WorldWideScience

Sample records for sea ice sheet

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Current state and future perspectives on coupled ice-sheetsea-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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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...... of a large Kara Sea ice sheet, with exception of the Last Glacial Maximum (MIS 2), when Kara Sea ice did not impact Severnaya Zemlya and barely graced northernmost Taymyr Peninsula.......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...

  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. 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.

  20. Changes in sea ice cover and ice sheet extent at the Yermak Plateau during the last 160 ka - Reconstructions from biomarker records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, A.; Stein, R.; Fahl, K.; Ji, Z.; Yang, Z.; Wiers, S.; Matthiessen, J.; Forwick, M.; Löwemark, L.; O'Regan, M.; Chen, J.; Snowball, I.

    2018-02-01

    The Yermak Plateau is located north of Svalbard at the entrance to the Arctic Ocean, i.e. in an area highly sensitive to climate change. A multi proxy approach was carried out on Core PS92/039-2 to study glacial-interglacial environmental changes at the northern Barents Sea margin during the last 160 ka. The main emphasis was on the reconstruction of sea ice cover, based on the sea ice proxy IP25 and the related phytoplankton - sea ice index PIP25. Sea ice was present most of the time but showed significant temporal variability decisively affected by movements of the Svalbard Barents Sea Ice Sheet. For the first time, we prove the occurrence of seasonal sea ice at the eastern Yermak Plateau during glacial intervals, probably steered by a major northward advance of the ice sheet and the formation of a coastal polynya in front of it. Maximum accumulation of terrigenous organic carbon, IP25 and the phytoplankton biomarkers (brassicasterol, dinosterol, HBI III) can be correlated to distinct deglaciation events. More severe, but variable sea ice cover prevailed at the Yermak Plateau during interglacials. The general proximity to the sea ice margin is further indicated by biomarker (GDGT) - based sea surface temperatures below 2.5 °C.

  1. 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...

  2. Sea-level records from the U.S. mid-Atlantic constrain Laurentide Ice Sheet extent during Marine Isotope Stage 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pico, T; Creveling, J R; Mitrovica, J X

    2017-05-30

    The U.S. mid-Atlantic sea-level record is sensitive to the history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet as the coastline lies along the ice sheet's peripheral bulge. However, paleo sea-level markers on the present-day shoreline of Virginia and North Carolina dated to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3, from 50 to 35 ka, are surprisingly high for this glacial interval, and remain unexplained by previous models of ice age adjustment or other local (for example, tectonic) effects. Here, we reconcile this sea-level record using a revised model of glacial isostatic adjustment characterized by a peak global mean sea level during MIS 3 of approximately -40 m, and far less ice volume within the eastern sector of the Laurentide Ice Sheet than traditional reconstructions for this interval. We conclude that the Laurentide Ice Sheet experienced a phase of very rapid growth in the 15 kyr leading into the Last Glacial Maximum, thus highlighting the potential of mid-field sea-level records to constrain areal extent of ice cover during glacial intervals with sparse geological observables.

  3. 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...

  4. An improved bathymetry compilation for the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, to inform ice-sheet and ocean models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. G. C. Graham

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The southern Bellingshausen Sea (SBS is a rapidly-changing part of West Antarctica, where oceanic and atmospheric warming has led to the recent basal melting and break-up of the Wilkins ice shelf, the dynamic thinning of fringing glaciers, and sea-ice reduction. Accurate sea-floor morphology is vital for understanding the continued effects of each process upon changes within Antarctica's ice sheets. Here we present a new bathymetric grid for the SBS compiled from shipborne multibeam echo-sounder, spot-sounding and sub-ice measurements. The 1-km grid is the most detailed compilation for the SBS to-date, revealing large cross-shelf troughs, shallow banks, and deep inner-shelf basins that continue inland of coastal ice shelves. The troughs now serve as pathways which allow warm deep water to access the ice sheet in the SBS. Our dataset highlights areas still lacking bathymetric constraint, as well as regions for further investigation, including the likely routes of palaeo-ice streams. The new compilation is a major improvement upon previous grids and will be a key dataset for incorporating into simulations of ocean circulation, ice-sheet change and history. It will also serve forecasts of ice stability and future sea-level contributions from ice loss in West Antarctica, required for the next IPCC assessment report in 2013.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Gomez, Natalya

    2016-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowicki, Sophie; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Aschwanden, Andy; Bueler, Ed; Choi, Hyengu; Fastook, Jim; Granzow, Glen; Greve, Ralf; Gutowski, Gail; hide

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Palaeo sea-level and ice-sheet databases: problems, strategies and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovere, Alessio; Düsterhus, André; Carlson, Anders; Barlow, Natasha; Bradwell, Tom; Dutton, Andrea; Gehrels, Roland; Hibbert, Fiona; Hijma, Marc; Horton, Benjamin; Klemann, Volker; Kopp, Robert; Sivan, Dorit; Tarasov, Lev; Törnqvist, Torbjorn

    2016-04-01

    Databases of palaeoclimate data have driven many major developments in understanding the Earth system. The measurement and interpretation of palaeo sea-level and ice-sheet data that form such databases pose considerable challenges to the scientific communities that use them for further analyses. In this paper, we build on the experience of the PALSEA (PALeo constraints on SEA level rise) community, which is a working group inside the PAGES (Past Global Changes) project, to describe the challenges and best strategies that can be adopted to build a self-consistent and standardised database of geological and geochemical data related to palaeo sea levels and ice sheets. Our aim in this paper is to identify key points that need attention and subsequent funding when undertaking the task of database creation. We conclude that any sea-level or ice-sheet database must be divided into three instances: i) measurement; ii) interpretation; iii) database creation. Measurement should include postion, age, description of geological features, and quantification of uncertainties. All must be described as objectively as possible. Interpretation can be subjective, but it should always include uncertainties and include all the possible interpretations, without unjustified a priori exclusions. We propose that, in the creation of a database, an approach based on Accessibility, Transparency, Trust, Availability, Continued updating, Completeness and Communication of content (ATTAC3) must be adopted. Also, it is essential to consider the community structure that creates and benefits of a database. We conclude that funding sources should consider to address not only the creation of original data in specific research-question oriented projects, but also include the possibility to use part of the funding for IT-related and database creation tasks, which are essential to guarantee accessibility and maintenance of the collected data.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. 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.)

  19. On the Application of Science Systems Engineering and Uncertainty Quantification for Ice Sheet Science and Sea Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Nicole-Jeanne; Boening, Carmen; Larour, Eric; Limonadi, Daniel; Schodlok, Michael; Seroussi, Helene; Watkins, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Research and development activities at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) currently support the creation of a framework to formally evaluate the observational needs within earth system science. One of the pilot projects of this effort aims to quantify uncertainties in global mean sea level rise projections, due to contributions from the continental ice sheets. Here, we take advantage of established uncertainty quantification tools embedded within the JPL-University of California at Irvine Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM). We conduct sensitivity and Monte-Carlo style sampling experiments on forward simulations of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. By varying internal parameters and boundary conditions of the system over both extreme and credible worst-case ranges, we assess the impact of the different parameter ranges on 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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. QUANTIFYING REGIONAL SEA LEVEL RISE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diandong Ren

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study projects the sea level contribution from the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS through to 2100, using a recently developed ice dynamics model forced by atmospheric parameters derived from three different climate models (CGCMs. The geographical pattern of the near-surface ice warming imposes a divergent flow field favoring mass loss through enhanced ice flow. The calculated average mass loss rate during the latter half of the 21st century is ~0.64±0.06 mm/year eustatic sea level rise, which is significantly larger than the IPCC AR4 estimate from surface mass balance. The difference is due largely to the positive feedbacks from reduced ice viscosity and the basal sliding mechanism present in the ice dynamics model. This inter-model, inter-scenario spread adds approximately a 20% uncertainty to the IPCC ice model estimates. The sea level rise is geographically non-uniform and reaches 1.69±0.24 mm/year by 2100 for the northeast coastal region of the United States, amplified by the expected weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC. In contrast to previous estimates, which neglected the GrIS fresh water input, both sides of the North Atlantic Gyre are projected to experience sea level rises. The impacts on a selection of major cities on both sides of the Atlantic and in the Pacific and southern oceans also are assessed. The other ocean basins are found to be less affected than the Atlantic Ocean.

  4. 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.

  5. Final deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet and implications for the Holocene global sea-level budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuzzone, Joshua K.; Clark, Peter U.; Carlson, Anders E.; Ullman, David J.; Rinterknecht, Vincent R.; Milne, Glenn A.; Lunkka, Juha-Pekka; Wohlfarth, Barbara; Marcott, Shaun A.; Caffee, Marc

    2016-08-01

    The last deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) from ∼ 21, 000 to 13,000 yr ago is well-constrained by several hundred 10Be and 14C ages. The subsequent retreat history, however, is established primarily from minimum-limiting 14C ages and incomplete Baltic-Sea varve records, leaving a substantial fraction of final SIS retreat history poorly constrained. Here we develop a high-resolution chronology for the final deglaciation of the SIS based on 79 10Be cosmogenic exposure dates sampled along three transects spanning southern to northern Sweden and Finland. Combining this new chronology with existing 10Be ages on deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum shows that rates of SIS margin retreat were strongly influenced by deglacial millennial-scale climate variability and its effect on surface mass balance, with regional modulation of retreat associated with dynamical controls. Ice-volume estimates constrained by our new chronology suggest that the SIS contributed ∼ 8 m sea-level equivalent to global sea-level rise between ∼14.5 ka and 10 ka. Final deglaciation was largely complete by ∼10.5 ka, with highest rates of sea-level rise occurring during the Bølling-Allerød, a 50% decrease during the Younger Dryas, and a rapid increase during the early Holocene. Combining our SIS volume estimates with estimated contributions from other remaining Northern Hemisphere ice sheets suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) contributed 14.4 ± 5.9 m to global sea-level rise since ∼13 ka. This new constraint supports those studies that indicate that an ice volume of 15 m or more of equivalent sea-level rise was lost from the AIS during the last deglaciation.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    The Holocene deglaciation of West Antarctica resulted in widespread ice surface lowering. While many ice-sheet reconstructions generally assume a monotone Holocene retreat for the West Antarctica Ice sheet (WAIS) [Ivins et al., 2013; Peltier, 2004; Whitehouse et al., 2012], an increasing number of glaciological observations infer it is readvancing, following retreat behind the present-day margin[Siegert et al., 2013]. We will show that 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 in apparent contradiction to theory [Schoof, 2007]; and (ii) the inability of models of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) to match present-day uplift rates [Whitehouse et al., 2012]. Combining a suite of ice loading histories that include a readvance with a model of GIA provides significant improvements to predictions of present-day uplift rates, and we are able to reproduce previously unexplained observations of subsidence in the southern sector of the Weddell Sea. We hypothesize that retreat behind present grounding lines occurred when the bed was lower, and isostatic recovery led to shallowing, ice sheet re-grounding and readvance. We will conclude that some sections of the current WAIS grounding line that are theoretically unstable, may be advancing and that the volume change of the WAIS may have been more complex in the Late Holocene than previously posited. This revised Holocene ice-loading history would have important implications for the GIA correction applied to Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, likely resulting in a reduction in the GIA correction and a smaller estimate of present-day ice mass loss within the Weddell Sea region of the WAIS. Ivins, E. R., T. S. James, J. Wahr, E. J. O. Schrama, F. W. Landerer, and K. M. Simon (2013), Antarctic contribution to sea level rise observed by GRACE with improved GIA correction

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2017-08-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Lithology and chronology of ice-sheet fluctuations (magnetic susceptibility of cores from the western Ross Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Anne E.

    1993-01-01

    The goals of the marine geology part of WAIS include reconstructing the chronology and areal extent of ice-sheet fluctuations and understanding the climatic and oceanographic influences on ice-sheet history. As an initial step toward attaining these goals, down-core volume magnetic susceptibility (MS) logs of piston cores from three N-S transects in the western Ross Sea are compared. The core transects are within separate petrographic provinces based on analyses of till composition. The provinces are thought to reflect the previous locations of ice streams on the shelf during the last glaciation. Magnetic susceptibility is a function of magnetic mineral composition, sediment texture, and sediment density. It is applied in the western Ross Sea for two purposes: (1) to determine whether MS data differentiates the three transects (i.e., flow lines), and thus can be used to make paleodrainage reconstructions of the late Wisconsinan ice sheet; and (2) to determine whether the MS data can aid in distinguishing basal till diamictons from diamictons of glacial-marine origin and thus, aid paleoenvironmental interpretations. A comparison of the combined data of cores in each transect is presented.

  4. 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.

  5. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Applegate, Patrick J; Keller, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫10 3 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<10 3 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise. (letter)

  6. Phased occupation and retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet in the southern North Sea; geomorphic and seismostratigraphic evidence of a dynamic ice lobe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, Dayton; Evans, David J. A.; Lee, Jonathan R.; Roberts, David H.; Tappin, David R.; Mellett, Claire L.; Long, David; Callard, S. Louise

    2017-05-01

    Along the terrestrial margin of the southern North Sea, previous studies of the MIS 2 glaciation impacting eastern Britain have played a significant role in the development of principles relating to ice sheet dynamics (e.g. deformable beds), and the practice of reconstructing the style, timing, and spatial configuration of palaeo-ice sheets. These detailed terrestrially-based findings have however relied on observations made from only the outer edges of the former ice mass, as the North Sea Lobe (NSL) of the British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) occupied an area that is now almost entirely submarine (c.21-15 ka). Compounded by the fact that marine-acquired data have been primarily of insufficient quality and density, the configuration and behaviour of the last BIIS in the southern North Sea remains surprisingly poorly constrained. This paper presents analysis of a new, integrated set of extensive seabed geomorphological and seismo-stratigraphic observations that both advances the principles developed previously onshore (e.g. multiple advance and retreat cycles), and provides a more detailed and accurate reconstruction of the BIIS at its southern-most extent in the North Sea. A new bathymetry compilation of the region reveals a series of broad sedimentary wedges and associated moraines that represent several terminal positions of the NSL. These former still-stand ice margins (1-4) are also found to relate to newly-identified architectural patterns (shallow stacked sedimentary wedges) in the region's seismic stratigraphy (previously mapped singularly as the Bolders Bank Formation). With ground-truthing constraint provided by sediment cores, these wedges are interpreted as sub-marginal till wedges, formed by complex subglacial accretionary processes that resulted in till thickening towards the former ice-sheet margins. The newly sub-divided shallow seismic stratigraphy (at least five units) also provides an indication of the relative event chronology of the NSL. While there

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2017-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: paleoclimatic insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Greenland ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise buffered by meltwater storage in firn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, J; Humphrey, N; Pfeffer, W T; Brown, J; Fettweis, X

    2012-11-08

    Surface melt on the Greenland ice sheet has shown increasing trends in areal extent and duration since the beginning of the satellite era. Records for melt were broken in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. Much of the increased surface melt is occurring in the percolation zone, a region of the accumulation area that is perennially covered by snow and firn (partly compacted snow). The fate of melt water in the percolation zone is poorly constrained: some may travel away from its point of origin and eventually influence the ice sheet's flow dynamics and mass balance and the global sea level, whereas some may simply infiltrate into cold snow or firn and refreeze with none of these effects. Here we quantify the existing water storage capacity of the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet and show the potential for hundreds of gigatonnes of meltwater storage. We collected in situ observations of firn structure and meltwater retention along a roughly 85-kilometre-long transect of the melting accumulation area. Our data show that repeated infiltration events in which melt water penetrates deeply (more than 10 metres) eventually fill all pore space with water. As future surface melt intensifies under Arctic warming, a fraction of melt water that would otherwise contribute to sea-level rise will fill existing pore space of the percolation zone. We estimate the lower and upper bounds of this storage sink to be 322 ± 44 gigatonnes and  1,289(+388)(-252) gigatonnes, respectively. Furthermore, we find that decades are required to fill this pore space under a range of plausible future climate conditions. Hence, routing of surface melt water into filling the pore space of the firn column will delay expansion of the area contributing to sea-level rise, although once the pore space is filled it cannot quickly be regenerated.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    The challenge of reconstructing palaeo-ice sheets past growth and decay represent a critical task to better understand mechanisms of present and future global climate change. Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and the subsequent deglaciation until Pre-Industrial time (PI) represent an excellent testing ground for numerical Ice Sheet Models (ISMs), due to the abundant data available that can be used in an ISM as boundary conditions, forcings or constraints to test the ISMs results. In our study, we simulate with ISMs the post-LGM decay of the Eurasian Ice Sheets, with a focus on the marine-based Svalbard-Barents Sea-Kara Sea Ice Sheet. In particular, we aim to reconstruct the Storfjorden ice stream dynamics history by comparing the model results with the marine geological data (MSGLs, GZWs, sediment cores analysis) available from the area, e.g., Pedrosa et al. 2011, Rebesco et al. 2011, 2013, Lucchi et al. 2013. Two hybrid SIA/SSA ISMs are employed, GRISLI, Ritz et al. 2001, and PSU, Pollard&DeConto 2012. These models differ mainly in the complexity with which grounding line migration is treated. Climate forcing is interpolated by means of climate indexes between LGM and PI climate. Regional climate indexes are constructed based on the non-accelerated deglaciation transient experiment carried out with CCSM3, Liu et al. 2009. Indexes representative of the climate evolution over Siberia, Svalbard and Scandinavia are employed. The impact of such refined representation as opposed to the common use of the NGRIP δ18O index for transient experiments is analysed. In this study, the ice-ocean interaction is crucial to reconstruct the Storfjorden ice stream dynamics history. To investigate the sensitivity of the ice shelf/stream retreat to ocean temperature, we allow for a space-time variation of basal melting under the ice shelves by testing two-equations implementations based on Martin et al. 2011 forced with simulated ocean temperature and salinity from the TraCE-21ka coupled

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Improved regional sea-level estimates from Ice Sheets, Glaciers and land water storage using GRACE time series and other data

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Z.; Velicogna, I.; Hsu, C. W.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Fettweis, X.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2017-12-01

    Changes in ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps (GIC) and land water mass cause regional sea level variations that differ significantly from a uniform re-distribution of mass over the ocean, with a decrease in sea level compared to the global mean sea level contribution (GMSL) near the sources of mass added to the ocean and an increase up to 30% larger than the GMSL in the far field. The corresponding sea level fingerprints (SLF) are difficult to separate from ocean dynamics on short time and spatial scales but as ice melt continues, the SLF signal will become increasingly dominant in the pattern of regional sea level rise. It has been anticipated that it will be another few decades before the land ice SLF could be identified in the pattern of regional sea level rise. Here, we combine 40 years of observations of ice sheet mass balance for Antarctica (1975-present) and Greenland (1978-present), along with surface mass balance reconstructions of glacier and ice caps mass balance (GIC) from 1970s to present to determine the contribution to the SLF from melting land ice (MAR and RACMO). We compare the results with observations from GRACE for the time period 2002 to present for evaluation of our approach. Land hydrology is constrained by GRACE data for the period 2002-present and by the GLDAS-NOAH land hydrology model for the longer time period. Over the long time period, we find that the contribution from land ice dominates. We quantify the contribution to the total SLF from Greenland and Antarctica in various parts of the world over the past 40 years. More important, we compare the cumulative signal from SLF with tide gauge records around the world, corrected for earth dynamics, to determine whether the land ice SLF can be detected in that record. Early results will be reported at the meeting. This work was performed at UC Irvine and at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with NASA's Cryospheric Science Program.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meire, L.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. A late glacial record of ice-sheet dynamics and melt supply recovered in the sediments of IODP Expedition 347 in the Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passchier, Sandra; Jensen, Jørn Bo; Kenzler, Michael; Johnson, Sean; Andrén, Thomas; Barker Jørgensen, Bo

