

    2012-10-15

    As a first qualitative assessment tool, LOVECLIM has been used to investigate the interactions between insolation, ice sheets and the East Asian Monsoon at the Marine Isotopic Stage 13 (MIS-13) in work by Yin et al. (Clim Past 4:79-90, 2008, Clim Past 5:229-243, 2009). The results are in need of validation with a more sophisticated model, which is done in this work with the ARPEGE atmospheric general circulation model. As in the Earth system Model of Intermediate Complexity, LOVECLIM, ARPEGE shows that the northern hemispheric high insolation in summer leads to strong MIS-13 monsoon precipitation. Data from the Chinese Loess Plateau indicate that MIS-13 was locally a warm and humid period (Guo et al. in Clim Past 5:21-31, 2009; Yin and Guo in Chin Sci Bull 51(2):213-220, 2006). This is confirmed by these General Circulation Model (GCM) results, where the MIS-13 climate is found to be hotter and more humid both in the presence and absence of any added ice sheets. LOVECLIM found that the combined effects of the ice sheets and their accompanying SSTs contribute to more precipitation in eastern China, whilst in ARPEGE the impact is significant in northeastern China. Nonetheless the results of ARPEGE confirm the counter-intuitive results of LOVECLIM where ice sheets contribute to enhance monsoon precipitation. This happens through a topography induced wave propagating through Eurasia with an ascending branch over northeastern China. A feature which is also seen in LOVECLIM. The SST forcing in ARPEGE results in a strong zonal temperature gradient between the North Atlantic and east Eurasia, which in turn triggers an atmospheric gravity wave. This wave induces a blocking Okhotskian high, preventing the northwards penetration of the Meiyu monsoon front. The synergism between the ice sheets and SST is found through the factor separation method, yielding an increase in the Meiyu precipitation, though a reduction of the Changma precipitation. The synergism between the ice

  11. Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Predictions of marine ice-sheet behaviour require models that are able to robustly simulate grounding line migration. We present results of an intercomparison exercise for marine ice-sheet models. Verification is effected by comparison with approximate analytical solutions for flux across the grounding line using simplified geometrical configurations (no lateral variations, no effects of lateral buttressing. Unique steady state grounding line positions exist for ice sheets on a downward sloping bed, while hysteresis occurs across an overdeepened bed, and stable steady state grounding line positions only occur on the downward-sloping sections. Models based on the shallow ice approximation, which does not resolve extensional stresses, do not reproduce the approximate analytical results unless appropriate parameterizations for ice flux are imposed at the grounding line. For extensional-stress resolving "shelfy stream" models, differences between model results were mainly due to the choice of spatial discretization. Moving grid methods were found to be the most accurate at capturing grounding line evolution, since they track the grounding line explicitly. Adaptive mesh refinement can further improve accuracy, including fixed grid models that generally perform poorly at coarse resolution. Fixed grid models, with nested grid representations of the grounding line, are able to generate accurate steady state positions, but can be inaccurate over transients. Only one full-Stokes model was included in the intercomparison, and consequently the accuracy of shelfy stream models as approximations of full-Stokes models remains to be determined in detail, especially during transients.

  12. Achieving Textbook Multigrid Efficiency for Hydrostatic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Brown, Jed

    2013-03-12

    The hydrostatic equations for ice sheet flow offer improved fidelity compared with the shallow ice approximation and shallow stream approximation popular in today\\'s ice sheet models. Nevertheless, they present a serious bottleneck because they require the solution of a three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear system, as opposed to the two-dimensional system present in the shallow stream approximation. This 3D system is posed on high-aspect domains with strong anisotropy and variation in coefficients, making it expensive to solve with current methods. This paper presents a Newton--Krylov multigrid solver for the hydrostatic equations that demonstrates textbook multigrid efficiency (an order of magnitude reduction in residual per iteration and solution of the fine-level system at a small multiple of the cost of a residual evaluation). Scalability on Blue Gene/P is demonstrated, and the method is compared to various algebraic methods that are in use or have been proposed as viable approaches.

  13. Achieving Textbook Multigrid Efficiency for Hydrostatic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Brown, Jed; Smith, Barry; Ahmadia, Aron

    2013-01-01

    The hydrostatic equations for ice sheet flow offer improved fidelity compared with the shallow ice approximation and shallow stream approximation popular in today's ice sheet models. Nevertheless, they present a serious bottleneck because they require the solution of a three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear system, as opposed to the two-dimensional system present in the shallow stream approximation. This 3D system is posed on high-aspect domains with strong anisotropy and variation in coefficients, making it expensive to solve with current methods. This paper presents a Newton--Krylov multigrid solver for the hydrostatic equations that demonstrates textbook multigrid efficiency (an order of magnitude reduction in residual per iteration and solution of the fine-level system at a small multiple of the cost of a residual evaluation). Scalability on Blue Gene/P is demonstrated, and the method is compared to various algebraic methods that are in use or have been proposed as viable approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Constraining ice sheet history in the Weddell Sea, West Antarctica, using ice fabric at Korff Ice Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisbourne, A.; Smith, A.; Kendall, J. M.; Baird, A. F.; Martin, C.; Kingslake, J.

    2017-12-01

    The grounding history of ice rises (grounded area of independent flow regime within a floating ice shelf) can be used to constrain large scale ice sheet history: ice fabric, resulting from the preferred orientation of ice crystals due to the stress regime, can be used to infer this grounding history. With the aim of measuring the present day ice fabric at Korff Ice Rise, West Antarctica, a multi-azimuth wide-angle seismic experiment was undertaken. Three wide-angle common-midpoint gathers were acquired centred on the apex of the ice rise, at azimuths of 60 degrees to one another, to measure variation in seismic properties with offset and azimuth. Both vertical and horizontal receivers were used to record P and S arrivals including converted phases. Measurements of the variation with offset and azimuth of seismic traveltimes, seismic attenuation and shear wave splitting have been used to quantify seismic anisotropy in the ice column. The observations cannot be reproduced using an isotropic ice column model. Anisotropic ray tracing has been used to test likely models of ice fabric by comparison with the data. A model with a weak girdle fabric overlying a strong cluster fabric provides the best fit to the observations. Fabric of this nature is consistent with Korff Ice Rise having been stable for the order of 10,000 years without any ungrounding or significant change in the ice flow configuration across the ice rise for this period. This observation has significant implications for the ice sheet history of the Weddell Sea sector.

  18. VISL: A Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory For Outreach and K-12 Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, D. L. C.; Halkides, D. J.; Larour, E. Y.; Moore, J.; Dunn, S.; Perez, G.

    2015-12-01

    We present an update on our developing Virtual Ice Sheet Laboratory (VISL). Geared to K-12 classrooms and the general public, VISL's main goal is to improve climate literacy, especially in regards to the crucial role of the polar ice sheets in Earth's climate and sea level. VISL will allow users to perform guided experiments using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a state-of-the-art ice flow model developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UC Irvine that simulates the near-term evolution of the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. VISL users will access ISSM via a graphical interface that can be launched from a web browser on a computer, tablet or smart phone. Users select climate conditions and run time by moving graphic sliders then watch how a given region evolves in time under those conditions. Lesson plans will include conceptual background, instructions for table top experiments related to the concepts addressed in a given lesson, and a guide for performing model experiments and interpreting their results. Activities with different degrees of complexity will aim for consistency with NGSS Physical Science criteria for different grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12), although they will not be labeled as such to encourage a broad user base. Activities will emphasize the development of physical intuition and critical thinking skills, understanding conceptual and computational models, as well as observation recording, concept articulation, hypothesis formulation and testing, and mathematical analysis. At our present phase of development, we seek input from the greater science education and outreach communities regarding VISL's planned content, as well as additional features and topic areas that educators and students would find useful.

  19. 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.

  20. Snow and Ice Applications of AVHRR in Polar Regions: Report of a Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, K.; Bindschadler, R.; Casassa, G.; Comiso, J.; Eppler, D.; Fetterer, F.; Hawkins, J.; Key, J.; Rothrock, D.; Thomas, R.; hide

    1993-01-01

    The third symposium on Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice, organized by the International Glaciological Society, took place in Boulder, Colorado, 17-22 May 1992. As part of this meeting a total of 21 papers was presented on snow and ice applications of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite data in polar regions. Also during this meeting a NASA sponsored Workshop was held to review the status of polar surface measurements from AVHRR. In the following we have summarized the ideas and recommendations from the workshop, and the conclusions of relevant papers given during the regular symposium sessions. The seven topics discussed include cloud masking, ice surface temperature, narrow-band albedo, ice concentration, lead statistics, sea-ice motion and ice-sheet studies with specifics on applications, algorithms and accuracy, following recommendations for future improvements. In general, we can affirm the strong potential of AVHRR for studying sea ice and snow covered surfaces, and we highly recommend this satellite data set for long-term monitoring of polar process studies. However, progress is needed to reduce the uncertainty of the retrieved parameters for all of the above mentioned topics to make this data set useful for direct climate applications such as heat balance studies and others. Further, the acquisition and processing of polar AVHRR data must become better coordinated between receiving stations, data centers and funding agencies to guarantee a long-term commitment to the collection and distribution of high quality data.

  1. 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.

  2. Troughs in Ice Sheets and Other Icy Deposits on Mars: Analysis of Their Radiative Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, H. J.

    2000-01-01

    It has long been known that groove-like structures in glaciers and ice sheets can trap more incoming solar radiation than is the case for a 'normal' flat, smooth surface. In this presentation, we shall describe the radiative regimes of typical scarps and troughs on icy surfaces of Mars, and suggest how these features originate and evolve through time. The basis of our analysis is the radiation balance model presented by Pfeffer and Bretherton. Their model considers the visible band radiation regime of a V-shaped groove on a terrestrial ice surface, and shows that absorbed energy can be enhanced by up to 50 percent for grooves with small opening angles and with typical polar values of the solar zenith angle. Our work extends this model by considering: (a) departures from V-shaped geometry, (b) both englacial and surficial dust and debris, and (c) the infrared spectrum. We apply the extended model to various features on the Martian surface, including the spiral-like scarps on the Northern and Southern ice sheets, the large-scale chasms (e.g., Chasm Borealis), and groove-like lineations on valley floors thought to be filled with mixtures of dust and icy substances. In conjunction with study of valley-closure experiments, we suggest that spiral-like scarps and chasms are stable features of the Martian climate regime. We also suggest that further study of scarps and chasms may shed light on the composition (i.e., relative proportions of water ice, carbon-dioxide ice and dust) of the Martian ice sheets and valley fills.

  3. How might the North American ice sheet influence the northwestern Eurasian climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beghin, P.; Charbit, S.; Dumas, C.; Kageyama, M.; Ritz, C.

    2015-10-01

    It is now widely acknowledged that past Northern Hemisphere ice sheets covering Canada and northern Europe at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) exerted a strong influence on climate by causing changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In turn, these changes may have impacted the development of the ice sheets themselves through a combination of different feedback mechanisms. The present study is designed to investigate the potential impact of the North American ice sheet on the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Eurasian ice sheet driven by simulated changes in the past glacial atmospheric circulation. Using the LMDZ5 atmospheric circulation model, we carried out 12 experiments under constant LGM conditions for insolation, greenhouse gases and ocean. In these experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet is removed. The 12 experiments differ in the North American ice-sheet topography, ranging from a white and flat (present-day topography) ice sheet to a full-size LGM ice sheet. This experimental design allows the albedo and the topographic impacts of the North American ice sheet onto the climate to be disentangled. The results are compared to our baseline experiment where both the North American and the Eurasian ice sheets have been removed. In summer, the sole albedo effect of the American ice sheet modifies the pattern of planetary waves with respect to the no-ice-sheet case, resulting in a cooling of the northwestern Eurasian region. By contrast, the atmospheric circulation changes induced by the topography of the North American ice sheet lead to a strong decrease of this cooling. In winter, the Scandinavian and the Barents-Kara regions respond differently to the American ice-sheet albedo effect: in response to atmospheric circulation changes, Scandinavia becomes warmer and total precipitation is more abundant, whereas the Barents-Kara area becomes cooler with a decrease of convective processes, causing a decrease of total precipitation. The gradual increase of the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Nagler

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Aschwanden

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Validation is a critical component of model development, yet notoriously challenging in ice sheet modeling. Here we evaluate how an ice sheet system model responds to a given forcing. We show that hindcasting, i.e. forcing a model with known or closely estimated inputs for past events to see how well the output matches observations, is a viable method of assessing model performance. By simulating the recent past of Greenland, and comparing to observations of ice thickness, ice discharge, surface speeds, mass loss and surface elevation changes for validation, we find that the short term model response is strongly influenced by the initial state. We show that the thermal and dynamical states (i.e. the distribution of internal energy and momentum can be misrepresented despite a good agreement with some observations, stressing the importance of using multiple observations. In particular we identify rates of change of spatially dense observations as preferred validation metrics. Hindcasting enables a qualitative assessment of model performance relative to observed rates of change. It thereby reduces the number of admissible initial states more rigorously than validation efforts that do not take advantage of observed rates of change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  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. 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)

  9. Sodium, Iodine and Bromine in Polar Ice Cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maffezzoli, Niccolo

    Abstract: This research focuses on sodium, bromine and iodine in polar ice cores, with the aim of reviewing and advancing their current understanding with additional measurements and records, and investigating the connections of these tracers with sea ice and their feasibility as sea ice indicators...... with a description of the main analytic al techniques used to measure ionic and elemental species in ice cores. Chapter 4 introduces sodium, bromine and iodine with a theoretical perspective and a particular focus on their connections with sea ice. Some of the physical and chemical properties that are believed...... back trajectory analyses of the past 17 years. The results identify the aerosol source area influencing the Renland ice cap, a result necessary for the interpretation of impurity records obtained from the ice core. Chapter 6 reviews the published ice/snow measurements of bromine and iodine at polar...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Rapid Ice-Sheet Changes and Mechanical Coupling to Solid-Earth/Sea-Level and Space Geodetic Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Perturbations in gravitational and rotational potentials caused by climate driven mass redistribution on the earth's surface, such as ice sheet melting and terrestrial water storage, affect the spatiotemporal variability in global and regional sea level. Here we present a numerically accurate, computationally efficient, high-resolution model for sea level. Unlike contemporary models that are based on spherical-harmonic formulation, the model can operate efficiently in a flexible embedded finite-element mesh system, thus capturing the physics operating at km-scale yet capable of simulating geophysical quantities that are inherently of global scale with minimal computational cost. One obvious application is to compute evolution of sea level fingerprints and associated geodetic and astronomical observables (e.g., geoid height, gravity anomaly, solid-earth deformation, polar motion, and geocentric motion) as a companion to a numerical 3-D thermo-mechanical ice sheet simulation, thus capturing global signatures of climate driven mass redistribution. We evaluate some important time-varying signatures of GRACE inferred ice sheet mass balance and continental hydrological budget; for example, we identify dominant sources of ongoing sea-level change at the selected tide gauge stations, and explain the relative contribution of different sources to the observed polar drift. We also report our progress on ice-sheet/solid-earth/sea-level model coupling efforts toward realistic simulation of Pine Island Glacier over the past several hundred years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  3. 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)

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. An investigation of the astronomical theory of the ice ages using a simple climate-ice sheet model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.

    1978-01-01

    The astronomical theory of the Quaternary ice ages is incorporated into a simple climate model for global weather; important features of the model include the albedo feedback, topography and dynamics of the ice sheets. For various parameterizations of the orbital elements, the model yields realistic assessments of the northern ice sheet. Lack of a land-sea heat capacity contrast represents one of the chief difficulties of the model.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Reducing the uncertainty in the past, present and future contribution of ice sheets to sea-level change requires a coordinated effort between the climate and glaciology communities. The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) is the primary activity within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project – phase 6 (CMIP6) focusing on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. In this paper, we describe the framework for ISMIP6 and its relationship to other activities within CMIP6. The ISMIP6 experimental design relies on CMIP6 climate models and includes, for the first time within CMIP, coupled ice sheet – climate models as well as standalone ice sheet models. To facilitate analysis of the multi-model ensemble and to generate a set of standard climate inputs for standalone ice sheet models, ISMIP6 defines a protocol for all variables related to ice sheets. ISMIP6 will provide a basis for investigating the feedbacks, impacts, and sea-level changes associated with dynamic ice sheets and for quantifying the uncertainty in ice-sheet-sourced global sea-level change. PMID:29697697

  10. 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.

  11. Sea ice classification using dual polarization SAR data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huiying, Liu; Huadong, Guo; Lu, Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice is an indicator of climate change and also a threat to the navigation security of ships. Polarimetric SAR images are useful in the sea ice detection and classification. In this paper, backscattering coefficients and texture features derived from dual polarization SAR images are used for sea ice classification. Firstly, the HH image is recalculated based on the angular dependences of sea ice types. Then the effective gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) texture features are selected for the support vector machine (SVM) classification. In the end, because sea ice concentration can provide a better separation of pancake ice from old ice, it is used to improve the SVM result. This method provides a good classification result, compared with the sea ice chart from CIS

  12. Reconciling records of ice streaming and ice margin retreat to produce a palaeogeographic reconstruction of the deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margold, Martin; Stokes, Chris R.; Clark, Chris D.

    2018-06-01

    This paper reconstructs the deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS; including the Innuitian Ice Sheet) from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), with a particular focus on the spatial and temporal variations in ice streaming and the associated changes in flow patterns and ice divides. We build on a recent inventory of Laurentide ice streams and use an existing ice margin chronology to produce the first detailed transient reconstruction of the ice stream drainage network in the LIS, which we depict in a series of palaeogeographic maps. Results show that the drainage network at the LGM was similar to modern-day Antarctica. The majority of the ice streams were marine terminating and topographically-controlled and many of these continued to function late into the deglaciation, until the ice sheet lost its marine margin. Ice streams with a terrestrial ice margin in the west and south were more transient and ice flow directions changed with the build-up, peak-phase and collapse of the Cordilleran-Laurentide ice saddle. The south-eastern marine margin in Atlantic Canada started to retreat relatively early and some of the ice streams in this region switched off at or shortly after the LGM. In contrast, the ice streams draining towards the north-western and north-eastern marine margins in the Beaufort Sea and in Baffin Bay appear to have remained stable throughout most of the Late Glacial, and some of them continued to function until after the Younger Dryas (YD). The YD influenced the dynamics of the deglaciation, but there remains uncertainty about the response of the ice sheet in several sectors. We tentatively ascribe the switching-on of some major ice streams during this period (e.g. M'Clintock Channel Ice Stream at the north-west margin), but for other large ice streams whose timing partially overlaps with the YD, the drivers are less clear and ice-dynamical processes, rather than effects of climate and surface mass balance are viewed as more likely drivers. Retreat

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Modes of supraglacial lake drainage and dynamic ice sheet response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, S. B.; Behn, M. D.; Joughin, I. R.

    2011-12-01

    We investigate modes of supraglacial lake drainage using geophysical, ground, and remote sensing observations over the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Lakes exhibit a characteristic life cycle defined by a pre-drainage, drainage, and post-drainage phase. In the pre-drainage phase winter snow fills pre-existing cracks and stream channels, efficiently blocking past drainage conduits. As temperatures increase in the spring, surface melting commences, initially saturating the snow pack and subsequently forming a surface network of streams that fills the lake basins. Basins continue to fill until lake drainage commences, which for individual lakes occurs at different times depending on the previous winter snow accumulation and summer temperatures. Three styles of drainage behavior have been observed: (1) no drainage, (2) slow drainage over the side into an adjacent pre-existing crack, and (3) rapid drainage through a new crack formed beneath the lake basin. Moreover, from year-to-year individual lakes exhibit different drainage behaviors. Lakes that drain slowly often utilize the same outflow channel for multiple years, creating dramatic canyons in the ice. Ultimately, these surface channels are advected out of the lake basin and a new channel forms. In the post-drainage phase, melt water continues to access the bed typically through a small conduit (e.g. moulin) formed near a local topographic minimum along the main drainage crack, draining the lake catchment throughout the remainder of the melt season. This melt water input to the bed leads to continued basal lubrication and enhanced ice flow compared to background velocities. Lakes that do not completely drain freeze over to form a surface ice layer that persists into the following year. Our results show that supraglacial lakes show a spectrum of drainage behaviors and that these styles of drainage lead to varying rates and timing of surface meltwater delivery to the bed resulting in different dynamic ice

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Glacial isostatic stress shadowing by the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Polar Sea Ice Monitoring Using HY-2A Scatterometer Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingming Li

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A sea ice detection algorithm based on Fisher’s linear discriminant analysis is developed to segment sea ice and open water for the Ku-band scatterometer onboard the China’s Hai Yang 2A Satellite (HY-2A/SCAT. Residual classification errors are reduced through image erosion/dilation techniques and sea ice growth/retreat constraint methods. The arctic sea-ice-type classification is estimated via a time-dependent threshold derived from the annual backscatter trends based on previous HY-2A/SCAT derived sea ice extent. The extent and edge of the sea ice obtained in this study is compared with the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS sea ice concentration data and the Sentinel-1 SAR imagery for verification, respectively. Meanwhile, the classified sea ice type is compared with a multi-sensor sea ice type product based on data from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT and SSMIS. Results show that HY-2A/SCAT is powerful in providing sea ice extent and type information, while differences in the sensitivities of active/passive products are found. In addition, HY-2A/SCAT derived sea ice products are also proved to be valuable complements for existing polar sea ice data products.

