Publications of Xavier Fettweis
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See detailAccelerating changes in ice mass within Greenland, and the ice sheet’s sensitivity to atmospheric forcing
Bevis, M.; Harig, C.; Khan, S. et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2019)

The recent deglaciation of Greenland is a response to both oceanic and atmospheric forcings. From 2000 to 2010, ice loss was concentrated in the southeast and northwest margins of the ice sheet, in large ... [more ▼]

The recent deglaciation of Greenland is a response to both oceanic and atmospheric forcings. From 2000 to 2010, ice loss was concentrated in the southeast and northwest margins of the ice sheet, in large part due to the increasing discharge of marine-terminating outlet glaciers, emphasizing the importance of oceanic forcing. However, the largest sustained (∼10 years) acceleration detected by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) occurred in southwest Greenland, an area largely devoid of such glaciers. The sustained acceleration and the subsequent, abrupt, and even stronger deceleration were mostly driven by changes in air temperature and solar radiation. Continued atmospheric warming will lead to southwest Greenland becoming a major contributor to sea level rise. [less ▲]

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See detailSensitivity to Convective Schemes on Precipitation Simulated by the Regional Climate Model MAR over Belgium (1987–2017)
Doutreloup, Sébastien ULiege; Wyard, Coraline ULiege; Amory, Charles ULiege et al

in Atmosphere (2019), 10(1), 34

The aim of this study is to assess the sensitivity of convective precipitation modelled by the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) over 1987–2017 to four newly implemented ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is to assess the sensitivity of convective precipitation modelled by the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) over 1987–2017 to four newly implemented convective schemes: the Bechtold scheme coming from the MESO-NH regional model and the Betts-Miller-Janjić, Kain-Fritsch and modified Tiedtke schemes coming from the WRF regional model. MAR version 3.9 is used here at a resolution of 10 km over a domain covering Belgium using the ERA-Interim reanalysis as forcing. The simulated precipitation is compared against SYNOP and E-OBS gridded precipitation data. Trends in total and convective precipitation over 1987–2017 are discussed. None of the MAR experiments compares better with observations than the others and they all show the same trends in (extreme) precipitation. Over the period 1987–2017, MAR suggests a significant increase in the mean annual precipitation amount over the North Sea but a significant decrease over High Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailAdded value of the regional climate model MAR for simulating the surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet compared to a global climate model (ACCESS1.3)
Kittel, Christoph ULiege; Amory, Charles ULiege; Agosta, Cécile ULiege et al

Poster (2019)

Due to their ability to produce climate projections, General circulation models (GCM) are often used to provide estimates of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet that can be used to ... [more ▼]

Due to their ability to produce climate projections, General circulation models (GCM) are often used to provide estimates of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet that can be used to constrain ice sheet models. However, GCM still benefit from a poor representation of polar climate specificities such as stable boundary layers, polar clouds or interactions between snow-covered surfaces and the atmosphere. In this study, we highlight the importance of downscaling GCM outputs from the Fifth Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) with a regional climate model to provide accurate estimates of the Antarctic SMB. For that purpose, the regional climate model MAR is forced by 6-hourly outputs from ACCESS1.3 that is currently considered as one of the best GCM from CMIP5 over the Antarctic ice sheet. Estimates of the SMB computed by MAR and ACCESS1.3 are evaluated against SMB observations. Even if the temporal variability of the SMB is forced by the driving GCM, the comparison shows that MAR improves the spatial variability of the Antarctic SMB, emphasizing the added value of using a polar RCM for downscaling GCM outputs at high latitudes. [less ▲]

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See detailThe SMB Model Intercomparison (SMBMIP) over Greenland: first results
Fettweis, Xavier ULiege

Conference (2018, December 14)

We will present here the first results of the SMB Model intercomparison (SMBMIP) over the Greenland Ice sheet. For the first time, all the modeled SMB estimations over the current climate (1980-2016) will ... [more ▼]

We will present here the first results of the SMB Model intercomparison (SMBMIP) over the Greenland Ice sheet. For the first time, all the modeled SMB estimations over the current climate (1980-2016) will be compared at the pixel scale, on the same grid (1km), on the common ice sheet mask, at the monthly timescale and by using the same forcing (ERA-Interim). The SMB components from RCMs, GCMs and PDD models will be compared with ice core measurements, the SMB data base from Machguth et al. (2016) as well as passive microwave satellite derived melt extent, in the aim of identifying poorly documented areas where model results diverge and where additional measurement campaigns will be needed. [less ▲]