    2015-04-01

    Modern observations of increased surface ablation, meltwater routing to the bed, and increases in glacial speeds point to feedbacks between ice-sheet dynamics, melt supply, and subglacial discharge. Paleorecords have the potential to explore the decadal to centennial variability of these systems, but until recently such records were short and discontinuous in ice-proximal settings and underutilized for this specific purpose. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 347 in the Baltic Sea recovered annually laminated sediments that document the dynamics of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet. Hydraulic piston cores recovered from Sites M0060, M0063, M0064, and M0065 allow us to reconstruct a nearly complete record of ca. 6000 years in ice retreat history at annual to decadal resolution between ca. 17 and 11ka. The late glacial successions of these four IODP drillsites comprise of a till or proglacial fluvioglacial sediment overlain by variable thicknesses of well-laminated deglacial successions within several high-recovery holes. As the Scandinavian Ice Sheet retreated from the western Baltic Sea, and to the North, the ice-sheet's grounding line migrated across the four sites and deposited overlapping sections of high-resolution ice-proximal to ice-distal successions. Laser particle size results from Sites M0060 and M0063, and inspection of line-scan images, show shifts in sedimentary facies and lithologies that were not recognized during initial visual core description. For example, at Site M0060 in the Kattegat, ice-rafting fluxes in silty clays decrease upward and are negligible in the overlying varved succession. These characteristics are interpreted as ice retreat within a calving bay environment from ca. 17ka onward, followed by distal glacial marine deposition from sediment plumes governed by meltwater discharge. Moreover, at Site M0063 in the Baltic Sea, laser particle size distributions record an abrupt shift from interlaminated clayey silt to laminated clay

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.; Bassis, J. N.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. Improved age constraints for the retreat of the Irish Sea Ice Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smedley, Rachel; Chiverrell, Richard; Duller, Geoff; Scourse, James; Small, David; Fabel, Derek; Burke, Matthew; Clarke, Chris; McCarroll, Danny; McCarron, Stephen; O'Cofaigh, Colm; Roberts, David

    2016-04-01

    BRITICE-CHRONO is a large (> 45 researchers) consortium project working to provide an extensive geochronological dataset constraining the rate of retreat of a number of ice streams of the British-Irish Ice Sheet following the Last Glacial Maximum. When complete, the large empirical dataset produced by BRITICE-CHRONO will be integrated into model simulations to better understand the behaviour of the British-Irish Ice Sheet in response to past climate change, and provide an analogue for contemporary ice sheets. A major feature of the British-Irish Ice Sheet was the dynamic Irish Sea Ice Stream, which drained a large proportion of the ice sheet and extended to the proposed southern limit of glaciation upon the Isles of Scilly (Scourse, 1991). This study will focus on a large suite of terrestrial samples that were collected along a transect of the Irish Sea basin, covering the line of ice retreat from the Isles of Scilly (50°N) in the south, to the Isle of Man (54°N) in the north; a distance of 500 km. Ages are determined for both the eastern and western margins of the Irish Sea using single-grain luminescence dating (39 samples) and terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating (10 samples). A Bayesian sequence model is then used in combination with the prior information determined for deglaciation to integrate the geochronological datasets, and assess retreat rates for the Irish Sea Ice Stream. Scourse, J.D., 1991. Late Pleistocene stratigraphy and palaeobotany of the Isles of Scilly. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B334, 405 - 448.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Arctic landfast sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konig, Christof S.

    Landfast ice is sea ice which forms and remains fixed along a coast, where it is attached either to the shore, or held between shoals or grounded icebergs. Landfast ice fundamentally modifies the momentum exchange between atmosphere and ocean, as compared to pack ice. It thus affects the heat and freshwater exchange between air and ocean and impacts on the location of ocean upwelling and downwelling zones. Further, the landfast ice edge is essential for numerous Arctic mammals and Inupiat who depend on them for their subsistence. The current generation of sea ice models is not capable of reproducing certain aspects of landfast ice formation, maintenance, and disintegration even when the spatial resolution would be sufficient to resolve such features. In my work I develop a new ice model that permits the existence of landfast sea ice even in the presence of offshore winds, as is observed in mature. Based on viscous-plastic as well as elastic-viscous-plastic ice dynamics I add tensile strength to the ice rheology and re-derive the equations as well as numerical methods to solve them. Through numerical experiments on simplified domains, the effects of those changes are demonstrated. It is found that the modifications enable landfast ice modeling, as desired. The elastic-viscous-plastic rheology leads to initial velocity fluctuations within the landfast ice that weaken the ice sheet and break it up much faster than theoretically predicted. Solving the viscous-plastic rheology using an implicit numerical method avoids those waves and comes much closer to theoretical predictions. Improvements in landfast ice modeling can only verified in comparison to observed data. I have extracted landfast sea ice data of several decades from several sources to create a landfast sea ice climatology that can be used for that purpose. Statistical analysis of the data shows several factors that significantly influence landfast ice distribution: distance from the coastline, ocean depth, as

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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).

  16. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tonboe, Rasmus; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2005-01-01

    In the ice covered waters of the Greenland Sea the polarisation ratio of QuikSCAT SeaWinds Ku-band (13.4 GHz) scatterometer measurements and the polarisation ratio of DMSP-SSM/I 19 GHz radiometer measurements are used in combination to classify new-ice and mature ice. In particular, the formation...... to the physical transition of the ice cover from pancake ice to a consolidated young-ice sheet. The classification of each pixel into ice or water is done using two scatterometer parameters, namely the polarisation ratio and the daily standard deviation of the backscatter. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights...

  1. The state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

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

  2. An 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

    altitude of the American ice sheet leads to less total precipitation and snowfall and to colder temperatures over both the Scandinavian and the Barents and Kara sea sectors. We then compute the resulting annual surface mass balance over the Fennoscandian region from the simulated temperature and precipitation fields used to force an ice-sheet model. It clearly appears that the SMB is dominated by the ablation signal. In response to the summer cooling induced by the American ice-sheet albedo, high positive SMB values are obtained over the Eurasian region, leading thus to the growth of an ice sheet. On the contrary, the gradual increase of the American ice-sheet altitude induces more ablation over the Eurasian sector, hence limiting the growth of Fennoscandia. To test the robustness of our results with respect to the Eurasian ice sheet state, we carried out two additional LMDZ experiments with new boundary conditions involving both the American (flat or full LGM) and high Eurasian ice sheets. The most striking result is that the Eurasian ice sheet is maintained under full-LGM North American ice-sheet conditions, but loses ~ 10 % of its mass compared to the case in which the North American ice sheet is flat. These new findings qualitatively confirm the conclusions from our first series of experiments and suggest that the development of the Eurasian ice sheet may have been slowed down by the growth of the American ice sheet, offering thereby a new understanding of the evolution of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets throughout glacial-interglacial cycles.

  12. 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, G. A.; Barletta, V.; Horwath, M.; Whitehouse, P.

    2012-12-01

    In preparation for the Inter-govermental Panel on Climate Change: Assessment Report 5 (IPCC AR5), ESA and NASA have formed a committee of experts to perform a formal set of comparative experiments concerning space observations of ice sheet mass balance. This project began in August of 2011 and has now concluded with a report submitted for Science (Shepherd et al., 2012). The focus of the work conducted is to re-evaluate scientific reports on the mass balance of Greenland ice sheet (GIS) and Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). The most serious discrepancies have been reported for the AIS, amounting to as much as 0.9 mm/yr in discrepant sea level contribution. A direct method of determining the AIS is by space gravimetry. However, for this method to contribute to our understanding of sea level change, we require knowledge of present-day non-elastic vertical movements of bedrock in Antarctica. Quantifying the uncertainty and bias caused by lack of observational control on models of regional glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), was a major focus for our experiments. This regional process is the most problematic error source for GRACE-determinations of ice mass balance in Antarctica. While GIA likely dominates some large vertical motions in Antarctica that are now observed with GPS (Thomas et al., 2011, GRL), interpretations still require models. The reported uncertainty for space gravimetric (GRACE) based sea level sourcing is roughly 0.20 to 0.35 mm/yr. The uncertainty is also part of the error budget for mass balances derived from altimetry measurements, though at a much lower level. Analysis of the GRACE time series using CSR RL04 (2003.0-2010.10) for AIS mass balance reveals a small trend of order +1 to -24 Gt/yr without a GIA correction. Three periods were selected over which to perform inter-comparisons (see Table). One class of GIA models, that relies primarily on far field sea level reconstructions (e.g. ICE-5G), provide a GIA correction that places AIS mass imbalance (

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Predicting Land-Ice Retreat and Sea-Level Rise with the Community Earth System Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipscomb, William [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-06-19

    Coastal stakeholders need defensible predictions of 21st century sea-level rise (SLR). IPCC assessments suggest 21st century SLR of {approx}0.5 m under aggressive emission scenarios. Semi-empirical models project SLR of {approx}1 m or more by 2100. Although some sea-level contributions are fairly well constrained by models, others are highly uncertain. Recent studies suggest a potential large contribution ({approx}0.5 m/century) from the marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet, linked to changes in Southern Ocean wind stress. To assess the likelihood of fast retreat of marine ice sheets, we need coupled ice-sheet/ocean models that do not yet exist (but are well under way). CESM is uniquely positioned to provide integrated, physics based sea-level predictions.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Landforms, sediments and dates to constrain rates and style of marine-influenced ice sheet decay; the BRITICE-CHRONO project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Chris

    2014-05-01

    Uncertainty exists regarding the future mass 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 on ice retreat could be 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. Geomorphological mapping across the British Isles and the surrounding continental shelf has revealed the nature and distribution of glacial landforms. Here we demonstrate how such data have been used to build a pattern of ice margin retreat. The BRITICE-CHRONO consortium of Quaternary scientists and glaciologists, are now working on a project running from 2012 - 2017 to produce an ice sheet wide database of geochronometric dates to constrain and then understand ice margin retreat. This is being achieved 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 used to build an ice sheet-wide empirical reconstruction of retreat. Simulations using two numerical ice sheet models, fitted against the margin data, will help us understand the nature and significance of sea

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fettweis, X.; Franco, B.; Tedesco, M.; van Angelen, J.H.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Gallée, H.

    2013-01-01

    To estimate the sea level rise (SLR) originating from changes in surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), we present 21st century climate projections obtained with the regional climate model MAR (Mod`ele Atmosph´erique R´egional), forced by output of three CMIP5 (Coupled Model

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Winter sea ice export from the Laptev Sea preconditions the local summer sea ice cover and fast ice decay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Itkin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ice retreat in the eastern Eurasian Arctic is a consequence of atmospheric and oceanic processes and regional feedback mechanisms acting on the ice cover, both in winter and summer. A correct representation of these processes in numerical models is important, since it will improve predictions of sea ice anomalies along the Northeast Passage and beyond. In this study, we highlight the importance of winter ice dynamics for local summer sea ice anomalies in thickness, volume and extent. By means of airborne sea ice thickness surveys made over pack ice areas in the south-eastern Laptev Sea, we show that years of offshore-directed sea ice transport have a thinning effect on the late-winter sea ice cover. To confirm the preconditioning effect of enhanced offshore advection in late winter on the summer sea ice cover, we perform a sensitivity study using a numerical model. Results verify that the preconditioning effect plays a bigger role for the regional ice extent. Furthermore, they indicate an increase in volume export from the Laptev Sea as a consequence of enhanced offshore advection, which has far-reaching consequences for the entire Arctic sea ice mass balance. Moreover we show that ice dynamics in winter not only preconditions local summer ice extent, but also accelerate fast-ice decay.

  4. 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.

  5. Modeling the heating and melting of sea ice through light absorption by microalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeebe, Richard E.; Eicken, Hajo; Robinson, Dale H.; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Dieckmann, Gerhard S.

    1996-01-01

    In sea ice of polar regions, high concentrations of microalgae are observed during the spring. Algal standing stocks may attain peak values of over 300 mg chl a m-2 in the congelation ice habitat. As of yet, the effect of additional heating of sea ice through conversion of solar radiation into heat by algae has not been investigated in detail. Local effects, such as a decrease in albedo, increasing melt rates, and a decrease of the physical strength of ice sheets may occur. To investigate the effects of microalgae on the thermal regime of sea ice, a time-dependent, one-dimensional thermodynamic model of sea ice was coupled to a bio-optical model. A spectral one-stream model was employed to determine spectral attenuation by snow, sea ice, and microalgae. Beer's law was assumed to hold for every wavelength. Energy absorption was obtained by calculating the divergence of irradiance in every layer of the model (Δz = 1 cm). Changes in sea ice temperature profiles were calculated by solving the heat conduction equation with a finite difference scheme. Model results indicate that when algal biomass is concentrated at the bottom of congelation ice, melting of ice resulting from the additional conversion of solar radiation into heat may effectively destroy the algal habitat, thereby releasing algal biomass into the water column. An algal layer located in the top of the ice sheet induced a significant increase in sea ice temperature (ΔT > 0.3 K) for snow depths less than 5 cm and algal standing stocks higher than 150 mg chl a m-2. Furthermore, under these conditions, brine volume increased by 21% from 181 to 219 parts per thousand, which decreased the physical strength of the ice.

  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. 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

  8. Long-term ice sheet-climate interactions under anthropogenic greenhouse forcing simulated with a complex Earth System Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vizcaino, Miren [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg (Germany); University of California, Department of Geography, Berkeley, CA (United States); Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Maier-Reimer, Ernst [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg (Germany); Groeger, Matthias [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg (Germany); IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel (Germany); Schurgers, Guy [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg (Germany); Lund University, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Analysis, Lund (Sweden); Winguth, Arne M.E. [Center for Climatic Research, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Madison (United States)

    2008-11-15

    Several multi-century and multi-millennia simulations have been performed with a complex Earth System Model (ESM) for different anthropogenic climate change scenarios in order to study the long-term evolution of sea level and the impact of ice sheet changes on the climate system. The core of the ESM is a coupled coarse-resolution Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model (AOGCM). Ocean biogeochemistry, land vegetation and ice sheets are included as components of the ESM. The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) decays in all simulations, while the Antarctic ice sheet contributes negatively to sea level rise, due to enhanced storage of water caused by larger snowfall rates. Freshwater flux increases from Greenland are one order of magnitude smaller than total freshwater flux increases into the North Atlantic basin (the sum of the contribution from changes in precipitation, evaporation, run-off and Greenland meltwater) and do not play an important role in changes in the strength of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (NAMOC). The regional climate change associated with weakening/collapse of the NAMOC drastically reduces the decay rate of the GrIS. The dynamical changes due to GrIS topography modification driven by mass balance changes act first as a negative feedback for the decay of the ice sheet, but accelerate the decay at a later stage. The increase of surface temperature due to reduced topographic heights causes a strong acceleration of the decay of the ice sheet in the long term. Other feedbacks between ice sheet and atmosphere are not important for the mass balance of the GrIS until it is reduced to 3/4 of the original size. From then, the reduction in the albedo of Greenland strongly accelerates the decay of the ice sheet. (orig.)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Large-scale glacitectonic deformation in response to active ice sheet retreat across Dogger Bank (southern central North Sea) during the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Emrys; Cotterill, Carol; Johnson, Kirstin; Crombie, Kirstin; James, Leo; Carr, Simon; Ruiter, Astrid

    2018-01-01

    High resolution seismic data from the Dogger Bank in the central southern North Sea has revealed that the Dogger Bank Formation records a complex history of sedimentation and penecontemporaneous, large-scale, ice-marginal to proglacial glacitectonic deformation. These processes led to the development of a large thrust-block moraine complex which is buried beneath a thin sequence of Holocene sediments. This buried glacitectonic landsystem comprises a series of elongate, arcuate moraine ridges (200 m up to > 15 km across; over 40-50 km long) separated by low-lying ice marginal to proglacial sedimentary basins and/or meltwater channels, preserving the shape of the margin of this former ice sheet. The moraines are composed of highly deformed (folded and thrust) Dogger Bank Formation with the lower boundary of the deformed sequence (up to 40-50 m thick) being marked by a laterally extensive décollement. The ice-distal parts of the thrust moraine complex are interpreted as a "forward" propagating imbricate thrust stack developed in response to S/SE-directed ice-push. The more complex folding and thrusting within the more ice-proximal parts of the thrust-block moraines record the accretion of thrust slices of highly deformed sediment as the ice repeatedly reoccupied this ice marginal position. Consequently, the internal structure of the Dogger Bank thrust-moraine complexes can be directly related to ice sheet dynamics, recording the former positions of a highly dynamic, oscillating Weichselian ice sheet margin as it retreated northwards at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Phipps

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Glacial changes in warm pool climate dominated by shelf exposure and ice sheet albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Nezio, P. N.; Tierney, J. E.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Timmermann, A.; Bhattacharya, T.; Brady, E. C.; Rosenbloom, N. A.

