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Ice-shelf retreat drives recent Pine Island Glacier speedup

Joughin, Ian; Shapero, Daniel; Smith, Ben; Dutrieux, Pierre ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8066-934X; Barham, Mark ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9724-2916. 2021 Ice-shelf retreat drives recent Pine Island Glacier speedup. Science Advances, 7 (24), eabg3080. 7, pp. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abg3080

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Abstract/Summary

Speedup of Pine Island Glacier over the past several decades has made it Antarctica’s largest contributor to sea-level rise. The past speedup is largely due to grounding-line retreat in response to ocean-induced thinning that reduced ice-shelf buttressing. While speeds remained fairly steady from 2009 to late 2017, our Copernicus Sentinel 1A/B–derived velocity data show a >12% speedup over the past 3 years, coincident with a 19-km retreat of the ice shelf. We use an ice-flow model to simulate this loss, finding that accelerated calving can explain the recent speedup, independent of the grounding-line, melt-driven processes responsible for past speedups. If the ice shelf’s rapid retreat continues, it could further destabilize the glacier far sooner than would be expected due to surface- or ocean-melting processes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abg3080
ISSN: 2375-2548
Date made live: 12 Jun 2021 05:59 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/530498

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