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The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to Holocene climate change: Testing ice sheet models and forcing mechanisms of ice margin change

General

Organisation
Project start
01.01.2012
Project end
31.12.2015
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Weather, climate & atmosphere
Project topic
Meteorlogy

Fieldwork / Study

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

Geolocation is 69.2166667, -51.1

Fieldwork start
08.08.2012
Fieldwork end
21.08.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

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

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
21.08.2012
Fieldwork end
22.08.2012

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

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

Geolocation is 69.75, -53.72299957275

Fieldwork start
31.07.2013
Fieldwork end
01.08.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

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

Geolocation is 69.2166667, -51.1

Fieldwork start
30.07.2013
Fieldwork end
20.08.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

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

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
20.08.2013
Fieldwork end
21.08.2013

SAR information

Project details

02.10.2019
Science / project summary

The Greenland Ice Sheet is at the center of attention of scientists and the mainstream media alike. Despite its potential to contribute dramatically to sea level rise in response to ongoing and projected climate change, resulting in significant socio-economic impacts in the US and around the globe, the future behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet remains largely uncertain. This uncertainty stems from our incomplete knowledge of the pattern and timescales of the ice sheet’s response to climate change. The PIs will combine their expertise in contemporary ice sheet change and geological reconstructions of past ice sheet change to achieve two objectives: 1) Determine the spatial pattern of western GIS change from the early Holocene through the 20th century, specifically comparing adjacent land-based and marine-dominated ice margins, and 2) Test ice sheet model reconstructions of GIS extent during the middle Holocene by adopting a new field approach developed and tested in a two-year pilot project. Meeting these objectives will allow the PIs to gauge the response of the western Greenland Ice Sheet to climate change during the Holocene, which encompasses a larger magnitude of climate change than exists in the brief historic record. Despite the difficulty of using terrestrial records to reconstruct the behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the middle Holocene, when it is thought to have been smaller than today, untapped archives of ice margin change exist in the hundreds of proglacial lake basins near the ice sheet margin. Sediment coring of proglacial lakes will be combined with cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating, remote sensing and photogrammetry to develop complete histories of ice margin response to middle Holocene warmth, late Holocene climate deterioration, and changes in climate and oceanography during the 20th century. By building on pilot data from Greenland’s largest ice stream, Jakobshavn Isbræ, and spanning strategically chosen sites in western Greenland that include both marine-terminating and land-based outlet glaciers, this project will result in much needed ice sheet reconstructions from the most climatically sensitive sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

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