  2. 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.

  3. Infill of tunnel valleys associated with landward‐flowing ice sheets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moreau, Julien; Huuse, Mads

    2014-01-01

    The southern termination of the Middle and Late Pleistocene Scandinavian ice sheets was repeatedly located in the southern North Sea (sNS) and adjacent, north-sloping land areas. Giant meltwater-excavated valleys (tunnel valleys) formed at the southern termination of the ice sheets and contain...

  4. Current state and future perspectives on coupled ice-sheet – sea-level modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Bas; Stocchi, Paolo; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; van de Wal, Roderik S.W.

    2017-01-01

    The interaction between ice-sheet growth and retreat and sea-level change has been an established field of research for many years. However, recent advances in numerical modelling have shed new light on the precise interaction of marine ice sheets with the change in near-field sea level, and the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nowicki, Sophie M J; Payne, Anthony; Larour, Eric; Seroussi, Helene; Goelzer, Heiko|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412549123; Lipscomb, William; Gregory, Jonathan; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Shepherd, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Reducing the uncertainty in the past, present, and future contribution of ice sheets to sea-level change requires a coordinated effort between the climate and glaciology communities. The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) is the primary activity within the Coupled Model

  6. Geothermal Heat Flux Underneath Ice Sheets Estimated From Magnetic Satellite Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox Maule, Cathrine; Purucker, M.E.; Olsen, Nils

    The geothermal heat flux is an important factor in the dynamics of ice sheets, and it is one of the important parameters in the thermal budgets of subglacial lakes. We have used satellite magnetic data to estimate the geothermal heat flux underneath the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland...

  7. Current state and future perspectives on coupled ice-sheet - sea-level modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Bas; Stocchi, Paolo; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.

    2017-08-01

    The interaction between ice-sheet growth and retreat and sea-level change has been an established field of research for many years. However, recent advances in numerical modelling have shed new light on the precise interaction of marine ice sheets with the change in near-field sea level, and the related stability of the grounding line position. Studies using fully coupled ice-sheet - sea-level models have shown that accounting for gravitationally self-consistent sea-level change will act to slow down the retreat and advance of marine ice-sheet grounding lines. Moreover, by simultaneously solving the 'sea-level equation' and modelling ice-sheet flow, coupled models provide a global field of relative sea-level change that is consistent with dynamic changes in ice-sheet extent. In this paper we present an overview of recent advances, possible caveats, methodologies and challenges involved in coupled ice-sheet - sea-level modelling. We conclude by presenting a first-order comparison between a suite of relative sea-level data and output from a coupled ice-sheet - sea-level model.

  8. 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.

  9. The Svalbard-Barents Sea ice-sheet - Historical, current and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Landvik, Jon Y.

    2013-03-01

    The history of research on the Late Quaternary Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet mirrors the developments of ideas and the shifts of paradigms in glacial theory over the past 150 years. Since the onset of scientific research there in the early 19th Century, Svalbard has been a natural laboratory where ideas and concepts have been tested, and played an important (but rarely acknowledged) role in the break-through of the Ice Age theory in the 1870's. The history of how the scientific perception of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet developed in the mid-20th Century also tells a story of how a combination of fairly scattered and often contradictory observational data, and through both deductive and inductive reasoning, could outline a major ice sheet that had left but few tangible fingerprints. Since the 1980's, with increased terrestrial stratigraphical data, ever more marine geological evidence and better chronological control of glacial events, our perception of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet has changed. The first reconstructions depicted it as a static, concentric, single-domed ice sheet, with ice flowing from an ice divide over the central northern Barents Sea that expanded and declined in response to large-scale, Late Quaternary climate fluctuations, and which was more or less in tune with other major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. We now increasingly perceive it as a very dynamic, multidomed ice sheet, controlled by climate fluctuations, relative sea-level change, as well as subglacial topography, substrate properties and basal temperature. In this respect, the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet will increasingly hold the key for understanding the dynamics and processes of how marine-based ice sheets build-up and decay.

  10. Investigating the evolution of major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial-interglacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Bonelli

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available A 2.5-dimensional climate model of intermediate complexity, CLIMBER-2, fully coupled with the GREMLINS 3-D thermo-mechanical ice sheet model is used to simulate the evolution of major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and to investigate the ice sheets responses to both insolation and atmospheric CO2 concentration. This model reproduces the main phases of advance and retreat of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial cycle, although the amplitude of these variations is less pronounced than those based on sea level reconstructions. At the last glacial maximum, the simulated ice volume is 52.5×1015 m3 and the spatial distribution of both the American and Eurasian ice complexes is in reasonable agreement with observations, with the exception of the marine parts of these former ice sheets.
    A set of sensitivity studies has also been performed to assess the sensitivity of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to both insolation and atmospheric CO2. Our results suggest that the decrease of summer insolation is the main factor responsible for the early build up of the North American ice sheet around 120 kyr BP, in agreement with benthic foraminifera δ18O signals. In contrast, low insolation and low atmospheric CO2 concentration are both necessary to trigger a long-lasting glaciation over Eurasia.

  11. Airborne observations of changes of ice sheet and sea ice in the Arctic using CryoVEx campaign data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidegaard, Sine Munk; Skourup, Henriette; Forsberg, René

    measurements of ice sheet changes. The majority of the campaigns have been sponsored by the European Space Agency, ESA, as part of the CryoSat Validation Experiments – CryoVEx. These have been internationally coordinated efforts to collect coincident space‐borne, airborne, and in‐situ data for pre‐ and post...... cap (Svalbard), the EGIG line crossing the Greenland Ice Sheet, as well as the sea ice north of Alert and sea ice around Svalbard in the Fram Strait. Selected tracks were planned to match CryoSat‐2 passes and a few of them were flown in formation flight with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Polar‐5...

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Anisotropic mesh adaptation for marine ice-sheet modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Tavard, Laure; Merino, Nacho; Peyaud, Vincent; Brondex, Julien; Durand, Gael; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2017-04-01

    Improving forecasts of ice-sheets contribution to sea-level rise requires, amongst others, to correctly model the dynamics of the grounding line (GL), i.e. the line where the ice detaches from its underlying bed and goes afloat on the ocean. Many numerical studies, including the intercomparison exercises MISMIP and MISMIP3D, have shown that grid refinement in the GL vicinity is a key component to obtain reliable results. Improving model accuracy while maintaining the computational cost affordable has then been an important target for the development of marine icesheet models. Adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) is a method where the accuracy of the solution is controlled by spatially adapting the mesh size. It has become popular in models using the finite element method as they naturally deal with unstructured meshes, but block-structured AMR has also been successfully applied to model GL dynamics. The main difficulty with AMR is to find efficient and reliable estimators of the numerical error to control the mesh size. Here, we use the estimator proposed by Frey and Alauzet (2015). Based on the interpolation error, it has been found effective in practice to control the numerical error, and has some flexibility, such as its ability to combine metrics for different variables, that makes it attractive. Routines to compute the anisotropic metric defining the mesh size have been implemented in the finite element ice flow model Elmer/Ice (Gagliardini et al., 2013). The mesh adaptation is performed using the freely available library MMG (Dapogny et al., 2014) called from Elmer/Ice. Using a setup based on the inter-comparison exercise MISMIP+ (Asay-Davis et al., 2016), we study the accuracy of the solution when the mesh is adapted using various variables (ice thickness, velocity, basal drag, …). We show that combining these variables allows to reduce the number of mesh nodes by more than one order of magnitude, for the same numerical accuracy, when compared to uniform mesh

  15. The response of grounded ice to ocean temperature forcing in a coupled ice sheet-ice shelf-ocean cavity model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, D. N.; Little, C. M.; Sergienko, O. V.; Gnanadesikan, A.

    2010-12-01

    Ice shelves provide a pathway for the heat content of the ocean to influence continental ice sheets. Changes in the rate or location of basal melting can alter their geometry and effect changes in stress conditions at the grounding line, leading to a grounded ice response. Recent observations of ice streams and ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica have been consistent with this story. On the other hand, ice dynamics in the grounding zone control flux into the shelf and thus ice shelf geometry, which has a strong influence on the circulation in the cavity beneath the shelf. Thus the coupling between the two systems, ocean and ice sheet-ice shelf, can be quite strong. We examine the response of the ice sheet-ice shelf-ocean cavity system to changes in ocean temperature using a recently developed coupled model. The coupled model consists a 3-D ocean model (GFDL's Generalized Ocean Layered Dynamics model, or GOLD) to a two-dimensional ice sheet-ice shelf model (Goldberg et al, 2009), and allows for changing cavity geometry and a migrating grounding line. Steady states of the coupled system are found even under considerable forcing. The ice shelf morphology and basal melt rate patterns of the steady states exhibit detailed structure, and furthermore seem to be unique and robust. The relationship between temperature forcing and area-averaged melt rate is influenced by the response of ice shelf morphology to thermal forcing, and is found to be sublinear in the range of forcing considered. However, results suggest that area-averaged melt rate is not the best predictor of overall system response, as grounding line stability depends on local aspects of the basal melt field. Goldberg, D N, D M Holland and C G Schoof, 2009. Grounding line movement and ice shelf buttressing in marine ice sheets, Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surfaces, 114, F04026.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne Munck

    is investigated as well as its early history. The studies are performed using an ice-sheet model in combination with relevant forcing from observed and modeled climate. Changes in ice-sheet geometry influences atmospheric flow (and vice versa) hereby changing the forcing patterns. Changes in the overall climate...... and climate model is included shows, however, that a Föhn effect is activated and hereby increasing temperatures inland and inhibiting further ice-sheet expansion into the interior. This indicates that colder than present temperatures are needed in order for the ice sheet to regrow to the current geometry....... Accordingto this hypothesis, two stages of uplift since the Late Miocene lead to the present-day topography. The results of the ice-sheet simulations show geometries in line with geologicobservations through the period, and it is found that the uplift events enhance the effect of the climatic deterioration...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen; Kusk, Anders; Corr, Hugh

    . In this study the feasibility of space-based radar ice sounding is assessed. A two-step approach is applied: (1) Key ice sheet parameters are estimated from the airborne POLARIS data acquired in Antarctica. (2) The performance of potential space-based ice sounding radars is simulated based on the estimated ice...... data analysis estimating the scattering patterns via the Doppler spectra of the POLARIS data. The scattering patterns of the ice surfaces are relevant because the geometry of a space-based radar increases the risk that off-nadir surface clutter masks the nadir depth-signal of interest. Currently...... the ice sheet model is being established and validated. At the symposium measured and simulated satellite waveforms will be compared, and the feasibility of space-based ice sounding will be addressed....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Chris

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  2. Monstrous Ice Cloud System in Titan's Present South Polar Stratosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Carrie; Samuelson, Robert; McLain, Jason; Achterberg, Richard; Flasar, F. Michael; Milam, Stefanie

    2015-11-01

    During southern autumn when sunlight was still available, Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem discovered a cloud around 300 km near Titan's south pole (West, R. A. et al., AAS/DPS Abstracts, 45, #305.03, 2013); the cloud was later determined by Cassini's Visible and InfraRed Mapping Spectrometer to contain HCN ice (de Kok et al., Nature, 514, pp 65-67, 2014). This cloud has proven to be only the tip of an extensive ice cloud system contained in Titan's south polar stratosphere, as seen through the night-vision goggles of Cassini's Composite InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS). As the sun sets and the gloom of southern winter approaches, evidence is beginning to accumulate from CIRS far-IR spectra that a massive system of nitrile ice clouds is developing in Titan's south polar stratosphere. Even during the depths of northern winter, nothing like the strength of this southern system was evident in corresponding north polar regions.From the long slant paths that are available from limb-viewing CIRS far-IR spectra, we have the first definitive detection of the ν6 band of cyanoacetylene (HC3N) ice in Titan’s south polar stratosphere. In addition, we also see a strong blend of nitrile ice lattice vibration features around 160 cm-1. From these data we are able to derive ice abundances. The most prominent (and still chemically unidentified) ice emission feature, the Haystack, (at 220 cm-1) is also observed. We establish the vertical distributions of the ice cloud systems associated with both the 160 cm-1 feature and the Haystack. The ultimate aim is to refine the physical and possibly the chemical relationships between the two. Transmittance thin film spectra of nitrile ice mixtures obtained in our Spectroscopy for Planetary ICes Environments (SPICE) laboratory are used to support these analyses.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. L. Stern

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology – the cycle of biological events – is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979–2014 mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from −3 to −9 days decade−1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade−1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of −7 to −19 days decade−1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June–October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from −1 to −9 percent decade−1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in

  11. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Harry L.; Laidre, Kristin L.

    2016-09-01

    Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology - the cycle of biological events - is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat) on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance) on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979-2014) mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from -3 to -9 days decade-1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade-1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days) and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of -7 to -19 days decade-1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June-October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from -1 to -9 percent decade-1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change) were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in future reports.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The influence of atmospheric grid resolution in a climate model-forced ice sheet simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lofverstrom, Marcus; Liakka, Johan

    2018-04-01

    Coupled climate-ice sheet simulations have been growing in popularity in recent years. Experiments of this type are however challenging as ice sheets evolve over multi-millennial timescales, which is beyond the practical integration limit of most Earth system models. A common method to increase model throughput is to trade resolution for computational efficiency (compromise accuracy for speed). Here we analyze how the resolution of an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) influences the simulation quality in a stand-alone ice sheet model. Four identical AGCM simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) were run at different horizontal resolutions: T85 (1.4°), T42 (2.8°), T31 (3.8°), and T21 (5.6°). These simulations were subsequently used as forcing of an ice sheet model. While the T85 climate forcing reproduces the LGM ice sheets to a high accuracy, the intermediate resolution cases (T42 and T31) fail to build the Eurasian ice sheet. The T21 case fails in both Eurasia and North America. Sensitivity experiments using different surface mass balance parameterizations improve the simulations of the Eurasian ice sheet in the T42 case, but the compromise is a substantial ice buildup in Siberia. The T31 and T21 cases do not improve in the same way in Eurasia, though the latter simulates the continent-wide Laurentide ice sheet in North America. The difficulty to reproduce the LGM ice sheets in the T21 case is in broad agreement with previous studies using low-resolution atmospheric models, and is caused by a substantial deterioration of the model climate between the T31 and T21 resolutions. It is speculated that this deficiency may demonstrate a fundamental problem with using low-resolution atmospheric models in these types of experiments.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearing, M.; Kingslake, J.

    2017-12-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Drilling, processing and first results for Mount Johns ice core in West Antarctica Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciele Schwanck

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: An ice core, 92.26 m in length, was collected near the ice divide of the West Antarctica ice sheet during the 2008/2009 austral summer. This paper described the fieldwork at the Mount Johns site (79º55'S; 94º23'W and presented the first results of the upper 45.00 m record covering approximately 125 years (1883 - 2008, dated by annual layer counting and volcanic reference horizons. Trace element concentrations in 2,137 samples were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The concentrations obtained for Al, Ba, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Sr and Ti are controlled by climate variations, the transport distance, and the natural sources of these aerosols. Natural dust contributions, mainly derived from the arid areas of Patagonia and Australia, are important sources for aluminum, barium, iron, manganese and titanium. Marine aerosols from sea ice and transported by air masses are important sources of sodium and magnesium. Calcium, potassium and strontium showed considerable inputs of both continental dust and marine aerosols.

  1. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK – Part 1: Model description

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Winkelmann

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We present the Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK, developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to be used for simulations of large-scale ice sheet-shelf systems. It is derived from the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (Bueler and Brown, 2009. Velocities are calculated by superposition of two shallow stress balance approximations within the entire ice covered region: the shallow ice approximation (SIA is dominant in grounded regions and accounts for shear deformation parallel to the geoid. The plug-flow type shallow shelf approximation (SSA dominates the velocity field in ice shelf regions and serves as a basal sliding velocity in grounded regions. Ice streams can be identified diagnostically as regions with a significant contribution of membrane stresses to the local momentum balance. All lateral boundaries in PISM-PIK are free to evolve, including the grounding line and ice fronts. Ice shelf margins in particular are modeled using Neumann boundary conditions for the SSA equations, reflecting a hydrostatic stress imbalance along the vertical calving face. The ice front position is modeled using a subgrid-scale representation of calving front motion (Albrecht et al., 2011 and a physically-motivated calving law based on horizontal spreading rates. The model is tested in experiments from the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (MISMIP. A dynamic equilibrium simulation of Antarctica under present-day conditions is presented in Martin et al. (2011.

  2. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK) - Part 1: Model description

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, R.; Martin, M. A.; Haseloff, M.; Albrecht, T.; Bueler, E.; Khroulev, C.; Levermann, A.

    2011-09-01

    We present the Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK), developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to be used for simulations of large-scale ice sheet-shelf systems. It is derived from the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (Bueler and Brown, 2009). Velocities are calculated by superposition of two shallow stress balance approximations within the entire ice covered region: the shallow ice approximation (SIA) is dominant in grounded regions and accounts for shear deformation parallel to the geoid. The plug-flow type shallow shelf approximation (SSA) dominates the velocity field in ice shelf regions and serves as a basal sliding velocity in grounded regions. Ice streams can be identified diagnostically as regions with a significant contribution of membrane stresses to the local momentum balance. All lateral boundaries in PISM-PIK are free to evolve, including the grounding line and ice fronts. Ice shelf margins in particular are modeled using Neumann boundary conditions for the SSA equations, reflecting a hydrostatic stress imbalance along the vertical calving face. The ice front position is modeled using a subgrid-scale representation of calving front motion (Albrecht et al., 2011) and a physically-motivated calving law based on horizontal spreading rates. The model is tested in experiments from the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (MISMIP). A dynamic equilibrium simulation of Antarctica under present-day conditions is presented in Martin et al. (2011).

  3. Simulation of the European ice sheet through the last glacial cycle and prediction of future glaciation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boulton, G.S.; Payne, A.

    1992-12-01

    Global climates of the recent past appear to correlate with patterns of variation in the earths orbit round the sun. As such orbital changes can be predicted into the future, it is argued that the pattern of natural long-term future change can also be estimated. From this, future trends of glaciation can be inferred. The physical and mathematical basis of a time-dependent, thermo mechanically coupled, three dimensional ice sheet model is described. The model is driven by changes in the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) on its surface. This causes flexure of the underlying lithosphere. The model is tuned to the maximum extension of the last (Weichselian) ice sheet and driven by an ELA fluctuation which reflects the NE Atlantic sea surface temperature fluctuation pattern during the last glacial cycle in such a way that the model reproduces the ice sheet margin at the glacial maximum. The distribution of internal ice sheet velocity, temperature, basal melting rate and sub glacial permafrost penetration are all computed. The model is then tested against its predictions of the areal pattern of ice sheet expansion and decay, the pattern of crustal flexure and relative sea level change, and the distribution of till produced by the last European ice sheet. The tested model is then driven by predictions of future climate change to produce simulations of future ice sheet glaciation in northern Europe

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. While RTopo-1 primarily aimed at a good and consistent representation of the Antarctic ice sheet, ice shelves, and sub-ice cavities, RTopo-2now also contains ice topographies of the Greenland ice sheet and outlet glaciers. In particular, we aimed at agood representation....... For the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the floating ice tongue of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier at about79 N, we incorporated a high-resolution digital bathymetry model considering original multibeam survey datafor the region. Radar data for surface topographies of the floating ice tongues...... for the geometry of Getz, Abbot, andFimbul ice shelf cavities. The data set is available in full and in regional subsets in NetCDF format from thePANGAEA database at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.856844....

  5. 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.

