Collaborative Research: Assessing the Impact of Arctic Sea Ice Variability on the Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass and Energy Balance (GREASE)

Funding Agency: 
National Science Foundation
Collaborators: 
J. Stroeve (NSIDC), M. Tedesco (CCNY)

The Arctic Ocean is rapidly losing its summer sea ice cover, leading to anomalous warming of the overlying atmosphere in autumn. Concurrent with sea ice loss are negative trends in the Greenland ice sheet mass balance, with increased surface melt/ablation and discharge rates. These changes are of great socioeconomic concern as continued negative trends in the extent of floating sea ice cover and ice sheet mass are likely to have widespread impacts on climate and global sea levels. The possibility that the Arctic is shifting to a substantially different climate state, such as the dominance of seasonal versus perennial sea ice, implies that our existing knowledge about Arctic system characteristics and interactions may become increasingly less valid. Our work seeks to better understand how changes in different components of the Arctic, such as the sea ice cover and ice sheet, interact through the integrating properties the overlying atmosphere, and how these interactions and resulting regional effects might evolve in the future.