Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Research article 06 May 2013
Research article | 06 May 2013
Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula
T. O. Holt et al.
G. P. Petropoulos, H. M. Griffiths, T. N. Carlson, P. Ioannou-Katidis, and T. Holt
Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1873–1887,
Gregoire Guillet, Owen King, Mingyang Lv, Sajid Ghuffar, Douglas Benn, Duncan Quincey, and Tobias Bolch
The Cryosphere, 16, 603–623,Short summary
Surging glaciers show cyclical changes in flow behavior – between slow and fast flow – and can have drastic impacts on settlements in their vicinity. One of the clusters of surging glaciers worldwide is High Mountain Asia (HMA). We present an inventory of surging glaciers in HMA, identified from satellite imagery. We show that the number of surging glaciers was underestimated and that they represent 20 % of the area covered by glaciers in HMA, before discussing new physics for glacier surges.
Adina E. Racoviteanu, Lindsey Nicholson, and Neil F. Glasser
The Cryosphere, 15, 4557–4588,Short summary
Supraglacial debris cover comprises ponds, exposed ice cliffs, debris material and vegetation. Understanding these features is important for glacier hydrology and related hazards. We use linear spectral unmixing of satellite data to assess the composition of map supraglacial debris across the Himalaya range in 2015. One of the highlights of this study is the automated mapping of supraglacial ponds, which complements and expands the existing supraglacial debris and lake databases.
Huw J. Horgan, Laurine van Haastrecht, Richard B. Alley, Sridhar Anandakrishnan, Lucas H. Beem, Knut Christianson, Atsuhiro Muto, and Matthew R. Siegfried
The Cryosphere, 15, 1863–1880,Short summary
The grounding zone marks the transition from a grounded ice sheet to a floating ice shelf. Like Earth's coastlines, the grounding zone is home to interactions between the ocean, fresh water, and geology but also has added complexity and importance due to the overriding ice. Here we use seismic surveying – sending sound waves down through the ice – to image the grounding zone of Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica and learn more about the nature of this important transition zone.
Mingyang Lv, Huadong Guo, Xiancai Lu, Guang Liu, Shiyong Yan, Zhixing Ruan, Yixing Ding, and Duncan J. Quincey
The Cryosphere, 13, 219–236,Short summary
We highlight 28 glaciers in the Kingata Mountains, among which 17 have changed markedly over the last decade. We identify four advancing and 13 surge-type glaciers. The dynamic evolution of the surges is similar to that of Karakoram, suggesting that both hydrological and thermal controls are important for surge initiation and recession. Topography seems to be a dominant control on non-surge glacier behaviour. Most glaciers experienced a significant and diverse change in their motion patterns.
Evan S. Miles, C. Scott Watson, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, Michel Esteves, Duncan J. Quincey, Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, and Patrick Wagnon
The Cryosphere, 12, 3891–3905,Short summary
We use high-resolution satellite imagery and field visits to assess the growth and drainage of a lake on Changri Shar Glacier in the Everest region, and its impact. The lake filled and drained within 3 months, which is a shorter interval than would be detected by standard monitoring protocols, but forced re-routing of major trails in several locations. The water appears to have flowed beneath Changri Shar and Khumbu glaciers in an efficient manner, suggesting pre-existing developed flow paths.
Stephan Harrison, Jeffrey S. Kargel, Christian Huggel, John Reynolds, Dan H. Shugar, Richard A. Betts, Adam Emmer, Neil Glasser, Umesh K. Haritashya, Jan Klimeš, Liam Reinhardt, Yvonne Schaub, Andy Wiltshire, Dhananjay Regmi, and Vít Vilímek
The Cryosphere, 12, 1195–1209,Short summary
Most mountain glaciers have receded throughout the last century in response to global climate change. This recession produces a range of natural hazards including glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). We have produced the first global inventory of GLOFs associated with the failure of moraine dams and show, counterintuitively, that these have reduced in frequency over recent decades. In this paper we explore the reasons for this pattern.
Ann V. Rowan, Lindsey Nicholson, Emily Collier, Duncan J. Quincey, Morgan J. Gibson, Patrick Wagnon, David R. Rounce, Sarah S. Thompson, Owen King, C. Scott Watson, Tristram D. L. Irvine-Fynn, and Neil F. Glasser
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Many glaciers in the Himalaya are covered with thick layers of rock debris that acts as an insulating blanket and so reduces melting of the underlying ice. Little is known about how melt beneath supraglacial debris varies across glaciers and through the monsoon season. We measured debris temperatures across three glaciers and several years to investigate seasonal trends, and found that sub-debris ice melt can be predicted using a temperature–depth relationship with surface temperature data.
Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, Tristam D. L. Irvine-Fynn, Evan S. Miles, Duncan J. Quincey, and Ann V. Rowan
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
The production and routing of meltwater through glaciers is important because that water influences glacier sliding, and represents a resource in some instances and a hazard in others. Despite this importance, very little is known about the hydrology of debris-covered glaciers, which are commonly located at high altitudes. Here, we present a review of the hydrology of debris-covered glaciers, summarizing the current state of knowledge and identify potential future research priorities.
Owen King, Duncan J. Quincey, Jonathan L. Carrivick, and Ann V. Rowan
The Cryosphere, 11, 407–426,Short summary
We used multiple digital elevation models to quantify melt on 32 glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas. We examined whether patterns of melt differed depending on whether the glacier terminated on land or in water. We found that glaciers terminating in large lakes had the highest melt rates, but that those terminating in small lakes had comparable melt rates to those terminating on land. We carried out this research because Himalayan people are highly dependent on glacier meltwater.
Sasha P. Carter, Helen A. Fricker, and Matthew R. Siegfried
The Cryosphere, 11, 381–405,Short summary
We use a new process-scale model for the drainage of active subglacial lakes in Antarctica that considers channel incision into the soft sedimentary bed. Compared to models with ice-incised channels, our model better reproduces magnitudes and recurrence intervals of active subglacial lake fill–drain cycles derived from satellite altimetry observations.
S. J. Cook and D. J. Quincey
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 559–575,Short summary
We compiled data on Alpine glacial lake morphometry to test empirical relationships that are used to estimate lake volume for the modelling of glacial lake outburst floods. We find wide scatter in the relationship between lake area and depth, and between area and volume, and identify contexts where existing empirical relationships are poor volume predictors. We generate a data-driven conceptual model of how lake volume should be expected to scale with area for a range of glacial lake contexts.
D. R. Rounce, D. J. Quincey, and D. C. McKinney
The Cryosphere, 9, 2295–2310,Short summary
A debris-covered glacier energy balance was used to model debris temperatures and sub-debris ablation rates on Imja-Lhotse Shar Glacier during the 2014 melt season. Field measurements were used to assess model performance. A novel method was also developed using Structure from Motion to estimate the surface roughness. Lastly, the effects of temporal resolution, i.e., 6h and daily time steps, and various methods for estimating the latent heat flux were also investigated.
N. F. Glasser, S. J. A. Jennings, M. J. Hambrey, and B. Hubbard
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 239–249,Short summary
We present a new map of the surface features of the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet. The map was compiled from satellite images. It shows many flow-parallel structures that we call "longitudinal ice-surface structures". Their location mirrors the location of fast-flowing glaciers and ice streams in the ice sheet. Their distribution indicates that the major ice-flow configuration of the ice sheet may have remained largely unchanged for the last few hundred years, and possibly even longer.
S. P. Carter, H. A. Fricker, and M. R. Siegfried
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
We develop a model that simulated the observed filling and draining of active subglacial lakes in Antarctica that suggests the may occurs by the erosion of channels into deformable subglacial sediments, that then deform shut as lake level declines. This contrasts with ice dammed alpine lakes which drain by channels incised into ice. If active subglacial lakes require deformable sediments to fill and drain as observed, then classic radar-based methods of lake detection may fail to find them.
M. J. Westoby, J. Brasington, N. F. Glasser, M. J. Hambrey, J. M. Reynolds, M. A. A. M. Hassan, and A. Lowe
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 171–199,
G. P. Petropoulos, H. M. Griffiths, T. N. Carlson, P. Ioannou-Katidis, and T. Holt
Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1873–1887,
D. J. Quincey and A. Luckman
The Cryosphere, 8, 571–574,
A. A. W. Fitzpatrick, A. L. Hubbard, J. E. Box, D. J. Quincey, D. van As, A. P. B. Mikkelsen, S. H. Doyle, C. F. Dow, B. Hasholt, and G. A. Jones
The Cryosphere, 8, 107–121,
H. Patton, A. Hubbard, T. Bradwell, N. F. Glasser, M. J. Hambrey, and C. D. Clark
Earth Surf. Dynam., 1, 53–65,
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The Cryosphere, 16, 471–487,Short summary
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Peter A. Tuckett, Jeremy C. Ely, Andrew J. Sole, James M. Lea, Stephen J. Livingstone, Julie M. Jones, and J. Melchior van Wessem
The Cryosphere, 15, 5785–5804,Short summary
Lakes form on the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the summer. These lakes can generate further melt, break up floating ice shelves and alter ice dynamics. Here, we describe a new automated method for mapping surface lakes and apply our technique to the Amery Ice Shelf between 2005 and 2020. Lake area is highly variable between years, driven by large-scale climate patterns. This technique will help us understand the role of Antarctic surface lakes in our warming world.