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See detailSensitivity of the current Antarctic surface mass balance to sea surface conditions using MAR
Kittel, Christoph ULiege; Amory, Charles ULiege; Agosta, Cécile ULiege et al

in Cryosphere (2018), 12

Estimates for the recent period and projections of the Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) often rely on high-resolution polar-oriented regional climate models (RCMs). However, RCMs require large-scale ... [more ▼]

Estimates for the recent period and projections of the Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) often rely on high-resolution polar-oriented regional climate models (RCMs). However, RCMs require large-scale boundary forcing fields prescribed by reanalyses or general circulation models (GCMs). Since the recent variability of sea surface conditions (SSCs, namely sea ice concentration, SIC, and sea surface temperature, SST) over the Southern Ocean is not reproduced by most GCMs from the 5th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), RCMs are then subject to potential biases. We investigate here the direct sensitivity of the Antarctic SMB to SSC perturbations around the Antarctic. With the RCM “Modèle Atmosphérique Régional” (MAR), different sensitivity experiments are performed over 1979–2015 by modifying the ERA-Interim SSCs with (i) homogeneous perturbations and (ii) mean anomalies estimated from all CMIP5 models and two extreme ones, while atmospheric lateral boundary conditions remained unchanged. Results show increased (decreased) precipitation due to perturbations inducing warmer, i.e. higher SST and lower SIC (colder, i.e. lower SST and higher SIC), SSCs than ERA-Interim, significantly affecting the SMB of coastal areas, as precipitation is mainly related to cyclones that do not penetrate far into the continent. At the continental scale, significant SMB anomalies (i.e greater than the interannual variability) are found for the largest combined SST/SIC perturbations. This is notably due to moisture anomalies above the ocean, reaching sufficiently high atmospheric levels to influence accumulation rates further inland. Sensitivity experiments with warmer SSCs based on the CMIP5 biases reveal integrated SMB anomalies (+5 % to +13 %) over the present climate (1979–2015) in the lower range of the SMB increase projected for the end of the 21st century. [less ▲]

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See detailNonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming
Trusel, L.; Das, S.; Osman, M. et al

in Nature (2018), 564

The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is a growing contributor to global sea-level rise1, with recent ice mass loss dominated by surface meltwater runoff2,3. Satellite observations reveal positive trends in GrIS ... [more ▼]

The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is a growing contributor to global sea-level rise1, with recent ice mass loss dominated by surface meltwater runoff2,3. Satellite observations reveal positive trends in GrIS surface melt extent4, but melt variability, intensity and runoff remain uncertain before the satellite era. Here we present the first continuous, multi-century and observationally constrained record of GrIS surface melt intensity and runoff, revealing that the magnitude of recent GrIS melting is exceptional over at least the last 350 years. We develop this record through stratigraphic analysis of central west Greenland ice cores, and demonstrate that measurements of refrozen melt layers in percolation zone ice cores can be used to quantifiably, and reproducibly, reconstruct past melt rates. We show significant (P < 0.01) and spatially extensive correlations between these ice-core-derived melt records and modelled melt rates5,6 and satellite-derived melt duration4 across Greenland more broadly, enabling the reconstruction of past ice-sheet-scale surface melt intensity and runoff. We find that the initiation of increases in GrIS melting closely follow the onset of industrial-era Arctic warming in the mid-1800s, but that the magnitude of GrIS melting has only recently emerged beyond the range of natural variability. Owing to a nonlinear response of surface melting to increasing summer air temperatures, continued atmospheric warming will lead to rapid increases in GrIS runoff and sea-level contributions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets under 1.5 °C global warming
Pattyn, F.; Ritz, C.; Hanna, E. et al

in Nature Climate Change (2018), 1758-6798

Even if anthropogenic warming were constrained to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will continue to lose mass this century, with rates similar to those observed ... [more ▼]

Even if anthropogenic warming were constrained to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will continue to lose mass this century, with rates similar to those observed over the past decade. However, nonlinear responses cannot be excluded, which may lead to larger rates of mass loss. Furthermore, large uncertainties in future projections still remain, pertaining to knowledge gaps in atmospheric (Greenland) and oceanic (Antarctica) forcing. On millennial timescales, both ice sheets have tipping points at or slightly above the 1.5–2.0 °C threshold; for Greenland, this may lead to irreversible mass loss due to the surface mass balance–elevation feedback, whereas for Antarctica, this could result in a collapse of major drainage basins due to ice-shelf weakening. [less ▲]

