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224 Research products, page 1 of 23

  • European Marine Science
  • European Commission
  • ICE2SEA

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  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alison J. Cook; Tavi Murray; Adrian Luckman; David G. Vaughan; Nicholas E. Barrand;
    Country: United Kingdom
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    A high resolution surface topography Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is required to underpin studies of the complex glacier system on the Antarctic Peninsula. A complete DEM with better than 200 m pixel size and high positional and vertical accuracy would enable mapping of all significant glacial basins and provide a dataset for glacier morphology analyses. No currently available DEM meets these specifications. We present a new 100-m DEM of the Antarctic Peninsula (63&ndash;70&deg; S), based on ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) data. The raw GDEM products are of high-quality on the rugged terrain and coastal-regions of the Antarctic Peninsula and have good geospatial accuracy, but they also contain large errors on ice-covered terrain and we seek to minimise these artefacts. Conventional data correction techniques do not work so we have developed a method that significantly improves the dataset, smoothing the erroneous regions and hence creating a DEM with a pixel size of 100 m that will be suitable for many glaciological applications. We evaluate the new DEM using ICESat-derived elevations, and perform horizontal and vertical accuracy assessments based on GPS positions, SPOT-5 DEMs and the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) imagery. The new DEM has a mean elevation difference of &minus;4 m (&pm; 25 m RMSE) from ICESat (compared to &minus;13 m mean and &pm;97 m RMSE for the original ASTER GDEM), and a horizontal error of less than 2 pixels, although elevation accuracies are lower on mountain peaks and steep-sided slopes. The correction method significantly reduces errors on low relief slopes and therefore the DEM can be regarded as suitable for topographical studies such as measuring the geometry and ice flow properties of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. The DEM is available for download from the NSIDC website: <a href="http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html"target="_blank">http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html</a> (<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.5060/D47P8W9D"target="_blank">doi:10.5060/D47P8W9D</a>).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kurt H. Kjær; Shfaqat Abbas Khan; Niels J. Korsgaard; John Wahr; Jonathan L. Bamber; R. T. W. L. Hurkmans; Michiel R. van den Broeke; Lars H. Timm; Kristian K. Kjeldsen; Anders A. Bjørk; +4 more
    Countries: Denmark, Netherlands
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent observed marginal dynamic thinning back to the mid-1980s. We reveal two independent dynamic ice loss events on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin: from 1985 to 1993 and 2005 to 2010, which were separated by limited mass changes. Our results suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures. Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent observed marginal dynamic thinning back to the mid-1980s. We reveal two independent dynamic ice loss events on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin: from 1985 to 1993 and 2005 to 2010, which were separated by limited mass changes. Our results suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Olivier Gagliardini; Thomas Zwinger; Fabien Gillet-Chaulet; G. Durand; Lionel Favier; B. de Fleurian; Ralf Greve; Mika Malinen; Carlos Martín; Peter Råback; +5 more
    Publisher: Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union
    Countries: Sweden, United Kingdom
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375), EC | HPC-EUROPA2 (228398)

    Abstract. 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.

  • Publication . Article . Part of book or chapter of book . Other literature type . 2011
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Xavier Fettweis; Alexandre Belleflamme; Michel Erpicum; Bruno Franco; Samuel Nicolay;
    Publisher: Intech (HR)
    Country: Belgium
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    The Surface Mass Balance (SMB) can be seen, in first approximation, as the water mass gained by the winter snowfall accumulation minus the mass lost by the meltwater run-off in summer. The mass gain from rainfall as well as the mass loss from erosion from the net water fluxes (the sum of the evaporation, sublimation, deposition and condensation) and from the wind (blowing snow) are negligible in the SMB equation of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) compared to the snowfall and the melt (Box et al., 2004). The ice sheet mass balance takes also into account the mass loss from iceberg calving. Consequences of a warmer climate on the Greenland ice sheet SMB will be a thickening inland, due to increased solid precipitation, and a thinning at the Greenland ice sheet periphery, due to an increasing surface melt. A climatic warming increases the snow and ice melting in summer but it enhances also evaporation above the ocean. This leads to higher moisture transport inland and, consequently, higher precipitation. The response of the iceberg calving to the climate change could be an acceleration of the glacier flow (Nick et al., 2009; Zwally et al., 2002) but these projections are very uncertain (Sundal et al., 2011) and a lot of developments are still needed in the glaciology models for improving our knowledge and modelling of the Greenland ice sheet dynamics. That is why we will focus our study only on the SMB of the Greenland ice sheet. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) projects, in response to global warming induced by human activities, that the run-off increase will exceed the precipitation increase and therefore that the currently observed surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet (Fettweis et al., 2011b; Tedesco et al., 2011; Van den Broeke et al., 2009) will continue and intensify during the next decades (IPCC, 2007). An increasing freshwater flux from the Greenland ice sheet melting could perturb the thermohaline circulation (by reducing the density contrast driving this last one) in the North Atlantic including the drift which tempers the European climate. In addition, an enduring Greenland ice sheet melting, combined with the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melt of continental glaciers, will raise the sea level with well-known consequences for countries such as the Netherlands, Bangladesh,... The contribution of the Greenland ice sheet SMB decrease to the sea level rise is currently evaluated to be 5-10 cm by 2100 (Gregory and Huybrechts, 2006; Fettweis et al., Estimation of the Sea Level Rise by 2100 Resulting from Changes in the Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet 25

