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Data from: Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by sustained glacier retreat

Citation

King, Michalea; Howat, Ian (2020), Data from: Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by sustained glacier retreat, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qrfj6q5cb

Abstract

Here we share remotely-sensed Greenland outlet glacier data for 234 individual glaciers. Data include observations of mena monthly discharge (ice volume flux exported by the glacier), front position changes, velocity, and ice thickness for the 1985-2018 period. Data will be periodically updated as needed.

 

The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at accelerated rates in the 21st century, making it the largest single contributor to rising sea levels. Faster flow of outlet glaciers has substantially contributed to this loss, with the cause of speedup, and potential for future change, uncertain. Here we combine more than three decades of remotely sensed observational products of outlet glacier velocity, elevation, and front position changes over the full ice sheet. We compare decadal variability in discharge and calving front position and find that increased glacier discharge was due almost entirely to the retreat of glacier fronts, rather than inland ice sheet processes, with a remarkably consistent speedup of 4-5% per km of retreat across the ice sheet. We show that widespread retreat between 2000 and 2005 resulted in a step-increase in discharge and a switch to a new dynamic state of sustained mass loss that would persist even under a decline in surface melt.

Methods

Methods are described in the following open-access manuscript:

King, M., et al. Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by sustained glacier retreat, Nature Comms Earth and Environ., 1, (2020).

 

Usage Notes

Please see the documentation in the readme.txt for usage.

Contact Michalea King (michaleaking@gmail.com) for questions on usage or additional details.

As a condition of using these data, you kindly ask you use the following citation:

King, M., et al. Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by sustained glacier retreat, Nature Comms Earth and Environ., 1, (2020).

Funding

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award: #80NSSC18K1027