Widespread increase in dynamic imbalance in the Getz region of Antarctica from 1994 to 2018

The Getz region of West Antarctica is losing ice at an increasing rate; however, the forcing mechanisms remain unclear. Here we use satellite observations and an ice sheet model to measure the change in ice speed and mass balance of the drainage basin over the last 25-years. Our results show a mean increase in speed of 23.8 % between 1994 and 2018, with three glaciers accelerating by over 44 %. Speedup across the Getz basin is linear, with speedup and thinning directly correlated confirming the presence of dynamic imbalance. Since 1994, 315 Gt of ice has been lost contributing 0.9 ± 0.6 mm global mean sea level, with increased loss since 2010 caused by a snowfall reduction. Overall, dynamic imbalance accounts for two thirds of the mass loss from this region of West Antarctica over the past 25-years, with a longer-term response to ocean forcing the likely driving mechanism.


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Authors: Selley, Heather L., Hogg, Anna E., Cornford, Stephen, Dutrieux, Pierre ORCIDORCID record for Pierre Dutrieux, Shepherd, Andrew, Wuite, Jan, Floricioiu, Dana, Kusk, Anders, Nagler, Thomas, Gilbert, Lin, Slater, Thomas, Kim, Tae-Wan

On this site: Pierre Dutrieux
23 February, 2021
Nature Communications / 12
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