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Horst Machguth; Wilfried Haeberli; Frank Paul;
    Country: Switzerland
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    AbstractGlacier mass-balance parameters such as the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) play an important role when working with large glacier samples. While the number of observational mass-balance series to derive such parameters is limited, more and more modeled data are becoming available.Here we explore the possibilities of analyzing such 'synthetic' mass-balance data with respect to mass-balance parameters. A simplified energy-balance model is driven by bias-corrected regional climate model output to model mass-balance distributions for 94 glaciers in the Swiss Alps over 15 years. The modeling results in realistic interannual variability and mean cumulative mass balance. Subsequently model output is analyzed with respect to 18 topographic and mass-balance parameters and a correlation analysis is performed. Well-known correlations such as for ELA and median elevation are confirmed from the synthetic data. Furthermore, previously unreported parameter relationships are found such as a correlation of the balance rate at the tongue with the accumulation-area ratio (AAR) and of the glacier elevation range with the AAR. Analyzing modeled data complements in situ observations and highlights their importance: the small number of accurate mass-balance observations available for validation is a major challenge for the presented approach.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Vincent Favier; Cécile Agosta; Christophe Genthon; Laurent Arnaud; Alexandre Trouvillez; Hubert Gallée;
    Publisher: HAL CCSD
    Countries: France, Belgium
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    International audience; Meteorological data recorded from 12 December 2008 to 30 June 2010 were analyzed to assess the surface energy balance (SEB) in a blue ice area of Cap Prudhomme, Adelie Land (66°41′S, 139°55′E). The SEB was computed with a newly developed model forced by direct measurements and with a voluntarily limited number of parameters to better assess model sensitivity. Incoming short‐wave radiation was corrected for the slope and orientation of the local terrain assuming direct and diffuse radiation components. Turbulent heat fluxes were assessed using the bulk aerodynamic approach. Heat conduction in the ice was computed by solving the thermal diffusion equation. Snow accumulation was modeled using ERA interim total precipitation and a one‐dimensional erosion model. The surface heat budget and accumulation/erosion model accurately reproduced field observations. The occurrence of blue ice is linked with higher rates of erosion than in the surrounding snow covered areas, which may be caused by local flow divergence or snow not being redistributed from higher elevations. Melting occurs between December and February when incoming short‐wave radiation is high. However, the SEB was closely linked to air temperature through the incoming long‐wave radiation and the turbulent sensible heat flux. Several warm events caused by cyclones intruding into the continent led to significant warming of the ice and high melting rates. Intruding cyclones were also associated with high precipitation that led to significant accumulation. Except in blue ice areas, modeling suggests that expected higher precipitation in a warmer climate will result in more accumulation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Christophe Genthon; Gerhard Krinner; Hélène Castebrunet;
    Publisher: HAL CCSD
    Country: France
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    AbstractAll climate models participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as made available by the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 3 (CMIP3) archive, predict a significant surface warming of Antarctica by the end of the 21st century under a moderate (SRESA1B) greenhouse-gas scenario. All models but one predict a concurrent precipitation increase but with a large scatter of results. The models with finer horizontal resolution tend to predict a larger precipitation increase. Because modeled Antarctic surface mass balance is known to be sensitive to horizontal resolution, extrapolating predictions from the different models with respect to model resolution may provide simple yet better multi-model estimates of Antarctic precipitation change than mere averaging or even more complex approaches. Using such extrapolation, a conservative estimate of the predicted precipitation increase at the end of the 21st century is +30 kg m–2 a–1 on the grounded ice sheet, corresponding to a >1m ma–1 sea-level rise. About three-quarters of this rise originates from the marginal regions of the Antarctic ice sheet with surface elevation below 2250 m. This is where field programs are most urgently needed to better understand and monitor accumulation at the surface of Antarctica, and to improve and verify prediction models.

