Articles | Volume 16, issue 4
Research article
13 Apr 2022
Research article |  | 13 Apr 2022

The role of föhn winds in eastern Antarctic Peninsula rapid ice shelf collapse

Matthew K. Laffin, Charles S. Zender, Melchior van Wessem, and Sebastián Marinsek

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Cited articles

Abram, N. J., Mulvaney, R., Vimeux, F., Phipps, S. J., Turner, J., and England, M. H.: Evolution of the Southern Annular Mode during the past millennium, Nat. Clim. Change, 4, 564–569,, 2014. 
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Alley, K. E., Scambos, T. A., Miller, J. Z., Long, D. G., and MacFerrin, M.: Quantifying vulnerability of Antarctic ice shelves to hydrofracture using microwave scattering properties, Remote Sens. Environ., 210, 297–306,, 2018. 
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. 
Banwell, A. F., Caballero, M., Arnold, N. S., Glasser, N. F., Cathles, L. M., and MacAyeal, D. R.: Supraglacial lakes on the Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctica, and at Paakitsoq, West Greenland: A comparative study, Ann. Glaciol., 55, 1–8​​​​​​​,, 2014. 
Short summary
The collapses of the Larsen A and B ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) occurred while the ice shelves were covered with large melt lakes, and ocean waves damaged the ice shelf fronts, triggering collapse. Observations show föhn winds were present on both ice shelves and increased surface melt and drove sea ice away from the ice front. Collapsed ice shelves experienced enhanced surface melt driven by föhn winds, whereas extant ice shelves are affected less by föhn-wind-induced melt.