Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Research article
18 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 18 Aug 2016

A simple equation for the melt elevation feedback of ice sheets

Anders Levermann and Ricarda Winkelmann


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Short summary
In recent decades, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been losing mass and has thereby contributed to global sea-level rise. Here we derive the basic equations for the melt elevation feedback that can lead to self-amplifying melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet and ice sheets in general. The theory unifies the results of complex models when the feedback dominates the dynamics and it allows us to estimate the melt time of ice sheets from data in cases where ice dynamic loss can be neglected.