Accelerating ice loss from peripheral glaciers in North Greenland

  • Shfaqat Abbas Khan (Creator)
  • William Colgan (Creator)
  • Thomas A. Neumann (Creator)
  • Michiel R van den Broeke (Creator)
  • Kelly M. Brunt (Creator)
  • Brice Noël (Creator)
  • Jonathan L Bamber (Creator)
  • Javed Hassan (Creator)
  • Anders A. Bjørk (Creator)



In recent decades, Greenland’s peripheral glaciers have experienced large-scale mass loss, resulting in a substantial contribution to sea-level rise. Only 4% of Greenland’s ice cover are small peripheral glaciers that are distinct from the ice sheet proper. Despite comprising this relatively small area, these small peripheral glaciers are responsible for 11% of the ice loss associated with Greenland’s recent sea-level rise contribution. Using the satellite laser platforms ICESat and ICESat-2, we estimate that ice loss from these Greenland glaciers increased from 27±6 Gt/yr (2003–2009) to 42±6 Gt/yr (2018–2021). Here, we provide the laser altimetry assessment of changing ice loss rates from Greenland peripheral glaciers that bridges both the ICESat and ICESat-2 periods of Feb 2003 – Dec 2021. We provide peripheral glaciers elevation changes including correction for firn compaction, elastic uplift rates from present-day mass changes, and long-term past ice changes (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment- GIA). We provide: (1) Mean elevation change rates of the Greenland peripheral glaciers during, Feb 2003 - Oct 2009, Oct 2008 - Apr 2019, and Oct 2018 – Dec 2021 obtained from ICESat and ICESat-2 data. The grid resolution is 500x500 meters. (2) Mean elastic uplift rates of the bedrock (in mm/yr) due to ice loss during, Feb 2003 - Oct 2009, Oct 2008 - Apr 2019, and Oct 2018 – Dec 2021. (3) Mean firn compaction rates in m/yr during, Feb 2003 - Oct 2009, Oct 2008 - Apr 2019, and Oct 2018 – Dec 2021. (4) Glacial Isostatic Adjustment- GIA rates in mm/yr from the GNET-GIA empirical model of Khan et al. (2016). (5) Time series of mean surface air temperature in degrees Celcius during May-September in north, northwest, southeast, southwest, and northwest Greenland from RACMO2.3p2.
Date made available18 Jul 2022

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