Articles | Volume 11, issue 4
Research article
23 Aug 2017
Research article |  | 23 Aug 2017

On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

Michiel M. Helsen, Roderik S. W. van de Wal, Thomas J. Reerink, Richard Bintanja, Marianne S. Madsen, Shuting Yang, Qiang Li, and Qiong Zhang

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Cited articles

Alexander, P. M., Tedesco, M., Fettweis, X., van de Wal, R. S. W., Smeets, C. J. P. P., and van den Broeke, M. R.: Assessing spatio-temporal variability and trends in modelled and measured Greenland Ice Sheet albedo (2000–2013), The Cryosphere, 8, 2293–2312,, 2014.
Bamber, J. L., Griggs, J. A., Hurkmans, R. T. W. L., Dowdeswell, J. A., Gogineni, S. P., Howat, I., Mouginot, J., Paden, J., Palmer, S., Rignot, E., and Steinhage, D.: A new bed elevation dataset for Greenland, The Cryosphere, 7, 499–510,, 2013.
Bintanja, R. and Van de Wal, R. S. W.: North American ice-sheet dynamics and the onset of 100,000-year glacial cycles, Nature, 454, 869–872, 2008.
Bøggild, C. E., Brandt, R. E., Brown, K. J., and Warren, S. G.: The ablation zone in northeast Greenland: ice types, albedos and impurities, J. Glaciol., 56, 101–113,, 2010.
Bougamont, M., Bamber, J., and Greuell, W.: A surface mass balance model for the Greenland Ice Sheet, J. Geophys. Res., 110, F04018,, 2005.
Short summary
Ice sheets reflect most incoming solar radiation back into space due to their high reflectivity (albedo). The albedo of ice sheets changes as a function of, for example, liquid water content and ageing of snow. In this study we have improved the description of albedo over the Greenland ice sheet in a global climate model. This is an important step, which also improves estimates of the annual ice mass gain or loss over the ice sheet using this global climate model.