  • Publication . Article . Other literature type . 2013
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frank Paul; Nicholas E. Barrand; S. Baumann; Etienne Berthier; Tobias Bolch; Kimberly A. Casey; Holger Frey; Sharad Joshi; Vladimir Konovalov; R. Le Bris; +10 more
    Publisher: International Glaciological Society
    Countries: United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, France, France
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    AbstractDeriving glacier outlines from satellite data has become increasingly popular in the past decade. In particular when glacier outlines are used as a base for change assessment, it is important to know how accurate they are. Calculating the accuracy correctly is challenging, as appropriate reference data (e.g. from higher-resolution sensors) are seldom available. Moreover, after the required manual correction of the raw outlines (e.g. for debris cover), such a comparison would only reveal the accuracy of the analyst rather than of the algorithm applied. Here we compare outlines for clean and debris-covered glaciers, as derived from single and multiple digitizing by different or the same analysts on very high- (1 m) and medium-resolution (30 m) remote-sensing data, against each other and to glacier outlines derived from automated classification of Landsat Thematic Mapper data. Results show a high variability in the interpretation of debris-covered glacier parts, largely independent of the spatial resolution (area differences were up to 30%), and an overall good agreement for clean ice with sufficient contrast to the surrounding terrain (differences ∼5%). The differences of the automatically derived outlines from a reference value are as small as the standard deviation of the manual digitizations from several analysts. Based on these results, we conclude that automated mapping of clean ice is preferable to manual digitization and recommend using the latter method only for required corrections of incorrectly mapped glacier parts (e.g. debris cover, shadow).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fürst, J. J.; Rybak, O.; Goelzer, H.; Smedt, B.; Groen, P.; Huybrechts, P.;
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    We present a finite difference implementation of a three-dimensional higher-order ice sheet model. In comparison to a conventional centred difference discretisation it enhances both numerical stability and convergence. In order to achieve these benefits the discretisation of the governing force balance equation makes extensive use of information on staggered grid points. Using the same iterative solver, a centred difference discretisation that operates exclusively on the regular grid serves as a reference. The reprise of the ISMIP-HOM experiments indicates that both discretisations are capable of reproducing the higher-order model inter-comparison results. This setup allows a direct comparison of the two numerical implementations also with respect to their convergence behaviour. First and foremost, the new finite difference scheme facilitates convergence by a factor of up to 7 and 2.6 in average. In addition to this decrease in computational costs, the accuracy for the resultant velocity field can be chosen higher in the novel finite difference implementation. Changing the discretisation also prevents build-up of local field irregularites that occasionally cause divergence of the solution for the reference discretisation. The improved behaviour makes the new discretisation more reliable for extensive application to real ice geometries. Higher accuracy and robust numerics are crucial in time dependent applications since numerical oscillations in the velocity field of subsequent time steps are attenuated and divergence of the solution is prevented.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Pritchard, Hamish D; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Fricker, Helen; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Vaughan, David G; Padman, Laurie;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    Accurate prediction of global sea-level rise requires that we understand the cause of recent, widespread and intensifying glacier acceleration along Antarctic ice-sheet coastal margins. Floating ice shelves buttress the flow of grounded tributary glaciers and their thickness and extent are particularly susceptible to changes in both climate and ocean forcing. Recent ice-shelf collapse led to retreat and acceleration of several glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. However, the extent and magnitude of ice-shelf thickness change, its causes and its link to glacier flow rate are so poorly understood that its influence on the future of the ice sheets cannot yet be predicted. Here we use satellite laser altimetry and modelling of the surface firn layer to reveal for the first time the circum-Antarctic pattern of ice-shelf thinning through increased basal melt. We deduce that this increased melt is the primary driver of Antarctic ice-sheet loss, through a reduction in buttressing of the adjacent ice sheet that has led to accelerated glacier flow. The highest thinning rates (~7 m/a) occur where warm water at depth can access thick ice shelves via submarine troughs crossing the continental shelf. Wind forcing could explain the dominant patterns of both basal melting and the surface melting and collapse of Antarctic ice shelves, through ocean upwelling in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas and atmospheric warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. This implies that climate forcing through changing winds influences Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance, and hence global sea-level, on annual to decadal timescales.