  6. Intermittent ice sheet discharge events in northeastern North America during the last glacial period

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Papa, Brian D.; Mysak, Lawrence A.; Wang, Zhaomin [McGill University, Earth System Modelling Group, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Montreal, QC (Canada)

    2006-02-01

    The 3D ice sheet model of Marshall and Clarke, which includes both dynamics and thermodynamics, is used to successfully simulate millennial-scale oscillations within an ice sheet under steady external forcing. Such internal oscillations are theorized to be the main cause of quasi-periodic large-scale ice discharges known as Heinrich Events. An analysis of the mechanisms associated with multi-millennial oscillations of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, including the initiation and termination of sliding events, is performed. This analysis involves an examination of the various heat sources and sinks that affect the basal ice temperature, which in turn determines the nature of the ice sheet movement. The ice sheet thickness and surface slope, which affect the pressure-melting point and strain heating, respectively, are found to be critical for the formation and development of fast moving ice streams, which lead to large iceberg calving. Although the main provenance for Heinrich Events is thought to be from Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait, we show that the more northerly regions around Lancaster Strait and Baffin Island may also be important sources for ice discharges during the last glacial period. (orig.)

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. B. Stap

    2017-09-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Influence of glacial ice sheets on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation through surface wind change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherriff-Tadano, Sam; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Yoshimori, Masakazu; Oka, Akira; Chan, Wing-Le

    2018-04-01

    Coupled modeling studies have recently shown that the existence of the glacial ice sheets intensifies the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). However, most models show a strong AMOC in their simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which is biased compared to reconstructions that indicate both a weaker and stronger AMOC during the LGM. Therefore, a detailed investigation of the mechanism behind this intensification of the AMOC is important for a better understanding of the glacial climate and the LGM AMOC. Here, various numerical simulations are conducted to focus on the effect of wind changes due to glacial ice sheets on the AMOC and the crucial region where the wind modifies the AMOC. First, from atmospheric general circulation model experiments, the effect of glacial ice sheets on the surface wind is evaluated. Second, from ocean general circulation model experiments, the influence of the wind stress change on the AMOC is evaluated by applying wind stress anomalies regionally or at different magnitudes as a boundary condition. These experiments demonstrate that glacial ice sheets intensify the AMOC through an increase in the wind stress at the North Atlantic mid-latitudes, which is induced by the North American ice sheet. This intensification of the AMOC is caused by the increased oceanic horizontal and vertical transport of salt, while the change in sea ice transport has an opposite, though minor, effect. Experiments further show that the Eurasian ice sheet intensifies the AMOC by directly affecting the deep-water formation in the Norwegian Sea.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. DMSP SSM/I Daily and Monthly Polar Gridded Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — DMSP SSM/I Daily and Monthly Polar Gridded Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations in polar stereographic projection currently include Defense Meteorological Satellite...

  17. Glacio-Seismotectonics: Ice Sheets, Crustal Deformation and Seismicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauber, Jeanne; Stewart, Iain S.; Rose, James

    2000-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed a significant growth in our understanding of the past and continuing effects of ice sheets and glaciers on contemporary crustal deformation and seismicity. This growth has been driven largely by the emergence of postglacial rebound models (PGM) constrained by new field observations that incorporate increasingly realistic rheological, mechanical, and glacial parameters. In this paper, we highlight some of these recent field-based investigations and new PGMs, and examine their implications for understanding crustal deformation and seismicity during glaciation and following deglaciation. The emerging glacial rebound models outlined in the paper support the view that both tectonic stresses and glacial rebound stresses are needed to explain the distribution and style of contemporary earthquake activity in former glaciated shields of eastern Canada and Fennoscandia. However, many of these models neglect important parameters, such as topography, lateral variations in lithospheric strength and tectonic strain built up during glaciation. In glaciated mountainous terrains, glacial erosion may directly modulate tectonic deformation by resetting the orogenic topography and thereby providing an additional compensatory uplift mechanism. Such effects are likely to be important both in tectonically active orogens and in the mountainous regions of glaciated shields.

  18. Ice Sheet Change Detection by Satellite Image Differencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, Robert A.; Scambos, Ted A.; Choi, Hyeungu; Haran, Terry M.

    2010-01-01

    Differencing of digital satellite image pairs highlights subtle changes in near-identical scenes of Earth surfaces. Using the mathematical relationships relevant to photoclinometry, we examine the effectiveness of this method for the study of localized ice sheet surface topography changes using numerical experiments. We then test these results by differencing images of several regions in West Antarctica, including some where changes have previously been identified in altimeter profiles. The technique works well with coregistered images having low noise, high radiometric sensitivity, and near-identical solar illumination geometry. Clouds and frosts detract from resolving surface features. The ETM(plus) sensor on Landsat-7, ALI sensor on EO-1, and MODIS sensor on the Aqua and Terra satellite platforms all have potential for detecting localized topographic changes such as shifting dunes, surface inflation and deflation features associated with sub-glacial lake fill-drain events, or grounding line changes. Availability and frequency of MODIS images favor this sensor for wide application, and using it, we demonstrate both qualitative identification of changes in topography and quantitative mapping of slope and elevation changes.

  19. Test Driven Development of a Parameterized Ice Sheet Component

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clune, T.

    2011-12-01

    Test driven development (TDD) is a software development methodology that offers many advantages over traditional approaches including reduced development and maintenance costs, improved reliability, and superior design quality. Although TDD is widely accepted in many software communities, the suitability to scientific software is largely undemonstrated and warrants a degree of skepticism. Indeed, numerical algorithms pose several challenges to unit testing in general, and TDD in particular. Among these challenges are the need to have simple, non-redundant closed-form expressions to compare against the results obtained from the implementation as well as realistic error estimates. The necessity for serial and parallel performance raises additional concerns for many scientific applicaitons. In previous work I demonstrated that TDD performed well for the development of a relatively simple numerical model that simulates the growth of snowflakes, but the results were anecdotal and of limited relevance to far more complex software components typical of climate models. This investigation has now been extended by successfully applying TDD to the implementation of a substantial portion of a new parameterized ice sheet component within a full climate model. After a brief introduction to TDD, I will present techniques that address some of the obstacles encountered with numerical algorithms. I will conclude with some quantitative and qualitative comparisons against climate components developed in a more traditional manner.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. Derivation of a numerical solution of the 3D coupled velocity field for an ice sheetice shelf system, incorporating both full and approximate stress solutions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reerink, T.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831905; van de Wal, R.S.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/101899556; Borsboom, P.-P.

    2009-01-01

    To overcome the mechanical coupling of an ice sheet with an ice shelf, one single set of velocity equations is presented covering both the sheet and the shelf. This set is obtained by applying shared sheet-shelf approximations. The hydrostatic approximation and a constant density are the only

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The isotopic composition of methane in polar ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, H.; Chou, C. C.; Welhan, J. A.; Stevens, C. M.; Engelkemeir, A.

    1988-01-01

    Air bubbles in polar ice cores indicate that about 300 years ago the atmospheric mixing ratio of methane began to increase rapidly. Today the mixing ratio is about 1.7 parts per million by volume, and, having doubled once in the past several hundred years, it will double again in the next 60 years if current rates continue. Carbon isotope ratios in methane up to 350 years in age have been measured with as little as 25 kilograms of polar ice recovered in 4-meter-long ice-core segments. The data show that: (1) in situ microbiology or chemistry has not altered the ice-core methane concentrations, and (2) that the carbon-13 to carbon-12 ratio of atmospheric CH4 in ice from 100 years and 300 years ago was about 2 per mil lower than at present. Atmospheric methane has a rich spectrum of isotopic sources: the ice-core data indicate that anthropogenic burning of the earth's biomass is the principal cause of the recent C-13H4 enrichment, although other factors may also contribute.

  6. 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)

  7. UWBRAD: Ultra Wideband Software Defined Microwave Radiometer for Ice Sheet Subsurface Temperature Sensing

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Existing space and airborne remote sensing instruments have pushed the state-of-the-art in the characterization of ice sheet behaviors with the exception of one key...

  8. The Research on Elevation Change of Antarctic Ice Sheet Based on CRYOSAT-2 Alimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Q.; Wan, J.; Liu, S.; Li, Y.

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, the Cryosat-2 altimeter data distributed by the ESA, and these data are processed to extract the information of the elevation change of the Antarctic ice sheet from 2010 to 2017. Firstly, the main pretreatment preprocessing for Cryosat-2 altimetry data is crossover adjustment and elimination of rough difference. Then the grid DEM of the Antarctic ice sheet was constructed by using the kriging interpolation method,and analyzed the spatial characteristic time characteristics of the Antarctic ice sheet. The latitude-weighted elevation can be obtained by using the elevation data of each cycle, and then the general trend of the Antarctic ice sheet elevation variation can be seen roughly.

  9. Microstructural Location and Composition of Impurities in Polar Ice Cores, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains measurements of impurities and ions in three polar ice cores: the Vostok 5G ice core and the Byrd ice core from Antarctica, and the Greenland...

  10. 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

  11. Essential Climate Variables for the Ice Sheets from Space and Airborne measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredenslund Levinsen, Joanna

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest ice mass in the northern hemisphere.Over the past decade, it has undergone substantial changes in e.g. mass balance,surface velocity, and ice thickness. The latter is reflected by surfaceelevation changes, which are detectable with altimetry. Therefore......, this studyexploits the advantages of radar and laser altimetry to analyze surface elevationchanges and build a Digital Elevation Model of the ice sheet. Selected advantagesare radar data’s continuity in time and laser data’s higher horizontal andvertical accuracy. Therefore, ESA Envisat and CryoSat-2 radar altimetry...... dataare used in conjunction with laser data from NASA’s ICESat and airborneATM and LVIS instruments, and from ESA’s airborne CryoVEx campaign.The study is part of the ESA Ice Sheets CCI project. With the release ofREAPER data, one goal is to use the more than two decades of ESA radaraltimetry to develop...

  12. Unequal ice-sheet erosional impacts across low-relief shield terrain in northern Fennoscandia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Karin; Hall, Adrian M.; Kleman, Johan; Andersson, Jannike

    2015-03-01

    Much previous work on Late Cenozoic glacial erosion patterns in bedrock has focussed on mountain areas. Here we identify varying impacts of ice sheet erosion on the low-relief bedrock surface of the Fennoscandian shield, and examine the geological, topographical and glaciological controls on these patterns. We combine GIS-mapping of topographical, hydrological and weathering data with field observations. We identify and investigate areas with similar geology and general low relief that show different degrees of ice sheet erosional impact, despite similar ice cover histories. On two transects with a total area of ~ 84 000 km2 across the northern Fennoscandian shield, we first establish patterns of glacial erosion and then examine why glacially streamlined areas exist adjacent to areas of negligible glacial erosion. The northern transect includes two areas of exceptional glacial preservation, the Parkajoki area in Sweden and the so-called ice divide zone in Finland, each of which preserve tors and deep saprolite covers. The southern transect, overlapping in the northern part with the first transect, includes areas of well developed glacial streamlining, with bedrock areas stripped of loose material and barely any weathering remnants. For both areas, we firstly present contrasting indicators for ice sheet erosional impact: streamlined and non-streamlined inselbergs; parallel and dendritic/rectangular drainage patterns; and the absence and presence of Neogene weathering remnants. This is followed by an investigation of factors that possibly influence ice sheet erosional impact: ice cover history, ice cover duration and thickness, bedrock type and structure, and topography. We find that the erosional impact of the Fennoscandian ice sheet has varied across the study area. Distinct zones of ice sheet erosion are identified in which indicators of either low or high erosion coexist in the same parts of the transects. No direct impact of rock type on glacial erosion patterns

  13. Simulating a Dynamic Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Early to Middle Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, E.; DeConto, R.; Pollard, D.; Levy, R. H.

    2015-12-01

    There are a variety of sources of geological data that suggest major variations in the volume and extent of the Antarctic ice sheet during the early to middle Miocene. Simulating such variability using coupled climate-ice sheet models is problematic due to a strong hysteresis effect caused by height-mass balance feedback and albedo feedback. This results in limited retreat of the ice sheet once it has reached the continental size, as likely occurred prior to the Miocene. Proxy records suggest a relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 during the early to middle Miocene, which exacerbates this problem. We use a new climate forcing which accounts for ice sheet-climate feedbacks through an asynchronous GCM-RCM coupling, which is able to better resolve the narrow Antarctic ablation zone in warm climate simulations. When combined with recently suggested mechanisms for retreat into subglacial basins due to ice shelf hydrofracture and ice cliff failure, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the Antarctic ice sheet in the Miocene. This variability is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of ~0.5 ‰, or a sea level equivalent change of ~35 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 - 500 ppm.

  14. 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.)

  15. An Imminent Revolution in Modeling Interactions of Ice Sheets With Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T.

    2008-12-01

    Modeling continental ice sheets was inaugurated by meteorologists William Budd and Uwe Radok, with mathematician Richard Jenssen, in 1971. Their model calculated the thermal and mechanical regime using measured surface accumulation rates, temperatures, and elevations, and bed topography. This top-down approach delivered a basal thermal regime of temperatures or melting rates for an assumed basal geothermal heat flux. When Philippe Huybrechts and others incorporated time, largely unknownpast surface conditions had a major effect on present basal thermal conditions. This approach produced ice-sheet models with only a slow response to external forcing, whereas the glacial geological record and climate records from ice and ocean cores show that ice sheets can have rapid changes in size and shape independent of external forcing. These top-down models were wholly inadequate for reconstructing former ice sheets at the LGM for CLIMAP in 1981. Ice-sheet areas,elevations, and volumes provided the albedo, surface topography, and sea-surface area as input to climate models. A bottom-up model based on dated glacial geology was developed to provide the areal extent and basal thermal regime of ice sheets at the LGM. Basal thermal conditions determined ice-bed coupling and therefore the elevation of ice sheets. High convex ice surfaces for slow sheet flow lower about 20 percent when a frozen bed becomes thawed. As further basal melting drowns bedrock bumps that "pin" basal ice, the ice surface becomes concave in fast stream flow that ends as low floating ice shelves at marine ice margins. A revolution in modeling interactions between glaciation, climate, and sea level is driven by new Greenland and Antarctic data from Earth-orbiting satellites, airborne and surface traverses, and deep drilling. We anticipate continuous data acquisition of surface albedo, accumulation/ablation rates, elevations, velocities, and temperatures over a whole ice sheet, mapping basal thermal conditions

  16. 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...

  17. 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,

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Observation of ice sheet formation on methane and ethane gas hydrates using a scanning confocal microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagao, J.; Shimomura, N.; Ebinuma, T.; Narita, H. [National Inst. of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Toyohira, Sapporo (Japan). Methane Hydrate Research Lab.

    2008-07-01

    Interest in gas hydrates has increased in recent years due to the discovery of large deposits under the ocean floor and in permafrost regions. Natural gas hydrates, including methane, is expected to become a new energy source and a medium for energy storage and transportation. Gas hydrates consist of an open network of water molecules that are hydrogen-bonded in a similar manner to ice. Gas molecules are interstitially engaged under high pressures and low temperatures. Although the dissociation temperature of methane hydrate under atmospheric pressure is about 193 K, studies have shown that methane hydrate can be stored at atmospheric pressure and 267 K for 2 years. Because of this phenomenon, known as self-preservation, transportation and storage of methane hydrate can occur at temperature conditions milder than those for liquefied methane gas at atmospheric pressure. This study examined the surface changes of methane and ethane hydrates during dissociation using an optical microscope and confocal scanning microscope (CSM). This paper reported on the results when the atmospheric gas pressure was decreased. Ice sheets formed on the surfaces of methane and ethane gas hydrates due to depressurizing dissociation of methane and ethane hydrates when the methane and ethane gas pressures were decreased at designated temperatures. The dissociation of methane gas hydrate below below 237 K resulted in the generation of small ice particles on the hydrate surface. A transparent ice sheet formed on the hydrate surface above 242 K. The thickness of the ice sheet on the methane hydrate surface showed the maximum of ca. 30 {mu}m at 253 K. In the case of ethane hydrates, ice particles and ice sheets formed below 262 and 267 respectively. Since the ice particles and ice sheets were formed by water molecules generated during the gas hydrate dissociation, the mechanism of ice sheet formation depends on the dissociation rate of hydrate, ice particle sintering rate, and water molecule

  2. Evaluation of recent GRACE monthly solution series with an ice sheet perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    GRACE monthly global gravity field solutions have undergone a remarkable evolution, leading to the latest (Release 5) series by CSR, GFZ, and JPL, to new series by other processing centers, such as ITSG and AIUB, as well as to efforts to derive combined solutions, particularly by the EGSIEM (European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management) project. For applications, such as GRACE inferences on ice sheet mass balance, the obvious question is on what GRACE solution series to base the assessment. Here we evaluate different GRACE solution series (including the ones listed above) in a unified framework. We concentrate on solutions expanded up to degree 90 or higher, since this is most appropriate for polar applications. We empirically assess the error levels in the spectral as well as in the spatial domain based on the month-to-month scatter in the high spherical harmonic degrees. We include empirical assessment of error correlations. We then apply all series to infer Antarctic and Greenland mass change time series and compare the results in terms of apparent signal content and noise level. We find that the ITSG solutions show lowest noise level in the high degrees (above 60). A preliminary combined solution from the EGSIEM project shows lowest noise in the degrees below 60. This virtue maps into the derived ice mass time series, where the EGSIEM-based results show the lowest noise in most cases. Meanwhile, there is no indication that any of the considered series systematically dampens actual geophysical signals.

  3. Assessing the Impact of Laurentide Ice-sheet Topography on Glacial Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullman, D. J.; LeGrande, A. N.; Carlson, A. E.; Anslow, F. S.; Licciardi, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Simulations of past climates require altered boundary conditions to account for known shifts in the Earth system. For the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and subsequent deglaciation, the existence of large Northern Hemisphere ice sheets caused profound changes in surface topography and albedo. While ice-sheet extent is fairly well known, numerous conflicting reconstructions of ice-sheet topography suggest that precision in this boundary condition is lacking. Here we use a high-resolution and oxygen-isotopeenabled fully coupled global circulation model (GCM) (GISS ModelE2-R), along with two different reconstructions of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) that provide maximum and minimum estimates of LIS elevation, to assess the range of climate variability in response to uncertainty in this boundary condition.We present this comparison at two equilibrium time slices: the LGM, when differences in ice-sheet topography are maximized, and 14 ka, when differences in maximum ice-sheet height are smaller but still exist. Overall, we find significant differences in the climate response to LIS topography, with the larger LIS resulting in enhanced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and warmer surface air temperatures, particularly over northeastern Asia and the North Pacific. These up- and downstream effects are associated with differences in the development of planetary waves in the upper atmosphere, with the larger LIS resulting in a weaker trough over northeastern Asia that leads to the warmer temperatures and decreased albedo from snow and sea-ice cover. Differences between the 14 ka simulations are similar in spatial extent but smaller in magnitude, suggesting that climate is responding primarily to the larger difference in maximum LIS elevation in the LGM simulations. These results suggest that such uncertainty in ice-sheet boundary conditions alone may significantly impact the results of paleoclimate simulations and their ability to successfully simulate past climates

  4. Holocene lowering of the Laurentide ice sheet affects North Atlantic gyre circulation and climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregoire, Lauren J.; Ivanovic, Ruza F.; Maycock, Amanda C.; Valdes, Paul J.; Stevenson, Samantha

    2018-02-01

    The Laurentide ice sheet, which covered Canada during glacial periods, had a major influence on atmospheric circulation and surface climate, but its role in climate during the early Holocene (9-7 ka), when it was thinner and confined around Hudson Bay, is unclear. It has been suggested that the demise of the ice sheet played a role in the 8.2 ka event (an abrupt 1-3 °C Northern Hemisphere cooling lasting 160 years) through the influence of changing topography on atmospheric circulation. To test this hypothesis, and to investigate the broader implications of changing ice sheet topography for climate, we analyse a set of equilibrium climate simulations with ice sheet topographies taken at 500 year intervals from 9.5 to 8.0 ka. Between 9.5 and 8.0 ka, our simulations show a 2 °C cooling south of Iceland and a 1 °C warming between 40° and 50°N in the North Atlantic. These surface temperature changes are associated with a weakening of the subtropical and subpolar gyres caused by a decreasing wind stress curl over the mid-North Atlantic as the ice sheet lowers. The climate response is strongest during the period of peak ice volume change (9.5-8.5 ka), but becomes negligible after 8.5 ka. The climatic effects of the Laurentide ice sheet lowering during the Holocene are restricted to the North Atlantic sector. Thus, topographic forcing is unlikely to have played a major role in the 8.2 ka event and had only a small effect on Holocene climate change compared to the effects of changes in greenhouse gases, insolation and ice sheet meltwater.