Zhongyang Hu, Peter Kuipers Munneke, Stef Lhermitte, Maaike Izeboud, and Michiel van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 15, 5639–5658,Short summary
Antarctica is shrinking, and part of the mass loss is caused by higher temperatures leading to more snowmelt. We use computer models to estimate the amount of melt, but this can be inaccurate – specifically in the areas with the most melt. This is because the model cannot account for small, darker areas like rocks or darker ice. Thus, we trained a computer using artificial intelligence and satellite images that showed these darker areas. The model computed an improved estimate of melt.
Jamey Stutz, Andrew Mackintosh, Kevin Norton, Ross Whitmore, Carlo Baroni, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, Richard S. Jones, Greg Balco, Maria Cristina Salvatore, Stefano Casale, Jae Il Lee, Yeong Bae Seong, Robert McKay, Lauren J. Vargo, Daniel Lowry, Perry Spector, Marcus Christl, Susan Ivy Ochs, Luigia Di Nicola, Maria Iarossi, Finlay Stuart, and Tom Woodruff
The Cryosphere, 15, 5447–5471,Short summary
Understanding the long-term behaviour of ice sheets is essential to projecting future changes due to climate change. In this study, we use rocks deposited along the margin of the David Glacier, one of the largest glacier systems in the world, to reveal a rapid thinning event initiated over 7000 years ago and endured for ~ 2000 years. Using physical models, we show that subglacial topography and ocean heat are important drivers for change along this sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Birgit Wessel, Martin Huber, Christian Wohlfart, Adina Bertram, Nicole Osterkamp, Ursula Marschalk, Astrid Gruber, Felix Reuß, Sahra Abdullahi, Isabel Georg, and Achim Roth
The Cryosphere, 15, 5241–5260,Short summary
We present a new digital elevation model (DEM) of Antarctica derived from the TanDEM-X DEM, with new interferometric radar acquisitions incorporated and edited elevations, especially at the coast. A strength of this DEM is its homogeneity and completeness. Extensive validation work shows a vertical accuracy of just -0.3 m ± 2.5 m standard deviation on blue ice surfaces compared to ICESat laser altimeter heights. The new TanDEM-X PolarDEM 90 m of Antarctica is freely available.
Mariel C. Dirscherl, Andreas J. Dietz, and Claudia Kuenzer
The Cryosphere, 15, 5205–5226,Short summary
We provide novel insight into the temporal evolution of supraglacial lakes across six major Antarctic ice shelves in 2015–2021. For Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves, we observe extensive meltwater ponding during the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 summers. Over East Antarctica, lakes were widespread during 2016–2019 and at a minimum in 2020–2021. We investigate environmental controls, revealing lake ponding to be coupled to atmospheric modes, the near-surface climate and the local glaciological setting.
Alexander D. Fraser, Robert A. Massom, Mark S. Handcock, Phillip Reid, Kay I. Ohshima, Marilyn N. Raphael, Jessica Cartwright, Andrew R. Klekociuk, Zhaohui Wang, and Richard Porter-Smith
The Cryosphere, 15, 5061–5077,Short summary
Landfast ice is sea ice that remains stationary by attaching to Antarctica's coastline and grounded icebergs. Although a variable feature, landfast ice exerts influence on key coastal processes involving pack ice, the ice sheet, ocean, and atmosphere and is of ecological importance. We present a first analysis of change in landfast ice over an 18-year period and quantify trends (−0.19 ± 0.18 % yr−1). This analysis forms a reference of landfast-ice extent and variability for use in other studies.
Baptiste Frankinet, Thomas Lecocq, and Thierry Camelbeeck
The Cryosphere, 15, 5007–5016,Short summary
Icequakes are the result of processes occurring within the ice mass or between the ice and its environment. Having a complete catalogue of those icequakes provides a unique view on the ice dynamics. But the instruments recording these events are polluted by different noise sources such as the wind. Using the data from multiple instruments, we found how the wind noise affects the icequake monitoring at the Princess Elisabeth Station in Antarctica.
Greg H. Leonard, Kate E. Turner, Maren E. Richter, Maddy S. Whittaker, and Inga J. Smith
The Cryosphere, 15, 4999–5006,Short summary
McMurdo Sound sea ice can generally be partitioned into two regimes: a stable fast-ice cover forming south of approximately 77.6° S and a more dynamic region north of 77.6° S that is regularly impacted by polynyas. In 2019, a stable fast-ice cover formed unusually late due to repeated break-out events. This subsequently affected sea-ice operations in the 2019/20 field season. We analysed the 2019 sea-ice conditions and found a strong correlation with unusually large southerly wind events.