    2017-12-01

    The mechanisms driving glacial-interglacial changes in the climate of the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) are unclear. We addressed this issue combining model simulations and paleoclimate reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Two drivers - the exposure of tropical shelves due to lower sea level and a monsoonal response to ice sheet albedo - explain the proxy-inferred patterns of hydroclimate change. Shelf exposure influences IPWP climate by weakening the ascending branch of the Walker circulation. This response is amplified by coupled interactions akin to the Bjerknes feedback involving a stronger sea-surface temperature (SST) gradient along the equatorial Indian Ocean (IO). Ice sheet albedo enhances the import of cold, dry air into the tropics, weakening the Afro-Asian monsoon system. This "ventilation" mechanism alters temperature contrasts between the Arabian Sea and surrounding land leading to further monsoon weakening. Additional simulations show that the altered SST patterns associated with these responses are essential for explaining the proxy-inferred changes. Together our results show that ice sheets are a first order driver of tropical climate on glacial-interglacial timescales. While glacial climates are not a straightforward analogue for the future, our finding of an active Bjerknes feedback deserves further attention in the context of future climate projections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Scaling aspects of the sea-ice-drift dynamics and pack fracture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Chmel

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available A study of the sea-ice dynamics in the periods of time prior to and during the cycles of basin-wide fragmentation of the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is presented. The fractal geometry of the ice-sheets limited by leads and ridges was assessed using the satellite images, while the data on the correlated sea-ice motion were obtained in the research stations "North Pole 32" and "North Pole 33" established on the ice pack. The revealed decrease of the fractal dimension as a result of large-scale fragmentation is consistent with the localization of the fracture process (leads propagation. At the same time, the scaling properties of the distribution of amplitudes of ice-fields accelerations were insensitive to the event of sea-ice fragmentation. The temporal distribution of the accelerations was scale-invariant during "quiet" periods of sea-ice drift but disordered in the period of mechanical perturbation. The period of decorrelated (in time ice-field motion during the important fracture event was interpreted as an inter-level transition in the hierarchic dynamical system. The mechanism of the long-range correlations in the sea-ice cover, including the fracture process, is suggested to be in relation with the self-organized oscillation dynamics inherent in the ice pack.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric (Editor)

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Early Holocene hydroclimate of Baffin Bay: Understanding the interplay between abrupt climate change events and ice sheet fluctuations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, M. C.; Thomas, E. K.; Castañeda, I. S.; Briner, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the causes of ice sheet fluctuations resulting in sea level rise is essential in today's warming climate. In high-latitude ice-sheet-proximal environments such as Baffin Bay, studying both the cause and the rate of ice sheet variability during past abrupt climate change events aids in predictions. Past climate reconstructions are used to understand ice sheet responses to changes in temperature and precipitation. The 9,300 and 8,200 yr BP events are examples of abrupt climate change events in the Baffin Bay region during which there were multiple re-advances of the Greenland and Laurentide ice sheets. High-resolution (decadal-scale) hydroclimate variability near the ice sheet margins during these abrupt climate change events is still unknown. We will generate a decadal-scale record of early Holocene temperature and precipitation using leaf wax hydrogen isotopes, δ2Hwax, from a lake sediment archive on Baffin Island, western Baffin Bay, to better understand abrupt climate change in this region. Shifts in temperature and moisture source result in changes in environmental water δ2H, which in turn is reflected in δ2Hwax, allowing for past hydroclimate to be determined from these compound-specific isotopes. The combination of terrestrial and aquatic δ2Hwax is used to determine soil evaporation and is ultimately used to reconstruct moisture variability. We will compare our results with a previous analysis of δ2Hwax and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers, a temperature and pH proxy, in lake sediment from western Greenland, eastern Baffin Bay, which indicates that cool and dry climate occurred in response to freshwater forcing events in the Labrador Sea. Reconstructing and comparing records on both the western and eastern sides of Baffin Bay during the early Holocene will allow for a spatial understanding of temperature and moisture balance changes during abrupt climate events, aiding in ice sheet modeling and predictions of future sea level

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Aschwanden, Andy; Clow, Gary D; Colgan, William T; Gogineni, 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.

  12. Structural Uncertainty in Antarctic sea ice simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D. P.

    2016-12-01

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

  13. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchar, J.; Milne, G. A.

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. Sea-level response to abrupt ocean warming of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise increases steadily. A fundamental question remains whether the ice discharge will lead to marine ice sheet instability (MISI) and collapse of certain sectors of the ice sheet or whether ice loss will increase linearly with the warming trends. Therefore, we employ a newly developed ice sheet model of the Antarctic ice sheet, called f.ETISh (fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model) to simulate ice sheet response to abrupt perturbations in ocean and atmospheric temperature. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid (SSA/SIA) ice sheet model including ice shelves. Although vertically integrated, thermomechanical coupling is ensured through a simplified representation of ice sheet thermodynamics based on an analytical solution of the vertical temperature profile, including strain heating and horizontal advection. The marine boundary is represented by a flux condition either coherent with power-law basal sliding (Pollard & Deconto (2012) based on Schoof (2007)) or according to Coulomb basal friction (Tsai et al., 2015), both taking into account ice-shelf buttressing. Model initialization is based on optimization of the basal friction field. Besides the traditional MISMIP tests, new tests with respect to MISI in plan-view models have been devised. The model is forced with stepwise ocean and atmosphere temperature perturbations. The former is based on a parametrised sub-shelf melt (limited to ice shelves), while the latter is based on present-day mass balance/surface temperature and corrected for elevation changes. Surface melting is introduced using a PDD model. Results show a general linear response in mass loss to ocean warming. Nonlinear response due to MISI occurs under specific conditions and is highly sensitive to the basal conditions near the grounding line, governed by both the initial conditions and the basal sliding/deformation model. The Coulomb friction model leads to significantly higher

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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...

  7. Arctic Ocean sea ice cover during the penultimate glacial and the last interglacial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Gierz, Paul; Niessen, Frank; Lohmann, Gerrit

    2017-08-29

    Coinciding with global warming, Arctic sea ice has rapidly decreased during the last four decades and climate scenarios suggest that sea ice may completely disappear during summer within the next about 50-100 years. Here we produce Arctic sea ice biomarker proxy records for the penultimate glacial (Marine Isotope Stage 6) and the subsequent last interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage 5e). The latter is a time interval when the high latitudes were significantly warmer than today. We document that even under such warmer climate conditions, sea ice existed in the central Arctic Ocean during summer, whereas sea ice was significantly reduced along the Barents Sea continental margin influenced by Atlantic Water inflow. Our proxy reconstruction of the last interglacial sea ice cover is supported by climate simulations, although some proxy data/model inconsistencies still exist. During late Marine Isotope Stage 6, polynya-type conditions occurred off the major ice sheets along the northern Barents and East Siberian continental margins, contradicting a giant Marine Isotope Stage 6 ice shelf that covered the entire Arctic Ocean.Coinciding with global warming, Arctic sea ice has rapidly decreased during the last four decades. Here, using biomarker records, the authors show that permanent sea ice was still present in the central Arctic Ocean during the last interglacial, when high latitudes were warmer than present.

  8. Sea Ice Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. The liquid brine fraction of the ice matrix is home to a diverse array of organisms, ranging from tiny archaea to larger fish and invertebrates. These organisms can tolerate high brine salinity and low temperature but do best when conditions are milder. Thriving ice algal communities, generally dominated by diatoms, live at the ice/water interface and in recently flooded surface and interior layers, especially during spring, when temperatures begin to rise. Although protists dominate the sea ice biomass, heterotrophic bacteria are also abundant. The sea ice ecosystem provides food for a host of animals, with crustaceans being the most conspicuous. Uneaten organic matter from the ice sinks through the water column and feeds benthic ecosystems. As sea ice extent declines, ice algae likely contribute a shrinking fraction of the total amount of organic matter produced in polar waters.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. Variability and Trends in Sea Ice Extent and Ice Production in the Ross Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino; Kwok, Ronald; Martin, Seelye; Gordon, Arnold L.

    2011-01-01

    Salt release during sea ice formation in the Ross Sea coastal regions is regarded as a primary forcing for the regional generation of Antarctic Bottom Water. Passive microwave data from November 1978 through 2008 are used to examine the detailed seasonal and interannual characteristics of the sea ice cover of the Ross Sea and the adjacent Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas. For this period the sea ice extent in the Ross Sea shows the greatest increase of all the Antarctic seas. Variability in the ice cover in these regions is linked to changes in the Southern Annular Mode and secondarily to the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate of increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 sq km/yr. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 cu km/yr, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. The increase in brine rejection in the Ross Shelf Polynya associated with the estimated increase with the ice production, however, is not consistent with the reported Ross Sea salinity decrease. The locally generated sea ice enhancement of Ross Sea salinity may be offset by an increase of relatively low salinity of the water advected into the region from the Amundsen Sea, a consequence of increased precipitation and regional glacial ice melt.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gradinger, Rolf; Bluhm, Bodil; Iken, Katrin

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Combined ice core and climate-model evidence for the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during Marine Isotope Stage 5e.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steig, Eric J.; Huybers, Kathleen; Singh, Hansi A.; Steiger, Nathan J.; Frierson, Dargan M. W.; Popp, Trevor; White, James W. C.

    2015-04-01

    It has been speculated that collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet explains the very high eustatic sea level rise during the last interglacial period, marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e, but the evidence remains equivocal. Changes in atmospheric circulation resulting from a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would have significant regional impacts that should be detectable in ice core records. We conducted simulations using general circulation models (GCMs) at varying levels of complexity: a gray-radiation aquaplanet moist GCM (GRaM), the slab ocean version of GFDL-AM2 (also as an aquaplanet), and the fully-coupled version of NCAR's CESM with realistic topography. In all the experiments, decreased elevation from the removal of the WAIS leads to greater cyclonic circulation over the West Antarctic region. This creates increased advection of relatively warm marine air from the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas towards the South Pole, and increased cold-air advection from the East Antarctic plateau towards the Ross Sea and coastal Marie Byrd Land. The result is anomalous warming in some areas of the East Antarctic interior, and significant cooling in Marie Byrd Land. Comparison of ice core records shows good agreement with the model predictions. In particular, isotope-paleotemperature records from ice cores in East Antarctica warmed more between the previous glacial period (MIS 6) and MIS 5e than coastal Marie Byrd Land. These results add substantial support to other evidence for WAIS collapse during the last interglacial period.

  19. Sea Ice Summer Camp: Bringing Together Arctic Sea Ice Modelers and Observers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, D. K.; Holland, M. M.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice has undergone dramatic change and numerical models project this to continue for the foreseeable future. Understanding the mechanisms behind sea ice loss and its consequences for the larger Arctic and global systems is of critical importance if we are to anticipate and plan for the future. One impediment to progress is a disconnect between the observational and modeling communities. A sea ice summer camp was held in Barrow Alaska from 26 May to 1 June 2016 to overcome this impediment and better integrate the sea ice community. The 25 participants were a mix of modelers and observers from 13 different institutions at career stages from graduate student to senior scientist. The summer camp provided an accelerated program on sea ice observations and models and also fostered future collaborative interdisciplinary activities. Each morning was spent in the classroom with a daily lecture on an aspect of modeling or remote sensing followed by practical exercises. Topics included using models to assess sensitivity, to test hypotheses and to explore sources of uncertainty in future Arctic sea ice loss. The afternoons were spent on the ice making observations. There were four observational activities; albedo observations, ice thickness measurements, ice coring and physical properties, and ice morphology surveys. The last field day consisted of a grand challenge where the group formulated a hypothesis, developed an observational and modeling strategy to test the hypothesis, and then integrated the observations and model results. The impacts of changing sea ice are being felt today in Barrow Alaska. We opened a dialog with Barrow community members to further understand these changes. This included an evening discussion with two Barrow sea ice experts and a community presentation of our work in a public lecture at the Inupiat Heritage Center.

  20. 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.

  1. Processes driving sea ice variability in the Bering Sea in an eddying ocean/sea ice model: Mean seasonal cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linghan; McClean, Julie L.; Miller, Arthur J.; Eisenman, Ian; Hendershott, Myrl C.; Papadopoulos, Caroline A.

    2014-12-01

    The seasonal cycle of sea ice variability in the Bering Sea, together with the thermodynamic and dynamic processes that control it, are examined in a fine resolution (1/10°) global coupled ocean/sea-ice model configured in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) framework. The ocean/sea-ice model consists of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Parallel Ocean Program (POP) and the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (CICE). The model was forced with time-varying reanalysis atmospheric forcing for the time period 1970-1989. This study focuses on the time period 1980-1989. The simulated seasonal-mean fields of sea ice concentration strongly resemble satellite-derived observations, as quantified by root-mean-square errors and pattern correlation coefficients. The sea ice energy budget reveals that the seasonal thermodynamic ice volume changes are dominated by the surface energy flux between the atmosphere and the ice in the northern region and by heat flux from the ocean to the ice along the southern ice edge, especially on the western side. The sea ice force balance analysis shows that sea ice motion is largely associated with wind stress. The force due to divergence of the internal ice stress tensor is large near the land boundaries in the north, and it is small in the central and southern ice-covered region. During winter, which dominates the annual mean, it is found that the simulated sea ice was mainly formed in the northern Bering Sea, with the maximum ice growth rate occurring along the coast due to cold air from northerly winds and ice motion away from the coast. South of St Lawrence Island, winds drive the model sea ice southwestward from the north to the southwestern part of the ice-covered region. Along the ice edge in the western Bering Sea, model sea ice is melted by warm ocean water, which is carried by the simulated Bering Slope Current flowing to the northwest, resulting in the S-shaped asymmetric ice edge. In spring and fall, similar thermodynamic and dynamic

  2. There goes the sea ice: following Arctic sea ice parcels and their properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschudi, M. A.; Tooth, M.; Meier, W.; Stewart, S.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice distribution has changed considerably over the last couple of decades. Sea ice extent record minimums have been observed in recent years, the distribution of ice age now heavily favors younger ice, and sea ice is likely thinning. This new state of the Arctic sea ice cover has several impacts, including effects on marine life, feedback on the warming of the ocean and atmosphere, and on the future evolution of the ice pack. The shift in the state of the ice cover, from a pack dominated by older ice, to the current state of a pack with mostly young ice, impacts specific properties of the ice pack, and consequently the pack's response to the changing Arctic climate. For example, younger ice typically contains more numerous melt ponds during the melt season, resulting in a lower albedo. First-year ice is typically thinner and more fragile than multi-year ice, making it more susceptible to dynamic and thermodynamic forcing. To investigate the response of the ice pack to climate forcing during summertime melt, we have developed a database that tracks individual Arctic sea ice parcels along with associated properties as these parcels advect during the summer. Our database tracks parcels in the Beaufort Sea, from 1985 - present, along with variables such as ice surface temperature, albedo, ice concentration, and convergence. We are using this database to deduce how these thousands of tracked parcels fare during summer melt, i.e. what fraction of the parcels advect through the Beaufort, and what fraction melts out? The tracked variables describe the thermodynamic and dynamic forcing on these parcels during their journey. This database will also be made available to all interested investigators, after it is published in the near future. The attached image shows the ice surface temperature of all parcels (right) that advected through the Beaufort Sea region (left) in 2014.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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...

  5. Sea ice - Multiyear cycles and white ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledley, T. S.

    1985-01-01

    The multiyear thickness cycles represent one of the interesting features of the sea ice studies performed by Semtner (1976) and Washington et al. (1976) with simple thermodynamic models of sea ice. In the present article, a description is given of results which show that the insulating effect of snow on the surface of the sea ice is important in producing these multiyear cycles given the physics included in the model. However, when the formation of white ice is included, the cycles almost disappear. White ice is the ice which forms at the snow-ice interface when the snow layer becomes thick enough to depress the ice below the water level. Water infiltrates the snow by coming through the ice at leads and generally freezes there, forming white ice.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The contribution to future flood risk in the Severn Estuary from extreme sea level rise due to ice sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, N.; Bates, P. D.; Siddall, M.

    2013-12-01

    The rate at which sea levels will rise in the coming century is of great interest to decision makers tasked with developing mitigation policies to cope with the risk of coastal inundation. Accurate estimates of future sea levels are vital in the provision of effective policy. Recent reports from UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) suggest that mean sea levels in the UK may rise by as much as 80 cm by 2100; however, a great deal of uncertainty surrounds model predictions, particularly the contribution from ice sheets responding to climatic warming. For this reason, the application of semi-empirical modelling approaches for sea level rise predictions has increased of late, the results from which suggest that the rate of sea level rise may be greater than previously thought, exceeding 1 m by 2100. Furthermore, studies in the Red Sea indicate that rapid sea level rise beyond 1m per century has occurred in the past. In light of such research, the latest UKCIP assessment has included a H++ scenario for sea level rise in the UK of up to 1.9 m which is defined as improbable but, crucially, physically plausible. The significance of such low-probability sea level rise scenarios upon the estimation of future flood risk is assessed using the Somerset levels (UK) as a case study. A simple asymmetric probability distribution is constructed to include sea level rise scenarios of up to 1.9 m by 2100 which are added to a current 1:200 year event water level to force a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of coastal inundation. From the resulting ensemble predictions an estimation of risk by 2100 is established. The results indicate that although the likelihood of extreme sea level rise due to rapid ice sheet mass loss is low, the resulting hazard can be large, resulting in a significant (27%) increase to the projected annual risk. Furthermore, current defence construction guidelines for the coming century in the UK are expected to account for 95% of the sea level rise distribution

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Fettweis

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available To estimate the sea level rise (SLR originating from changes in surface mass balance (SMB of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS, we present 21st century climate projections obtained with the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional, forced by output of three CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 general circulation models (GCMs. Our results indicate that in a warmer climate, mass gain from increased winter snowfall over the GrIS does not compensate mass loss through increased meltwater run-off in summer. Despite the large spread in the projected near-surface warming, all the MAR projections show similar non-linear increase of GrIS surface melt volume because no change is projected in the general atmospheric circulation over Greenland. By coarsely estimating the GrIS SMB changes from GCM output, we show that the uncertainty from the GCM-based forcing represents about half of the projected SMB changes. In 2100, the CMIP5 ensemble mean projects a GrIS SMB decrease equivalent to a mean SLR of +4 ± 2 cm and +9 ± 4 cm for the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios respectively. These estimates do not consider the positive melt–elevation feedback, although sensitivity experiments using perturbed ice sheet topographies consistent with the projected SMB changes demonstrate that this is a significant feedback, and highlight the importance of coupling regional climate models to an ice sheet model. Such a coupling will allow the assessment of future response of both surface processes and ice-dynamic changes to rising temperatures, as well as their mutual feedbacks.

  10. 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].

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-01

    Coupled ice sheet-ocean models capable of simulating moving grounding lines are just becoming available. Such models have a broad range of potential applications in studying the dynamics of marine ice sheets and tidewater glaciers, from process studies to future projections of ice mass loss and sea level rise. The Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP) is a community effort aimed at designing and coordinating a series of model intercomparison projects (MIPs) for model evaluation in idealized setups, model verification based on observations, and future projections for key regions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

    Here we describe computational experiments constituting three interrelated MIPs for marine ice sheet models and regional ocean circulation models incorporating ice shelf cavities. These consist of ice sheet experiments under the Marine Ice Sheet MIP third phase (MISMIP+), ocean experiments under the Ice Shelf-Ocean MIP second phase (ISOMIP+) and coupled ice sheet-ocean experiments under the MISOMIP first phase (MISOMIP1). All three MIPs use a shared domain with idealized bedrock topography and forcing, allowing the coupled simulations (MISOMIP1) to be compared directly to the individual component simulations (MISMIP+ and ISOMIP+). The experiments, which have qualitative similarities to Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf and the adjacent region of the Amundsen Sea, are designed to explore the effects of changes in ocean conditions, specifically the temperature at depth, on basal melting and ice dynamics. In future work, differences between model results will form the basis for the evaluation of the participating models.

  12. Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, D.; Gerland, S.; Hendricks, S.; Meier, Walter N.; Nicolaus, M.; Richter-Menge, J.; Tschudi, M.

    2013-01-01

    During 2013, Arctic sea ice extent remained well below normal, but the September 2013 minimum extent was substantially higher than the record-breaking minimum in 2012. Nonetheless, the minimum was still much lower than normal and the long-term trend Arctic September extent is -13.7 per decade relative to the 1981-2010 average. The less extreme conditions this year compared to 2012 were due to cooler temperatures and wind patterns that favored retention of ice through the summer. Sea ice thickness and volume remained near record-low levels, though indications are of slightly thicker ice compared to the record low of 2012.

  13. 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.

