Day 4

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Paper title Detecting ice sheet dynamical imbalance using satellite and meteorological records
  1. Nitin Ravinder Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, University of Leeds Speaker
  2. Andrew Shepherd CPOM Leeds
  3. Inès Otosaka University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  4. Thomas Slater University of Leeds
Form of presentation Poster
  • A9. Polar Science and Cryosphere
    • A9.04 Mass Balance of the Cryosphere
Abstract text In the past few decades, the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets have been major contributors to global sea level rise and with accelerated ice loss rates, they correspond to the worst-case scenario of global warming in the latest IPCC reports. The predicted sea level rise lies in the range of 15 to 23 cm by the end of the century, as per the reports, which clearly indicates the important need to track the ice loss, as its projections affect millions of people currently living in coastal areas.

This study fits into the work being carried out to better project the global sea level contributions of the ice sheets on different timescales. The aim of this study is to isolate the signal in satellite altimetry records that is attributable to changes in ice flow. Since the 1990s, satellite altimetry missions have helped in monitoring the changes in the shape of ice sheets. Two main processes account for these changes the ice sheets undergo: surface mass balance changes (accounting for precipitation and ablation)and changes in ice flow (accounting for ice discharge at glacier termini), the latter of which is also referred to as ice dynamical imbalance. The surface mass balance estimates are modelled using a regional climate model with the help of meteorological records. By combining these modelled estimates with the altimetry records, it is possible to separate the ice dynamical imbalance. To obtain a detailed pattern of the dynamical imbalance across both the ice sheets, we would be using this approach and further refining it, perhaps by accounting for variability in snow and ice densities, their impact on measured ice thickness. In the end, this study would help us track the changes in glaciology of the regions and their evolution in the changing climate, being able to associate the various events on different timescales to the dynamical imbalance of the ice sheets by quantifying them, which in turn could be useful in ice sheet modelling efforts and coming up with robust sea level projections.