Nicolaj Hansen, Sebastian Bjerregaard Simonsen, Fredrik Boberg, Christoph Kittel, Andrew Orr, Niels Souverijns, Melchior van Wessem, and Ruth Mottram
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
We investigate the impact of different ice masks when modelling surface mass balance over Antarctica. We used ice masks and data from five of the most used regional climate model and a common mask, we see large disagreement between the ice masks, which has a large impact on the surface mass balance, especially around the Antarctic Peninsula and some of the largest glacier. We suggest a solution for creating a new, up to date, high resolution ice mask, that can be used in Antarctic modelling.
Martim Mas e Braga, Richard Selwyn Jones, Jennifer C. H. Newall, Irina Rogozhina, Jane L. Andersen, Nathaniel A. Lifton, and Arjen P. Stroeven
The Cryosphere, 15, 4929–4947,Short summary
Mountains higher than the ice surface are sampled to know when the ice reached the sampled elevation, which can be used to guide numerical models. This is important to understand how much ice will be lost by ice sheets in the future. We use a simple model to understand how ice flow around mountains affects the ice surface topography and show how much this influences results from field samples. We also show that models need a finer resolution over mountainous areas to better match field samples.
Emily A. Hill, Sebastian H. R. Rosier, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, and Matthew Collins
The Cryosphere, 15, 4675–4702,Short summary
Using an ice flow model and uncertainty quantification methods, we provide probabilistic projections of future sea level rise from the Filchner–Ronne region of Antarctica. We find that it is most likely that this region will contribute negatively to sea level rise over the next 300 years, largely as a result of increased surface mass balance. We identify parameters controlling ice shelf melt and snowfall contribute most to uncertainties in projections.
Sarah U. Neuhaus, Slawek M. Tulaczyk, Nathan D. Stansell, Jason J. Coenen, Reed P. Scherer, Jill A. Mikucki, and Ross D. Powell
The Cryosphere, 15, 4655–4673,Short summary
We estimate the timing of post-LGM grounding line retreat and readvance in the Ross Sea sector of Antarctica. Our analyses indicate that the grounding line retreated over our field sites within the past 5000 years (coinciding with a warming climate) and readvanced roughly 1000 years ago (coinciding with a cooling climate). Based on these results, we propose that the Siple Coast grounding line motions in the middle to late Holocene were driven by relatively modest changes in regional climate.
Christiaan Timo van Dalum, Willem Jan van de Berg, and Michiel Roland van den Broeke
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
In this study, we improve the regional climate model RACMO2 and investigate the climate of Antarctica. We have implemented a new radiative transfer and snow albedo scheme and do several sensitivity experiments. When fully tuned, the results compare well with observations and snow temperature profiles have improved. Moreover, small changes in the albedo and the investigated processes can lead to a strong overestimation of melt, locally leading to runoff and a reduced surface mass balance.
Nicolaj Hansen, Peter L. Langen, Fredrik Boberg, Rene Forsberg, Sebastian B. Simonsen, Peter Thejll, Baptiste Vandecrux, and Ruth Mottram
The Cryosphere, 15, 4315–4333,Short summary
We have used computer models to estimate the Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) from 1980 to 2017. Our estimates lies between 2473.5 ± 114.4 Gt per year and 2564.8 ± 113.7 Gt per year. To evaluate our models, we compared the modelled snow temperatures and densities to in situ measurements. We also investigated the spatial distribution of the SMB. It is very important to have estimates of the Antarctic SMB because then it is easier to understand global sea level changes.
Martin Mohrmann, Céline Heuzé, and Sebastiaan Swart
The Cryosphere, 15, 4281–4313,Short summary
Polynyas are large open-water areas within the sea ice. We developed a method to estimate their area, distribution and frequency for the Southern Ocean in climate models and observations. All models have polynyas along the coast but few do so in the open ocean, in contrast to observations. We examine potential atmospheric and oceanic drivers of open-water polynyas and discuss recently implemented schemes that may have improved some models' polynya representation.
Johannes Sutter, Hubertus Fischer, and Olaf Eisen
The Cryosphere, 15, 3839–3860,Short summary
Projections of global sea-level changes in a warming world require ice-sheet models. We expand the calibration of these models by making use of the internal architecture of the Antarctic ice sheet, which is formed by its evolution over many millennia. We propose that using our novel approach to constrain ice sheet models, we will be able to both sharpen our understanding of past and future sea-level changes and identify weaknesses in the parameterisation of current continental-scale models.
