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Research Highlights

Decadal slowdown of a land-terminating sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet despite warming
October 29, 2015

Whether or not the net effect of an increase in meltwater is to accelerate the movement of ice sheets has been contentious, because although water lubricates the ice–rock interface, helping to speed up the ice flow, it also stimulates the development of efficient drainage. Using decades of remote-sensing data for a 170-km land-terminating stretch of the western Greenland Ice Sheet, Andrew Tedstone et al. confirm that more meltwater does not necessarily equal higher velocity. Rather, despite a 50% increase in meltwater, velocity decreased in their study region by about 12%. Although the story may differ in marine-terminating sectors, the results imply that increased meltwater alone will not lead to a runaway retreat. Link

May 27, 2015: Edinburgh PhD student Damon Davies has written a blog post for the European Geophysical Union in which he talks about his time on the 2013-14 iSTAR project traverse of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica.

Recent Publications

  • Tedstone, A., P. Nienow, N. Gourmelen, A. Dehecq, D. Goldberg and E. Hanna (2015). Decadal slowdown of a land-terminating sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet despite warming, Nature, 526, 692-695. Link
  • Dehecq, A., Gourmelen N., Trouve, E. (2015), Deriving large-scale glacier velocities from a complete satellite archive : Application to the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya, Remote Sensing of the Environment, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2015.01.031. [link]

  • Slater, D., P. Nienow, T. Cowton, D. Goldberg and A. Sole (2015). Effect of near-terminus subglacial hydrology on tidewater glacier submarine melt rates. Geophysical Research Letters, 47. [link]

  • Bingham, R., D. Rippin, N. Karlsson, H. Corr, F. Ferraccioli, T. Jordan, A. Le Brocq, K. Rose, N. Ross, and M. Siegert (2015). Ice-flow structure and ice dynamic changes in the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica from radar-imaged internal layering. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 120. [link]

  • Cowton, T., D. Slater, A. Sole, D. Goldberg and P. Nienow (2015). Modeling the impact of glacial runoff on fjord circulation and submarine melt rate using a new subgrid-scale parameterization for glacial plumes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120. [link]

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