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Summary of Proposal HYD0492

TitleIce velocity measurements of Greenland outlet glaciers
Investigator Floricioiu, Dana - DLR, IMF
Team Member
Dr. Joughin, Ian - Univ of Washington, Polar Science Center Applied Physics Lab.
Dr. Jezek, Kenneth - Ohio State University, Bird Polar Center
Dr. Drinkwater, Mark - ESA, ESTEC
Hubbard, Alun - Aberystwyth University, institute of Geography & Earth 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, the international constellation of SAR and optical satellites has provided only sparse and sporadic 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 a set of TSX observations to commence during the International Polar Year that will 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.

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