Accelerated volume loss in glacier ablation zones of NE Greenland, Little Ice Age to present

Jonathan L. Carrivick, Clare M. Boston, Owen King, William H.M. James, Duncan J. Quincey, Mark W. Smith, Michael Grimes, Jeff Evans

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    Mountain glaciers at the periphery of the Greenland ice sheet are a crucial freshwater and sediment source to the North Atlantic and strongly impact Arctic terrestrial, fjord and coastal biogeochemical cycles. In this study we mapped the extent of 1848 mountain glaciers in NE Greenland at the Little Ice Age (LIA). We determined area and volume changes for the time periods LIA to 1980s and 1980s to 2014 and ELAs. There was at least 172.76 ± 34.55 km3 volume lost between 1910 and 1980s, i.e. a rate of 2.61 ± 0.52 km3 yr-1. Between 1980s and 2014 the volume lost was 90.55 ± 18.11 km3, i.e. a rate of 3.22 ± 0.64 km3 yr-1, implying an increase of ~ 23 % in the rate of ice volume loss. Overall, at least ~ 7 % of mass loss from Greenland mountain glaciers and ice caps has come from the NE sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0
    Pages (from-to)1476-1484
    Number of pages9
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number3
    Early online date4 Feb 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2019


    • RCUK
    • NERC
    • NE/K500847/1
    • NE/L002574/1


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