Articles | Volume 10, issue 2
Research article
03 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 03 Mar 2016

The darkening of the Greenland ice sheet: trends, drivers, and projections (1981–2100)

Marco Tedesco, Sarah Doherty, Xavier Fettweis, Patrick Alexander, Jeyavinoth Jeyaratnam, and Julienne Stroeve


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Short summary
Summer surface albedo over Greenland decreased at a rate of 0.02 per decade between 1996 and 2012. The decrease is due to snow grain growth, the expansion of bare ice areas, and trends in light-absorbing impurities on snow and ice surfaces. Neither aerosol models nor in situ observations indicate increasing trends in impurities in the atmosphere over Greenland. Albedo projections through to the end of the century under different warming scenarios consistently point to continued darkening.