Ruth Mottram, Nicolaj Hansen, Christoph Kittel, J. Melchior van Wessem, Cécile Agosta, Charles Amory, Fredrik Boberg, Willem Jan van de Berg, Xavier Fettweis, Alexandra Gossart, Nicole P. M. van Lipzig, Erik van Meijgaard, Andrew Orr, Tony Phillips, Stuart Webster, Sebastian B. Simonsen, and Niels Souverijns
The Cryosphere, 15, 3751–3784,Short summary
We compare the calculated surface mass budget (SMB) of Antarctica in five different regional climate models. On average ~ 2000 Gt of snow accumulates annually, but different models vary by ~ 10 %, a difference equivalent to ± 0.5 mm of global sea level rise. All models reproduce observed weather, but there are large differences in regional patterns of snowfall, especially in areas with very few observations, giving greater uncertainty in Antarctic mass budget than previously identified.
Rongxing Li, Yuan Cheng, Haotian Cui, Menglian Xia, Xiaohan Yuan, Zhen Li, and Gang Qiao
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Historical velocity maps of the Antarctic ice sheet are valuable for long-term ice flow dynamics analysis. We developed an innovative method for correcting overestimations existing in historical velocity maps. The method is validated rigorously using high-quality Landsat 8 images, and then successfully applied to historical velocity maps. The historical change signatures are persevered, which can be used for assessing the impact of long-term global climate changes on the ice sheet.
Jeannette Xiu Wen Wan, Natalya Gomez, Konstantin Latychev, and Holly Kyeore Han
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint under review for TCShort summary
This paper assesses the grid resolution necessary to accurately model the earth deformation and sea level change associated with West Antarctic ice mass changes. We find that results converge at higher resolutions, and errors of less than 5 % can be achieved with a 7.5 km grid. Our results also indicate that error due to grid resolution is negligible compared to the effect of neglecting viscous deformation in low viscosity regions.
Krista F. Myers, Peter T. Doran, Slawek M. Tulaczyk, Neil T. Foley, Thue S. Bording, Esben Auken, Hilary A. Dugan, Jill A. Mikucki, Nikolaj Foged, Denys Grombacher, and Ross A. Virginia
The Cryosphere, 15, 3577–3593,Short summary
Lake Fryxell, Antarctica, has undergone hundreds of meters of change in recent geologic history. However, there is disagreement on when lake levels were higher and by how much. This study uses resistivity data to map the subsurface conditions (frozen versus unfrozen ground) to map ancient shorelines. Our models indicate that Lake Fryxell was up to 60 m higher just 1500 to 4000 years ago. This amount of lake level change shows how sensitive these systems are to small changes in temperature.
Madison L. Ghiz, Ryan C. Scott, Andrew M. Vogelmann, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, Matthew Lazzara, and Dan Lubin
The Cryosphere, 15, 3459–3494,Short summary
We investigate how melt occurs over the vulnerable ice shelves of West Antarctica and determine that the three primary mechanisms can be evaluated using archived numerical weather prediction model data and satellite imagery. We find examples of each mechanism: thermal blanketing by a warm atmosphere, radiative heating by thin clouds, and downslope winds. Our results signify the potential to make a multi-decadal assessment of atmospheric stress on West Antarctic ice shelves in a warming climate.
Suzanne L. Bevan, Adrian J. Luckman, Douglas I. Benn, Susheel Adusumilli, and Anna Crawford
The Cryosphere, 15, 3317–3328,Short summary
The stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet depends on the behaviour of the fast-flowing glaciers, such as Thwaites, that connect it to the ocean. Here we show that a large ocean-melted cavity beneath Thwaites Glacier has remained stable since it first formed, implying that, in line with current theory, basal melt is now concentrated close to where the ice first goes afloat. We also show that Thwaites Glacier continues to thin and to speed up and that continued retreat is therefore likely.
Stephen J. Chuter, Andrew Zammit-Mangion, Jonathan Rougier, Geoffrey Dawson, and Jonathan L Bamber
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
We find the Antarctic Peninsula to have a mean mass loss of 19 ± 1.1 Gt yr−1 over the 2003–2019 period, driven predominantly by changes in ice dynamic flow like due to changes in ocean forcing. This long-term record is crucial to ascertaining the region’s present-day contribution to sea level rise, with the understanding of driving processes enabling better future predictions. Our statistical approach enables us to estimate this previously poorly surveyed regions mass balance more accurately.
Rongxing Li, Hongwei Li, Tong Hao, Gang Qiao, Haotian Cui, Youquan He, Gang Hai, Huan Xie, Yuan Cheng, and Bofeng Li
The Cryosphere, 15, 3083–3099,Short summary
We present the results of an assessment of ICESat-2 surface elevations along the 520 km CHINARE route in East Antarctica. The assessment was performed based on coordinated multi-sensor observations from a global navigation satellite system, corner cube retroreflectors, retroreflective target sheets, and UAVs. The validation results demonstrate that ICESat-2 elevations are accurate to 1.5–2.5 cm and can potentially overcome the uncertainties in the estimation of mass balance in East Antarctica.