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See detailBrief communication: Impact of the recent atmospheric circulation change in summer on the future surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Delhasse, Alison ULiege; Fettweis, Xavier ULiege; Kittel, Christoph ULiege et al

in Cryosphere (2018)

Since the 2000s, a change in the atmospheric circulation over the North Atlantic resulting in more frequent blocking events has favoured warmer and sunnier weather conditions over the Greenland Ice Sheet ... [more ▼]

Since the 2000s, a change in the atmospheric circulation over the North Atlantic resulting in more frequent blocking events has favoured warmer and sunnier weather conditions over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer, enhancing the melt increase. This circulation change is not represented by general circulation models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), which do not predict any circulation change for the next century over the North Atlantic. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of an atmospheric circulation change (as currently observed) on projections of the future GrIS surface mass balance (SMB). We compare GrIS SMB estimates simulated by the regional climate model MAR forced by perturbed reanalysis (ERA-Interim with a temperature correction of +1, +1.5, and +2°C at the MAR lateral boundaries) over 1980–2016 to projections of the future GrIS SMB from MAR simulations forced by three GCMs over selected periods for which a similar temperature increase of +1, +1.5, and +2°C is projected by the GCMs in comparison to 1980–1999. Mean SMB anomalies produced with perturbed reanalysis over the climatologically stable period 1980–1999 are similar to those produced with MAR forced by GCMs over future periods characterised by a similar warming over Greenland. However, over the 2 last decades (2000–2016) when an increase in the frequency of blocking events has been observed in summer, MAR forced by perturbed reanalysis suggests that the SMB decrease could be amplified by a factor of 2 if such atmospheric conditions persist compared to projections forced by GCMs for the same temperature increase but without any circulation change. [less ▲]

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See detailSeasonal mass variations show timing and magnitude of meltwater storage in the Greenland Ice Sheet
Ran, J.; Vizcaino, M.; Ditmar, P. et al

in Cryosphere (2018), 2981-2999

The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is currently losing ice mass. In order to accurately predict future sea level rise, the mechanisms driving the observed mass loss must be better understood. Here, we combine ... [more ▼]

The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is currently losing ice mass. In order to accurately predict future sea level rise, the mechanisms driving the observed mass loss must be better understood. Here, we combine data from the satellite gravimetry mission Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), surface mass balance (SMB) output of the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model v. 2 (RACMO2), and ice discharge estimates to analyze the mass budget of Greenland at various temporal and spatial scales. We find that the mean rate of mass variations in Greenland observed by GRACE was between −277 and −269Gtyr−1 in 2003–2012. This estimate is consistent with the sum (i.e., −304±126Gtyr−1) of individual contributions – surface mass balance (SMB, 216±122Gtyr−1) and ice discharge (520±31Gtyr−1) – and with previous studies. We further identify a seasonal mass anomaly throughout the GRACE record that peaks in July at 80–120Gt and which we interpret to be due to a combination of englacial and subglacial water storage generated by summer surface melting. The robustness of this estimate is demonstrated by using both different GRACE-based solutions and different meltwater runoff estimates (namely, RACMO2.3, SNOWPACK, and MAR3.9). Meltwater storage in the ice sheet occurs primarily due to storage in the high-accumulation regions of the southeast and northwest parts of Greenland. Analysis of seasonal variations in outlet glacier discharge shows that the contribution of ice discharge to the observed signal is minor (at the level of only a few gigatonnes) and does not explain the seasonal differences between the total mass and SMB signals. With the improved quantification of meltwater storage at the seasonal scale, we highlight its importance for understanding glacio-hydrological processes and their contributions to the ice sheet mass variability. [less ▲]

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See detailBrief communication: Recent changes in summer Greenland blocking captured by none of the CMIP5 models
Hanna, E.; Fettweis, Xavier ULiege; Hall, R.

in Cryosphere (2018), 12

Recent studies note a significant increase in high-pressure blocking over the Greenland region (Greenland Blocking Index, GBI) in summer since the 1990s. Such a general circulation change, indicated by a ... [more ▼]

