The Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 2265-2303, 2012
www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/2265/2012/
doi:10.5194/tcd-6-2265-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in TC.
Future projections of the Greenland ice sheet energy balance driving the surface melt, developed using the regional climate MAR model
B. Franco, X. Fettweis, and M. Erpicum
Département de Géographie, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium

Abstract. In this study, 25 km-simulations are performed over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, using the regional climate model MAR forced by four RCP scenarios from two CMIP5 global circulation models, in order to investigate the projected changes of the surface energy balance (SEB) components driving the surface melt. Analysis of 2000–2100 melt anomalies compared to melt results over 1980–1999 reveals an exponential relationship of the GrIS surface melt rate simulated by MAR to the near-surface temperature (TAS) anomalies, mainly due to the surface albedo positive feedback associated with the extension of bare ice areas in summer. On the GrIS margins, the future melt anomalies are rather driven by stronger sensible heat fluxes, induced by enhanced warm air advections over the ice sheet. Over the central dry snow zone, the increase of melt surpasses the negative feedback from heavier snowfall inducing therefore a decrease of the summer surface albedo even at the top of the ice sheet. In addition to the incoming longwave flux increase associated to the atmosphere warming, MAR projects an increase of the cloud cover decreasing the ratio of the incoming shortwave versus longwave radiation and dampening the albedo feedback. However, it should be noted that this trend in the cloud cover is contrary to that simulated by ERA-INTERIM-forced MAR over current climate, where the observed melt increase since the 1990's seems rather to be a consequence of more anticyclonic atmospheric conditions. Finally, no significant change is projected in the length of the melt season. This timing highlights the importance of solar radiation in the melt SEB.

Citation: Franco, B., Fettweis, X., and Erpicum, M.: Future projections of the Greenland ice sheet energy balance driving the surface melt, developed using the regional climate MAR model, The Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 2265-2303, doi:10.5194/tcd-6-2265-2012, 2012.
 
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