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Antarctic ice sheet melting in the southeast Pacific

Jacobs, Stanley S.; Hellmer, Hartmut H.; Jenkins, Adrian. 1996 Antarctic ice sheet melting in the southeast Pacific. Geophysical Research Letters, 23 (9). 957-960. 10.1029/96GL00723

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Abstract/Summary

The first oceanographic measurements across a deep channel beneath the calving front of Pine Island Glacier reveal a sub-ice circulation driven by basal melting of 10–12 m yr−1. A salt box model described here gives a melt rate similar to that of ice balance and numerical models, 5–50 times higher than averages for the George VI and Ross Ice Shelves. Melting is fueled by relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water that floods the deep floor of the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Sea continental shelves, reaching the deep draft of this floating glacier. A revised melt rate for ice shelves in the Southeast Pacific sector raises circumpolar ice shelf melting to 756 Gt yr−1. Given prior estimates of surface accumulation and iceberg calving, this suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is currently losing mass to the ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/96GL00723
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Pre 2000 programme
ISSN: 00948276
Date made live: 15 Nov 2016 13:45 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/515160

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