Advanced search in Research products
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The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
224 Research products, page 1 of 23
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alison J. Cook; Tavi Murray; Adrian Luckman; David G. Vaughan; Nicholas E. Barrand;
    Country: United Kingdom
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    A high resolution surface topography Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is required to underpin studies of the complex glacier system on the Antarctic Peninsula. A complete DEM with better than 200 m pixel size and high positional and vertical accuracy would enable mapping of all significant glacial basins and provide a dataset for glacier morphology analyses. No currently available DEM meets these specifications. We present a new 100-m DEM of the Antarctic Peninsula (63&ndash;70&deg; S), based on ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) data. The raw GDEM products are of high-quality on the rugged terrain and coastal-regions of the Antarctic Peninsula and have good geospatial accuracy, but they also contain large errors on ice-covered terrain and we seek to minimise these artefacts. Conventional data correction techniques do not work so we have developed a method that significantly improves the dataset, smoothing the erroneous regions and hence creating a DEM with a pixel size of 100 m that will be suitable for many glaciological applications. We evaluate the new DEM using ICESat-derived elevations, and perform horizontal and vertical accuracy assessments based on GPS positions, SPOT-5 DEMs and the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) imagery. The new DEM has a mean elevation difference of &minus;4 m (&pm; 25 m RMSE) from ICESat (compared to &minus;13 m mean and &pm;97 m RMSE for the original ASTER GDEM), and a horizontal error of less than 2 pixels, although elevation accuracies are lower on mountain peaks and steep-sided slopes. The correction method significantly reduces errors on low relief slopes and therefore the DEM can be regarded as suitable for topographical studies such as measuring the geometry and ice flow properties of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. The DEM is available for download from the NSIDC website: <a href="http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html"target="_blank">http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html</a> (<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.5060/D47P8W9D"target="_blank">doi:10.5060/D47P8W9D</a>).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kurt H. Kjær; Shfaqat Abbas Khan; Niels J. Korsgaard; John Wahr; Jonathan L. Bamber; R. T. W. L. Hurkmans; Michiel R. van den Broeke; Lars H. Timm; Kristian K. Kjeldsen; Anders A. Bjørk; +4 more
    Countries: Denmark, Netherlands
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent observed marginal dynamic thinning back to the mid-1980s. We reveal two independent dynamic ice loss events on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin: from 1985 to 1993 and 2005 to 2010, which were separated by limited mass changes. Our results suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures. Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent observed marginal dynamic thinning back to the mid-1980s. We reveal two independent dynamic ice loss events on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin: from 1985 to 1993 and 2005 to 2010, which were separated by limited mass changes. Our results suggest that the ice mass changes in this sector were primarily caused by short-lived dynamic ice loss events rather than changes in the surface mass balance. This finding challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Olivier Gagliardini; Thomas Zwinger; Fabien Gillet-Chaulet; G. Durand; Lionel Favier; B. de Fleurian; Ralf Greve; Mika Malinen; Carlos Martín; Peter Råback; +5 more
    Publisher: Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union
    Countries: Sweden, United Kingdom
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375), EC | HPC-EUROPA2 (228398)

    Abstract. 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.

  • Publication . Article . Part of book or chapter of book . Other literature type . 2011
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Xavier Fettweis; Alexandre Belleflamme; Michel Erpicum; Bruno Franco; Samuel Nicolay;
    Publisher: Intech (HR)
    Country: Belgium
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    The Surface Mass Balance (SMB) can be seen, in first approximation, as the water mass gained by the winter snowfall accumulation minus the mass lost by the meltwater run-off in summer. The mass gain from rainfall as well as the mass loss from erosion from the net water fluxes (the sum of the evaporation, sublimation, deposition and condensation) and from the wind (blowing snow) are negligible in the SMB equation of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) compared to the snowfall and the melt (Box et al., 2004). The ice sheet mass balance takes also into account the mass loss from iceberg calving. Consequences of a warmer climate on the Greenland ice sheet SMB will be a thickening inland, due to increased solid precipitation, and a thinning at the Greenland ice sheet periphery, due to an increasing surface melt. A climatic warming increases the snow and ice melting in summer but it enhances also evaporation above the ocean. This leads to higher moisture transport inland and, consequently, higher precipitation. The response of the iceberg calving to the climate change could be an acceleration of the glacier flow (Nick et al., 2009; Zwally et al., 2002) but these projections are very uncertain (Sundal et al., 2011) and a lot of developments are still needed in the glaciology models for improving our knowledge and modelling of the Greenland ice sheet dynamics. That is why we will focus our study only on the SMB of the Greenland ice sheet. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) projects, in response to global warming induced by human activities, that the run-off increase will exceed the precipitation increase and therefore that the currently observed surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet (Fettweis et al., 2011b; Tedesco et al., 2011; Van den Broeke et al., 2009) will continue and intensify during the next decades (IPCC, 2007). An increasing freshwater flux from the Greenland ice sheet melting could perturb the thermohaline circulation (by reducing the density contrast driving this last one) in the North Atlantic including the drift which tempers the European climate. In addition, an enduring Greenland ice sheet melting, combined with the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melt of continental glaciers, will raise the sea level with well-known consequences for countries such as the Netherlands, Bangladesh,... The contribution of the Greenland ice sheet SMB decrease to the sea level rise is currently evaluated to be 5-10 cm by 2100 (Gregory and Huybrechts, 2006; Fettweis et al., Estimation of the Sea Level Rise by 2100 Resulting from Changes in the Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet 25

