Danish Research Council (FNU) grant:
Understanding and predicting non-linear change in the permeability of Greenland firn
Jason E. Box and Robert S. Fausto, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen and Peter Langen, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)
Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Baptiste Vandecrux, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
advisers: Glen Liston; W.T. Pfeffer; Carl Egede Bøggild
Abstract. The percolation, retention, and freezing of melt and rain water by snow are a dominant source of unknowns and uncertainty in the modeling and understanding of ice sheet mass balance response to climate change. Conventional thought has been that practically all air space in the snow must be filled before melt water can exit the ice sheets as runoff. Yet, recent snow and ice core measurements provide the first evidence of the formation of impermeable ice layers, enabling an abrupt increase in ice sheet runoff. This project: 1.) develop a percolation/retention scheme based on inverse modeling of the ice core data; 2.) evaluates non-linearities in ice sheet melt water runoff; and 3.) assesses feedback mechanisms between atmosphere and surface properties (i.e. albedo) using a regional climate model applied to the past and future. We will thus achieve a more complete understanding of the ice sheet’s past, present, and future climate response and its global sea level impact.
This is Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) Natural Sciences program (FNU) project 4002-00234 DKK 5,975,793 (€ 803,096), 1 Aug. 2014 – 31 Jul. 2017 (36 months)