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Geography Colloquium: Asa Rennermalm

Friday, January 27, 2017
12:20pm – 1:15pm

Storrs Campus
AUST 434

Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Away

The Greenland ice sheet supplies freshwater from ice sheet calving, ice sheet and glacier melt, and land runoff to surrounding oceans on the same order of magnitude as the worlds largest rivers. Here we investigate Greenland's spatial distribution and trends between 1949 and 2015 by using runoff simulated with the regional surface mass balance model Modele Atmospherique Regional (MAR). Freshwater export is calculated for almost 500 outlet points by integrating runoff from ice sheet, peripheral glaciers, and tundra from each point's upstream basin area, and adding estimates of ice discharge. Our findings show that total freshwater export is largest is the Southeast region draining into the North Atlantic, which also is an area where freshwater fluxes are more likely to propagate as salinity anomalies at deep-water formation sites in the Labrador Sea. Finally, we find that Greenland supplies a disproportionate amount of freshwater to surrounding oceans relative to its area (~19% of runoff fluxes, but only ~8% of the area of the Arctic Freshwater Domain), and that the total increase from the mid-1990s to 2012 is similar to the magnitude of Ob River, one of the largest rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean.

Contact:

Scott Stephenson [stephenson@uconn.edu]

Geography Department (primary), Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, Geosciences, UConn Master Calendar

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