  5. Holocene lowering of the Laurentide ice sheet affects North Atlantic gyre circulation and climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanovic, R. F.; Gregoire, L. J.; Maycock, A.; Valdes, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Laurentide ice sheet, which covered Canada during glacial periods, had a major influence on atmospheric circulation and surface climate, but its role in climate during the early Holocene (9-7 ka), when it was thinner and confined around Hudson Bay, is unclear. It has been suggested that the demise of the ice sheet played a role in the 8.2 ka event (an abrupt 1-3 °C Northern Hemisphere cooling lasting 160 years) through the influence of changing topography on atmospheric circulation. To test this hypothesis, and to investigate the broader implications of changing ice sheet topography for climate, we analyse a set of equilibrium climate simulations with ice sheet topographies taken at 500 year intervals from 9.5 ka to 8.0 ka. Between 9.5 and 8.0 ka, our simulations show a 2 °C cooling south of Iceland and a 1 °C warming between 40-50° N in the North Atlantic. These surface temperature changes are associated with a weakening of the subtropical and subpolar gyres caused by a decreasing wind stress curl over the mid-North Atlantic as the ice sheet lowers. The climate response is strongest during the period of peak ice volume change (9.5 ka - 8.5 ka), but becomes negligible after 8.5 ka. The climatic effects of the Laurentide ice sheet lowering are restricted to the North Atlantic sector. Thus, topographic forcing did not play a significant role in the 8.2 ka event and had only a small effect on Holocene climate change compared to the effects of changes in greenhouse gases, insolation and ice sheet meltwater.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. On ISSM and leveraging the Cloud towards faster quantification of the uncertainty in ice-sheet mass balance projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larour, E.; Schlegel, N.

    2016-11-01

    With the Amazon EC2 Cloud becoming available as a viable platform for parallel computing, Earth System Models are increasingly interested in leveraging its capabilities towards improving climate projections. In particular, faced with long wait periods on high-end clusters, the elasticity of the Cloud presents a unique opportunity of potentially "infinite" availability of small-sized clusters running on high-performance instances. Among specific applications of this new paradigm, we show here how uncertainty quantification in climate projections of polar ice sheets (Antarctica and Greenland) can be significantly accelerated using the Cloud. Indeed, small-sized clusters are very efficient at delivering sensitivity and sampling analysis, core tools of uncertainty quantification. We demonstrate how this approach was used to carry out an extensive analysis of ice-flow projections on one of the largest basins in Greenland, the North-East Greenland Glacier, using the Ice Sheet System Model, the public-domain NASA-funded ice-flow modeling software. We show how errors in the projections were accurately quantified using Monte-Carlo sampling analysis on the EC2 Cloud, and how a judicious mix of high-end parallel computing and Cloud use can best leverage existing infrastructures, and significantly accelerate delivery of potentially ground-breaking climate projections, and in particular, enable uncertainty quantification that were previously impossible to achieve.

  9. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, Michiel M.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Reerink, Thomas J.; Bintanja, Richard; Madsen, Marianne S.; Yang, Shuting; Li, Qiang; Zhang, Qiong

    2017-01-01

    The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model EC-Earth by

  10. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, Michiel M.; Van De Wal, Roderik S.W.; Reerink, Thomas J.; Bintanja, Richard; Madsen, Marianne S.; Yang, Shuting; Li, Qiang; Zhang, Qiong

    2017-01-01

    The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model ECEarth by

  11. Propagation of acoustic-gravity waves in arctic zones with elastic ice-sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadri, Usama; Abdolali, Ali; Kirby, James T.

    2017-04-01

    We present an analytical solution of the boundary value problem of propagating acoustic-gravity waves generated in the ocean by earthquakes or ice-quakes in arctic zones. At the surface, we assume elastic ice-sheets of a variable thickness, and show that the propagating acoustic-gravity modes have different mode shape than originally derived by Ref. [1] for a rigid ice-sheet settings. Computationally, we couple the ice-sheet problem with the free surface model by Ref. [2] representing shrinking ice blocks in realistic sea state, where the randomly oriented ice-sheets cause inter modal transition at the edges and multidirectional reflections. We then derive a depth-integrated equation valid for spatially slowly varying thickness of ice-sheet and water depth. Surprisingly, and unlike the free-surface setting, here it is found that the higher acoustic-gravity modes exhibit a larger contribution. These modes travel at the speed of sound in water carrying information on their source, e.g. ice-sheet motion or submarine earthquake, providing various implications for ocean monitoring and detection of quakes. In addition, we found that the propagating acoustic-gravity modes can result in orbital displacements of fluid parcels sufficiently high that may contribute to deep ocean currents and circulation, as postulated by Refs. [1, 3]. References [1] U. Kadri, 2016. Generation of Hydroacoustic Waves by an Oscillating Ice Block in Arctic Zones. Advances in Acoustics and Vibration, 2016, Article ID 8076108, 7 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8076108 [2] A. Abdolali, J. T. Kirby and G. Bellotti, 2015, Depth-integrated equation for hydro-acoustic waves with bottom damping, J. Fluid Mech., 766, R1 doi:10.1017/jfm.2015.37 [3] U. Kadri, 2014. Deep ocean water transportation by acoustic?gravity waves. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, doi:10.1002/ 2014JC010234

  12. Millennial-scale interaction between ice sheets and ocean circulation during marine isotope stage 100

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masao eOhno

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Waxing/waning of the ice sheets and the associated change in thermohaline circulation have played an important role in global climate change since major continental ice sheets appeared in the northern hemisphere about 2.75 million years ago. In the earliest glacial stages, however, establishment of the linkage between ice sheet development and ocean circulation remain largely unclear. Here we show new high-resolution records of marine isotope stage 100 recovered from deep-sea sediments on the Gardar Drift, in the subpolar North Atlantic. Results of a wide range of analyses clearly reveal the influence of millennial-scale variability in iceberg discharge on ocean surface condition and bottom current variability in the subpolar North Atlantic during marine isotope stage 100. We identified eight events of ice-rafted debris, which occurred mostly with decreases in sea surface temperature and in current components indicating North Atlantic Deep Water. These decreases are interpreted by weakened deep water formation linked to iceberg discharge, similarly to observations from the last glacial period. Dolomite fraction of the ice-rafted events in early MIS 100 like the last glacial Heinrich events suggests massive collapse of the Laurentide ice sheet in North America. At the same time, our early glacial data suggest differences from the last glacial period: absence of 1470-year periodicity in the interactions between ice sheets and ocean, and northerly shift of the ice-rafted debris belt. Our high-resolution data largely improve the picture of ice-sheet/ocean interactions on millennial time scales in the early glacial period after major Northern Hemisphere glaciation.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  15. Antarctic Ice Sheet Discharge Driven by Atmosphere-Ocean Feedbacks Across the Last Glacial Termination

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Reconstructing the dynamic response of the Antarctic ice sheets to warming during the Last Glacial Termination (LGT; 18,000-11,650 yrs ago) allows us to identify ice-climate feedbacks that could improve future projections1,2. Whilst the sequence of events during this period are reasonably well-known, relatively poor chronological control has precluded precise alignment of ice, atmospheric and marine records2, making it difficult to assess relationships between Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics, climate change and sea-level rise3-5. Here we present results from a highly-resolved `horizontal ice core'6,7 from the Weddell Sea Embayment, which records millennial-scale ice-sheet dynamics across this extensive sector of Antarctica. Counterintuitively, we find ice-sheet surface drawdown of 600 m across the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR; 14,600-12,700 yrs ago)5, with stabilisation during the subsequent millennia of atmospheric warming. Earth system and ice-sheet modelling highlights that this response was likely sustained by strong ocean-ice feedbacks4,8; however, the drivers remain uncertain. Given the coincidence of the ice-sheet changes recorded with marked shifts in atmospheric circulation9,10,11we suggest that millennial-scale Antarctic ice-sheet behaviour was initiated and sustained by global atmospheric teleconnections across the LGT. This has important ramifications ice-sheet stability under contemporary climate change, with changing atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. 1 Collins, M. et al. in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. 2 Weber, M. E. et al. Nature 510, 134-138, (2014). 3 Weaver, A. J., et al., Science 299, 1709-1713, (2003). 4 Golledge, N. R. et al. Nat Commun 5, (2014). 5 Pedro, J. B. et al. Nature Geosci9. 51-55 (2015). 6 Turney, C. S. M. et al. Journal of Quaternary Science 28, 697-704 (2013). 7 Winter, K. et al. Geophys. Res. Lett.43. 5. 2019-2026 (2016). 8 Menviel, L., A. et al., Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 1155-1172 (2011). 9 Hogg

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  18. Acoustic Gravity Waves Generated by an Oscillating Ice Sheet in Arctic Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdolali, A.; Kadri, U.; Kirby, J. T., Jr.

    2016-12-01

    We investigate the formation of acoustic-gravity waves due to oscillations of large ice blocks, possibly triggered by atmospheric and ocean currents, ice block shrinkage or storms and ice-quakes.For the idealized case of a homogeneous weakly compressible water bounded at the surface by ice sheet and a rigid bed, the description of the infinite family of acoustic modes is characterized by the water depth h and angular frequency of oscillating ice sheet ω ; The acoustic wave field is governed by the leading mode given by: Nmax=\\floor {(ω h)/(π c)} where c is the sound speed in water and the special brackets represent the floor function (Fig1). Unlike the free-surface setting, the higher acoustic modes might exhibit a larger contribution and therefore all progressive acoustic modes have to be considered.This study focuses on the characteristics of acoustic-gravity waves generated by an oscillating elastic ice sheet in a weakly compressible fluid coupled with a free surface model [Abdolali et al. 2015] representing shrinking ice blocks in realistic sea state, where the randomly oriented ice sheets cause inter modal transition and multidirectional reflections. A theoretical solution and a 3D numerical model have been developed for the study purposes. The model is first validated against the theoretical solution [Kadri, 2016]. To overcome the computational difficulties of 3D models, we derive a depth-integrated equation valid for spatially varying ice sheet thickness and water depth. We show that the generated acoustic-gravity waves contribute significantly to deep ocean currents compared to other mechanisms. In addition, these waves travel at the sound speed in water carrying information on ice sheet motion, providing various implications for ocean monitoring and detection of ice-quakes. Fig1:Snapshots of dynamic pressure given by an oscillating ice sheet; h=4500m, c=1500m/s, semi-length b=10km, ζ =1m, omega=π rad/s. Abdolali, A., Kirby, J. T. and Bellotti, G

  19. Ice condensation on sulfuric acid tetrahydrate: Implications for polar stratospheric ice clouds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. J. Fortin

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism of ice nucleation to form Type 2 PSCs is important for controlling the ice particle size and hence the possible dehydration in the polar winter stratosphere. This paper probes heterogeneous ice nucleation on sulfuric acid tetrahydrate (SAT. Laboratory experiments were performed using a thin-film, high-vacuum apparatus in which the condensed phase is monitored via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and water pressure is monitored with the combination of an MKS baratron and an ionization gauge. Results show that SAT is an efficient ice nucleus with a critical ice saturation ratio of S*ice = 1.3 to 1.02 over the temperature range 169.8-194.5 K. This corresponds to a necessary supercooling of 0.1-1.3 K below the ice frost point. The laboratory data is used as input for a microphysical/photochemical model to probe the effect that this heterogeneous nucleation mechanism could have on Type 2 PSC formation and stratospheric dehydration. In the model simulations, even a very small number of SAT particles (e.g., 10-3 cm-3 result in ice nucleation on SAT as the dominant mechanism for Type 2 PSC formation. As a result, Type 2 PSC formation is more widespread, leading to larger-scale dehydration. The characteristics of the clouds are controlled by the assumed number of SAT particles present, demonstrating that a proper treatment of SAT is critical for correctly modeling Type 2 PSC formation and stratospheric dehydration.

  20. 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.

  1. The importance of snow albedo for ice sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Willeit

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The surface energy and mass balance of ice sheets strongly depends on the amount of solar radiation absorbed at the surface, which is mainly controlled by the albedo of snow and ice. Here, using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity, we explore the role played by surface albedo for the simulation of glacial cycles. We show that the evolution of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets over the last glacial cycle is very sensitive to the representation of snow albedo in the model. It is well known that the albedo of snow depends strongly on snow grain size and the content of light-absorbing impurities. Excluding either the snow aging effect or the dust darkening effect on snow albedo leads to an excessive ice build-up during glacial times and consequently to a failure in simulating deglaciation. While the effect of snow grain growth on snow albedo is well constrained, the albedo reduction due to the presence of dust in snow is much more uncertain because the light-absorbing properties of dust vary widely as a function of dust mineral composition. We also show that assuming slightly different optical properties of dust leads to very different ice sheet and climate evolutions in the model. Conversely, ice sheet evolution is less sensitive to the choice of ice albedo in the model. We conclude that a proper representation of snow albedo is a fundamental prerequisite for a successful simulation of glacial cycles.

  2. 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)

  3. Polar Stereographic Valid Ice Masks Derived from National Ice Center Monthly Sea Ice Climatologies, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — These valid ice masks provide a way to remove spurious ice caused by residual weather effects and land spillover in passive microwave data. They are derived from the...

  4. Demonstration of Sparse Signal Reconstruction for Radar Imaging of Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heister, Anton; Scheiber, Rolf

    2017-04-01

    Conventional processing of ice-sounder data produces 2-D images of the ice sheet and bed, where the two dimensions are along-track and depth, while the across-track direction is fixed to nadir. The 2-D images contain information about the topography and radar reflectivity of the ice sheet's surface, bed, and internal layers in the along-track direction. Having multiple antenna phase centers in the across-track direction enables the production of 3-D images of the ice sheet and bed. Compared to conventional 2-D images, these contain additional information about the surface and bed topography, and orientation of the internal layers over a swath in the across-track direction. We apply a 3-D SAR tomographic ice-sounding method based on sparse signal reconstruction [1] to the data collected by Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) in 2008 in Greenland [2] using their multichannel coherent radar depth sounder (MCoRDS). The MCoRDS data have 16 effective phase centers which allows us to better understand the performance of the method. Lastly we offer sparsity improvement by including wavelet dictionaries into the reconstruction.The results show improved scene feature resolvability in across-track direction compared to MVDR beamformer. References: [1] A. Heister, R. Scheiber, "First Analysis of Sparse Signal Reconstruction for Radar Imaging of Ice Sheets". In: Proceedings of EUSAR, pp. 788-791, June 2016. [2] X. Wu, K. C. Jezek, E. Rodriguez, S. Gogineni, F. Rodriguez-Morales, and A. Freeman, "Ice sheet bed mapping with airborne SAR tomography". IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 49, no. 10 Part 1, pp. 3791-3802, 2011.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Bringing Society to a Changing Polar Ocean: Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (ICE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, O.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental changes in the Arctic and Antarctic appear to be accelerating and scientists are trying to understand both the patterns and the impacts of change. These changes will have profound impact on humanity and create a need for public education about these critical habitats. We have focused on a two-pronged strategy to increase public awareness as well as enable educators to discuss comfortably the implications of climate change. Our first focus is on entraining public support through the development of science documentaries about the science and people who conduct it. Antarctic Edge is a feature length award-winning documentary about climate change that has been released in May 2015 and has garnered interest in movie theatres and on social media stores (NetFlix, ITunes). This broad outreach is coupled with our group's interest assisting educators formally. The majority of current polar education is focused on direct educator engagement through personal research experiences that have impact on the participating educators' classrooms. Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education (ICE) proposes to improve educator and student engagement in polar sciences through exposure to scientists and polar data. Through professional development and the creation of data tools, Polar ICE will reduce the logistical costs of bringing polar science to students in grades 6-16. We will provide opportunities to: 1) build capacity of polar scientists in communicating and engaging with diverse audiences; 2) create scalable, in-person and virtual opportunities for educators and students to engage with polar scientists and their research through data visualizations, data activities, educator workshops, webinars, and student research symposia; and 3) evaluate the outcomes of Polar ICE and contribute to our understanding of science education practices. We will use a blended learning approach to promote partnerships and cross-disciplinary sharing. This combined multi-pronged approach

  8. Modelling large-scale ice-sheet-climate interactions at the last glacial inception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, O. J. H.; Gregory, J. M.; Payne, A. J.; Ridley, J. K.; Rutt, I. C.

    2010-05-01

    In order to investigate the interactions between coevolving climate and ice-sheets on multimillenial timescales, a low-resolution atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) has been coupled to a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet model. We use the FAMOUS AOGCM, which is almost identical in formulation to the widely used HadCM3 AOGCM, but on account of its lower resolution (7.5° longitude × 5° latitude in the atmosphere, 3.75°× 2.5° in the ocean) it runs about ten times faster. We use the community ice-sheet model Glimmer at 20 km resolution, with the shallow ice approximation and an annual degree-day scheme for surface mass balance. With the FAMOUS-Glimmer coupled model, we have simulated the growth of the Laurentide and Fennoscandian ice sheets at the last glacial inception, under constant orbital forcing and atmospheric composition for 116 ka BP. Ice grows in both regions, totalling 5.8 m of sea-level equivalent in 10 ka, slower than proxy records suggest. Positive climate feedbacks reinforce this growth at local scales (order hundreds of kilometres), where changes are an order of magnitude larger than on the global average. The albedo feedback (higher local albedo means a cooler climate) is important in the initial expansion of the ice-sheet area. The topography feedback (higher surface means a cooler climate) affects ice-sheet thickness and is not noticeable for the first 1 ka. These two feedbacks reinforce each other. Without them, the ice volume is ~90% less after 10 ka. In Laurentia, ice expands initially on the Canadian Arctic islands. The glaciation of the islands eventually cools the nearby mainland climate sufficiently to produce a positive mass balance there. Adjacent to the ice-sheets, cloud feedbacks tend to reduce the surface mass balance and restrain ice growth; this is an example of a local feedback whose simulation requires a model that includes detailed atmospheric physics.

  9. A transient fully coupled climate-ice-sheet simulation of the last glacial inception

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    The last glacial inception occurred around 115 ka, following a relative minimum in the Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. It is believed that small and spatially separated ice caps initially formed in the high elevation regions of northern Canada, Scandinavia, and along the Siberian Arctic coast. These ice caps subsequently migrated down in the valleys where they coalesced and formed the initial seeds of the large coherent ice masses that covered the northern parts of the North American and Eurasian continents over most of the last glacial cycle. Sea level records show that the initial growth period lasted for about 10 kyrs, and the resulting ice sheets may have lowered the global sea level by as much as 30 to 50 meters. Here we examine the transient climate system evolution over the period between 118 and 110 ka, using the fully coupled Community Earth System Model, version 2 (CESM2). This model features a two-way coupled high-resolution (4x4 km) ice-sheet component (Community Ice Sheet model, version 2; CISM2) that simulates ice sheets as an interactive component of the climate system. We impose a transient forcing protocol where the greenhouse gas concentrations and the orbital parameters follow the nominal year in the simulation; the model topography is also dynamically evolving in order to reflect changes in ice elevation throughout the simulation. The analysis focuses on how the climate system evolves over this time interval, with a special focus on glacial inception in the high-latitude continents. Results will highlight how the evolving ice sheets compare to data and previous model based reconstructions.

  10. The influence of firn air transport processes and radiocarbon production on gas records from polar firn and ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buizert, Christo

    Air bubbles found in polar ice cores preserve a record of past atmospheric composition up to 800 kyr back in time. The composition of the bubbles is not identical to the ancient atmosphere, as it is influenced by processes prior to trapping, within the ice sheet itself, and during sampling...... does not vanish completely in the lock-in zone, as is commonly assumed. Six state-of-the-art firn air transport models are tuned to the NEEM site; all models successfully reproduce the data within a 1 Gaussian distribution. We present the first intercomparison study of firn air models, where we...

  11. Glacial removal of late Cenozoic subglacially emplaced volcanic edifices by the West Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Blankenship, D.D.; Damaske, D.; Cooper, A. K.

