Carleen Tijm-Reijmer and colleagues
Glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets are losing mass at an unprecedented rate, contributing about 50% to current sea level rise. Increased melt is the main cause for the mass loss of glaciers and ice caps, while for the Greenland ice sheet increased glacial discharge is almost as significant. For the Antarctic ice sheet, surface melt is not yet an important contributor, but is believed to have played a crucial role in the breakup of ice shelves around the Antarctic Peninsula. In order to quantify the role of the different mass and energy balance components on the observed mass loss, in situ observations are invaluable: they quantify the energy streams that steer the melt process, and constrain and/or enable evaluation of (regional) climate models and satellite products. Given the harsh conditions, innovative methods are required to enable year-round observations on glaciers.
At IMAU we have a long history of developing innovative instruments and methods for in situ meteorological observations on glaciers. Some of the resulting records are now over 20 years long and have proven invaluable in the study of the impact of climate change on large ice bodies in the Polar Regions. In this presentation Carleen will present results from the weather station network, focussing on the role of short wave radiation and the sensible heat flux in determining melt.
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