Articles | Volume 13, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 13, 815–825, 2019
The Cryosphere, 13, 815–825, 2019

Research article 07 Mar 2019

Research article | 07 Mar 2019

Increased Greenland melt triggered by large-scale, year-round cyclonic moisture intrusions

Marilena Oltmanns et al.

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Cited articles

Andersen, M. L., Stenseng, L., Skourup, H., Colgan, W., Khan, S. A., Kristensen, S. S., Andersen, S. B., Box, J. E., Ahlstrøm, A. P., Fettweis, X., and Forsberg, R.: Basin-scale partitioning of Greenland ice sheet mass balance components (2007–2011), Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 409, 89–95, 2015. a
Bennartz, R., Shupe, M. D., Turner, D. D., Walden, V. P., Steffen, K., Cox, C. J., Kulie, M. S., Miller, N. B., and Pettersen, C.: July 2012 Greenland melt extent enhanced by low-level liquid clouds, Nature, 496, 83–86, 2013. a
Böning, C. W., Behrens, E., Biastoch, A., Getzlaff, K., and Bamber, J. L.: Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean, Nat. Geosci., 9, 523–528, 2016. a
Bonne, J.-L., Steen-Larsen, H. C., Risi, C., Werner, M., Sodemann, H., Lacour, J.-L., Fettweis, X., Cesana, G., Delmotte, M., Cattani, O., Vallelonga, P., Kjaer, H. A., Clerbaux, C., Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Á. E., and Masson-Delmotte, V.: The summer 2012 Greenland heat wave: In situ and remote sensing observations of water vapor isotopic composition during an atmospheric river event, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 120, 2970–2989, 2015. a
Box, J. E., Fettweis, X., Stroeve, J. C., Tedesco, M., Hall, D. K., and Steffen, K.: Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: thermodynamics and atmospheric drivers, The Cryosphere, 6, 821–839,, 2012. a, b, c
Short summary
By combining reanalysis, weather station and satellite data, we show that increases in surface melt over Greenland are initiated by large-scale precipitation events year-round. Estimates from a regional climate model suggest that the initiated melting more than doubled between 1988 and 2012, amounting to ~28 % of the overall melt and revealing that, despite the involved mass gain, precipitation events are contributing to the ice sheet's decline.