Mass loss of Greenland from GRACE, IceSat and CryoSat

René Forsberg, Louise Sandberg Sørensen, Joanna Fredenslund Levinsen, Johan Nilsson

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CryoSat data over the Greenland Ice Sheet are used to continue elevation height change data over the Greenland ice sheet, following a decade of detailed monitoring of ice sheet changes with GRACE and IceSat. The combination and validation of the different data for measuring changes is quantified by using available airborne lidar data from IceBridge and CryoVEx. There is a special challenge of using CryoSat as fill-in between EnviSat and Sentinel-3 for the longterm measurements of surface elevation changes, a key essential climate variable in the ESA Climate Change Initiative. Another challenge is the joint utilization of both altimetry and gravity field change measurements for consistent estimates of regional change patterns. In the paper we analyze GRACE, IceSat and CryoSat data since 2003, and present consistent estimates of overall mass changes with average values around -220 GT/year, showing large variations from year to year, with 2012 being another record melt year for the Greenland ice sheet. Sources of the changes are mainly melt of the marginal ice zones in SE and NW Greenland, as well as changes in the major outlet glaciers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the CryoSat Workshop
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationDresden
PublisherEuropean Space Agency
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventCryoSat Third User Workshop - Dresden, Germany
Duration: 12 Mar 201314 Mar 2013


ConferenceCryoSat Third User Workshop

Bibliographical note

ESA Special Publication 717.


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