Mira Berdahl, Gunter Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, and Nathan M. Urban
The Cryosphere, 15, 2683–2699,Short summary
Antarctic ice shelves are vulnerable to warming ocean temperatures and have already begun thinning in response to increased basal melt rates. Sea level is expected to rise due to Antarctic contributions, but uncertainties in rise amount and timing remain largely unquantified. To facilitate uncertainty quantification, we use a high-resolution ice sheet model to build, test, and validate an ice sheet emulator and generate probabilistic sea level rise estimates for 100 and 200 years in the future.
Elena Shevnina, Ekaterina Kourzeneva, Yury Dvornikov, and Irina Fedorova
The Cryosphere, 15, 2667–2682,Short summary
Antarctica consists mostly of frozen water, and it makes the continent sensitive to warming due to enhancing a transition/exchange of water from solid (ice and snow) to liquid (lakes and rivers) form. Therefore, it is important to know how fast water is exchanged in the Antarctic lakes. The study gives first estimates of scales for water exchange for five lakes located in the Larsemann Hills oasis. Two methods are suggested to evaluate the timescale for the lakes depending on their type.
Miguel González-Pleiter, Gissell Lacerot, Carlos Edo, Juan Pablo Lozoya, Francisco Leganés, Francisca Fernández-Piñas, Roberto Rosal, and Franco Teixeira-de-Mello
The Cryosphere, 15, 2531–2539,Short summary
Plastics have been found in several compartments in Antarctica. However, there is currently no evidence of their presence on Antarctic glaciers. Our pilot study is the first report of plastic pollution presence on an Antarctic glacier.
Celia A. Baumhoer, Andreas J. Dietz, Christof Kneisel, Heiko Paeth, and Claudia Kuenzer
The Cryosphere, 15, 2357–2381,Short summary
We present a record of circum-Antarctic glacier and ice shelf front change over the last two decades in combination with potential environmental variables forcing frontal retreat. Along the Antarctic coastline, glacier and ice shelf front retreat dominated between 1997–2008 and advance between 2009–2018. Decreasing sea ice days, intense snowmelt, weakening easterly winds, and relative changes in sea surface temperature were identified as enabling factors for glacier and ice shelf front retreat.
Lucas H. Beem, Duncan A. Young, Jamin S. Greenbaum, Donald D. Blankenship, Marie G. P. Cavitte, Jingxue Guo, and Sun Bo
The Cryosphere, 15, 1719–1730,Short summary
Radar observation collected above Titan Dome of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is used to describe ice geometry and test a hypothesis that ice beneath the dome is older than 1 million years. An important climate transition occurred between 1.25 million and 700 thousand years ago, and if ice old enough to study this period can be removed as an ice core, new insights into climate dynamics are expected. The new observations suggest the ice is too young – more likely 300 to 800 thousand years old.
Christoph Kittel, Charles Amory, Cécile Agosta, Nicolas C. Jourdain, Stefan Hofer, Alison Delhasse, Sébastien Doutreloup, Pierre-Vincent Huot, Charlotte Lang, Thierry Fichefet, and Xavier Fettweis
The Cryosphere, 15, 1215–1236,Short summary
The future surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) will influence the ice dynamics and the contribution of the ice sheet to the sea level rise. We investigate the AIS sensitivity to different warmings using physical and statistical downscaling of CMIP5 and CMIP6 models. Our results highlight a contrasting effect between the grounded ice sheet (where the SMB is projected to increase) and ice shelves (where the future SMB depends on the emission scenario).
Eric Keenan, Nander Wever, Marissa Dattler, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, Brooke Medley, Peter Kuipers Munneke, and Carleen Reijmer
The Cryosphere, 15, 1065–1085,Short summary
Snow density is required to convert observed changes in ice sheet volume into mass, which ultimately drives ice sheet contribution to sea level rise. However, snow properties respond dynamically to wind-driven redistribution. Here we include a new wind-driven snow density scheme into an existing snow model. Our results demonstrate an improved representation of snow density when compared to observations and can therefore be used to improve retrievals of ice sheet mass balance.
Aurélien Quiquet and Christophe Dumas
The Cryosphere, 15, 1031–1052,Short summary
We present here the GRISLI-LSCE contribution to the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 for Antarctica. The project aims to quantify the ice sheet contribution to global sea level rise for the next century. We show that increased precipitation in the future in some cases mitigates this contribution, with positive to negative values in 2100 depending of the climate forcing used. Sub-shelf-basal-melt uncertainties induce large differences in simulated grounding-line retreats.
