A high resolution record of Greenland mass balance

McMillan, Malcolm and Leeson, Amber Alexandra and Shepherd, Andrew and Briggs, Kate and Armitage, Thomas W. K. and Hogg, Anna and Kuipers Munneke, Peter and Van Den Broeke, Michiel and Brice, Noël and van de Berg, Willem Jan and Ligtenberg, Stefan and Horwath, Martin and Groh, Andreas and Muir, Alan and Gilbert, Lin (2016) A high resolution record of Greenland mass balance. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (13). pp. 7002-7010. ISSN 0094-8276

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We map recent Greenland Ice Sheet elevation change at high spatial (5-km) and temporal (monthly) resolution using CryoSat-2 altimetry. After correcting for the impact of changing snowpack properties associated with unprecedented surface melting in 2012, we find good agreement (3 cm/yr bias) with airborne measurements. With the aid of regional climate and firn modelling, we compute high spatial and temporal resolution records of Greenland mass evolution, which correlate (R = 0.96) with monthly satellite gravimetry, and reveal glacier dynamic imbalance. During 2011-2014, Greenland mass loss averaged 269 ± 51 Gt/yr. Atmospherically-driven losses were widespread, with surface melt variability driving large fluctuations in the annual mass deficit. Terminus regions of five dynamically-thinning glaciers, which constitute less than 1% of Greenland's area, contributed more than 12% of the net ice loss. This high-resolution record demonstrates that mass deficits extending over small spatial and temporal scales have made a relatively large contribution to recent ice sheet imbalance.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Information:
©2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? greenland ice sheetmass balancealtimetrycryosat-2gracegeophysicsearth and planetary sciences(all) ??
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Deposited On:
29 Jun 2016 13:00
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:42