Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Published: Dec 1, 2012 by The PISM Authors

Title Self-inhibiting growth of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Authors Peter Langen and others
Venue Geophysical Research Letters

The build-up of the Greenland Ice Sheet from ice-free conditions is studied using PISM driven by fields from an atmospheric GCM. Experiments where the two are coupled off-line are augmented by one where an intermediate ice sheet configuration is coupled back to the GCM. The ice sheet regrows from the ice-free state but this is halted when the intermediate recoupling step is included. This inhibition of further growth is due to a Föhn effect of moist air parcels being lifted over the intermediate ice sheet and arriving in the low-lying Greenland interior with high temperatures. This demonstrates that two-way coupling between the atmosphere and the ice sheet is essential for understanding its dynamics. Conditions cooler than those of today may be necessary for the GrIS to regrow to the present volume.


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