News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Peer reviewed 26 year study on East Antarctic ice shelf finds 'higher long-term accumulation over large parts of the ice shelf compared to the large-scale studies,' 1983-2009

Oct. 2013, "Surface mass balance on Fimbul ice shelf, East Antarctica: comparison of field measurements and large-scale studies†" Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
"Anna Sinisalo1,*, Helgard Anschütz2, Anne Tårånd Aasen3, Kirsty Langley1, Angela von Deschwanden3, Jack Kohler3, Kenichi Matsuoka3, Svein- Erik Hamran4, Mats-Jørgen Øyan4, Elisabeth Schlosser5, Jon Ove Hagen1, Ole Anders Nøst6, Elisabeth Isaksson3
DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50875"

"This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50875"


"[1] Many challenges remain for estimating the Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB), which represents a major uncertainty in predictions of future sea-level rise. Validating continental scale studies is hampered by the sparse distribution of in-situ data. Here we present a 26-year mean SMB of the Fimbul ice shelf in East Antarctica between 1983–2009, and recent interannual variability since 2010. We compare these data to results of large-scale SMB studies for similar time periods, obtained from regional atmospheric modeling and remote sensing. Our in-situ data include ground penetrating radar, firn cores and mass balance stakes, and provide information on both temporal and spatial scales. The 26-year mean SMB on the Fimbul ice shelf varies between 170 and 620 kg m-2 a-1 giving a regional average value of 310 ±70 kg m-2 a-1. Our measurements indicate higher long-term accumulation over large parts of the ice shelf compared to the large-scale studies. We also show that the variability of the mean annual SMB, which can be up to 90 %, can be a dominant factor in short-term estimates. The results emphasize the importance of using a combination of ground based validation data, regional climate models and remote sensing over a relevant time period in order to achieve a reliable SMB for Antarctica." via Hockey Schtick, via Tom Nelson


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