  14. The Greenland Ice Sheet at the peak of warming during the previous Interglacial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. O. Rybak

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Last Interglacial (LIG or the Eemian between ca. 130 and 115 kyr BP is probably the best analogue for future climate warming for which increasingly better proxy data are becoming available. The volume of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS during this period is of particular interest to better assess how much and how fast sea-level can rise in a future Earth undergoing gradual climatic warming. Sea-level during the LIG is inferred to have been up to 9 meter higher than today, but contribution of the GrIS into this rise remains unclear. Various ice-sheet modeling studies have come up with a very broad range of the LIG volume loss by the GrIS to between 60 cm and 6 m of equivalent sea-level rise. This wide range is explained by the sensitivity of GrIS models to the imposed climatic conditions and to poor knowledge of the LIG climate itself in terms of the magnitude and precise timing of the maximum warming, as well as in terms of spatial and annual patterns. To partially circumvent these uncertainties we made use of the newest temperature record over the Central Greenland reconstructed from the isotopic composition of the recently obtained NEEM ice core containing undisturbed LIG segment to build the climatic forcing of the model. The NEEM record unequivocally indicates times of the start and of the end of the LIG warming in Greenland as well as the duration of the warmest time period within the Eemian. Using a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet model, we produced an ensemble of possible LIG configurations by varying only four key parameters for temperature, precipitation rate, surface melting magnitude and melting pattern within realistic bounds. The outcome of a series of the numerical experiments is a variety of glaciologically consistent GrIS geometries corresponding to a wide range of possible «climates». To constrain the ensemble of GrIS geometries, we used data inferred from 5 Greenland ice cores such as the presence or absence of

  15. Periodic fluctuations in deep water formation due to sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, R.

    2012-12-01

    During the last ice age, several abrupt warming events took place, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events. Their effects were felt globally, although the North Atlantic experienced the largest temperature increase. The leading hypothesis to explain their occurrence postulates that the warming was caused by abrupt disruptions of the North Atlantic Current due to meltwater discharge from destabilized ice sheets (Heinrich events). However, the number of warming events outnumber the those of ice-sheet collapse. Thus, the majority of D-O events are not attributed to surface freshwater anomalies, and the underlying mechanism behind their occurrence remain unexplained. Using a simple dynamical model of sea ice and an overturning circulation, I show the existence of self-sustained relaxation oscillations in the overturning circulation. The insulating effect of sea ice is shown to paradoxically lead to a net loss of heat from the top layer of the polar ocean when sea ice retreats. Repeated heat loss results in a denser top layer and a destabilized water column, which triggers convection. The convective state pulls the system out of its preferred mode of circulation, setting up relaxation oscillations. The period of oscillations in this case is linked to the geometry of the ocean basin, if solar forcing is assumed to remain constant. If appropriate glacial freshwater forcing is applied to the model, a pattern of oscillation is produced that bears remarkable similarity to the observed fluctuations in North Atlantic climate between 50,000 and 30,000 years before present.; Comparison of NGRIP δ 18-O (proxy for near surface air temperature) between 50,000 and 30,000 years before present, showing Bond cycles (left) with the model output when forced with appropriate glacial freshwater forcing (right).

  16. New constraints on the structure and dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet from the joint IPY/Ice Bridge ICECAP aerogeophysical project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Siegert, M. J.; van Ommen, T. D.; Roberts, J. L.; Wright, A.; Warner, R. C.; Holt, J. W.; Young, N. W.; Le Meur, E.; Legresy, B.; Cavitte, M.; Icecap Team

    2010-12-01

    Ice within marine basins of East Antarctica, and their outlets, represent the ultimate limit on sea level change. The region of East Antarctica between the Ross Sea and Wilkes Land hosts a number of major basin, but has been poorly understood. Long range aerogeophysics from US, Australian and French stations, with significant British and IceBridge support, has, under the banner of the ICECAP project, greatly improved our knowledge of ice thickness, surface elevation, and crustal structure of the Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins, as well as the Totten Glacier, Cook Ice Shelf, and Byrd Glacier. We will discuss the evolution of the Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins, new constraints on the geometry of the major outlet glaciers, as well as our results from surface elevation change measurements over dynamic regions of the ice sheet. We will discuss the implications of our data for the presence of mid Pleistocene ice in central East Antarctica. Future directions for ICECAP will be discussed.

  17. 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.

  18. Dating glacimarine sediments from the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea using a multi-tool box: Implications for West Antarctic ice-sheet extent and retreat during the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, C. D.; Smith, J.; Klages, J. P.; Kuhn, G.; Maher, B.; Moreton, S.; Wacker, L.; Frederichs, T.; Wiers, S.; Jernas, P.; Anderson, J. B.; Ehrmann, W. U.; Graham, A. G. C.; Gohl, K.; Larter, R. D.

    2016-02-01

    Satellite data and in-situ measurements show that today considerable mass loss is occurring from the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The observational record only spans the past four decades, and until recently the long-term context of the current deglaciation was poorly constrained. This information is, however, crucial for understanding WAIS dynamics, evaluating the role of forcing mechanisms for ice-sheet melting, and testing and calibrating ice-sheet models that attempt to predict future WAIS behavior and its impact on global sea level. Over the past decade several multinational marine expeditions and terrestrial fieldwork campaigns have targeted the Amundsen Sea shelf and its hinterland to reconstruct the WAIS configuration during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and its subsequent deglacial history. The resulting studies succeeded in shedding light on the maximum WAIS extent at the LGM and the style, pattern and speed of its retreat and thinning thereafter. Despite this progress, however, significant uncertainties and discrepancies between marine and terrestrial reconstructions remain, which may arise from difficulties in dating sediment cores from the Antarctic shelf, especially their deglacial sections. Resolving these issues is crucial for understanding the WAIS' contribution to post-LGM sea-level rise, its sensitivity to different forcing mechanisms and its future evolution. Here we present chronological constraints on WAIS advance in the Amundsen Sea and its retreat from 20 ka BP into the Holocene that were obtained by various techniques, such as 14C dating of large ( 10 mg) and small (sample aliquots of calcareous microfossils, 14C dating of acid-insoluble organic matter combusted at low (300 °C) and high (800 °C) temperatures and dating of sediment cores by using geomagnetic paleointensity. We will compare the different age constraints and discuss their reliability, applicability and implications for WAIS history.

  19. Investigating Arctic Sea Ice Survivability in the Beaufort Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Tooth

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Arctic sea ice extent has continued to decline in recent years, and the fractional coverage of multi-year sea ice has decreased significantly during this period. The Beaufort Sea region has been the site of much of the loss of multi-year sea ice, and it continues to play a large role in the extinction of ice during the melt season. We present an analysis of the influence of satellite-derived ice surface temperature, ice thickness, albedo, and downwelling longwave/shortwave radiation as well as latitude and airborne snow depth estimates on the change in sea ice concentration in the Beaufort Sea from 2009 to 2016 using a Lagrangian tracking database. Results from this analysis indicate that parcels that melt during summer in the Beaufort Sea reside at lower latitudes and have lower ice thickness at the beginning of the melt season in most cases. The influence of sea ice thickness and snow depth observed by IceBridge offers less conclusive results, with some years exhibiting higher thicknesses/depths for melted parcels. Parcels that melted along IceBridge tracks do exhibit lower latitudes and ice thicknesses, however, which indicates that earlier melt and breakup of ice may contribute to a greater likelihood of extinction of parcels in the summer.

  20. Deglacial to Holocene history of ice-sheet retreat and bottom current strength on the western Barents Sea shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantzsch, Hendrik; Hanebuth, Till J. J.; Horry, Jan; Grave, Marina; Rebesco, Michele; Schwenk, Tilmann

    2017-10-01

    High-resolution sediment echosounder data combined with radiocarbon-dated sediment cores allowed us to reconstruct the Late Quaternary stratigraphic architecture of the Kveithola Trough and surrounding Spitsbergenbanken. The deposits display the successive deglacial retreat of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet. Basal subglacial till indicates that the grounded ice sheet covered both bank and trough during the Late Weichselian. A glaciomarine blanket inside the trough coinciding with laminated plumites on the bank formed during the initial ice-melting phase from at least 16.1 to 13.5 cal ka BP in close proximity to the ice margin. After the establishment of open-marine conditions at around 13.5 cal ka BP, a sediment drift developed in the confined setting of the Kveithola Trough, contemporary with crudely laminated mud, an overlying lag deposit, and modern bioclastic-rich sand on Spitsbergenbanken. The Kveithola Drift shows a remarkable grain-size coarsening from the moat towards the southern flank of the trough. This trend contradicts the concept of a separated drift (which would imply coarser grain sizes in proximity of the moat) and indicates that the southern bank is the main sediment source for the coarse material building up the Kveithola Drift. This depocenter represents, therefore, a yet undescribed combination of off-bank wedge and confined drift. Although the deposits inside Kveithola Trough and on Spitsbergenbanken display different depocenter geometries, time-equivalent grain-size changes imply a region-wide sediment-dynamic connection. We thus relate a phase of coarsest sediment supply (8.8-6.3 cal ka BP) to an increase in bottom current strength, which might be related to a stronger Atlantic Water inflow from the Southeast across the bank leading to winnowing and off-bank export of sandy sediments.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    ) 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....

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  4. Observations of banding in first-year Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, David M.; Eicken, Hajo; Frey, Karoline; Shapiro, Lewis H.

    2004-08-01

    Horizontal banding features, alternating dark and bright horizontal bands apparent in ice cores and stratigraphic cross sections have long been observed in first-year sea ice and are frequently associated with bands of high and low brine or gas porosity. Observations on the land-fast ice near Barrow, Alaska, in recent years have revealed particularly striking banding patterns and prompted a study of their macroscopic and microscopic characteristics. The banding patterns are quantified from photographs of full-depth sections of the ice, and examples are presented from the Chukchi Sea and Elson Lagoon. Statistics on band spacing are presented, and the growth records for three seasons are employed to estimate their time of formation. These data provide insight into the periodicity of the underlying phenomena. Micrographs are used to examine the microstructural variations associated with various banding features and to quantify the geometry of the constituent brine inclusions associated with high- and low-porosity bands. The micrography revealed that the area fraction of brine inclusions varied by a factor of nearly 3 through the more pronounced high- and low-porosity bands. Vertical micrographs obtained shortly after the materials' removal from the ice sheet showed that significantly larger inclusions form abruptly at the start of the high-porosity bands and frequently terminate abruptly at the end of the band. Crystallographic observations indicated that the high-porosity bands supported the nucleation and growth of crystals having substantially different orientations from the very well aligned columnar structure that characterized the bulk of the sheet.

  5. Sea-ice dynamics strongly promote Snowball Earth initiation and destabilize tropical sea-ice margins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Voigt

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The Snowball Earth bifurcation, or runaway ice-albedo feedback, is defined for particular boundary conditions by a critical CO2 and a critical sea-ice cover (SI, both of which are essential for evaluating hypotheses related to Neoproterozoic glaciations. Previous work has shown that the Snowball Earth bifurcation, denoted as (CO2, SI*, differs greatly among climate models. Here, we study the effect of bare sea-ice albedo, sea-ice dynamics and ocean heat transport on (CO2, SI* in the atmosphere–ocean general circulation model ECHAM5/MPI-OM with Marinoan (~ 635 Ma continents and solar insolation (94% of modern. In its standard setup, ECHAM5/MPI-OM initiates a~Snowball Earth much more easily than other climate models at (CO2, SI* ≈ (500 ppm, 55%. Replacing the model's standard bare sea-ice albedo of 0.75 by a much lower value of 0.45, we find (CO2, SI* ≈ (204 ppm, 70%. This is consistent with previous work and results from net evaporation and local melting near the sea-ice margin. When we additionally disable sea-ice dynamics, we find that the Snowball Earth bifurcation can be pushed even closer to the equator and occurs at a hundred times lower CO2: (CO2, SI* ≈ (2 ppm, 85%. Therefore, the simulation of sea-ice dynamics in ECHAM5/MPI-OM is a dominant determinant of its high critical CO2 for Snowball initiation relative to other models. Ocean heat transport has no effect on the critical sea-ice cover and only slightly decreases the critical CO2. For disabled sea-ice dynamics, the state with 85% sea-ice cover is stabilized by the Jormungand mechanism and shares characteristics with the Jormungand climate states. However, there is no indication of the Jormungand bifurcation and hysteresis in ECHAM5/MPI-OM. The state with 85% sea-ice cover therefore is a soft Snowball state rather than a true

  6. Autonomous Sea-Ice Thickness Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    the conductivity of an infinitely thick slab of sea ice. Ice thickness, Hice, is then obtained by subtracting the height of the ...Thickness Survey of Sea Ice Runway” ERDC/CRREL SR-16-4 ii Abstract We conducted an autonomous survey of sea -ice thickness using the Polar rover Yeti...efficiency relative to manual surveys routinely con- ducted to assess the safety of roads and runways constructed on the sea ice. Yeti executed the

  7. 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.

  8. Sea ice-albedo climate feedback mechanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schramm, J.L.; Curry, J.A. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Ebert, E.E. [Bureau of Meterology Research Center, Melbourne (Australia)

    1995-02-01

    The sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism over the Arctic Ocean multiyear sea ice is investigated by conducting a series of experiments using several one-dimensional models of the coupled sea ice-atmosphere system. In its simplest form, ice-albedo feedback is thought to be associated with a decrease in the areal cover of snow and ice and a corresponding increase in the surface temperature, further decreasing the area cover of snow and ice. It is shown that the sea ice-albedo feedback can operate even in multiyear pack ice, without the disappearance of this ice, associated with internal processes occurring within the multiyear ice pack (e.g., duration of the snow cover, ice thickness, ice distribution, lead fraction, and melt pond characteristics). The strength of the ice-albedo feedback mechanism is compared for several different thermodynamic sea ice models: a new model that includes ice thickness distribution., the Ebert and Curry model, the Mayjut and Untersteiner model, and the Semtner level-3 and level-0 models. The climate forcing is chosen to be a perturbation of the surface heat flux, and cloud and water vapor feedbacks are inoperative so that the effects of the sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism can be isolated. The inclusion of melt ponds significantly strengthens the ice-albedo feedback, while the ice thickness distribution decreases the strength of the modeled sea ice-albedo feedback. It is emphasized that accurately modeling present-day sea ice thickness is not adequate for a sea ice parameterization; the correct physical processes must be included so that the sea ice parameterization yields correct sensitivities to external forcing. 22 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  9. 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....

  10. Wave excited motion of a body floating on water confined between two semi-infinite ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, K.; Wu, G. X.; Thomas, G. A.

    2016-12-01

    The wave excited motion of a body floating on water confined between two semi-infinite ice sheets is investigated. The ice sheet is treated as an elastic thin plate and water is treated as an ideal and incompressible fluid. The linearized velocity potential theory is adopted in the frequency domain and problems are solved by the method of matched eigenfunctions expansion. The fluid domain is divided into sub-regions and in each sub-region the velocity potential is expanded into a series of eigenfunctions satisfying the governing equation and the boundary conditions on horizontal planes including the free surface and ice sheets. Matching is conducted at the interfaces of two neighbouring regions to ensure the continuity of the pressure and velocity, and the unknown coefficients in the expressions are obtained as a result. The behaviour of the added mass and damping coefficients of the floating body with the effect of the ice sheets and the excitation force are analysed. They are found to vary oscillatorily with the wave number, which is different from that for a floating body in the open sea. The motion of the body confined between ice sheets is investigated, in particular its resonant behaviour with extremely large motion found to be possible under certain conditions. Standing waves within the polynya are also observed.

  11. Quaternary Sea-ice history in the Arctic Ocean based on a new Ostracode sea-ice proxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, T. M.; Gemery, L.; Briggs, W.M.; Jakobsson, M.; Polyak, L.; Brouwers, E.M.

    2010-01-01

    Paleo-sea-ice history in the Arctic Ocean was reconstructed using the sea-ice dwelling ostracode Acetabulastoma arcticum from late Quaternary sediments from the Mendeleyev, Lomonosov, and Gakkel Ridges, the Morris Jesup Rise and the Yermak Plateau. Results suggest intermittently high levels of perennial sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 (25-45 ka), minimal sea ice during the last deglacial (16-11 ka) and early Holocene thermal maximum (11-5 ka) and increasing sea ice during the mid-to-late Holocene (5-0 ka). Sediment core records from the Iceland and Rockall Plateaus show that perennial sea ice existed in these regions only during glacial intervals MIS 2, 4, and 6. These results show that sea ice exhibits complex temporal and spatial variability during different climatic regimes and that the development of modern perennial sea ice may be a relatively recent phenomenon. ?? 2010.

  12. New Tools for Sea Ice Data Analysis and Visualization: NSIDC's Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizcarra, N.; Stroeve, J.; Beam, K.; Beitler, J.; Brandt, M.; Kovarik, J.; Savoie, M. H.; Skaug, M.; Stafford, T.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic sea ice has long been recognized as a sensitive climate indicator and has undergone a dramatic decline over the past thirty years. Antarctic sea ice continues to be an intriguing and active field of research. The National Snow and Ice Data Center's Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis (ASINA) offers researchers and the public a transparent view of sea ice data and analysis. We have released a new set of tools for sea ice analysis and visualization. In addition to Charctic, our interactive sea ice extent graph, the new Sea Ice Data and Analysis Tools page provides access to Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data organized in seven different data workbooks, updated daily or monthly. An interactive tool lets scientists, or the public, quickly compare changes in ice extent and location. Another tool allows users to map trends, anomalies, and means for user-defined time periods. Animations of September Arctic and Antarctic monthly average sea ice extent and concentration may also be accessed from this page. Our tools help the NSIDC scientists monitor and understand sea ice conditions in near real time. They also allow the public to easily interact with and explore sea ice data. Technical innovations in our data center helped NSIDC quickly build these tools and more easily maintain them. The tools were made publicly accessible to meet the desire from the public and members of the media to access the numbers and calculations that power our visualizations and analysis. This poster explores these tools and how other researchers, the media, and the general public are using them.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Luminescence dating of paleolake deltas and glacial deposits in Garwood Valley, Antarctica: Implications for climate, Ross ice sheet dynamics, and paleolake duration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Joseph S.; Rittenour, Tammy M.; Fountain, Andrew G.; O'Connor, Jim E.

    2017-01-01

    The formation of perched deltas and other lacustrine deposits in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica is widely considered to be evidence of valley-filling lakes dammed by the grounded Ross Sea ice sheet during the local Last Glacial Maximum, with lake drainage interpreted as a record of grounding line retreat. We used luminescence dating to determine the age of paleolake deltas and glacial tills in Garwood Valley, a coastal dry valley that opens to the Ross Sea. Luminescence ages are stratigraphically consistent with radiocarbon results from algal mats within the same delta deposits but suggest radiocarbon dates from lacustrine carbonates may overestimate deposit ages by thousands of years. Results suggest that late Holocene delta deposition into paleolake Howard in Garwood Valley persisted until ca. 3.5 ka. This is significantly younger than the date when grounded ice is thought to have retreated from the Ross Sea. Our evidence suggests that the local, stranded ice-cored till topography in Garwood Valley, rather than regional ice-sheet dynamics, may have controlled lake levels for some McMurdo Dry Valleys paleolakes. Age control from the supraglacial Ross Sea drift suggests grounding and up-valley advance of the Ross Sea ice sheet into Garwood valley during marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 4 (71–78 ka) and the local Last Glacial Maximum (9–10 ka). This work demonstrates the power of combining luminescence dating with existing radiocarbon data sets to improve understanding of the relationships among paleolake formation, glacial position, and stream discharge in response to climate change.

