Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Research article
16 Feb 2023
Research article |  | 16 Feb 2023

Evaluating Greenland surface-mass-balance and firn-densification data using ICESat-2 altimetry

Benjamin E. Smith, Brooke Medley, Xavier Fettweis, Tyler Sutterley, Patrick Alexander, David Porter, and Marco Tedesco

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Cited articles

Alexander, P. M., Tedesco, M., Koenig, L., and Fettweis, X.: Evaluating a Regional Climate Model Simulation of Greenland Ice Sheet Snow and Firn Density for Improved Surface Mass Balance Estimates, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 12073–12082,, 2019. 
Amory, C., Kittel, C., Le Toumelin, L., Agosta, C., Delhasse, A., Favier, V., and Fettweis, X.: Performance of MAR (v3.11) in simulating the drifting-snow climate and surface mass balance of Adélie Land, East Antarctica, Geosci. Model Dev., 14, 3487–3510,, 2021. 
Banwell, A. F., Willis, I. C., Arnold, N. S., Messerli, A., Rye, C. J., Tedesco, M., and Ahlstrom, A. P.: Calibration and evaluation of a high-resolution surface mass-balance model for Paakitsoq, West Greenland, J. Glaciol., 58, 1047–1062,, 2012. 
Brun, E., Martin, E., Simon, V., Gendre, C., and Coleou, C.: An energy and mass model of snow cover suitable for operational avalanche forecasting, J. Glaciol., 35, 333–342,, 1989. 
Brun, E., David, P., Sudul, M., and Brunot, G.: A numerical model to simulate snow-cover stratigraphy for operational avalanche forecasting, J. Glaciol., 38, 13–22,, 1992. 
Short summary
We use repeated satellite measurements of the height of the Greenland ice sheet to learn about how three computational models of snowfall, melt, and snow compaction represent actual changes in the ice sheet. We find that the models do a good job of estimating how the parts of the ice sheet near the coast have changed but that two of the models have trouble representing surface melt for the highest part of the ice sheet. This work provides suggestions for how to better model snowmelt.