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Recent variations in surface mass balance of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet

Morris, Elizabeth M.; Mulvaney, Robert. 2004 Recent variations in surface mass balance of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet. Journal of Glaciology, 50 (169). 257-267. 10.3189/172756504781830051

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Abstract/Summary

Over the period 1972-98 the height of the snow surface at eight Antarctic sites in Palmer Land and on Alexander Island has been measured with respect to fixed points on local nunataks. From these data an empirical relation between height changes over a given period and three key variables has been derived. These variables are (i) the local mean annual surface air temperature, (ii) a regional estimate of energy available for melt over the period (derived from the nearby Rothera air-temperature record) and (iii) a regional estimate of accumulation over the period (derived from the nearby Gomez Nunatak ice-core accumulation record). Using this relation, the contribution of the Antarctic Peninsula to sea-level rise for warming from climatic conditions (averaged over the last 30 years) is estimated to be -0.006 +/- 0.002 mm a(-1) K-1. If recent warm conditions persist, however, and meltwater can run off to the sea, the contribution to sea-level rise from ablation is calculated to be 0.07 +/- 0.02 mm a(-1) K-1.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3189/172756504781830051
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Signals in Antarctica of Past Global Changes
ISSN: 0022-1430
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Glaciology
Date made live: 20 Jan 2012 14:49
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12306

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