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Title: (Reduce uncertainty in projection of future sea-level change due to ice wastage)

Abstract

Three basic goals were stated in the original proposal. These were: (1) develop an understanding of the heat and mass flow into subfreezing snow and firn, in order to model the evolution of the temperature distribution and the infiltration rates through the firn; (2) relate changes in climate, as given by general circulation model predictions, to changes in the surface mass and energy balances of glaciers; and (3) use the above results to analyze the effects of changed surface mass and energy balances on the flow of meltwater through snow and firn, and on the runoff from these glaciers, in a CO{sub 2}-affected climate. This final report summarizes our progress toward these goals. The primary product of this research program has been the communication of this progress in the form of publications in the scientific literature and presentations at scientific meetings. Our research activities in the past three years have provided a new basis for modeling of multiphase flow in subfreezing snow, new field data on the structural properties of arctic firn pertinent to hydrological modeling, and estimates of sea level change in response to changing patterns of runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet. We conclude that forecasts of futuremore » sea level changes from all glacier runoff sources may be in error by amounts on the order of +8 cm over the next 150 years, due to the lag in generating runoff to the sea. Our specific research products include two distributed-parameter models of water flow through snow with melting and freezing, a theoretical model of wetting-front advance into subfreezing snow for inclusion in a future model, and a simple large-scale model of the response of Greenland runoff in a changing climate which provides estimates of the effect of melt water refreezing phenomena on sea level changes in response to a range of possible future climates.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Colorado Univ., Boulder, CO (USA). Inst. of Arctic and Alpine Research
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE, Washington, DC (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
5928115
Report Number(s):
DOE/ER/60570-3
ON: DE91010933
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-87ER60570
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; GLACIERS; FLUID MECHANICS; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; CLIMATE MODELS; ARCTIC REGIONS; CARBON DIOXIDE; ENERGY BALANCE; FREEZING; GENERAL CIRCULATION MODELS; HYDROLOGY; MELTING; MULTIPHASE FLOW; PROGRESS REPORT; RUNOFF; SEA LEVEL; SNOW; ATMOSPHERIC PRECIPITATIONS; CARBON COMPOUNDS; CARBON OXIDES; CHALCOGENIDES; DOCUMENT TYPES; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; FLUID FLOW; LEVELS; MASS TRANSFER; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; MECHANICS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; POLAR REGIONS; 540310* - Environment, Aquatic- Basic Studies- (1990-); 540120 - Environment, Atmospheric- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (1990-)

Citation Formats

Meier, M.F. (Reduce uncertainty in projection of future sea-level change due to ice wastage). United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Meier, M.F. (Reduce uncertainty in projection of future sea-level change due to ice wastage). United States.
Meier, M.F. 1991. "(Reduce uncertainty in projection of future sea-level change due to ice wastage)". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5928115,
title = {(Reduce uncertainty in projection of future sea-level change due to ice wastage)},
author = {Meier, M.F.},
abstractNote = {Three basic goals were stated in the original proposal. These were: (1) develop an understanding of the heat and mass flow into subfreezing snow and firn, in order to model the evolution of the temperature distribution and the infiltration rates through the firn; (2) relate changes in climate, as given by general circulation model predictions, to changes in the surface mass and energy balances of glaciers; and (3) use the above results to analyze the effects of changed surface mass and energy balances on the flow of meltwater through snow and firn, and on the runoff from these glaciers, in a CO{sub 2}-affected climate. This final report summarizes our progress toward these goals. The primary product of this research program has been the communication of this progress in the form of publications in the scientific literature and presentations at scientific meetings. Our research activities in the past three years have provided a new basis for modeling of multiphase flow in subfreezing snow, new field data on the structural properties of arctic firn pertinent to hydrological modeling, and estimates of sea level change in response to changing patterns of runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet. We conclude that forecasts of future sea level changes from all glacier runoff sources may be in error by amounts on the order of +8 cm over the next 150 years, due to the lag in generating runoff to the sea. Our specific research products include two distributed-parameter models of water flow through snow with melting and freezing, a theoretical model of wetting-front advance into subfreezing snow for inclusion in a future model, and a simple large-scale model of the response of Greenland runoff in a changing climate which provides estimates of the effect of melt water refreezing phenomena on sea level changes in response to a range of possible future climates.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1991,
month = 1
}

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  • Since the conclusion of our 1988 field work activities, we have been occupied with organizing field data and redesigning our numerical model. Publications are in preparation describing last summer's field experiments and the basis for our new numerical model; one manuscript presenting current model results has been submitted to Water Resources Research. We are also planning an experimental program to accompany our field work. The accomplished goals of these activities are outlined below. A brief report on field studies at Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere Island, Canada, in May, 1988, and on the Greenland Ice Sheet in August, 1988, was submittedmore » to DOE in September, 1988, and is enclosed as Attachment A. Observational data from Agassiz Ice Cap were organized into an in-house data report last year. Additional information has been reduced from field notes and is being incorporated into the data report. The new information includes extra density profiles and macrophotographs of snow grains. A public data report is in preparation and will be available this summer through World Data Center A. A condensed data report may also be submitted for publication this summer.« less
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