Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-337
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-337
11 Jan 2021
 | 11 Jan 2021
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Recent North Greenland temperature warming and accumulation

Helle Astrid Kjær, Patrick Zens, Ross Edwards, Martin Olesen, Ruth Mottram, Gabriel Lewis, Christian Terkelsen Holme, Samuel Black, Kasper Holst Lund, Mikkel Schmidt, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Bo Vinther, Anders Svensson, Nanna Karlsson, Jason E. Box, Sepp Kipfstuhl, and Paul Vallelonga

Abstract. In a warming climate concise knowledge of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is of utter importance. Speculations that current warming will increase the snow accumulation and mitigate mass balance losses are unconstrained as accumulation data across large regions of the northern ice sheet are scarce. We reconstructed the accumulation from six north Greenland shallow firn cores (~10 m) and eight snow cores (~2 m) to constrain recent accumulation patterns in northern Greenland and calculated recent warming in the same area using borehole temperature measurements.

We find an increase in temperatures in the north Greenland interior of 0.9 to 2.5 °C (method and site dependent) per decade over the past two decades in line with an Arctic amplified anthropogenic warming. We compare annual reconstructed accumulation from the firn cores (1966–2015) to radar estimates and to annual re-analysis data (1980–2016) of precipitation subtracted evaporation from the regional climate model HIRHAM5, operated by the Danish Meteorological Institute. The spatial variability resembles that observed in earlier estimates with a clear increase west of the topographic divide and a low accumulation area across the north-eastern ice sheet. Our accumulation results are comparable to earlier firn core estimates, despite being larger in the east. We only find a positive significant trend in the accumulation for the period 2000–2010 to the northwest.

In the vicinity of the EGRIP deep ice core drilling site, we find variable accumulation patterns for two 15 km apart firn cores likely owing to local topographic effects as a result of the North East Greenland Ice Stream dynamics.

Helle Astrid Kjær et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2020-337', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2020-337', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Mar 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2020-337', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2020-337', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Mar 2021

Helle Astrid Kjær et al.

Helle Astrid Kjær et al.

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Short summary
We have reconstructed accumulation in 6 firn cores and 8 snow cores in Northern Greenland and compared with a regional Climate model over Greenland. We find the model underestimate precipitation especially in north-eastern part of the ice cap- an important finding if aiming to reconstruct surface mass balance. Temperatures at 10 meters depth at 6 sites in Greenland were also determined and show a significant warming since the 1990's of 0.9 to 2.5 °C.