Articles | Volume 13, issue 11
The Cryosphere, 13, 2817–2834, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-2817-2019
The Cryosphere, 13, 2817–2834, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-2817-2019

Research article 05 Nov 2019

Research article | 05 Nov 2019

Melt at grounding line controls observed and future retreat of Smith, Pope, and Kohler glaciers

David A. Lilien et al.

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Cited articles

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Short summary
We used a number of computer simulations to understand the recent retreat of a rapidly changing group of glaciers in West Antarctica. We found that significant melt underneath the floating extensions of the glaciers, driven by relatively warm ocean water at depth, was likely needed to cause the large retreat that has been observed. If melt continues around current rates, retreat is likely to continue through the coming century and extend beyond the present-day drainage area of these glaciers.