Surface mass balance model intercomparison for the Greenland ice sheet

Vernon, C. L., Bamber, J. L., Box, J. E. , van den Broeke, M. R., Fettweis, X., Hanna, E. and Huybrechts, P. (2013) Surface mass balance model intercomparison for the Greenland ice sheet. Cryosphere, 7 . pp. 599-614. ISSN 1994-0416

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A number of high resolution reconstructions of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) have been produced using global re-analyses data extending back to 1958. These reconstructions have been used in a variety of applications but little is known about their consistency with each other and the impact of the downscaling method on the result. Here, we compare four reconstructions for the period 1960–2008 to assess the consistency in regional, seasonal and integrated SMB components. Total SMB estimates for the GrIS are in agreement within 34% of the four model average when a common ice sheet mask is used. When models' native land/ice/sea masks are used this spread increases to 57%. Variation in the spread of components of SMB from their mean: runoff 42% (29% native masks), precipitation 20% (24% native masks), melt 38% (74% native masks), refreeze 83% (142% native masks) show, with the exception of refreeze, a similar level of agreement once a common mask is used. Previously noted differences in the models' estimates are partially explained by ice sheet mask differences. Regionally there is less agreement, suggesting spatially compensating errors improve the integrated estimates.

Keywords:Greenland ice sheet, surface mass balance
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F890 Geographical and Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:26156
Deposited On:01 Mar 2017 13:07

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