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See detailThe future sea-level rise contribution of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps
Machguth, H.; Rastner, P.; Bolch, T. et al

in Environmental Research Letters (2013), 8(025005), 14

We calculate the future sea-level rise contribution from the surface mass balance of all of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps (GICs, ~90 000 km2) using a simplified energy balance model which is driven by ... [more ▼]

We calculate the future sea-level rise contribution from the surface mass balance of all of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps (GICs, ~90 000 km2) using a simplified energy balance model which is driven by three future climate scenarios from the regional climate models HIRHAM5, RACMO2 and MAR. Glacier extent and surface elevation are modified during the mass balance model runs according to a glacier retreat parameterization. Mass balance and glacier surface change are both calculated on a 250 m resolution digital elevation model yielding a high level of detail and ensuring that important feedback mechanisms are considered. The mass loss of all GICs by 2098 is calculated to be 2016 ± 129 Gt (HIRHAM5 forcing), 2584 ± 109 Gt (RACMO2) and 3907 ± 108 Gt (MAR). This corresponds to a total contribution to sea-level rise of 5.8 ± 0.4, 7.4 ± 0.3 and 11.2 ± 0.3 mm, respectively. Sensitivity experiments suggest that mass loss could be higher by 20–30% if a strong lowering of the surface albedo were to take place in the future. It is shown that the sea-level rise contribution from the north-easterly regions of Greenland is reduced by increasing precipitation while mass loss in the southern half of Greenland is dominated by steadily decreasing summer mass balances. In addition we observe glaciers in the north-eastern part of Greenland changing their characteristics towards greater activity and mass turnover. [less ▲]

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See detail21st century projections of surface mass balance changes for major drainage systems of the Greenland ice sheet
Tedesco, M.; Fettweis, Xavier ULg

in Environmental Research Letters (2012), 7

Outputs from the regional climate model Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale at a spatial resolution of 25 km are used to study 21st century projected surface mass balance (SMB) over six major drainage basins ... [more ▼]

Outputs from the regional climate model Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale at a spatial resolution of 25 km are used to study 21st century projected surface mass balance (SMB) over six major drainage basins of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). The regional model is forced with the outputs of three different Earth System Models (CanESM2, NorESM1 and MIROC5) obtained when considering two greenhouse gas future scenarios with levels of CO2 equivalent of, respectively, 850 and >1370 ppm by 2100. Results indicate that the increase in runoff due to warming will exceed the increased precipitation deriving from the increase in evaporation for all basins, with the amount of net loss of mass at the surface varying spatially. Basins along the southwest and north coast are projected to have the highest sensitivity of SMB to increasing temperatures. For these basins, the global temperature anomaly corresponding to a decrease of the SMB below the 1980–99 average (when the ice sheet was near the equilibrium) ranges between +0.60 and +2.16 °C. For the basins along the northwest and northeast, these values range between +1.50 and +3.40 °C. Our results are conservative as they do not account for ice dynamics and changes in the ice sheet topography. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of albedo and accumulation in the 2010 melting record in Greenland
Tedesco, Marco; Fettweis, Xavier ULg; van den Broeke, Michiel et al

in Environmental Research Letters (2011), 6(1),

Analyses of remote sensing data, surface observations and output from a regional atmosphere model point to new records in 2010 for surface melt and albedo, runoff, the number of days when bare ice is ... [more ▼]

Analyses of remote sensing data, surface observations and output from a regional atmosphere model point to new records in 2010 for surface melt and albedo, runoff, the number of days when bare ice is exposed and surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet, especially over its west and southwest regions. Early melt onset in spring, triggered by above-normal near-surface air temperatures, contributed to accelerated snowpack metamorphism and premature bare ice exposure, rapidly reducing the surface albedo. Warm conditions persisted through summer, with the positive albedo feedback mechanism being a major contributor to large negative surface mass balance anomalies. Summer snowfall was below average. This helped to maintain low albedo through the 2010 melting season, which also lasted longer than usual. [less ▲]

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See detailClimate control of terrestrial carbon exchange across biomes and continents
Yi, Chuixiang; Ricciuto, Daniel; Li, Runze et al

in Environmental Research Letters (2010), 5(3),

Understanding the relationships between climate and carbon exchange by terrestrial ecosystems is critical to predict future levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide because of the potential accelerating ... [more ▼]

Understanding the relationships between climate and carbon exchange by terrestrial ecosystems is critical to predict future levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide because of the potential accelerating effects of positive climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. However, directly observed relationships between climate and terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere across biomes and continents are lacking. Here we present data describing the relationships between net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) and climate factors as measured using the eddy covariance method at 125 unique sites in various ecosystems over six continents with a total of 559 site-years. We find that NEE observed at eddy covariance sites is (1) a strong function of mean annual temperature at mid-and high-latitudes, (2) a strong function of dryness at mid-and low-latitudes, and (3) a function of both temperature and dryness around the mid-latitudinal belt (45 degrees N). The sensitivity of NEE to mean annual temperature breaks down at similar to 16 degrees C (a threshold value of mean annual temperature), above which no further increase of CO2 uptake with temperature was observed and dryness influence overrules temperature influence. [less ▲]

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