Greenland surface air temperature changes from 1981 to 2019 and implications for ice-sheet melt and mass-balance change

Hanna, E., Cappelen, J., Fettweis, X. , Mernild, S.H., Mote, T.L., Mottram, R., Steffen, K., Ballinger, T.J. and Hall, R.J. (2020) Greenland surface air temperature changes from 1981 to 2019 and implications for ice-sheet melt and mass-balance change. International Journal of Climatology . ISSN 0899-8418

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.6771

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Greenland surface air temperature changes from 1981 to 2019 and implications for ice-sheet melt and mass-balance change
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Abstract

We provide an updated analysis of instrumental Greenland monthly temperature data to 2019, focusing mainly on coastal stations but also analysing ice-sheet records from Swiss Camp and Summit. Significant summer (winter) coastal warming of ~1.7 (4.4) C occurred from 1991-2019, but since 2001 overall temperature trends are generally flat and insignificant due to a cooling pattern over the last 6-7 years. Inland and coastal stations show broadly similar temperature trends for summer. Greenland temperature changes are more strongly correlated with Greenland Blocking than with North Atlantic Oscillation changes. In quantifying the association between Greenland coastal temperatures and Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass-balance changes, we show a stronger link of temperatures with total mass balance rather than surface mass balance. Based on Greenland coastal temperatures and modelled mass balance for the 1972-2018 period, each 1C of summer warming corresponds to ~ (91) 116 Gt yr-1 of GrIS (surface) mass loss and a 26 Gt yr-1 increase in solid ice discharge. Given an estimated 4.0-6.6C of further Greenland summer warming according to the regional model MAR projections run under CMIP6 future climate projections (SSP5-8.5 scenario), and assuming that ice-dynamical losses and ice sheet topography stay similar to the recent past, linear extrapolation gives a corresponding GrIS global sea-level rise (SLR) contribution of ~10.0-12.6 cm by 2100, compared with the 8-27 cm (mean 15 cm) “likely” model projection range reported by IPCC (2019, SPM.B1.2). However, our estimate represents a lower limit for future GrIS change since fixed dynamical mass losses and amplified melt arising from both melt-albedo and melt-elevation positive feedbacks are not taken into account here.

Keywords:climate change, Greenland ice sheet, mass balance, melt, temperature
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F860 Climatology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:41636
Deposited On:24 Jul 2020 09:06

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