Photo by Jim Pottinger (PolarTREC 2011), Courtesy of
The ’s achievements include: continuation of, and planning for, future satellite and aircraft observing of ice sheet and glacier status and trends (Performance Element 5.1.1); continued development and refinement of ice sheet models (Performance Element 5.2.1); multiple large datasets that provide valuable model constraints were released including the Surface Mass Balance and Snow on Sea Ice Working Group (SUMup), MakingEarth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (), Greenland termini and ice velocity, various IceBridge datasets and Arctic Digital Elevation Models (ArcticDEM) (Performance Element 5.2.2). Several new papers were published [e.g., Beamer et al., 2016; Brinkerhoff et al., 2017; Felikson et al., 2017; Noël et al., 2017] that link observations and models to resolve important processes and coupling between glaciers and downstream systems (Performance Element 5.2.3).
Beamer, J. P., D. F. Hill, A. Arendt, and G. E. Liston (2016), High-resolution modeling of coastal freshwater discharge and glacier mass balance in the Gulf of Alaska watershed: COASTAL FWD AND GVL IN GOA WATERSHED, Water Resour. Res., 52(5), 3888–3909, doi:10.1002/2015WR018457.
Brinkerhoff, D., M. Truffer, and A. Aschwanden (2017), Sediment transport drives tidewater glacier periodicity, Nat. Commun., 8(1), doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00095-5.
Felikson, D. et al. (2017), Inland thinning on the Greenland ice sheet controlled by outlet glacier geometry, Nat. Geosci., 10(5), 366–369, doi:10.1038/ngeo2934.
Noël, B., W. J. van de Berg, S. Lhermitte, B. Wouters, H. Machguth, I. Howat, M. Citterio, G. Moholdt, J. T. M. Lenaerts, and M. R. van den Broeke (2017), A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps, Nat. Commun., 8, 14730, doi:10.1038/ncomms14730.
Collaborations Between Federal Agencies and the Research Community
The team organized a number of well-attended monthly meetings. The presentations are archived on the collaborations website. Two of these have involved joint meetings with other collaboration teams (Atmosphere and Marine Ecosystems teams). continued to inform and support for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change () Land-Ice group.
The Land Ice Interaction Team has produced a brief for policymakers on Arctic Land Ice Loss (https://www.arcus.org/files/page/documents/19092/search-science-brief-2016_decreasing-land-ice.pdf) and another on links between sea ice loss and land ice loss (https://www.arcus.org/files/search/briefs/07_arctic_answers_2017_melting_ice_and_sea_level.pdf).
sessions are scheduled (Societal impacts of global cryosphere change and associated mitigation and adaptation policies) to disseminate research broadly.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center () held a Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) workshop to address consistency and automation in glacier mapping.
An international workshop was held in January to discuss the opportunities for basic and applied science using Greenland Network (GNET) – a distributed array of stations around the perimeter of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Many of these involve the collection of time series of processes associated with the variability of the Greenland Ice Sheet mass. A workshop report draft is available.
Facing possible budget shortfalls, USGS engaged with stakeholders to preserve the 50+ year Benchmark Glacier project, which provides the longest-standing observational history of glacier change in the United States. USGS also worked together with the Climate Science Centers to disseminate research related to glacier-ecosystem linkages to decision makers. USGS glaciologists participated in a field trip for congressional staff, briefing them on USGS glacier-climate research.
Plans for 2018
During FY2018, the leadership anticipates increasing the number of inter-collaboration team meetings and hosting a meeting where agencies with smaller glaciological programs brief the community on their efforts to increase collaborative opportunities between small and large agencies.