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Comprehensive Assessment of Ice Sheet Contributions to Sea Level Based on Integrated Remote Sensing Observations

General

Project start
01.01.2012
Project end
31.12.2013
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Cryosphere
Project topic
Cryosphere

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
26.04.2012
Fieldwork end
07.05.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67, -47.0177777

Fieldwork start
26.04.2012
Fieldwork end
07.05.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
04.05.2013
Fieldwork end
27.05.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67, -47.0177777

Fieldwork start
06.05.2013
Fieldwork end
20.05.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland Ice Sheet
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 66.4879, -46.281

Fieldwork start
05.05.2013
Fieldwork end
23.05.2013

SAR information

Project details

02.09.2019
Science / project plan

.

Science / project summary
A wide range of estimates have been made of the current Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet contributions to sea level using a number of different methods. Each method carries strengths and weaknesses that have led to discrepancies. It is essential that these differences be reconciled, and that the strengths of the different approaches be fully utilized, as they each provide important insights into different aspects of the ice sheet mass balance question. When properly exploited these different assessments can provide a more robust estimate of ice sheet sea level contributions than has ever been provided before, along with important new information on potential future ice sheet behavior. The project's researchers aim to understand and quantify key differences among ice sheet mass balance estimates, and to use that information to improve ice sheet mass balance assessments now and in the future. The primary focus will be to improve the analyses and interpretation of observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and the Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) missions, which unlike most other approaches, observe the total integrated effects of the full set of mass balance components. Researchers will develop high resolution mascon solutions form the GRACE data for Greenland and Antarctica, building on what they have already done for Alaskan glaciers. They will then combine these results with a comprehensive set of results from ICESat, from airborne laser altimetry (including data acquired through IceBridge), and from surface mass balance (SMB) models to provide an integrated analysis of ice sheet mass balance and the factors that control it. Through this analysis, and by comparing results to published mass balance assessments derived by other means, the team will provide: (a) an integrated assessment of ice sheet contributions to sea level that is better understood and better constrained than any that have preceded it, (b) a quantitative assessment of the strengths and limitations of the various mass balance approaches (c) a detailed assessment of the spatial variability of density changes associated with observed elevation changes, and (d) a basis and strategy for improving future ice sheet mass balance results derived from ICESat-2 and DESDynI, which will not have the benefit of coincidence with GRACE or GRACE-2. The team's analyses of ice sheet changes will complement efforts by others, who presumably will examine issues related to ocean thermal expansion, terrestrial storage, the terrestrial reference frame and other geodetic aspects of sea level rise. The field effort will focus on component (c), and will be a survey of the percolation to saturation zones in Greenland for increased compaction of firn (affecting altimetry measurements of mass balance) and increased melt and melt runoff under recent warming conditions.
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