Greenland Ice Sheet late-season melt: investigating multi-scale drivers of K-transect events

Ballinger, T.J. and Mote, T.L. and Mattingly, K. and Bliss, A.C. and Hanna, Edward and van As, D. and Prieto, M. and Gharehchahi, S. and Fettweis, X. and Noel, B. and Smeets, P.C.J.P. and Ribergaard, M.H. and Cappelen, J. (2019) Greenland Ice Sheet late-season melt: investigating multi-scale drivers of K-transect events. Cryosphere . ISSN 1994-0416

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-285

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Greenland Ice Sheet late-season melt: investigating multi-scale drivers of K-transect events
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Abstract

One consequence of recent Arctic warming is an increased occurrence and longer seasonality of above-freezing air temperature episodes.There is significant disagreement in the literature concerning potential physical connectivity between high-latitude open water duration proximate to the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and unseasonal (i.e. late summer and autumn) GrIS melt events. Here, a new date of sea ice advance (DOA) product is used to determine the occurrence of Baffin Bay sea ice growth along Greenland’s west coast for the 2011–2015 period. For the unseasonal melt period preceding the DOA, northwest Atlantic Ocean and atmospheric conditions are analyzed and linked to unseasonal melt events observed at a series of on-ice automatic weather stations (AWS) along the K-transect in southwest Greenland. Mesoscale and synoptic influences on the above and below freezing surface air temperature events are assessed through analyses of AWS wind, pressure, and humidity observations. These surface observations are further compared against Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR), Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2), and ERA-Interim reanalysis fields to understand the airmass origins and (thermo)dynamic drivers of the melt events. Results suggest that the K-transect late season, ablation zone melt events are strongly affected by ridging atmospheric circulation patterns that transport warm, moist air from the sub-polar North Atlantic toward west Greenland. While thermal conduction and advection off south Baffin Bayopen waters impact coastal air temperatures, consistent with previous studies, marine air incursions from Baffin Bay onto the ice sheet are obstructed by barrier flows and the pressure gradient-driven katabatic regime along the western GrIS margin.

Keywords:Greenland, melt, atmospheric circulation
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F860 Climatology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:34614
Deposited On:14 Feb 2019 16:35

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