Brief communication: Firn data compilation reveals the evolution of the firn air content on the Greenland ice sheet

Baptiste Robert Marcel Vandecrux*, Michael MacFerrin, Horst Machguth, William T. Colgan, Dirk van As, Achim Heilig, C. Max Stevens, Charalampos Charalampidis, Robert S. Fausto, Elizabeth M. Morris, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Lora Koenig, Lynn N. Montgomery, Clément Miège, Sebastian Bjerregaard Simonsen, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Jason E. Box

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

226 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The firn covering the Greenland ice sheet interior can retain part of the surface melt, buffering the ice sheet’s contribution to sea level, but its characteristics are still little known. Using remote-sensing observations from 2000- 2017, we estimate that firn covers 1,405,500 ±17,250 km2 of the ice sheet. We present 344 firn-core-derived observations of the top 10 m firn air content (FAC10), indicative of the firn’s meltwater retention capacity. FAC10 remained stable in the coldest 74% of the firn area during 1953-2017, while FAC10 decreased in the warmest and driest 12% of the firn area between 1997-2008 and 2011-2017, resulting in a loss of 180 ±78 km3 (-26 ±11%) of air from the near-surface firn.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Cryosphere Discussions
Volume13
Pages (from-to)845-859
Number of pages15
ISSN1994-0432
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this

Vandecrux, B. R. M., MacFerrin, M., Machguth, H., Colgan, W. T., van As, D., Heilig, A., Stevens, C. M., Charalampidis, C., Fausto, R. S., Morris, E. M., Mosley-Thompson, E., Koenig, L., Montgomery, L. N., Miège, C., Simonsen, S. B., Ingeman-Nielsen, T., & Box, J. E. (2019). Brief communication: Firn data compilation reveals the evolution of the firn air content on the Greenland ice sheet. The Cryosphere Discussions, 13, 845-859. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-172