    1995-01-01

    Local maxima of the horizontal gradient of pseudogravity from closely spaced aeromagnetic surveys over the Ross Sea, northwestern Ross Ice Shelf, and the West Antarctic ice sheet, reveal a linear magnetic rift fabric and numerous subcircular, high-amplitude anomalies. Geophysical data indicate two or three youthful volcanic edifices at widely separated areas beneath the sea and ice cover in the West Antarctic rift system. In contrast, we suggest glacial removal of edifices of volcanic sources of many more anomalies. Magnetic models, controlled by marine seismic reflection and radar ice-sounding data, allow us to infer that glacial removal of the associated late Cenozoic volcanic edifices (probably debris, comprising pillow breccias, and hyaloclastites) has occurred essentially concomitantly with their subglacial eruption. "Removal' of unconsolidated volcanic debris erupted beneath the ice is probably a more appropriate term than "erosion', given its fragmented, ice-contact origin. The exposed volcanoes may have been protected from erosion by the surrounding ice sheet because of more competent rock or high elevation above the ice sheet. -from Authors

  12. Ice-rafting from the British-Irish ice sheet since the earliest Pleistocene (2.6 million years ago): implications for long-term mid-latitudinal ice-sheet growth in the North Atlantic region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thierens, M.; Pirlet, H.; Colin, C.; Latruwe, K.; Vanhaecke, F.; Lee, J.R.; Stuut, J.-B.; Titschaeck, J.; Titschack, J.; Huvenne, V.; Dorschel, B.; Wheeler, A.J.; Henriet, J.P.

    2012-01-01

    The Plio-Pleistocene intensification of Northern Hemisphere continental ice-sheet development is known to have profoundly affected the global climate system. Evidence for early continental glaciation is preserved in sediments throughout the North Atlantic Ocean, where ice-rafted detritus (IRD)

  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. Geomorphology and till architecture of terrestrial palaeo-ice streams of the southwest Laurentide Ice Sheet: A borehole stratigraphic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Sophie L.; Evans, David J. A.; Cofaigh, Colm Ó.

    2018-04-01

    A multidimensional study, utilising geomorphological mapping and the analysis of regional borehole stratigraphy, is employed to elucidate the regional till architecture of terrestrial palaeo-ice streams relating to the Late Wisconsinan southwest Laurentide Ice Sheet. Detailed mapping over a 57,400 km2 area of southwestern Saskatchewan confirms previous reconstructions of a former southerly flowing ice stream, demarcated by a 800 km long corridor of megaflutes and mega-scale glacial lineations (Ice Stream 1) and cross cut by three, formerly southeast flowing ice streams (Ice Streams 2A, B and C). Analysis of the lithologic and geophysical characteristics of 197 borehole samples within these corridors reveals 17 stratigraphic units comprising multiple tills and associated stratified sediments overlying preglacial deposits, the till thicknesses varying with both topography and distance down corridor. Reconciling this regional till architecture with the surficial geomorphology reveals that surficial units are spatially consistent with a dynamic switch in flow direction, recorded by the cross cutting corridors of Ice Streams 1, 2A, B and C. The general thickening of tills towards lobate ice stream margins is consistent with subglacial deformation theory and variations in this pattern on a more localised scale are attributed to influences of subglacial topography including thickening at buried valley margins, thinning over uplands and thickening in overridden ice-marginal landforms.

  15. On the reconstruction of palaeo-ice sheets: Recent advances and future challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Chris R.; Tarasov, Lev; Blomdin, Robin; Cronin, Thomas M.; Fisher, Timothy G.; Gyllencreutz, Richard; Hattestrand, Clas; Heyman, Jakob; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Jakobsson, Martin; Kirchner, Nina; Livingstone, Stephen J.; Margold, Martin; Murton, Julian B.; Noormets, Riko; Peltier, W. Richard; Peteet, Dorothy M.; Piper, David J. W.; Preusser, Frank; Renssen, Hans; Roberts, David H.; Roche, Didier M.; Saint-Ange, Francky; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Teller, James T.

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing the growth and decay of palaeo-ice sheets is critical to understanding mechanisms of global climate change and associated sea-level fluctuations in the past, present and future. The significance of palaeo-ice sheets is further underlined by the broad range of disciplines concerned with reconstructing their behaviour, many of which have undergone a rapid expansion since the 1980s. In particular, there has been a major increase in the size and qualitative diversity of empirical data used to reconstruct and date ice sheets, and major improvements in our ability to simulate their dynamics in numerical ice sheet models. These developments have made it increasingly necessary to forge interdisciplinary links between sub-disciplines and to link numerical modelling with observations and dating of proxy records. The aim of this paper is to evaluate recent developments in the methods used to reconstruct ice sheets and outline some key challenges that remain, with an emphasis on how future work might integrate terrestrial and marine evidence together with numerical modelling. Our focus is on pan-ice sheet reconstructions of the last deglaciation, but regional case studies are used to illustrate methodological achievements, challenges and opportunities. Whilst various disciplines have made important progress in our understanding of ice-sheet dynamics, it is clear that data-model integration remains under-used, and that uncertainties remain poorly quantified in both empirically-based and numerical ice-sheet reconstructions. The representation of past climate will continue to be the largest source of uncertainty for numerical modelling. As such, palaeo-observations are critical to constrain and validate modelling. State-of-the-art numerical models will continue to improve both in model resolution and in the breadth of inclusion of relevant processes, thereby enabling more accurate and more direct comparison with the increasing range of palaeo-observations. Thus

  16. 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...

  17. Cosmogenic nuclide age estimate for Laurentide Ice Sheet recession from the terminal moraine, New Jersey, USA, and constraints on latest Pleistocene ice sheet history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbett, Lee B.; Bierman, Paul R.; Stone, Byron D.; Caffee, Marc W.; Larsen, Patrick L.

    2017-01-01

    The time at which the Laurentide Ice Sheet reached its maximum extent and subsequently retreated from its terminal moraine in New Jersey has been constrained by bracketing radiocarbon ages on preglacial and postglacial sediments. Here, we present measurements of in situ produced 10Be and 26Al in 16 quartz-bearing samples collected from bedrock outcrops and glacial erratics just north of the terminal moraine in north-central New Jersey; as such, our ages represent a minimum limit on the timing of ice recession from the moraine. The data set includes field and laboratory replicates, as well as replication of the entire data set five years after initial measurement. We find that recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet from the terminal moraine in New Jersey began before 25.2±2.1 ka (10Be, n=16, average, 1 standard deviation). This cosmogenic nuclide exposure age is consistent with existing limiting radiocarbon ages in the study area and cosmogenic nuclide exposure ages from the terminal moraine on Martha’s Vineyard ~300 km to the northeast. The age we propose for Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat from the New Jersey terminal position is broadly consistent with regional and global climate records of the last glacial maximum termination and records of fluvial incision.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  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. SEMIC: an efficient surface energy and mass balance model applied to the Greenland ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Krapp

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We present SEMIC, a Surface Energy and Mass balance model of Intermediate Complexity for snow- and ice-covered surfaces such as the Greenland ice sheet. SEMIC is fast enough for glacial cycle applications, making it a suitable replacement for simpler methods such as the positive degree day (PDD method often used in ice sheet modelling. Our model explicitly calculates the main processes involved in the surface energy and mass balance, while maintaining a simple interface and requiring minimal data input to drive it. In this novel approach, we parameterise diurnal temperature variations in order to more realistically capture the daily thaw–freeze cycles that characterise the ice sheet mass balance. We show how to derive optimal model parameters for SEMIC specifically to reproduce surface characteristics and day-to-day variations similar to the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional, version 2 and its incorporated multilayer snowpack model SISVAT (Soil Ice Snow Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer. A validation test shows that SEMIC simulates future changes in surface temperature and surface mass balance in good agreement with the more sophisticated multilayer snowpack model SISVAT included in MAR. With this paper, we present a physically based surface model to the ice sheet modelling community that is general enough to be used with in situ observations, climate model, or reanalysis data, and that is at the same time computationally fast enough for long-term integrations, such as glacial cycles or future climate change scenarios.

  2. Assimilating the ICE-6G_C Reconstruction of the Latest Quaternary Ice Age Cycle Into Numerical Simulations of the Laurentide and Fennoscandian Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuhne, G. R.; Peltier, W. R.

    2017-12-01

    We analyze the effects of nudging 100 kyr numerical simulations of the Laurentide and Fennoscandian ice sheets toward the glacial isostatic adjustment-based (GIA-based) ICE-6G_C reconstruction of the most recent ice age cycle. Starting with the ice physics approximations of the PISM ice sheet model and the SeaRISE simulation protocols, we incorporate nudging at characteristic time scales, τf, through anomalous mass balance terms in the ice mass conservation equation. As should be expected, these mass balances exhibit physically unrealistic details arising from pure GIA-based reconstruction geometry when nudging is very strong (τf=20 years for North America), while weakly nudged (τf=1,000 years) solutions deviate from ICE-6G_C sufficiently to degrade its observational fit quality. For reasonable intermediate time scales (τf=100 years and 200 years), we perturbatively analyze nudged ice dynamics as a superposition of "leading-order smoothing" that diffuses ICE-6G_C in a physically and observationally consistent manner and "higher-order" deviations arising, for instance, from biases in the time dependence of surface climate boundary conditions. Based upon the relative deviations between respective nudged simulations in which these biases follow surface temperature from ice cores and eustatic sea level from marine sediment cores, we compute "ice core climate adjustments" that suggest how local paleoclimate observations may be applied to the systematic refinement of ICE-6G_C. Our results are consistent with a growing body of evidence suggesting that the geographical origins of Meltwater Pulse 1B (MWP1b) may lie primarily in North America as opposed to Antarctica (as reconstructed in ICE-6G_C).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Coupled Northern Hemisphere permafrost–ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Willeit

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost influences a number of processes which are relevant for local and global climate. For example, it is well known that permafrost plays an important role in global carbon and methane cycles. Less is known about the interaction between permafrost and ice sheets. In this study a permafrost module is included in the Earth system model CLIMBER-2, and the coupled Northern Hemisphere (NH permafrost–ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle is explored. The model performs generally well at reproducing present-day permafrost extent and thickness. Modeled permafrost thickness is sensitive to the values of ground porosity, thermal conductivity and geothermal heat flux. Permafrost extent at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM agrees well with reconstructions and previous modeling estimates. Present-day permafrost thickness is far from equilibrium over deep permafrost regions. Over central Siberia and the Arctic Archipelago permafrost is presently up to 200–500 m thicker than it would be at equilibrium. In these areas, present-day permafrost depth strongly depends on the past climate history and simulations indicate that deep permafrost has a memory of surface temperature variations going back to at least 800 ka. Over the last glacial cycle permafrost has a relatively modest impact on simulated NH ice sheet volume except at LGM, when including permafrost increases ice volume by about 15 m sea level equivalent in our model. This is explained by a delayed melting of the ice base from below by the geothermal heat flux when the ice sheet sits on a porous sediment layer and permafrost has to be melted first. Permafrost affects ice sheet dynamics only when ice extends over areas covered by thick sediments, which is the case at LGM.

  5. Coupled Northern Hemisphere permafrost-ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willeit, M.; Ganopolski, A.

    2015-09-01

    Permafrost influences a number of processes which are relevant for local and global climate. For example, it is well known that permafrost plays an important role in global carbon and methane cycles. Less is known about the interaction between permafrost and ice sheets. In this study a permafrost module is included in the Earth system model CLIMBER-2, and the coupled Northern Hemisphere (NH) permafrost-ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle is explored. The model performs generally well at reproducing present-day permafrost extent and thickness. Modeled permafrost thickness is sensitive to the values of ground porosity, thermal conductivity and geothermal heat flux. Permafrost extent at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) agrees well with reconstructions and previous modeling estimates. Present-day permafrost thickness is far from equilibrium over deep permafrost regions. Over central Siberia and the Arctic Archipelago permafrost is presently up to 200-500 m thicker than it would be at equilibrium. In these areas, present-day permafrost depth strongly depends on the past climate history and simulations indicate that deep permafrost has a memory of surface temperature variations going back to at least 800 ka. Over the last glacial cycle permafrost has a relatively modest impact on simulated NH ice sheet volume except at LGM, when including permafrost increases ice volume by about 15 m sea level equivalent in our model. This is explained by a delayed melting of the ice base from below by the geothermal heat flux when the ice sheet sits on a porous sediment layer and permafrost has to be melted first. Permafrost affects ice sheet dynamics only when ice extends over areas covered by thick sediments, which is the case at LGM.

  6. Bayesian prediction of future ice sheet volume using local approximation Markov chain Monte Carlo methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A. D.; Heimbach, P.; Marzouk, Y.

    2017-12-01

    We develop a Bayesian inverse modeling framework for predicting future ice sheet volume with associated formal uncertainty estimates. Marine ice sheets are drained by fast-flowing ice streams, which we simulate using a flowline model. Flowline models depend on geometric parameters (e.g., basal topography), parameterized physical processes (e.g., calving laws and basal sliding), and climate parameters (e.g., surface mass balance), most of which are unknown or uncertain. Given observations of ice surface velocity and thickness, we define a Bayesian posterior distribution over static parameters, such as basal topography. We also define a parameterized distribution over variable parameters, such as future surface mass balance, which we assume are not informed by the data. Hyperparameters are used to represent climate change scenarios, and sampling their distributions mimics internal variation. For example, a warming climate corresponds to increasing mean surface mass balance but an individual sample may have periods of increasing or decreasing surface mass balance. We characterize the predictive distribution of ice volume by evaluating the flowline model given samples from the posterior distribution and the distribution over variable parameters. Finally, we determine the effect of climate change on future ice sheet volume by investigating how changing the hyperparameters affects the predictive distribution. We use state-of-the-art Bayesian computation to address computational feasibility. Characterizing the posterior distribution (using Markov chain Monte Carlo), sampling the full range of variable parameters and evaluating the predictive model is prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, the required resolution of the inferred basal topography may be very high, which is often challenging for sampling methods. Instead, we leverage regularity in the predictive distribution to build a computationally cheaper surrogate over the low dimensional quantity of interest (future ice

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. From cyclic ice streaming to Heinrich-like events: the grow-and-surge instability in the Parallel Ice Sheet Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Feldmann

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available >Here we report on a cyclic, physical ice-discharge instability in the Parallel Ice Sheet Model, simulating the flow of a three-dimensional, inherently buttressed ice-sheet-shelf system which periodically surges on a millennial timescale. The thermomechanically coupled model on 1 km horizontal resolution includes an enthalpy-based formulation of the thermodynamics, a nonlinear stress-balance-based sliding law and a very simple subglacial hydrology. The simulated unforced surging is characterized by rapid ice streaming through a bed trough, resulting in abrupt discharge of ice across the grounding line which is eventually calved into the ocean. We visualize the central feedbacks that dominate the subsequent phases of ice buildup, surge and stabilization which emerge from the interaction between ice dynamics, thermodynamics and the subglacial till layer. Results from the variation of surface mass balance and basal roughness suggest that ice sheets of medium thickness may be more susceptible to surging than relatively thin or thick ones for which the surge feedback loop is damped. We also investigate the influence of different basal sliding laws (ranging from purely plastic to nonlinear to linear on possible surging. The presented mechanisms underlying our simulations of self-maintained, periodic ice growth and destabilization may play a role in large-scale ice-sheet surging, such as the surging of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which is associated with Heinrich events, and ice-stream shutdown and reactivation, such as observed in the Siple Coast region of West Antarctica.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Determination of Interannual to Decadal Changes in Ice Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Busalacchi, Antonioa J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A major uncertainty in predicting sea level rise is the sensitivity of ice sheet mass balance to climate change, as well as the uncertainty in present mass balance. Since the annual water exchange is about 8 mm of global sea level equivalent, the +/- 25% uncertainty in current mass balance corresponds to +/- 2 mm/yr in sea level change. Furthermore, estimates of the sensitivity of the mass balance to temperature change range from perhaps as much as - 10% to + 10% per K. Although the overall ice mass balance and seasonal and inter-annual variations can be derived from time-series of ice surface elevations from satellite altimetry, satellite radar altimeters have been limited in spatial coverage and elevation accuracy. Nevertheless, new data analysis shows mixed patterns of ice elevation increases and decreases that are significant in terms of regional-scale mass balances. In addition, observed seasonal and interannual variations in elevation demonstrate the potential for relating the variability in mass balance to changes in precipitation, temperature, and melting. From 2001, NASA's ICESat laser altimeter mission will provide significantly better elevation accuracy and spatial coverage to 86 deg latitude and to the margins of the ice sheets. During 3 to 5 years of ICESat-1 operation, an estimate of the overall ice sheet mass balance and sea level contribution will be obtained. The importance of continued ice monitoring after the first ICESat is illustrated by the variability in the area of Greenland surface melt observed over 17-years and its correlation with temperature. In addition, measurement of ice sheet changes, along with measurements of sea level change by a series of ocean altimeters, should enable direct detection of ice level and global sea level correlations.

  16. Modeling Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in warm climates: a historical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Deconto, R. M.; Gasson, E.

    2016-12-01

    Early modeling of Antarctic Ice Sheet size vs. climate focused on asymmetry between retreat and growth, with much greater warming needed to cause retreat from full ice cover, due to Height Mass Balance Feedback and albedo feedback. This led to a long-standing model-data conflict, with models needing 1000 to2000 ppmv atmospheric CO2 to produce retreat from full size, vs. proxy data of large ice fluctuations despite much lower CO2 since the Miocene.Subsequent modeling with marine ice physics found that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could undergo repeated warm-period collapses with realistic past forcing. However, that yields only 3 to 7 m equivalent sea-level rise above modern, compared to 10 to 20 m or more suggested by some geologic data. Large subglacial basins in East Antarctica could be vulnerable to the same processes,but did not retreat in most models due to narrower and shallower sills.After recent modifications, some ice sheet models were able to produce warm-period collapse of major East Antarctic basins, with sea-level rise of up to 15 m. The modifications are (i) hydrofracturing by surface melt, and structural failure of ice cliffs, or (ii) numerical treatment at the grounding line. In these models, large retreat occurs both for past warmintervals, and also for future business-as-usual scenarios.Some interpretations of data in the late Oligocene and Miocene suggest yet larger fluctuations, between 50 to 100% of modern Antarctic size. That would require surface-melt driven retreat of some terrestrial East Antarctic ice, despite the hysteresis issue raised above. A recent study using a coupled climate-ice sheet model found that with a finer climate gridand more frequent coupling exchange, substantial retreat of terrestrial Antarctica can occur with 500 to 840 ppmv CO2, much lower than in earlier models. This will allow meaningful interactions between modeling and deeper-time geologic interpretations since the late Oligocene.

  17. A new bed elevation model for the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeofry, Hafeez; Ross, Neil; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Li, Jilu; Morlighem, Mathieu; Gogineni, Prasad; Siegert, Martin J.

    2018-04-01

    We present a new digital elevation model (DEM) of the bed, with a 1 km gridding, of the Weddell Sea (WS) sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The DEM has a total area of ˜ 125 000 km2 covering the Institute, Möller and Foundation ice streams, as well as the Bungenstock ice rise. In comparison with the Bedmap2 product, our DEM includes new aerogeophysical datasets acquired by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) through the NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) program in 2012, 2014 and 2016. We also improve bed elevation information from the single largest existing dataset in the region, collected by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Polarimetric radar Airborne Science Instrument (PASIN) in 2010-2011, from the relatively crude measurements determined in the field for quality control purposes used in Bedmap2. While the gross form of the new DEM is similar to Bedmap2, there are some notable differences. For example, the position and size of a deep subglacial trough (˜ 2 km below sea level) between the ice-sheet interior and the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream have been redefined. From the revised DEM, we are able to better derive the expected routing of basal water and, by comparison with that calculated using Bedmap2, we are able to assess regions where hydraulic flow is sensitive to change. Given the potential vulnerability of this sector to ocean-induced melting at the grounding line, especially in light of the improved definition of the Foundation Ice Stream trough, our revised DEM will be of value to ice-sheet modelling in efforts to quantify future glaciological changes in the region and, from this, the potential impact on global sea level. The new 1 km bed elevation product of the WS sector can be found at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1035488" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1035488.