  16. 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....

  17. Calibration of sea ice dynamic parameters in an ocean-sea ice model using an ensemble Kalman filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massonnet, F.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T.; Counillon, F.

    2014-07-01

    The choice of parameter values is crucial in the course of sea ice model development, since parameters largely affect the modeled mean sea ice state. Manual tuning of parameters will soon become impractical, as sea ice models will likely include more parameters to calibrate, leading to an exponential increase of the number of possible combinations to test. Objective and automatic methods for parameter calibration are thus progressively called on to replace the traditional heuristic, "trial-and-error" recipes. Here a method for calibration of parameters based on the ensemble Kalman filter is implemented, tested and validated in the ocean-sea ice model NEMO-LIM3. Three dynamic parameters are calibrated: the ice strength parameter P*, the ocean-sea ice drag parameter Cw, and the atmosphere-sea ice drag parameter Ca. In twin, perfect-model experiments, the default parameter values are retrieved within 1 year of simulation. Using 2007-2012 real sea ice drift data, the calibration of the ice strength parameter P* and the oceanic drag parameter Cw improves clearly the Arctic sea ice drift properties. It is found that the estimation of the atmospheric drag Ca is not necessary if P* and Cw are already estimated. The large reduction in the sea ice speed bias with calibrated parameters comes with a slight overestimation of the winter sea ice areal export through Fram Strait and a slight improvement in the sea ice thickness distribution. Overall, the estimation of parameters with the ensemble Kalman filter represents an encouraging alternative to manual tuning for ocean-sea ice models.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schmidt

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-24

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

  1. Sea ice roughness: the key for predicting Arctic summer ice albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landy, J.; Ehn, J. K.; Tsamados, M.; Stroeve, J.; Barber, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    Although melt ponds on Arctic sea ice evolve in stages, ice with smoother surface topography typically allows the pond water to spread over a wider area, reducing the ice-albedo and accelerating further melt. Building on this theory, we simulated the distribution of meltwater on a range of statistically-derived topographies to develop a quantitative relationship between premelt sea ice surface roughness and summer ice albedo. Our method, previously applied to ICESat observations of the end-of-winter sea ice roughness, could account for 85% of the variance in AVHRR observations of the summer ice-albedo [Landy et al., 2015]. Consequently, an Arctic-wide reduction in sea ice roughness over the ICESat operational period (from 2003 to 2008) explained a drop in ice-albedo that resulted in a 16% increase in solar heat input to the sea ice cover. Here we will review this work and present new research linking pre-melt sea ice surface roughness observations from Cryosat-2 to summer sea ice albedo over the past six years, examining the potential of winter roughness as a significant new source of sea ice predictability. We will further evaluate the possibility for high-resolution (kilometre-scale) forecasts of summer sea ice albedo from waveform-level Cryosat-2 roughness data in the landfast sea ice zone of the Canadian Arctic. Landy, J. C., J. K. Ehn, and D. G. Barber (2015), Albedo feedback enhanced by smoother Arctic sea ice, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 10,714-10,720, doi:10.1002/2015GL066712.

  2. Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat A.; Sasgen, Ingo; Bevis, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice...

  3. Estimates of ikaite export from sea ice to the underlying seawater in a sea ice-seawater mesocosm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, Ryan J.; Else, Brent G. T.; Campbell, Karley; Papakyriakou, Tim; Crabeck, Odile; Lemes, Marcos; Delille, Bruno; Rysgaard, Søren

    2016-09-01

    The precipitation of ikaite and its fate within sea ice is still poorly understood. We quantify temporal inorganic carbon dynamics in sea ice from initial formation to its melt in a sea ice-seawater mesocosm pool from 11 to 29 January 2013. Based on measurements of total alkalinity (TA) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2), the main processes affecting inorganic carbon dynamics within sea ice were ikaite precipitation and CO2 exchange with the atmosphere. In the underlying seawater, the dissolution of ikaite was the main process affecting inorganic carbon dynamics. Sea ice acted as an active layer, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere during the growth phase, taking up CO2 as it melted and exporting both ikaite and TCO2 into the underlying seawater during the whole experiment. Ikaite precipitation of up to 167 µmol kg-1 within sea ice was estimated, while its export and dissolution into the underlying seawater was responsible for a TA increase of 64-66 µmol kg-1 in the water column. The export of TCO2 from sea ice to the water column increased the underlying seawater TCO2 by 43.5 µmol kg-1, suggesting that almost all of the TCO2 that left the sea ice was exported to the underlying seawater. The export of ikaite from the ice to the underlying seawater was associated with brine rejection during sea ice growth, increased vertical connectivity in sea ice due to the upward percolation of seawater and meltwater flushing during sea ice melt. Based on the change in TA in the water column around the onset of sea ice melt, more than half of the total ikaite precipitated in the ice during sea ice growth was still contained in the ice when the sea ice began to melt. Ikaite crystal dissolution in the water column kept the seawater pCO2 undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere in spite of increased salinity, TA and TCO2 associated with sea ice growth. Results indicate that ikaite export from sea ice and its dissolution in the underlying seawater can potentially hamper

  4. Sea level changes from monthly solutions of ice sheet mass balance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    We present mass change time series at basin scale for both Greenland and Antarctica, de-rived from GRACE data, and use these data to find the associated global sea level changes. We use two independent methods for GRACE ice mass loss estimation, including use of different GIA models and estimatio...

  5. 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

  6. The Global and Local Climatic Response to the Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huybers, K. M.; Singh, H.; Steiger, N. J.; Frierson, D. M.; Steig, E. J.; Bitz, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Glaciologists have suggested that a relatively small external forcing may compromise the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Further, there is compelling physical evidence that the WAIS has collapsed in the past, at times when the mean global temperature was only a few degrees warmer than it is today. In addition to a rapid increase in global sea level, the collapse of the WAIS could also affect the global circulation of the atmosphere. Ice sheets are some of the largest topographic features on Earth, causing large regional anomalies in albedo and radiative balance. Our work uses idealized aquaplanet models in tandem with a fully coupled ocean/atmosphere/sea-ice model (CCSM4) to compare the atmospheric, radiative, and oceanic response to a complete loss of the WAIS. Initial findings indicate that the loss of the WAIS leads to a weakening and equator-ward shift of the zonal winds, a development of strong zonal asymmetries in the meridional wind, and a northward migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. We aim to characterize how the local and global climate is affected by the presence of the WAIS, and how changes in the distribution of Southern Hemisphere ice may be represented in the proxy record.

  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. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Sea-ice evaluation of NEMO-Nordic 1.0: a NEMO-LIM3.6-based ocean-sea-ice model setup for the North Sea and Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pemberton, Per; Löptien, Ulrike; Hordoir, Robinson; Höglund, Anders; Schimanke, Semjon; Axell, Lars; Haapala, Jari

    2017-08-01

    The Baltic Sea is a seasonally ice-covered marginal sea in northern Europe with intense wintertime ship traffic and a sensitive ecosystem. Understanding and modeling the evolution of the sea-ice pack is important for climate effect studies and forecasting purposes. Here we present and evaluate the sea-ice component of a new NEMO-LIM3.6-based ocean-sea-ice setup for the North Sea and Baltic Sea region (NEMO-Nordic). The setup includes a new depth-based fast-ice parametrization for the Baltic Sea. The evaluation focuses on long-term statistics, from a 45-year long hindcast, although short-term daily performance is also briefly evaluated. We show that NEMO-Nordic is well suited for simulating the mean sea-ice extent, concentration, and thickness as compared to the best available observational data set. The variability of the annual maximum Baltic Sea ice extent is well in line with the observations, but the 1961-2006 trend is underestimated. Capturing the correct ice thickness distribution is more challenging. Based on the simulated ice thickness distribution we estimate the undeformed and deformed ice thickness and concentration in the Baltic Sea, which compares reasonably well with observations.

  13. 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

  14. Modeling the Fracture of Ice Sheets on Parallel Computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-10-10

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The Arctic region is warming faster than most regions of the world due in part to increasing greenhouse gases and positive feedbacks associated with the loss of snow and ice cover. One consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades?a decline that is projected to continue by state-of-the-art models. Many stakeholders are therefore interested in how global warming may change the timing and extent of sea ice Arctic-wide, and for specific regions. To inform the public and decision makers of anticipated environmental changes, scientists are striving to better understand how sea ice influences ecosystem structure, local weather, and global climate. Here, projected changes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are examined because sea ice influences the presence of, or accessibility to, a variety of local resources of commercial and cultural value. In this study, 21st century sea ice conditions in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are based on projections by 18 general circulation models (GCMs) prepared for the fourth reporting period by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. Sea ice projections are analyzed for each of two IPCC greenhouse gas forcing scenarios: the A1B `business as usual? scenario and the A2 scenario that is somewhat more aggressive in its CO2 emissions during the second half of the century. A large spread of uncertainty among projections by all 18 models was constrained by creating model subsets that excluded GCMs that poorly simulated the 1979-2008 satellite record of ice extent and seasonality. At the end of the 21st century (2090-2099), median sea ice projections among all combinations of model ensemble and forcing scenario were qualitatively similar. June is projected to experience the least amount of sea ice loss among all months. For the Chukchi Sea, projections show extensive ice melt during July and ice-free conditions during August, September, and October by the end of the century, with high agreement

  18. 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.

  19. Improved estimates of global sea level change from Ice Sheets, glaciers and land water storage using GRACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velicogna, I.; Hsu, C. W.; Ciraci, E.; Sutterley, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    We use observations of time variable gravity from GRACE to estimate mass changes for the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets, the Glaciers and Ice Caps (GIC) and land water storage for the time period 2002-2015 and evaluate their total contribution to sea level. We calculate regional sea level changes from these present day mass fluxes using an improved scaling factor for the GRACE data that accounts for the spatial and temporal variability of the observed signal. We calculate a separate scaling factor for the annual and the long-term components of the GRACE signal. To estimate the contribution of the GIC, we use a least square mascon approach and we re-analyze recent inventories to optimize the distribution of mascons and recover the GRACE signal more accurately. We find that overall, Greenland controls 43% of the global trend in eustatic sea level rise, 16% for Antarctica and 29% for the GIC. The contribution from the GIC is dominated by the mass loss of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, followed by Alaska, Patagonia and the High Mountains of Asia. We report a marked increase in mass loss for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In Greenland, following the 2012 high summer melt, years 2013 and 2014 have slowed down the increase in mass loss, but our results will be updated with summer 2015 observations at the meeting. In Antarctica, the mass loss is still on the rise with increased contributions from the Amundsen Sea sector and surprisingly from the Wilkes Land sector of East Antarctica, including Victoria Land. Conversely, the Queen Maud Land sector experienced a large snowfall in 2009-2013 and has now resumed to a zero mass gain since 2013. We compare sea level changes from these GRACE derived mass fluxes after including the atmospheric and ocean loading signal with sea level change from satellite radar altimetry (AVISO) corrected for steric signal of the ocean using Argo measurements and find an excellent agreement in amplitude, phase and trend in these estimates

  20. 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

  1. Glacial Lake Pickering: stratigraphy and chronology of a proglacial lake dammed by the North Sea Lobe of the British-Irish Ice Sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Evans, David J.A.; Bateman, Mark D.; Roberts, David H.; Medialdea, Alicia; Hayes, Laura; Duller, Geoff A.T.; Fabel, Derek; Clark, Chris D.

    2016-01-01

    We report the first chronology, using four new optically stimulated luminescence dates, on the sedimentary record of Glacial Lake Pickering, dammed by the North Sea Lobe of the British–Irish Ice Sheet during the Dimlington Stadial (24–11 ka cal BP). Dates range from 17.6 ± 1.0 to 15.8 ± 0.9 ka for the sedimentation of the Sherburn Sands at East Heslerton, which were formed by multiple coalescing alluvial fans prograding into the falling water levels of the lake and fed by progressively larger...

  2. 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.

  3. Sea ice dynamics across the Mid-Pleistocene transition in the Bering Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detlef, H; Belt, S T; Sosdian, S M; Smik, L; Lear, C H; Hall, I R; Cabedo-Sanz, P; Husum, K; Kender, S

    2018-03-05

    Sea ice and associated feedback mechanisms play an important role for both long- and short-term climate change. Our ability to predict future sea ice extent, however, hinges on a greater understanding of past sea ice dynamics. Here we investigate sea ice changes in the eastern Bering Sea prior to, across, and after the Mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT). The sea ice record, based on the Arctic sea ice biomarker IP 25 and related open water proxies from the International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1343, shows a substantial increase in sea ice extent across the MPT. The occurrence of late-glacial/deglacial sea ice maxima are consistent with sea ice/land ice hysteresis and land-glacier retreat via the temperature-precipitation feedback. We also identify interactions of sea ice with phytoplankton growth and ocean circulation patterns, which have important implications for glacial North Pacific Intermediate Water formation and potentially North Pacific abyssal carbon storage.

  4. Simulating the evolution of the Amundsen Sea Sector with a coupled ice-ocean model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seroussi, H. L.; Nakayama, Y.; Menemenlis, D.; Larour, E. Y.; Morlighem, M.; Rignot, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    Ice shelves and floating glacier termini play an important role in the stability of ice sheets and interact strongly with the ocean. They account for much of the buttressing against the flow of inland glaciers that drain the Antarctic ice sheet. Changes in their geometry due to ice-front retreat, thinning or even collapse profoundly affect the flow of their tributary glaciers, which in turn affects the volume of grounded ice carried by these tributary glaciers into the ocean, and the extent of resulting sea level rise. Recent simulations of glaciers in Antarctica show that the largest climatic impact on ice dynamics is the rate of ice shelf melting, which rapidly affects glaciers' speed over several hundreds of kilometers upstream of the grounding line. These melting rates, however, as well as their spatial and temporal evolution remain largely unknown. In the absence of direct long-term observations, coupled ice-ocean models are the best available approach to address this question. In a previous study, we simulated the coupled ice-ocean system near Thwaites Glacier using a new two-way coupled system between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm) and the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM). Our results highlighted the impact of ocean conditions on glacier evolution and demonstrated the importance of simulating the coupled ice-ocean system to produce accurate melting rates under the ice shelf and at the grounding line. In this study, we focus on the entire Amundsen Sea sector, a region that experienced glacier acceleration, thinning and grounding line retreat over the past three decades. We investigate the feedbacks between changes in the ice and ocean, and the dynamic response of the glacier to changes in the ocean circulation. The simulations suggest that this region is likely to undergo substantial changes in the coming decades. This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a

  5. The Hamburg sea-ice model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoessel, A.; Owens, W.B.

    1992-10-01

    The general purpose of the model is to simulate sea ice dynamically as well as thermodynamically. Pure sea-ice models are generally highly dependent on the specified atmospheric and oceanic forcing, especially on the winds and the vertical oceanic heat flux. In order to reduce these dependencies, the sea-ice [SI] model was extended to optionally include a prognostic oceanic mixed layer [OML], a diagnostic atmospheric surface layer [ASL] and/or a diagnostic atmospheric boundary layer [ABL], thus shifting the forcing levels further away from the surface (i.e. from the sea ice) and simultaneously providing a modification of the forcing considering boundary-layer adjustments to the instantaneous sea-ice conditions given by the SI model. A further major extension of the model is the (optional) employment of a prognostic snow layer. The special application characterising the present code was sea-ice simulation in the Southern Ocean, employing a spherical, circumpolar grid with a resolution of 2.5 in latitude and 5 in longitude, extending from 50 S to 80 S and using a daily time step. (orig.)

  6. 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.

  7. The influence of low latitude forcing on European Ice sheet dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaboth, Stefanie; Bahr, André; Lourens, Lucas J.

    2017-04-01

    Distinct mid-glacial δ18O enrichment events found at Site U1386 in the Gulf of Cadiz during Marine Isotope Stages 6 and 8 represent a striking feature absent in most deep-sea benthic δ18O records studied worldwide. These δ18O enrichment events are closely related to periods of maximum precession and aligned with previous findings from the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Here we present paired planktic and benthic stable isotope (δ18O and δ13C) and Mg/Ca-based temperature records of Site U1386 of the last 300.000 years. Our results show that these δ18O enrichment events are recorded in both subsurface and bottom water masses and pre-date the largest cooling events along the Iberian Margin and associated European sourced meltwater pulses of the Drenthe and Fuhne major ice-sheet advances, suggesting that they instead correspond to periods of maximum ice volume extend in Europe.

  8. On the Predictability of Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, Edward

    We investigate the persistence and predictability of sea ice in numerical models and observations. We first use the 3rd generation Community Climate System Model (CCSM3) General Circulation Model (GCM) to investigate the inherent persistence of sea-ice area and thickness. We find that sea-ice area anomalies have a seasonal decay timescale, exhibiting an initial decorrelation similar to a first order auto-regressive (AR1, or red noise) process. Beyond this initial loss of memory, there is a re-emergence of memory at certain times of the year. There are two distinct modes of re-emergence in the model, one driven by the seasonal coupling of area and thickness anomalies in the summer, the other by the persistence of upper ocean temperature anomalies that originate from ice anomalies in the melt season and then influence ice anomalies in the growth season. Comparison with satellite observations where available indicate these processes appear in nature. We then use the 4th generation CCSM (CCSM4) to investigate the partition of Arctic sea-ice predictability into its initial-value and boundary forced components under present day forcing conditions. We find that initial-value predictability lasts for 1-2 years for sea-ice area, and 3-4 years for sea-ice volume. Forced predictability arises after just 4-5 years for both area and volume. Initial-value predictability of sea-ice area during the summer hinges on the coupling between thickness and area anomalies during that season. We find that the loss of initial-value predictability with time is not uniform --- there is a rapid loss of predictability of sea-ice volume during the late spring early summer associated with snow melt and albedo feedbacks. At the same time, loss of predictability is not uniform across different regions. Given the usefulness of ice thickness as a predictor of summer sea-ice area, we obtain a hindcast of September sea-ice area initializing the GCM on May 1with an estimate of observed sea-ice thickness

  9. 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...

  10. Some Results on Sea Ice Rheology for the Seasonal Ice Zone, Obtained from the Deformation Field of Sea Ice Drift Pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, T.; Kimura, N.

