Changes in elevation and mass of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, 2010-2017

Paul Tepes, Noel Gourmelen, Peter Nienow, M. Tsamados, A. Shepherd, Flora Weissgerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Arctic glaciers and ice caps (GIC) are losing mass rapidly, and this process is expected to continue during the 21st century owing to polar amplification of climate warming. Here, we use seven years of CryoSat-2 swath interferometric altimetry to track changes in the volume of Arctic GIC. From these data, we produce a pan-Arctic assessment of GIC mass imbalance, and we partition their losses into signals associated with atmospheric processes and glacier dynamics. Between 2010 and 2017, Arctic GIC lost 609 ± 7 Gt of ice, contributing 0.240 ± 0.007 mm per year to global sea level rise. While surface ablation is responsible for 87% of losses across the Arctic, dynamic imbalance is increasing in the Barents and Kara Sea region where it now accounts for 43% of total ice loss. Arctic GIC's dynamic imbalance is associated with a northward shift of Atlantic climate, and this effect should be considered in global sea level projections.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112481
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume261
Early online date13 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

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