Recent studies note a significant increase in high-pressure blocking over the Greenland region (Greenland Blocking Index, GBI) in summer since the 1990s. Such a general circulation change, indicated by a negative trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, is generally highlighted as a major driver of recent surface melt records observed on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Here we compare reanalysis-based GBI records with those from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) suite of global climate models over 1950–2100. We find that the recent summer GBI increase lies well outside the range of modelled past reconstructions and future GBI projections (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The models consistently project a future decrease in GBI (linked to an increase in NAO), which highlights a likely key deficiency of current climate models if the recently observed circulation changes continue to persist. Given well-established connections between atmospheric pressure over the Greenland region and air temperature and precipitation extremes downstream, e.g. over northwest Europe, this brings into question the accuracy of simulated North Atlantic jet stream changes and resulting climatological anomalies over densely populated regions of northern Europe as well as of future projections of GrIS mass balance produced using global and regional climate models. [less ▲]

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See detailMelting over the northeast Antarctic Peninsula (1999–2009): evaluation of a high-resolution regional climate model
Datta, R.T.; Tedesco, M.; Agosta, Cécile ULiege et al

in Cryosphere (2018), 12

Surface melting over the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) may impact the stability of ice shelves and thus the rate at which grounded ice is discharged into the ocean. Energy and mass balance models are needed to ... [more ▼]

Surface melting over the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) may impact the stability of ice shelves and thus the rate at which grounded ice is discharged into the ocean. Energy and mass balance models are needed to understand how climatic change and atmospheric circulation variability drive current and future melting. In this study, we evaluate the regional climate model MAR over the AP at a 10km spatial resolution between 1999 and 2009, a period when active microwave data from the QuikSCAT mission is available. This model has been validated extensively over Greenland, has is applied here to the AP at a high resolution and for a relatively long time period (full outputs are available to 2014). We find that melting in the northeastern AP, the focus area of this study, can be initiated both by sporadic westerly föhn flow over the AP mountains and by northerly winds advecting warm air from lower latitudes. A comparison of MAR with satellite and automatic weather station (AWS) data reveals that satellite estimates show greater melt frequency, a larger melt extent, and a quicker expansion to peak melt extent than MAR in the centre and east of the Larsen C ice shelf. These differences are reduced in the north and west of the ice shelf, where the comparison with satellite data suggests that MAR is accurately capturing melt produced by warm westerly winds. MAR shows an overall warm bias and a cool bias at temperatures above 0°C as well as fewer warm, strong westerly winds than reported by AWS stations located on the eastern edge of the Larsen C ice shelf, suggesting that the underestimation of melt in this region may be the product of limited eastward flow. At higher resolutions (5km), MAR shows a further increase in wind biases and a decrease in meltwater production. We conclude that non-hydrostatic models at spatial resolutions better than 5km are needed to better-resolve the effects of föhn winds on the eastern edges of the Larsen C ice shelf. [less ▲]

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See detail2100 : le climat en Europe
Wyard, Coraline ULiege; Fettweis, Xavier ULiege

Article for general public (2018)

Le climat en Europe d'ici 2100 si aucune mesure d'adaptation ou d'atténuation du réchauffement climatique n'est prise d'ici la fin du siècle. Chiffres issus de publications scientifiques.

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See detailThe CORDEX.be initiative as a foundation for climate services in Belgium
Termonia, Piet; Van Schaeybroeck, Bert; De Cruz, Lesley et al

in Climate Services (2018), 11

The CORDEX.be project created the foundations for Belgian climate services by producing high-resolution Belgian climate information that (a) incorporates the expertise of the different Belgian climate ... [more ▼]

The CORDEX.be project created the foundations for Belgian climate services by producing high-resolution Belgian climate information that (a) incorporates the expertise of the different Belgian climate modeling groups and that (b) is consistent with the outcomes of the international CORDEX (“COordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment”) project. The key practical tasks for the project were the coordination of activities among different Belgian climate groups, fostering the links to specific international initiatives and the creation of a stakeholder dialogue. Scientifically, the CORDEX.be project contributed to the EURO-CORDEX project, created a small ensemble of High-Resolution (H-Res) future projections over Belgium at convection-permitting resolutions and coupled these to seven Local Impact Models. Several impact studies have been carried out. The project also addressed some aspects of climate change uncertainties. The interactions and feedback from the stakeholder dialogue led to different practical applications at the Belgian national level [less ▲]

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See detailAtmospheric river impacts on Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance
Mattingly, K.S.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, Xavier ULiege

