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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-65
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Special issue editorial
05 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Investigating the Local Scale Influence of Sea Ice on Greenland Surface Melt
Julienne C. Stroeve1,2, John R. Mioduszewski3, Asa Rennermalm4, Linette N. Boisvert5, Marco Tedesco6, and David Robinson4 1National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, 449 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
2Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, University College London, Department of Earth Sciences, Gower Street, London, WC1E6BT, UK
3Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706, USA
4Department of Geography, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway NJ 08854-8045, USA
5NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA
6Lamont, Columbia University
Abstract. Rapid decline in Arctic sea ice cover in the 21st century may have wide-reaching effects on the Arctic climate system, including the Greenland ice sheet mass balance. Here, we investigate whether local changes in sea ice around the Greenland ice sheet have had an impact on Greenland surface melt. Specifically, we investigate the relationship between sea ice concentration, the timing of melt onset and open water fraction surrounding Greenland with ice sheet surface melt using a combination of remote sensing observations, and outputs from a reanalysis model and a regional climate model for the period 1979–2015. Statistical analysis points to covariability between Greenland ice sheet surface melt and sea ice within Baffin Bay and Davis Strait. While some of this covariance can be explained by simultaneous influence of atmospheric circulation anomalies on both the sea ice cover and Greenland melt, within Baffin Bay we find a modest correlation between detrended melt onset over sea ice and the adjacent ice sheet melt onset. This correlation appears to be related to increased transfer of sensible and latent heat fluxes from the ocean to the atmosphere in early sea ice melt years, increasing temperatures and humidity over the ice sheet that in turn initiate ice sheet melt.

Citation: Stroeve, J. C., Mioduszewski, J. R., Rennermalm, A., Boisvert, L. N., Tedesco, M., and Robinson, D.: Investigating the Local Scale Influence of Sea Ice on Greenland Surface Melt, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-65, in review, 2017.
Julienne C. Stroeve et al.
Julienne C. Stroeve et al.
Julienne C. Stroeve et al.

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Short summary
As the sea ice has declined strongly in recent years there has been a corresponding increase in Greenland melting. While both are likely a result of changes in atmospheric circulation patterns that favor summer melt, this study evaluates whether or not sea ice reductions around the Greenland ice sheet are having an influence on Greenland summer melt through enhanced sensible and latent heat transport from open water areas onto the ice sheet.
As the sea ice has declined strongly in recent years there has been a corresponding increase in...
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