Greenland Ice Sheet [in Arctic Report Card 2015]

Tedesco, Marco; Box, J. E.; Cappelen, J.; Fausto, R. S.; Fettweis, X.; Hansen, K.; Mote, T.; Smeets, C. J. P. P.; van As, D.; van de Wal, R. S. W.; Wahr, J.

Melt area in 2015 exceeded more than half of the ice sheet on July 4th for the first time since the exceptional melt events of July 2012, and was above the 1981-2010 average on 54.3% of days (50 of 92 days). The length of the melt season was as much as 30-40 days longer than average in the western, northwestern and northeastern regions, but close to and below average elsewhere on the ice sheet. Average summer albedo in 2015 was below the 2000-2009 average over the northwest and above the average over the southwest portion of the Greenland ice sheet. In July, albedo averaged over the entire ice sheet was lower than in 2013 and 2014, but higher than the lowest value on record observed in 2012. Ice mass loss of 186 Gt over the entire ice sheet between April 2014 and April 2015 was 22% below the average mass loss of 238 Gt for the 2002- 2015 period, but was 6.4 times higher than the 29 Gt loss of the preceding 2013-2014 season. The net area loss from marine-terminating glaciers during 2014-2015 was 16.5 km². This was the lowest annual net area loss of the period of observations (1999-2015) and 7.7 times lower than the annual average area change trend of -127 km².

Geographic Areas


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Arctic Report Card

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Published Here
March 30, 2016