Ocean/Ice-Sheet Interactions in Greenland

F. Straneo (WHOI), D. Sutherland (UW), R. Curry (WHOI), G. Hamilton (UMaine), L. Stearns (KU)

There is increasing evidence that the widespread accelerating of outlet glaciers in SE and W Greenland has been driven, in part, by increased submarine melting at the termini of outlet glaciers in Greenland’s deep glacial fjords. Straneo and colleagues have been monitoring Sermilik Fjord/Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssauq Fjord/Glacier since 2008. They have found that large amounts of waters of subtropical origin reach both glaciers and, also, that these waters are continuously renewed through exchange with the shelf, thus providing a potentially large heat transport to the glacier. Ongoing work at both fjords has been funded by NSF-OPP and by WHOI- Arctic Research Initiative.(http://www.whoi.edu/science/PO/people/fstraneo/greenland/greenland.html)

Publications

  • Did changes in the subpolar North Atlantic trigger the recent mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet? F.Straneo, G. Hamilton, R. Curry, D. Sutherland, L. Stearns, 2009: U.S. Clivar Variations Newsletter, 7, pp1-4.
  • Rapid Circulation of warm subtropical waters in a major glacial fjord off East Greenland, F. Straneo, G. Hamilton, D. Sutherland, L. Stearns, F. Davidson, M. Hammill, G. Stenson, A. Rosing-Asvid, 2010: Nature Geoscience, in press.