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See detailSmall impact of surrounding oceanic conditions on 2007–2012 Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance
Noel, Brice; Fettweis, Xavier ULg; van de Berg, W.J. et al

in Cryosphere Discussions (The) (2014), 8

During recent summers (2007–2012), several surface melt records were broken over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The extreme summer melt resulted in part from a persistent negative phase of the North ... [more ▼]

During recent summers (2007–2012), several surface melt records were broken over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The extreme summer melt resulted in part from a persistent negative phase of the North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), favouring warmer than normal conditions over the GrIS. In addition, it has been suggested that significant anomalies in sea ice cover (SIC) and sea surface temperature (SST) may partially explain recent anomalous GrIS surface melt. To assess the impact of 2007–2012 SIC and SST anomalies on GrIS surface mass balance (SMB), a set of sensitivity experiments was carried out with the regional climate model MAR. These simulations suggest that changes in SST and SIC in the seas surrounding Greenland do not significantly impact GrIS SMB, due to the katabatic winds blocking effect. These winds are strong enough to prevent oceanic near-surface air, influenced by SIC and SST variability, from penetrating far inland. Therefore, the ice sheet SMB response is restricted to coastal regions, where katabatic winds are weaker. However, anomalies in SIC and SST could have indirectly affected the surface melt by changing the general circulation in the North Atlantic region, favouring more frequent warm air advection to the GrIS. [less ▲]

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See detailHybrid inventory, gravimetry and altimetry (HIGA) mass balance product for Greenland and the Canadian Arctic
Colgan, W.; Abdalati, W.; Citterio, M. et al

in Cryosphere Discussions (The) (2013)

We present a novel inversion algorithm that generates a mass balance field that is simultaneously consistent with independent observations of glacier inventory derived from optical imagery, cryosphere ... [more ▼]

We present a novel inversion algorithm that generates a mass balance field that is simultaneously consistent with independent observations of glacier inventory derived from optical imagery, cryosphere-attributed mass changes derived from satellite gravimetry, and ice surface elevation changes derived from airborne and satellite altimetry. We use this algorithm to assess mass balance across Greenland and the Canadian Arctic over the December 2003 to December 2010 period at 26 km resolution. We assess a total mass loss of 316 ± 37 Gt a−1 over Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, with 217 ± 20 Gt a−1 being attributed to the Greenland Ice Sheet proper, and 38 ± 6 Gt a−1 and 50 ± 8 Gt a−1 being attributed to peripheral glaciers in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, respectively. These absolute values are dependent on the gravimetry-derived spherical harmonic representation we invert. Our attempt to validate local values of algorithm-inferred mass balance reveals a paucity of in situ observations. At four sites, where direct comparison between algorithm-inferred and in situ mass balance is valid, we find an RMSD of 0.18 m WE a−1. Differencing algorithm-inferred mass balance with previously modelled surface mass balance, in order to solve the ice dynamic portion of mass balance as a residual, allows the transient glacier continuity equation to be spatially partitioned across Greenland. [less ▲]

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