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SERMeQ model produces realistic retreat of 155 Greenland outlet glaciers
  • Lizz Ultee,
  • Jeremy N. Bassis
Lizz Ultee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:ehultee@mit.edu

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Jeremy N. Bassis
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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The rate of land ice loss due to iceberg calving is a key source of variability among model projections of 21st century sea level rise. In Greenland, where ice drains to the ocean through hundreds of outlet glaciers, it has been especially challenging to account for iceberg calving from glaciers smaller than typical model grid scale. Here, we apply an efficient, physically-based network flowline model (SERMeQ) forced by surface mass balance to simulate decadal terminus position change of 155 grounded outlet glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet—resolving five times as many outlets as was previously possible. We compare these simulations with observed changes in terminus position and find that SERMeQ produces generally realistic rates of retreat. Moreover, SERMeQ is designed to overestimate retreat and can be used to provide an upper bound on forward projections of the dynamic mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet associated with different climate projections.
16 Nov 2020Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 47 issue 21. 10.1029/2020GL090213