    2017-12-01

    Sea ice rheology which relates sea ice stress to the large-scale deformation of the ice cover has been a big issue to numerical sea ice modelling. At present the treatment of internal stress within sea ice area is based mostly on the rheology formulated by Hibler (1979), where the whole sea ice area behaves like an isotropic and plastic matter under the ordinary stress with the yield curve given by an ellipse with an aspect ratio (e) of 2, irrespective of sea ice area and horizontal resolution of the model. However, this formulation was initially developed to reproduce the seasonal variation of the perennial ice in the Arctic Ocean. As for its applicability to the seasonal ice zones (SIZ), where various types of sea ice are present, it still needs validation from observational data. In this study, the validity of this rheology was examined for the Sea of Okhotsk ice, typical of the SIZ, based on the AMSR-derived ice drift pattern in comparison with the result obtained for the Beaufort Sea. To examine the dependence on a horizontal scale, the coastal radar data operated near the Hokkaido coast, Japan, were also used. Ice drift pattern was obtained by a maximum cross-correlation method with grid spacings of 37.5 km from the 89 GHz brightness temperature of AMSR-E for the entire Sea of Okhotsk and the Beaufort Sea and 1.3 km from the coastal radar for the near-shore Sea of Okhotsk. The validity of this rheology was investigated from a standpoint of work rate done by deformation field, following the theory of Rothrock (1975). In analysis, the relative rates of convergence were compared between theory and observation to check the shape of yield curve, and the strain ellipse at each grid cell was estimated to see the horizontal variation of deformation field. The result shows that the ellipse of e=1.7-2.0 as the yield curve represents the observed relative conversion rates well for all the ice areas. Since this result corresponds with the yield criterion by Tresca and

  11. Ice volume and climate changes from a 6000 year sea-level record in French Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallmann, N; Camoin, G; Eisenhauer, A; Botella, A; Milne, G A; Vella, C; Samankassou, E; Pothin, V; Dussouillez, P; Fleury, J; Fietzke, J

    2018-01-18

    Mid- to late-Holocene sea-level records from low-latitude regions serve as an important baseline of natural variability in sea level and global ice volume prior to the Anthropocene. Here, we reconstruct a high-resolution sea-level curve encompassing the last 6000 years based on a comprehensive study of coral microatolls, which are sensitive low-tide recorders. Our curve is based on microatolls from several islands in a single region and comprises a total of 82 sea-level index points. Assuming thermosteric contributions are negligible on millennial time scales, our results constrain global ice melting to be 1.5-2.5 m (sea-level equivalent) since ~5500 years before present. The reconstructed curve includes isolated rapid events of several decimetres within a few centuries, one of which is most likely related to loss from the Antarctic ice sheet mass around 5000 years before present. In contrast, the occurrence of large and flat microatolls indicates periods of significant sea-level stability lasting up to ~300 years.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Reflectance of sea ice in Liaodong Bay].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhan-tang; Yang, Yue-zhong; Wang, Gui-fen; Cao, Wen-xi; Kong, Xiang-peng

    2010-07-01

    In the present study, the relationships between sea ice albedo and the bidirectional reflectance distribution in Liaodong Bay were investigated. The results indicate that: (1) sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is closely related to the components of sea ice, the higher the particulate concentration in sea ice surface is, the lower the sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is. On the contrary, the higher the bubble concentration in sea ice is, the higher sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is. (2) Sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is similar to the bidirectional reflectance factor R(f) when the probe locates at nadir. The R(f) would increase with the increase in detector zenith theta, and the correlation between R(f) and the detector azimuth would gradually increase. When the theta is located at solar zenith 63 degrees, the R(f) would reach the maximum, and the strongest correlation is also shown between the R(f) and the detector azimuth. (3) Different types of sea ice would have the different anisotropic reflectance factors.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Experimental evidence for carbonate precipitation and CO 2 degassing during sea ice formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadimitriou, S.; Kennedy, H.; Kattner, G.; Dieckmann, G. S.; Thomas, D. N.

    2004-04-01

    Chemical and stable carbon isotopic modifications during the freezing of artificial seawater were measured in four 4 m 3 tank incubations. Three of the four incubations were inoculated with a nonaxenic Antarctic diatom culture. The 18 days of freezing resulted in 25 to 27 cm thick ice sheets overlying the residual seawater. The ice phase was characterized by a decrease in temperature from -1.9 to -2.2°C in the under-ice seawater down to -6.7°C in the upper 4 cm of the ice sheet, with a concurrent increase in the salinity of the under-ice seawater and brine inclusions of the ice sheet as a result of physical concentration of major dissolved salts by expulsion from the solid ice matrix. Measurements of pH, total dissolved inorganic carbon (C T) and its stable isotopic composition (δ 13C T) all exhibited changes, which suggest minimal effect by biological activity during the experiment. A systematic drop in pH and salinity-normalized C T by up to 0.37 pH SWS units and 376 μmol C kg -1 respectively at the lowest temperature and highest salinity part of the ice sheet were coupled with an equally systematic 13C enrichment of the C T. Calculations based on the direct pH and C T measurements indicated a steady increase in the in situ concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO 2(aq)) with time and increasing salinity within the ice sheet, partly due to changes in the dissociation constants of carbonic acid in the low temperature-high salinity range within sea ice. The combined effects of temperature and salinity on the solubility of CO 2 over the range of conditions encountered during this study was a slight net decrease in the equilibrium CO 2(aq) concentration as a result of the salting-out overriding the increase in solubility with decreasing temperature. Hence, the increase in the in situ CO 2(aq) concentration lead to saturation or supersaturation of the brine inclusions in the ice sheet with respect to atmospheric pCO 2 (≈3.5 × 10 -4 atm). When all physico

  19. 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.

  20. Ice and AIS: ship speed data and sea ice forecasts in the Baltic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Löptien

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Baltic Sea is a seasonally ice-covered marginal sea located in a densely populated area in northern Europe. Severe sea ice conditions have the potential to hinder the intense ship traffic considerably. Thus, sea ice fore- and nowcasts are regularly provided by the national weather services. Typically, the forecast comprises several ice properties that are distributed as prognostic variables, but their actual usefulness is difficult to measure, and the ship captains must determine their relative importance and relevance for optimal ship speed and safety ad hoc. The present study provides a more objective approach by comparing the ship speeds, obtained by the automatic identification system (AIS, with the respective forecasted ice conditions. We find that, despite an unavoidable random component, this information is useful to constrain and rate fore- and nowcasts. More precisely, 62–67% of ship speed variations can be explained by the forecasted ice properties when fitting a mixed-effect model. This statistical fit is based on a test region in the Bothnian Sea during the severe winter 2011 and employs 15 to 25 min averages of ship speed.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sea-ice thickness from field measurements in the northwestern Barents Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jennifer; Spreen, Gunnar; Gerland, Sebastian; Haas, Christian; Hendricks, Stefan; Kaleschke, Lars; Wang, Caixin

    2017-02-01

    The Barents Sea is one of the fastest changing regions of the Arctic, and has experienced the strongest decline in winter-time sea-ice area in the Arctic, at -23±4% decade-1. Sea-ice thickness in the Barents Sea is not well studied. We present two previously unpublished helicopter-borne electromagnetic (HEM) ice thickness measurements from the northwestern Barents Sea acquired in March 2003 and 2014. The HEM data are compared to ice thickness calculated from ice draft measured by ULS deployed between 1994 and 1996. These data show that ice thickness varies greatly from year to year; influenced by the thermodynamic and dynamic processes that govern local formation vs long-range advection. In a year with a large inflow of sea-ice from the Arctic Basin, the Barents Sea ice cover is dominated by thick multiyear ice; as was the case in 2003 and 1995. In a year with an ice cover that was mainly grown in situ, the ice will be thin and mechanically unstable; as was the case in 2014. The HEM data allow us to explore the spatial and temporal variability in ice thickness. In 2003 the dominant ice class was more than 2 years old; and modal sea-ice thickness varied regionally from 0.6 to 1.4 m, with the thinner ice being either first-year ice, or multiyear ice which had come into contact with warm Atlantic water. In 2014 the ice cover was predominantly locally grown ice less than 1 month old (regional modes of 0.5-0.8 m). These two situations represent two extremes of a range of possible ice thickness distributions that can present very different conditions for shipping traffic; or have a different impact on heat transport from ocean to atmosphere.

  4. Improving Arctic Sea Ice Observations and Data Access to Support Advances in Sea Ice Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    The economic and strategic importance of the Arctic region is becoming apparent. One of the most striking and widely publicized changes underway is the declining sea ice cover. Since sea ice is a key component of the climate system, its ongoing loss has serious, and wide-ranging, socio-economic implications. Increasing year-to-year variability in the geographic location, concentration, and thickness of the Arctic ice cover will pose both challenges and opportunities. The sea ice research community must be engaged in sustained Arctic Observing Network (AON) initiatives so as to deliver fit-for-purpose remote sensing data products to a variety of stakeholders including Arctic communities, the weather forecasting and climate modeling communities, industry, local, regional and national governments, and policy makers. An example of engagement is the work currently underway to improve research collaborations between scientists engaged in obtaining and assessing sea ice observational data and those conducting numerical modeling studies and forecasting ice conditions. As part of the US AON, in collaboration with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), we are developing a strategic framework within which observers and modelers can work towards the common goal of improved sea ice forecasting. Here, we focus on sea ice thickness, a key varaible of the Arctic ice cover. We describe multi-sensor, and blended, sea ice thickness data products under development that can be leveraged to improve model initialization and validation, as well as support data assimilation exercises. We will also present the new PolarWatch initiative (polarwatch.noaa.gov) and discuss efforts to advance access to remote sensing satellite observations and improve communication with Arctic stakeholders, so as to deliver data products that best address societal needs.

  5. The effects of additional black carbon on Arctic sea ice surface albedo: variation with sea ice type and snow cover

    OpenAIRE

    A. A. Marks; M. D. King

    2013-01-01

    Black carbon in sea ice will decrease sea ice surface albedo through increased absorption of incident solar radiation, exacerbating sea ice melting. Previous literature has reported different albedo responses to additions of black carbon in sea ice and has not considered how a snow cover may mitigate the effect of black carbon in sea ice. Sea ice is predominately snow covered. Visible light absorption and light scattering coefficients are calculated for a typical first year and multi-y...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Multi-decadal Arctic sea ice roughness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsamados, M.; Stroeve, J.; Kharbouche, S.; Muller, J. P., , Prof; Nolin, A. W.; Petty, A.; Haas, C.; Girard-Ardhuin, F.; Landy, J.

    2017-12-01

    The transformation of Arctic sea ice from mainly perennial, multi-year ice to a seasonal, first-year ice is believed to have been accompanied by a reduction of the roughness of the ice cover surface. This smoothening effect has been shown to (i) modify the momentum and heat transfer between the atmosphere and ocean, (ii) to alter the ice thickness distribution which in turn controls the snow and melt pond repartition over the ice cover, and (iii) to bias airborne and satellite remote sensing measurements that depend on the scattering and reflective characteristics over the sea ice surface topography. We will review existing and novel remote sensing methodologies proposed to estimate sea ice roughness, ranging from airborne LIDAR measurement (ie Operation IceBridge), to backscatter coefficients from scatterometers (ASCAT, QUICKSCAT), to multi angle maging spectroradiometer (MISR), and to laser (Icesat) and radar altimeters (Envisat, Cryosat, Altika, Sentinel-3). We will show that by comparing and cross-calibrating these different products we can offer a consistent multi-mission, multi-decadal view of the declining sea ice roughness. Implications for sea ice physics, climate and remote sensing will also be discussed.

  8. 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

  9. Bearing Capacity of Floating Ice Sheets under Short-Term Loads: Over-Sea-Ice Traverse from McMurdo Station to Marble Point

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    under Short-Term Loads Over-Sea-Ice Traverse from McMurdo Station to Marble Point Co ld R eg io ns R es ea rc h an d En gi ne er in g La bo ra...Traverse from McMurdo Station to Marble Point Jason C. Weale and Devinder S. Sodhi Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) U.S...Division of Polar Programs operates an over-sea-ice traverse from McMurdo Station to rou- tinely resupply Marble Point Camp. The traverse requires that

  10. Evidence for middle Eocene Arctic sea ice from diatoms and ice-rafted debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stickley, Catherine E; St John, Kristen; Koç, Nalân; Jordan, Richard W; Passchier, Sandra; Pearce, Richard B; Kearns, Lance E

    2009-07-16

    Oceanic sediments from long cores drilled on the Lomonosov ridge, in the central Arctic, contain ice-rafted debris (IRD) back to the middle Eocene epoch, prompting recent suggestions that ice appeared in the Arctic about 46 million years (Myr) ago. However, because IRD can be transported by icebergs (derived from land-based ice) and also by sea ice, IRD records are restricted to providing a history of general ice-rafting only. It is critical to differentiate sea ice from glacial (land-based) ice as climate feedback mechanisms vary and global impacts differ between these systems: sea ice directly affects ocean-atmosphere exchanges, whereas land-based ice affects sea level and consequently ocean acidity. An earlier report assumed that sea ice was prevalent in the middle Eocene Arctic on the basis of IRD, and although somewhat preliminary supportive evidence exists, these data are neither comprehensive nor quantified. Here we show the presence of middle Eocene Arctic sea ice from an extraordinary abundance of a group of sea-ice-dependent fossil diatoms (Synedropsis spp.). Analysis of quartz grain textural characteristics further supports sea ice as the dominant transporter of IRD at this time. Together with new information on cosmopolitan diatoms and existing IRD records, our data strongly suggest a two-phase establishment of sea ice: initial episodic formation in marginal shelf areas approximately 47.5 Myr ago, followed approximately 0.5 Myr later by the onset of seasonally paced sea-ice formation in offshore areas of the central Arctic. Our data establish a 2-Myr record of sea ice, documenting the transition from a warm, ice-free environment to one dominated by winter sea ice at the start of the middle Eocene climatic cooling phase.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasha Nasonova

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Amundsen Sea simulation with optimized ocean, sea ice, and thermodynamic ice shelf model parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Y.; Menemenlis, D.; Schodlok, M.; Heimbach, P.; Nguyen, A. T.; Rignot, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    Ice shelves and glaciers of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are thinning and melting rapidly in the Amundsen Sea (AS). This is thought to be caused by warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) that intrudes via submarine glacial troughs located at the continental shelf break. Recent studies, however, point out that the depth of thermocline, or thickness of Winter Water (WW, potential temperature below -1 °C located above CDW) is critical in determining the melt rate, especially for the Pine Island Glacier (PIG). For example, the basal melt rate of PIG, which decreased by 50% during summer 2012, has been attributed to thickening of WW. Despite the possible importance of WW thickness on ice shelf melting, previous modeling studies in this region have focused primarily on CDW intrusion and have evaluated numerical simulations based on bottom or deep CDW properties. As a result, none of these models have shown a good representation of WW for the AS. In this study, we adjust a small number of model parameters in a regional Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm) to better fit the available observations during the 2007-2010 period. We choose this time period because summer observations during these years show small interannual variability in the eastern AS. As a result of adjustments, our model shows significantly better match with observations than previous modeling studies, especially for WW. Since density of sea water depends largely on salinity at low temperature, this is crucial for assessing the impact of WW on PIG melt rate. In addition, we conduct several sensitivity studies, showing the impact of surface heat loss on the thickness and properties of WW. We also discuss some preliminary results pertaining to further optimization using the adjoint method. Our work is a first step toward improved representation of ice-shelf ocean interactions in the ECCO (Estimating the Circulation and

  13. Comparative Study of Three Data Assimilation Methods for Ice Sheet Model Initialisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosbeux, Cyrille; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    The current global warming has direct consequences on ice-sheet mass loss contributing to sea level rise. This loss is generally driven by an acceleration of some coastal outlet glaciers and reproducing these mechanisms is one of the major issues in ice-sheet and ice flow modelling. The construction of an initial state, as close as possible to current observations, is required as a prerequisite before producing any reliable projection of the evolution of ice-sheets. For this step, inverse methods are often used to infer badly known or unknown parameters. For instance, the adjoint inverse method has been implemented and applied with success by different authors in different ice flow models in order to infer the basal drag [ Schafer et al., 2012; Gillet-chauletet al., 2012; Morlighem et al., 2010]. Others data fields, such as ice surface and bedrock topography, are easily measurable with more or less uncertainty but only locally along tracks and interpolated on finer model grid. All these approximations lead to errors on the data elevation model and give rise to an ill-posed problem inducing non-physical anomalies in flux divergence [Seroussi et al, 2011]. A solution to dissipate these divergences of flux is to conduct a surface relaxation step at the expense of the accuracy of the modelled surface [Gillet-Chaulet et al., 2012]. Other solutions, based on the inversion of ice thickness and basal drag were proposed [Perego et al., 2014; Pralong & Gudmundsson, 2011]. In this study, we create a twin experiment to compare three different assimilation algorithms based on inverse methods and nudging to constrain the bedrock friction and the bedrock elevation: (i) cyclic inversion of friction parameter and bedrock topography using adjoint method, (ii) cycles coupling inversion of friction parameter using adjoint method and nudging of bedrock topography, (iii) one step inversion of both parameters with adjoint method. The three methods show a clear improvement in parameters

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Effects of sea-ice and biogeochemical processes and storms on under-ice water fCO2 during the winter-spring transition in the high Arctic Ocean: Implications for sea-air CO2 fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fransson, Agneta; Chierici, Melissa; Skjelvan, Ingunn; Olsen, Are; Assmy, Philipp; Peterson, Algot K.; Spreen, Gunnar; Ward, Brian

    2017-07-01

    We performed measurements of carbon dioxide fugacity (fCO2) in the surface water under Arctic sea ice from January to June 2015 during the Norwegian young sea ICE (N-ICE2015) expedition. Over this period, the ship drifted with four different ice floes and covered the deep Nansen Basin, the slopes north of Svalbard, and the Yermak Plateau. This unique winter-to-spring data set includes the first winter-time under-ice water fCO2 observations in this region. The observed under-ice fCO2 ranged between 315 µatm in winter and 153 µatm in spring, hence was undersaturated relative to the atmospheric fCO2. Although the sea ice partly prevented direct CO2 exchange between ocean and atmosphere, frequently occurring leads and breakup of the ice sheet promoted sea-air CO2 fluxes. The CO2 sink varied between 0.3 and 86 mmol C m-2 d-1, depending strongly on the open-water fractions (OW) and storm events. The maximum sea-air CO2 fluxes occurred during storm events in February and June. In winter, the main drivers of the change in under-ice water fCO2 were dissolution of CaCO3 (ikaite) and vertical mixing. In June, in addition to these processes, primary production and sea-air CO2 fluxes were important. The cumulative loss due to CaCO3 dissolution of 0.7 mol C m-2 in the upper 10 m played a major role in sustaining the undersaturation of fCO2 during the entire study. The relative effects of the total fCO2 change due to CaCO3 dissolution was 38%, primary production 26%, vertical mixing 16%, sea-air CO2 fluxes 16%, and temperature and salinity insignificant.

  17. 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...

  18. Late Quaternary Variability of Arctic Sea Ice: Insights From Biomarker Proxy Records and Model Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, R. H.; Fahl, K.; Gierz, P.; Niessen, F.; Lohmann, G.

