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Netherlands Polar Data Center

Project - Continuation of climate monitoring along the K-transect, west Greenland

Summary

Arctic glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate. Especially notable is the demise of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), which contributes 20-30% to current global sea level rise and lost an estimated 500 Gt of ice in the warm summer of 2010 alone (1 Gt equals 1 km3 of water). GrIS mass loss is partly caused by the post-1990 acceleration and rapid thinning of fast-flowing outlet glaciers, a phenomenon that has attracted worldwide attention from scientists, the general public and media alike. Nonetheless, 'ordinary' surface melt and subsequent meltwater runoff dominate the current mass loss from the GrIS, and will continue to do so far into the future, when the ice sheet retreats onto land and loses contact with the ocean. Moreover, recent observations revealed an intricate connection between surface meltwater production and the basal sliding of land-terminating parts of the GrIS through the formation and collapse of a sub-glacial channel network. Dedicated in situ observation of these processes are indispensible to develop, evaluate and improve atmospheric, ice dynamical and hydrological models that are capable to predict the future evolution of the GrIS. Here we request budget to continue observations of mass balance, climate, ice velocity and basal water pressure along the K-transect in west Greenland until 2016, and to homogenize the existing time series. Started in 1990, this is the longest uninterrupted time series of its kind in Greenland, and serves as a benchmark for meteorological, glaciological and hydrological models worldwide.

People involved

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Datasets

No datasets linked to this project yet

Publications

K. Van Tricht, S. Lhermitte, et al., 2016. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff. Nature Communications 7 (1)

Laura A. Stevens, Mark D. Behn, et al., 2016. Greenland Ice Sheet flow response to runoff variability. Geophysical Research Letters 43 (21), 11,295-11,303

Brice Noël, Willem Jan van de Berg, et al., 2016. A daily, 1 km resolution data set of downscaled Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (1958–2015). The Cryosphere 10 (5), 2361-2377

Basile de Fleurian, Mathieu Morlighem, et al., 2016. A modeling study of the effect of runoff variability on the effective pressure beneath Russell Glacier, West Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 121 (10), 1834-1848

HORST MACHGUTH, HENRIK H. THOMSEN, et al., 2016. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers. Journal of Glaciology 62 (235), 861-887

Horst Machguth, Mike MacFerrin, et al., 2016. Greenland meltwater storage in firn limited by near-surface ice formation. Nature Climate Change 6 (4), 390-393

C. Charalampidis, D. van As, et al., 2015. Changing surface–atmosphere energy exchange and refreezing capacity of the lower accumulation area, West Greenland. The Cryosphere 9 (6), 2163-2181

W. Wang, C. S. Zender, et al., 2015. A Retrospective, Iterative, Geometry-Based (RIGB) tilt correction method for radiation observed by Automatic Weather Stations on snow-covered surfaces: application to Greenland. The Cryosphere Discussions 9 (6), 6025-6060

B. Noël, W. J. van de Berg, et al., 2015. Evaluation of the updated regional climate model RACMO2.3: summer snowfall impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The Cryosphere 9 (5), 1831-1844

Samuel H. Doyle, Alun Hubbard, et al., 2015. Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall. Nature Geoscience 8 (8), 647-653

R. S. W. van de Wal, C. J. P. P. Smeets, et al., 2014. Self-regulation of ice flow varies across the ablation area in South-West Greenland. The Cryosphere Discussions 8 (5), 4619-4644

P. M. Alexander, M. Tedesco, et al., 2014. Assessing spatio-temporal variability and trends (2000–2013) of modelled and measured Greenland ice sheet albedo. The Cryosphere Discussions 8 (4), 3733-3783

J. T. M. Lenaerts, C. J. P. P. Smeets, et al., 2014. Drifting snow measurements on the Greenland Ice Sheet and their application for model evaluation. The Cryosphere 8 (2), 801-814

A. K. Rennermalm, L. C. Smith, et al., 2013. Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet. The Cryosphere 7 (5), 1433-1445

S. R. Shannon, A. J. Payne, et al., 2013. Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (35), 14156-14161

A. P. Ahlstrøm, S. B. Andersen, et al., 2013. Seasonal velocities of eight major marine-terminating outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet from continuous in situ GPS instruments. Earth System Science Data Discussions 6 (1), 27-57

R. S. W. van de Wal, W. Boot, et al., 2012. Twenty-one years of mass balance observations along the K-transect, West Greenland. Earth System Science Data 4 (1), 31-35

X. Fettweis, B. Franco, et al., 2012. Estimating Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional atmospheric climate model MAR. The Cryosphere Discussions 6 (4), 3101-3147

D. van As, A. L. Hubbard, et al., 2012. Large surface meltwater discharge from the Kangerlussuaq sector of the Greenland ice sheet during the record-warm year 2010 explained by detailed energy balance observations. The Cryosphere 6 (1), 199-209

Sebastian H. Mernild, Glen E. Liston, & Michiel van den Broeke, 2012. Simulated Internal Storage Buildup, Release, and Runoff from Greenland Ice Sheet at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 44 (1), 83-94

C.J.P.P. Smeets, W. Boot, et al., 2012. A wireless subglacial probe for deep ice applications. Journal of Glaciology 58 (211), 841-848


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