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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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In February 2020, along with record-breaking high temperatures in the region, satellite images showed that the surface of the largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula was experiencing a lot of melt. Using archived satellite data we show that this melt was greater than any in the past 40 years. The extreme melt followed unusual weather patterns further north, highlighting the importance of long-range links between the tropics and high latitudes and the impact on ice-shelf stability.
TC | Articles | Volume 14, issue 10
The Cryosphere, 14, 3551–3564, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-3551-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 3551–3564, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-3551-2020

Research article 27 Oct 2020

Research article | 27 Oct 2020

The 2020 Larsen C Ice Shelf surface melt is a 40-year record high

Suzanne Bevan et al.

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Cited articles

Adusumilli, S., Fricker, H. A., Siegfried, M. R., Padman, L., Paolo, F. S., and Ligtenberg, S. R. M.: Variable Basal Melt Rates of Antarctic Peninsula Ice Shelves, 1994–2016, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45, 4086–4095, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076652, 2018. a
Arblaster, J. M. and Meehl, G. A.: Contributions of External Forcings to Southern Annular Mode Trends, J. Climate, 19, 2896–2905, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI3774.1, 2006. a
Armstrong, R., Knowles, K., Brodzik, M. J., and Hardman, M. A.: DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Pathfinder Daily EASE-Grid Brightness Temperatures, Version 2. Boulder, Colorado USA, NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center, https://doi.org/10.5067/3EX2U1DV3434, 1994. a
Ashcraft, I. S. and Long, D. G.: Comparison of methods for melt detection over Greenland using active and passive microwave measurements, Int. J. Remote Sens., 27, 2469–2488, https://doi.org/10.1080/01431160500534465, 2006. a, b, c
Banwell, A. F., MacAyeal, D. R., and Sergienko, O. V.: Breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf triggered by chain reaction drainage of supraglacial lakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 5872–5876, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013GL057694, 2013. a
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Short summary
In February 2020, along with record-breaking high temperatures in the region, satellite images showed that the surface of the largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula was experiencing a lot of melt. Using archived satellite data we show that this melt was greater than any in the past 40 years. The extreme melt followed unusual weather patterns further north, highlighting the importance of long-range links between the tropics and high latitudes and the impact on ice-shelf stability.
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