Luke Trusel

(Penn State, Department of Geography)

"Rising to the surface: Antarctic surface mass balance and hydrology in a changing climate"

What Climate Dynamics Seminar
When Mar 15, 2023
from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm
Where 529 Walker Building (Alfred K. Blackadar Library)
Contact Name Chris Forest
Contact email
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The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest potential source of global sea level rise. Among the factors controlling its mass balance are the amount of snow falling across its surface and the stability of its ice shelves through which much of the ice sheet flows. This presentation first focuss on the ice sheet’s surface mass balance, which was at a four-decade high in 2022, and the atmospheric and oceanic drivers of this anomaly. Next, through analysis of CESM2 simulations, this research examines how ocean surface variability, namely sea ice coverage, impacts the ice sheet surface mass balance. Results of this work suggest underprediction of sea ice, which is common in many models, may lead to overestimation of snowfall and thus underestimation of the Antarctic contribution to sea level. Next, we’ll turn to recent observations of surface hydrology from East Antarctica that indicate ocean tides may limit the accumulation of meltwater on ice shelves. This research suggests a new mechanism that could at least temporarily safeguard ice shelves from surface meltwater-induced destabilization. By generating new insights into meltwater processes and the coupling of Antarctica with the broader cryosphere system, this research seeks to promote a more informed understanding of the ice sheet’s potential future evolution.