Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-17-445-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-17-445-2023
Research article
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01 Feb 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 01 Feb 2023

Slowdown of Shirase Glacier, East Antarctica, caused by strengthening alongshore winds

Bertie W. J. Miles, Chris R. Stokes, Adrian Jenkins, Jim R. Jordan, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, and G. Hilmar Gudmundsson

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Cited articles

Aoki, S.: Breakup of land-fast sea ice in Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica, and its teleconnection to tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 3219–3227, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL072835, 2017. 
Aoki, S., Ozawa, T., and Doi, K.: GPS observation of the sea level variation in Lützow-Holm Bay, Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 2285–2288, https://doi.org/10.1029/1999GL011304, 2000. 
Aoyama, Y., Doi, K., Shibuya, K., Ohta, H., and Tsuwa, I.: Near real-time monitoring of flow velocity and direction in the floating ice tongue of the Shirase Glacier using low-cost GPS buoys, Earth Planet. Space, 65, 103–108, https://doi.org/10.5047/EPS.2012.06.011, 2013. 
Boening, C., Lebsock, M., Landerer, F., and Stephens, G.: Snowfall-driven mass change on the East Antarctic ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L21501, https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL053316, 2012. 
Bracegirdle, T. J., Hyder, P., and Holmes, C. R.: CMIP5 Diversity in Southern Westerly Jet Projections Related to Historical Sea Ice Area: Strong Link to Strengthening and Weak Link to Shift, J. Climate, 31, 195–211, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0320.1, 2018. 
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Co-editor-in-chief
The study shows a rare example of the thickening of a glacier ice tongue in East Antarctica. The authors attribute the thickening to changes in wind patterns leading to a decrease in the transport of warm water reaching the glacier. The results highlight the intricate relationship between glaciers and atmosphere/ocean dynamics.
Short summary
Satellite observations have shown that the Shirase Glacier catchment in East Antarctica has been gaining mass over the past 2 decades, a trend largely attributed to increased snowfall. Our multi-decadal observations of Shirase Glacier show that ocean forcing has also contributed to some of this recent mass gain. This has been caused by strengthening easterly winds reducing the inflow of warm water underneath the Shirase ice tongue, causing the glacier to slow down and thicken.