Articles | Volume 14, issue 7
The Cryosphere, 14, 2515–2535, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-2515-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 2515–2535, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-2515-2020
Research article
31 Jul 2020
Research article | 31 Jul 2020

The contrasting response of outlet glaciers to interior and ocean forcing

John Erich Christian et al.

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Short summary
We use simple, physics-based models to compare how marine-terminating glaciers respond to changes at their marine margin vs. inland surface melt. Initial glacier retreat is more rapid for ocean changes than for inland changes, but in both cases, glaciers will continue responding for millennia. We analyze several implications of these differing pathways of change. In particular, natural ocean variability must be better understood to correctly identify the anthropogenic role in glacier retreat.