Mountain building and the initiation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Published: Mar 1, 2014 by The PISM Authors

Title Mountain building and the initiation of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Authors A. Solgaard, J. Bonow, P. Langen, P. Japsen, and C. Hvidberg
Venue Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

In this paper, effects of a new hypothesis about mountain building in Greenland on ice sheet initiation are investigated using PISM in combination with a climate model. According to this hypothesis, low-relief landscapes near sea level characterized Greenland in the Miocene. Then two phases of km-scale uplift, beginning at 10 and ~5 Ma, respectively, initiated the formation of the present-day mountains. These results are consistent with the observed climatic variability superimposed on the general cooling trend in the late Cenozoic, and they indicate that the Greenland Ice Sheet of today is a relict formed under colder conditions. The late Cenozoic mountain building in Greenland augments the effects of the climatic deterioration leading to the Northern Hemisphere glaciations. Without the second phase of uplift, the Greenland Ice Sheet would have been more sensitive to the changes in climate over the past millions of years.


Latest news

Version 1.2

We are pleased to announce the release of the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) v1.2.

MPI-M Hamburg, Germany: open postdoc for coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice sheet model

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) contributes to the BMBF project “From the Last Interglacial to the Anthropocene: Modeling a Complete Glacial Cycle” (PalMod,, which aims at simulating the climate from the peak of the last interglacial up to the present using comprehensive Earth System Models. Phase II of this project has an open position Postdoctoral Scientist (W073). The successful candidate will be part of a local team performing and analysing long-term transient simulations covering the last glacial and the transition into the Holocene with an interactively coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice sheet model. Additionally, the candidate will contribute to the continued development of this model. The model system consists of the MPI-Earth system model, the ice sheet model PISM, and the solid-earth model VILMA.

AWI PostDoc: Antarctic Ice Sheets in warming climates

Dr. Lohmann’s group at AWI is seeking a postdoc to work with PISM and the multi-scale Earth system model AWI-ESM. See