    2017-12-01

    Over the last about four decades, coinciding with global warming and atmospheric CO2increase, the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has decreased dramatically, a decrease much more rapid than predicted by climate models. The driving forces of this change are still not fully understood. In this context, detailed paleoclimatic records going back beyond the timescale of direct observations, i.e., high-resolution Holocene records but also records representing more distant warm periods, may help to to distinguish and quantify more precisely the natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing of global climate change and related sea ice decrease. Here, we concentrate on sea ice biomarker records representing the penultimate glacial/last interglacial (MIS 6/MIS 5e) and the Holocene time intervals. Our proxy records are compared with climate model simulations using a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM). Based on our data, polynya-type sea ice conditions probably occurred off the major ice sheets along the northern Barents and East Siberian continental margins during late MIS 6. Furthermore, we demonstrate that even during MIS 5e, i.e., a time interval when the high latitudes have been significantly warmer than today, sea ice existed in the central Arctic Ocean during summer, whereas sea ice was significantly reduced along the Barents Sea continental margin influenced by Atlantic Water inflow. Assuming a closed Bering Strait (no Pacific Water inflow) during early MIS 5, model simulations point to a significantly reduced sea ice cover in the central Arctic Ocean, a scenario that is however not supported by the proxy record and thus seems to be less realistic. Our Holocene biomarker proxy records from the Chukchi Sea indicate that main factors controlling the millennial Holocene variability in sea ice are probably changes in surface water and heat flow from the Pacific into the Arctic Ocean as well as the long-term decrease in summer insolation

  19. The effects of additional black carbon on the albedo of Arctic sea ice: variation with sea ice type and snow cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Marks

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The response of the albedo of bare sea ice and snow-covered sea ice to the addition of black carbon is calculated. Visible light absorption and light-scattering cross-sections are derived for a typical first-year and multi-year sea ice with both "dry" and "wet" snow types. The cross-sections are derived using data from a 1970s field study that recorded both reflectivity and light penetration in Arctic sea ice and snow overlying sea ice. The variation of absorption cross-section over the visible wavelengths suggests black carbon is the dominating light-absorbing impurity. The response of first-year and multi-year sea ice albedo to increasing black carbon, from 1 to 1024 ng g−1, in a top 5 cm layer of a 155 cm-thick sea ice was calculated using a radiative-transfer model. The albedo of the first-year sea ice is more sensitive to additional loadings of black carbon than the multi-year sea ice. An addition of 8 ng g−1 of black carbon causes a decrease to 98.7% of the original albedo for first-year sea ice compared to a decrease to 99.7% for the albedo of multi-year sea ice, at a wavelength of 500 nm. The albedo of sea ice is surprisingly unresponsive to additional black carbon up to 100 ng g−1 . Snow layers on sea ice may mitigate the effects of black carbon in sea ice. Wet and dry snow layers of 0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 10 cm depth were added onto the sea ice surface. The albedo of the snow surface was calculated whilst the black carbon in the underlying sea ice was increased. A layer of snow 0.5 cm thick greatly diminishes the effect of black carbon in sea ice on the surface albedo. The albedo of a 2–5 cm snow layer (less than the e-folding depth of snow is still influenced by the underlying sea ice, but the effect of additional black carbon in the sea ice is masked.

  20. Ice–ocean coupled computations for sea-ice prediction to support ice navigation in Arctic sea routes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyanarachchi Waruna Arampath De Silva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available With the recent rapid decrease in summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean extending the navigation period in the Arctic sea routes (ASR, the precise prediction of ice distribution is crucial for safe and efficient navigation in the Arctic Ocean. In general, however, most of the available numerical models have exhibited significant uncertainties in short-term and narrow-area predictions, especially in marginal ice zones such as the ASR. In this study, we predict short-term sea-ice conditions in the ASR by using a mesoscale eddy-resolving ice–ocean coupled model that explicitly treats ice floe collisions in marginal ice zones. First, numerical issues associated with collision rheology in the ice–ocean coupled model (ice–Princeton Ocean Model [POM] are discussed and resolved. A model for the whole of the Arctic Ocean with a coarser resolution (about 25 km was developed to investigate the performance of the ice–POM model by examining the reproducibility of seasonal and interannual sea-ice variability. It was found that this coarser resolution model can reproduce seasonal and interannual sea-ice variations compared to observations, but it cannot be used to predict variations over the short-term, such as one to two weeks. Therefore, second, high-resolution (about 2.5 km regional models were set up along the ASR to investigate the accuracy of short-term sea-ice predictions. High-resolution computations were able to reasonably reproduce the sea-ice extent compared to Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer–Earth Observing System satellite observations because of the improved expression of the ice–albedo feedback process and the ice–eddy interaction process.

  1. Modelling snow ice and superimposed ice on landfast sea ice in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caixin Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Snow ice and superimposed ice formation on landfast sea ice in a Svalbard fjord, Kongsfjorden, was investigated with a high-resolution thermodynamic snow and sea-ice model, applying meteorological weather station data as external forcing. The model shows that sea-ice formation occurs both at the ice bottom and at the snow/ice interface. Modelling results indicated that the total snow ice and superimposed ice, which formed at the snow/ice interface, was about 14 cm during the simulation period, accounting for about 15% of the total ice mass and 35% of the total ice growth. Introducing a time-dependent snow density improved the modelled results, and a time-dependent oceanic heat flux parameterization yielded reasonable ice growth at the ice bottom. Model results suggest that weather conditions, in particular air temperature and precipitation, as well as snow thermal properties and surface albedo are the most critical factors for the development of snow ice and superimposed ice in Kongsfjorden. While both warming air and higher precipitation led to increased snow ice and superimposed ice forming in Kongsfjorden in the model runs, the processes were more sensitive to precipitation than to air temperature.

  2. Collaborations for Arctic Sea Ice Information and Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffield Guy, L.; Wiggins, H. V.; Turner-Bogren, E. J.; Rich, R. H.

    2017-12-01

    The dramatic and rapid changes in Arctic sea ice require collaboration across boundaries, including between disciplines, sectors, institutions, and between scientists and decision-makers. This poster will highlight several projects that provide knowledge to advance the development and use of sea ice knowledge. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO: https://www.arcus.org/search-program/siwo) - SIWO is a resource for Alaskan Native subsistence hunters and other interested stakeholders. SIWO provides weekly reports, during April-June, of sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the northern Bering and southern Chukchi seas. Collaboration among scientists, Alaskan Native sea-ice experts, and the Eskimo Walrus Commission is fundamental to this project's success. Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN: https://www.arcus.org/sipn) - A collaborative, multi-agency-funded project focused on seasonal Arctic sea ice predictions. The goals of SIPN include: coordinate and evaluate Arctic sea ice predictions; integrate, assess, and guide observations; synthesize predictions and observations; and disseminate predictions and engage key stakeholders. The Sea Ice Outlook—a key activity of SIPN—is an open process to share and synthesize predictions of the September minimum Arctic sea ice extent and other variables. Other SIPN activities include workshops, webinars, and communications across the network. Directory of Sea Ice Experts (https://www.arcus.org/researchers) - ARCUS has undertaken a pilot project to develop a web-based directory of sea ice experts across institutions, countries, and sectors. The goal of the project is to catalyze networking between individual investigators, institutions, funding agencies, and other stakeholders interested in Arctic sea ice. Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH: https://www.arcus.org/search-program) - SEARCH is a collaborative program that advances research, synthesizes research findings, and broadly communicates the results to support

  3. Wind-sea surface temperature-sea ice relationship in the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas during autumn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jing; Stegall, Steve T.; Zhang, Xiangdong

    2018-03-01

    Dramatic climate changes, especially the largest sea ice retreat during September and October, in the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas could be a consequence of, and further enhance, complex air-ice-sea interactions. To detect these interaction signals, statistical relationships between surface wind speed, sea surface temperature (SST), and sea ice concentration (SIC) were analyzed. The results show a negative correlation between wind speed and SIC. The relationships between wind speed and SST are complicated by the presence of sea ice, with a negative correlation over open water but a positive correlation in sea ice dominated areas. The examination of spatial structures indicates that wind speed tends to increase when approaching the ice edge from open water and the area fully covered by sea ice. The anomalous downward radiation and thermal advection, as well as their regional distribution, play important roles in shaping these relationships, though wind-driven sub-grid scale boundary layer processes may also have contributions. Considering the feedback loop involved in the wind-SST-SIC relationships, climate model experiments would be required to further untangle the underlying complex physical processes.

  4. Loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perovich, Donald K; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A

    2009-01-01

    The Arctic sea ice cover is in decline. The areal extent of the ice cover has been decreasing for the past few decades at an accelerating rate. Evidence also points to a decrease in sea ice thickness and a reduction in the amount of thicker perennial sea ice. A general global warming trend has made the ice cover more vulnerable to natural fluctuations in atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The observed reduction in Arctic sea ice is a consequence of both thermodynamic and dynamic processes, including such factors as preconditioning of the ice cover, overall warming trends, changes in cloud coverage, shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns, increased export of older ice out of the Arctic, advection of ocean heat from the Pacific and North Atlantic, enhanced solar heating of the ocean, and the ice-albedo feedback. The diminishing Arctic sea ice is creating social, political, economic, and ecological challenges.

  5. MODIS Snow and Sea Ice Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Riggs, George A.; Salomonson, Vincent V.

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe the suite of Earth Observing System (EOS) Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua snow and sea ice products. Global, daily products, developed at Goddard Space Flight Center, are archived and distributed through the National Snow and Ice Data Center at various resolutions and on different grids useful for different communities Snow products include binary snow cover, snow albedo, and in the near future, fraction of snow in a 5OO-m pixel. Sea ice products include ice extent determined with two different algorithms, and sea ice surface temperature. The algorithms used to develop these products are described. Both the snow and sea ice products, available since February 24,2000, are useful for modelers. Validation of the products is also discussed.

  6. Sea-ice deformation in a coupled ocean–sea-ice model and in satellite remote sensing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Spreen

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A realistic representation of sea-ice deformation in models is important for accurate simulation of the sea-ice mass balance. Simulated sea-ice deformation from numerical simulations with 4.5, 9, and 18 km horizontal grid spacing and a viscous–plastic (VP sea-ice rheology are compared with synthetic aperture radar (SAR satellite observations (RGPS, RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System for the time period 1996–2008. All three simulations can reproduce the large-scale ice deformation patterns, but small-scale sea-ice deformations and linear kinematic features (LKFs are not adequately reproduced. The mean sea-ice total deformation rate is about 40 % lower in all model solutions than in the satellite observations, especially in the seasonal sea-ice zone. A decrease in model grid spacing, however, produces a higher density and more localized ice deformation features. The 4.5 km simulation produces some linear kinematic features, but not with the right frequency. The dependence on length scale and probability density functions (PDFs of absolute divergence and shear for all three model solutions show a power-law scaling behavior similar to RGPS observations, contrary to what was found in some previous studies. Overall, the 4.5 km simulation produces the most realistic divergence, vorticity, and shear when compared with RGPS data. This study provides an evaluation of high and coarse-resolution viscous–plastic sea-ice simulations based on spatial distribution, time series, and power-law scaling metrics.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Sea level change: lessons from the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    1995-01-01

    Rising sea level is potentially one of the most serious impacts of climatic change. Even a small sea level rise would have serious economic consequences because it would cause extensive damage to the world's coastal regions. Sea level can rise in the future because the ocean surface can expand due to warming and because polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers can melt, increasing the ocean's volume of water. Today, ice caps on Antarctica and Greenland contain 91 and 8 percent of the world's ice, respectively. The world's mountain glaciers together contain only about 1 percent. Melting all this ice would raise sea level about 80 meters. Although this extreme scenario is not expected, geologists know that sea level can rise and fall rapidly due to changing volume of ice on continents. For example, during the last ice age, about 18,000 years ago, continental ice sheets contained more than double the modem volume of ice. As ice sheets melted, sea level rose 2 to 3 meters per century, and possibly faster during certain times. During periods in which global climate was very warm, polar ice was reduced and sea level was higher than today.

  10. Sea ice algal biomass and physiology in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin R. Arrigo

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Sea ice covers approximately 5% of the ocean surface and is one of the most extensive ecosystems on the planet. The microbial communities that live in sea ice represent an important food source for numerous organisms at a time of year when phytoplankton in the water column are scarce. Here we describe the distributions and physiology of sea ice microalgae in the poorly studied Amundsen Sea sector of the Southern Ocean. Microalgal biomass was relatively high in sea ice in the Amundsen Sea, due primarily to well developed surface communities that would have been replenished with nutrients during seawater flooding of the surface as a result of heavy snow accumulation. Elevated biomass was also occasionally observed in slush, interior, and bottom ice microhabitats throughout the region. Sea ice microalgal photophysiology appeared to be controlled by the availability of both light and nutrients. Surface communities used an active xanthophyll cycle and effective pigment sunscreens to protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet and visible radiation. Acclimation to low light microhabitats in sea ice was facilitated by enhanced pigment content per cell, greater photosynthetic accessory pigments, and increased photosynthetic efficiency. Photoacclimation was especially effective in the bottom ice community, where ready access to nutrients would have allowed ice microalgae to synthesize a more efficient photosynthetic apparatus. Surprisingly, the pigment-detected prymnesiophyte Phaeocystis antarctica was an important component of surface communities (slush and surface ponds where its acclimation to high light may precondition it to seed phytoplankton blooms after the sea ice melts in spring.

  11. Arctic Sea Ice Freeboard and Thickness

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set provides measurements of sea ice freeboard and sea ice thickness for the Arctic region. The data were derived from measurements made by from the Ice,...

  12. Sensitivity of open-water ice growth and ice concentration evolution in a coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xiaoxu; Lohmann, Gerrit

    2017-09-01

    A coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model is applied to investigate to what degree the area-thickness distribution of new ice formed in open water affects the ice and ocean properties. Two sensitivity experiments are performed which modify the horizontal-to-vertical aspect ratio of open-water ice growth. The resulting changes in the Arctic sea-ice concentration strongly affect the surface albedo, the ocean heat release to the atmosphere, and the sea-ice production. The changes are further amplified through a positive feedback mechanism among the Arctic sea ice, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and the surface air temperature in the Arctic, as the Fram Strait sea ice import influences the freshwater budget in the North Atlantic Ocean. Anomalies in sea-ice transport lead to changes in sea surface properties of the North Atlantic and the strength of AMOC. For the Southern Ocean, the most pronounced change is a warming along the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), owing to the interhemispheric bipolar seasaw linked to AMOC weakening. Another insight of this study lies on the improvement of our climate model. The ocean component FESOM is a newly developed ocean-sea ice model with an unstructured mesh and multi-resolution. We find that the subpolar sea-ice boundary in the Northern Hemisphere can be improved by tuning the process of open-water ice growth, which strongly influences the sea ice concentration in the marginal ice zone, the North Atlantic circulation, salinity and Arctic sea ice volume. Since the distribution of new ice on open water relies on many uncertain parameters and the knowledge of the detailed processes is currently too crude, it is a challenge to implement the processes realistically into models. Based on our sensitivity experiments, we conclude a pronounced uncertainty related to open-water sea ice growth which could significantly affect the climate system sensitivity.

  13. 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

  14. Evidence for the former existence of a thicker ice sheet on the Vestfjella nunataks in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lintinen, P.

    1996-06-01

    Full Text Available Vestfjella (73-74°S, 13-16°W is a 130 km long nunatak range in western Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica, and its northern and southern ends are situated close to the present ice sheet grounding-line. Striations and lodgement till on nunatak Basen indicate that the northernmost Vestfjella nunataks were formerly covered by a thicker Antarctic ice sheet. Striations on the summit ridge of nunatak Plogen indicate that the minimum change in ice thickness has been 700 m at the present ice sheet grounding-line. The relatively uniform oldest striation direction on different nunatak summits and the altitude of Plogen, which is less than 200 m lower than the highest Vestfjella summits, indicates that the whole of Vestfjella may have been covered by an ice sheet. Oxidation of till surface stones and an increased clay fraction in the upper part of the till layer were the only indications of soil formation on Basen. The unweathered nature of the Basen lodgement till indicate a relatively young age for deglaciation. This conclusion is also supported by age determinations and sedimentological data obtained from Weddell Sea sediments by Norwegian researchers, suggesting that a grounded ice sheet extended to the shelf edge at around 21 ka B.P. However the age of the glaciation which covered Basen and Plogen and the subsequent deglaciation is not based on precise dates and therefore the late Wisconsinan/Weichselian age is only a working hypothesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Satellite and airborne altimetry provide the longest continuous record from which the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet can be derived, starting with the launch of ERS-1 in 1992. Accurate knowledge of the long-term mass balance is vital for understanding the geophysical processes governing the ice sheet contribution to present day sea-level rise. However, this record is comprised of several different measurement systems, with different accuracies and varying resolution. This poses a major challenge on the interpretation and reconstruction of consistent elevation-change time series for determining long-term ice sheet trends and variability. Previous studies using data from multiple satellite altimetry missions have relied on a cross-calibration technique based on crossover bias analysis to merge records from different sensors. This methodology, though accurate, limits the spatial coverage to typical resolutions of 10-50 km, restricting the approach to regional or continental-wide studies. In this study, we present a novel framework for seamless integration of heterogeneous altimetry records, using an adaptive least-squares minimization technique. The procedure allows reconstructing time series at fine spatial (sheet, including both data from the European Space Agency (ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and CryoSat-2) and NASA (ICESat and Operation IceBridge), with future inclusion of data from NASA's ICESat-2. Mission specific errors, estimated from independent airborne measurements and crossover analysis, are propagated to derive uncertainty bounds for each individual time series. We also perform an extensive analysis of the major corrections applied to raw satellite altimetry data to assess their overall effect on the estimated uncertainty. This methodology will allow us to determine robust long-term changes in the surface elevation of grounded Antarctic ice. Such a dataset will be invaluable to advancing ice sheet assimilation efforts and to disentangle causal

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. New details about the LGM extent and subsequent retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klages, J. P.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J. A.; Graham, A. G. C.; Nitsche, F. O.; Frederichs, T.; Arndt, J. E.; Gebhardt, C.; Robin, Z.; Uenzelmann-Neben, G.; Gohl, K.; Jernas, P.; Wacker, L.

    2017-12-01

    In recent years several previously undiscovered grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) have been described within the Abbot-Cosgrove palaeo-ice stream trough on the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf. These GZWs document both the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 26.5-19 cal. ka BP) grounding-line extent and the subsequent episodic retreat within this trough that neighbors the larger Pine Island-Thwaites trough to the west. Here we combine bathymetric, seismic, and geologic data showing that 1) the grounding line in Abbot Trough did not reach the continental shelf break at any time during the last glacial period, and 2) a prominent stacked GZW constructed from six individual wedges lying upon another was deposited 100 km upstream from the LGM grounding-line position. The available data allow for calculating volumes for most of these individual GZWs and for the entire stack. Sediment cores were recovered seawards from the outermost GZW in the trough, and from the individual wedges of the stacked GZW in order to define the LGM grounding-line extent, and provide minimum grounding-line retreat ages for the respective positions on the stacked GZW. We present implications of a grounded-ice free outer shelf throughout the last glacial period. Furthermore, we assess the significance of the grounding-line stillstand period recorded by the stacked GZW in Abbot Trough for the timing of post-LGM retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf.

