A First Constraint on Basal Melt-water Production of the Greenland Ice Sheet

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23739-z. This is version 3 of this Preprint.


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Nanna B Karlsson, Anne M. Solgaard, Kenneth D. Mankoff, Jason E Box, Michele Citterio, William T. Colgan, Signe H. Larsen, Kristian Kjellerup Kjeldsen, Niels J. Korsgaard, Douglas I. Benn


The Greenland ice sheet is one of the largest sources of sea-level rise since the early 2000s. Basal melt has not been included explicitly in assessments of ice-sheet mass loss so far. Here, we present the first full-coverage estimate of the ice-sheet wide basal melt in Greenland and its recent change through time. We find that presently basal melting contributes at least 22.3 +5/-3 Gt per year to the total mass loss, and we estimate that basal melting has increased by at least 2.3 +/-0.8 Gt (or 12%) since 2000. The basal melt discharge from Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Isbræ) has increased by 24 % in the same period. As the Arctic warms, basal melt will likely continue to increase thus aggravating current mass loss trends, enhancing solid ice discharge and modifying fjord circulation.




Earth Sciences, Glaciology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Glaciology, Greenland


Published: 2020-06-18 06:15

Last Updated: 2021-01-12 07:50

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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