Bertie W. J. Miles, Jim R. Jordan, Chris R. Stokes, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, and Adrian Jenkins
The Cryosphere, 15, 663–676,Short summary
We provide a historical overview of changes in Denman Glacier's flow speed, structure and calving events since the 1960s. Based on these observations, we perform a series of numerical modelling experiments to determine the likely cause of Denman's acceleration since the 1970s. We show that grounding line retreat, ice shelf thinning and the detachment of Denman's ice tongue from a pinning point are the most likely causes of the observed acceleration.
William H. Lipscomb, Gunter R. Leguy, Nicolas C. Jourdain, Xylar Asay-Davis, Hélène Seroussi, and Sophie Nowicki
The Cryosphere, 15, 633–661,Short summary
This paper describes Antarctic climate change experiments in which the Community Ice Sheet Model is forced with ocean warming predicted by global climate models. Generally, ice loss begins slowly, accelerates by 2100, and then continues unabated, with widespread retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The mass loss by 2500 varies from about 150 to 1300 mm of equivalent sea level rise, based on the predicted ocean warming and assumptions about how this warming drives melting beneath ice shelves.
Marion Donat-Magnin, Nicolas C. Jourdain, Christoph Kittel, Cécile Agosta, Charles Amory, Hubert Gallée, Gerhard Krinner, and Mondher Chekki
The Cryosphere, 15, 571–593,Short summary
We simulate the West Antarctic climate in 2100 under increasing greenhouse gases. Future accumulation over the ice sheet increases, which reduces sea level changing rate. Surface ice-shelf melt rates increase until 2100. Some ice shelves experience a lot of liquid water at their surface, which indicates potential ice-shelf collapse. In contrast, no liquid water is found over other ice shelves due to huge amounts of snowfall that bury liquid water, favouring refreezing and ice-shelf stability.
Martim Mas e Braga, Jorge Bernales, Matthias Prange, Arjen P. Stroeven, and Irina Rogozhina
The Cryosphere, 15, 459–478,Short summary
We combine a computer model with different climate records to simulate how Antarctica responded to warming during marine isotope substage 11c, which can help understand Antarctica's natural drivers of change. We found that the regional climate warming of Antarctica seen in ice cores was necessary for the model to match the recorded sea level rise. A collapse of its western ice sheet is possible if a modest warming is sustained for ca. 4000 years, contributing 6.7 to 8.2 m to sea level rise.
Christian Haas, Patricia J. Langhorne, Wolfgang Rack, Greg H. Leonard, Gemma M. Brett, Daniel Price, Justin F. Beckers, and Alex J. Gough
The Cryosphere, 15, 247–264,Short summary
We developed a method to remotely detect proxy signals of Antarctic ice shelf melt under adjacent sea ice. It is based on aircraft surveys with electromagnetic induction sounding. We found year-to-year variability of the ice shelf melt proxy in McMurdo Sound and spatial fine structure that support assumptions about the melt of the McMurdo Ice Shelf. With this method it will be possible to map and detect locations of intense ice shelf melt along the coast of Antarctica.
Javier Blasco, Jorge Alvarez-Solas, Alexander Robinson, and Marisa Montoya
The Cryosphere, 15, 215–231,Short summary
During the Last Glacial Maximum the Antarctic Ice Sheet was larger and more extended than at present. However, neither its exact position nor the total ice volume are well constrained. Here we investigate how the different climatic boundary conditions, as well as basal friction configurations, affect the size and extent of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and discuss its potential implications.
Alia L. Khan, Heidi M. Dierssen, Ted A. Scambos, Juan Höfer, and Raul R. Cordero
The Cryosphere, 15, 133–148,Short summary
We present radiative forcing (RF) estimates by snow algae in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) region from multi-year measurements of solar radiation and ground-based hyperspectral characterization of red and green snow algae collected during a brief field expedition in austral summer 2018. Mean daily RF was double for green (~26 W m−2) vs. red (~13 W m−2) snow algae during the peak growing season, which is on par with midlatitude dust attributions capable of advancing snowmelt.
Jan De Rydt, Ronja Reese, Fernando S. Paolo, and G. Hilmar Gudmundsson
The Cryosphere, 15, 113–132,Short summary
We used satellite observations and numerical simulations of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, between 1996 and 2016 to show that the recent increase in its flow speed can only be reproduced by computer models if stringent assumptions are made about the material properties of the ice and its underlying bed. These assumptions are not commonly adopted in ice flow modelling, and our results therefore have implications for future simulations of Antarctic ice flow and sea level projections.
Qian Shi, Qinghua Yang, Longjiang Mu, Jinfei Wang, François Massonnet, and Matthew R. Mazloff
The Cryosphere, 15, 31–47,Short summary
The ice thickness from four state-of-the-art reanalyses (GECCO2, SOSE, NEMO-EnKF and GIOMAS) are evaluated against that from remote sensing and in situ observations in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Most of the reanalyses can reproduce ice thickness in the central and eastern Weddell Sea but failed to capture the thick and deformed ice in the western Weddell Sea. These results demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of using current sea-ice reanalysis in Antarctic climate research.
