Articles | Volume 15, issue 5
Research article
20 May 2021
Research article |  | 20 May 2021

Environmental drivers of circum-Antarctic glacier and ice shelf front retreat over the last two decades

Celia A. Baumhoer, Andreas J. Dietz, Christof Kneisel, Heiko Paeth, and Claudia Kuenzer

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Cited articles

Arthur, J. F., Stokes, C. R., Jamieson, S. S. R., Carr, J. R., and Leeson, A. A.: Distribution and seasonal evolution of supraglacial lakes on Shackleton Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 14, 4103–4120,, 2020. 
Banwell, A.: Glaciology: Ice-shelf stability questioned, Nature, 544, 306–307,, 2017. 
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,, 2013. 
Bassis, J. N.: The statistical physics of iceberg calving and the emergence of universal calving laws, J. Glaciol., 57, 3–16, 2011. 
Short summary
We present a record of circum-Antarctic glacier and ice shelf front change over the last two decades in combination with potential environmental variables forcing frontal retreat. Along the Antarctic coastline, glacier and ice shelf front retreat dominated between 1997–2008 and advance between 2009–2018. Decreasing sea ice days, intense snowmelt, weakening easterly winds, and relative changes in sea surface temperature were identified as enabling factors for glacier and ice shelf front retreat.