28 Mar 2023
 | 28 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Spatially heterogeneous effect of the climate warming on the Arctic land ice

Damien Maure, Christoph Kittel, Clara Lambin, Alison Delhasse, and Xavier Fettweis

Abstract. Global warming has already substantially altered the Arctic cryosphere. Due to the Arctic warming amplification, the temperature is increasing more strongly leading to pervasive changes in this area. Recent years were notably marked by melt records over the Greenland Ice Sheet while other regions such as Svalbard seem to remain less influenced. This raises the question of the current state of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the various ice caps in the Arctic for which few studies are available. We here run the Regional Climate Model (RCM) Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) at a resolution of 6 km over 4 different domains covering all the Arctic grounded cryosphere to produce a unified Surface Mass Balance product from 1950 to present day. We also compare our results to large-scale indices to better understand the heterogeneity of the evolutions across the Arctic and their links to recent climate change. We find a sharp decrease of SMB over the western Arctic (Canada and Greenland), in relationship with the atmospheric blocking situations that have become more frequent in summer, resulting in a 41 % increase of the melt rate since 1950. This increase is not seen over the Russian Arctic and Svalbard permanent ice areas, where melt rates have increased by only 9 % on average, illustrating a heterogeneity in the Arctic SMB response to global warming.

Damien Maure et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2023-7', Shawn Marshall, 26 Apr 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2023-7', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 May 2023

Damien Maure et al.

Damien Maure et al.


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Short summary
The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the Earth. Studies have already shown that Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are experiencing a record increase in melting rates, while Svalbard has been less impacted. Looking at those regions but also extending the study to Iceland and the Russian Arctic Achipelagoes, we see a heterogeneity of the melting rates response to the Arctic warming, with the Russian Archipelagoes experiencing lower melting rates than other regions.