  19. Ice formation and growth shape bacterial community structure in Baltic Sea drift ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eronen-Rasimus, Eeva; Lyra, Christina; Rintala, Janne-Markus; Jürgens, Klaus; Ikonen, Vilma; Kaartokallio, Hermanni

    2015-02-01

    Drift ice, open water and under-ice water bacterial communities covering several developmental stages from open water to thick ice were studied in the northern Baltic Sea. The bacterial communities were assessed with 16S rRNA gene terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism and cloning, together with bacterial abundance and production measurements. In the early stages, open water and pancake ice were dominated by Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria, which are common bacterial groups in Baltic Sea wintertime surface waters. The pancake ice bacterial communities were similar to the open-water communities, suggesting that the parent water determines the sea-ice bacterial community in the early stages of sea-ice formation. In consolidated young and thick ice, the bacterial communities were significantly different from water bacterial communities as well as from each other, indicating community development in Baltic Sea drift ice along with ice-type changes. The thick ice was dominated by typical sea-ice genera from classes Flavobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, similar to those in polar sea-ice bacterial communities. Since the thick ice bacterial community was remarkably different from that of the parent seawater, results indicate that thick ice bacterial communities were recruited from the rarer members of the seawater bacterial community. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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. Calculation of mass discharge of the Greenland ice sheet in the Earth System Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. O. Rybak

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Mass discharge calculation is a challenging task for the ice sheet modeling aimed at evaluation of their contribution to the global sea level rise during past interglacials, as well as one of the consequences of future climate change. In Greenland, ablation is the major source of fresh water runoff. It is approximately equal to the dynamical discharge (iceberg calving. Its share might have still larger during the past interglacials when the margins of the GrIS retreated inland. Refreezing of the melted water and its retention are two poorly known processes playing as a counterpart of melting and, thus, exerting influence on the run off. Interaction of ice sheets and climate is driven by energy and mass exchange processes and is complicated by numerous feed-backs. To study the complex of these processes, coupling of an ice sheet model and a climate model (i.e. models of the atmosphere and the ocean in one model is required, which is often called the Earth System Model (ESM. Formalization of processes of interaction between the ice sheets and climate within the ESM requires elaboration of special techniques to deal with dramatic differences in spatial and temporal variability scales within each of three ESM’s blocks. In this paper, we focus on the method of coupling of a Greenland ice sheet model (GrISM with the climate model INMCM having been developed in the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of Russian Academy of Sciences. Our coupling approach consists in applying of a special buffer model, which serves as an interface between GrISM and INMCM. A simple energy and water exchange model (EWBM-G allows realistic description of surface air temperature and precipitation fields adjusted to a relief of elevation of the GrIS surface. In a series of diagnostic numerical experiments with the present-day GrIS geometry and the modeled climate we studied sensitivity of the modeled surface mass balance and run off to the key EWBM-G parameters and compared

  2. History of sea ice in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polyak, Leonid; Alley, Richard B.; Andrews, John T.

    2010-01-01

    Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past. This inf......Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past...... Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even...

  3. 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

  4. Icebase: A suborbital survey to map geothermal heat flux under an ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purucker, Michael E.; Connerney, John E. P.; Blakely, Richard J.; Bracken, Robert E.; Nowicki, Sophie; Le, Guan; Sabaka, Terence J.; Bonalsky, Todd M.; Kuang, Weijia; Ravat, Dhananjay; Ritz, Catherine; Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Gaina, Carmen; McEnroe, Suzanne; Lesur, Vincent

    2013-04-01

    NASA will solicit suborbital missions as part of its Earth Venture program element in the coming year. These missions are designed as complete PI-led investigations to conduct innovative hypothesis or scientific question-driven approaches to pressing questions in Earth System science. We propose to carry out a suborbital magnetic survey of Greenland using NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle to produce the first-ever map of the geothermal heat flux under an ice sheet. Better constraints on geothermal heat flux will reduce the uncertainty in future sea level rise, in turn allowing a more informed assessment of its impact on society. The geothermal heat flux depends on conditions such as mantle heat flux, and the tectonic history and heat production of the crust, all of which vary spatially. Underneath ice sheets, the geothermal heat flux influences the basal ice. Therefore heat flux is an important boundary condition in ice sheet modeling. Using magnetic data to constrain heat flux is possible because the magnetic properties of rocks are temperature dependent until they reach the Curie temperature. The technique has applications to understanding the response of Greenland ice sheet to climate forcing because the basal heat flux provides one of the boundary conditions. The technique also helps to locate the oldest ice. The oldest ice in Greenland should be found in areas of very low heat flux, and the identification of those areas is provided by this technique. Ice cores from the areas of oldest ice help to decipher past temperatures and CO2 contents. Our latest model of the geothermal heat flux under the Greenland ice sheet (http://websrv.cs.umt.edu/isis/index.php/Greenland_Basal_Heat_Flux) is based on low- resolution satellite observations collected by the CHAMP satellite between 2000 and 2010. Those observations will be enhanced by the upcoming Swarm gradient satellite mission, but the resolution will improve by less than a factor of two, from 400 km

  5. Sea ice biogeochemistry: a guide for modellers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letizia Tedesco

    Full Text Available Sea ice is a fundamental component of the climate system and plays a key role in polar trophic food webs. Nonetheless sea ice biogeochemical dynamics at large temporal and spatial scales are still rarely described. Numerical models may potentially contribute integrating among sparse observations, but available models of sea ice biogeochemistry are still scarce, whether their relevance for properly describing the current and future state of the polar oceans has been recently addressed. A general methodology to develop a sea ice biogeochemical model is presented, deriving it from an existing validated model application by extension of generic pelagic biogeochemistry model parameterizations. The described methodology is flexible and considers different levels of ecosystem complexity and vertical representation, while adopting a strategy of coupling that ensures mass conservation. We show how to apply this methodology step by step by building an intermediate complexity model from a published realistic application and applying it to analyze theoretically a typical season of first-year sea ice in the Arctic, the one currently needing the most urgent understanding. The aim is to (1 introduce sea ice biogeochemistry and address its relevance to ocean modelers of polar regions, supporting them in adding a new sea ice component to their modelling framework for a more adequate representation of the sea ice-covered ocean ecosystem as a whole, and (2 extend our knowledge on the relevant controlling factors of sea ice algal production, showing that beyond the light and nutrient availability, the duration of the sea ice season may play a key-role shaping the algal production during the on going and upcoming projected changes.

  6. Variational Ridging in Sea Ice Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, A.; Hunke, E. C.; Lipscomb, W. H.; Maslowski, W.; Kamal, S.

    2017-12-01

    This work presents the results of a new development to make basin-scale sea ice models aware of the shape, porosity and extent of individual ridges within the pack. We have derived an analytic solution for the Euler-Lagrange equation of individual ridges that accounts for non-conservative forces, and therefore the compressive strength of individual ridges. Because a region of the pack is simply a collection of paths of individual ridges, we are able to solve the Euler-Lagrange equation for a large-scale sea ice field also, and therefore the compressive strength of a region of the pack that explicitly accounts for the macro-porosity of ridged debris. We make a number of assumptions that have simplified the problem, such as treating sea ice as a granular material in ridges, and assuming that bending moments associated with ridging are perturbations around an isostatic state. Regardless of these simplifications, the ridge model is remarkably predictive of macro-porosity and ridge shape, and, because our equations are analytic, they do not require costly computations to solve the Euler-Lagrange equation of ridges on the large scale. The new ridge model is therefore applicable to large-scale sea ice models. We present results from this theoretical development, as well as plans to apply it to the Regional Arctic System Model and a community sea ice code. Most importantly, the new ridging model is particularly useful for pinpointing gaps in our observational record of sea ice ridges, and points to the need for improved measurements of the evolution of porosity of deformed ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. Such knowledge is not only useful for improving models, but also for improving estimates of sea ice volume derived from altimetric measurements of sea ice freeboard.

  7. Observation and modeling of snow melt and superimposed ice formation on sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Haas, Christian

    2004-01-01

    Sea ice plays a key role within the global climate system. It covers some 7% of earths surface and processes a strong seasonal cycle. Snow on sea ice even amplifies the importance of sea ice in the coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean system, because it dominates surface properties and energy balance (incl. albedo).Several quantitative observations of summer sea ice and its snow cover show the formation of superimposed ice and a gap layer underneath, which was found to be associated to high standing ...

  8. 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

    driving warming and accelerating ice sheet failure. Given that sea level rise projected into the future is global and not reversible, paleoclimate science should help drive social and political action aimed at short-term fixes and long-term "managed retreat" of human infrastructure from our coastlines.

  9. Multiscale Models of Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

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

  10. Thermodynamical effects accompanied freezing of two water layers separated by sea ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogorodsky, Petr; Marchenko, Aleksey

    2014-05-01

    The process of melt pond freezing is very important for generation of sea ice cover thermodynamic and mass balance during winterperiod. However, due to significant difficulties of field measurements the available data of model estimations still have no instrumental confirmation. In May 2009 the authors carried out laboratory experiment on freezing of limited water volume in the University Centre in Svalbard ice tank. In the course of experiment fresh water layer of 27.5 cm thickness at freezing point poured on the 24 cm sea ice layer was cooled during 50 hours at the temperature -10º C and then once again during 60 hours at -20º C. For revealing process typical characteristics the data of continuous measurements of temperature and salinity in different phases were compared with data of numerical computations obtained with thermodynamic model which was formulated in the frames of 1-D equation system (infinite extension of water freezing layer) and adapted to laboratory conditions. The known surprise of the experiment became proximity of calculated and measured estimates of process dynamics that confirmed the adequacy of the problem mathematical statement (excluding probably process finale stage). This effect can be explained by formation of cracks on the upper layer of ice at sharp decreases of air temperature, which temporary compensated hydrostatic pressure growth during freezing of closed water volume. Another compensated mechanism can be migration of brine through the lower layer of ice under influence of vertical pressure gradient and also rejection of gas dissolved in water which increased its compressibility. During 110 hours cooling thickness of water layer between ice layers reduced approximately to 2 cm. According to computations this layer is not chilled completely but keeps as thin brine interlayer within ice body whose thickness (about units of mm) is determined by temperature fluctuations of cooled surface. Nevertheless, despite good coincidence of

  11. How reversible is sea ice loss?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. K. Ridley

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available It is well accepted that increasing atmospheric CO2 results in global warming, leading to a decline in polar sea ice area. Here, the specific question of whether there is a tipping point in the sea ice cover is investigated. The global climate model HadCM3 is used to map the trajectory of sea ice area under idealised scenarios. The atmospheric CO2 is first ramped up to four times pre-industrial levels (4 × CO2, then ramped down to pre-industrial levels. We also examine the impact of stabilising climate at 4 × CO2 prior to ramping CO2 down to pre-industrial levels. Against global mean temperature, Arctic sea ice area is reversible, while the Antarctic sea ice shows some asymmetric behaviour – its rate of change slower, with falling temperatures, than its rate of change with rising temperatures. However, we show that the asymmetric behaviour is driven by hemispherical differences in temperature change between transient and stabilisation periods. We find no irreversible behaviour in the sea ice cover.

  12. 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.

  13. Ice loading model for Glacial Isostatic Adjustment in the Barents Sea constrained by GRACE gravity observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, Bart; Tarasov, Lev; van der Wal, Wouter

    2014-05-01

    The global ice budget is still under discussion because the observed 120-130 m eustatic sea level equivalent since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) can not be explained by the current knowledge of land-ice melt after the LGM. One possible location for the missing ice is the Barents Sea Region, which was completely covered with ice during the LGM. This is deduced from relative sea level observations on Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and the North coast of Scandinavia. However, there are no observations in the middle of the Barents Sea that capture the post-glacial uplift. With increased precision and longer time series of monthly gravity observations of the GRACE satellite mission it is possible to constrain Glacial Isostatic Adjustment in the center of the Barents Sea. This study investigates the extra constraint provided by GRACE data for modeling the past ice geometry in the Barents Sea. We use CSR release 5 data from February 2003 to July 2013. The GRACE data is corrected for the past 10 years of secular decline of glacier ice on Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and Frans Joseph Land. With numerical GIA models for a radially symmetric Earth, we model the expected gravity changes and compare these with the GRACE observations after smoothing with a 250 km Gaussian filter. The comparisons show that for the viscosity profile VM5a, ICE-5G has too strong a gravity signal compared to GRACE. The regional calibrated ice sheet model (GLAC) of Tarasov appears to fit the amplitude of the GRACE signal. However, the GRACE data are very sensitive to the ice-melt correction, especially for Novaya Zemlya. Furthermore, the ice mass should be more concentrated to the middle of the Barents Sea. Alternative viscosity models confirm these conclusions.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Biologically-Oriented Processes in the Coastal Sea Ice Zone of the White Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnikov, I. A.

    2002-12-01

    The annual advance and retreat of sea ice is a major physical determinant of spatial and temporal changes in the structure and function of marine coastal biological communities. Sea ice biological data obtained in the tidal zone of Kandalaksha Gulf (White Sea) during 1996-2001 period will be presented. Previous observations in this area were mainly conducted during the ice-free summer season. However, there is little information on the ice-covered winter season (6-7 months duration), and, especially, on the sea-ice biology in the coastal zone within tidal regimes. During the January-May period time-series observations were conducted on transects along shorelines with coastal and fast ice. Trends in the annual extent of sea ice showed significant impacts on ice-associated biological communities. Three types of sea ice impact on kelps, balanoides, littorinas and amphipods are distinguished: (i) positive, when sea ice protects these populations from grinding (ii) negative, when ice grinds both fauna and flora, and (iii) a combined effect, when fast ice protects, but anchored ice grinds plant and animals. To understand the full spectrum of ecological problems caused by pollution on the coastal zone, as well as the problems of sea ice melting caused by global warming, an integrated, long-term study of the physical, chemical, and biological processes is needed.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improving Arctic Sea Ice Edge Forecasts by Assimilating High Horizontal Resolution Sea Ice Concentration Data into the US Navy’s Ice Forecast Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-13

    1735-2015 © Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Improving Arctic sea ice edge forecasts by assimilating high horizontal resolution sea ice...concentration data into the US Navy’s ice forecast systems P. G. Posey1, E. J. Metzger1, A. J. Wallcraft1, D. A. Hebert1, R. A. Allard1, O. M. Smedstad2...error within the US Navy’s operational sea ice forecast systems gained by assimilating high horizontal resolution satellite-derived ice concentration

  1. Knowledge-based sea ice classification by polarimetric SAR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skriver, Henning; Dierking, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    Polarimetric SAR images acquired at C- and L-band over sea ice in the Greenland Sea, Baltic Sea, and Beaufort Sea have been analysed with respect to their potential for ice type classification. The polarimetric data were gathered by the Danish EMISAR and the US AIRSAR which both are airborne...... systems. A hierarchical classification scheme was chosen for sea ice because our knowledge about magnitudes, variations, and dependences of sea ice signatures can be directly considered. The optimal sequence of classification rules and the rules themselves depend on the ice conditions/regimes. The use...... of the polarimetric phase information improves the classification only in the case of thin ice types but is not necessary for thicker ice (above about 30 cm thickness)...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Sea Ice, Climate and Fram Strait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunkins, K.

    1984-01-01

    When sea ice is formed the albedo of the ocean surface increases from its open water value of about 0.1 to a value as high as 0.8. This albedo change effects the radiation balance and thus has the potential to alter climate. Sea ice also partially seals off the ocean from the atmosphere, reducing the exchange of gases such as carbon dioxide. This is another possible mechanism by which climate might be affected. The Marginal Ice Zone Experiment (MIZEX 83 to 84) is an international, multidisciplinary study of processes controlling the edge of the ice pack in that area including the interactions between sea, air and ice.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Radiative transfer in atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Z.; Stamnes, K.; Weeks, W.F. [Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Tsay, S.C. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)

    1996-04-01

    Radiative energy is critical in controlling the heat and mass balance of sea ice, which significantly affects the polar climate. In the polar oceans, light transmission through the atmosphere and sea ice is essential to the growth of plankton and algae and, consequently, to the microbial community both in the ice and in the ocean. Therefore, the study of radiative transfer in the polar atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean system is of particular importance. Lacking a properly coupled radiative transfer model for the atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system, a consistent study of the radiative transfer in the polar atmosphere, snow, sea ice, and ocean system has not been undertaken before. The radiative transfer processes in the atmosphere and in the ice and ocean have been treated separately. Because the radiation processes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean depend on each other, this separate treatment is inconsistent. To study the radiative interaction between the atmosphere, clouds, snow, sea ice, and ocean, a radiative transfer model with consistent treatment of radiation in the coupled system is needed and is under development.

  12. Intercomparison of passive microwave sea ice concentration retrievals over the high-concentration Arctic sea ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    andersen, susanne; Tonboe, R.; Kaleschke, L.

    2007-01-01

    [1] Measurements of sea ice concentration from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) using seven different algorithms are compared to ship observations, sea ice divergence estimates from the Radarsat Geophysical Processor System, and ice and water surface type classification of 59 wide...... with sensor noise between 1.3 and 1.8%. This is in accord with variability estimated from analysis of SSM/I time series. Algorithms, which primarily use 85 GHz information, consistently give the best agreement with both SAR ice concentrations and ship observations. Although the 85 GHz information is more...... sensitive to atmospheric influences, it was found that the atmospheric contribution is secondary to the influence of the surface emissivity variability. Analysis of the entire SSM/I time series shows that there are significant differences in trend between sea ice extent and area, using different algorithms...

  13. 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.

  14. Under the sea ice: Exploring the relationship between sea ice and the foraging behaviour of southern elephant seals in East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    Investigating ecological relationships between predators and their environment is essential to understand the response of marine ecosystems to climate variability and change. This is particularly true in polar regions, where sea ice (a sensitive climate variable) plays a crucial yet highly dynamic and variable role in how it influences the whole marine ecosystem, from phytoplankton to top predators. For mesopredators such as seals, sea ice both supports a rich (under-ice) food resource, access to which depends on local to regional coverage and conditions. Here, we investigate sex-specific relationships between the foraging strategies of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in winter and spatio-temporal variability in sea ice concentration (SIC) and coverage in East Antarctica. We satellite-tracked 46 individuals undertaking post-moult trips in winter from Kerguelen Islands to the peri-Antarctic shelf between 2004 and 2014. These data indicate distinct general patterns of sea ice usage: while females tended to follow the sea ice edge as it extended northward, the males remained on the continental shelf despite increasing sea ice. Seal hunting time, a proxy of foraging activity inferred from the diving behaviour, was longer for females in late autumn in the outer part of the pack ice, ∼150-370 km south of the ice edge. Within persistent regions of compact sea ice, females had a longer foraging activity (i) in the highest sea ice concentration at their position, but (ii) their foraging activity was longer when there were more patches of low concentration sea ice around their position (either in time or in space; 30 days & 50 km). The high spatio-temporal variability of sea ice around female positions is probably a key factor allowing them to exploit these concentrated patches. Despite lack of information on prey availability, females may exploit mesopelagic finfishes and squids that concentrate near the ice-water interface or within the water column (from

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Reconstructing the temperature regime of the Weichselian ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holmlund, P.

    1997-01-01

    Areas in Swed