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Title: Using GRACE and climate model simulations to predict mass loss of Alaskan glaciers through 2100

Glaciers in Alaska are currently losing mass at a rate of ~–50 Gt a –1, one of the largest ice loss rates of any regional collection of mountain glaciers on Earth. Existing projections of Alaska's future sea-level contributions tend to be divergent and are not tied directly to regional observations. Here we develop a simple, regional observation-based projection of Alaska's future sea-level contribution. We compute a time series of recent Alaska glacier mass variability using monthly GRACE gravity fields from August 2002 through December 2014. We also construct a three-parameter model of Alaska glacier mass variability based on monthly ERA-Interim snowfall and temperature fields. When these three model parameters are fitted to the GRACE time series, the model explains 94% of the variance of the GRACE data. Using these parameter values, we then apply the model to simulated fields of monthly temperature and snowfall from the Community Earth System Model, to obtain predictions of mass variations through 2100. Here, we conclude that mass loss rates may increase between –80 and –110 Gt a –1by 2100, with a total sea-level rise contribution of 19 ± 4 mm during the 21st century.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
  3. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-97ER62402
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Glaciology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 62; Journal Issue: 234; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-1430
Publisher:
International Glaciological Society
Research Org:
Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; glacier geophysics; glacier mass balance; glacier modelling; gravimetry
OSTI Identifier:
1438453

Wahr, John, Burgess, Evan, and Swenson, Sean. Using GRACE and climate model simulations to predict mass loss of Alaskan glaciers through 2100. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1017/jog.2016.49.
Wahr, John, Burgess, Evan, & Swenson, Sean. Using GRACE and climate model simulations to predict mass loss of Alaskan glaciers through 2100. United States. doi:10.1017/jog.2016.49.
Wahr, John, Burgess, Evan, and Swenson, Sean. 2016. "Using GRACE and climate model simulations to predict mass loss of Alaskan glaciers through 2100". United States. doi:10.1017/jog.2016.49. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1438453.
@article{osti_1438453,
title = {Using GRACE and climate model simulations to predict mass loss of Alaskan glaciers through 2100},
author = {Wahr, John and Burgess, Evan and Swenson, Sean},
abstractNote = {Glaciers in Alaska are currently losing mass at a rate of ~–50 Gt a–1, one of the largest ice loss rates of any regional collection of mountain glaciers on Earth. Existing projections of Alaska's future sea-level contributions tend to be divergent and are not tied directly to regional observations. Here we develop a simple, regional observation-based projection of Alaska's future sea-level contribution. We compute a time series of recent Alaska glacier mass variability using monthly GRACE gravity fields from August 2002 through December 2014. We also construct a three-parameter model of Alaska glacier mass variability based on monthly ERA-Interim snowfall and temperature fields. When these three model parameters are fitted to the GRACE time series, the model explains 94% of the variance of the GRACE data. Using these parameter values, we then apply the model to simulated fields of monthly temperature and snowfall from the Community Earth System Model, to obtain predictions of mass variations through 2100. Here, we conclude that mass loss rates may increase between –80 and –110 Gt a–1by 2100, with a total sea-level rise contribution of 19 ± 4 mm during the 21st century.},
doi = {10.1017/jog.2016.49},
journal = {Journal of Glaciology},
number = 234,
volume = 62,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {5}
}