Articles | Volume 18, issue 2
Research article
28 Feb 2024
Research article |  | 28 Feb 2024

Local forcing mechanisms challenge parameterizations of ocean thermal forcing for Greenland tidewater glaciers

Alexander O. Hager, David A. Sutherland, and Donald A. Slater

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Cited articles

Aschwanden, A., Fahnestock, M. A., Truffer, M., Brinkerhoff, D. J., Hock, R., Khroulev, C., Mottram, R., and Khan, S. A.: Contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet to sea level over the next millennium, Science Advances, 5, eaav9396,, 2019. a
Bao, W. and Moffat, C.: Impact of shallow sills on circulation regimes and submarine melting in glacial fjords, The Cryosphere, 18, 187–203,, 2024. a, b, c, d, e, f
Bartholomaus, T. C., Stearns, L. A., Sutherland, D. A., Shroyer, E. L., Nash, J. D., Walker, R. T., Catania, G., Felikson, D., Carroll, D., Fried, M. J., Noël, B. P. Y., and van den Broeke, M. R.: Contrasts in the response of adjacent fjords and glaciers to ice-sheet surface melt in West Greenland, Ann. Glaciol., 57, 25–38,, 2016. a, b, c, d
Beaird, N., Straneo, F., and Jenkins, W.: Characteristics of meltwater export from Jakobshavn Isbræ and Ilulissat Icefjord, Ann. Glaciol., 58, 107–117,, 2017. a, b
Black, T. E. and Joughin, I.: Multi-decadal retreat of marine-terminating outlet glaciers in northwest and central-west Greenland, The Cryosphere, 16, 807–824,, 2022. a
Short summary
Warming ocean temperatures cause considerable ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet; however climate models are unable to resolve the complex ocean processes within fjords that influence near-glacier ocean temperatures. Here, we use a computer model to test the accuracy of assumptions that allow climate and ice sheet models to project near-glacier ocean temperatures, and thus glacier melt, into the future. We then develop new methods that improve accuracy by accounting for local ocean processes.