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Atmospheres (2018), online

Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass loss has accelerated since the turn of the 21st century. Several recent episodes of rapid GrIS ablation coincided with intense moisture transport over Greenland by ... [more ▼]

Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass loss has accelerated since the turn of the 21st century. Several recent episodes of rapid GrIS ablation coincided with intense moisture transport over Greenland by atmospheric rivers (ARs), suggesting that these events influence the evolution of GrIS surface mass balance (SMB). ARs likely provide melt energy through several physical mechanisms, and conversely, may increase SMB through enhanced snow accumulation. In this study, we compile a long‐term (1980–2016) record of moisture transport events using a conventional AR identification algorithm as well as a self‐organizing map (SOM) classification applied to MERRA‐2 data. We then analyze AR effects on the GrIS using melt data from passive microwave satellite observations and regional climate model output. Results show that anomalously strong moisture transport by ARs clearly contributed to increased GrIS mass loss in recent years. AR activity over Greenland was above normal throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, and recent melting seasons with above‐average GrIS melt feature positive moisture transport anomalies over Greenland. Analysis of individual AR impacts shows a pronounced increase in GrIS surface melt after strong AR events. AR effects on SMB are more complex, as strong summer ARs cause sharp SMB losses in the ablation zone that exceed moderate SMB gains induced by ARs in the accumulation zone during summer and in all areas during other seasons. Our results demonstrate the influence of the strongest ARs in controlling GrIS SMB, and we conclude that projections of future GrIS SMB should accurately capture these rare ephemeral events. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of reconstructions of snow/ice melt in Greenland by regional atmospheric climate models using laser altimetry data
Sutterley, T.; Velicogna, I.; Fettweis, Xavier ULiege et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2018), 45

he surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet critically depend on the intensity of ice/snow melt in its ablation zone, but in‐situ data have been too limited to quantify the error of regional ... [more ▼]

he surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet critically depend on the intensity of ice/snow melt in its ablation zone, but in‐situ data have been too limited to quantify the error of regional climate models. Here, we use 23 years of NASA satellite and airborne laser altimetry from the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) and Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) to generate time series of elevation change to compare with SMB products from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2.3p2) and from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MARv3.5.2). For 1994‐2016, the results agree at the 15‐26% level, with the largest discrepancy in north Greenland. During the cold summer 2015, the RMS discrepancy is 40% in the north, 30% in the southwest, and 18‐25% at low elevation. The difference drops to 23% in the southwest and 14% at low elevation during the 2016 warm summer. [less ▲]

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See detailGlobal Radiative Flux and Cloudiness Variability for the Period 1959–2010 in Belgium: A Comparison between Reanalyses and the Regional Climate Model MAR
Wyard, Coraline ULiege; Doutreloup, Sébastien ULiege; Belleflamme, Alexandre et al

in Atmosphere (2018), 9(7), 262

The use of regional climate models (RCMs) can partly reduce the biases in global radiative flux (Eg↓) that are found in reanalysis products and global models, as they allow for a finer spatial resolution ... [more ▼]

The use of regional climate models (RCMs) can partly reduce the biases in global radiative flux (Eg↓) that are found in reanalysis products and global models, as they allow for a finer spatial resolution and a finer parametrisation of surface and atmospheric processes. In this study, we assess the ability of the MAR («Modèle Atmosphérique Régional») RCM to reproduce observed changes in Eg↓, and we investigate the added value of MAR with respect to reanalyses. Simulations were performed at a horizontal resolution of 5 km for the period 1959–2010 by forcing MAR with different reanalysis products: ERA40/ERA-interim, NCEP/NCAR-v1, ERA-20C, and 20CRV2C. Measurements of Eg↓ from the Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA) and from the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMIB), as well as cloud cover observations from Belgocontrol and RMIB, were used for the evaluation of the MAR model and the forcing reanalyses. Results show that MAR enables largely reducing the mean biases that are present in the reanalyses. The trend analysis shows that only MAR forced by ERA40/ERA-interim shows historical trends, which is probably because ERA40/ERA-interim has a better horizontal resolution and assimilates more observations than the other reanalyses that are used in this study. The results suggest that the solar brightening observed since the 1980s in Belgium has mainly been due to decreasing cloud cover. [less ▲]

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See detailInterest of a Regional Climate Model for doing future projections over the Greenland Ice Sheet
Fettweis, Xavier ULiege; Delhasse, Alison ULiege; Agosta, Cécile ULiege et al