Tessa Gorte, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, and Brooke Medley
The Cryosphere, 14, 4719–4733,Short summary
In this paper, we analyze several spatial and temporal criteria to assess the ability of models in the CMIP5 and CMIP6 frameworks to recreate past Antarctic surface mass balance. We then compared a subset of the top performing models to all remaining models to refine future surface mass balance predictions under different forcing scenarios. We found that the top performing models predict lower surface mass balance by 2100, indicating less buffering than otherwise expected of sea level rise.
Sahra Kacimi and Ron Kwok
The Cryosphere, 14, 4453–4474,Short summary
Our current understanding of Antarctic ice cover is largely informed by ice extent measurements from passive microwave sensors. These records, while useful, provide a limited picture of how the ice is responding to climate change. In this paper, we combine measurements from ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2 missions to assess snow depth and ice thickness of the Antarctic ice cover over an 8-month period (April through November 2019). The potential impact of salinity in the snow layer is discussed.
Rei Chemke, Michael Previdi, Mark R. England, and Lorenzo M. Polvani
The Cryosphere, 14, 4135–4144,Short summary
The increase in Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB, precipitation vs. evaporation/sublimation) is projected to mitigate sea-level rise. Here we show that nearly half of this increase over the 20th century is attributed to stratospheric ozone depletion and ozone-depleting substance (ODS) emissions. Our results suggest that the phaseout of ODS by the Montreal Protocol, and the recovery of stratospheric ozone, will act to decrease the SMB over the 21st century and the mitigation of sea-level rise.
Jennifer F. Arthur, Chris R. Stokes, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, J. Rachel Carr, and Amber A. Leeson
The Cryosphere, 14, 4103–4120,Short summary
Surface meltwater lakes can flex and fracture ice shelves, potentially leading to ice shelf break-up. A long-term record of lake evolution on Shackleton Ice Shelf is produced using optical satellite imagery and compared to surface air temperature and modelled surface melt. The results reveal that lake clustering on the ice shelf is linked to melt-enhancing feedbacks. Peaks in total lake area and volume closely correspond with intense snowmelt events rather than with warmer seasonal temperatures.
Alexander H. Weinhart, Johannes Freitag, Maria Hörhold, Sepp Kipfstuhl, and Olaf Eisen
The Cryosphere, 14, 3663–3685,Short summary
From 1 m snow profiles along a traverse on the East Antarctic Plateau, we calculated a representative surface snow density of 355 kg m−3 for this region with an error less than 1.5 %. This density is 10 % higher and density fluctuations seem to happen on smaller scales than climate model outputs suggest. Our study can help improve the parameterization of surface snow density in climate models to reduce the error in future sea level predictions.
Tian Li, Geoffrey J. Dawson, Stephen J. Chuter, and Jonathan L. Bamber
The Cryosphere, 14, 3629–3643,Short summary
Accurate knowledge of the Antarctic grounding zone is critical for the understanding of ice sheet instability and the evaluation of mass balance. We present a new, fully automated method to map the grounding zone from ICESat-2 laser altimetry. Our results of Larsen C Ice Shelf demonstrate the efficiency, density, and high spatial accuracy with which ICESat-2 can image complex grounding zones.
Thore Kausch, Stef Lhermitte, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, Nander Wever, Mana Inoue, Frank Pattyn, Sainan Sun, Sarah Wauthy, Jean-Louis Tison, and Willem Jan van de Berg
The Cryosphere, 14, 3367–3380,Short summary
Ice rises are elevated parts of the otherwise flat ice shelf. Here we study the impact of an Antarctic ice rise on the surrounding snow accumulation by combining field data and modeling. Our results show a clear difference in average yearly snow accumulation between the windward side, the leeward side and the peak of the ice rise due to differences in snowfall and wind erosion. This is relevant for the interpretation of ice core records, which are often drilled on the peak of an ice rise.
Michael Studinger, Brooke C. Medley, Kelly M. Brunt, Kimberly A. Casey, Nathan T. Kurtz, Serdar S. Manizade, Thomas A. Neumann, and Thomas B. Overly
The Cryosphere, 14, 3287–3308,Short summary
We use repeat airborne geophysical data consisting of laser altimetry, snow, and Ku-band radar and optical imagery to analyze the spatial and temporal variability in surface roughness, slope, wind deposition, and snow accumulation at 88° S. We find small–scale variability in snow accumulation based on the snow radar subsurface layering, indicating areas of strong wind redistribution are prevalent at 88° S. There is no slope–independent relationship between surface roughness and accumulation.
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