  18. 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

  19. Ice stream behaviour and deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet in the Kuittijärvi area, Russian Karelia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha-Pekka Lunkka

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Glacial landforms of the Lake Kuittijärvi area, Russian Karelia, which covers an area of more than 7000 km^2, were studied in detail using aerial photography and satellite imagery methods and on-site field observations. This was done to reconstruct a detailed historyof Scandinavian ice sheet behaviour in the Lake Kuittijärvi area. The results indicate that the Lake Tuoppajärvi sub-ice stream (TIS that formed the northern part of the Kuusamo-White Sea ice stream and the Lake Kuittijärvi sub-ice stream (KIS, which was part of theNorthern Karelian ice stream, operated in the area during the last deglaciation. Subglacially formed lineation patterns associated with other indicative landforms such as end moraines and esker ridges indicate a clear age relationship between the ice streams’ activity and that the KIS was active after the linear landforms were created by the TIS. It is estimated that deglaciation of the TIS from the Kalevala end moraine to the Lake Pääjärvi end moraine took place between ca. 11 300 – 10 900 calendar years ago. It seems that the terminus of the KIS marker by the Kalevala end moraine was also formed around 11 300 calendar years ago but the KIS remained active longer than the TIS. Both of these sub-ice streams terminated into a glacial lake that was part of a larger White Sea Basin ice lake.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-30

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

  4. Ice-dammed lakes reconstruction in the southeastern Scandinavian ice sheet periphery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, Nikolai

    2017-04-01

    The study of glacier erosion processes, paleolake dynamics and topographical changes, together give us insight into both localized and broader landscape evolution patterns while also assisting human exploration. After carrying number of paleographic discoveries of North-West of Russia, we've gathered the data requiring generalizing, systemizing, visualizing. Objective: reconstruction of proglacial lakes based on lithostratigraphic and geomorphic analysis using GIS technology. GIS modeling of ice-dammed lakes was done via the ArcGIS Desktop 10 software package. The GIS was used as a means to categorize published, time mapped data and thereby fuse and unify the changes into a single, integrated prototype. Publications on limnologo-glaciological and geomorphological reconstructions of paleotopography and paleolakes north of the Russian plain, along with additional copyrighted and grant-funded GIS studies, together served as resources to authenticate the paleolake contour modeling. A quaternary sediments map and an updated topography map that was designed via semiautomatic vectorization of a topographical map, served as foundations for the electronic shape modeling paleoreconstructions. Based upon preliminary results from publication summaries, and initial data collected when analyzing the maps (quaternary sediments, geomorphological, topographical), the contours and maximum glacial lake rise levels in the southeastern Scandinavian ice sheet periphery, including the levels and contours of their coastline, have been duly identified. Boundary reconstruction of Late Pleistocene lake boundaries have been completed for five sections of the Scandinavian ice sheet: the Molovo-Sheksninskoy, the Belozersko-Kubensky, the Vozhe-Lachsko-Kubensky, the Vazhskoy, and the Severodvinskoy. The territories studied revealed 13 major paleobasins covering an area of more than 1,000 km2, which based upon their position most closely resemble periglacial, intraglacial and postglacial lakes. Of

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjaer, Kurt H.; Bevis, Michael

    2014-01-01

    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...

  9. 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.

  10. Ross Ice Shelf airstream driven by polar vortex cyclone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Colin

    2012-07-01

    The powerful air and ocean currents that flow in and above the Southern Ocean, circling in the Southern Hemisphere's high latitudes, form a barrier to mixing between Antarctica and the rest of the planet. Particularly during the austral winter, strong westerly winds isolate the Antarctic continent from heat, energy, and mass exchange, bolstering the scale of the annual polar ozone depletion and driving the continent's record-breaking low temperatures. Pushing through this wall of high winds, the Ross Ice Shelf airstream (RAS) is responsible for a sizable amount of mass and energy exchange from the Antarctic inland areas to lower latitudes. Sitting due south of New Zealand, the roughly 470,000-square-kilometer Ross Ice Shelf is the continent's largest ice shelf and a hub of activity for Antarctic research. A highly variable lower atmospheric air current, RAS draws air from the inland Antarctic Plateau over the Ross Ice Shelf and past the Ross Sea. Drawing on modeled wind patterns for 2001-2005, Seefeldt and Cassano identify the primary drivers of RAS.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuanggen Jin

    2016-02-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. Impact of realistic future ice sheet discharge on the Atlantic ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Berk, Jelle

    2015-04-01

    Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, The Netherlands A high-end scenario of polar ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet is presented with separate projections for different mass-loss sites up to the year 2100. The resultant freshwater forcing is applied to a global climate model and the effects on sea-level rise are discussed. The simulations show strong sea level rise on the Antarctic continental shelves. To separate the effects of atmospheric warming and melt water we then ran four simulations. One without either forcing, one with both and two with one of each separately. Melt water leads to a slight additional depression of the Atlantic overturning circulation, but a strong decrease remains absent. The bulk of the strength reduction is due to higher atmospheric temperatures which inhibits deep water formation in the North Atlantic. The melt water freshens the upper layers of the ocean, but does not strongly impact buoyancy. The balance between North Atlantic Deep Water and Antarctic Bottom Water must then remain relatively unaffected. Only applying the melt water forcing to the Northern Hemisphere does not lead to a stronger effect. We conclude that the meltwater scenario only impacts the overturning circulation superficially because the deeper ocean is not affected. Transport through Bering Strait and across the zonal section at the latitude of Cape Agulhas is increased by increased atmospheric temperatures and adds some inertia to these transports. Reversing the atmospheric forcing bears this out when the transport then further increases. The freshwater, however, mitigates this inertia somewhat.

  14. 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...

  15. Quantifying Black Carbon Deposition Over the Greenland Ice Sheet from Forest Fires in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, J. L.; Polashenski, C. M.; Soja, Amber J.; Marelle, L.; Casey, K. A.; Choi, H. D.; Raut, J.-C.; Wiedinmyer, C.; Emmons, L. K.; Fast, J. D.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Black carbon (BC) concentrations observed in 22 snowpits sampled in the northwest sector of the Greenland ice sheet in April 2014 have allowed us to identify a strong and widespread BC aerosol deposition event, which was dated to have accumulated in the pits from two snow storms between 27 July and 2 August 2013. This event comprises a significant portion (57 on average across all pits) of total BC deposition over 10 months (July 2013 to April 2014). Here we link this deposition event to forest fires burning in Canada during summer 2013 using modeling and remote sensing tools. Aerosols were detected by both the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (on board CALIPSO) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (Aqua) instruments during transport between Canada and Greenland. We use high-resolution regional chemical transport modeling (WRF-Chem) combined with high-resolution fire emissions (FINNv1.5) to study aerosol emissions, transport, and deposition during this event. The model captures the timing of the BC deposition event and shows that fires in Canada were the main source of deposited BC. However, the model underpredicts BC deposition compared to measurements at all sites by a factor of 2100. Underprediction of modeled BC deposition originates from uncertainties in fire emissions and model treatment of wet removal of aerosols. Improvements in model descriptions of precipitation scavenging and emissions from wildfires are needed to correctly predict deposition, which is critical for determining the climate impacts of aerosols that originate from fires.

  16. 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...

  17. Physical Limits on Hmax, the Maximum Height of Glaciers and Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipovsky, B. P.

    2017-12-01

    The longest glaciers and ice sheets on Earth never achieve a topographic relief, or height, greater than about Hmax = 4 km. What laws govern this apparent maximum height to which a glacier or ice sheet may rise? Two types of answer appear possible: one relating to geological process and the other to ice dynamics. In the first type of answer, one might suppose that if Earth had 100 km tall mountains then there would be many 20 km tall glaciers. The counterpoint to this argument is that recent evidence suggests that glaciers themselves limit the maximum height of mountain ranges. We turn, then, to ice dynamical explanations for Hmax. The classical ice dynamical theory of Nye (1951), however, does not predict any break in scaling to give rise to a maximum height, Hmax. I present a simple model for the height of glaciers and ice sheets. The expression is derived from a simplified representation of a thermomechanically coupled ice sheet that experiences a basal shear stress governed by Coulomb friction (i.e., a stress proportional to the overburden pressure minus the water pressure). I compare this model to satellite-derived digital elevation map measurements of glacier surface height profiles for the 200,000 glaciers in the Randolph Glacier Inventory (Pfeffer et al., 2014) as well as flowlines from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. The simplified model provides a surprisingly good fit to these global observations. Small glaciers less than 1 km in length are characterized by having negligible influence of basal melt water, cold ( -15C) beds, and high surface slopes ( 30 deg). Glaciers longer than a critical distance 30km are characterized by having an ice-bed interface that is weakened by the presence of meltwater and is therefore not capable of supporting steep surface slopes. The simplified model makes predictions of ice volume change as a function of surface temperature, accumulation rate, and geothermal heat flux. For this reason, it provides insights into

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Large climate perturbations occurred during the transition between the penultimate glacial period and the Last Interglacial (Termination II), when the ice sheets retreated from their glacial configuration. Here we investigate the impact of ice sheet changes and associated freshwater fluxes on the

  19. Interdependence of the growth of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the last glaciation: the role of atmospheric circulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beghin, P.; Charbit, S.; Dumas, C.; Kageyama, M.; Roche, D.M.V.A.P.; Ritz, C.

    2014-01-01

    The development of large continental-scale ice sheets over Canada and northern Europe during the last glacial cycle likely modified the track of stationary waves and influenced the location of growing ice sheets through changes in accumulation and temperature patterns. Although they are often

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Modeling the evolution of the Laurentide Ice Sheet from MIS 3 to the Last Glacial Maximum: an approach using sea level modeling and ice flow dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisenberg, J.; Pico, T.; Birch, L.; Mitrovica, J. X.

    2017-12-01

    The history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum ( 26 ka; LGM) is constrained by geological evidence of ice margin retreat in addition to relative sea-level (RSL) records in both the near and far field. Nonetheless, few observations exist constraining the ice sheet's extent across the glacial build-up phase preceding the LGM. Recent work correcting RSL records along the U.S. mid-Atlantic dated to mid-MIS 3 (50-35 ka) for glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA) infer that the Laurentide Ice Sheet grew by more than three-fold in the 15 ky leading into the LGM. Here we test the plausibility of a late and extremely rapid glaciation by driving a high-resolution ice sheet model, based on a nonlinear diffusion equation for the ice thickness. We initialize this model at 44 ka with the mid-MIS 3 ice sheet configuration proposed by Pico et al. (2017), GIA-corrected basal topography, and mass balance representative of mid-MIS 3 conditions. These simulations predict rapid growth of the eastern Laurentide Ice Sheet, with rates consistent with achieving LGM ice volumes within 15 ky. We use these simulations to refine the initial ice configuration and present an improved and higher resolution model for North American ice cover during mid-MIS 3. In addition we show that assumptions of ice loads during the glacial phase, and the associated reconstructions of GIA-corrected basal topography, produce a bias that can underpredict ice growth rates in the late stages of the glaciation, which has important consequences for our understanding of the speed limit for ice growth on glacial timescales.

  3. 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.

  4. 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....

  5. Joint Model and Parameter Dimension Reduction for Bayesian Inversion Applied to an Ice Sheet Flow Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghattas, O.; Petra, N.; Cui, T.; Marzouk, Y.; Benjamin, P.; Willcox, K.

    2016-12-01

    Model-based projections of the dynamics of the polar ice sheets play a central role in anticipating future sea level rise. However, a number of mathematical and computational challenges place significant barriers on improving predictability of these models. One such challenge is caused by the unknown model parameters (e.g., in the basal boundary conditions) that must be inferred from heterogeneous observational data, leading to an ill-posed inverse problem and the need to quantify uncertainties in its solution. In this talk we discuss the problem of estimating the uncertainty in the solution of (large-scale) ice sheet inverse problems within the framework of Bayesian inference. Computing the general solution of the inverse problem--i.e., the posterior probability density--is intractable with current methods on today's computers, due to the expense of solving the forward model (3D full Stokes flow with nonlinear rheology) and the high dimensionality of the uncertain parameters (which are discretizations of the basal sliding coefficient field). To overcome these twin computational challenges, it is essential to exploit problem structure (e.g., sensitivity of the data to parameters, the smoothing property of the forward model, and correlations in the prior). To this end, we present a data-informed approach that identifies low-dimensional structure in both parameter space and the forward model state space. This approach exploits the fact that the observations inform only a low-dimensional parameter space and allows us to construct a parameter-reduced posterior. Sampling this parameter-reduced posterior still requires multiple evaluations of the forward problem, therefore we also aim to identify a low dimensional state space to reduce the computational cost. To this end, we apply a proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) approach to approximate the state using a low-dimensional manifold constructed using ``snapshots'' from the parameter reduced posterior, and the discrete

  6. The sensitivity of the Late Saalian (140 ka) and LGM (21 ka) Eurasian ice sheets to sea surface conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colleoni, Florence [Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici, Bologna (Italy); UJF, CNRS, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement, Saint Martin d' Heres Cedex (France); Stockholm University, Department of Geological Sciences, Stockhlom (Sweden); Liakka, Johan [Stockholm University, Department of Meteorology, Stockholm (Sweden); Krinner, Gerhard; Peyaud, Vincent [UJF, CNRS, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement, Saint Martin d' Heres Cedex (France); Jakobsson, Martin [Stockholm University, Department of Geological Sciences, Stockhlom (Sweden); Masina, Simona [Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-08-15

    This work focuses on the Late Saalian (140 ka) Eurasian ice sheets' surface mass balance (SMB) sensitivity to changes in sea surface temperatures (SST). An Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM), forced with two preexisting Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 21 ka) SST reconstructions, is used to compute climate at 140 and 21 ka (reference glaciation). Contrary to the LGM, the ablation almost stopped at 140 ka due to the climatic cooling effect from the large ice sheet topography. Late Saalian SST are simulated using an AGCM coupled with a mixed layer ocean. Compared to the LGM, these 140 ka SST show an inter-hemispheric asymmetry caused by the larger ice-albedo feedback, cooling climate. The resulting Late Saalian ice sheet SMB is smaller due to the extensive simulated sea ice reducing the precipitation. In conclusion, SST are important for the stability and growth of the Late Saalian Eurasian ice sheet. (orig.)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Monthly solutions of ice sheet mass balance at basin scale – and their associated uncertainties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Forsberg, René

    2012-01-01

    There are still discrepancies in published ice sheet mass balance results, even between ones based on the same data sets. It can be difficult to conclude from where the discrepancies arise, and it is therefore important to cross calibrate methods, data and models in order to determine...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Bare ice fields developed in the inland part of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuhei Takahashi

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available Observations of a bare ice field were carried out at Seal Rock in the Sor Rondane area, East Antarctica. A large sublimation rate, 200 to 280mm/a, was observed on the bare ice field. Air temperature on the bare ice was about 1℃ higher than that on the snow surface. The large sublimation rate was explained from the low albedo of bare ice; its value was roughly estimated from heat budget considerations. The bare ice fields were classified into 4 types according to origin.

  1. Predicting uncertainty in future marine ice sheet volume using Bayesian statistical methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    The marine ice instability can trigger rapid retreat of marine ice streams. Recent observations suggest that marine ice systems in West Antarctica have begun retreating. However, unknown ice dynamics, computationally intensive mathematical models, and uncertain parameters in these models make predicting retreat rate and ice volume difficult. In this work, we fuse current observational data with ice stream/shelf models to develop probabilistic predictions of future grounded ice sheet volume. Given observational data (e.g., thickness, surface elevation, and velocity) and a forward model that relates uncertain parameters (e.g., basal friction and basal topography) to these observations, we use a Bayesian framework to define a posterior distribution over the parameters. A stochastic predictive model then propagates uncertainties in these parameters to uncertainty in a particular quantity of interest (QoI)---here, the volume of grounded ice at a specified future time. While the Bayesian approach can in principle characterize the posterior predictive distribution of the QoI, the computational cost of both the forward and predictive models makes this effort prohibitively expensive. To tackle this challenge, we introduce a new Markov chain Monte Carlo method that constructs convergent approximations of the QoI target density in an online fashion, yielding accurate characterizations of future ice sheet volume at significantly reduced computational cost.Our second goal is to attribute uncertainty in these Bayesian predictions to uncertainties in particular parameters. Doing so can help target data collection, for the purpose of constraining the parameters that contribute most strongly to uncertainty in the future volume of grounded ice. For instance, smaller uncertainties in parameters to which the QoI is highly sensitive may account for more variability in the prediction than larger uncertainties in parameters to which the QoI is less sensitive. We use global sensitivity

  2. ispace's Polar Ice Explorer: Commerically Exploring the Poles of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzada-Diaz, A.; Acierno, K.; Rasera, J. N.; Lamamy, J.-A.

    2018-04-01

    This work provides the background, rationales, and scientific objectives for the ispace Polar Ice Explorer Project, an ISRU exploratory mission that aims to provide data about the lunar polar environment.

  3. An approach to computing discrete adjoints for MPI-parallelized models applied to Ice Sheet System Model 4.11

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Larour

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Within the framework of sea-level rise projections, there is a strong need for hindcast validation of the evolution of polar ice sheets in a way that tightly matches observational records (from radar, gravity, and altimetry observations mainly. However, the computational requirements for making hindcast reconstructions possible are severe and rely mainly on the evaluation of the adjoint state of transient ice-flow models. Here, we look at the computation of adjoints in the context of the NASA/JPL/UCI Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM, written in C++ and designed for parallel execution with MPI. We present the adaptations required in the way the software is designed and written, but also generic adaptations in the tools facilitating the adjoint computations. We concentrate on the use of operator overloading coupled with the AdjoinableMPI library to achieve the adjoint computation of the ISSM. We present a comprehensive approach to (1 carry out type changing through the ISSM, hence facilitating operator overloading, (2 bind to external solvers such as MUMPS and GSL-LU, and (3 handle MPI-based parallelism to scale the capability. We demonstrate the success of the approach by computing sensitivities of hindcast metrics such as the misfit to observed records of surface altimetry on the northeastern Greenland Ice Stream, or the misfit to observed records of surface velocities on Upernavik Glacier, central West Greenland. We also provide metrics for the scalability of the approach, and the expected performance. This approach has the potential to enable a new generation of hindcast-validated projections that make full use of the wealth of datasets currently being collected, or already collected, in Greenland and Antarctica.

  4. Heinrich event 1: an example of dynamical ice-sheet reaction to oceanic changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Álvarez-Solas

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Heinrich events, identified as enhanced ice-rafted detritus (IRD in North Atlantic deep sea sediments (Heinrich, 1988; Hemming, 2004 have classically been attributed to Laurentide ice-sheet (LIS instabilities (MacAyeal, 1993; Calov et al., 2002; Hulbe et al., 2004 and assumed to lead to important disruptions of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC and North Atlantic deep water (NADW formation. However, recent paleoclimate data have revealed that most of these events probably occurred after the AMOC had already slowed down or/and NADW largely collapsed, within about a thousand years (Hall et al., 2006; Hemming, 2004; Jonkers et al., 2010; Roche et al., 2004, implying that the initial AMOC reduction could not have been caused by the Heinrich events themselves.

    Here we propose an alternative driving mechanism, specifically for Heinrich event 1 (H1; 18 to 15 ka BP, by which North Atlantic ocean circulation changes are found to have strong impacts on LIS dynamics. By combining simulations with a coupled climate model and a three-dimensional ice sheet model, our study illustrates how reduced NADW and AMOC weakening lead to a subsurface warming in the Nordic and Labrador Seas resulting in rapid melting of the Hudson Strait and Labrador ice shelves. Lack of buttressing by the ice shelves implies a substantial ice-stream acceleration, enhanced ice-discharge and sea level rise, with peak values 500–1500 yr after the initial AMOC reduction. Our scenario modifies the previous paradigm of H1 by solving the paradox of its occurrence during a cold surface period, and highlights the importance of taking into account the effects of oceanic circulation on ice-sheets dynamics in order to elucidate the triggering mechanism of Heinrich events.

  5. 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

  6. Growth of plants on the Late Weichselian ice-sheet during Greenland interstadial-1?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zale, R.; Huang, Y.-T.; Bigler, C.; Wood, J. R.; Dalén, L.; Wang, X.-R.; Segerström, U.; Klaminder, J.

    2018-04-01

    Unglaciated forelands and summits protruding from ice-sheets are commonly portrayed as areas where plants first establish at the end of glacial cycles. But is this prevailing view of ice-free refugia too simplistic? Here, we present findings suggesting that surface debris supported plant communities far beyond the rim of the Late Weichselian Ice-sheet during Greenland interstadial 1 (GI-1 or Bølling-Allerød interstadial). We base our interpretations upon findings from terrigenous sediments largely resembling 'plant-trash' deposits in North America (known to form as vegetation established on stagnant ice became buried along with glacial debris during the deglaciation). In our studied deposit, we found macrofossils (N = 10) overlapping with the deglaciation period of the area (9.5-10 cal kyr BP) as well as samples (N = 2) with ages ranging between 12.9 and 13.3 cal kyr BP. The latter ages indicate growth of at least graminoids during the GI-1 interstadial when the site was near the geographic center of the degrading ice-sheet. We suggest that exposure of englacial material during GI-1 created patches of supraglacial debris capable of supporting vascular plants three millennia before deglaciation. The composition and resilience of this early plant community remain uncertain. Yet, the younger group of macrofossils, in combination with pollen and ancient DNA analyses of inclusions, imply that shrubs (Salix sp., Betula sp. and Ericaceae sp) and even tree species (Larix) were present in the debris during the final deglaciation stage.