Conference (2018, June 22)

With the aim of evaluating the added value of a regional climate model in downscaled future projections over the Greenland Ice Sheet, we have compared the surface fields (snowfall and summer near-surface ... [more ▼]

With the aim of evaluating the added value of a regional climate model in downscaled future projections over the Greenland Ice Sheet, we have compared the surface fields (snowfall and summer near-surface temperature) coming from the “best” CMIP5 and CMIP6 global models (GCMs) with these fields simulated by the MAR model forced by the same GCMs. These "best" GCMS were selected according to their ability to simulate the summer temperature at 700 hPa and the general circulation at 500 hPa over Greenland with respect to ERA-Interim over 1980-1999. However, despite their ability to correctly represent the free atmosphere, the selected GCMs present significant biases at the surface of the ice sheet. The comparison shows that MAR is however able to strongly reduce these GCM surface biases. We then forced the lateral boundaries of MAR with ERA-Interim to which we applied temperature corrections of +1°C and +2°C. The outputs were compared to MAR forced by GCM future projections corresponding to a climate about 1 and 2°C warmer than the current climate. The results of the different GCM-forced runs and sensitivity experiments are very similar to each other as the GCMs do not project general circulation changes. Moreover, the sensitivity experiments forced by modified ERA-Interim reveal that the projected SMB decrease is exponentially amplified if the increased occurrence of blocking events over Greenland in summer that has been observed since the 2000´s continues in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the impact of drifting snow on the surface mass balance
Kittel, Christoph ULiege; Amory, Charles ULiege; Agosta, Cécile ULiege et al

Conference (2018, June 20)

The transport of snow by the wind is an important component of the Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) as drifting snow counts up for a large amount of snow ablation over the ice sheet. However, this ... [more ▼]

The transport of snow by the wind is an important component of the Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) as drifting snow counts up for a large amount of snow ablation over the ice sheet. However, this process is frequently neglected in atmospheric models. Two simulations (one with drifting snow and one without) were performed at a resolution of 8 km with the regional climate model MAR forced by ERA-Interim, in order to assess the impact of drifting snow on the SMB of Adelie Land (East Antarctica) during the period 2002 - 2016. We evaluated results against field observations (including meteorological and snow skate measurements). Besides to better represent climate surface as airborne snow particles can sublimate and interact with the lowest atmospheric levels, the drifting snow simulation improves the modelled spatial distribution of the SMB and reduces the overestimation of the accumulation in comparison with MAR results without drifting snow. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving Greenland surface mass balance estimates through the assimilation of MODIS albedo: a case study along the K‐transect
Navari, M.; Margulis, S.; Tedesco, M. et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2018)

Estimating the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) is an important component of current and future projections of sea level rise. Given the lack of in situ information, imperfect models ... [more ▼]

Estimating the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) is an important component of current and future projections of sea level rise. Given the lack of in situ information, imperfect models, and under‐utilized remote sensing data, it is critical to combine the available observations with a physically based model to better characterize the spatial and temporal variation of the GrIS SMB. This work proposes a data assimilation framework that yields SMB estimates that benefit from a state‐of‐the‐art snowpack model (Crocus) and a 16‐day albedo product. Comparison of our results against in‐situ SMB measurements from the Kangerlussuaq transect shows that assimilation of 16‐day albedo product reduces the root mean square error (RMSE) of the posterior estimates of SMB from 1240 millimeter water equivalent (mmWE/yr) to 230 mmWE/yr and reduces the bias from 1140 mmWE/yr to ‐20 mmWE/yr [less ▲]

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See detailMass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017
Shepherd, A.; Ivins, E.; Rignot, E. et al

in Nature (2018), 556

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Here we combine satellite observations of its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with ... [more ▼]

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Here we combine satellite observations of its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass balance to show that it lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, which corresponds to an increase in mean sea level of 7.6 ± 3.9 millimetres (errors are one standard deviation). Over this period, ocean-driven melting has caused rates of ice loss from West Antarctica to increase from 53 ± 29 billion to 159 ± 26 billion tonnes per year; ice-shelf collapse has increased the rate of ice loss from the Antarctic Peninsula from 7 ± 13 billion to 33 ± 16 billion tonnes per year. We find large variations in and among model estimates of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment for East Antarctica, with its average rate of mass gain over the period 1992–2017 (5 ± 46 billion tonnes per year) being the least certain. [less ▲]

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