Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

North Atlantic Warming and the Retreat of Greenland's Outlet Glaciers

TitleNorth Atlantic Warming and the Retreat of Greenland's Outlet Glaciers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsStraneo, Fiammetta, and Heimbach Patrick
JournalNature
Volume504
Pages36-43
Abstract / Summary

Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet quadrupled over the past two decades, contributing a quarter of the observed global sea-level rise. Increased submarine melting is thought to have triggered the retreat of Greenland's outlet glaciers, which is partly responsible for the ice loss. However, the chain of events and physical processes remain elusive. Recent evidence suggests that an anomalous inflow of subtropical waters driven by atmospheric changes, multidecadal natural ocean variability and a long-term increase in the North Atlantic's upper ocean heat content since the 1950s all contributed to a warming of the subpolar North Atlantic. This led, in conjunction with increased runoff, to enhanced submarine glacier melting. Future climate projections raise the potential for continued increases in warming and ice-mass loss, with implications for sea level and climate.

URLhttps://www.nature.com/articles/nature12854
DOI10.1038/nature12854
Journal: Nature
Year of Publication: 2013
Volume: 504
Pages: 36-43
Publication Date: 12/2013

Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet quadrupled over the past two decades, contributing a quarter of the observed global sea-level rise. Increased submarine melting is thought to have triggered the retreat of Greenland's outlet glaciers, which is partly responsible for the ice loss. However, the chain of events and physical processes remain elusive. Recent evidence suggests that an anomalous inflow of subtropical waters driven by atmospheric changes, multidecadal natural ocean variability and a long-term increase in the North Atlantic's upper ocean heat content since the 1950s all contributed to a warming of the subpolar North Atlantic. This led, in conjunction with increased runoff, to enhanced submarine glacier melting. Future climate projections raise the potential for continued increases in warming and ice-mass loss, with implications for sea level and climate.

DOI: 10.1038/nature12854
Citation:
Straneo, F, and P Heimbach.  2013.  "North Atlantic Warming and the Retreat of Greenland's Outlet Glaciers."  Nature 504: 36-43.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12854.