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Sarah Boon(1); Dave Burgess(2); Luke Copland(3); Gwenn Flowers(4); Jeff Kavanaugh(2); Shawn Marshall(5); Martin Sharp(2); Lev Tarasov(6) (1)U of N.B.C, (2)U. of Alberta, (3)U. of Ottawa, (4)Simon Fraser, (5)U. of Calgary, (6)M.U.N.

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slide1

Sarah Boon(1); Dave Burgess(2); Luke Copland(3); Gwenn Flowers(4); Jeff Kavanaugh(2);

Shawn Marshall(5); Martin Sharp(2); Lev Tarasov(6)

(1)U of N.B.C, (2)U. of Alberta, (3)U. of Ottawa, (4)Simon Fraser, (5)U. of Calgary,

(6)M.U.N.

Global warming and polar tidewater glacier response: A Canadian IPY project on Belcher Glacier, Nunavut

B.Beauchamp

slide2

THE CLIMATE SYSTEM

IS MORE SENSITIVE

THAN WE THOUGHT

Mauna Loa CO2 record

Global Mean Annual Air Temperature

c.f. IPCC Scenarios

Global Mean Sea Level

c.f. IPCC Scenarios

Rahmstorf et al, Science Express, Feb 2007

slide3

WHAT’S DRIVING THE SEA LEVEL RISE ??

Luthcke et al, Science, 2006

Alley et al., Annals of Glaciology, in press

ENHANCED MASS LOSS FROM GREENLAND

why the enhanced loss
WHY THE ENHANCED LOSS?

Outlet

Glacier

velocities

m/yr

Glacier

Earthquakes

Rignot &

Kanagaratnam,

Science, 2006

Ekstrom et al,

Science, 2006

ACCELERATED OUTLET GLACIER FLOW

outlet glacier retreat thinning and iceberg calving
OUTLET GLACIER RETREAT, THINNING AND ICEBERG CALVING

Helheim Glacier

2000

2004

Thickness Change

Frontal Retreat

Velocity

I. Howat et al., GRL, 2005

what s driving these changes
WHAT’S DRIVING THESE CHANGES?
  • Two main hypotheses:
    • From the top – increased or more widespread penetration of surface meltwater to the glacier bed enhances sliding
    • From the bottom – terminus destabilisation by flotation (due to rising sea level or thinning caused by increased surface or marine melt) reduces flow resistance
  • But which is it ? Hard to measure in Greenland

A. Gardner

ipy glaciodyn international
IPY GLACIODYN: International
  • Researchers from 17 countries
  • Tidewater Arctic glaciers – role of dynamics in response to climate warming
    • Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Russia

B.Danielson

ipy glaciodyn canada

IPY GLACIODYN Canada

Canadian Participants

Martin Sharp, Jeff Kavanaugh, (U. Alberta)

Shawn Marshall (U. Calgary), Gwenn Flowers (SFU)

Sarah Boon (UNBC), Luke Copland (U. Ottawa)

Trevor Bell, Lev Tarasov (Memorial)

Dave Burgess,Laurence Gray (CCRS)

International Collaborators

Tony Payne, Jemma Wadham (Bristol University, UK)

Bernd Kulessa (University of Wales, Swansea)

Andy Smith (British Antarctic Survey)

slide9

Canadian site: Devon Island Ice Cap

Queen Elizabeth

Islands

Devon

goals
Goals
  • Develop high order coupled model of outlet glacier dynamics
    • incorporate surface mass balance, glacier hydrology, ice flow and iceberg calving
  • Collect detailed field and remotely sensed data
    • Design, initialize, drive, and validate model
  • Run model
    • Explore Belcher Glacier response to climate change
      • atmospheric and oceanic climate
      • amount and distribution of surface water inputs to glacier bed
      • Ice dynamics, terminus stability and iceberg calving
      • What are the important processes?
slide12

Methods: Modelling

snow

  • Surface mass balance model
  • Whole ice cap flow model
  • Coupled hydrology/ thermomechanical outlet glacier flow model
  • Iceberg calving mechanics

Lev Tarasov

G. Flowers

slide13

Methods: Surface Processes & Properties

  • Mass balance
    • radar, ice cores, AWS, stakes, remote sensing of summer melt
  • Hydrology & Drainage
    • remote sensing, time lapse photography, hydrometric measurements,
  • Topography
    • Kinematic GPS, Airborne laser altimetry, Photogrammetry

B.Danielson

Surface elevation change (m/yr)

Distance from Glacier Head (km)

S. Boon

Thickness Changes 1960-2005

slide14

Methods: Sub-surface characteristics

M. Davis

  • Subglacial topography
    • RES, GPR
  • Bed properties and their temporal variability
    • seismic reflection and monitoring

NOAA

W.Krabill

slide16

Methods: Ice velocities

  • Remote sensing
    • InSAR
  • Field measurements
    • wireless GPS

D. Burgess

D. Burgess et al., J.Glaciology, 2005

slide17

Key questions (1)

  • On what timescale does Belcher Glacier respond to climate warming?
  • How is glacier response regulated by changes in the rate and mechanism of ice flow? If so, what causes these changes?
  • How do these changes amplify those caused by surface mass balance alone?

F. Cawkwell

slide18

Key questions (2)

  • Are changes in flow dynamics and iceberg calving related, and how?
  • What controls the calving rate and its variation over time – is ocean climate important?

Vexcel

A.Gardner

challenges
Challenges
  • NSERC IPY/PCSP Logistics mis-communication: dollar stretching
  • Polar Bears
funding
Funding
  • NSERC
    • IPY SRO
    • RTI
    • Discovery Grant
    • Northern Research Supplement
  • CFI
  • ASRIP, OIT
  • ArcticNet
  • PCSP

F. Cawkwell