Melt season fringe interactions between Baffin Bay ice cover and the Greenland ice sheet

Authors: Thomas Ballinger*, Texas State University, Thomas Mote, University of Georgia, Edward Hanna, University of Lincoln, Jeffrey Miller, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and KBRWyle, Inc
Topics: Cryosphere, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: Arctic, sea ice, Greenland ice sheet, Baffin Bay, melt, freeze
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Regent, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Oceanic and atmospheric warming of Greenland and surrounding areas has led to increased ice sheet spatial melt extent and decreased sea ice coverage during the summer months. The last two decades have witnessed increased warm air advection into the region from Greenland blocks and transient synoptic patterns that have exasperated the background warming signal and led to several melt season anomalies and isolated extreme melt events. The scope of the melt season is also evolving rather rapidly, particularly throughout much of Baffin Bay and adjacent portions of the western Greenland Ice Sheet, where melt (freeze) is occurring earlier (later) within the annual melt cycle. Less is known, however, about processes driving ice sheet and sea ice changes at the melt fringe periods and how these ice environments physically interact during times of melt and freeze onset. Utilizing observational data from passive microwave satellite sensors and in situ weather stations on the ice and at coastal margins (i.e. DMI and PROMICE stations), we look to better understand the local sea/land ice interactions by 1) assessing relationships between the timing of melt and freeze onset, and 2) evaluating preconditioning factors, such as surface temperatures, that may relate to subsequent periods of prolonged melt and freeze. Emphasis is placed on the autumn freeze onset period and how processes leading to a fluctuating freeze date influence ice sheet and sea ice melt during the subsequent spring.

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