  7. Imaging the Antarctic Ice Sheet Subsurface with the HF GPR TAPIR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Gall, A.; Ciarletti, V.; Berthelier, J.; Reineix, A.; Ney, R.; Bonaimé, S.; Corbel, C.

    2006-12-01

    An HF impulse polarimetric Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) operating at very low frequencies (ranging from ~2 to 8MHz) has been developed in the frame of the NetLander mission. This instrument, named TAPIR (Terrestrial And Planetary Investigation by Radar), was designed to probe the Martian subsurface down to kilometric depth and search for potential water reservoirs. Although the NetLander mission was cancelled in 2003, the interest on the exploration of Martian subsurface was recently enhanced by the promising observations of the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) on board of the ESA Mars Express orbiter. In particular, MARSIS detected the base of the North Polar Layered Deposits, penetrating up to ~1.8km the ice-rich upper layer of the underground. Such results suggest that TAPIR, which operates in the same frequency range as MARSIS and can performed a higher number of coherent integrations, is able to reach deeper structures. Yet, in contrast with classical GPRs, TAPIR can not move onto the surface and thus won't provide 2D or 3D scan of the subsurface. To retrieve, in spite of this NetLander restraint, the 3D distribution of the reflecting facets of the underground, the instrument was equipped with two electrical dipoles and a rotating magnetic sensor. These antennas allow to derive, from the measured values of 5 components of the wave field, the direction of arrival of the reflected waves hence the inclination of the buried reflectors. The first validation of this innovative concept was carried out during the RANETA (RAdar of NEtlander in Terre Adélie) campaign organized by the Institute Paul-Emile Victor in January-February 2004. This campaign took place on the Antarctic ice sheet close to the French-Italian Cap Prudhomme station. 8 soundings of the ice shelf were performed on various sites corresponding to different altitudes above the sea level (ranging from ~285m to ~1100m). We shall provide a detailed description of the

  8. Severnaya Zemlya, arctic Russia: a nucleation area for Kara Sea ice sheets during the Middle to Late Quaternary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Möller, Per; Lubinski, David J.; Ingólfsson, Ólafur

    2006-01-01

    Quaternary glacial stratigraphy and relative sea-level changes reveal at least four expansions of the Kara Sea ice sheet over the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago at 79°N in the Russian Arctic, as indicated from tills interbedded with marine sediments, exposed in stratigraphic superposition, and from......-5e and MIS 5d-3. The MIS 6-5e event, associated with the high marine limit, implies ice-sheet thickness of >2000 m only 200 km from the deep Arctic Ocean, consistent with published evidence of ice grounding at ~1000 m water depth in the central Arctic Ocean. Till fabrics and glacial tectonics record...... repeated expansions of local ice caps exclusively, suggesting wet-based ice cap advance followed by cold-based regional ice-sheet expansion. Local ice caps over highland sites along the perimeter of the shallow Kara Sea, including the Byrranga Mountains, appear to have repeatedly fostered initiation...

  9. Representing grounding line migration in synchronous coupling between a marine ice sheet model and a z-coordinate ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, D. N.; Snow, K.; Holland, P.; Jordan, J. R.; Campin, J.-M.; Heimbach, P.; Arthern, R.; Jenkins, A.

    2018-05-01

    Synchronous coupling is developed between an ice sheet model and a z-coordinate ocean model (the MITgcm). A previously-developed scheme to allow continuous vertical movement of the ice-ocean interface of a floating ice shelf ("vertical coupling") is built upon to allow continuous movement of the grounding line, or point of floatation of the ice sheet ("horizontal coupling"). Horizontal coupling is implemented through the maintenance of a thin layer of ocean ( ∼ 1 m) under grounded ice, which is inflated into the real ocean as the ice ungrounds. This is accomplished through a modification of the ocean model's nonlinear free surface evolution in a manner akin to a hydrological model in the presence of steep bathymetry. The coupled model is applied to a number of idealized geometries and shown to successfully represent ocean-forced marine ice sheet retreat while maintaining a continuous ocean circulation.

  10. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, David C.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Atwood, Todd C.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  11. Measurements of acetylene in air extracted from polar ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicewonger, M. R.; Aydin, M.; Montzka, S. A.; Saltzman, E. S.

    2016-12-01

    Acetylene (ethyne) is a non-methane hydrocarbon emitted during combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass. The major atmospheric loss pathway of acetylene is oxidation by hydroxyl radical with a lifetime estimated at roughly two weeks. The mean annual acetylene levels over Greenland and Antarctica are 250 ppt and 20 ppt, respectively. Firn air measurements suggest atmospheric acetylene is preserved unaltered in polar snow and firn. Atmospheric reconstructions based on firn air measurements indicate acetylene levels rose significantly during the twentieth century, peaked near 1980, then declined to modern day levels. This historical trend is similar to that of other fossil fuel-derived non-methane hydrocarbons. In the preindustrial atmosphere, acetylene levels should primarily reflect emissions from biomass burning. In this study, we present the first measurements of acetylene in preindustrial air extracted from polar ice cores. Air from fluid and dry-drilled ice cores from Summit, Greenland and WAIS-Divide Antarctica is extracted using a wet-extraction technique. The ice core air is analyzed using gas chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Between 1400 to 1800 C.E., acetylene levels over Greenland and Antarctica varied between roughly 70-120 ppt and 10-30 ppt, respectively. The preindustrial Greenland acetylene levels are significantly lower than modern levels, reflecting the importance of northern hemisphere fossil fuel sources today. The preindustrial Antarctic acetylene levels are comparable to modern day levels, indicating similar emissions in the preindustrial atmosphere, likely from biomass burning. The implications of the preindustrial atmospheric acetylene records from both hemispheres will be discussed.

  12. 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....

  13. 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...

  14. A tale of two polar bear populations: Ice habitat, harvest, and body condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Stirling, Ian; Born, Erik W.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Wiig, Øystein

    2012-01-01

    One of the primary mechanisms by which sea ice loss is expected to affect polar bears is via reduced body condition and growth resulting from reduced access to prey. To date, negative effects of sea ice loss have been documented for two of 19 recognized populations. Effects of sea ice loss on other polar bear populations that differ in harvest rate, population density, and/or feeding ecology have been assumed, but empirical support, especially quantitative data on population size, demography, and/or body condition spanning two or more decades, have been lacking. We examined trends in body condition metrics of captured bears and relationships with summertime ice concentration between 1977 and 2010 for the Baffin Bay (BB) and Davis Strait (DS) polar bear populations. Polar bears in these regions occupy areas with annual sea ice that has decreased markedly starting in the 1990s. Despite differences in harvest rate, population density, sea ice concentration, and prey base, polar bears in both populations exhibited positive relationships between body condition and summertime sea ice cover during the recent period of sea ice decline. Furthermore, females and cubs exhibited relationships with sea ice that were not apparent during the earlier period (1977–1990s) when sea ice loss did not occur. We suggest that declining body condition in BB may be a result of recent declines in sea ice habitat. In DS, high population density and/or sea ice loss, may be responsible for the declines in body condition.

  15. The evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladant, Jean-Baptiste; Donnadieu, Yannick; Dumas, Christophe

    2017-04-01

    An increasing number of studies suggest that the Middle to Late Eocene has witnessed the waxing and waning of relatively small ephemeral ice sheets. These alternating episodes culminated in the Eocene-Oligocene transition (34 - 33.5 Ma) during which a sudden and massive glaciation occurred over Antarctica. Data studies have demonstrated that this glacial event is constituted of two 50 kyr-long steps, the first of modest (10 - 30 m of equivalent sea level) and the second of major (50 - 90 m esl) glacial amplitude, and separated by 200 kyrs. Since a decade, modeling studies have put forward the primary role of CO2 in the initiation of this glaciation, in doing so marginalizing the original "gateway hypothesis". Here, we investigate the impacts of CO2 and orbital parameters on the evolution of the ice sheet during the 500 kyrs of the EO transition using a tri-dimensional interpolation method. The latter allows precise orbital variations, CO2 evolution and ice sheet feedbacks (including the albedo) to be accounted for. Our results show that orbital variations are instrumental in initiating the first step of the EO glaciation but that the primary driver of the major second step is the atmospheric pCO2 crossing a modelled glacial threshold of 900 ppm. Although model-dependant, this higher glacial threshold makes a stronger case for ephemeral Middle-Late Eocene ice sheets. In addition, sensitivity tests demonstrate that the small first step only exists if the absolute pCO2 value remains within 100 ppm higher than the glacial threshold during the first 250 kyrs of the transition. Thereby, the pCO2 sufficiently counterbalances the strong insolation minima occurring at 33.9 and 33.8 Ma but is low enough to allow the ice sheet to nucleate. Nevertheless, questions remain as to what may cause this pCO2 drop.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  19. Technical fact sheets on the impacts of new energy efficiency technologies and measures in ice rinks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-07-01

    This paper presents energy efficiency facts on ice rinks and arenas to advise and inform refrigeration and building professionals. The aim of the paper was to facilitate estimation and compare impacts of various energy efficiency measures and new technologies on the consumption of energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A computer-based tool modelling ice rink energy consumption was constructed based on DOE-2.1E software. The simulation tool was developed to study the sensitivity of various eco-energetic technologies applied to arenas. Results of the simulations have made it possible to construct 8 facts sheets, including information on simulated heat exchange; calculation of energy consumption for heating and refrigeration; the incorporation of several types of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems; and to show various strategies of operation. To account for the effects of ice within a building, calculation routines in the form of functional values were added. The model addressed the following parameters: climate; characteristics of the envelope; lighting power and intensity; temperature of the resurfacing water; ice sheet temperature; humidity level of the ice rink; fresh air intake; emissivity index of the ceiling above the ice sheet; refrigeration systems according to type, capacity, output and operation mode; capacity output and operation mode of the air heating system, including heat recovery from the refrigeration system; and capacity, output and operation mode of the domestic and resurfacing hot water heating system, including heat recovery from the refrigeration system. Fact sheets were presented for the type of technology; description; direct or indirect benefits; energy-savings potential; environmental impacts; specific comments from specialists; and a set of charts to facilitate comprehension. tabs., figs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Drews

    2009-08-01

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

  2. Hummocky moraine: sedimentary record of stagnant Laurentide Ice Sheet lobes resting on soft beds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyles, N.; Boyce, J. I.; Barendregt, R. W.

    1999-02-01

    Over large areas of the western interior plains of North America, hummocky moraine (HM) formed at the margins of Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) lobes that flowed upslope against topographic highs. Current depositional models argue that HM was deposited supraglacially from stagnant debris-rich ice (`disintegration moraine'). Across southern Alberta, Canada, map and outcrop data show that HM is composed of fine-grained till as much as 25 m thick containing rafts of soft, glaciotectonized bedrock and sediment. Chaotic, non-oriented HM commonly passes downslope into weakly-oriented hummocks (`washboard moraine') that are transitional to drumlins in topographic lows; the same subsurface stratigraphy and till facies is present throughout. These landforms, and others such as doughnut-like `rim ridges', flat-topped `moraine plateaux' and linear disintegration ridges, are identified as belonging to subglacially-deposited soft-bed terrain. This terrain is the record of ice lobes moving over deformation till derived from weakly-lithified, bentonite-rich shale. Drumlins record continued active ice flow in topographic lows during deglaciation whereas HM was produced below the outer stagnant margins of ice lobes by gravitational loading (`pressing') of remnant dead ice blocks into wet, plastic till. Intervening zones of washboard moraine mark the former boundary of active and stagnant ice and show `hybrid' drumlins whose streamlined form has been altered by subglacial pressing (` humdrums') below dead ice. The presence of hummocky moraine over a very large area of interior North America provides additional support for glaciological models of a soft-bedded Laurentide Ice Sheet.

  3. Greenland Ice Sheet seasonal and spatial mass variability from model simulations and GRACE (2003-2012)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Patrick M.; Tedesco, Marco; Schlegel, Nicole-Jeanne; Luthcke, Scott B.; Fettweis, Xavier; Larour, Eric

    2016-06-01

    Improving the ability of regional climate models (RCMs) and ice sheet models (ISMs) to simulate spatiotemporal variations in the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is crucial for prediction of future sea level rise. While several studies have examined recent trends in GrIS mass loss, studies focusing on mass variations at sub-annual and sub-basin-wide scales are still lacking. At these scales, processes responsible for mass change are less well understood and modeled, and could potentially play an important role in future GrIS mass change. Here, we examine spatiotemporal variations in mass over the GrIS derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites for the January 2003-December 2012 period using a "mascon" approach, with a nominal spatial resolution of 100 km, and a temporal resolution of 10 days. We compare GRACE-estimated mass variations against those simulated by the Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale (MAR) RCM and the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM). In order to properly compare spatial and temporal variations in GrIS mass from GRACE with model outputs, we find it necessary to spatially and temporally filter model results to reproduce leakage of mass inherent in the GRACE solution. Both modeled and satellite-derived results point to a decline (of -178.9 ± 4.4 and -239.4 ± 7.7 Gt yr-1 respectively) in GrIS mass over the period examined, but the models appear to underestimate the rate of mass loss, especially in areas below 2000 m in elevation, where the majority of recent GrIS mass loss is occurring. On an ice-sheet-wide scale, the timing of the modeled seasonal cycle of cumulative mass (driven by summer mass loss) agrees with the GRACE-derived seasonal cycle, within limits of uncertainty from the GRACE solution. However, on sub-ice-sheet-wide scales, some areas exhibit significant differences in the timing of peaks in the annual cycle of mass change. At these scales, model biases, or processes not accounted for by models related

  4. Correlation of Ice-Rafted Detritus in South Atlantic Sediments with Climate Proxies in Polar Ice over the Last Glacial Period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon L. Kanfoush

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous study identified 6–7 millennial-scale episodes of South Atlantic ice-rafted sediment deposition (SA events during the glaciation. Questions remain, however, regarding their origin, significance for sea-ice and/or Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics, and relationship to climate. Here I correlate sediment core (TTN057–21 SA events to Greenland and Antarctic ice using two independent methods, stable isotopes and geomagnetic paleointensity, placing SA events in the context of polar climate change in both hemispheres. Marine isotopic stage (MIS 3 SA events generally coincided with Greenland interstadials and with cooling following Antarctic warm events (A1-A4. This anti-phase behavior is best illustrated when SA0 coincided with both the Antarctic Cold Reversal and Bolling-Allerod warming in Greenland. Moreover, SA events coincide with sea-level rises during the deglaciation (mwp1A and MIS 3 (30.4, 38.3, 43.7, 51.5 ka, implying unpinning of grounded Weddell Sea region ice masses discharged debris-laden bergs that had a chilling effect on South Atlantic surface temperatures.

  5. Simulation of the last glacial cycle with a coupled climate ice-sheet model of intermediate complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ganopolski

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available A new version of the Earth system model of intermediate complexity, CLIMBER-2, which includes the three-dimensional polythermal ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS, is used to simulate the last glacial cycle forced by variations of the Earth's orbital parameters and atmospheric concentration of major greenhouse gases. The climate and ice-sheet components of the model are coupled bi-directionally through a physically-based surface energy and mass balance interface. The model accounts for the time-dependent effect of aeolian dust on planetary and snow albedo. The model successfully simulates the temporal and spatial dynamics of the major Northern Hemisphere (NH ice sheets, including rapid glacial inception and strong asymmetry between the ice-sheet growth phase and glacial termination. Spatial extent and elevation of the ice sheets during the last glacial maximum agree reasonably well with palaeoclimate reconstructions. A suite of sensitivity experiments demonstrates that simulated ice-sheet evolution during the last glacial cycle is very sensitive to some parameters of the surface energy and mass-balance interface and dust module. The possibility of a considerable acceleration of the climate ice-sheet model is discussed.

  6. A new bed elevation model for the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Jeofry

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We present a new digital elevation model (DEM of the bed, with a 1 km gridding, of the Weddell Sea (WS sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS. The DEM has a total area of ∼ 125 000 km2 covering the Institute, Möller and Foundation ice streams, as well as the Bungenstock ice rise. In comparison with the Bedmap2 product, our DEM includes new aerogeophysical datasets acquired by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS through the NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB program in 2012, 2014 and 2016. We also improve bed elevation information from the single largest existing dataset in the region, collected by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS Polarimetric radar Airborne Science Instrument (PASIN in 2010–2011, from the relatively crude measurements determined in the field for quality control purposes used in Bedmap2. While the gross form of the new DEM is similar to Bedmap2, there are some notable differences. For example, the position and size of a deep subglacial trough (∼ 2 km below sea level between the ice-sheet interior and the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream have been redefined. From the revised DEM, we are able to better derive the expected routing of basal water and, by comparison with that calculated using Bedmap2, we are able to assess regions where hydraulic flow is sensitive to change. Given the potential vulnerability of this sector to ocean-induced melting at the grounding line, especially in light of the improved definition of the Foundation Ice Stream trough, our revised DEM will be of value to ice-sheet modelling in efforts to quantify future glaciological changes in the region and, from this, the potential impact on global sea level. The new 1 km bed elevation product of the WS sector can be found at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1035488.

  7. Antarctic climate and ice-sheet configuration during the early Pliocene interglacial at 4.23 Ma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. R. Golledge

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more complete understanding of how the ice-sheet system responds to changes in climate. Here we investigate how Antarctica evolved under orbital and greenhouse gas conditions representative of an interglacial in the early Pliocene at 4.23 Ma, when Southern Hemisphere insolation reached a maximum. Using offline-coupled climate and ice-sheet models, together with a new synthesis of high-latitude palaeoenvironmental proxy data to define a likely climate envelope, we simulate a range of ice-sheet geometries and calculate their likely contribution to sea level. In addition, we use these simulations to investigate the processes by which the West and East Antarctic ice sheets respond to environmental forcings and the timescales over which these behaviours manifest. We conclude that the Antarctic ice sheet contributed 8.6 ± 2.8 m to global sea level at this time, under an atmospheric CO2 concentration identical to present (400 ppm. Warmer-than-present ocean temperatures led to the collapse of West Antarctica over centuries, whereas higher air temperatures initiated surface melting in parts of East Antarctica that over one to two millennia led to lowering of the ice-sheet surface, flotation of grounded margins in some areas, and retreat of the ice sheet into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The results show that regional variations in climate, ice-sheet geometry, and topography produce long-term sea-level contributions that are non-linear with respect to the applied forcings, and which under certain conditions exhibit threshold behaviour associated with behavioural tipping points.

  8. Antarctic climate and ice-sheet configuration during the early Pliocene interglacial at 4.23 Ma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Thomas, Zoë A.; Levy, Richard H.; Gasson, Edward G. W.; Naish, Timothy R.; McKay, Robert M.; Kowalewski, Douglas E.; Fogwill, Christopher J.

    2017-07-01

    The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more complete understanding of how the ice-sheet system responds to changes in climate. Here we investigate how Antarctica evolved under orbital and greenhouse gas conditions representative of an interglacial in the early Pliocene at 4.23 Ma, when Southern Hemisphere insolation reached a maximum. Using offline-coupled climate and ice-sheet models, together with a new synthesis of high-latitude palaeoenvironmental proxy data to define a likely climate envelope, we simulate a range of ice-sheet geometries and calculate their likely contribution to sea level. In addition, we use these simulations to investigate the processes by which the West and East Antarctic ice sheets respond to environmental forcings and the timescales over which these behaviours manifest. We conclude that the Antarctic ice sheet contributed 8.6 ± 2.8 m to global sea level at this time, under an atmospheric CO2 concentration identical to present (400 ppm). Warmer-than-present ocean temperatures led to the collapse of West Antarctica over centuries, whereas higher air temperatures initiated surface melting in parts of East Antarctica that over one to two millennia led to lowering of the ice-sheet surface, flotation of grounded margins in some areas, and retreat of the ice sheet into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The results show that regional variations in climate, ice-sheet geometry, and topography produce long-term sea-level contributions that are non-linear with respect to the applied forcings, and which under certain conditions exhibit threshold behaviour associated with behavioural tipping points.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. Implementing an empirical scalar constitutive relation for ice with flow-induced polycrystalline anisotropy in large-scale ice sheet models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Felicity S.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Warner, Roland C.; Treverrow, Adam

    2018-03-01

    The microstructure of polycrystalline ice evolves under prolonged deformation, leading to anisotropic patterns of crystal orientations. The response of this material to applied stresses is not adequately described by the ice flow relation most commonly used in large-scale ice sheet models - the Glen flow relation. We present a preliminary assessment of the implementation in the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) of a computationally efficient, empirical, scalar, constitutive relation which addresses the influence of the dynamically steady-state flow-compatible induced anisotropic crystal orientation patterns that develop when ice is subjected to the same stress regime for a prolonged period - sometimes termed tertiary flow. We call this the ESTAR flow relation. The effect on ice flow dynamics is investigated by comparing idealised simulations using ESTAR and Glen flow relations, where we include in the latter an overall flow enhancement factor. For an idealised embayed ice shelf, the Glen flow relation overestimates velocities by up to 17 % when using an enhancement factor equivalent to the maximum value prescribed in the ESTAR relation. Importantly, no single Glen enhancement factor can accurately capture the spatial variations in flow across the ice shelf generated by the ESTAR flow relation. For flow line studies of idealised grounded flow over varying topography or variable basal friction - both scenarios dominated at depth by bed-parallel shear - the differences between simulated velocities using ESTAR and Glen flow relations depend on the value of the enhancement factor used to calibrate the Glen flow relation. These results demonstrate the importance of describing the deformation of anisotropic ice in a physically realistic manner, and have implications for simulations of ice sheet evolution used to reconstruct paleo-ice sheet extent and predict future ice sheet contributions to sea level.

