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      Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters

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          Most cited references 21

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          Changes in the velocity structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

          Using satellite radar interferometry observations of Greenland, we detected widespread glacier acceleration below 66 degrees north between 1996 and 2000, which rapidly expanded to 70 degrees north in 2005. Accelerated ice discharge in the west and particularly in the east doubled the ice sheet mass deficit in the last decade from 90 to 220 cubic kilometers per year. As more glaciers accelerate farther north, the contribution of Greenland to sea-level rise will continue to increase.
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            Surface melt-induced acceleration of Greenland ice-sheet flow.

            Ice flow at a location in the equilibrium zone of the west-central Greenland Ice Sheet accelerates above the midwinter average rate during periods of summer melting. The near coincidence of the ice acceleration with the duration of surface melting, followed by deceleration after the melting ceases, indicates that glacial sliding is enhanced by rapid migration of surface meltwater to the ice-bedrock interface. Interannual variations in the ice acceleration are correlated with variations in the intensity of the surface melting, with larger increases accompanying higher amounts of summer melting. The indicated coupling between surface melting and ice-sheet flow provides a mechanism for rapid, large-scale, dynamic responses of ice sheets to climate warming.
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              Decline of subpolar North Atlantic circulation during the 1990s.

              Observations of sea surface height reveal that substantial changes have occurred over the past decade in the mid- to high-latitude North Atlantic Ocean. TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data show that subpolar sea surface height increased during the 1990s, and the geostrophic velocity derived from altimeter data exhibits declining subpolar gyre circulation. Combining the data from earlier satellites, we find that subpolar circulation may have been weaker in the late 1990s than in the late 1970s and 1980s. Direct current-meter observations in the boundary current of the Labrador Sea support the weakening circulation trend of the 1990s and, together with hydrographic data, show that the mid- to late 1990s decline extends deep in the water column. Analysis of the local surface forcing suggests that the 1990s buoyancy forcing has a dynamic effect consistent with altimetric and hydrographic observations: A weak thermohaline forcing allows the decay of the domed structure of subpolar isopycnals and weakening of circulation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Geoscience
                Nature Geosci
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1752-0894
                1752-0908
                October 2008
                September 28 2008
                October 2008
                : 1
                : 10
                : 659-664
                Article
                10.1038/ngeo316
                © 2008

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