Day 4

Detailed paper information

Back to list

Paper title Ice-Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions in the Arctic: Svalbard Case Study
  1. Morag Fotheringham University of Edinburgh Speaker
  2. Noel Gourmelen University of Edinburgh
  3. Donald Slater University of Edinburgh
Form of presentation Poster
  • A9. Polar Science and Cryosphere
    • A9.04 Mass Balance of the Cryosphere
Abstract text Arctic glaciers and ice caps are currently major contributors to global sea level rise. The monitoring of smaller land-ice masses is challenging due to the high temporal and spatial resolution required to constrain their response to climate forcing. This dynamic response of land-ice to climate forcing constitutes the main uncertainty in global sea level projections for the next century. The relative significance of these forcings is currently unknown with most recent categorisations focusing on separating loss caused by internal dynamics versus surface mass balance changes, with only initial investigations into processes instigating these changes.
This leaves the specific roles of processes in the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice unconstrained. This knowledge is key to improving our projections of how these smaller land-ice masses will respond to future climate forcing and by extension their contribution to future sea level rise.
This study uses CryoSat-2 swath interferometric radar altimetry to provide high spatial and temporal observations to produce elevation timeseries for the land-ice masses in Svalbard Archipelago. It also utilises the regional atmospheric model (MAR) to gain timeseries of surface mass balance. These are combined with climate datasets, and by separating land-ice mass into land versus marine terminating, are used to quantify the effects of different processes. Additionally, in order to observe the relative impact of atmospheric versus oceanic forcing, an ocean thermal forcing model, previously used to study Greenland’s outlet glaciers, has been initialised.
The aim of this case study is to develop a framework that will quantify the connections and processes linking loss of land-ice to processes in the ice and, atmosphere and sea ice across the Arctic region.