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Horst Machguth; Wilfried Haeberli; Frank Paul;
    Country: Switzerland
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    AbstractGlacier mass-balance parameters such as the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) play an important role when working with large glacier samples. While the number of observational mass-balance series to derive such parameters is limited, more and more modeled data are becoming available.Here we explore the possibilities of analyzing such 'synthetic' mass-balance data with respect to mass-balance parameters. A simplified energy-balance model is driven by bias-corrected regional climate model output to model mass-balance distributions for 94 glaciers in the Swiss Alps over 15 years. The modeling results in realistic interannual variability and mean cumulative mass balance. Subsequently model output is analyzed with respect to 18 topographic and mass-balance parameters and a correlation analysis is performed. Well-known correlations such as for ELA and median elevation are confirmed from the synthetic data. Furthermore, previously unreported parameter relationships are found such as a correlation of the balance rate at the tongue with the accumulation-area ratio (AAR) and of the glacier elevation range with the AAR. Analyzing modeled data complements in situ observations and highlights their importance: the small number of accurate mass-balance observations available for validation is a major challenge for the presented approach.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Vincent Favier; Cécile Agosta; Christophe Genthon; Laurent Arnaud; Alexandre Trouvillez; Hubert Gallée;
    Publisher: HAL CCSD
    Countries: France, Belgium
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    International audience; Meteorological data recorded from 12 December 2008 to 30 June 2010 were analyzed to assess the surface energy balance (SEB) in a blue ice area of Cap Prudhomme, Adelie Land (66°41′S, 139°55′E). The SEB was computed with a newly developed model forced by direct measurements and with a voluntarily limited number of parameters to better assess model sensitivity. Incoming short‐wave radiation was corrected for the slope and orientation of the local terrain assuming direct and diffuse radiation components. Turbulent heat fluxes were assessed using the bulk aerodynamic approach. Heat conduction in the ice was computed by solving the thermal diffusion equation. Snow accumulation was modeled using ERA interim total precipitation and a one‐dimensional erosion model. The surface heat budget and accumulation/erosion model accurately reproduced field observations. The occurrence of blue ice is linked with higher rates of erosion than in the surrounding snow covered areas, which may be caused by local flow divergence or snow not being redistributed from higher elevations. Melting occurs between December and February when incoming short‐wave radiation is high. However, the SEB was closely linked to air temperature through the incoming long‐wave radiation and the turbulent sensible heat flux. Several warm events caused by cyclones intruding into the continent led to significant warming of the ice and high melting rates. Intruding cyclones were also associated with high precipitation that led to significant accumulation. Except in blue ice areas, modeling suggests that expected higher precipitation in a warmer climate will result in more accumulation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Christophe Genthon; Gerhard Krinner; Hélène Castebrunet;
    Publisher: HAL CCSD
    Country: France
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    AbstractAll climate models participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as made available by the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 3 (CMIP3) archive, predict a significant surface warming of Antarctica by the end of the 21st century under a moderate (SRESA1B) greenhouse-gas scenario. All models but one predict a concurrent precipitation increase but with a large scatter of results. The models with finer horizontal resolution tend to predict a larger precipitation increase. Because modeled Antarctic surface mass balance is known to be sensitive to horizontal resolution, extrapolating predictions from the different models with respect to model resolution may provide simple yet better multi-model estimates of Antarctic precipitation change than mere averaging or even more complex approaches. Using such extrapolation, a conservative estimate of the predicted precipitation increase at the end of the 21st century is +30 kg m–2 a–1 on the grounded ice sheet, corresponding to a >1m ma–1 sea-level rise. About three-quarters of this rise originates from the marginal regions of the Antarctic ice sheet with surface elevation below 2250 m. This is where field programs are most urgently needed to better understand and monitor accumulation at the surface of Antarctica, and to improve and verify prediction models.

