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Summary of Proposal HYD0754

TitleGreenland Ice Mapping Project
Investigator Joughin, Ian - University of Washington, Polar Science Center
Team Member
Dr Smith, Ben - Applied Physics Lab,, University of Washington, Polar
Dr Howat, Ian - Ohio State University, School of Earth Sciences & Byrd Polar Research Center
Das, Sarah - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dept. Of Geology and Geaphysics
Dr Luckman, Adrian - Swansea University, Department of Geography, College of Science
SummaryRecent changes, including the dramatic speedups (50 to 100%) of several large outlet glaciers, and increased rates of surface melting, have increased Greenlandís contribution to sea-level rise from near zero in the 1990s to a current imbalance of roughly 100 to 225 Gtons/yr [e.g. Luthcke et al., 2006; Rignot and Kanagaratnam, 2006; Thomas et al., 2006; Velicogna and Wahr, 2006]. The reasons for these speedups and their connection to climate are poorly understood. This poor knowledge of the processes that influence outlet glaciers is one of the limitations on prediction of future ice sheet contributions to sea level rise that was noted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [IPCC, 2007]. While helpful in the past, the international constellation of SAR and optical satellites provided limited and nonsytematic observations of rapidly changing outlet glaciers in Greenland. A systematic set of observations is required to further our knowledge of how these glaciers will contribute to sea level over the next century. With its fine-resolution and other capabilities, TSX is ideally suited to measuring change on these fast moving glaciers, many of which are only a few kilometres wide. Thus, we propose to continue a set of TSX observations that commenced during the International Polar Year (TSX acquisitions were made throughout 2009) to systematically monitor these glaciers. These data will be processed to yield time-series of glacier velocity, which will be made available to the glaciology and other science communities. These acquisitions and the resulting products represent a major TSX contribution to the IPY and the continuing IPY legacy. We also will continue to acquire a more limited set of images over the rapidly changing Pine Island Glacier and other nearby glaciers as part of a separate project that continues time series begun during IPY.

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