  11. Estimates of Ice Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry: Past and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A major uncertainty in predicting sea level rise is the sensitivity of ice sheet mass balance to climate change, as well as the uncertainty in present mass balance. Since the annual water exchange is about 8 mm of global sea level equivalent, the 20% uncertainty in current mass balance corresponds to 1.6 mm/yr in sea level change. Furthermore, estimates of the sensitivity of the mass balance to temperature change range from perhaps as much as - 10% to + 10% per K. A principal purpose of obtaining ice sheet elevation changes from satellite altimetry has been estimation of the current ice sheet mass balance. Limited information on ice sheet elevation change and their implications about mass balance have been reported by several investigators from radar altimetry (Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1&2). Analysis of ERS-1&2 data over Greenland for 7 years from 1992 to 1999 shows mixed patterns of ice elevation increases and decreases that are significant in terms of regional-scale mass balances. Observed seasonal and interannual variations in ice surface elevation are larger than previously expected because of seasonal and interannUal variations in precipitation, melting, and firn compaction. In the accumulation zone, the variations in firn compaction are modeled as a function of temperature leaving variations in precipitation and the mass balance trend. Significant interannual variations in elevation in some locations, in particular the difference in trends from 1992 to 1995 compared to 1995 to 1999, can be explained by changes in precipitation over Greenland. Over the 7 years, trends in elevation are mostly positive at higher elevations and negative at lower elevations. In addition, trends for the winter seasons (from a trend analysis through the average winter elevations) are more positive than the corresponding trends for the summer. At lower elevations, the 7-year trends in some locations are strongly negative for summer and near zero or slightly positive for winter. These

  12. Meltwater retention in a transect across the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bøggild, Carl Egede; Forsberg, René; Reeh, Niels

    2005-01-01

    by different physical mechanisms, their potential magnitude can be estimated, which has been done in a transect at 66 degrees N. Results show that SI declines from west to east and inversely correlates with accumulation. From the total retention capacity, theoretical lowest-runoff lines were determined......Meltwater retention by freezing is a highly climate-sensitive term in the mass budget since the cold content is directly controlled by winter climate, which is expected to change most in an anthropogenic-driven climate change. Meltwater released at the surface percolates into dry snow in a pattern...... with alternating horizontal and vertical water-flow directions, where the processes of pore refreezing (RF) (vertical flow) and superimposed ice (SI) formation (horizontal flow) occur. The flow cannot be forecasted and quantified when water first enters cold, dry snow. However, because the two processes are driven...

  13. An object-oriented, coprocessor-accelerated model for ice sheet simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.

    2013-12-01

    Recently, numerous models capable of modeling the thermo-dynamics of ice sheets have been developed within the ice sheet modeling community. Their capabilities have been characterized by a wide range of features with different numerical methods (finite difference or finite element), different implementations of the ice flow mechanics (shallow-ice, higher-order, full Stokes) and different treatments for the basal and coastal areas (basal hydrology, basal sliding, ice shelves). Shallow-ice models (SICOPOLIS, IcIES, PISM, etc) have been widely used for modeling whole ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctica) due to the relatively low computational cost of the shallow-ice approximation but higher order (ISSM, AIF) and full Stokes (Elmer/Ice) models have been recently used to model the Greenland ice sheet. The advance in processor speed and the decrease in cost for accessing large amount of memory and storage have undoubtedly been the driving force in the commoditization of models with higher capabilities, and the popularity of Elmer/Ice (http://elmerice.elmerfem.com) with an active user base is a notable representation of this trend. Elmer/Ice is a full Stokes model built on top of the multi-physics package Elmer (http://www.csc.fi/english/pages/elmer) which provides the full machinery for the complex finite element procedure and is fully parallel (mesh partitioning with OpenMPI communication). Elmer is mainly written in Fortran 90 and targets essentially traditional processors as the code base was not initially written to run on modern coprocessors (yet adding support for the recently introduced x86 based coprocessors is possible). Furthermore, a truly modular and object-oriented implementation is required for quick adaptation to fast evolving capabilities in hardware (Fortran 2003 provides an object-oriented programming model while not being clean and requiring a tricky refactoring of Elmer code). In this work, the object-oriented, coprocessor-accelerated finite element

  14. Higher-order ice-sheet modelling accelerated by multigrid on graphics cards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brædstrup, Christian; Egholm, David

    2013-04-01

    Higher-order ice flow modelling is a very computer intensive process owing primarily to the nonlinear influence of the horizontal stress coupling. When applied for simulating long-term glacial landscape evolution, the ice-sheet models must consider very long time series, while both high temporal and spatial resolution is needed to resolve small effects. The use of higher-order and full stokes models have therefore seen very limited usage in this field. However, recent advances in graphics card (GPU) technology for high performance computing have proven extremely efficient in accelerating many large-scale scientific computations. The general purpose GPU (GPGPU) technology is cheap, has a low power consumption and fits into a normal desktop computer. It could therefore provide a powerful tool for many glaciologists working on ice flow models. Our current research focuses on utilising the GPU as a tool in ice-sheet and glacier modelling. To this extent we have implemented the Integrated Second-Order Shallow Ice Approximation (iSOSIA) equations on the device using the finite difference method. To accelerate the computations, the GPU solver uses a non-linear Red-Black Gauss-Seidel iterator coupled with a Full Approximation Scheme (FAS) multigrid setup to further aid convergence. The GPU finite difference implementation provides the inherent parallelization that scales from hundreds to several thousands of cores on newer cards. We demonstrate the efficiency of the GPU multigrid solver using benchmark experiments.

  15. Free oscillations in a climate model with ice-sheet dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallen, E.; Crafoord, C.; Ghil, M.

    1979-01-01

    A study of stable periodic solutions to a simple nonlinear model of the ocean-atmosphere-ice system is presented. The model has two dependent variables: ocean-atmosphere temperature and latitudinal extent of the ice cover. No explicit dependence on latitude is considered in the model. Hence all variables depend only on time and the model consists of a coupled set of nonlinear ordinary differential equations. The globally averaged ocean-atmosphere temperature in the model is governed by the radiation balance. The reflectivity to incoming solar radiation, i.e., the planetary albedo, includes separate contributions from sea ice and from continental ice sheets. The major physical mechanisms active in the model are (1) albedo-temperature feedback, (2) continental ice-sheet dynamics and (3) precipitation-rate variations. The model has three-equilibrium solutions, two of which are linearly unstable, while one is linearly stable. For some choices of parameters, the stability picture changes and sustained, finite-amplitude oscillations obtain around the previously stable equilibrium solution. The physical interpretation of these oscillations points to the possibility of internal mechanisms playing a role in glaciation cycles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The geothermal heat flux is a critical thermal boundary condition that influences the melting, flow, and mass balance of ice sheets, but measurements of this parameter are difficult to make in ice-covered regions. We report the first direct measurement of geothermal heat flux into the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), below Subglacial Lake Whillans, determined from the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of sediment under the lake. The heat flux at this site is 285 ± 80 mW/m2, significantly higher than the continental and regional averages estimated for this site using regional geophysical and glaciological models. Independent temperature measurements in the ice indicate an upward heat flux through the WAIS of 105 ± 13 mW/m2. The difference between these heat flux values could contribute to basal melting and/or be advected from Subglacial Lake Whillans by flowing water. The high geothermal heat flux may help to explain why ice streams and subglacial lakes are so abundant and dynamic in this region. PMID:26601210

  19. What Can We Learn About Glaciers and Ice Sheets From 30 Years of Landsat Imagery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, A. S.; Scambos, T.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Moholdt, G.; Nilsson, J.

    2015-12-01

    Glacier and ice sheets are known to be rapidly changing and currently account for two thirds of observed sea level rise. Attributing the causes of the rapid decline in land ice requires separation of mass change processes, i.e. accumulation of precipitation, meltwater runoff, and solid ice discharge. Here we examine a 30 year record of Landsat imagery to determine trends in glacier velocity at a global scale in an attempt to identify anomalies in glacier flow that are contributing to changes in land ice mass. The Landsat archive represents a treasure trove of information with hundreds of thousands of images acquired over glaciers and ice sheets during the past 30 years. Gleaning useful and consistent surface displacement information from a multiple sensor archive that is heavily contaminated by cloud, saturated images, poorly resolved sensor geometry, and data gaps has proved challenging. Temporal stacking of displacement fields (Dehecq et al., 2015) and correcting for unresolved topography (Roseanau et al., 2012) have been shown to greatly improve derived velocities. Here we present results from a global processing of the complete Landsat archive for information on glacier surface displacements. We highlight patterns of coherent regional change as well as well as rapid basin-scale changes in glacier flow.

  20. Projected polar bear sea ice habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen G Hamilton

    Full Text Available Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 - 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling.Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2-5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands.Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.

  1. Projected polar bear sea ice habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Stephen G; Castro de la Guardia, Laura; Derocher, Andrew E; Sahanatien, Vicki; Tremblay, Bruno; Huard, David

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 - 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling. Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2-5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands. Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.

  2. The use of airborne laser data to calibrate satellite radar altimetry data over ice sheets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    Satellite radar altimetry is the most important data source for ice sheet elevation modeling but it is well established that the accuracy of such data from satellite borne radar altimeters degrade seriously with increasing surface slope and level of roughness. A significant fraction of the slope......-precision airborne laser profiling data from the so-called Arctic Ice Mapping project as a tool to determine that bias and to calibrate the satellite altimetry. This is achieved by a simple statistical analysis of the airborne laser profiles, which defines the mean amplitude of the local surface undulations...

  3. Oxygen 18 isotopic analysis of sub-glacial concentrations of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hillaire-Marcel, C [Quebec Univ., Montreal (Canada); Cailleux, A [Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, 92 (France); Soucy, J

    1979-07-01

    Calcareous concretions occuring on Grenvillian gneiss have been discovered north of Hull, Quebec. Their structure and isotopic composition (delta/sub PDB//sup 18/O approximately equal to -26%; delta/sub PDB//sup 13/C approximately equal to 0%; /sup 14/C age > 35,000 BP) indicate subglacial conditions of precipitation. It is concluded that they were deposited at the base of the Laurentide ice sheet. Assuming equilibrium conditions with the subglacial film of water during precipitation of calcite, it is possible to define a -27.5 to -31.8% (vs. 'standard mean ocean water' (SMOW)) range for the oxygen-18 content of ice.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, Irina; Vaughan, Alan

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    -term satellite-based data products are generated for selected ECVs. Since ice sheet mass balance is an ECV parameter of highest interest, both the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project will provide mass balance products based on satellite gravimetry data: (a) time series of monthly mass changes for individual drainage...... basins, and (b) gridded mass changes covering the entire ice sheet.Gravimetry Mass Balance (GMB) products are derived from data acquired by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission. Although GRACE data have the advantage of being directly sensitive to mass changes, their limited...... drainage basins the GMB time series are compared to independent mass balance products based on satellite altimetry and firn densification information from a regional climate model. This inter-comparison has aided the algorithm definition for the operational ECV production....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    S. Fausto, Robert; E. Box, Jason; Vandecrux, Baptiste Robert Marcel

    2018-01-01

    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...

  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. Groundwater flow modelling under ice sheet conditions in Greenland (phase II)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaquet, Olivier; Namar, Rabah; Siegel, Pascal; Jansson, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Within the framework of the GAP project, this second phase of geosphere modelling has enabled the development of an improved regional model that has led to a better representation of groundwater flow conditions likely to occur under ice sheet conditions. New data in relation to talik geometry and elevation, as well as to deformation zones were integrated in the geosphere model. In addition, more realistic hydraulic properties were considered for geosphere modelling; they were taken from the Laxemar site in Sweden. The geological medium with conductive deformation zones was modelled as a 3D continuum with stochastically hydraulic properties. Surface and basal glacial meltwater rates provided by a dynamic ice sheet model were assimilated into the groundwater flow model using mixed boundary conditions. The groundwater flow system is considered to be governed by infiltration of glacial meltwater in heterogeneous faulted crystalline rocks in the presence of permafrost and taliks. The characterisation of the permafrost-depth distribution was achieved using a coupled description of flow and heat transfer under steady state conditions. Using glaciological concepts and satellite data, an improved stochastic model was developed for the description at regional scale for the subglacial permafrost distribution in correlation with ice velocity and bed elevation data. Finally, the production of glacial meltwater by the ice sheet was traced for the determination of its depth and lateral extent. The major improvements are related to the type and handling of the subglacial boundary conditions. The use of meltwater rates provided by an ice sheet model applied as input to a mixed boundary condition enables to produce a more plausible flow field in the Eastern part of the domain, in comparison to previous modelling results (Jaquet et al. 2010). In addition, the integration of all potential taliks within the modelled domain provides a better characterisation of the likely groundwater

  12. Groundwater flow modelling under ice sheet conditions in Greenland (phase II)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaquet, Olivier; Namar, Rabah; Siegel, Pascal [In2Earth Modelling Ltd, Lausanne (Switzerland); Jansson, Peter [Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden)

    2012-11-15

    Within the framework of the GAP project, this second phase of geosphere modelling has enabled the development of an improved regional model that has led to a better representation of groundwater flow conditions likely to occur under ice sheet conditions. New data in relation to talik geometry and elevation, as well as to deformation zones were integrated in the geosphere model. In addition, more realistic hydraulic properties were considered for geosphere modelling; they were taken from the Laxemar site in Sweden. The geological medium with conductive deformation zones was modelled as a 3D continuum with stochastically hydraulic properties. Surface and basal glacial meltwater rates provided by a dynamic ice sheet model were assimilated into the groundwater flow model using mixed boundary conditions. The groundwater flow system is considered to be governed by infiltration of glacial meltwater in heterogeneous faulted crystalline rocks in the presence of permafrost and taliks. The characterisation of the permafrost-depth distribution was achieved using a coupled description of flow and heat transfer under steady state conditions. Using glaciological concepts and satellite data, an improved stochastic model was developed for the description at regional scale for the subglacial permafrost distribution in correlation with ice velocity and bed elevation data. Finally, the production of glacial meltwater by the ice sheet was traced for the determination of its depth and lateral extent. The major improvements are related to the type and handling of the subglacial boundary conditions. The use of meltwater rates provided by an ice sheet model applied as input to a mixed boundary condition enables to produce a more plausible flow field in the Eastern part of the domain, in comparison to previous modelling results (Jaquet et al. 2010). In addition, the integration of all potential taliks within the modelled domain provides a better characterisation of the likely groundwater

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Vaughan, David G.

    2008-01-01

    It is now almost 30 years since John Mercer (1978) first presented the idea that climate change could eventually cause a rapid deglaciation, or “collapse”, of a large part of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), raising world sea levels by 5 metres and causing untold economic and social impacts. This idea, apparently simple and scientifically plausible, created a vision of the future, sufficiently alarming that it became a paradigm for a generation of researchers and provided an icon for the ...

  16. Glaciers and Ice Sheets As Analog Environments of Potentially Habitable Icy Worlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Garcia-Lopez

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Icy worlds in the solar system and beyond have attracted a remarkable attention as possible habitats for life. The current consideration about whether life exists beyond Earth is based on our knowledge of life in terrestrial cold environments. On Earth, glaciers and ice sheets have been considered uninhabited for a long time as they seemed too hostile to harbor life. However, these environments are unique biomes dominated by microbial communities which maintain active biochemical routes. Thanks to techniques such as microscopy and more recently DNA sequencing methods, a great biodiversity of prokaryote and eukaryote microorganisms have been discovered. These microorganisms are adapted to a harsh environment, in which the most extreme features are the lack of liquid water, extremely cold temperatures, high solar radiation and nutrient shortage. Here we compare the environmental characteristics of icy worlds, and the environmental characteristics of terrestrial glaciers and ice sheets in order to address some interesting questions: (i which are the characteristics of habitability known for the frozen worlds, and which could be compatible with life, (ii what are the environmental characteristics of terrestrial glaciers and ice sheets that can be life-limiting, (iii What are the microbial communities of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms that can live in them, and (iv taking into account these observations, could any of these planets or satellites meet the conditions of habitability? In this review, the icy worlds are considered from the point of view of astrobiological exploration. With the aim of determining whether icy worlds could be potentially habitable, they have been compared with the environmental features of glaciers and ice sheets on Earth. We also reviewed some field and laboratory investigations about microorganisms that live in analog environments of icy worlds, where they are not only viable but also metabolically active.

  17. Interannual observations and quantification of summertime H2O ice deposition on the Martian CO2 ice south polar cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Titus, Timothy N.

    2014-01-01

    The spectral signature of water ice was observed on Martian south polar cap in 2004 by the Observatoire pour l'Mineralogie, l'Eau les Glaces et l'Activite (OMEGA) ( Bibring et al., 2004). Three years later, the OMEGA instrument was used to discover water ice deposited during southern summer on the polar cap ( Langevin et al., 2007). However, temporal and spatial variations of these water ice signatures have remained unexplored, and the origins of these water deposits remains an important scientific question. To investigate this question, we have used observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft of the southern cap during austral summer over four Martian years to search for variations in the amount of water ice. We report below that for each year we have observed the cap, the magnitude of the H2O ice signature on the southern cap has risen steadily throughout summer, particularly on the west end of the cap. The spatial extent of deposition is in disagreement with the current best simulations of deposition of water ice on the south polar cap (Montmessin et al., 2007). This increase in water ice signatures is most likely caused by deposition of atmospheric H2O ice and a set of unusual conditions makes the quantification of this transport flux using CRISM close to ideal. We calculate a ‘minimum apparent‘ amount of deposition corresponding to a thin H2O ice layer of 0.2 mm (with 70% porosity). This amount of H2O ice deposition is 0.6–6% of the total Martian atmospheric water budget. We compare our ‘minimum apparent’ quantification with previous estimates. This deposition process may also have implications for the formation and stability of the southern CO2 ice cap, and therefore play a significant role in the climate budget of modern day Mars.

  18. ICESat-2, its retrievals of ice sheet elevation change and sea ice freeboard, and potential synergies with CryoSat-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Thomas; Markus, Thorsten; Smith, Benjamin; Kwok, Ron

    2017-04-01

    Understanding the causes and magnitudes of changes in the cryosphere remains a priority for Earth science research. Over the past decade, NASA's and ESA's Earth-observing satellites have documented a decrease in both the areal extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice, and an ongoing loss of grounded ice from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Understanding the pace and mechanisms of these changes requires long-term observations of ice-sheet mass, sea-ice thickness, and sea-ice extent. NASA's ICESat-2 mission is the next-generation space-borne laser altimeter mission and will use three pairs of beams, each pair separated by about 3 km across-track with a pair spacing of 90 m. The spot size is 17 m with an along-track sampling interval of 0.7 m. This measurement concept is a result of the lessons learned from the original ICESat mission. The multi-beam approach is critical for removing the effects of ice sheet surface slope from the elevation change measurements of most interest. For sea ice, the dense spatial sampling (eliminating along-track gaps) and the small footprint size are especially useful for sea surface height measurements in the, often narrow, leads needed for sea ice freeboard and ice thickness retrievals. Currently, algorithms are being developed to calculate ice sheet elevation change and sea ice freeboard from ICESat-2 data. The orbits of ICESat-2 and Cryosat-2 both converge at 88 degrees of latitude, though the orbit altitude differences result in different ground track patterns between the two missions. This presentation will present an overview of algorithm approaches and how ICESat-2 and Cryosat-2 data may augment each other.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Antarctic Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and Ice Sheet Mass Balance using GRACE: A Report from the Ice-sheet Mass Balance Exercise (IMBIE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; Wahr, J. M.; Schrama, E. J.; Milne,