Articles | Volume 16, issue 10
Research article
13 Oct 2022
Research article |  | 13 Oct 2022

Observed mechanism for sustained glacier retreat and acceleration in response to ocean warming around Greenland

Evan Carnahan, Ginny Catania, and Timothy C. Bartholomaus

Model code and software

ecFlo/greenlandForceBalance: grlInitialSubmission (Version v1) ecFlo

Short summary
The Greenland Ice Sheet primarily loses mass through increased ice discharge. We find changes in discharge from outlet glaciers are initiated by ocean warming, which causes a change in the balance of forces resisting gravity and leads to acceleration. Vulnerable conditions for sustained retreat and acceleration are predetermined by the glacier-fjord geometry and exist around Greenland, suggesting increases in ice discharge may be sustained into the future despite a pause in ocean warming.