  • Publication . Article . Other literature type . 2013
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Frank Paul; Nicholas E. Barrand; S. Baumann; Etienne Berthier; Tobias Bolch; Kimberly A. Casey; Holger Frey; Sharad Joshi; Vladimir Konovalov; R. Le Bris; +10 more
    Publisher: International Glaciological Society
    Countries: United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, France, France
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    AbstractDeriving glacier outlines from satellite data has become increasingly popular in the past decade. In particular when glacier outlines are used as a base for change assessment, it is important to know how accurate they are. Calculating the accuracy correctly is challenging, as appropriate reference data (e.g. from higher-resolution sensors) are seldom available. Moreover, after the required manual correction of the raw outlines (e.g. for debris cover), such a comparison would only reveal the accuracy of the analyst rather than of the algorithm applied. Here we compare outlines for clean and debris-covered glaciers, as derived from single and multiple digitizing by different or the same analysts on very high- (1 m) and medium-resolution (30 m) remote-sensing data, against each other and to glacier outlines derived from automated classification of Landsat Thematic Mapper data. Results show a high variability in the interpretation of debris-covered glacier parts, largely independent of the spatial resolution (area differences were up to 30%), and an overall good agreement for clean ice with sufficient contrast to the surrounding terrain (differences ∼5%). The differences of the automatically derived outlines from a reference value are as small as the standard deviation of the manual digitizations from several analysts. Based on these results, we conclude that automated mapping of clean ice is preferable to manual digitization and recommend using the latter method only for required corrections of incorrectly mapped glacier parts (e.g. debris cover, shadow).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fürst, J. J.; Rybak, O.; Goelzer, H.; Smedt, B.; Groen, P.; Huybrechts, P.;
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    We present a finite difference implementation of a three-dimensional higher-order ice sheet model. In comparison to a conventional centred difference discretisation it enhances both numerical stability and convergence. In order to achieve these benefits the discretisation of the governing force balance equation makes extensive use of information on staggered grid points. Using the same iterative solver, a centred difference discretisation that operates exclusively on the regular grid serves as a reference. The reprise of the ISMIP-HOM experiments indicates that both discretisations are capable of reproducing the higher-order model inter-comparison results. This setup allows a direct comparison of the two numerical implementations also with respect to their convergence behaviour. First and foremost, the new finite difference scheme facilitates convergence by a factor of up to 7 and 2.6 in average. In addition to this decrease in computational costs, the accuracy for the resultant velocity field can be chosen higher in the novel finite difference implementation. Changing the discretisation also prevents build-up of local field irregularites that occasionally cause divergence of the solution for the reference discretisation. The improved behaviour makes the new discretisation more reliable for extensive application to real ice geometries. Higher accuracy and robust numerics are crucial in time dependent applications since numerical oscillations in the velocity field of subsequent time steps are attenuated and divergence of the solution is prevented.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Pritchard, Hamish D; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Fricker, Helen; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Vaughan, David G; Padman, Laurie;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ICE2SEA (226375)

    Accurate prediction of global sea-level rise requires that we understand the cause of recent, widespread and intensifying glacier acceleration along Antarctic ice-sheet coastal margins. Floating ice shelves buttress the flow of grounded tributary glaciers and their thickness and extent are particularly susceptible to changes in both climate and ocean forcing. Recent ice-shelf collapse led to retreat and acceleration of several glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. However, the extent and magnitude of ice-shelf thickness change, its causes and its link to glacier flow rate are so poorly understood that its influence on the future of the ice sheets cannot yet be predicted. Here we use satellite laser altimetry and modelling of the surface firn layer to reveal for the first time the circum-Antarctic pattern of ice-shelf thinning through increased basal melt. We deduce that this increased melt is the primary driver of Antarctic ice-sheet loss, through a reduction in buttressing of the adjacent ice sheet that has led to accelerated glacier flow. The highest thinning rates (~7 m/a) occur where warm water at depth can access thick ice shelves via submarine troughs crossing the continental shelf. Wind forcing could explain the dominant patterns of both basal melting and the surface melting and collapse of Antarctic ice shelves, through ocean upwelling in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas and atmospheric warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. This implies that climate forcing through changing winds influences Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance, and hence global sea-level, on annual to decadal timescales.